Why I Disappeared After An Important Announcement

A couple of months ago I was invited to RAW Artists. I didn't have to apply, sign my life away, they contacted and invited me. Kind of a big deal for a little photographer like me... But I didn't do it. A lot of people who pay attention to my work know that I do a lot of work in mental health awareness, and that's because I've had my own battles with depression and bipolar disorder. The offer from RAW threw me into a panic, I couldn't decide what work to show, what to print, etc... In turn this turned into depression. My big excuse became "It's just not the right time for me to do this."... And it turns out I was right.

Three weeks ago I suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. Turns out I have a heart defect that squeezes my heart in some weird way (Don't ask, they're still mapping it out). While I sat in the hospital I realized this could have happened at any time, what if it had happened at some event in some far off city? What then?

Basically I've spent the last three weeks of my life having an existential crisis, living in fear of stressing my heart... And let me tell you, creating art of any kind is almost impossible under that kind of stress. But lately I've realized that I can't live in fear... I'm alive, I just have to follow the rules a little better, and keep going.

I'm back, I'm ready to keep creating, and I hope every single person that reads this silly little blog will stick around for the ride!

Goals = Reality?

The best part of doing what I do is talking about it. Hearing that people enjoy it, or that I changed the way they think about something. Sure I love shooting and editing, but the real thrill for me comes from other people seeing my work... Which makes what I'm about to do exciting, yet terrifying for me.

A week ago I was contacted by an organization and asked if I would show my work in Awareness at several gallery events over a year long period. Why is that scary? Because printing is expensive. Because it's a gallery. There's people out there who are capable of doing things much better than me... But should it really matter? I love what I do. Other people enjoy it, and I've made a lot of art that has really made people question how they view certain things... To me that's a massive thing.

For anyone reading this: Wish me luck! And thank you for the constant support!

Is Photography A Form Of Therapy?

As a photographer, I've always used photography as an outlet to show the world what I see, and how I feel. After all, sometimes words don't cut it. But as I venture more into photography and take photos of other people, often to do with their own battles in life I've realized it makes them feel better too... Could this be a placebo? Or does seeing your past issues come to life in a photo really have the possibility of providing closure?

It's really a question that can't be answered. Everyone in the photography community is their for their own reasons. But I for one would like to think we all do it for the emotional connection, and priding ourselves in showing people how we think.

Below I've included a photo titled Closure, taken by myself last week. I planned on making this a longer blog, but this picture speaks for my thoughts I think.

Photography vs. Photoshoppy

You may not know this. But right now, all over the internet, there's a war going on. A war between two different types of people; Photographers, and Photoshoppers.

Chances are if you own a digital camera, you know what Photoshop is. Some people use it to correct white balance and colors, other people use it to create surreal portraits that are blatantly unreal. Some people claim that using Photoshop isn't what true photography is about... But is that true? Let's create a scenario:

Let's say that I want to create a composite image of myself. In this composite I want to have me, holding a sword, riding on the back of a unicorn fighting a fire breathing frog. Can't happen in real life, can it? Nope. But it can in Photoshop, lets look at what I need:

  • A photo of myself
  • A photo of a horse
  • A photo of a horn (Narwhal horn maybe?)
  • A photo of a sword
  • A photo of a frog
  • A photo of fire

Did you find the pattern? I need photos. Lots of them. Without them I can't make my composite. So let's assume I have the equipment, and know-how to be a photographer and I go and take all of these photos, I was doing photography right? So why is it that when I take these images into Photoshop and mash them together I'm now a Photoshopper? Can't we all just agree that some photographers use Photoshop to create photographs that can't be captured?

Another argument heard a lot is "I shoot film! All the best photographers I learned about at school shoot film and didn't have Photoshop!"... Ready to have your mind blown? You're wrong. People have been making composites since the 1800's by blending film exposures together and developing them. Even Ansel Adams created his iconic images by using different color tone filters. All Photoshop is, is a digital version of these techniques letting photographers push the bar further than ever before.

So the question I have is this: Does a photographer take a better image than a Photoshopper? More importantly, if the image is enjoyable... Does it matter?

And why has nobody Photoshopped me riding a unicorn fighting a giant fire-breathing frog?!

 

Why I Have A Website

As a photo hobbyist for six years I have always relied on social media, and it has always served me well in the past. But there's a certain lack of control... You can only post certain pictures certain places, or you can't write a blog along with the picture etc. Building a website was the logical choice for me to streamline everything I love, and make it easy to find in one place.

Another reason I decided to create my own website was appearance. There's a certain professional feeling from having your own website, something that can't be recreated when linking to long social media URL's or sub-domains.

I haven't quite decided how often I'm going to write on this blog, but I will definitely be using it as an insight to my photography and and personal projects, and I look forward to any comments anybody has!