Apr 20th

2011

Choose Your Risk.

A quick postcard from last night in Vernazza, Italy.

Sometimes I flirt with crossing a line on this blog, a line that puts this blog squarely into the motivational genre; a genre I don’t generally care for. So you’ve been warned – this isn’t about photography, but life (and what is photography about if not life?)

Last year I decided to make a change in my life. I bought a truck, sold my stuff, gave up my condo and a fixed address and set out on an adventure that’s still barely two months old. My plan was to spend the rest of 2011 traveling North America when I wasn’t photographing or teaching internationally elsewhere. And then I started the journey itself and things began to change. I began to like this lifestyle more than I thought. I miss having a home less than I expected. I had more time with people than I imagined. I found myself settling into the rhythms of nomadism and I started to dream bigger and allow myself a few more “What Ifs”

And then my buddy Zack Arias hosted a meet-up event at his studio in Atlanta and that night was magical for me. I met some amazing people, including Zack, face to face for the first time. And Zack, if you don’t know him, is the kind of guy with no shortage of opinions on things. One of those opinions that evening was that I should speak to the group, and say “something inspiring” or something. I declined. He insisted and told me that “in one beer, you’re on!” I figured I could make my beer last all evening and avoid speaking entirely, until he made it clear I was on when his beer was done, not mine, and I got the feeling that wasn’t going to take long.

Not sure what to say, I told the story of the last few months and the growing awareness of the brevity of life that had led me here. And the more I talked (a barely coherent mix of spontaneous babbling and preaching) the more it galvanized something in my own mind; a feeling that I’d passed a point of no return. I have written before that life is short, but it’s becoming more than a passing feel-good idea; it’s becoming the place from which I make my biggest decisions. I am moved more than ever by the awareness of the brevity of life and that the fulfillment of our dreams and longings aren’t simply things that accidentally happen to us. Life is complicated and at times feels more like something that happens to us than something we make happen, I know, but people live extraordinary lives because they overcome those circumstances and choose to do the things they dream about.

But too many people don’t listen to their dreams at all. Or they listen but allow the dreams themselves to get drowned out by the desire to fill their homes with stuff or even just to play it safe, or – and this is more likely – they listen to their fears.

The culture we live in would rather watch great stories on movie screens than live them. Why? I think it’s fear of risk. The bigger the risk the greater the potential reward but also the greater the potential for “Oh God, Oh God, we’re all going to die!” or something similar. Fear is the loudest voice in many of our lives. Fear of rejection leads us to buy some crazy stuff, as well as keep our voice down when it should be loudly telling others “I love you.” Fear of the unknown keeps us close to home. Fear of fear keeps us in therapy. So we’d rather watch Braveheart and imagine ourselves with that kind of courage than risk finding out for ourselves if we have it. Makes sense. Afterall, Braveheart gets horribly disemboweled at the end. But while our hearts swell with resonance as William Wallace says “All men die but not all men really live,” we wash it away with popcorn and sodas and go back to sleep. That very quote, or the sentiment it reflects,  points to two things for me, and these two things make it easier to listen to something other than the fear.

1. All we have is now. I’ve said it before: none of us lives forever. The time to make a change is now. You may not be able to pack the house and go on an adventure right now, but you can put yourself on a path to doing it. Don’t wait until you’re 65 and retired. You might not be around or in good health. The time is now. Don’t be the one breathing his last breath wishing he’d gotten around to the things that were most important. Live with all the passion and energy you’ve got now. Now is all you have. Each moment matters.

2. Risk is inevitable. We all risk, day in and day out. You fall in love at first sight with someone amazing and you’ve two choices, both involving risk. You can act on it and risk rejection, or you can sit on it, do nothing, and risk losing what might be the best thing you might ever experience. Sure, rejection’s painful (but not certain), but it’s nothing compared to the life-long regret of letting her slip away (absolutely certain). You have a dream and the only way to get at it is to make some changes, live sparsely, and pull your kids out of school for a year. You can do it, and risk failure (not as likely as it seems) or play it safe and let the dreams remain un-lived (absolutely certain).Life is about risk. The best stories hinge on it. But even those risks aren’t as big as they seem. It’s funny how we often prefer to listen to fears and avoid risks that are only potentially painful, and in so doing sacrifice our dreams – a loss that is most certainly painful.

It could be that the last thing you want to hear is another sermon. I get it. None of this stuff is easy. There were moments of nerves, and even overwhelming fear, as I was staging to give up so-called normal life. It’s taken some painful decisions and course-corrections over the last few years to get to this place. It’s taken falling down and getting back up. One day my diabetes may prevent me from pursuing these adventures. All the more reason to take a deep breath and do it now. I had planned to go back to Vancouver at the end of this year – it was the “sensible” decision. Instead I am looking into what it will take to come back to Europe and live nomadically here for a year – to spend time on the British Isles and Scandanavia before taking the boat to Iceland for the summer, then to drive to Istanbul or Marrakech or Ulaan Bator.

All those many words to say: don’t settle. Your dreams will be different than mine, but the regret for not living them will be the same. Life is short. Choose your risk intentionally, don’t try to avoid it. Live a great story; don’t settle for merely watching them. Whatever got stirred in you when I wrote the first blog post in the Life is Short category, I hope you’re moving towards it. Because those dreams are part of what it means to live life to the fullest.

