I am excited about 2018 as it will be the first year that I will be able to devote myself wholly to photography & filming as I plan to submit my completed PhD thesis in early 2018. When I decided to turn this photography dream into reality and leave my job as a university lecturer, I had already started a PhD research degree. This all made sense at the time as I planned to progress and cement my career in academia.

Over the past 4 years, I have turned away a number of filming & photography opportunities because I have had to invest time and energy into completing this PhD that researches the issue of drug use in the Hong Kong Nepali community [my academic background is visual anthropology & criminology]. To say that these past years of balancing a PhD, work and family has been tough is about as much as an understatement as I am capable of.  I have probably worked at 70% of my time/energy allowance for photography/filming work.

So what does 2018 hold in store? I don’t know for sure as unexpected adventures always present themselves, but here is the blueprint for 2018:

Filming

  • After MIRA I needed a break from filming. I poured every ounce of my being into the filming, editing, release & post-release work for MIRA.  I was left utterly spent & exhausted and had no desire to film anything else. This was particularly the case as I was filming at the same time for my PhD research with many days spent filming on the streets & back alleys of Kowloon. The hunger is now back and importantly, I will have the time to throw myself back into a filming project. 2018 will be the year for another film & plans are afoot to start filming in March 2018.

Publication

  • I have been working on a publication that will include images I have been shooting over the years. This will be a blend of digital, analogue, sports, fashion and other genres. Details are still being worked out but content will include images from the Blurring the Lines and other similar projects.

Photography

  • I am buzzing about some photography projects planned for 2018. These include some work in the USA [first time to head there] & far flung places that I have not worked in before. These are a mixture of events and commissioned assignments and I will also be spending more time in China.

Hong Kong Trail Races

  • The plan is to photograph just two trail races in Hong Kong during 2018 [edit Nov 20th – there will now be 3 races]: The Hong Kong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge , 9 Dragons plus one more race that I’m keeping under my hat right now.  After years of shooting trail races in my home city of Hong Kong, it is time to push the creative envelope and work on different opportunities. I have worked with Andre Blumberg & Paper on the 4 Trails since the beginning and would not miss being part of this. The 9 Dragons is also a race that I have agreed to shoot with the swaying factor for both of these events being that I get to work with my daughter Anya in shooting these races.

Running

  • Over the past two years, I have not been able to compete in races as I would want. This has mainly been due to needing to work in a way that demands a lot on a physical level. I have scraped from assignment to assignment and picked up the pieces in between with many visits to physios, doctors, A & E’s etc. A motorbike crash while on assignment to shoot an ultra race in Mongolia during the summer of 2017 resulted in a long-term injury where I have been unable to run pain-free since. As a result, the priority has been work assignments and not races. With some focused treatment, the plan is to be in a healed shape and ready to race in the mountains during 2018 as well.

Dragons Back 2015 [Photo: Ian Corless]
Thanks to all who have been part of this journey so far. Here’s to 2018!