Day 141 of 365

The best tool for learning anything. 

 

We’re obsessed with endings in the American culture.

From the time we start school we are rewarded with endings and we’re measured by analytics.  

If you’re good for the week you get a candy, good for the month a pizza party, good for the semester a field trip, and good for the year move onto the next grade with honors.

The issue with this is it leaves us feeling unsatisfied when the benchmarks in our life are planned out by someone else, and then there is no one there to give a jolly rancher when we get there.

 

I don’t think accomplishments are endings contrary to everything I have ever learned in school.

I didn’t start photography to be anything, to win anything to accomplish anything other than having the memories saved so I could revisit my first study abroad experience.

What I found was that once I learned how to change the settings on my camera I became obsessed at bringing it with me on all of my walks around Sydney.

I was taking photos almost everyday and bring my camera with me to the bars on weekends.

I saw that sending my friends made them happy and it made me happy as well.
It was addicting and I quickly became obsessed.

 

Flash forward to today I still don’t think there is a final destination I want to reach in photography.  Yeah I would love more money and more trips but even if I made 20 million dollars next year I wouldn’t retire from taking photos go to a resort and be a gluttonous pig for the rest of my life.

I’d wake up not have to worry about money and I’d walk around and shoot for hours on end.

That’s what makes me happy in life.

I think a lot of people obsess over that ending and that level of achievement because it is what we are told that we need to do as we get older.  I think what we’ll find is that the people that can achieve that 20 million dollar dream life will get into retirement only to be bored because of how obsessed they were with the process for so many years.
Yeah the ending and achievement model might work for some people but it does not work for me.

I need to lose myself in a process consistently.

What is your process?

Day 140 of 365

The past few weeks have been absolute insanity but I am still writing every morning and shooting everyday.  Even if it is just for a little bit.  This past weekend I went to Colorado with a few friends to enjoy the weekend off and shoot around the big ski resorts, Breckinridge, Vail, Keystone and a few others.  Although time was limited I had a blast I didn't feel any pressure and I just took it very easy really taking in the scenery rather than forcing myself to make it into photos.  It was a nice step away from the city this weekend to be surrounded by Mountains instead of sky scrapers was an absolute treat. 

 

Day 139 of 365

Over the past two days I haven't had my camera on me.  I have been going to meetings, trade shows, and classes as well as trying to figure out client schedules and move into a new apartment.  Life is hectic but life is good.  There is something I thoroughly enjoy about not getting to eat dinner till 11 o'clock because I've been working on all day on things I love. 

Today I finally brought my camera with me to shoot in between classes.  

Day 138 of 365

Rushing around like a mad man yesterday I didn't bring my camera with me.  Immediately regretted that decision in with the lack of time that I had.  I would have been able to take the photos I saw unfolding in front of my eyes with my actual camera much faster than I could have with my iphone.  It's easier to keep your camera on and just pic it up and shoot rather than reopen your phone get the camera on and then by that time you've missed the shot.  Not to mention the shutter is too slow to just point and shoot at a moving target especially while your moving as well.  Iphones are still amazing cameras though, I have the 7plus and I find it really useful for more set up photos, still poses and photographing still objects.  I'm sure you can use it for action shots on a bright sunny day but  in the grey winters of New England that's not so easy to come by.  Until then here are some photos I have taken this year with my iphone.  

Day 137 of 365

Early mornings.  Since January started I stopped drinking for the month and I figured waking up would be easier than ever.  For the past two years I have been waking up around 5:30 most mornings.  That was not the case this month.  I stopped using my alarm clock and naturally my body fell into an 8 hour trap and I have felt nothing but groggy.  Finally I turned my old fashion alarm clock back on.....not my cellphone which can't wake me up for anything.  My alarm clock works damn well and days are feeling much longer again waking up at 6am for the past few days.  I've noticed that when I wake up early I almost always feel happy once I've gotten started.  Productivity is like a drug and if there is one action that has been the biggest catalyst in any productivity I have ever had it is waking up early.  Although it sounds miserable it is an amazing feeling, and it gets easier with each day.  I hope someone who wants to be more productive gives this a try. 

Featured below sunrise at Mts. 

Why I write.