 

Comments (203)
  1. April 20, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Saved this to Instapaper but I know 100% that I’ve made adjustments for risk and for life. I actually feel as if I know where this all comes from and I feel that you live it like you say it.

    I appreciate that more than you may ever know.

  2. April 20, 2011 at 7:06 am

    I needed this message, today.. Thank you..

  3. April 20, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Well said David. I really enjoyed reading this post.

  4. CJ Kern

    April 20, 2011 at 7:22 am

    “Don’t Settle”… so true and thanks for reminding me.

  5. April 20, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Great stuff Dave. Completely agree with your points. In the process of dream fulfillment as we speak. The time is NOW.

  6. April 20, 2011 at 7:24 am

    What a great message!! Thank you!!

  7. April 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

    What a wonderful reminder that we all need to be focused on how we spend our time to live a more creative and fulfilled life. Time is indeed spent, and how one chooses to spend their time is indeed far more important than the things one spends money on.

  8. April 20, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Thank you for a timely message. We are always telling our kids that they can do anything. My oldest has diabetes and when ever we find someone who doesn’t settle because of it we make sure to point it out to him. Now it’s my turn to go out on a limb and walk the walk. So thank you for your encouraging message today.

  9. April 20, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Good post as usual David. I try to move in this direction… with empty pockets but completely happy. Thanks.

  10. April 20, 2011 at 7:39 am

    “…play it safe and let the dreams remain un-lived (absolutely certain)” – and then cancer appears – and nothing is certain ever again…

    Thank you, again, for your thoughts. I seem to appreciate them more and more. I have always been the fearful one, the one who stopped dreaming because I always disappoint myself not following my dreams. I was too afraid. I think it is time to start dreaming again, and find out more about my path in life, I believe every human being have one – or at least every human beings soul. I also know that I have it in me, to survive on my own – I really like being with myself, but I am also so scared of just leaving.
    Thank you again, with small steps I am awakening… ;-)
    Have a safe trip ;-) ’till your next blog post.

  11. April 20, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Beautiful and thanks for the reminder of the Life is short post a while back, I’d almost forgotten the effect it had on me.
    So glad for you that you’re living your dream and I guess the desire to carry on after this year is due to your conscious or unconscious realisation that this is where you’ve always wanted to be. By stopping at the turn of 2012 you’d be turning away from that dream and that seems not to be what your heart wants just yet.
    Funny really as just this morning I finally made the decision to make headway into a personal project I’ve “feared” to approach for a number of years. Maybe it was after watching JR making his TED wish, or maybe I’m getting to a period in my life when I’m realising that indeed “All we have is now”.
    Thanks again for all the effort and time you’ve put into the photographic community and if you do make the leap to Europe I’m sure there’s plenty of folk over here willing to give you a hand.

    Mark

  12. Scott Nickell

    April 20, 2011 at 7:40 am

    GREAT post David. Sums up many of my own fealing, and points out my now all too obvious fears. Need to start working on the changes…

  13. April 20, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Reading this post really moved me. You have made a tremendous decision and I salute you for your courage and vision of your own life.

    I wish you all the best in your pursuit of your dreams.

    Cheers,
    Thomas

  14. April 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Feels good doesn’t it? I mean when you articulate things that have been swirling around inside with out any cohesion. Then through the process of speaking or writing them a reaction occurs on some level that brings it all into focus and there in front of you is a path with all these other paths branching off and they are all good. Epiphanies can be like orgasms.

  15. Greg L

    April 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Amen, David. Too often we get caught up in the mundane and the banal, forgetting to actually _live_ life.
    I’m not a fan of motivational fluff either, but sometimes a good swift kick to the rear does a body good. Thx again + safe travels.
    -GL

  16. Kris Dietrich

    April 20, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Interesting post, but what I am missing, that you have been able to articulate in the past, is how your faith drives, shapes, informs some of these decisions, which I assume they do, but Iwould love to see that touched upon some more as you work through this journey of being an artist and living life……..

  17. Melissa Reed

    April 20, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Again, another post like this when I needed it! Thank you again David. Not every blog post has to necessarily be about photography – these insights are the ones that tie life and photography together (in my opinion) and help remind us to dream big, and to act on it. Its hard – you do get stuck living your life and doing what you “have to do” – having kids to take care of, steady income is required, and hard work, and at the end of the day it’s so easy to be frazzled and cranky and tired and discouraged. I am trying not to feel that way – I’ve started school again and taken workshops just to keep myself inspired, as I formulate my own plan. I have a feeling some big changes are around the corner for me – life altering ones. It’s scary for sure, but I agree, you can’t live your life full of regrets…you have to dive in. Fear is a powerful thing though…something that very easily can eat away at you. I’ve had toe create a mental “fear” stick to beat it away! Hope you are enjoying Italy – I wished I could come! When I recover from back surgery, (which takes about a year) I will be watching for future trips – I will take one for sure – part of fulfilling one of my dreams!

  18. April 20, 2011 at 7:56 am

    You know this morning I was thinking about the prospect of possibly going out of business, but after reading your blog it reminded me of why I love what I do and I am not ready to give up! I will fight even harder to make it work! Thanks!

