Reflecting on the Last Year

Reflecting on the previous year is something that usually occurs at the start of a new year, but for me, this reflection starts at the halfway mark. It was just a year ago that I was frantically editing The Mob Rules, cutting together years of footage, editing to the music, titling, and color correcting. At the same time, I was finding photos, scanning negatives, and designing the last bits of the photo book. Moreover, I was preparing for a huge move from Los Angeles to Seattle with nothing more than my girlfriend, Breanne, and what we could fit in (and on top of...) our cars. June was an insane month. Looking back, it was the closing of a huge chapter and the beginning of a new one. 

Probably the biggest change in my photography and filmmaking was due to the fact that I had no digital cameras after the video premiered. Just a few weeks prior to end filming date, my DSLR died while shooting James Martin surfing. It had been an uncharacteristically rainy day in Southern California, but the sky was opening up for golden hour, so I went out to film some b-roll for his part. Unfortunately it started to rain again, and by the time I climbed up the muddy hills back to my car, much of my gear was soaked and the digital body was toast. I finished the remainder of the skate video with just the HVX that I sold upon moving since I didn't need it. 

In Seattle, I was left with only my Leica M6, an Olympus Stylus Epic, and an ancient medium format Bronica S2a. This last year has been nothing but film photography. As for subject matter, I went primarily from skateboarding to street photography. Occasionally I would lug gear around for some landscapes in the beautiful country. I had no plans on getting another digital camera up until very recently—when I had to ask myself "What the hell am I doing?".

Last weekend, after developing and seeing the mundane results of few months worth of film, which, ridiculously, was only 8 rolls, I was left with just that question. Over the last year, I haven't shot any stills or video for anyone else (clients, namely). In fact, I haven't shot or mades any videos at all—which upon realization, really upsets me (and upsets Breanne even more). So, realizing that I'm blowing it and need to get back into the video world that I enjoyed so much, I opened up a couple (interest free for a year) credit cards and have the beast of a camera that is the Sony A7RII on order along with a Zeiss 24-70, Manfrotto tripod and fluid head, Rode VideoMic Pro, and plenty of memory cards and batteries. I also have been learning DaVinci Resolve to find out about incorporating that into my video workflow.

I have a few cool personal projects planned out video wise and am looking forward to filmmaking and digital photography. My short-term goal is to create a nice reel and portfolio to gain me professional work again, as well as to blog frequently about the process and more of my discoveries. Now, I regret nothing of this last year, as I have grown personally and have made some great photographs that I am proud of, but I believe that street photography would be best as a way to recharge creatively in the midst of a bunch of video and photo projects. With that being said, let's just call this year a "creative recharging."