Californ-i-eh – Canadians in California – An Inspiring Trip and a Brain Dump of Inspiration.

I want to keep better records. My motivation for this is two fold. One to live an examined life, to see my inputs and my outputs creatively, and two to remember. To be able to recall the articles, inspiration, and books that brought me to create what I’m making.

This blog has evolved from a business tool to a bit of an online space for me to keep track of my photography work. It keeps me employed and creating, and also acts as an archive where on rainy days where I am uninspired, I can track my progress.

Last year I had one of my clients tell me they went down the “Taylor Roades Rabbit Hole.” I particularly enjoyed that because I don’t know really if anyone is looking at what I post here, and because I am normally the person digging around in other people’s rabbit holes.

I was just down in California. I hit up Yeah Field Trip, met other photographers, writers, illustrators, painters and designers, and now I have a list of things I want to look up a mile long. I am a notorious wiki-surfer, one hundred tab person some nights and I just want to keep better track of the random facts I’ve learned and share the best ones.

These are some of those things that stuck my interest in the last little bit.

If anything below reminds you of something else that you think is connected – well that is the point. Link me to something in the comments. Expanding minds.

Books:

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

My first foray into the work of Jules Verne – father of science fiction, and for a classic it read like an action movie.  His love for natural history brought me to….

Voyage of the Beagle – Charles Darwin 

The Captain of Darwin’s ship which took him on the expedition that would become the basis of his theory of evolution is named Robert FitzRoy. I realized they were sailing all around Patagonia and it only took me a little googling to figure out the Fitzroy Mountain range that I visited last year was named after him. That range also inspired the brand Patagonia’s logo which lead me to ….

Let My People Go Surfing – Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard is the founder of clothing brand Patagonia – his philosophy is to do no unnecessary harm (to the planet) and to make the best product he also has this little quote nestled in the book which I stole and put in my journal – so true for anyone living for their creative pursuits.

“A master of the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play. His labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever his is doingand leaves others to determine whether he is working or he is playing. To himself he always appears to be doing both.” – Francois Auguste Rene 

Going back to the start of the outdoor industry got my interested photographers (my medium) working in that scene at that time which started me on….

Photography:

Vittorio Sella

None less than Ansel Adams said that Vittorio Sella’s photographs inspired “religious awe”.  He was the first to climb the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa, Italy’s highest peak, in winter and the first to traverse Mont Blanc in winter, too. That prowess enabled him to haul the bulky large-format camera and gear of the day, including the fragile 30x40cm plates upon which the image was formed.

—> I then realized all my inspiration information was coming from men…funny how that happens …and so I made an effort to seek out a little inspiration from the other equally intelligent ladies in the photo world.

Lyndsey Addario 

Stealing from Goodreads.com – War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir “It’s What I Do” is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. 

—> I make a list of new words I learn as I’m reading (I don’t know why I am admitting this publicly but through all of this reading my list consisted of these few gems)

Words: 

Fortitude: courage in the face of pain

Babelism: a confusion, as of ideas, speech 

Emetic: causing vomiting 

Yarak: A falconry term meaning your falcon is super alert: hungry but not weak, ready to hunt. 

Raravis – A rare bird or an extraordinary thing.

Which led me to this video —> which is a rare and extraordinary thing.

Videos:

The video led me to do some research into conservation and photojournalism and that brought me to:

 

And that is my brain for today.

Except one thought that came from my good friend and photographer Rachel Pick, as we drove through the hills of San Berndino to Los Angeles (Photographed below). She remarked the landscape we were driving through influenced many of the major artists of our generation, and the immediate generations past.  The we were lucky to be there, to be inspired by the hills here like the people before us… and that I thought was profound.

 

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