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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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154 Comments

Breathtaking!

I love this s***. People finding their passion and chasing it and making it a reality...creating w/ joy.

Wow. Something worth a spent life saving. I want to buy one of these.

Thank you. COMPLETELY. MORE. PLEASE. YES ¥ ¥ ¥

I loved the photos, but what impact was the use of all those chemicals having on the environment? If people want to experience this wonderful part of the world, they should be able to do so, without fear of being poisoned, or the very trees and plants he is photographing , being irreversibly damaged.

Wow! Beautiful, inspirational and peacefully exciting!

Impressed with the first photograph......but not the process which is unique only to them. Photography is about capturing light and life. It is not about process which is only a means.

That was AMAZING! I really had no idea where it was going at the beginning. I thought I was looking at a meth lab. That is absolutely awe-inspiring.

Wow what detail. High Five this one.

I guess we must first ask the right questions.............

Quite amazing from an artist and photographer's point of view... but from an ecologist's point of view... how do the chemicals affect the environment?

Beautiful film and beautiful sentiment. My only comment is I hope the liquid chemicals used to make the art are cleaned up from the premises and disposed of properly

Inspirational, beautiful, admirable. Thank you

Thank you for the inspiration, the beauty, and the emotional exposure.

Doing what you love and struggling through it. Is it worth it? Does it matter? Powerful video. I'd like to hear your what this video made you think Trent.

Yes incredible and / but I want to see more of the work that came out of this! Feeling somewhat frustrated at the same time as most definitely inspired.

BEAUTIFUL....in the art, and in the message!

Thank you for sharing your vision and your skills! Very inspirational.

In the intro, I thought he was in a meth lab.
Great promo video.
Does he manage to recoup the 500$?
Where do all the toxic chemicals end up?

Oh my g-d. This is beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you...for it all.

Truly beautiful art doesn't require gas masks...

I love your time machine, it takes us to the places we may never have seen with out your teletransportation. You are a true Artist.

Watched this several times. I am so grateful that some of us do what feeds us, deeply.

I love it..

Thanks for showing us, among other things, that documentation can be person-scale art.

As a full time artist I am inspired by this video...keeps me at the solitary work of creation! Thank you

Exquisite abd inspiring. Thank you

Really beautiful vision and commitment to being all you can be....

This commitment to following a passion for something beautiful, a passion the origin of which comes from who and what one is, can take the doer and the watcher on pathways of spiritual wonder.

Spent the day talking to friend about something we love and will sacrifice for, and came home to this. Powerful.

What a joy to capture God's beautiful creations. Keep your mind open.

Beautiful. Inspiring. Deep yet simple. Thank you.

Just beautiful!

A magnificent depiction of what it takes to go after something you are passionate about.

Beautiful........the essence of life....live our dreams -that's all we can do.

it is a nice thing. One important question left behind does he care about the environment as well? I see he throwing the stuff around and some liquid around!

Fun cool medium to work in but can't help thinking about all the chemistry he's dumping in the natural environment. The nice thing about digital imagery is it's softer on the environment which is really more needed at this time in the world than large plate silver photography.

Having been in Photography for 75 years ( yes since 1935) I feel for all you tree huggers who see anti green in progress. Get a life!
95% of photographic chemicals are organic, biodegradable. If our carbon oriented lifestyle is causing global warming why are Venus and Mars also showing warming? In the early days of the aircraft industry we printed, photographically, on 6X9 foot sheets.
I like the guys work. My guess there is a little weed mixed in there but then, most productive people have relaxed with some sort of hallucinogen.

This is fascinating and wonderful, but why the over the top sell job? Like his photographs, Ruhter's journey is one of a kind and inspirational, but I can't say it's beauty broke my heart nor did it have me "pondering my station in life." Holy cow, that gives viewers expectations that are pretty tough to live up to!

Trent Gilliss's picture

Hi Kristi. As you can tell, I (and many others) were moved by it. We hear from quite a few people who aspire to live a life of passion and beauty, people who want to do exactly what the photographer did: pursue his passion at the expense of his pocketbook and a more comfortable, stable studio life. For me, it's a challenge as I think of my own passions and my willingness to pursue them at any cost.

Obviously, these types of stories have different appeal for various folks, and I respect that. For our blog, I ask all our writers to bring themselves to their pieces and not just "report" — and this is what I tried to do. The onus is on me to deliver on my promise, and I thought this did. I didn't mean to disappoint you but hope that you enjoyed it even if it didn't move you to pondering. :) Cheers!

"What are you willing to sacrifice?" This is one of the relatively few MOST important questions we can ask ourselves. If, as Rilke intimated, we have the heart and will to live into the question, the 'answers' that manifest will radically alter our lives for the better and the lives of others for the better. It is a healing ('wholing') question. Ruhter shares his 'living into...' brilliantly. The creative life is absolutely uncertain except for one thing... the certainty that one is truly alive, in a state of love. Thank you and congratulations, Ian!

My dearest Ian, You are of the generation of pioneers. You have taken your dream and made it real. :Your courage, undaunting dedication, determination and resolve moves me to believe there is hope for this world with people like you (and your crew) doing what you are doing. Afraid, I'm sure, but having the strength to trample that fear and move forward. I CONGRATULATE YOU AND I THANK YOU FOR SHARING. THERE IS MUCH THE OLDER GENERATIONS CAN LEARN FROM YOU. PLEASE, PLEASE, MY DEAR IAN, CONTINUE ON YOUR JOURNEY AND I THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH ME, AS I FELT A CONNECTION WITH YOU. GOD BLESS YOU IN YOUR WORK.

What encouragement you are to me! Thank you. You said so many things that I ask myself...maybe I suck, I feel like I suck...maybe I'm going down the wrong path...the only limitation there are are the ones I put on myself...if it was super easy, it would be fun!
Thank you again.

If you are looking for "something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway, inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life" try sacrificing your Sunday morning and attend the Divine Liturgy.

Doing what you love is an extention of mindful living. So much of our life goes by because we are searching for the elusive thing that makes us feel love and loved..I like to think like St. Theresa " Do little things with great love" OUr entire life is one hugh oppertunity to love deeply one little choice at a time

Ian you are on your path and it is very nobel. Thanks for reminding us to follow our vision quests

I have given up my home, a job and a relationship to follow what I perceive is my task in life improving the lives of children through an anthorposophical understanding of the human being. There are no limits to what I will give up. However, I do fear homelessness.

Out of the darkroom into the light. There is a deep hunger in our culture to create things with our hands.

If you are after "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?" You should sacrifice your Sunday mornings and attend Divine Liturgy...

Thank you!

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