here lies a rant of gargantuan introspection as a means of marking a time I figure to be hugely pivotal, in both stuff, my existence and my headspace, these ideas are personal but are on this blog because it is mine and it serves as a journal for me. We all have different ideals and I learnt a while ago that aiming to please people is not a powerplay, probably the reason for my rants becoming less frequent and more about myself than a particular adventure or completely miscellaneous bullshit.
i feel overly lucky, in the sense that lately i’ve been achieving my goals without any of the life moves i’d been led to believe were necessary, mainly university, hard work (i’m pretty lazy) and i feel like there are things that have made getting to where i am now, easier.. the old adage of ‘who you know’ etc etc… Our society seems to perceive success on how difficult the journey to success was, personally I feel like the difficulty deserves praise but it does not affect my definition of success, as success to me is about enjoying myself 100% of the time and all i care about is enjoying the ‘journey’…… therefore i am perpetually successful so long as i’m not crying myself unnecessary tears and I am proud of what i’ve achieved regardless of the difficulty of the journey, because i am once again happy every single day. I did some dumb things last year and it led to a loss of self, in the sense that i lost the ability to have fun every single day. Luckily for me, somewhere along the line, I set my personal standard for contentedness quite ‘low’ thus stoking myself out with minimal effort/qualm. For me, the journey is the defining factor in life/my photo making because i believe that being a photographer is 40% about making lovely photos…. It’s the other 60% that i’ve been trying to figure out for a long time (not suggesting that i’ve come anywhere near perfecting the aforementioned 40% by any stretch of the imagination) but it’s this 60% that can’t be learnt by taking lots of photos or going to uni or anything other than my own thoughts and experiences… How this translates into my photography? i am not sure, as i am not the audience, but i figure being positive and motivated helps a great deal. When i lost my positivity i lost everything i enjoyed and no longer liked myself, it was crap, motivation was also no longer an emotion that i could feel. The immense personal change i went through last year, albeit tears, was the perfect reality check for that majority percentage and it now seems like it wasn’t all a huge waste of happiness/time/saline because since then i’ve been sent to many corners of this planet, met countless rad people and witnessed an ideal amount of beauty doing what i consider to be the best job in the world and feel more motivated than ever before in my life.
This most recent trip has concreted my hopes and dreams of finally becoming a proper legit photographer and concrete is were i plan to keep it until i don’t want to do it anymore, i know i am not at all near what i consider to be a proper pro fot maker and that excites me because, as i just said, it’s about the journey and the comforting thought is that there is an infinite amount of journeys out there… I think what brought me here, not specifically on this return flight from this USA/Canada trip, but the fact that the most rewarding thing in my life right now is exploration/adventure but for the sake of this rant, it’s looking at something beautiful, pushing the shutter of my camera and seeing what i fantasised in my mind.. this alone opens more doors than any hookups could ever open… motivation is all there really is! I think my stubbornness was probably also a huge factor in getting to where i am today as there are so many paths/jobs/journeys that i’d enjoy but those weren’t what I dreamt of, if i’d stuck out any one of the 5 separate attempts i made at completing a university degree then i definitely wouldn’t be here right now, nor would i be as prepared for life as i am now.. I’m very much of the opinion that life preparedness is key to all thing, not preparedness for a particular profession. Jobs can be taught and learnt through demonstration and repetition, life shit has to be done by you and you only because we all live in different reality tunnels.
