Posted on October 22, 2013
Is there anyone out there? Anyone listening?
I think it’s time to, once again, kick the tires and light the fires here at Smogranch. Now, let me be very clear. I NEVER thought I would post here again. Yep, I was done, over it, moved on, mentally in another place, and in many ways I STILL am. However, I can’t bear the idea of starting over again and building a new site. My Tumblr site is interesting, but MAN, if my attention span was horrifying before five months on Tumblr it’s FAR worse now, and that is something I REALLY can’t live with. I know the target audience of Tumblr is 16-30ish, which is great, fine, awesome and filled with some hyper-talented folks but I’m OLD and SLOW. I’m a guy that likes the smell of glue. I think social media is bullshit and I think collectively we are regressing as communicators even with all these these new outlets of “connection.” There, I said it.
My advice is DO NOT read this blog. DO NOT follow this blog. Go outside and do something, or make something or just sit there and learn to be still, mentally and physically. You will be FAR better off in the long run than you would be if you read the garbage I am about to unload on the world. I am not doing this blog for you. I’m not. I’m doing this entirely for me. I need an outlet for words. If you want to follow along I’m glad to have you, and I’ll continue to correspond with you, but I am sucking the marrow from Internet because of selfish reasons.
Speaking of posting. This is not, and will not be a blog about photography. First, I don’t have much interest in professional photography. I haven’t picked up a camera in anger (on assignment) in THREE YEARS, and not one percent of one percent of my body or mind misses ANYTHING to do with being a photographer. You can interpret that anyway you deem fit. Plus, most photography sites are a little predictable, especially ones that are attempting to gain audience because you know what you have to do to gain audience…
Over the past few months I’ve begun making illustrations, mostly ink on paper, and I’ve begun painting. I’m feeling around in the dark with my only training being reading half a book about drawing, and it appears I don’t seem to have much talent for either of these things, but the learning process has been humiliating and incredible at the same time. I’ve also changed my life in other ways. I no longer carry a camera on a daily basis and I haven’t really made any new documentary images in five months, nor do I have any real desire to make any in the immediate future. I have reconnected with my “old life” which is rife with things like hiking, paddling, fly fishing, cycling (even more than before) and a general foundation in all things nature and the outdoors. Remember, I grew up in the country and have now completely hit the wall with all things city, city-living and modern, first world. If I could somehow swing moving to Alaska in the summers and remote New Mexico in the winter I would be gutting, skinning and cooking a wild beast of some sort. Oh, scratch that. I’ve also been vegetarian since returning from Australia, so I would be gathering plants of some kind and probably freezing my ass off due to the lack of pelts.
I want to start over here people. That is easier said than done. You will probably see posts that look and feel familiar, Blurb type things for example, and others that will probably have you headed for the “Unsubscribe” button, if in fact I still have a “subscribe” button. You have been warned.
It’s been a while since we have had a chance to talk, and I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two. What I was doing before, what I was thinking before isn’t good enough. I need to be better. I need to take more creative risks and we all need to embrace creative failure as much as we do success. Again, easy to flap the gums and talk zen, but the proof is in the creative pudding.
Most importantly, by returning to this blog I DO NOT have to buy new leather bags and a new journal cover, or change the homepage image because my bags and cover were imprinted with “Smogranch.” However, if you do change your life, and your imprint, you can find the official bags here. Talk to Arthur. There are four sizes. I’m working on him to create a backpack next. He said “I’m not making a backpack,” but I will be such a pest I’m hoping he makes one just to get me to leave him alone.
So, if you are new here, welcome. And if you are a returning friend or contact, welcome back.
This is a new series. Sixty-second films with voiceover of journal entry from when I shot the footage. This first one is actually only 38 seconds, so you will get off easy. Think cheesy art school film.