Catching Up With Your Creative Ambition


I found this great video when Conor McClure shared it earlier this week.

Daniel created a video accompaniment to a section of an interview with Ira Glass about the frustration of being in the place as a creative person where you have good taste, but aren't really satisfied with the quality of the stuff you're producing.

What a strange place to be. Understanding the difference between the good and the mediocre but not being able to push through. Here's Ira's advice-

You gotta know, the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work...It's only by actually going through a volume of work that you're going to catch up and close that gap and the work you're making is going to reach those ambitions.

I've found this to be the case in so many creative endeavors over the years. Whether it's photography, songwriting, playing an instrument or graphic design, the same rule applies. You'll know what exceptional looks (or sounds) like long before you can pull it off. As much as it sounds cheesy, there really is something to the phrase, "Fake it 'till you make it".

By trying over and over again to make the thing that you can already feel inside of you, eventually it stops being fake.


Adding Something New to the World


The world built by the Internet is one of convenience. Buy anything without leaving your house. All knowledge is nearby and that’s a lot of knowledge, but don’t worry, everyone is pre-chewing it for you and sharing it in every way possible. They’re sharing that and other interesting moments all day and you’re beginning to believe that these shared moments are close to disposable because you are flooded with them.

You’re fucking swimming in everyone else’s moments, likes, and tweets and during these moments of consumption you are coming to believe that their brief interestingness to others makes it somehow relevant to you and worth your time.


This is not a reminder to over-analyze each moment and make them count. This is a reminder not to let a digital world full of others’ moments deceive you into devaluing your own. Their moments are infinite – yours are finite, too, and precious – and this New Year I’m wondering how much we want to create versus consume.

I need to hear this. I've been thinking about the balance of consuming information vs creation and Rands nailed it.


90 Percent of Everything is Crap

Jim Goldstein, on being picky about what you put out there-

No critic can be harsher about your work than you. The tougher and pickier you become the better the odds the work you show will be your best. Personally I think 98% of what I have in my library is “crap”. I find I sit and stew on my work more than ever.

Every person I talk to who is just getting started hears this from me," Be ruthless when editing photos."

I stole this post from my other site Because Jim's post was so good it deserves a couple links.

Pre-Distressed Photos


Great article today by Randall Armor on PetaPixel entitled Who’s Your Dada? This isn't just another stupid Instagram rant He makes the comparison of photo filters to pre-distressed jeans.

Jeans used to be a journey, not a destination; a promise, not a product. In the way they shrank, faded, and eventually ripped and disintegrated, they reflected the accumulation of our life’s adventures, our authentic experience.

But like so much else in our post-modern smorgasbord of infinite choice and empty meaning, fashion jeans have traded the journey for the destination, the promise for the product. We want our jeans, and perhaps by extension ourselves, to look like they’ve been somewhere without the inconvenience of actually having to go there. We want them to look that way NOW and at whatever cost. With our fashion jeans, we are buying our own back story.

That’s how I have always regarded the manufactured character of Instagram and its kissin’ cousins. Authenticity seems to have become aspirational instead of just a state of being that exists for no other reason than that it can’t exist any other way. Sound familiar?

I'm not against Instagram and other photo apps of its kind, but I do intentionally avoid trying to make a photo appear to be aged when it's brand new. I'm not a fan of fake light leaks on digital photos or the yellowing that comes from years of chemical breakdown creeping into photos of something that happened last week.

I started shooting with film again this week. I'm anxious to see how they turn out, but a large part of the excitement has to do with the process. There's something different about loading the film into the back of a camera and winding each frame forward. Choosing aperture and shutter speed with a chart or a meter. There is an intentionality and an unknown about the process that you can see in the prints. But you see, that's just it. These prints are the result of this process.

I prefer that photos retain the character of the camera and process that produced them. l have to also mention that I do use Instagram and VSCOCam and need to ask you to overlook the occasional slip up if you catch me posting a photo that looks a little too pre-distressed...