This, the idea of perpetual contentedness/happiness, is why i shoot digital and this is why my almost monthly forays into film are short lived. I love the aesthetic uniquity, the coolness, the feeeeel and the surprise of getting photos back but when i shoot digital i witness, shoot, analyse and move on to something better or completely different, I don’t like reviewing after i’ve made my judgement on the image that has appeared in front of me because, when i dump my shots into the shop, it’s like picking up film because i’ve forgotten the specifics of images created. For me, the gratification of imagining something and getting it right then and there far outweighs the surprise of getting a roll of film back. Don’t get me wrong, i love to spray and pray.. i did a downhill run in Spokane with my camera, it’s 7 minutes, up to 80km/h, 7 of us on the hill and i shot about 300 photos. I could’ve shot about 3000 in those 7 minutes if i really sprayed but thats quite possibly the silliest thing thats come to mind, ever.. or perhaps it is whats on my leg(definitely not).. Anyway, spray/pray is casj, you get what you need, in the end i was flown across the world to fulfil a task, a task for a client that put their faith in me to play with skateboards and look at beautiful shit, and there is no way i’m going to potentially fail because of silly self-righteousness. On the other hand, sometimes I’ll see something, a corner with a perfect frame, vertically cascading mountains casting rays of light of such thickness you can’t see through them, flowers, trees, clouds, the sun and you’ll tell your buddy to hit the corner and have fun, they do it, they’re stylish, they have fun and you get the shot, one and done. The photos that happen first time and just as I’d hoped are easily the most rewarding thing for me, but on the other hand, if i go on a trip with someone who has employed me to be there and I take a total of 5 photos, regardless of how epic they may be or how many they plan to use, said employer is not going to be stoked,. Imagine paying a painter a weeks worth of dollars to paint your house and they do it in 1 day? Sure you might like the result, it might even be the best paintjob ever, but why pay them for time that they weren’t doing shit? well you should’ve given them more things to do 😉 but that’s beside the point…
I still have self-righteous desires and much cynicism towards certain aspects of photography/photos and that’s all well and good but at the end of the day, as much as we may wish to deny such truths, getting people to pay you for photos is because there is an audience and it’s the audience’s ideals that will determine your future. which is shit, i know photographers that take better photos than all of us and they’ll never work as a photographer, partly due to style but mostly due to who is looking at it, and then there are those that manage a lifetime of photowork, much to my confusion… aaah, the internet and it’s infinite potential for glory (with a dash of tears)
I recall a time when I didn’t even want to put my name on my photos because i felt like it detracted from the image (also, I was not proud of my photos but now i don’t care, if i like it i’ll show it). and then a photo i took, without my name on it, got around 4million views and that was obviously a catalytic game changer for the best. From then on everything got better for me, not because of that photo (because no one knew who took it), or that i started putting my name on it, but because I took my photos off the pedestal and replaced the stool with a bucket of desire to be better at taking photos, not taking better photos…. A powerplay in the book of lamb and hopefully something that might make some sense to y’all.
I can’t even being to type my thoughts and feels about this trip i have just concluded, it was so long, so intriguing, so varied, so rad, so beautiful and at times very very challenging but i gained more insight into what I am trying to achieve than i thought was possible in such a short time (50 days). yes i just said it was long, yes i just said short time, but i’ve got a whole life (touch wood) worth of exploring this medium and my biggest fear is that my skill will not keep up with my mind and the shutter-based gratification that i desire so dearly will dwindle and die. Such is life and i’ll figure shit out as i go anyway.. There are so many epic jobs out there it’s ridiculous, tell me about being a park ranger in some miscellaneous capsule of nature and it’s potential beauty/hideousness?! or bringing stoke to people with menial tasks, like driving a bus.
This trip was also when i realised the importance of external harddrives and how much i’ve been kooking it by not carrying multiples at all times.. Not because i lost photos, this trip has been my most successful yet in regards to that, but because there is no worse thing than standing in front of a shot that is sick, when there are multiple people putting themselves at risk for you and you look at your camera and it says Card slot 1 and 2 full and you can’t delete anything on either card because you’ve not saved them anywhere…. I don’t ever use my SD card for storing photos, until this trip.. and thats not what i want it for. i could get some more cards but they’re easy to lose and i lose things easily.. like pat schep’s tent and sleeping bag, which i untied from the roof for no reason and forgot to tie it back down, almost 400 dollars later i told myself to not forget shit, for the nth time ever. I managed to by a harddrive yesterday so i was able to bring back all the shots i took, as i had to keep dumping them on someone else’s external and then delete them off my computer… a dangerous, dangerous manoeuvre which is now forever solved!!