  19. Sven

    April 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

    When I started following your blog about 2 years ago it was purely because I was becoming more and more interested in photography. I was excited how you always spoke about vision instead of gear and, although I couldn’t describe it, you had a way of opening doors for me (mentally) that I found fascinating. The same was of course true when you started your adventure and let us all take part of it.

    About 3 years ago I started a journey for myself that turned out to change everything in my life. By the time I was burned out from work (software developer), had no life whatsoever and began to question the reason why I still keep going the way I do. With no energy left (and thus nothing to loose) I looked at my options and saw that there was one of them that would require from me to “jump of a cliff” (mentally again *g*). Luckily for me, I did it and it changed my life completely. I met incredible people along that way, changed my life bit by bit and invested in a business that will sooner than later replace my “day job” in the software industry. Considering that I was the “play-it-safe” kind of guy, you can be sure that there were times when everything was upside down for me.

    Yes, life is a risk. But what most people forget is that the way our society lives (or, let’s say, consumes oxygen while walking around like brain-washed zombies) is not the only way to live. When you think that way, you are severely limiting yourself and this kind of limitation gets back to you and your body (most notably in diseases because you work in a way that’s not healthy for you). I learned to see opportunities instead of limitations all around me and, although fear sometimes rises when I set out to do “crazy” things, embrace this kind of life. Because it has substance. It has shown me what I am good at and how this serves other people best. And it has shown me what love really means and that love is actually the only thing you really need to feel in your heart.

    But what I and many others I met, that set out on this journey, need from time to time is a reminder of what is really important. Everyday life and old habits die hard and often crawl back if you are unaware and don’t pay attention. Knowing people that constantly “stir” these ideas in our heads and share their insights is such a reminder. And your blog post certainly helps a lot.

    It is no coincidence that I stumbled across your blog about the time I started to change my life, I guess. Encounters of any kind await us every day and opportunities are literally lying directly in front of us. We only have to see and grab them.

    My heart jumped when I read this posting and I finally wrote a comment (the first one, although I could have commented far more often). Thanks for inspiring me and for sharing your path with us.

    Btw: when you set out to travel around Europe, don’t forget good ol’ Germany – it also has some nice places ;-)

  20. April 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

    David, thanks for crossing the line and taking a risk with this post. Lots of lessons in there for all of us. Happy trails!

  21. Scott Erickson

    April 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Photography is indeed about life…thanks for the insight into how your journey is working out. It’s easy enough to have hopes and dreams but it’s refreshing to see it pan out for some one you respect.

    I’ve been debating putting in my 30days at my place to take an opportunity with a friend. This post, along with a talk last night by Richard Koci Hernandez, has pushed me pass my fears and reminded me its good to get out of my comfort zone…thanks again

  22. tomas

    April 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

    strong words man…
    while nomading around europe, keep in mind there are cold brewskies with your name on them, waiting for you in Prague ;-)

  23. April 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

    “…Life is complicated and at times feels more like something that happens to us than something we make happen, I know, but people live extraordinary lives because they overcome those circumstances and choose to do the things they dream about.”
    Life does “happen” to us but our lives are built on the reactions we have to it and the choices we make. Dreams are absolutely essential because reality can play hard. Ever working toward the dream despite the roadblocks that need to be broken through and the ultimate risks involved. Worth it more than ever since they’ve been set aside far too long. Thanks for the inspiration to keep going, taking the risks and to keep overcoming.

  24. April 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

    this post is amazing. your blog never ceases to put things in perspective for me. i really admire the work you do and your respect for the importance of living your dreams. i hope i can do the same.

    p.s. i hope you can make it work to go to europe–that would be amazing!!

  25. April 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Fantastic post, David. One of the ideas in particular really resonates with me: “Life is complicated and at times feels more like something that happens to us than something we make happen.” I think we’ve all been in this exact spot, sometimes more than once. But often it’s just at that moment that a beacon is lit, whether by a family member, a friend, or even a total stranger, that helps to guide us back out of the dark, if only for a short while. It’s the moments that matter…

    Safe travels-

    Jeffery

  26. April 20, 2011 at 8:41 am

    “All we can do in this life is decide how to use the time we have” –

    One day I was sitting on a boat with a divemaster and a few other guys on a scuba diving trip.
    Someone said to the divemaster the usual “oh, how lucky you are to have this fantastic job while I work in a cubicle” line.
    The divemaster probably heard that one a zillion times before… he replied: “I’m not lucky, I made a decision. YOU chose the life you’ve got”
    I loved that answer, but you managed to formulate the idea even better.
    Thanks for an inspiring article David.

  27. April 20, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Great message and one I needed right now as I am seriously considering leaving the job I’ve had for 20 years because the company I work for is changing, and not in a good way.
    Only thing is we need money to fulfill our dreams (mostly) and I cannot afford to leave my job. So while it’s a great concept to live your dream sometimes it isn’t possible.
    Sorry to be the debbie downer here. Just looking at the reality of the situation.
    I do appreciate your message here and I wish you all the best.

  28. April 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Photography is art and art is a piece of ourselves – so it makes total sense to write about the things you’re learning on this journey on a blog mainly about photography.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Really encouraging and good thoughts to mull over today.

