5 Questions of Life.

I just thought I’d share a few questions I’ve been mulling over the past months, If you have answers, opinions, insight, or maybe even wisdom you’d like to share, feel free to let me know:

  1. What can we do in life that is actually significant?

  2. How do we continually motivate ourselves to pursue what is good?

  3. Why does there seem to be a correlation or balance between externally inflicted suffering and self inflicted sabotage?

  4. How can we bring about peace in the most viral way possible?

  5. What can we do to bring love to those around us even if our world views are drastically different?

Below are some of the nature details I’ve shot this winter season while the mushrooms are hiding. Enjoy!

What Makes an Image Matter?

The idea of posting new imagery week after week is perplexing. If I’m creating photos for nothing more than aesthetic satisfaction or social media ‘likes’ then what value does my work have? I desire for the materialization of changing reality through my photography. I’m unsure of what that looks like, primarily because I observe it from so many other greats who have come before me and display or share the stories in ways that genuinely brings change to our world. Immediately, I think of Paul Nicklen who has some of the most mesmerizing photographs of wildlife and consequently has made enormous strides in various conservation efforts.

Of course, I don't expect my work to reach the masses to the extent he does but I can't help but contemplate the insanity of repetitions when my work is currently lacking the motivation to insue action. You might be thinking that in order to make a change one needs to have patience and continually be in pursuit of the next opportunity. I wouldn't disagree and have convinced myself that every time I post something new. The unrelenting paranoia of meaningless work plagues my self-conscious mind. With all this said, the image below of the barn is my most viewed and ‘liked’ piece of work ever and I never would have guessed.

It’s a photo of a barn. I can't say I had any conservation statement to go along with it or an important cause or message that tied in perfectly to bring people into public action. It is merely a quaint image of rural history with no greater voice or vision for the photograph. This leads me to ask the question of whether or not a story or cause finds the image or the image finds the cause? Possibly it’s both. There is the creative part in me that does enjoy making photos that people find beauty in and I’m always flattered by the compliments. My dilemma is why should people care? I don't think beauty is enough to bring longevity to my work and the way social media is set up, brevity is a drug we yearn for.

This year I need to reconstruct the way I create and share my photographs in order for them to have more of an impact. Which means maybe I shouldn't share a post unless there is a complimentary, significant message. I’ll continue pondering this relationship between mere beauty and utilitarian calls to action through imagery. For now, I hope you enjoy the images below while on the road from Bonnyville to Edmonton.

Mushroom Niche.

This is a collection of images that I wouldn’t normally share on social media. People always talk about finding a niche that you love and others notice you specifically for that. As of right now, a lot of people have had a taste of my mushroom images but I’m not sure if it’s all that viable of a niche, due to the brief amount of time mushrooms are in season here in Alberta. Also not everyone is a fan of the odd world of fungi. Regardless, I’m going to continue shooting them and maybe one day I’ll have images like these published before my landscape photos.

I would love to hear your thoughts on niches’ and if they’re worth finding or what are some of your favourite niche topics and subjects. Thanks for reading this shorter post and next post should be a little more thought provoking. Enjoy!

In Retrospect.

     One of the core reasons I write and record my thoughts is so I know I'm growing. A lot of times there are people we know who seem to talk about the same things over and over again. Whether the stories are from high school or college, a sport they used to play, the last time they travelled or just a mindset that perpetuates through their daily conversations, they all reflect a place of stagnation as well as significance in their life. Personally, this reality I find discouraging and is a point of insecurity for myself because what I think it shows is that there hasn't been any growth in the areas we repeatedly share. Someone who talks about all the great memories from the past hasn't created memories that are equal or supercede the past. I want to know I'm growing not only in my thoughts and experiences but also in the way I understand the reality I observe them through. 

To merely fabricate experiences or new knowledge isn't enough to override past versions, rather coming to a new perspective on how to interpret those events is more significant. A trendy way of saying that is to change our perspective on the situation. This practice is something I'm constantly attempting to do with photography and especially when I'm not moving to new locations or travelling. Shifting perspectives for the viewer is what makes an image intriguing enough to stop and intentionally look at the details or colour. The same can be said about our thoughts and stories. We are always moving forward through time and that should equate to new stories or ideas due to progression through life and additional sensory input. However, unless we are actively making the effort to formulate or work through these new ideas and reality, we will, in a multitude of ways, become stagnant in our growth. 

     Frequently I go through the existential crisis of why do I do anything? The reason I am settled on for this minute moment of life is that it is to mark points of growth and stagnation in my development as a contributing member of society. Once I stop thinking on a problem, I can't merely sit on those ideals. I need to advance them either into action in a way that aids in bringing peace to others or I need to adopt a new challenge to process through and then bring that new conclusion into reality. All of which I hope bring people peace while we navigate through this insatiable life that is undoubtedly beautiful.

     If you enjoy the images below and can relate to my thoughts, it would be beneficial if you subscribed with your email below to keep up to date with the newest posts.


My Life Long Project.

     Constantly we are inundated with decisions. Even reading this was a decision. Some ascribe to the concept of free will, yet others are deterministic. Ever since I was young I was taught there was free will and currently, I think that seems to be a valid understanding and acknowledgement of there being meaning in how we live. I'm not sure how anyone from a religious perspective can hold the determinist view and still affirm any significance in living a 'morally' correct life. If everything is determined, the way we progress through life doesn't matter because we haven't had control over it from the start. On top of that, the divine being that we are attempting to follow would then have their hands tied behind their back immediately after creating and determining.

     I'm sure the arguments are much more complicated than that but in regards to how I live my life and the current values I have, I'm not sure if I could justify making any sort of effort if the concept of free will does not exist. I'd likely fall back to my default pessimist understanding of life that everything is indeed meaningless. Absurdity takes control of our reality and all we can do is ride the miserable waves that life merely splashes over us. I mean sure, not needing to take responsibility of our actions would be convenient and I have held the determinist view before, however, if we desire any sort of agency then I think it would benefit to take ownership of how we engage in life on earth.

     With this quick rant out of the way, the unknown wells up some curious anxiety for me. Knowing that my decisions result in the outcome of my life has always been at the forefront of my mind. I've talked about it before, but even when I was young I would lay in bed for hours dwelling on what I was going to do when I grew up. The unconscious desire to impress and succeed was crippling. Only in the past few years, I've acknowledged the unnecessary pressure to impress people and done my best to ignore the impulse. Even with the pressure from others dissipated, there is still the haunting voice in the back of my mind that is trying to affirm meaning in life.

     I just looked at the clock and realized this post took me a quick 10 minutes to write so I apologize if the thoughts aren't as coherent as usual but I thought I'd share a little bit of my continual, long-term, lifelong project, of existential crisis'. Nonetheless, enjoy the photos from one of the most beautiful mornings from this summer. If I'm honest, its the anxiety and inner pessimist that forces me to attempt to make things that distract from my inner turmoil.  And just so you're not worried I write all this with a smirk on my face because it all seems so odd to reflect on. Thank you for your continued support.