DSLRguide has been one of my favorite channels since I started messing around in YouTube. Back to front, you can really see the progression of his work as he’s continued to put content out there. He shoots a lot of his material with an entry level Canon T3i, and still comes away with some beautifully constructed and graded videos.
It’s not just the visual element I’m into, though. Most of his videos take an almost blog-like format, not a vlog as people know vlogs to be today, but more of an essay-like style, where he starts with an idea and tailors the entire video to explain it. The material ranges anywhere from How To Edit Videos (for Beginners) to not as simple as ‘follow your dreams’, and the variance is great – it means that I can keep coming back to this channel whether I want to pick up some new tricks or not. But he posted a great video recently on the struggle of inspiration and how artists constructively use discontentment to reach the gem in the rough. I’ve gone ahead and shared it above so you guys can give it a watch yourself if you like.
I feel as though artists and people living and working in creative circles definitely do have this funny relationship with discontentment. I think it’s important to step back from your work once in a while, take a look at what you’ve finished, and be happy with what you created. This end product – this poem, this video, this picture, this story – that’s you, condensed into a form outside yourself, rife with the emotion you carried through the process of creating, and here for posterity now. You made this. Be proud. But at the same time, that voice inside that demands that we express ourselves somehow almost necessitates that we not stay too long in that state of contentment – that we need to get out there and start making our next big thing. That we tear down our monuments and build something finer. That we shred stories because we can do it better this time.
It’s this beautiful vicious circle that leads you to better things if you choose to ride those waves instead of getting washed along with the tide.
So yeah. Do it.
…and I get it, but it still sounds kind of gross sometimes.
Why am I thinking about creamy paper? Well, I started journaling in earnest the other day, despite what I said in this post from August of last year. Maybe I’m just in a different head space now. I don’t know. I talked a lot about how there was so much minutia that I’d have to lay out on a page – that I’d just end up boring myself over the sheer amount of nothing I’d be committing to what’s basically now written history. But I’m reading that now and thinking about how much we forget with every day.
As human beings, we’re all, at least, acutely aware of the fact that we don’t retain everything. But if you sit back and think about the sheer amount of dust that’s piled away in that head of yours, it’s all a little bit staggering. And I sort of rage against that aspect of, well, being, by making videos – committing certain memories into visual containers, and stringing them together into projects that I want to share with people.
But you can’t save everything. And the amount of video it would take to even try would be exhausting. Hell, just look at vloggers dropping in and out of the Youtube game nowadays.
I think my problem was that I was thinking of a handwritten journal as something for posterity outside of myself first and foremost. And while I do think it’s true that all writers write with even a subconscious want for someone to read their work outside of themselves, I’m thinking more and more recently that I do want to do this for me.
Thoughts on their own just kind of vanish into the ether after they’re had – regardless of the context, emotion, or weight behind their conception. Yeah, I can’t save them all, but I can save some. There’s something comforting – almost meditative about putting them down in this little black (fourteenfuckingdollar) Moleskine I carry around with me.
It’s been exactly a week since I hiked the Stairway to Heaven in Vernon, NJ. I’ve got a mess of footage backlogged on my computer, and I’m still not completely sure what kind of video I want to come out of it.
On the other hand, it’s been about a month since the FOMO video came out.
I keep going back to the process of making that video in my head. It was this structured (though completely chaotic) process that saw me with a script in my hand, a rough shot sheet laid out, and a somewhat cohesive end product when all was said and done. Before that point, my actual method for shooting a video was just to have a camera on me while I was doing fun things – the video would show itself as long as I had enough footage.
And I feel like I shot lots on top of that mountain in Vernon. The clips I’m trying to string together definitely feel the way I felt while I was up there, if that makes any sense at all. But I guess I sort of miss the clear direction that working on FOMO had me create.
I feel as though I’ve got to keep the quality of the content I produce for the channel moving constantly up, all while juggling this drive I’ve got to just put stuff out there – to have something to show for all this time I’ve got on my hands now.
It was a bit of a weird stretch last week – the weather got flat out wonky on us out of nowhere, and we ended up getting a downright decent, warm spring day sitting right next to school cancellations and a few inches of snow.
So I figured I’d make a video out of it.
It was fun, actually – ended up sticking a little closer to home with the places I chose to shoot. Back when I was first starting out, I had this weird idea in my head that if I went someplace a little more grandiose – a city, or some place maybe more visually interesting than a quiet little suburb stopover in New Jersey – my shots wouldn’t be able to do the place justice. I think it’s a bit of a silly way to look at photography now, but it’s what kept me wandering around my hometown when I was still figuring out my camera – shooting almost exclusively in patches of woods by the roadside, old rail lines, scenic local ponds…
…it’s a vibe I feel like I got back to a little bit with this little edit…vlog….thing. But less because I’m skeevy about shooting in busier spots, and more because I like capturing the little bits of charm that shine through the cracks in this little town – bits that sometimes, you don’t even need to take a car too.
Anyways, here’s the latest upload on the Fernway Films Youtube channel. Hope you like it. 🙂
A big part of getting into photography, I think, is understanding the weight behind a moment. Not just the moments where you’re staring out at something that just demands to be shot, edited, and retained, but the quieter moments where your camera’s sitting on the bedside stand instead of securely around your neck. Where you’re going on your third hour in bed on a lazy evening with your girlfriend, and she’s giggling and getting quietly exasperated at the bottle flip game on your phone she can’t seem to get more than three points on.
You’re not always going to be able to catch that kind of moment of your camera. A photograph’s probably going to be the last thing on your mind in that instant. But if you can sort of grasp the kind of weight behind all time, all space, all memory – from the luckiest moments we burn into an SD card at the push of a button, to the simplest things that we don’t – I think that maybe, just maybe, you’d be good at this.