  29. April 20, 2011 at 9:06 am

    A great article, it made me giggle and nod many times in agreement. Good for you doing what you really want to do, it is scary, but I agree, it’s always worth the risk. I hope you continue to have a wonderful time travelling around the world and enjoy soaking up the cultures and places! Well done you!

  30. April 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

    When I was young, I dreamed of riding around the USA in a pick up truck, with one of those big, friendly, eternally loyal dogs. Well, I have the dog now, but am still working on the ‘riding around’ part. The WTF Tuscany trip was an effort for me to go back to those old memories of what I imaged what would I do with my life as an adult. As I just turned 50, I was truly making the effort to not let my career and obligations that (I allow to) keep me ‘homebound’. Not a mid-life crisis, more like a mid-life adjustment. Then, the fire struck our family business, and as you know, I had to cancel. I’m still sorting through all of the emotions that I have experienced during the past couple of weeks, but I know that there is a very important message in there somewhere, only time will tell. I know that I will be planning another trip as soon as feasible.

  31. Michelle

    April 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Thanks, this post really blessed me. If you come to Europe, swing by Ukraine and look me up!

  32. April 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

    This is an absolutely awe-inspiring post David – beautiful and inspiring words. “Don’t settle” is so true and such easy to give but difficult to follow advice. This was probably my favorite point – “ear of rejection leads us to buy some crazy stuff, as well as keep our voice down when it should be loudly telling others “I love you.” ”

    Much appreciated, and please keep these coming – truly motivating. Enjoy the ride!

  33. April 20, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Thank you so much for the great words, David !

  34. April 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Inspiring. Thank you.

  35. April 20, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Just what I was looking for this morning. Thanks for a great post and a great response from Sven.

  36. ed lizardo

    April 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Great reminder! Good vision!

  37. April 20, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Yes, life on the road can be addictive. I love not knowing what’s around the next corner, seeing the stars at night, sunrise, sunset, moonrise.

    You begin to understand how rich the lives of the ancients was.

    Plus, it’s fun!

  38. Tod

    April 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Incredible post, David! Ironically, this is pretty much exactly what a friend told me about a week ago. He encouraged me to go after my dreams. Thanks for the reminder, and I wish you all the best as you pursue your dreams! :)

  39. Les

    April 20, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Thank you, David. Your writing, like your photography, is truly a work of art. I enjoy both immensely. You are a gem. So, thanks again for sharing so beautifully, your vision, your thoughts, your wisdom, your photography, and your world with the rest of us!

  40. April 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

    […] will be different than mine, but the regret for not living them will be the same. Life is short. Choose your risk intentionally, don’t try to avoid it. Live a great story; don’t settle for merely watching them. Whatever got stirred in you when I […]

  41. April 20, 2011 at 10:45 am

    And to quote another epic movie “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

    Great post :)

  42. April 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

    David every time I read your posts i get inspired but just the way you said about movies all inspiration get wash away with my night sleep…. :(

    thanx for sharing it with us…

  43. April 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Simply… Thanks!

  44. Lou

    April 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Thanks, David. It was a treat to hear the original version of these words straight from your mouth and equally so to read them now. Thank you for speaking/sharing from the heart and for the inspiration. Godspeed and safety as you continue your journey!

  45. April 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I wouldn’t worry about sounding “motivational”. As a genre it might have a bit of a stigma attached to it but then individual motivational writings can be inspiring. Your article certainly is. I’d read your blog even if I wasn’t into photography. You’ve got a gift man. Keep sharing it :)

  46. April 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Carpe Diem – [ Seize the moment or seize the day ]
    Even in Latin it sounds good.
    What else needs to be said???

  47. April 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    You can’t really ever motivate someone else. You can only try to awaken in them that thing, or make that connection to that idea or purpose, which intrinsically motivates them.

    You sir, have done that, both in your book and your blog; thanks :)

    Keep doing that, with or without any ‘motivation’ label.

  48. Bart Mitchell

    April 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    David, I enjoyed reading this as much as hearing it live from you in Atlanta at Zach’s studio. Sometimes you just need to hear someone genuine like you relay this kind of message for it to really sink in.

    Also wanted to say again that it was great meeting and speaking with you that night. Enjoy your travels and hope to see you back in Atlanta soon.

  49. April 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Killer stuff! Thanks for the reminder. Best OTHER article on this subject was Galen Rowell’s chapter in one of his books (with a bear on the cover) called “The Size of the Rat”. He wanted to know why some people become pro photographers and others with equal talent did not. From the climbing literature he felt it was that there are shopkeepers, who will always choose security and money-making first. It takes a person with a pretty big rat gnawing at your gut to leave the big house, steady income, family all behind and pursue your dreams.

  50. JerryAnn Clifford

    April 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Well, I’m 66…the age you’ll get to having taken that risk, having appreciated the moment right now that is ours. I enjoyed this blog and the comments. I’ll forward it (as Archbould Photography on F’bk did). I have never regretted ‘getting outta town’, jumping in the ‘deep end’, looking about and stopping to discover and talk to folks when I was lost (which happens often when I travel!!) Great to read. Great spirit in your blog. Happy journey; happy surprises and many neat unanticipated experiences and meetings: the best kind!!

