Breaking Belief.

Breaking the summer silence. For those of you who take time to read and follow my work have been so supportive. Even the reality that you’re reading this post shows how dedicated you are to sharing life with me to some extent. Other than the occasional Instagram post I have hardly written anything. Part of me thinks that I need to be older and gain more experience to justify writing, however, there are perspectives I want to share that I don’t really hear in the circles I’m part of. I’m primarily referring to a centre ground. Our desire to be correct in our beliefs or hold onto our beliefs so tightly inevitably results in division, war, conflict, and disruption of shalom. We need to hold specific beliefs in order to navigate the numerous ways of functioning in our world. This is unavoidable. The problem is that people insert their identity into these beliefs. We are not what we believe but what we believe forms who we are. This discrete differentiation does not permit us to have insane beliefs or function in reality in chaotic forms. It seems that we should believe things that enable us to function in harmony with the people around us but how do we orient ourselves if the beliefs others hold are paramountly destructive or exploitive to people or planet? This is where internal conflict erupts. My desire for bringing peace to earth directly contrasts other desire for living within the world however they want. I desire to communicate and love others in a way reflecting the Christ, which is what I think maybe the only concept that could enable us to form harmony that overflows from a community.

A Christocentric love not only calls for inclusivity of all people but also permits unity as a result of radical reform in our lives. The tradition of prophets in the old testament held this position throughout history and in a time where we may not have a formal acknowledgement of prophets, it seems that ideology shifters occupy that space for our modern context. I want to avoid bastardizing that role to people who are simply popular due to social media, podcasts or book sale and emphasize that the people within small communities doing their best to live out the role of reformers may be creating more change. You will often never hear of these people. Their fundamental role in society is overshadowed by the eccentric egos of the people around them who are still striving for self-fulfilment. It’s these unknown people who are doing the radical, uncomfortable, Christocentric work that creates the unbearable paradox of actually living what you claim to believe.

This week I hope you take a long look at what you claim to believe and attempt to begin the journey of removing the superfluous in order to make room for the essential essence of reality. The photo below are from multiple trips with my film camera earlier this year. If you guess the location of them I’ll send you a free print. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Take me to Church.

     The next three blog posts are single images that I've submitted The Landscape Photography Magazine. In order to qualify you have to write a short excerpt with each one so I'm going to share those with you.  My hope is that these posts provide a little more insight to my process, the backstory or my thoughts while crafting the images. With no further rambling, enjoy! 

Living in rural Alberta doesn’t offer obvious images with epic views; rather an unspoken subtle beauty is always yearning to be discovered. While driving down one of thousands of range roads the fog engulfed everything. Throughout the entire drive, various images would seem to emerge from the winter haze and stand still while I composed my frame. Old buildings scattered across the countryside stand the test of time reflecting the past into the present and through photography they ground themselves into history. Whenever I find a unique building, such as this church, I can’t help but ponder the past and stories that occurred within the confines of the steadfast walls. In an attempt to share that legacy I desire to present the landmarks in an honest and beautiful style. The uncommon weather conditions provided the perfect backdrop and allowed me to isolate the church from the background. I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate building to compliment the mysterious ambiance.  

Winter Photography.

     The images below are from the most successful landscape shoot I've had this winter. The results were simply a matter of perfect conditions occurring while driving from Bonnyville to Red Deer for a shoot with my friend Michael and his family. There was a haze that covered the ground and as you drove down the highway subjects would come into view then pop off the white, bleak, fog filled backgrounds only to quietly plea to be photographed.  Only after the first few images I was overly stoked about the few photos I found. These images are from a while ago but I've been very fortunate to have so much photography and video work lately, which has made blogging difficult to keep up on.

I'll hopefully get back into the swing of thing this summer. Enjoy! 


Discovering the Hidden: Drumheller.

     As many of you know, I feel like I’m at healthiest when I’m out in nature taking photos. A month or so ago I was fortunate enough to take the day to go to Drumheller all alone just for photography. I could say a lot about a few images below but for each one of them I allotted ample time to compose, think about, and process the scene in front of me. Even though there wasn’t a stunning sunset or even the best light I managed to make due with what the weather provided and created a few, somewhat, compelling images. 