Day 136 of 365

It's almost not English...It can't be.  These are just the vessels to help me understand the stories firing between my body and my brain.  Rather it feels as if my brain and itself are having 3 separate dialogs and I am somewhere stuck in the middle.  The first dialog, my head, always arguing for the sensible, just, and right things to do.  Secondly my brain in it's most primitive form craves in excess all of my vices. (Sex, Alcohol, fatty foods, sloth)  Lastly my conscious mind is the great mediator in between these 2 opposing views.  I write to make sense of these conflicts of interests.  It's like the devil and the angel on our shoulders but less religious.  It's a feeling, a theme that transcends religion and language, and I believe it is a universal feeling. (Temptation, and Discipline.) It's what binds us together as humans, commonalities and how we most often express those commonalities is through language.  Feels good to me when someone can relate to a feeling I've had that we often don't speak of out of fear of shattering our egos or the way people view us.  Makes me realize how lucky I truly am. 

Featured below. 

@MegMorelli_

What are your excuses.

DAY 135 of 365

Even on the days when I don't have time to take photos I try to take them in passing between subway stops and meetings.  I haven't been shooting as much as I'd like to this winter and that is why I love NYC so much.  Your forced to be outside on your way to work, school, etc. 

It allows for anyone with a camera of any kind to have no excuse not to at least make a few photos a day. 

I have been using the cold as an excuse not to shoot all winter.  The truth is that's a bullshit lie I've been telling myself so I don't feel bad about not producing work.  If no one wants to shoot outside it's up to myself to either get a studio or get busy getting cold.  So far it has been the later. 

What excuses are you telling yourself to avoid doing what you need to do?  Odds are there are few excuses worthy of stopping you.  

To do List

Day 134 of 365

The day isn't over until all of your daily goals are crossed off of your list.

Until then there is no sleep.

 

MLK Day

Day 133 of 365

I think when your young most people think fame is really important and they go about it in a way that has no meaning, no value and no fulfillment in mind.  I know that I once dreamed of being famous but it was never a main goal of mine.  I've been consumed by smaller tasks and daily goals.  With it being MLK day it made me think about the people I most admire in my life and in history.  Harriet Tubman is my favorite historical figure having saved hundreds of lives all while being a black women in the most oppressive time in American history.  Not to mention she even fought for the American Army. What makes her as well as Martin Luther King jr. an inspiration to me were their abilities to act on their values and to never waver.  This is what makes someone unforgettable in life and death, a purpose so strong they are willing to die protecting it.  I think fame is a vane goal unless it has a purpose to serve.  If someone gave you fame or a million dollars today, what would you do with it? Would you use it for good or waste it? 

The best things in life are free.

Day 132 of 365

Don't get me wrong I love a jetski just as much as the next guy but the more I age the more I realize that things like community, family, loyalty, honesty and trust make me feel the most fulfilled.  Even through little arguments, fights, and disagreements I know my brothers and my mother will always be there for me and I for them.  It's a great feeling to feel how much someone has your back but it's a better feeling when they know that you have there just as much.  Beyond this the honesty of my family and closest friends is what keeps me progressing.  Especially the honest opinions you don't want to hear, those are the most important.  They level us, let us know that how we perceive something is not the way the way everyone else may be perceiving it.  Honesty may feel harsh at first if it's coming at you but it's a quick pinch with a ton of long term benefits.  On the opposite end it is easy to be charmed by dishonesty, by hearing everything you want to hear, does everything that someone says always sound way too perfect?  Yeah those people usually are there to get something out of your relationship.  It's easy to be fooled by this, I have in the past.  It's like someone offering you brussel sprouts or a bag of Doritos.  The later taste so damn good but will make you fat in the end where as the first tastes bitter but will only boost your energy and your health.  Choose the Brussel sprout.  Send love to your family and friends and every once in a while ask them for their honesty.  

Day 131 of 365

If good mournings could find me always.  Fresh head focused, driven, but I'd be lying if I said that happiness was the only emotion I desired.  A good cry before sleep always helped to rid the days heart break.  Like a shower before bed to ensure the rust on me wouldn't stain the sheets.  I'd wake clean, to better mornings just happy that I could see the light one more time. 

Day 130 of 365

 

 

 Foggy wet morning for a couch surfer.  Full belly always from whatever local allows me to eat without building dish castles in their sink.  I haven't been hungry in some time now.  A river kid at heart, east not the Hudson.  An underdog body of water. I'd always flourished from the struggle but I'm addicted to being spoiled. 

