June 20, 2016 @ 21:12 CET

Dear Ivan, 

Tomorrow summer starts. Looking out into this gloomy weather here in Belgium, I long for sunny days. I had a breakthrough last night for a new story I’m aching to get started on. As I was yet again looking at my contact sheets of the preliminary work I had done on location in Kyushu now 9 months ago, I somehow added what I now see as new key images to my selects. 

Why had I never noticed them before? They seem so obvious now. And after printing the images today, the whole story came together for me. I now know what to do to make the project. It’s an immense relief, knowing which mountain I need to climb for this. It won’t make the climb itself any easier of course, but the journey’s where all the fun lies, right?

And I’m not going to wonder what changed or what made me look differently. Maybe it’s been the books I’ve been reading, the films I’ve watched, or even the conversations I’ve been having. It’s better I don’t know, it’s impossible to replicate or turn into a trick anyway. I’m just glad that it keeps on happening once every so often. A veil lifted between my scalp and brain.

Speaking of massacres, as I look at your image my stepson is playing Battlefield 4 and having a massacre of his own. A message pops up: “last man in squad”. I reminisce. A family, shelter, a place to call home. I struggle to find anything more profound right now.

A man rings the doorbell with an empty bottle asking if I can fill it with water for him, he’s working construction next door with nobody home. He apologises for disturbing me and I say please… don’t mention it and come to think of it that makes me feel sad. I wish no one would ever have to feel the need to apologise for asking for a glass of water.

/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters@ivansigal @antonkusters on Instagram ///