I remember listening to a conversation between an astronomer and a priest. To make a short story long, the astronomer said to the priest, “When it really comes down to it religion is little more than do onto your neighbor as you would do onto yourself”. The priest smiled and said “And when you really get down to it Astronomy is little more than twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder what you are.
What business does a visually disabled dyslexic with double vision and A.D.D. have perusing a lifetime dream of film making? It all depends on who you ask. I’ve spent the last 82 days living with my Nikon D5100, this may well be one of the worst choices for video available on the market today but I wanted a single, simple, do it all point and shooter. Why do I call it a point and shooter? When it really comes down to it that’s what photography is, look through the little hole, point the camera in the direction of the subject push the button and you have just recorded history. The eye and intent of the creative is the difference between a mediocre image and a work of art.
Go pick up any outdoor gear catalog and you will more than likely find very little inspiration in the advertising images created by technically perfect photographers catering to the corporate monkeys pushing overpriced cheap Chinese shit on the masses. Then look at the Patagonia catalog and compare the reader submitted photographs that make you want to tell your boss to stuff it, burn your cubicle, pack a day-pack and set off on that pilgrimage around the world you are always dreaming about while surfing facebook under flickering florescent light while your precious life slips between your fingers. Whats the difference? Passion, without passion you can be technically perfect at anything in the world but you will still be creating technically perfect crap.
The number one question I receive on this blog is how can you possibly afford it. The truth is I cant, the boat, the blog, the lifestyle, the dream, none of it. You will never be able to afford it, whatever your IT is. I love the old saying, Step off the cliff and the net will appear. So there I was trapped in a dead end situation, broke, bored, suffocating, and unhappy. I quit my job, spent my pathetic savings on a digital DSLR and stepped off the cliff.
I have spent the last two months studying film making, not in school but by going out and shooting. This camera frustrates the hell out of me, the auto focus sucks, the metering is a pain in the ass, and the battery life is horrible. I’ve carried this little camera everywhere I’ve gone since the day I purchased it. Its been rained on, snowed on, bumped, banged, and bruised. I’ve taken it to sea dozens of times, stuffed it in my overloaded pack, fried the battery, and shorted the camera. Iv’e violated every rule of taking care of your camera and still this little Nikon is taking care of me, its not the camera that sucks, it’s me. I could blame the whole world for why I am having difficulties, I could turn every little bump in the road into Mt Everest, I could spend the rest of my life hiding behind fear of failure, I could throw my arms up in frustration and quit, I could…
The reality is I simply haven’t put in enough time, the camera is nothing more than an extension of my creative vision but I still don’t know how to operate this simple tool to its maximum efficiency. A better camera wont make me a better photographer. Just like the old adage guns don’t kill people, people kill people, cameras don’t make a film, people do. Just like learning to ride a bike, every day you ride you get a little bit better and your confidence increases. Every day you pursue your dreams you get a bit closer and your confidence in succeeding becomes a little stronger, without putting in the time you will never gain that confidence and without confidence you will never achieve anything other than regret and failure. Its scary for all of us but the alternative to 100% commitment to success is 100% commitment to failure.
It’s tough, your going to get beat up, you will have days where you wonder what the fuck you are doing, people will put you down, there will always be people who envy your freedom and success. There will always be unknown factors.
There are two doors in front of all of us. One is open and leads down the same old corridor The other is locked and closed, it leads down an unknown path and only you hold the key, choose wisely, its your life. If your not living your dream what are you doing?
I’m reminded of the old story of the farmer and the cow. The farmer says to the cow, “give me milk and I’ll feed you”. The cow replies, “feed me and I’ll give you milk”.