Ten years ago I got the Nikon D100 camera and started doing photography as a passion; I quickly got the D2h for fast action shooting. I have said this before but I took mostly nature and wildlife photos alongside Ron Reznick, if you don't know who he is let me be the first to let you know how crazy good he is. He has more knowledge then you could ever absorb and is so exacting with this photo acquisition techniques that he even has a very large and very detailed page on his website about JUST the shoes he wears to take photos; it must be seen to believed: http://www.digital-images.net/Shoes/shoes.html.
When I started to shoot the people I loved and others around me I quickly got bored with poses and tried to find something that was more challenging and visually exciting for me. It took me a long time to start getting the kind of images that I like; I would say around late 2008 I started to create images that have traceable origins to what I do today. So if my math is correct I have spent half my time in photography getting to where I want to be with my image making technique. (Ain't that not a sexy sentence?) My goals this year are to get more brand awareness and to make my images even more personal; to get even more real than my images already are. I guess time will be the judge of that.
Oh yeah I am writing my first photo graphic novel now; looking for people to collaborate with.
The place between what happened and what we remember is a chasm of fluid and feelings.
Sometimes I photograph when nothing is wrong in my life; those are the worst photos I have ever taken. Anything in extreme is unhealthy; even being happy a lot can throw you into a pattern that makes you not want to change at all, its that dirty word complacent. There is a saying in sports (I learned it in tennis) that you learn much more from a hard loss than a easy win.
I grew up in a small town in Iowa; I was constantly busy with activities. We would shoot movies on the weekends and draw comic books during and after school. In tennis season the comic book drawing suffered a little bit but the passion to compete or create was always there. Packed in with those activities was choir and show choir the "swingspan" (named after a large swing span bridge in our home town; a really clever name) directed by the amazing Mr. Chapman. It was exhilarating performing for audiences and I loved the music we performed. There were always select tracks from the band STYX; who I had grown up loving with hits like "Mr. Roboto" and "Come sail away. "One of the best lines that constantly resonates with me when I am creating and editing and looking at photos comes from the STYX song "The Best of Times" is when they say "Our memories of yesterday will last a lifetime," to me that summarizes everything that is beautiful and fleeting about life and love and the ability to capture it and the ability to lose it. Maybe most importantly is that our lives are defined by wonderful days sprinkled on out life and we never know when these days will happen.
Well fast forward to now I listen to music like anyone pretty much constantly; but I do love those sappy tunes from STYX and Queen and a little more seriously from Pink Floyd. So as you look through these images; listen to your favorite music cause I would have it no other way.
My ideas grow in the dark.
Each day is the beginning or ending of someone's story physically, mentally or in a dream. I am not worried about the physical or mental those things naturally break down over time. I am worried about the end of the dream; a dream for me is not a distant paradise its a completion of ideals that are important to you. Everything can end at any moment; once that moment comes for you, you are defined by the ideals you lived by up to that point, I am on a hot rod pace to make sure the display of my ideals are complete long before I am cosmic dust.
There are no romantic assertions of another analog era in my photography, I am trying to make photographs that are of this era. Thants why you don't see me lugging around hipster film cameras for the sake of "the look" of film for my photography. Its not that I don't enjoy looking at these kind of images or have fun creating them myself, but its not what I want to leave behind. There is a look of the current era and we will know it when we have something better and I intentionally embrace the digital now, no matter how enticing the siren song of filters or film ring.
"If anything is worth doing, it's worth doing to excess." -Edwin H. Land Transient is the life of the true traveler; it's a addiction on par the most addictive of hobbies. Its no secret that among my most favorite Japanese movies is Seijun Suzuki's classic Tokyo Drifter. The colors and music of that movie always make me want to visit the spots in Tokyo where it was shot at like the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Yoyogi Park. The simple colors of the scenes in that movie feel much like a Kar Wai Wong movie. It was also among the first introductions of the process Bleach bypass in a film; it was not the first but it was the best of that era. Movies have inspired me; maybe I inspire pianists :)
This is me walking around Tokyo Japan trying new things. Stumbling along the way is the best part.
When creating a set of images from a adventure one has to tell a story; show others something about that place that is interesting or different and create art and meet new friends while enjoying the good graces of old friends. Its a mile high task of emotions and pressure and in the end its something I enjoy more than anything in the world. Sometime I feel like a poet with a box; trying to fit my words into pictures but in all honest its a subconscious process because more often than not my picture make me feel my words and bring out the humor and dreams than I have.
Its best to look at what I emit from the pictures than what I put in them. Maybe I take my cues from Jazz artists rather than those who make visual art.
I think we are all looking for new adventures that seem familiar in some way; its our lost and found of our hearts.
(BTW Part one of two of my tokyo series. Next one drops in a few days.)
I'll keep my eyes open when reality is good enough, other times meet me in my dream of words found in my pictures. I have not done anything yet; what I have to do is nothing, what I want to do is like screams of joy, what I will do is all that I will leave here.
The thoughts that rise to the top; the instagram notifications that make me smile; the dinner cheesecake that makes me go for a late night run; the money that makes me wake up; the city that makes me fly; the poems and jalapenos that make me tear; it all starts and happens right here.
Things that are distant but seem recent:
- Riding in the backseat on a family trip with my sister carsick
- Being in lust
- Indestructible youth
Things that are recent but seem distant:
- Your hug
- A good time
Also get my new book "The Sea at the End of the World" its on iTunes here.
If you only live once for an undetermined amount of time and have to exist in a capitalist society and do not come from a family of generous means then you have to learn to take breaks and do what you want in order recharge your enthusiasm. Even taking a break from doing what you are doing daily in the same place to do it in another place; yeah I am talking about travel. Some of us have a passion in life that is easy for us to do daily; so its hard to quit doing it for any reasonable amount of time. I will be taking a break from my creating in Los Angeles in a few weeks and create on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. I have probably said it a hundred times but I love to walk the city of tokyo all day and night long; there is so much there for one to enjoy.
My eyes never get bored in Tokyo.
I'll give you something for your eyes when I get back; hopefully it can fuel or jumpstart your passions.
Till then enjoy my misadventures.