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"This project isn't about making images. It's not about creating the world's largest camera. It's about doing what you love. If you had been searching your whole life for something you love, what would you be willing to sacrifice?"
~Ian Ruhter, from Silver & Light

I can't remember watching something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway, inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life. What am I doing here?

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155 Comments

 To
all of my friends who love photography, check this video out. It
reminded me of why I love photography! I joined the digital revolution
just like everyone else, but this video reminds me of my 1st
love...film...there is something magical about working in the darkroom
with an image and never knowing what you're gonna get until you come
out! I think I'm going to revisit her, it's been too long!♥ I hope you
enjoy this as much as I did!

I, too, started my journey in photography in the darkroom and agree...magic happens when you see the image appear and you have such control over the end result. WHile I do shoot digital, I have not been able to get rid of my darkroom equipment...it calls to me.

There aren't enough such inspirational projects out there. This one is visually beautiful while expressing a lot of emotion and it makes you think and wonder about your life and your purpose. I've shown it to all my colleagues from the videochat iasi studio and they were visibly touched. I hope to see more such videos appear, the world would become a better place.

All we have in life is our desires and the will to pursue them. Being willing to sacrifice everything for what you really want can take to the highest peaks of glory and world fame or it can consume you and destroy your life. My dream has always been to see the world and I got to travel to each continent but as I got older, I couldn't pursue this lifestyle anymore. Instead, I allowed other people to live the dream for me by creating a travel agency that takes them to the French gites placed in a magnificent area of France. It is my gift to them and it is my new dream.

inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life. What am I doing here? I can't remember watching something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway.

Awe inspiring! This is what all fine art and especially photography is about. Bringing magic to the masses.

I agree. The visuals -- the photography and video -- were attractive. But the video with its clipped editing, music that tells you what to feel, and cliche-filled narration, feels manipulative, pedantic, and self-aggrandizing. Very sophomoric, very L.A.

Adrian, what might happen if you just surrender; suspend judgement? What might happen when you just breath, and enjoy another's accomplishment and joy. : ))

Amen. We all need a life lesson in suspending judgment and genuinely feel the joy in the accomplishhment of others

Over sold, overstated, hyperbolic. That's great, he's following his bliss, but it's HIS bliss, not mine.

That's the point...it is his bliss.

Why do we think that our "bliss" is reliable or is good rather than self indulgence or delusion?

That's how I feel too. I could do without the way he aggrandizes himself. 'I created a time machine'. Franz Kafka reached a point of hubris where he felt that every word he wrote had perfection in it. Many artists go to a place like that. It's a 'high'. But it rarely turns anyone on who really understands the creative process. Get over yourself and do what you can. If anyone is going to aggrandize you (and NOBODY should), at least don't let it be yourself.

So find your bliss!

It's not about photography. Photography is the vehicle for exploring taking risks to do what you are really drawn to do with your life-- including the risk of total failure.  There is a story here for anyone willing to suspend judgement about the specifics and look at what it is really about. I'm awed by the process and the images, but I take away the message that the risks I take in pursuing my own artistic path, or any other life path, is right for me.  For some, the risk might be letting one's guard down enough to let oneself be loved, knowing it might lead to pain and failure.  It's that simple.

Lovely analysis.. that's what I took away from it as well... 

 Well stated. Full of truth and wisdom of someone who has pursued an authentic life! xo

Yes, exactly. Thank you. :)

Risk. I agree on that point. I believe you risk more if you don't give it a go.

It ia a challenge to do what you have passion to do and be in community for we are all connected.

Incredible, wow, not enough adverbs to describe this photo session, this is what perseverance is about. The power we humans can muster when we have a dream and drive to make it happen. Love the work!

sounds familiar!

For years I dreamed of turning my van into a camera, but my life took a different direction. I am so happy that you made this happen.

Inspiring, terrifying and profound.

Yes, we are all connected. You should reflect a moment on the amount of chemicals used in your processing. The nature we all enjoy suffer so you can stroke your ego. This is a gratuitous use of chemicals when we should be focusing on doing things more intelligently.

 lol! Name ONE thing we are not doing as a race as a species that isn't tearing apart this earth? Yes, we should be conscious of our impact....but um hello...I'm quite sure he doesn't live in sub urbia and shop at Wal-Mart every week. I'm sure his impact is well below the average American! So, let's be realistic here!

Part of helping the planet, I believe, is beink kind, non-judgemental and supportive. It's very easy to see the negative (ha, pun!), look at the positive. You'll even feel happier.

Yea, this is what I thought too.

I too was shocked at the lack of environmental care and concern. Simple tarps rather than shallow collection tubs? Then he flings a dripping plate out, as if it would have no impact on the place he was flinging it, really?

This film strikes me as the over-indulgent lark of a self absorbed artist. Resources wasted by a white guy playing it sympathetic. Environmental impact that is undeniably harsh, as is evidenced by the breathing apparatus. I love photography and miss the hands on feel of developing in the dark room too. However, I recognize that all those chemicals I dumped down the drain didn't just disappear down a hole and 'go away'. They, in fact were processed out into the local eco-system at a local facility. This photographer is basically pouring those chemicals on the ground.

Perhaps I could have appreciated his zealous pursuit of his dream of a tangible photograph of a daguerreotype nature, if I were not so shocked by his lack of "Leave No Trace" ethic.

We won't get another planet. Inspire me with the achieved dreams of underprivileged people of color that benefit the planet and communities as a whole. I am tired of seeing white guys produce more products that waste resources and end of in landfills that merely serve to perpetuate unsustainable consumer culture. Show me something truly beautiful.

It's lovely, but I agree the amount of chemicals used!

