Those Who Eventually Find The Magic

 

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.

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Those Who Eventually Find The Magic

Marks

conquer

I don’t have a photo for this. I don’t think there’s one in my library or my queue, or buried somewhere in my phone storage that could properly do this justice.

Over the weekend, a particular article on my Flipboard caught my attention – a piece titled something to the effect of “Popular Instagram Photographer Dies In Subway Stunt Gone Wrong”. Something like that. Of course, I clicked the link and ended up giving the story a quick read.

The Instagrammer’s name was Christopher Serrano – known to most of his fans and followers as Heavy_Minds. The username sounded familiar for some reason, so I opened up my Instagram app and found out that I was actually already following him.

And then I opened his page, and realized just how terrible I was with names.

The guy was one of the first people I followed, back when I had just decided to change my Instagram from a private to a public account. He was part of that initial wave of gimme follows – the stream of likes and follows you send out on your Explore page to get your feelers out there, and maybe get a few follows back out of it. But the images that kept popping up on my feed since then were distinct – daring. I never really spent too much time on the page itself, but I’d always linger for a little bit longer over these insane shots that just had to involve hands and limbs dangling off buildings – these absolutely breathtaking views of a camera hanging obscenely high, looking down on different parts of the New York skyline. It was something completely just not in my vein of photography. I take shots of people, nature, abandoned places – never would I find myself scaling buildings that are giants to the flecks of dust going about their business in the urban sprawl below. The pulse – the excitement was palpable, even through the tiny screen I held in my hand.

The realization that the person behind those photos is gone gave me a bit of pause, sitting there in an Edison pizzeria, otherwise having an okay day.

I know right away what my father would tell me about the matter. 25 years is a life cut short by any measure of the imagination, but my old man has always been a big believer in your passions measuring the richness of your life. If this photographer spent his time chasing what he loved, the circumstances of death just don’t matter. The life was one well-lived, and should be celebrated without a doubt.

Other people in my life would argue differently – that passions are important, but so is your place in the living world. That with people connected and counting on and loving you, you can’t afford to just throw caution to the wind in the pursuit of what you want. You can chase your passions, but to a certain limit.

As for me, I don’t know what to think. Yes, life is important, but one small twitch on your thread, and it’s over, just like that. One small slip in the world, and everything can change – for you, for the people connected to you, for people you may not even have met yet. Why not spend your time taking the world by the shoulders and taking everything you want out of it while you can?

But the fear, and the weight, and the connections, and the links are still there. We don’t have nothing to lose, and that will always be on the table. How do you just let go and live like that?

Can anyone step out of their body at 25 years, look back, and say “This was worth it all?”.

The most any of us can do is live to the best we can. Take the moments – take what we can – and keep them close. Close as memory. I want to believe that the key to life is conquering the moment – not letting yourself be drawn into the sway – swept along in the tide.

Of course, that’s always been easy to say.

Stay strong. And to all those mourning Serrano’s death or celebrating his life, my thoughts are out there with you too.

Marks