The Thirties Odyssey

Turning 30, I navigated the complexities of adulthood and nostalgia. Using AI, I blended past and present, capturing the contrast between youthful dreams and matured aspirations. An exploration of yearning for the future amid the depths of longing.

Approaching my 30th birthday sparked a profound exploration into the delicate balance between embracing adulthood and retaining the essence of my inner child. Delving into childhood fears, curiosities, and memories, I juxtaposed them with the desires, realizations, and experiences of my adult self, shedding light on the contrast between old imaginings and present realities.

As a documentarian and photojournalist, I'd always relied on my camera to capture real life. But this time, I wanted to encapsulate the rollercoaster ride that was leaving my twenties to the intimidating thirties. Problem was, I couldn't quite bring my visions to life through traditional photos. Then, I stumbled upon this nifty idea of using AI to achieve those visuals. As someone deeply rooted in the authenticity of human experiences, the notion of relying on AI, or even Photoshop, to enhance my creative process initially felt weird, almost wrong. But I soon realized that it could be a tool to amplify storytelling, rather than diminish it. It wasn't about replacing creativity but rather augmenting it.

Through this new approach, I sought to visually blend the past and present, using AI to infuse my photographs with a sense of nostalgia. I wanted to underscore the disparity between my youthful dreams and matured aspirations while exploring how these two facets coexist within me.

Using my own self-portraits and photographs as starting point, my adventure through AI was not a departure from my documentary roots but a shy tiny step forward into the future of storytelling, where technology becomes a compelling partner in the ever-evolving narrative of our lives.

At the heart of this endeavor were then two key emotions: anticipation and melancholy. I aimed to capture and process the ambiguity of yearning for the future while navigating the depths of longing. And above all, how it feels for a late millennial (or zillennial) to turn 30.

Ultimately, this personal expedition evolved into a transformative odyssey, constructing a surreal bridge that wove together the diverse chapters, emotions, and moments that compose the tapestry of my life.

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