  51. Samantha S.

    April 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Great post, David. Really, really great post.

    :)

  52. April 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I must admit after seeing your journey before it began on tarmac with getting Jessie prepared I’m now tempted to do something similar but perhaps on two wheels!

  53. April 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam

    They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
    Love and desire and hate:
    I think they have no portion in us after
    We pass the gate.

    They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
    Out of a misty dream
    Our path emerges for a while, then closes
    Within a dream.
    – Ernest Dowson

    The title is from Horace and translates to “The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long. “

  54. April 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    A very important post, David. You have given great advice that everyone should take to heart.

    To everyone out there… take a risk. Risk learning more about yourself and the world around you. The rewards are immense. In 1993, at 47 my husband and I sold our home, closed down our business and said goodbye to family and friends to travel the world. When asked how long we would be gone, our reply was, “Oh, maybe a year.” It was 12 years later that I returned to Canada. I would not trade one second of that time. We travelled and lived in Southeast Asia, Paris, Australia, and the South Pacific. Seeing new countries, making new friends and experiencing new cultures is the best education you can get. Fantastic photo opps are an added bonus. I am in Canada now for a few years, and my adventure continues here and abroad.

    Congratulations on making your journey, David. Thank ou for your post. Enjoy every second.

  55. April 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Awesome post David, and if I may say I like it when you step over that line. Your first post still haunts me – probably not the response you were looking for lol – but my mind is working and whirring at possibilities, at risks, at ‘screw it, do it’.

    But man do I feel trapped right now. I know that that entrapment is in my head and yet life changing decisions by definition change your life – not always for the better.

    So here I am lying in bed, feeling what you’re saying in my heart and yet arguing myself out of it in a comment on the Internet! Maybe one day – perhaps inspired by yourself and your constant encouragement – I’ll manage to punch through!

    Thanks again and all the best!

    Ps my brother was diagnosed with diabetes just last week. As you’d expect it feels like the end of the world for him. I’ve directed him here to show a great example of why it’s not, and in fact could be the prompt for a new inspirational chapter of his life.

  56. April 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    As I make arrangements to leave behind something that has been a part of my life 5 days a week for nearly 20 years of my life, this is exactly what I needed to hear. Just an affirmation that I am on the right track, the track of my choosing. Thanks again. This is why I keep coming back to your blog!

  57. Jilske

    April 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Just read this after I heard Tim Hetherington died in Libya… Not sure if he died with contentment of a live fully lived, but I do know regrets can weigh you down almost as much as fear.
    I try to remind myself of my dreams – actually keep a list on my personal blog – as to fight against any silly fear that might seep in and stay focused on the things that matter to me – even though they might not be important to others.

  58. Jilske

    April 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Oh and here’s a link to a speech by Steve Jobs, saying exactly what you say, but probably in less words ;p

  59. April 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    It is just…
    so right.
    “Live with all the passion and energy you’ve got now. Now is all you have. Each moment matters.”

    and don’t regret about what was done.

  60. Linda

    April 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you–again for making me take notes, look at the “life is about creating yourself” sign on my desk and know that I can make it by taking a risk. I hold in my hand the paintbrush of a painter of Life.

  61. April 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    This really resonates with me. Thanks for posting this and good luck with your journey in all senses of the word.

  62. Thomas D.

    April 20, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been pursuing my dreams for many years, and this has taken me to different places and different settings than if I’d followed the herd. It’s given me experiences for life. But sometimes I have doubts. Sometimes I think my economy would’ve been better, or my career straighter if I stuck to normal. That’s when I seem to stumble upon words of encouragement like this (BTW, I love how courage comes from cour – heart).

    Last time I was making a big jump, I happened to watch “Revolutionary Road” and knew then that I was doing the right thing – for me! I met people who’d made their leaps of faith and lived to tell. This time, pieces like this post help to keep me focused on my decision. Thanks.

    Your next roadtrip sounds good. Don’t go to Scandinavia before I get back from my adventure in a years time! I’d love to meet up for photography, beer and philosophy ;-)

    Good luck with your plans and dreams – the adventure that is life!

  63. April 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    see you in the UK…. bring warm socks!

  64. April 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Regrets for the things not done are much harder to bear than the regrets for things done.
    One of the inspiring people in my life is the late Col. Norman Vaughn. His motto? “Dream big and dare to fail”.
    Cheers!

  65. John Hewson

    April 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Wise words… keep travelling… as we explore we discover… as we dream we realize… thank you for your inspiring words, I am a new follower. Enjoy the journey, these trips around the sun sure are a fun adventure… Cheers John

  66. Dave Cumming

    April 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks David, for taking the risk of this post. Hits the nail on the head of my struggle, and helps me now, to keep moving forward, toward more risk, and more LIFE. Cheers, and best wishes!

  67. April 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Thank You!
    I sometimes need a reminder to stay the course and make those difficult decisions. It is all to easy to stay the course and be lulled into the comfort zone that causes us to loose site of our dreams. Those difficult decisions help us keep those dreams alive and though hard to make they break the comfort zone and bring reality back into view. They help us along our paths to living those great stories rather than watching them on the big screen.