Day 129 of 365

More Lightroom Mobile Edits. 

Really enjoying the process of learning how to edit on something new and I am still blown away by how much faster it is than editing on a computer.  Excited to put this to use over the next month.  

Here are some photos from Alaska in August 2017 edited this afternoon. 

Day 128 of 365

What can I learn today.  Somewhere in the past year I stopped asking myself that question and it has done me a major disservice.  I got comfortable forgetting how little I know.  So today I took an hour to dig into some lightroom mobile a new extension of an editing software I already use.  I am more of a photoshop guy but it is very slow and argues editing tool so wherever I can save time is a massive advantage.  Why not just switch to lightroom.... Well my main issue with lightroom is that I am a big color manipulator and when I manipulate the color green in the trees to be more of a burnt brown it will also change all the other greens in the photo.  Meaning a green car will turn burnt brown and I hate that.  I feel like that is a very "instagrammy" style where you see the entire feed having all the same colors.  That doesn't work so well with products which is what I have been photographing the past couple years.  It also doesn't work well with skin tones either but none the less it is a very popular look.  I prefer to keep certain colors as is especially if they serve a purpose in the photo ex. a red shoe.  My other major issue with lightroom is that when I get an edit to look finished on my desktop and then send it to my phone it never looks quite right...but when I edit in photoshop then send to my phone it looks the same.  Finally to my point I gave lightroom mobile a try and the absolute best part, is that the edit looks exactly the same because its on your god damn phone... 

I don't know what causes the disconnect between computer to cellphone or from lightroom to my phone but it is rather annoying.  I think with that being said mobile editing is the way of the future so I decided to stop avoiding it and if it can save me time and allow me to edit while traveling I will hopefully end up loving Lightroom Mobile. 

Sample photos below. 

Day 127 of 365

Mourning Pages

I’m a rush writer after exciting times I smile

receiving love through emails 

I’d embrace these new challenges 

the only way I’d escaped depression before was to listen and reach out to new people.

What could a different person hold 

New perspective, sometimes.

Mainly different life styles, 

a chance to head in the opposite direction, for me,

but for you 

you’re on my path following 

That is the easiest way to get lost

following someone you can’t keep up with. 

 

Day 126 of 365

Any excuse to take photos.  Even if it's not your favorite subject.  You must be obsessed with the process of creating. 

Day 125 of 365

What you don't see. 

I often here people tell me they wish they had my job.  I wouldn't call it a job at all its more of an obsession, a fun one.  A narcissistic one.  A dance with subjects.  What you don't see are the hours of researching, learning, editing, attempting to shoot but getting destroyed by the weather, and the frustrating days where you come back empty handed.  The highs are really high in any creative medium but the lows can be tough as well.  With that being said I wouldn't even begin to compare my lows to that of someone with a 9 to 5.  I wake up write, shoot, post, and send emails nothing crazy just consistent.  When it was warmer I'd wake up extra early to hit the local skatepark.  Felt pretty crazy being able to skate everyday, as if I was fulfilling some sort of childhood dream and it made me very happy.  There are tough days though and today was one of those days but it was fun.  Trying to see familiar places in new ways and just get back to the basics.  Having fun taking pictures.  Pressure can ruin a lot.  Im trying to work through it and continue to be a student. 

Day 123 of 365

Community. 

Often I talk about the importance of community but I never really touch on the actual size of a community.  I don't think people realize how simple it is to propose collaborations over the internet.  If you have people in your area or in areas you are going to visit you should always reach out and try to work together. These Collaborations can and will lead to more serious work and if nothing else a fun day or a lasting friendship.  The photos featured below were taken by my friend Beth an extremely talented photographer that I met while studying abroad in Australia. 

Each time I visit cali I make it a point to visit here and grab lunch, take photos or just catch up.  Along with being a good friend she has introduced me to several creatives in NYC and LA.  A little friendship goes a long way.  Don't seek people in order to gain from them seek people in order to give and connect.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  A closed mouth doesn't get fed and this is a sure fire way to never become a part of a small community.  

 

Happy Holidays 

Atticus. 

 

Day 122 of 365

Icy day in New England. 

Wolcott, Ct

There is beauty in everything if you chose to look for it.  There's also a lot of shit if you look even harder.  Don't look to hard.