Now…it’s all we have.

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I’ve finally arrived in Seron, Southern Spain, after a 2000 mile, 5 day road trip. I’m here to shoot a project on British expatriates, migratory birds who flew south and never returned, for one reason or another. Maybe they’re here for the weather, maybe they’re running away? Or hiding? Or lost (Spain is a vast country) …in fact, given my current marital situation, I’m beginning to wonder if this entire project might be cathartic? Who knows.

A couple of days before I left home my closest friend emailed me and told me that I needed to read ‘The Power of Now’, by Eckhart Tolle, on my journey south, I said I would, even though I didn’t have the faintest idea what it was about.
Now then, I don’t read a huge amount, I don’t have the patience and I’m very easily distracted by ideas and random thoughts, so I downloaded the audio book off iTunes, all 8 hours of it, I was also taking into account that even in Spain, reading and driving is probably still illegal. I’m sure that anyone who is aware of the book will recognise the irony in what I’ve just written? I did, within about three minutes of pressing play…
I think different people will get different things out of this book, some might see it as a self-help manual, others could view it as a one-way ticket to an existential crisis. I found a lot of it very helpful, although at one point I did think I was being tricked into religion, although this proved not to be the case, I just hadn’t been listening properly, or as Tolle puts it, I had allowed myself to become “unconscious”. If nothing else, I found Tolle’s almost mono-tonal German accent very soothing…oh shit, perhaps I’ve been brainwashed?!

Anyway, this isn’t a book review, I assume most people come to this blog for photography related topics? Well photography-wise, there’s not much to tell, thus far. All the images here were taken on my iPhone, from a moving vehicle and then processed in VSCOcam. I’ve taken quite a few Polaroids and Fuji Instax images, I did try to reproduce them for publishing by photographing them with my iPhone, but that didn’t pan-out as well as expected, and I obviously didn’t have the space to bring a flat-bed scanner with me…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetIMG_0158Also none photography related – I put my passport through the washing machine and tumble dryer a few weeks ago…well, that’s actually a lie – it was about 9 months ago, and I’ve travelled with it on several occasions since, it’s been to France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland…every time I present it at border control the officer on the desk looks it over with disgust, I shrug my shoulders and spin my hands, which is the international sign language for “Yeah, I put it through the washing machine and tumble dryer yesterday…have mercy”. When I get home I’ll get a new one, if I get home.

I wonder what the international sign language is for “Mr Kneen, your passport is invalid and you look a bit dodgy. Please come with us, you’re being deported”?

Processed with VSCOcam with e4 presetFeel free to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or through life in general. 



  1. OMG, you are actually my hero! I’m sat on the train, grinning like an idiot. I want to read this to everyone sat around me. And the photos??!! On an iPhone from a moving car?? You, Philly, are beyond cool.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “To love is to recognize yourself in another.” Tolle.
    I dreamt last night I lost my passport. True story.

    I adore your pictures, as always. You inspire. Feel inspirational. And keep listening to your book. X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the pictures Phill and the book, it doesnt change your way of thinking, Its yourself that does that! You see life in a different way, so in a way it can be a self hepling/self changing book enjoy your trip and get a new Passport !,


  4. We sat and looked at your entire blog today, all of it back to the start. My colleagues were oohing and ahing at every shot! Our lunch break ran-on for a bit extra well a lot extra! 🙂 They all thought I’d found the site of this amazing photographer at random, I was so proud when they found out I actually know you! SO proud 🙂
    When I’m over can I do one of your clinics…workshop? Course??!! Pretty please? And answer you phone, Silly Philly!!! XXX


  5. Phil, you are, as we know, primarily a photographer, and I know you’re always saying you can’t write, but we all know that’s not true! You’re what we refer to in the publishing world as a ‘Double Threat’ – someone who photographs AND writes extremely well. You think you can’t write because you were never trained to, so you worry about punctuation and grammar, etc, but guess what – that’s what we have proof readers and editors for! You write the way you talk in conversation – witty and interesting, plenty of humour, but always with that excellent use of pathos and rhetoric…I actually believe that you don’t even use it deliberately, that’s how good you are.
    You take photos the way you see things in real life, straight on, no fancy angles or compositions (but the compositions are still unique, superb, and quintessentially ‘Phil Kneen’). You write the same way.

    And yes, answer your bloody phone!


  6. Phil, it was great to meet you! I’ve messaged you via your blog address, will you get that? If you’re ever in the Detroit area, please, come stay, our home is ours!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a Brit’ and so is Laura (so she tells me), we’re there for 2 days – does that make us expat’s? Can we be in the project? Please? Either way, I’m bringing rum.


  8. Hi Phil, I’m a British investigative journalist living and working out of Malaga, I’d be really interested in meeting you, if you have time? I can put you in touch with countless expat’s, all living here for various reasons, from sun-worshipers to convicted rapists. I’m happy to meet anywhere, or come to you if you don’t have transport?
    I think your photography is great, you have a unique way of seeing the world. How long are you here for? I can put you in touch with a couple of agencies that I’m sure would pick you up. Spain needs fresh photographers!


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