I came across this comic on xkcd the other day. It resonated with me deeply , as a lot of my greatest and dearest experiences have been had because of photography.
I understand the feeling of emptiness you can have as you watch someone goad their kids into posing for a photo at a beautiful location, but seeing no warmth or presence in their actions. Simply a check off on a list of to-dos. This sucks. I get it. But slowly and surely the human race will figure out their relationship with technology and the world around them.
BUT fuck you for telling me to not take a photo.
Don’t you see my mouth agape at what I’m framing with my camera lens/iPhone? Don’t you think I am deeply experiencing it, all the awe, beauty, and wonder of it?
My camera took me to this rope cart over a river in Santa Teresa, Peru.
Riding a cable cart next to the Santa Teresa hot springs
My camera took me to a crane booth high above the Cayman Islands’ Pirate’s Week Pirate’s Landing Re-Enactment.
To a small town in Peru, volunteering my photography for a non-profit that connected local weavers to international markets.
To the hilly streets of San Francisco, where pro skaters pushed themselves to land tricks.
My good friend Jake Eames is not only a masterful skateboarder on the mend, but a talented pianist as well. One weekend we set up Simon’s personal studio and got Jake mic’d up to record some of his songs. Beautiful music. Here are some images from that day.
Very stoked to announce that Work In Skateboarding has posted a video on their site about how to make a skate zine, that I helped film.
I met this ripping skater Charlie DiMascio at Balboa Skatepark in San Francisco one Saturday afternoon in 2013, and he did something really cool for me. He introduced me to his friend Ryan Abrahams who was starting a skate zine titled “Frontside San Francisco”.
Ryan included my images I submitted to him in a a few issues , even having the front and back covers of Summer 2013 and Summer 2014.
So return the favor, I got him featured in this awesome video that aims to show people how to make a skate zine, and how they did it.
Thank you Ryan for agreeing to be a part of it, and thank you Sam at WorkInSkateboarding for the opportunity!
When you are a photographer, or taking or making an image, you are being a conduit.
A conduit to the future, to share what is in front of your lens, to people who might be moved or influenced by what is shown. This is one of the powerful abilities of photography.
You care about civil unrest in the Middle East? Get out there, see how it makes you feel, take the images, find a story, tell it, and get them in Time or National Geographic. It might make somebody take a trip, or send money to help.
Got a buddy who rips a mini-ramp better than Daewon Song? Shoot a few sequences and submit it to Transworld with a bio on him, and you might make a thousand kids go out and imitate what he’s doing.
Have an obsession with the Northern Lights? Spend a month in Alaska, experiencing them with the locals who see them everyday, and you have a full-bleed format photo book with stories to tell, that will make people want to go.
A friend of mine asked me the other day what goes through my head when I take a photo. Am I experiencing the moment, or am I caught up in thoughts about how to take a photo?
It’s a very good question, and I’m sure every person who takes photos has a different opinion.
I believe it largely depends on the skill of the photographer, and how in tune to his or her environment they are while photographing.
Lets’s say a beginner/intermediate photographer is shooting photos of his friend’s band. He’s not that good yet, and he’s not that fluid with his camera. BUT since he is still new to taking photos, he is in flow, experiencing the moment. Because he is enthusiastic about learning, and is pushing his knowledge of his camera.
A more advanced/ professional photographer shoots photos of his friend’s band. His keen intuition of the performance, and his fluid and complete knowledge of his camera, allows him to be completely present and experience the moment with the camera as just a frame he experiences it through.
On the contrary, if the professional decides to take a better or more complicated photo, and goes through a whole range of compositional tools in his head in order to do so, he may get too caught up and forget the moment. If the beginner gets too distracted by a too complicated camera, he too will lose the moment.
It goes without saying that the best art would come from individuals engaged in flow aka “Optimal Experience”. The question is whether or not individuals should sacrifice the present experiencing of the moment for a possibly better image.
Which leads to the idea of being a conduit.
Chaz Bundwick of Toro y Moi finishes two songs off his new album.