29 December, 2013

Nine Secrets (25 Hours of Camaraderie, Part 3.5)

Hi, y'all. I hope you've been enjoying "25 Hours of Camaraderie" so far. I decided to break from the plan, today, so that I could open my heart to you, and ask you to help me to keep producing my best work.

First secret:
Writing these blog posts takes a whole bunch of time. I write from the heart, and each post is lovingly hand-crafted. Even in the case of the 25 Hours of Camaraderie sequence, where I already have the image set narrowed down (to ~100 images, from the 3,200 I shot at the race), it's still taking me between 6 and 10 hours to produce every single post. So for this 6-post sequence, I'm planning to spend 36 to 60 hours doing final selections, retouching, writing, editing, and publishing. And that's not counting the tens of hours I spent doing the initial image classification.
Second secret:
Photography, for me, is equal parts love and obsession. To quote noted photographer Alfred Stieglitz, "Photography is my passion. The search for truth, my obsession." Mine as well.

I love witnessing and experiencing things. I also love sharing the things I have the good fortune to witness. I feel like there's a lot of stuff out there that people will want to remember, and my goal is to capture those moments, truthfully, so that when people try to remember, they will have a record.
Three:
I love learning. My favorite kind of adventure is one where I jump in, camera in hand, completely confused and struggling to stay afloat. If I can manage to stick it out, learn some things, and end up better prepared for the next time, that's a leap of faith that was worth taking.
Four:
I love teaching. One of my favorite things about photography is that it lets me bring you along for the adventure. I can present things to you, focus your attention, and share with you the way that I see the world. I love to spot the humanity in all of my adventures, and I love to share that as well. I feel like there's always something to appreciate in every new activity, and I strive to produce work that anyone can appreciate, even if the subject is something you wouldn't normally pay attention to.
Five:
I feel like there is beauty all around us, all of the time. Even though we might not stop to appreciate it, it's still there. Even at times when it doesn't feel like there's much to appreciate at all, it's still there. My goal is to see and to capture a glimpse of the everyday beauty that we might overlook in our lives. A touch. A glance. A smile. A moment that is so simple, but that means so much.

To borrow a quotation from someone simply called levelbest:
"It is not my job to create beauty. It is my job to witness it, to frame it, and tell the story of it. Even in tragedy there is a glimpse of humanity, just as at night there is a promise of the dawn."
Six:
One of my favorite things to do is to make big, beautiful prints of the images that I capture.
Seven:
I love knowing that you appreciate the work I do, the time I invest, and the content that I produce. I would love to have closer contact with the people who enjoy this blog, and I would love to empower you to help shape where this blog goes in the future.
Eight:
Every year, I shoot thousands and thousands of images that I would love to publish, but I don't. One of the realities of running a focused publication is that there's a lot of deserving content that never sees the light of day. Every image in this post is part of that set. If you'd like to see more of these images, then please consider the following…
Nine:
I would love for you to consider supporting me on Patreon. Patreon is a site that enables you to sponsor the posts that I create, starting at $1 per post. I really like that model, since it lets you have a direct impact on the frequency, quality, and audacity of my work.
For instance:
  • it lets me know that you care about my work, which helps motivate me to keep shooting and keep writing when I'm feeling uninspired.
  • it contributes funds toward my photo business, which helps me to take care of my equipment, and sometimes to speculatively print images.
  • it allows me to share extra images that will never be on the blog with the people who are supporting my work.
  • it gives me a place to share blog ideas, and get feedback, suggestions, critiques, etc. Essentially, it helps me enable you to put your stamp on the blog.
Again, I love what I do, but I would also love to have your camaraderie and support as well. Please consider putting one dollar per post toward my work, so that I can continue to write and produce informative, truthful, heartfelt, high-quality photo essays for everyone to enjoy.

And for folks worried about me posting up a storm, fear not. It's really easy to set a monthly cap, so that you're always in control.

Regardless of whether you choose to help, or whether you decide that now isn't the right time, thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
The full 25 Hours of Camaraderie sequence:

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