One Second (or so) 2013 – one second video clips from my life in 2013.
One Second (or so) 2014 – one second video clips from my life earlier this year.
I began this project after watching a TED talk by Cesar Kuriyama on capturing one second every day and editing it into a single video. This is by no means an original art project of my own. I look at this project as more of an exercise in capturing happenings in the everyday, while remaining present in the moment, and learning to embrace the simplicities in life. I love the idea of extreme editing, choosing a single second (or so) out of 24 hours.
Growing up with both parents working in a camera shop, we had the luxury of having an endless supply of film and photo processing. The photos found homes in boxes with labels such as Photos, Memories, and my personal favorite Photos/Junk. The sheer volume of photos is almost paralyzing, which is why these boxes continue their journey from house to house waiting to be sorted and placed into albums. These boxes could benefit from some extreme editing.
When I was a kid, our family would take summer vacations up in the Wisconsin Dells. We would go swimming in the lake and hike the trails. I wasn’t all that excited about the hiking, but my dad enjoyed it and he got some great photos with a camera he later passed down to me. My Dad and I had a pretty close relationship as I was growing up. He was the one you always went to when you wanted something after Mom already said no. He was the one who would give you big bear hugs when you were crying, because he cared so much and didn’t want to see you hurting. He was always encouraging us to follow our dreams. He had the best terrible Dad jokes.
I never knew how much I loved those terrible jokes, how much I needed them, until they just about disappeared. In April of 2009, I received a call from my Mom while I was at school in Chicago, she started off with “Everything is ok, but…” (I love it when conversations start this way), my Dad was in the hospital. They weren’t sure what was wrong. He had gone blind in one eye, was very weak, suffered from pain throughout his body, had difficulty with his balance, and had frequent memory problems. The symptoms continued and became worse. No one could give us any answers. We were terrified, or at least I was. I knew it was bad when I called him up for help with my view camera one day, he said he wasn’t sure how to answer my question but that Chicago was a big city and someone passing by might know how to help. I was home from school that weekend, and he had just seen me before I headed out to shoot. Less than an hour had passed and he had already forgotten that he had seen me. My Dad seemed to be aging at a rapid speed, and he was hurting, and probably pretty scared. I knew I was. I didn’t know what to do, so I created distance.
After months of testing, he was finally diagnosed and the treatment for his MS began. It’s been a long, difficult, exhausting, and emotional journey, but I am fortunate to have the time to make a change in my life and lessen the distance that I’ve created over the years. He started a new treatment for his MS a few months ago and is starting to tell his terrible Dad jokes again. It’s a great thing.
I was photographing the frozen Rock River over the Jefferson Street Bridge yesterday when a man walks up next to me, looks down towards the water for a minute, then up to me with a puzzled look on his face. Looking back down at the water, he says to me “I’m trying to figure out what you’re looking at, but I just don’t know.”
One of my favorite things about street photography is interacting with lots of different people. The random conversations. The weird looks from strangers. I haven’t revisited street photography since I left Chicago. I just seem to find Rockford folk to be more standoffish, and there are much less of them on the streets making it that much harder for a camera to blend in. There might be something there, I think I’m ready for the challenge. Rockford street photographs to come.
Who would have thought they would be four years out of college and struggling to afford even the basics needed to pursue a career in their field of study? That’s me, but I’m working on it by selling my old, unreliable camera gear and miscellaneous unused basement findings on eBay. I’ve just started and I’m already $410 closer to a new camera. It can be frustrating to say the least, but I’m actually sort of enjoying the experience. It’s not every day you get to have the gratification of selling your old camera to William Talbot.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on some mixed media projects. Brutal critiquing always encouraged.