Blog.

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!

Learning to Celebrate.

This week is a throwback all the way to my birthday. Oddly enough, I’m not a fan of birthdays or celebrations in general. Now to justify my obscure feelings when it comes to naturally enjoyed human events, I have to say I’ve just never learned how to properly celebrate. Not only celebrate but feel joy from celebrating something momentous. Occasionally there are moments in life where I feel a child-like joy and then am reminded or someone else has the honour of pointing out how ‘weird’ or ‘odd’ it is to be content and joyful due to said thing. I’ve grown used to this friendly ridicule, although, I think there is still a subconscious insecurity when it comes to expressing joy and happiness around people. As most faults in my personally that I’m aware of, I am working on this and hope to continue growing to the point where I can fully embrace the joy that can be felt from the celebration of good things. Until then I am so thankful to have people in my life like Paul and especially my wonderful wife, Celine, who show me what it looks like to have a good time in life!

I should mention that Paul fell through the ice in the middle of February. This was after an hour drive and probably only being there for 20 minutes. Fortunately he was ok but we had to drive back and crank the heat in the vehicle so his extremities wouldn’t shatter off is frozen body.

Cross-Country Skiing.

These are just a few photos from when I attempted cross country skiing for the first time this winter. Overall it went pretty well. I found it was basically a mix between really fast snowshoeing and chill skiing. It is understandably a great way for people to get to point a to b, however who thought it was a good idea to ski uphill? Just so you know, it’s terribly exhausting.

Anyways, enjoy the photos and I’m kind of in a space right now where I want to redirect and focus all my hobbies and things I enjoy just down to the ones that are most helpful to other people.

Local Landscape Photography.

Innumerable mornings or evenings I find myself driving along the rural backroads of the Lakeland region. My only hope during this search is that something will intrigue me enough to slow down, descend the ambiguous ditch only to immediately ascend again and look towards an undiscovered subject. This oversimplified explanation of my yearning to uncover hidden beauty in my home county could be an insight into my idealism. Regardless, I’m perpetually hopeful that the light and conditions will come together perfectly to highlight the optimal subject in the location I happen to be driving towards. The reality is a majority of the time I go out to shoot I come back with either nothing or something underwhelming such as the first image below. There is this romanticism with photography, especially when it comes to making mages in your own backyard. I look at the legendary Ansel Adams and he made it seem so effortless. I realize he considered a good year to be getting twelve ‘keepers’ but the quality he produced is still magical. I suppose he was somewhat aided by the grandeur of Yosemite and one could say that the Lakeland region is a far cry from such an iconic location.

People often drive through or visit this area without thinking about its history or what makes this region unique from many others. To a certain extent, I’m still learning much of that myself and the cliche could be said that it all comes down to the people. However, there is something about this landscape that I am perplexed by. No other place have I travelled and had more difficulty to make photographs that I think are interesting, complicated, or beautifully simple. My home is where I have the greatest difficulty. It could be due to familiarity, yet I don't want to take the easy excuses, which leads me to just having to embrace that if I want to document the landscape of this region it’s going to take a lot of work, patience, and vision for the kind of legacy that can be established.

With all this said, if you’re interested in learning from me, I now offer solo lessons where we do an hour of lessons, and then another hour of actual shooting during golden hour. You can have never turned on your camera and by the end of it, people walk away much more knowledgeable and excited for figuring out how to see from a photographers perspective. I’d love for you to join me in this unrelenting pursuit of uncovering the unique geography in the Lakeland.

5 Environmental Tips for Photographers.

1. Buy Used Gear

This alleviates the constant flow of new gear entering the market. It also lengthens the time materials are used and not discarded. Too often photographers get caught up in buying the newest, best, and shiniest camera's and consequently their skill often doesn't scale with the amount they spend.

2. Use Equipment Extensively then Repair or Recycle

I'm relatively easy on my gear but I do know other professionals who are somewhat careless with thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Of course, accidents happen to all of us and once one does, rather than throwing it out or replacing it, repairing it will again aid in preventing those materials ending up in a landfill. Worst case scenario, drop it off to be recycled.

3. Print with Eco-Friendly Material

One of my favourite parts of the photography process is printing my work. With that being said the materials and ink used the produce stunning wall art is not always the easiest on the environment. I still have yet to find a Canada based company who offers recycled material printing or environmentally friendly ink, and due to this, the amount I'm printing has subsided.

4. Don’t Geotag

By visiting uncommon places it prevents the promotion of already heavily trafficked tourist destinations. In addition to lessening foot traffic in common places, you can bring awareness to the subtle beauty that is found everywhere. When posting on social media with a large following do your best to avoid geotagging specific location so there isn't an unsustainable influx of people.

5. Shoot Local

Personally, this tip has been one I had to learn after doing plenty of travel. I'm definitely not suggesting to entirely cut out travel, but participating in a way that doesn't use excess transportation seems important. By photographing your local environment you become more aware of how to share what it close to you. Learning how to communicate what has formed you and how you view the world is not easy, which is why as a photographer it will push you to change your perspective on scenes that are all too familiar.

Thanks for reading and if you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them! It would mean a lot if you sent this to your other photographer friends so we can all work towards using our craft in a way that promotes sustainable practices.