I have no idea who this person is, but I really appreciate the extra dynamic they added to this photo. I actually think this represents a bit of a new style I've been enjoying since completing the photography workshop in Bali. You'll likely start seeing more subjects (people) in my photos in the future. Previously, I would patiently wait for people to leave the scene, so I could take a nature focused photo without anyone in it. But now I find myself doing the exact opposite by patiently waiting for subjects to enter the scene - I find it adds a bit of perspective and complexity to my photos. Subjects are not always available, obviously, and they do not always add to the photo, but I definitely learned how a properly positioned subject can add a whole new dimension to the photo. It feels like I've learned a new skill and I can't wait to master it.
"All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners. Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they're not learning, they're not growing and not moving toward excellence."
This photo was taken on day 3 of the photography workshop in Bali. We had incredible conditions the first two mornings but, I'm a little ashamed to admit, I sensed that our luck was about to run out on the 3rd day. As you can see, I was wrong. We woke up before sunrise and got to our location just as the sun was beginning to emerge from behind the volcano. The skies were clear and there was some fog in the distance - a solid start. To our delight, it just kept getting better as the sun started blasting long, thin rays of sunshine through the various clusters of trees. The photos from ground level were beautiful, but the real magic took place when we sent the drones into the sky. Even though I probably should have been more optimistic about my day 3 predictions, I was very happy to be proven wrong.
"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed."
I've already learned a few things in my brief foray into portrait photography; a little about photography and a little about life. One thing I've noticed that's especially interesting to me, is that while photographing someone else, it is extremely easy for me to respect, and even admire, the "imperfections" and signs of age that they wear on their face. They add so much character and portray a person's story, in a subtle way. Yet when I look in the mirror, and see these same changes in myself, it's with nowhere near the same level of admiration. And I don't think I'm alone in this. I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing, or a personal thing or a bit of both, but I think it's fair to say that I, and likely we, can be a bit more gentle with ourselves.
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
If you followed my Instagram Story during my trip to Indonesia you likely saw that towards the end of the trip, my beloved drone went for an unplanned swim in the ocean off the island of Nusa Penida. I was standing on top of a massive ridge, probably 400 feet above sea level, with a gorgeous (accessible) beach on one side and a sketchy (inaccessible) cove on the other. I'll let you guess which side my drone fell into. Unfortunately, even though I had an almost full battery, the drone lost signal with the remote control and spiraled down, down, down. I was close enough to the drone that I didn't even have to use the screen on the remote control to navigate, I was watching with my own eyes. I flew it past where I was standing, and even gave it a little wave as it passed by. And as I turned to watch it go, that's right when it lost signal and began spiraling into the ocean. I'll be honest, it was a little traumatic and I couldn't quite believe it for a couple hours. It felt like a bad dream that I'd soon wake up from. But nope. There was nothing I could do to change it, so I had to just get over it. And before too long I did. And once I did, instead of being upset that I didn't have a drone for the last two days of the photography workshop, I became extremely grateful that it didn't happen earlier in the trip. It sometimes takes me a while, but I almost always end up finding the silver lining.
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
Do you remember the silhouette of the rice farmer that I shared a while back? Well this is the mystery man, in the light. I honestly wish I knew his name so I could refer to him as something other than "the rice farmer," but I suppose it will have to do for now. As I mentioned before, I took many photographs of this man, so you'll likely see him in the future. And hopefully, when you see the photos, you'll understand why I took so many of him. I found him to be incredibly photogenic, and while many of the photos I took are of him being quite serious, I think you'll start seeing his incredibly gentle personality poking through over time.
"I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them."