Thanks for having the balls to post this comment. The entire time I was thinking the same thing.
Of course, the "artist" is wearing an inorganic vapor mask......god forbid the artist become injured.

My enlarger is still out in my garage but I have done away with my large format cameras.  Rethinking...............Thank you.  There is NOTHING like watching an image arise.

Risks, big or small, make us all stronger and better for taking the risks.  Step out of your free zone, your safe harbor and face the storm.  Strength in failure makes you truly one of Gods greatest creations.

I'm happy that he is not getting his personal satisfaction from Meth, but from something creative like photography, but exactly what is he "sacrificing" for this hobby?  I get his point, but the title seems quite off-putting.  Indeed, what is he "sacrificing".  Fulfilling ourselves with gratifying experiences has its place, but what about our neighbor?  This Twixter generation seems to have its fill of personal interests (albeit often very wholesome and illuminating).  But are they not "sacrificing" some other worthwhile values?  Saving money, making time to be with family, giving to the needy, adopting a child, visiting the sick, buying health insurance, serving others more through your vocation, etc.  This guy seems to be spending it all on his hobby.  People seem willing to "sacrifice" their savings and time with others for an amazing trip to Machu Picchu.  But are they will to sacrifice that trip to Machu Picchu to invest in their children's education?  Indeed, exactly what is he sacrificing?  I gotta insert some tension here.  I know, wet blanket.  Sorry.

 Thanks Ryan, I struggle more with what you expressed...

I was a bit worried over the opening screen, also. Had a similar reaction. Thought it was a set up for drug addiction and thought it was a story about what he was willing to sacrifice to overcome the self destructive indulgence. Relieved he wasn't making meth! But I agree with your comments, questions of values. After experiencing horrible family arguments over the care of aging family members with dementia, and realizing how some family members don't want the imposition because it isn't fun, intrudes on their lifestyle, can't take the time, I began to wonder about the values of community, the willingness to sacrifice to make another person's life more comfortable when the other person has more than enough 100 times over. it's very discouraging and painful to watch how many have moved away from these concerns. I appreciate the message of taking risks, letting one's guard down to love and be loved or express one's inner creativity and risking failure. Not sure one can grow into an authentic human being without it, but I do wonder how many people in today's society are concerned about those values.

You are a very judgemental person. It is not your place to decide whether a life has value because someone is or is not helping a sick person or adopting a child. We all have a role to play and somewhere along the line folks need to accept artists as working members of society. After September 11th the museums in New York City were free. The reason being is that art can offer a healing and folks were in great need for something to feel better and who knew how that would come. But instinctively we chose to sit quietly in front of a painting or write poetry. Art is not "just a hobby". It is a calling worthy of your respect. I am an artist and yes....I serve humanity, more than you know. Where would we be without Mozart, Michelangelo, Picasso and ...oh yeah, Ansel Adams.

i agree artists and art are a valuable part of any culture, but i have more than once encountered "artists" who feel that because they do art they are entitled to being carried by the rest of us. for example, i'm in the healing arts, and an aquaintance of mine, an artist, was in pain and needed some help. of course i helped her. she had no money to pay, being an artist who hasn't been actually creating art for a rather long while. but still, i helped her. after she felt better she told me she was thinking about getting a facelift, as she hated the way her face looked as it aged...i was more than a little surprised that she could afford that when she couldn't pay me, but...

this is not the only experience of this kind that i have had with the artist community...word gets around that i'm willing to help people without alot of miney. but at some point, i have rent to pay, and i also have my calling...to help the sick. i rarely even think of it. but when i read your comments, i felt the desire to share my own thoughts and experiences.

i have also had artists who insisted on paying full fee, even if it had to come in payments over time, so i'm not saying this is true of all who persue art as a "calling." i'm just wanting to remind people that persuing their calling doesn't mean they are entitled to being carried. they need to carry themselves.

To emphasize the point made by Ryan. What exactly is the sacrifice being made here? The story is incomplete until we know what the photographer sacrificed in order to fulfill his dream.

Agree agree agree with you Ryan!

I agree with you too. I'm happy he's happy, that counts. But sacrifice is not the word I'd use. Waste perhaps. Or selfishness.

sorry, i don't get it.

Same here. "Heartbreakingly Beautiful?" "Sacrifice?" huh?

Making the invisible , visible; the unseen, seen. Brilliant

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY, FANTASTIC....YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE ARTIST ANGST ARE UNIVERSAL.....BRAVO FOR YOUR JOURNEY. FAILURE AND ABSOLUTE PEAK BEAUTY....SAME CIRCLE..MIRACULOUS WORK..

Neshobe's comment below is a great reflection of my thoughts about this video.  This video speaks powerfully to the challenges of creative work -- of devoting one's self fully to the process, holding the questions about the worth of the work, the meaning of the work, and the worth of one's self and the path.  An honest portrayal of the experience of many creative people.  

Would you like to come out to shoot my farm in Iowa?  Trees, prairies, creek, cows, limestone bluffs.  Can stay and eat muffins?

Where's the LOVE button.

I have a faith today that mankind will overcome its greed and selfishness. That we know right from wrong. That we are choosing to love and value each other more than we love and value things. I see more and more brothers and sisters who are asking themselves if it's more important to chase the almighty dollar and worship at the alter of "More!" or whether the way is through service, love, compassion and following their heart and their bliss.
By those without vision it is decried as madness and immaturity but those of us who can see are clapping and cheering them! We are inspired and awed to our cores! Figure out what's real, what truly matters, what speaks to you and start putting one foot in front of the other. This brother inspires me and he has made my world a bigger, more appealing place!

These are stunning art pieces. Thank you.

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