What defines a life of meaning? How do we find purpose in the life we live? I have asked myself these same questions for many years. I've felt lost, lonely and uncomfortable while figuring out who I am. The only time I ever felt calm and at peace was while wandering through the wilderness. I've always enjoyed the outdoors. There’s something so pure about it. Something that keeps calling me back on a daily basis. The unpredictability is so intoxicating. Being in the woods made me forget about the distractions of the internet, people or those pesky bills. On my days off from work I would hike aimlessly for hours with no agenda. I would roam until my feet would ache, rest upon a hefty oak and then continue my journey until the beauty of the sunset would call me home. For years this repetitive routine started to turn into an obsession, but after awhile it felt like something was missing. I needed a companion. It wouldn't be wise to have someone accompany me, for my introverted personality would object to the idea. But, I wanted people to somehow realize how calming and beautiful the wilderness could be.
Photography had always been an interest of mine. I studied it in school for years, owned a few cameras, studied the techniques etc...but never took it very seriously. I would use the camera on my phone more than my DSLRs. It was much more convenient and lighter than those bulky overweight DSLR cameras. So, I sold them all and embarrassingly enough, I used only my cell phone for photography. To this day I still don’t know what the hell I was thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I very much understand that cell phone cameras have improved immensely, but they could never produce the high quality images of a DSLR. I kept getting annoyed with the quality of my cell phone camera (naturally) and this is when I began to take photography a bit more seriously.
During a final hike of a beautiful sunset and many god awful images later I thought to myself that the weight of a DSLR camera and those bulky lenses are totally worth the hassle. Once again invested my good ol' money into a new DSLR rig and hopped aboard the train of camera back pain. After many hours in the field and many tubes of Icy Hot later, I knew that this had become my purpose.
I want to show people my photography to help them forget about the distractions in life. To provide them evidence that there are much more beautiful things in life than social media, politics, television or video games. I want to tell them a story about my adventures and I hope that it will spark them to strive for their own. I urge people to explore the outdoors more frequently. You don't have to go camping or long backpacking trips. There's many places to explore, and I'm sure there's one right out your front door. Go for a walk and engulf yourself in the fresh air and the sounds of wildlife. Find your own solitude in nature.