Also i learnt for the 6th time that i should never ever travel without a credit card… this instance was a new one, i was paid a lump sum into my papal account, which caused paypal to lock my account thus making all of my money, which i needed to survive, inaccessible until returning to aus, because they need bulk identification in order to believe that the paypal is actually mine. that was a game changer, caused bulk tears and much anguish.. thankfully yatedawg is one of the greatest humans out and was keen to hold it down for me. but is also why i am sitting on this plane right now, instead of having another 10 days of glory in one of the most epic environments on earth. Which kinda worked out well because I am off to China on the 16th so I would’ve had to have come back early anyway… yes, China!! It’s not going to be a long trip, more of a base toucher (as there is a 3 day longboard festival involving everything but downhill) and mission of minor exploration/cultural insight. I want to travel around china extensively, i’ve found many things i wish to see but it’s kinda deep in the sense of laws/visas etc.. I found out, much like Russia, that to acquire a Visa you need to be invited, on top of that you need separate Visas between provinces, but i have a feeling for Australians it might be casj… all i am certain of is that i need to do more research. There are other places that pique more of my fancy however…
My game has been changed, not only in all the life and photography nonsense i was talking about before but in that i met so many epic new people from all over the world, mostly canadians but a lot of people travel to canada.. The lifestyle over there, mostly due to the likeminded individuals that i was blessed to be hanging out with, is the most ideal thing in my mind… Epic crew, the most epic mountains for hiking, snow and skateboarding, babes, generally lovely people, delicious food and Landyachtz. Landy hold it down, they’ve shown me potential that i never thought existed, not just in that they like my photos and are happy to pay me and send me places but they also put me on their skate team. I want to be a pro longboarder, obviously, but on the other hand i don’t want skating to be about anything other than having fun, experiencing a hill whistle being well within my limits, the consequences of hurtling down blind corners at 100km/h are obvious and there are so many other things out there that I would also like to enjoy in my life.. Being crippled terrifies me and I am happily leaning back in my chair, comfortable with the fact that I don’t want/have the balls to push myself to misc levels of stupidity, but, even though being super gnarly might be more enjoyable, it’s only because of adrenaline. I am not relying on adrenaline as, for now, the simple pleasure of riding a board gets me moist.. Adrenaline is obviously still a big factor but I don’t want it to control me and anyone that tells you adrenaline is not addictive has never truly experienced it.
I’m going to stop ranting here as I could definitely keep ranting forever and ever. Here is a smattering of misc photos.
down to the left (just out of frame) lies a road (old 95) that, if paved semi-acceptably, would be one of the greatest hills in the world. unfortunately it isn’t at all acceptably paved but even still, it’s a lovely place to skaybod
Twin Falls immediately piqued my attention for some reason but i could not put my finger on it! But at the moment I started thinking about something else it came to me. A title of a track from one of my first favourite bands ever!! Listen here I was under the assumption he/Doug Martsch/most epic musician ever was bought up there (due to the tearful lyrics) but i later found out he’s from Boise, which we also visited. yeow.
I was blessed enough for my trip to have fallen around the time of a Maryhill Freeride event. Maryhill is the first road that I ever wanted to skate, during a time that any hill proved to be challenging and the idea of trying to go as fast as I could was not yet a thought. Maryhill is not super quick or super gnarly but it’s super perfect and seems to be best experienced in a freeride environment. Doing 15+ runs a day down the most idyllic pavement in the world with 20 buddies and 80+ strangers/soon to be buddies will forever warm my heart and moisten my stoke glands. I still can’t get over it. The landscape contained immense beauty both in it’s natural glory but also the human interference. There are turbines everywhere you look, train tracks everywhere else and, to me, everything burns of the old West/American Frontier.
Part of Maryhill’s lower section.
The Columbia River.
this kitty, named Boba, was a proper alley cat in the sense it sampled all houses that backed onto it’s alley. In vancouver it seems that, for the most part, every house has an alley behind it.. making for ideal skate times and kitty love
Camilo! I didn’t get to hang with this dude much but hopefully that day will be soon
this dog ambushed our car, the brown one that is
tranq times in the depths
Built to Spill were the first band I truly got into (2004/5 i geuss) and probably directed my music taste to this day. I’ve seen them live twice and both times were shocking (the good kind) for vastly different reasons and the occurred within a day of each other. They played Peats Ridge in 2010 and then the next evening they played at the Zoo. Peats Ridge was also the last time my hair was cut, not because of BTS, but maybe, they’re a powerful thing to watch. Truly talented musicians are always delightful to watch.