    Thanks for the reality check and encouraging me and others to keep our dreams alive.

    Your insights are truly valuable!

    Keep living, keep dreaming and keep sharing!

    Thanks! Brian

  68. April 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Great words!
    I wish I could make it a sticky in the back of my mind.

  69. April 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Well said David. A few years back I read:

    “The biggest risk in life is to risk nothing”

    You took the risk and are living your life to the fullest. When I had read that saying a few years back, I did change my life and haven’t looked back.

    Safe travels.

  70. April 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Wow David! I so would love to sit and chat with you sometime! :c) Loved your post and completely agree with it! I’m glad I’ve decided to live out my dream and nomadic is the word! :c) I guess I’ve always been nomadic. Love it! Thanks for posting this and hopefully one day I’ll get to sit and chat with you, somewhere in the world! :c)

  71. Genod55

    April 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Very good points to ponder and I truly wish you great and imperishable moments through your “risk-taking.” I believe it (desire to be somewhat nomad-ic) lies at the root of our nature along with those limbic desires consisting of the range of emotions.

    I recently lost a dear uncle and while going through the estate came across a trove of letters and pictures that helped to frame a life from another era; going back several generations.

    Recent events and the serendipitous perusal of your blog highlight the importance of the takeaway message (at the very least): to LIVE LIFE in the moment . . .

    A sincere “thanks” for such a great blog and your eloquence with written word

  72. April 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I walked away from the corporate world three years ago and have never regretted it. Best decision I ever made! Living my dream…

  73. April 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    You are such a huge inspiration to me. I am on your third book and can’t put it down. Your writing is as incredible as your photography. This blog post hit home to me. I have a very similar dream to yours and am a nomad at heart. I am living my dream now and making it more real each day. Thank you for your inspiring words to keep on going! :)

  74. April 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Just for the record I was inspired by the photo. I think most people envied your life when you traveled around the world taking pictures, writing books and coming home to Vancouver. Stay motivated, you do great work.

  75. April 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Hi David, Since you are a few months ahead of me in the journey, following your blog keeps me encouraged and inspired. I keep having panic attacks when I hit the milestones working up to departure: when the house sold; when I stored my boat (which was really hard for me I love it so much); and again now because we’re picking up our trailer tomorrow. Every time it hits home that this is really happening.

    I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile, but since I’ve made my own plans for a grand journey people keep sending me links to your blog :) I look forward to every post.

  76. April 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Spot on David! I’m very close to a BIG life changing, plug pulling, risk taking adventure myself. Your words and your current journey are inspirational–though, ultimately, we all have to make life choices and act on them in our own time. But being a being in time… “all we have is now” is a great motivator to hurry it up a bit ;-).

  77. Lyric

    April 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    You certainly have ample affirmation regarding the inspiration and wisdom of your message. And while I can’t add to what’s been said I do want to add that I hope and pray for a day when you write about this journey, your journey. The words you write allow me to insert the photographs of my own journey and that’s a powerful and precious gift. You have the power of an architect that erects a meaningful framework for decisions and choices we must all make. Thank you, David.

  78. April 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    […] entitled ‘choose your risk’ a small clipping below, please go to David’s website, Pixelated Image, and read it in full… we all need […]

  79. Camille

    April 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    David, I love it when you speak from the pulpit! ? I’m hoping for daily sermons in Croatia…

  80. April 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    This creates an impulse to write an opposite post. Why? Not because I am against risk. Nope.

    Because my story is the opposite. I guess my exploration this year is balance (says the 51-year-old woman with brand new dreadlocks. Hey! I’m trying.)

    I spent so much of my pre-40-year-old life following dreams AND setting my financial expectations and my expectations for comfort and beauty too low. It seemed like a good trade-off and I don’t regret all the adventure (okay most of) but I am LOVE LOVE LOVIN’ owning a home with the bank, renovating, planting a garden, being married with a dog and a Volvo. Fear kept me from “normal”. I thought I would lose my freedom-loving self.

    Given the recent dreadlocking that seems to have been an unnecessary worry.

  81. Claudia Heath

    April 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you David for your words. I am on an endeavour to not let fear be my guide but my belief in my dreams and my belief in myself..had to turn 46 before I truly value my own gut feeling about things and love and appreciate myself. My dream life is in the Yukon and here I am-if you ever come this way-visit-nothing better than feeling I am not the ugly duckling but a swan.

  82. April 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Very inspiring read, David. All the best in your journey.

  83. Piper Mackay

    April 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Anne McKinnell the panic attacks are natural, but worth it all… NO regrets, enjoy the journey.
    David. Europe you will be luck to have David next year.. a natural progression. Look forward to hearing from you in a land you are coming love.

  84. April 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    I simply thank you ..thank you very much!!

  85. April 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    This was so needed right now, David. Thanks for sharing.

  86. Meg Arias

    April 21, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I love this post. I love that you were in our studio and that Zack and I had the honor of hosting you. When you come back through the ATL you’re coming to our house for porch time under the lanterns.

    :-)

  87. April 21, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Standing up and cheering!

  88. April 21, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Interesting post and whilst I agree with the general sentiment I also think it should be tempered with a bit of real world practicality.

    Life is short, you should make the best of it, etc, is all well and good but most people are limited in their freedom to some extent.

