Posts tagged with "photography"

whales in the bodies of tiny fish

It’s been months since I had an appointment with my therapist. I’ve needed the time to work on myself before making further progress with him; a sign that I’m at a point where there’s a sense of direction, instead of relentless confusion and dread. Now it’s a matter of absorbing the concepts I should know by now, developing healthier emotional habits, and letting time heal what reason cannot. As my body recovers from the physical repercussions of depression, finding the energy to do these things gets a bit easier each season1.

As a result, I’ve been picking up new responsibilities in my primary relationship, which I have to carefully balance with my personal goals. Maybe that’s why my wants have become such simple matters. Some days, I look forward to nothing more than eating ice cream after dinner, or playing a game until my thumbs are raw. The distillation of my dreams has given me another childhood, which I’m determined not to squander.


Part of the reason I stopped taking pictures is because I needed to believe Heather was real. To prove to myself that she wouldn’t suddenly disappear and only exist as a collection of pixels on my screen, like others lovers of my past2. Mostly it was because everything was terrible, and just being conscious was a burden. Some days I was too sad to walk or eat, let alone decide what lens to put on my camera or how to frame a shot. The start of any relationship tends to be a time of wonder and excitement for me, but I don’t remember those years with particular fondness3.

Continue reading “whales in the bodies of tiny fish”…

  1. There have been many steps back on the journey forward, enough for the progress to be indiscernible from a week-to-week (or even month-by-month) basis. []
  2. It’s strange to realize that my drive to photograph things was partially a way of dealing with my abandonment issues. []
  3. At least I feel secure in the knowledge that Heather stuck by me when I was literally at my worst. []

Troon, from Knomo

My Canon 5D Mark II has been a faithful companion for five years. It’s followed me on even the most mundane trips, as I wanted to be sure no experience was lost in the years where I found myself growing beyond the furthest plans I’d made. However, it’s remained tucked away in the closet for the last while, as part of an effort to more mindful of each moment; moments that may be lost when I’m finding the right angle or waiting for the right scene.

As a result, the trusty LowePro Fastpack I used to take everywhere — with space enough for a camera body, three lenses, and an assortment of odds and ends — no longer fit my lifestyle and needs. Fortunately, I was given a chance to try out Knomo’s Troon messenger bag, and discovered it’s the perfect fit for my new journeys.

Knomo Troon messenger bag

Continue reading “Troon, from Knomo”…

the other side

Lila‘s been my inspiration lately. Her photos are of such routine subjects, but every frame is more than that moment. There’s something about them that exudes glamour and intimacy, as if her entire life was filled with champagne and Channel.

I asked her what theory she follows, what equipment she uses, expecting to learn some basic technique I’ve somehow missed. Instead, she tells me she doesn’t do or use anything special. She doesn’t even know what she sets for exposure and tone, cause she always plays around and changes them for every photo she takes. A true Taoist when it comes to photography, and a true photographer after my heart.


“best birthday ever.”, “coolest guy on the block”, “he is the one”, “London, I love you”.

One of my favourite subjects is her perfectly-coifed, impeccably-dressed Norwegian boyfriend. Sometimes he’s just lying by the window, and with his shirt off you can make out the fabric creases that have marked his back, revealing that he’s recently turned over on the bed. It makes you wonder what’s happened, or what’s about to happen. These are the details she’s chosen to capture. These things were important enough for her to pick up her camera. There’s such affection under it all, and perhaps that’s why it’s so fascinating to see how the girl looks at the guy.

It’s the same with Aurora’s old entries:

Rolf is sitting a few feet away from me on a Sunday night and we’re about to play Settlers Of Catan online together. He’ll wake me with a kiss in the morning and we’ll drive to work together. I’m full of a tasty new supper that he introduced me to. We’ve just fucked on the floor.

Do I love him? Or do I love this? How big is the difference?

I’ve always wondered what a person would say if she ever wrote about me the way Aurora wrote about him. To see a lover learning and growing, figuring out their life and the world, and discovering what part I play in all of that.

Humble & Brilliant

Jesse’s Dangerously’s latest knockout album, Humble & Brilliant1, has been released as a digital download only with no physical media. However, you can also purchase a chapbook for those of us who enjoy the tactile feeling of liner notes, lyrics, and kick-ass illustrations. Included in the digital download is this topless picture of Jesse I took to promote the album.

Jesse Dangerously — shirtless


I have so many amazing memories of these songs, back before the album was released and I was doing backup ukulele parts for a few of his acoustic sets. That was when I was just starting to get into playing an instrument again, except this time it was in my adulthood and it was for reals. He gave me a draft of the album last year when all the ideas were there but he had yet to decide on how some of them were going to be executed, so it’s very satisfying to hear how polished and complete it is now.

There were a bunch of shots we did but didn’t end using, and they were all really fun to do.

Pictures more brilliant than humble

  1. Proper pronunciation has the emphasis on the last syllable of “Brilliant”. []

UK Detour: Day 15, Ullapool

When Mike asked me what my dream job is, I told him that I’d be a director. So he asked me to direct the next segment of his documentary because I tend to have a good sense of the larger scope when it comes to storytelling, and that would let him focus on the cinematography and the interview.

Our roles overlapped more often than not since this was his creative vision, but that only meant we made a great team. I could bounce an idea off him, and he’d immediately understand what I was talking about. And if he saw a technique I could do better, he’d tell me how to work differently and I’d understand without needing an explanation.

It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into someone else’s photographic process. I’d love to include more in this video because there were a lot of brilliant, touching, intimate moments during the interview, but it’s Mike’s project and it wouldn’t be right to reveal the concept to the world before he did.

When the shooting was done for the day, something which took several hours and left us thoroughly exhausted, we took the night off for food and more photography.

Cockburns haggis

Cockburns haggis with clapshot (potatoes mashed with swede turnips and chives) and onion gravy. I couldn’t possibly resist ordering haggis while in Scotland. It has a taste similar to ground beef, only with a much richer taste. Eating this gave me the meat sweats.


We rented Canon’s EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS lens to film parts of the documentary, which meant we could also get some nice moon shots too at such a focal length. This lens is so big, the case has wheels.

100% crop.


I wanted to see if I could get a few shots of a tiny village across the water, and it turns out they happened to be setting off fireworks at that exact moment. I didn’t even realize this until I looked back on the photos on my display. It was much too dark to see with the naked eye, and only showed up when I left the shutter open for 25 seconds.

Europe 2010 travel diaries