I deal with depression on a constant and daily basis. Some days its good, some days its miserable. Contrary to advice that I have received in the past, I cannot simply tell it to go away and never come back. A few times when I have explained my situation to a person, they respond with surprise and state that I do not know what real depression is, because obviously I am ok and can function normally. But I know myself, and I know what depression is.
Depression is waking up in the morning and feeling like a sumo wrestler is sitting on your chest. Depression is utterly despising the coming of the sun and wishing for darkness so that sleep can return. It is dreading every second of every day. Depression is apathy and "laziness" in all aspects of life. It is a physical battle, not just mental.
When depression strikes, my entire world is rocked. Not just my private life, not just in certain settings. The tendrils of despair creep into work, my social life, school and hobbies. They squeeze the life out of friendships and destroy jobs. Depression is real and it can be deadly.
So if you have any friends out there who say that they are depressed, do not discount their words. The pit they are in might be very deep. Sometimes, the only way out is if someone reaches down and pulls them out.
Religion frustrates me.
I do not believe in religion and I am not a subscriber to religion. That does not mean that I do not have faith; on the contrary. I believe in a God who totally and completely loves me, despite all of my shortcomings, despite my lack of trust, despite my UNBELIEF. Despite my depression.
Wait a minute. What? Despite my unbelief? Thats right. God does not love me because I believe in Him, He loves me DESPITE my non-belief in Him. So even when I trample all of my so-called faith in the mud, and throw my beliefs out the window, God still loves me the same. His love for me is not based on my actions, it is based on His character.
Basically what I am trying to say, is that like it or not and BELIEVE it or not, there is a God out there who loves you with a passion that burns brighter than any fire that has ever been kindled in the history of mankind. His love for you runs deeper than the deepest ocean, and stretches further than a circle. God is incomprehensible, and His love for humans is the same.
To me, Easter is not about the candy, or the food, or even the family. It is about bowing my head and even for just a minute, being grateful from the bottom of my heart that I have been set free by the love of the Almighty. Death has been defeated. Depression has been defeated.
You are loved, believe it or not.
I took a walk with my little brother Matt today. I am constantly amazed at how creative and talented he is at such a young age. He is a simmering pot of potential, just waiting to be put to some serious heat. His mind works so quickly, and he is so young. I was showing him how to work my camera, and telling him about different photographic techniques to create artistic images, such as backlighting, underexposure, etc., and he picked up on them and was composing images way beyond his years in a matter of an hour.
I am greatly looking forward to seeing how his artistic journey pans out. I believe that he will do great things.
I ran 14.09 miles today!!! I'm so excited, sorry. Anyways, these were shot at different times during the run on my iPhone. Wonderfully beautiful night!! I am a blessed man to live in such a rich country. :)
I shot these photos about 2 years ago atop the Blue Ridge Mountains while on the way to visit friends in Lynchburg, VA. I can vividly remember the brilliant afternoon sun pouring down onto the road and reflecting through the ice. It was one if those times where you can see the dust slowly floating through the air because the backlighting is so strong. Even though I was on a time schedule, I carved out time to make a pitstop and drive down the parkway. I love the rolling green countryside of Virginia, it is certainly near the top of my list for most beautiful locations.
Images to me are a chance to relive the past. I am so invested in every picture that I take, that when I look back through old albums, I can remember most of the times that I released the shutter. The smells, the lighting, the weather- all of it. Pictures to me are more than just a frozen memory in a frame; they are a documentation that will forever live free within my mind.
Looking through these old pictures taken when I was just discovering my passion for photography, has reminded me of why I am pursuing this ragged dream, and just how far I have come in the pursuit of such. I hope that someday I can look back at the work that I am currently putting out and feel the same way.
I fondly remember this photoshoot on a cold night in early spring. I think I stayed on location until about 2am, shooting photos on my first Pentax with a circa 1970 70-200 mammoth of a lens. To this day, I still love that lens and occasionally shoot with it. I have found, that with older lenses, the imperfections and malfunctions make them more valuable at times than a lens that costs half of my years earnings. It is times like these, that I can smile at while remembering, that fuel my drive and ambition to be all that I can be, and not give up on my passions or my dreams.
The next few images I am going to post I thought had long since been lost. I had a malfunction with a hard drive a few years back, and lost many pictures. However, I just stumbled across a stash of them! Christmas came early! It's 2am, and I am still going through them. :)
For me, photography is more than simply capturing images. Photography has become, and is becoming more of a lifestyle. It is not simply an act. Photography changes how I see the world. It changes how I relate to people. Photography has taken me around the world and way outside of my comfort zone. I have shot images on the sly from the hip in the middle east, where I was not supposed to shoot photos. It has brought me into new friendships, and allowed me to relate to people whom previously I could not relate to. It has opened up my eyes to the hurt and pain in the world and changed my perspective on so many subjects that I have lost count. I am gaining the ability to put myself in other peoples shoes. To feel what they feel, understand their point of view, and not to pass judgment. Why has photography changed me so? Because I have become an observer of the world around me. I walk through life in a perpetual state of artistic expression. I have begun to notice the details and to appreciate them; even if they are not that pretty.
I had the distinct pleasure of photographing the beautiful Christina. The sun was just setting when I arrived on location, and created that ambient and BEAUTIFUL backlighting that I have grown to appreciate so much. The breeze was blowing lightly with the scent of spring. Blessed and overdue spring. This winter has been a long one, which makes my excitement and anticipation of warmer weather that much more frantic. I have not had an actual summer to enjoy in I do not remember how long. Last year I was in the beautiful (sarcastic) middle east basking in the 150 degree HUMID warmth. Basically it was miserable. And the year before that I drew caricatures all summer. The only enjoyment I obtained that year was caught in-between the snarls of customers who were overstimulated with caffeine and roller coasters. I am hoping that this summer is packed full of photo shoots and adventures! Come what may, I plan to photograph it all and then some! Enjoy the images for now! :)