Colors Of Life - Foreword
This will be the end of my fourth year pursuing photography as my sole source of income. I hate to use the word “professional” because I still feel like an amateur, even though I have been able to make a modest living and support my family through my art, which I am very grateful for. Through these last years, my vision has changed, progressed, disappeared, reappeared, but ultimately it has become more clear. I remember when I first told my mentor, David Thompson, how envious I was of his ability to shoot the subtler, more intimate scenes in such a compelling way. For years I yearned and tried to create such scenes, but felt they were forced, and I would never come upon them naturally. It was always more just finding random things and trying to make them look cool, instead of shooting what spoke to me and visually appealed to me already. Overtime however, I began to see nature in a whole different light (yes, pun intended), and these kinds of scenes began to speak to me louder and louder, until they became impossible to avoid. Not too long ago, I was constantly chasing grand landscapes with epic light. But lately, I usually find myself looking down instead, even while the sky is “going off,” photographing some interesting lines in mud, or a unique reflection in a small puddle. For me, being able to create something meaningful, concise, and visually appealing, within a smaller scene, is just much more gratifying and feels more personal. The more intimate I can be with my surroundings, the more precise I can make my photographs, the more I will hopefully tell you the stories of the things that I love most.
People are always telling us to think big, which is great, I have always been a big dreamer myself, but I feel that the understanding that can come from thinking small is highly underrated and overlooked. Through seeing nature on a more intimate level and smaller scale, paying attention to the subtler details, the spaces between things, and being able to see the beautiful designs, patterns, and shapes that their outlines form, has undoubtedly brought me closer to Mother Earth. There is so much more to her than meets the eye at first glance, and for those that take a closer look, there is always great wisdom to be gained. Ultimately, by examining the mystery of her nature on a deeper level I have come to better understand my own. Who’da thunk?
This past year, with all the environmental ignorance that has been showing itself through poor and destructive decisions made by the people of this country, has had me wandering off in thought. While driving home from the desert, as I approach the city lights, noise, and busyness of modern day, human life, I ask myself, over and over again, “why do I come back?” Each time, I have fewer and fewer excuses for it, and my wife and I have began planning a way we can eventually get away from all of this and be where we really feel at home, in the wilderness, or at least in its proximity.
As each day went by this year, my faith lessened, both in myself and in our species. We try so hard to progress and make our lives better, but let's be honest, have we really made this Earth a better place? With these heavy thoughts, my mind became a dark place, but while on a trip to Iceland earlier this year, I had a promising revelation. Have you ever heard of the Hero’s Journey? It’s the classic structure that so many famous stories follow, where the hero sets off on an exciting adventure, only to find that everything he sought and longed for was actually at home all along. (i.e. The Odyssey, The Alchemist, Siddhartha) I feel our species is on the same trajectory, and we are approaching the darkest, innermost part of the cave, just before we realize we already had everything all along, and we begin to turn back to our natural state. It likely won’t happen during my lifetime, but I have already been seeing glimpses of it in people’s diets, exercise habits, lifestyles, and medicine. We are slowly realizing that the best way was the first way, that we had it right from the very beginning.
With this new gallery, I hope to share with you the sacredness of Mother Nature, the mother that we all have in common. Each day she gives us our life through our breath, our nourishment, our water, and so much more. And for all of these things, we should show her the highest reverence and respect. Next time you are in nature, make a point to slow down and take a closer look. Notice that every single tree, leaf, and rock is unique, each with their own story. Know and feel that all life forms are connected. Finding that connection with nature will help you be grounded and have wiser priorities. I promise.
Anyways, I have other work from this year that I have yet to release, but I wanted to end 2018 with what I feel speaks to me the most right now. I hope you enjoy the images. Good luck to everyone in 2019!