Insomnia – Photo Ideas

I posted about a project I thought about yesterday and have taken some photos that have played around with some ideas I have had, some are more successful than others….

2.59-3.00

I took a load of photos of the clock in my bedroom on a long exposure time, trying to get an image of time ticking by, I think this one is the best of the bunch although I’m sure I can do better…maybe a shorter exposure time?  I wanted to capture a feeling of clock watching and feeling time going by but still being awake to witness it as this is what happens when I can’t sleep, minutes drag by and eventually turn into hours and I am aware of every second of it.

Restless

 This was taken on a 2 min shutter speed.  I wanted to capture the restlessness that insomnia leaves you with.  The photo shows my movement (albeit as a big glow!) and how I would move around in bed when experiencing a sleepless episode.  I really like this photo and am not sure I would want to change anything in it.  It may be interesting to do several of these kind of images, maybe using a film camera as I did have a couple of technical difficulties (one being I wanted to record my movement over night but my camera didn’t have a setting that I could use to keep the shutter open all night…)

Waiting #1

 There are moments when I have one of my insomnia attack where I try to settle down and get as comfortable as possible and just lie there waiting for sleep to come…this image tries to depict that.  I used my mobile phone as a light source as I didn’t want anything as harsh as a bulb to light the image.  I think that the use of mobile phone lighting has worked well (I have also lightened the image using Photoshop) as it gives a directed light that is quite soft and doesn’t light the background at all.  It seems like the darkness is enveloping the subject more.  I’m not totally happy with the mobile phone being on view in the photo.

Waiting #2

 Another version of the above.  I think this photo is much better than the above as you can not see the mobile phone (as much…) in the image.  I have, again, brightened this in Photoshop and also cropped it.  I am also happier as this image seems less grainy and more in focus and clear.  I still think there is a lot to work on within this image and maybe I can do a re-shoot or play around with the images taken a bit more.

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This is a compilation of all the photos I took, including the pre-photoshop images and the ones I took when setting up for the ideas that I had.

All photos shot with my Pentax K2000 DSLR

Insomnia

For the past 5 to 6 weeks I have been suffering with really bad insomnia (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Insomnia/Pages/Introduction.aspx info about it here…) I’ve suffered from it for years on and off but normally it seems to go away on its own.  This time it has stayed with me for a course of weeks on end.  I have no idea what has caused it and have looked into likely reasons for it and also ways to try to get rid of it but nothing seems to be working at the moment.  I don’t want to go down the medication route as I have done that before, while effective for short periods of time, medication doesn’t seem to work and I hate the idea of relying on medicine long-term.  It leaves me feeling groggy and unable to concentrate (not good when you need to drive places and do things), affects my motivation levels (which, ok, are affected by lack of sleep but not as much) and generally leaves me feeling a bit useless.

Last night was probably the worst I have been for a while (maybe 2 weeks) where it felt like I was lying there for hours but when I checked the time it had merely been a matter of minutes, I couldn’t get comfortable and seemed to be moving around every 5 seconds although I believe this was more out of frustration than anything else, I was too hot then too cold even thought the room temperature was at a fixed constant, then my mind started playing tricks –  was that movement in the shadows I saw? , did I just hear something?

Even worse are the thoughts I allowed my mind to have… Is it just me awake now?  I bet it is.  Is the darkness closing in around me?  How long has it been now?  Why am I the only person that can’t get to sleep?  Am I really tired?  I wonder what I could be doing instead?  And then there is the emotional thing of feeling so lonely when there is only you awake…

So, while all this crap was going on in my  head and I was tossing and turning and checking the clock for the bazillionth time I had a thought about making this into a project of sorts.  Next time I can’t sleep (and I dare say it will be soon) I am going to get my camera out and start documenting it and see what I can come up with.  Lets start using this ‘illness?’, ‘incapability?’, ‘sleep failure?’, whatever term you use for it into something that could be quite interesting.