    Taking risks are great when they work out, but not so much when they don’t? What if the risk is big and you are risking not just your own happiness, but that of others too.

    If you are responsible for others as well as yourself, some risks are just too big to take.

  89. April 21, 2011 at 2:11 am

    What you said is simple and great. One of friend is a great admirer of your blog. Today morning He read it to me when was leaving to my work. Knowingly or unknowingly I took some risks and I learned some from that risk. By taking those risks I have become better person. I tired to spread this message to several of my colleagues, unfortunately then just want to have a settled life. I have no probs with settled life, however its best to seek change and change will bring in the happiness. That is what I have discovered after taking risks.

    Once again great pot.

    Cheers

  90. David

    April 21, 2011 at 2:33 am

    @Jamie Wilmott – Everyone is to some degree or another limited in their freedom, but what I’m arguing for is to live a life unrestrained by fear, to acknowledge that risk is everywhere and the goal is not to live a life free from it, but to be intentional about choosing which risks to take. If you’re risking your family’s happiness, for example, then that’s a decision you make, and it’s not one I’m suggesting you do. However, many people think that risk is greater than it is. Do you mean your chance at doing something amazing means your kids won’t have an X-box or new clothes? I’d rather (and I don’t have kids) have my kids wear some hand-me-downs but see what it is to live a life unrestrained by risk-aversion.

    So I don’t know if you disagree with me but your last line tells me you might have missed the point to some degree. I agree – some risks are too big to take, but as I said, what do you risk by NOT taking the chance to do whatever it is you think is too risky? Your decision MIGHT mean your kids live in low-income housing and don’t get to wear the same clothes as the cool kids – they’ll live: Lord knows it didn’t kill me. But what about the risk of kids growing up entitled, xenophobic, bored, and culturally myopic? I’m not suggesting those are the only two options – just two of many possible extremes.

    In the end my argument is this: you can’t avoid risk in decision-making, so look at the risks that come from taking the so-called “safer” path and then make your choice.

  91. April 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

    @David – I do agree with you for the most part, risk is everywhere an is something that a lot of us manage on a regular basis. As you mention, Even the seemingly safe option will have some risks.

    The point about not being scared of taking a risk is perfectly valid, my issue is more to do with the lack of emphasis on assessing the risks, especially when the outcome affects others.

    If I was less restrained by risk aversion, maybe it wouldn’t be an issue? I wouldn’t want to follow my own dreams and just be dragging others along with me – if it isn’t their dream too then it seems a little selfish.

    To sum up, I feel that your points are noble, valid and inspirational but the extent to which you can live by that is often limited by your current situation or your responsibility to others.

  92. April 21, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Thanks for a great post. Very well said…especially so in todays world. Go now, do it now, see it now. The recent natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand and the political upheavels in the Middle East just prove how unpredicatble this world can be. See it now….it may not be there by the time you retire. We’re starting a 10 week trip across China next month for the sole purpose of taking photographs, then from there…who knows?

  93. April 21, 2011 at 4:53 am

    […] and blogs and photographs and talks.   I recommend his book “Vision Mongers”.  His latest post was on risk/fear and was especially […]

  94. April 21, 2011 at 5:47 am

    inspiring dave. i’ve been coming to some simliar conclusion in my life and am starting to take some big steps. one is launching my walk to raise money for clean water wells: http://www.walkforcleanwater.org – another was going full time photography last year (although I only had am inkling of it at the time). thanks so much for sharing your journey!

  95. April 21, 2011 at 7:27 am

    And there it is… exactly what I needed to hear while feeling overwhelmed planning out my own map for my own dream… many thanks David. Happy journey-ing!!!

  96. April 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Very well put Dave… so many of those thoughts have gone through my own head in the past 10 years… and have lead me to being very happily self-employed and loving it and happily married… and loving that too! Let me know if your travels will be bringing you through Ottawa… would be nice to chat in person over a pint about your adventures

  97. David

    April 21, 2011 at 8:53 am

    @Jamie Wilmott – No argument from me – I agree completely that risk assessment is important and the factors that affect those assessments will differ for us all, but too often perceived risk is averted without that assessment. Perhaps we’re saying the same thing. I’m saying “choose your risks with your eyes open to the brevity of life” and you’re saying “choose your risks with your heart open to the way we’re all interconnected.” As long as we’re not cowering in fear and leaving a legacy of a life half-lived, I think we’re heading in the same direction. :-)

  98. April 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Thank you so much for this post. My goodness, it was like as if you wrote it just for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  99. April 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

    David… Wow. Timing.
    Today’s our 10 year wedding anniversary. And over the past decade, I’ve watched my life go from risk-taking to incredibly risk-averse. My wife watched you on Dane’s video last week and that brought up this well-discussed topic that both of us face in our household. If you would have shown me a snapshot of my current life ten years ago, I would never have believed it. I take encouragement from your words about not living in fear, but still feel paralyzed now that life had become encumbered with many things and people.
    So, thanks for your perspective on the inevitability of risk. It’s time to face it and make some choices in light of it. And time to celebrate 10 years properly instead of letting today slip by.

