Adventure: Latest Fun

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Just finished responding to a YouTube comment. I wrote that I spent far too much of my life doing nothing other than photography. Far too much. I left behind so much of who I was, and after a twenty-five-year hiatus, I’m back to doing many of the things I was doing before and am also branching out into as many new things as possible.

Maybe the possession was a good thing, at the beginning, but it wasn’t the further down the rabbit hole I went. My knowledge base got smaller and my ability to connect the dots of life began to falter. It took a clean break, going cold turkey, to pull back on the stick and aim for the sky. Now, photography fits a small but strategic function in my life but never again will it be the main focus, even if I’m working on a project.

Ride with wifey poo poo. She drafted off me the entire time.

The rest of my life, the clutter around the edges, has begun to take on new meaning. Hike, ride, climb, paddle, fish, draw, play, etc. I’ll never be great at any of these things but I know that going in. It doesn’t matter. It’s the idea followed by action that counts. Many of my best ideas come from being on the bike, or when I’m flyfishing. I can disappear into my own thoughts, ask those odd questions, and see the three-dimensional aspects of a project on my internal head’s up display.

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  1. Dan – Good on ya for letting Wifey draft off you. Just don’t forget to call out the coyote poo and dead snakes on the road for her.

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  2. Until last autumn I was riding 1000+kms a month no matter what. This went on for 4 years or so then on one ride I just sat down at the top of a climb and wondered what the hell I was doing. I’ve since eased off on the cycling (still doing 600kms or so per month) but now include hiking and walking. Slowing down is better and as you say life is far more balanced nowadays.

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      Ah, the quantification of life. I am about to do something on my podcast about this. It’s an odd thing, and often it does get over on us. I think it can go back to yoga. Once you start down the mental rabbit hole many things like quantification fall in relevance. I had a call the other day with another cyclist. “What’s your average power?” he asked. “No idea.” “You don’t have a power meter?” “No.” “What’s your average pace on a typical ride?” “No idea.” This went on and on. Then it was “What are you running on your rear cassette?” “No idea.” “Wait, you’ve had that bike for ten years and you don’t know your gearing?” “Nope.” “I just point it and pedal.”

  3. You say “never again will it be the main focus”. If nothing else, great pun.

    I realize that not everyone will agree with this as there are different styles of photography but, for my purposes, I am starting to understand that photography is always about something else. A photograph is of something seen while doing something and it is the doing that got me out there in the first place… even if the “doing” is simply thinking while going for a walk.

    Every once in a while, I find that photography itself has somehow become the goal. This usually means that I am trying/pushing too hard, the images won’t be meaningful (to me), and I am probably out of balance. Photography definitely helps me see the world differently (in a good way). But, yes, I hope to allow my other interests become the main focus, to develop new interests, and let the photographs come as they may.

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      I guess it depends. If you are singularly focused on making work, or telling a story, and that is what you do then photography is a different animal altogether. But, if you are just interested in photography and it takes on the “I need to make something to show other people,” this is where things can go sideways a bit.

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