What It Means to be Human

 An often overlooked flaw that many artists - deceased and living - have in common is to go through their life creating art just for the fun of it. While there is no inherent harm in enjoying the process of art, I feel that if one is going to dedicate his/her life to producing art, then (s)he will have more purposeful endeavors if (s)he has a penultimate and overarching goal. Whether that goal is a question, idea, belief, or any other type of message is totally dependent on the artist's preference.
 I am currently in the middle of the tedious process of college applications, an activity that causes one to reflect on their past, present, and future life. A midst this weighty task, I have been scavenging the depths of my mind to really ask myself what I am trying to accomplish through my photographic endeavors. As foolish as it may seem, I honestly have never just sat down and asked myself that dreaded question, until now. As I was going through some of my favorite images, I began to see an underlying theme: There was a person in the majority of my most prized photographs. And that's when it struck me; I really enjoy taking pictures of people! Shortly after I realized my favorite subject to photograph, I began to ponder how I could incorporate people into the question that I will try to answer through my photography. And then the idea struck me: I will answer the question of: "What does it mean to be human?" through my photography. While I do not yet have a response to said question, I am striving to answer that inquiry- one photo at a time. By documenting the entire emotional hue of humanity - from the darkest moments, to the brightest triumphs - I will start to piece together and elucidate the answer to my question.



Portraiture: Capture the Essence

     When I take a portrait of somebody, my goal is to portray their traits through my images. I want the viewer of my images to feel acquainted with the person in the photograph. To create such a direct connection between the viewer of the photo with the subject of the photo is quite rare, but that is what I strive for when I am taking portraits. 

Here are some portraits that I have taken over the past couple months. 


Amidst the Heat

"[Fire's] real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences.  A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it.  Now, Montag, you're a burden.  And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later." -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451.


The Subconscious & Civilization

     "It is a profoundly erroneous truism that we should cultivate the habit of thinking what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them." - Alfred Whitehead

     This idea of our subconscious controlling our actions has magnanimous implications, especially for the art world. Often we hear artists describe their process of creating an art piece as such: "I didn't even know what I was doing!" or "I had no end goal; I just watched the canvas, and eventually there was something beautiful upon it."

     Similarly, this concept emerges as we look back through history at some scientific discoveries that were found by accident(In other words, the scientist didn't originally intend to invent what he invented.) Examples include: penicillin, Viagra, dynamite, and many others.


Veil of Separation

A man confronts the veil of separation between the kid's world and the adult world. In the former, a pungent array of hues soaks the canvas of life. In the world of grown-ups, monochromatic drear envelopes every last pigment.


Light Painting with Friends

Slack-Lining Culture: Ripples

I view myself as a visual anthropologist. With that in mind, my job is to visually document and record the progression of humanity. If ripples are forming in the wave of a sub-culture, then the Visual Anthropologist must prepare for the wave to break and document its coming and going. I believe that the ripples of the slack-lining culture are forming in SoCal.

Slack-Lining at Its Finest.

Shot at 18mm, ISO 200, 1/1000sec. @ f/6.3

Carpinteria State Beach. We spent many summer mornings balancing on these slack-lines. One must reach a mental state somewhat similar to nirvana to become skillful at this activity. A distraction-free climate like the beach -with waves gently caressing the seashore - cultivates the concentration one needs in order to master the art of slack-lining.