     Every image I made was at least a 30 second exposure to allow time for the clouds to streak across the sky and add some interest to what would have been a boring upper portion of the frame. If I had to narrow it down I think my favorite image is the one right after the suspension bridge. The primary reason I enjoy it is because of the cloud that streaks perfectly above the old mining structure. Fortunately, the clouds had been moving pretty hastily that day so I only had to wait a few minutes for it to get into the desired location and then I took a 30 second exposure. In addition to the little white cloud, I love the contrast between the light and dark hills on both sides, the sunlight barely streaming over the left hill to light up the foreground, the motion in the grass, and most of all the stark tones. A lot of the time its not the grand scenes that I get excited about but more so the subtle overlook locations that leap out at you only after spending time with them.

     I hope you enjoyed this batch of images and I look forward to sharing another post with you next week! Thanks for reading and if you got this far I have a secret for you; I’m making YouTube videos now!

Fantastical Food Pt. 2.

If you haven’t read last weeks post, I recommend going back and doing so for some context. 

      A trend that I’ve noticed in many peoples’ lives is that if they were brought up with any sort of extremes in their life, almost inevitably, they’d flip the opposite direction as a teenager or young adult. I’d like to think I’m exempt from this paradox but in many regards I’m recognizing it in myself. Fortunately, I was raised in somewhat of a balanced home (yes mom and dad you guys did great, give each other a high-five or something) so the effects are minimal and due to my inquisitive mind I’ve learned from wise people to always question both sides of any story. Essentially, I think that’s how I’m at the point I am now; always questioning and increasingly aligning with the minority within the social circles I’m part of. Maybe I just need to find different circles but even in high school when everyone partied and thought it was ‘cool,’ I thought it was a waste of time and money. There’s a plethora of other examples of this in my life but it seems consistent throughout the years. I’m aware, or more so cautious, of the reality that I could just be a contrarian, always wanting to go against the social norm, but when it comes to forming an opinion on important matters I think it might be an asset.

     As I mature I’ve reflected back on events that have occurred throughout history and more times than not travesty followed right after something that should have been intensely questioned, simply wasn’t. I’m sure you could list a surplus of case studies so I wont get into it but if that’s the reality shouldn’t we oppose the set standards more? With all this said, I want to get back to the topic of food and hope you’ve been reading everything I’ve said so far with our western perspective of food in mind. As Wirzba adamantly opposes in his book, Food and Faith, our western culture has diminished food into nothing more than sustenance that we need as cheaply and quickly as possible. Before this period of rethinking food I would’ve aligned with the default consumerist mind set of food only existing as fuel for our bodies to use up and burn. It was also due to Food and Faith that I made the connection that since food is one of the most intimate things we experience it should be observed with more reverence. Not only do we ingest matter that has been grown from the earth but also for people who eat meat another being is consumed. A creature that inhaled and exhaled, ate, and existed in many of the ways we do. I don’t recall what context I heard this thought, but why do we decide that eating cows, pigs or chickens is entirely fine but then dogs and cats are off limits. Why is it the cows and pigs get the duty of being perpetually killed to be mindlessly consumed? I don’t have the answer, even though I’m sure there might be one, but I’m unsure if ethically we can justify the treatment of millions of animals being grown for us to devour.

      I want to continue with these food posts while I’m thinking through a lot of the things I’m writing about but they take a lot of time due to the amount of thought I have to exert. If you have any comments, questions or insight I’d love to hear them. I should also mention that I’m currently trying out vegetarianism to see what that would look like and possibly understand things a little better so if you have any advice or personal experiences send me a message. The images below are from a fun day hike I did with Paul in the beginning of winter at Elbow Lake and wedge pond. I don’t think I mentioned it but last weeks photos were from Crescent Falls. Thanks for reading and I truly appreciate your time of sharing these thoughts and ideas I’m working through.