What Gets me Through

These are not great images but they are what gets me through. Always moving here and there. I need an outlet for the constant pull of the viewfinder. Like a sketch book, things to remember for later, or a list of visual notes. I snap here. I snap there. I don’t proclaim these as anything, other than necessary, and perhaps one day their addition will add up to something meaningful. Like a fortune teller’s cards or bones or stones. Toss them and see what you can see. No pressure with these, at all. In some ways the actual photograph holds the smallest value in the equation, losing out to things like walking, exploring, retreating or escaping. These are my little secret. A hidden life. My inside joke. A seven day trip. Work. This running dialogue is my intermission. A time to stretch. Deep breath. My mind wanders and starts again. Engage, disengage.

What gets me through.
understanding, know that I’ve won
countless times wary
barrel of the gun
clear film from above
lose it all, even what I love
tropic of cancer
vignette of this of that
solitude is sanctuary
where do you go?
it’s not what you do
what gets me through

25 responses to “What Gets me Through”

  1. Mark Olwick says:

    I like these a lot, Dan.

  2. David says:

    “Solitude is sanctuary” – I can relate to that Dan…

    Your own words?

    • Smogranch says:

      As far as I know those are my own words. Life is such a learning experience that I’m sure I owe credit to a range of other people.

  3. Harold says:

    I once asked a songwriter about one of his songs with particularly enigmatic lyrics. Hoping for a lucid discourse on what they meant… he replied, “I find my own meaning in them”. The images mean something to you that’s specific and personal. I like these pictures  but probably for different reasons than others… that must be true for any picture… We find our own meaning in it.

    • Smogranch says:

      Yes, we do. At times that meaning can be universal, at others unique or to the individual. There is no right and wrong, only what you feel.

  4. Jason Timmis says:

    Okay so I’m at our family cabin for Thanksgiving. I just came in from enjoying an epic afternoon of sun and crystal clear skies. There may have been a rum or two involved. I sat watching as the sun got to magic hour. I thought I should be out shooting but I couldn’t justify leaving where I was. Casting a glance over the garden area, still in bloom – which is definitely not normal for here, I see and hear bees frantically going from flower to flower as the dusk approaches. I can’t take it. I ask myself what I would be trying to say by making images of bees. My answer is I don’t know but I shoot anyway. Our neighbour yells over from her deck “what are you taking pictures of”?…..Bees I answer…..no reply. The sun sets, the chill in the air returns. I come back inside thinking what am I going to do with images of bees. Relaxing on the couch I fire up the laptop to check in on civilization. Hmmmm should check in on old Smogranch and see what’s happening.

    …..Then I read this. 🙂

    All is right with the world. Pictures of bees are probably nothing, could be something and until now where just a secret between me and my neighbour.

    You had me at hello…or in this case ‘what’

    Did you write the poem or did you steal that from your mom and not give her credit??


    Thanks for another inspiration!

    • Smogranch says:

      Poem is mine. Embarrassing really. I don’t know anything about poetry. The closest I come is stream of consciousness. Thanks for the note. It’s the “bee’s knees” if you will. I was shooting a few weeks ago and someone asked, “What are you doing?” I said, “I don’t really know.” and it was true.

  5. These are not great images you say?? Wow, I really like them. Great looking B&W if you ask me. Very inspiring as well, somehow mysterious. I like that kind of images. I look for such a feeling myself but I’m often struggling to visualize what I really want to communicate.

    • Smogranch says:

      Thanks amigo. Appreciate that. I love making these things. I’ve made many more like them. Am looking forward to having the time some day to just sit and edit.

  6. Yeah, that pull that push the galvanized steel button is strong in me. It’s a dis-ease, but it’s the best disease one could get. BTW, yoda wants you back at the jedi council.

  7. Wim says:

    Don’t say this are no great images. For me a image must have some soul and some atmosphere and your’s have a lot! I love you view of our plant! Keep going and don’t think to much! 😉

  8. LionelB says:

    The earliest written languages were in the form of pictograms, which gradually evolved into stylised letters. These images are like an alphabet, your personal alphabet. A reminder of the building blocks of the great visual novel which one day you will find the time and space to write. Without letters, no words, no sentences … We should all have an alphabet.

  9. I can so much relate to this kind of work. Not the great work, but those that gets you going through the day. More than the great work I personally think and feel this type of work has a much greater importance. It is like a diary and helps you structure your thoughts, doubts, experiences, failures, successes, you name it. It also serves as a sketch book to think of even more meaningful projects. Somehow I personally get stuck in that sketch book, likely the result of being a drawer as a youngster before I started to photograph.

    And thank you Daniel for mentioning the Blurb trade book option in some of your previous posts. I already started on a photobook, but got caught in striving for too much perfection. The trade book however seems just right for what I love to do.

    • Smogranch says:

      I’m learning that too. I can’t wait for the day when I have the time to really look at all these random images and make something from them. Try to find a theme, a narrative, etc.

  10. Sean says:

    I really like these. The photo of the bird in particular. Most people – myself included – would have passed it by immediately. I was looking through your digital version of Chamba this morning and look there’s definitely a consistency between those images and the ones above.

    Every day I go out, photograph something and then halfway through think to myself, “Why on earth am I photographing this?” I never know the answer but I just can’t stop myself.

    Glad to see everyone else here has the same feelings.

  11. Marcelo says:

    I think these images are great. They inspire you and they can inspire others. I think this sort of images (abstract and spontaneous) are the best to give an insight into the photographer’s process and vision. As a photographer, I always want to know what goes on behind the image-making. After all, I find the process to be more important than the final image.
    Thanks for showing us these images. Show us more!

  12. Mei-Chun says:

    Each image has its own beauty. Viewed together is like listening to a favorite old song. Thanks for sharing!

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