I gave a single day workshop a couple of weeks ago to a great group of participants in downtown Seattle. That workshop was as much of an eye-opener for them as it was for me. It was the group’s questions that not only inspired me, but had me answering some questions in my own mind about how and why I do what I do.
“We are all here to do what we are all here to do…” – The Oracle, The Matrix Reloaded.
The question was posed, “So how do you do it?” “How do you create the images we see here before us?” “Do you shoot at the spur of the moment?” “Do you set up images?” “Do you pre-visualize your shots?”
My answer was all of the above. I never look away from opportunity and I am always trying to discover a scene that is unique to not only to myself, but to others as well. I look down, around, up, and behind me every minute of every day with camera and without. I use my training as an architect to create compositions that possess a strong sense of place, moment, and subject.
I know that what I am doing right now is what I was meant to do. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel like working. There aren’t days when inspiration is lacking. And the harder that I push myself, my vision, and my business, the greater successes I find. I want to challenge myself in a way that doesn’t always have the answer directly handed to me. The hardest days have typically become my best days – for successful creative solutions. Nothing on this planet is free and nothing worth experiencing on this planet comes easy. I told my class that I am analogous to a “Type ‘A’ Jack Russell hopped up enough caffeine to heart attack an entire small country who is ready to kill the UPS guy at the front door.” That’s every minute of every day. If you can keep up please feel free to at any moment.
I use that same energy to train every single day. Carrying a thirty pound pack in the backcountry on skis does not come easy. I am old. I ignore all of that. The days I don’t ski, I run, I mountain bike, I road bike, and I hike. On top of that I throw in some Tai Chi, some days of lifting weights in the gym, and then sets of push-ups throughout the coarse of my entire week. The key is to never slow down. A body in motion stays in motion. For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is all very true.
As I type this I am helping my dear friend Art Wolfe in Portland with a workshop. Yesterday, I was at the Chris King Factory shooting for an article that I am working on. Next week I am shooting a vision for GoPro and hopefully skiing some powder if the snow comes back before I head to Patagonia, South America into some other amazing mountains. Through out all of these explorations I will challenge all who will listen, to throw conformity to the wind, and discover something unique that heads beyond the every day and beyond the snapshot. Your mind is your ticket to success. You are the one who can do what I do.
“I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.” – Neo, The Matrix.