I’m a photographer. That’s what my daughter is telling everyone anyway. I walk around with my camera hanging off my neck or shoulder. I struggle. I question myself constantly. I push myself out of my comfort zone and go for it, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I miss the shot. Sometimes my camera malfunctions just as the decisive moment is blooming before my eyes. I sweat and my glasses get foggy. I try sitting around and blending in, and I also run around like crazy trying to squeeze myself into moments.
I try and look for meaning. I try to find people that I empathize with. The out of the ordinary. Someone who knows ridicule and shame and awkwardness and feeling anxious all the time. I look for that in people, because that’s how I feel. Angry people, people with power, the authoritarians the meek, the affluent, and everyone else in between. I’m curious about them. I’m curious about you.
I don’t make money, and I work with what I can afford, which isn’t much when you think about how truly expensive a photographer’s tools are. I shoot with one lens. A 21mm prime. I keep trying to branch out and try different focal lengths but nothing feels as good as that 21.
I think a lot about violence and how it is celebrated in our society. In the movies, on television, in our kids video games and cartoons. It has always bothered me and it never surprises me when I hear of a school shooting or any other type of violence. Humans fight and kill. Always have, always will. I don’t think we take it seriously enough. I don’t think we give it the respect it deserves. Glorifying it is wrong, yet it is the norm. I’m only one person, I can’t change it so I document it and study it and question it and bloviate about it on my personal web log.
I only share about 1 percent of what I shoot. Hundreds of thousands of images seen by my eyes only currently live on the several hard drives in my collection. I still feel like my best isn’t good enough, and it always seems like I’m chasing that next level no matter how many compliments and likes and words of encouragement I receive. I don’t even have a speedlite yet, three or four years into this obsession with photography and no external flash yet. What kind of a joke is that? A photographer with no flash.
So these images are just random things I see in my everyday life. I usually end up walking around downtown aimlessly just waiting for something to happen. I imagine that will be the same no matter where I go. I tend to stay away from other photographers although sometimes I find myself in a pack of them desperately wishing I could find the one place they are all ignoring so I can capture something “different”-whatever that is.
There are just too many of us. Everything has been done, and the things to do that really push the envelope involve purchasing or acquiring super expensive gear and going to dangerous lengths to capture it. So I’m not a Nat Geo super photographer scaling cliffs and diving to the deepest depths or a guy listening to police scanners and rushing to the scene of the latest fire or other major catastrophe. I’m just a guy wandering around with a camera, observing life.
I’ve learned that everyone is beautiful and ugly at same time. I’ve learned that some of us are uglier than others and I’m not talking about physical appearance. I’ve learned we are all complicated and have our own stories to tell. We are self-centered and egotistical. Caring and kind. We love each other, we hate each other, we can’t get enough. We always want more.
We all live and die. Some of us get a long time, and some of us are gone too soon. All of us have taken it for granted at some point. It is our nature. Photography is my way of appreciating life. Even if I never make a dime, even if I never become a superstar photog, I will always be taking pictures.
genesis of thought
we can do amazing things
we are the humans