  100. Gary Swann

    April 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    @ David – From the heart and thought provoking. My thanks for your continued inspiration, both photographically and philosophically, often with a healthy dose of humour :-)

    @ Jamie Willmott – Reading David’s post, and the replies, what ‘seemed’ to be missing for me was the acknowledgment of our commitment and responsibility to others when considering the risk of pursuing our dreams. I was pondering my own reply when I reached your post. You echoed my sentiments. Thank you.

  101. April 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    @David sounds good to me :)

  102. Basp Uant

    April 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Having lived this kind of life for 4years in the alps, i can only agre, sometimes even risking too much….but, once you meet this lovely person, fall in love, have a kid, and then you see life differently, risk taking takes on a different meaning, and some risks are not worth it anymore, some people, namely kids, need parent, live ones. I keep remembering, every time i see my daughter, about this world famous ice climber who died crused by a colapsing ice candle ( sorry bad translation of the french word, but you know what i mean) the day before his baby was born…. Now the baby and mother are husband and fatherless… Risk taking does have sometimes bad consequences, not always for the person, taking the risk.. Once you re dead doesn t matter to you, but your dependants will suffer….
    Not to bring on a bad note here, but risk has to be calculated and someone with dependants should take these into consideration when calculating risks…
    Come and visit when in austria, you have my email….

  103. W

    April 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    “The culture we live in would rather watch great stories on movie screens than live them. Why? I think it’s fear of risk.”

    Incredible get your butt in gear article. Thanks, David!

  104. April 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    David,

    If you call that flirting with a line, I think perhaps you should consider smashing the line to a pulp at some point because I can’t imagine you being more challenging.

    I have been working with my wife for the last year to make our dreams come true and it has been a fight every step of the way, but one that has been worth the sacrifice. I always appreciate how you challenge me and remind me to keep my eye on the prize and that to be successful, requires really, really hard work.

  105. April 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    David,
    You have got me all fired up! Please Please keep writing about this. The world needs to hear these things! From one Dreamer to another, thank you so much for putting your heart to paper! Well said brother! Heart often thinks an feels these things and I so happy to hear you share then with us. Let me know if your in LA sometime, my wife and I want to make you dinner!
    Blessings
    Josh

  106. April 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Your first post about your life-style change played a large part in my return to my first love, photography. After a life-time in several professional careers, my spouse and friends expected me to quietly enter retirement. (I worked full-time until 70.) But I surprised them by pursuing nature/bird photography on a part-time basis. Now they are even more surprised by my full-time devotion to photography ranging from travel to portraits. I have never been happier with my “work.” You deserve much of the credit. Thank you! Please keep writing.

  107. ChinaJim

    April 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.
    Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  108. April 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I firmly believe that there are no accidents in life…we all choose how to live and where to live. An old friend told me once to beware the day when you stop owning your possessions and they start owning you.

    your words are good medicine

    kindest regards

  109. April 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Oh David, you’re preaching to the choir. My best friend and I talk about this a lot. We call it calculated risk. Which is the biggest risk? Doing something out of the “ordinary” and having it go awry? Or potentially living with regret because we didn’t give it a go? For both of us the second option is usually the bigger risk. But for many, it seems to be the other way round. I’d rather have my heart, my passion, my excitement on my sleeve and feel I’ve lived my life than hold back and feel like life just happened. The only trouble is, no matter how long I last on this planet I still don’t think I’ll be able to pack everything I want in!

  110. nate parker

    April 22, 2011 at 5:11 am

    yeah but, what about our stupid jobs? i feel like i’m living in a caste society sometimes, whereby how can i ever break away from being tied to the dollar!!?? inspiring words sir-

  111. nate parker

    April 22, 2011 at 5:13 am

    oh and hey: come to Maine!

  112. April 22, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Absolutely amazing writing.

    For me, where I currently find myself, this is about as well timed as you can imagine.

    This piece of writing might just be that little push I need to take the next step, scary as it may be.

    Thanks David!

  113. April 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

    don’t forget to visit Prague, when you’ll live/travel thru Europe :)

  114. anita

    April 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Hi David, LOVE this post, LOVE the image from Vernazza, ..and loved your supplementary discussion with Jamie. I hope that you will write some more at some point about how to live a life “unrestrained by fear” because if that is possible, I would love to have the blueprint/roadmap. :)

  115. esquissewei

    April 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Hello from France David, and thanks for this wonderful reminder. One year ago I was about to take a big risk in order to make my dream come true, but my family stopped me and told me that if i did it i would definitely be rejected by my whole family(no money and love support). I finally didn’t do it. What do you think about those kinds of situation? If it were you, what would you do?

  116. April 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Thought provoking post. If you do come to Europe please come to Ireland – you’ll be guaranteed some great people and places to meet/photograph and be assured of a very warm welcome. You can stay with me and my family if you fancy having a few nights away from the comforts of Jessie! (That’s a formal invitation!)

  117. April 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

    […] Choose Your Risk – Another good post about finding a way to change your life for the betters […]

  118. April 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    […] This gets too hard for me to write much more without crying my eyes out and seeing as they’re already a bit watery, I want to direct you to David’s latest post: Choose Your Own Risk. […]

  119. April 23, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I found your blog through twitter and it has been the discovery of the week if not of the year. As so many other people have said, it seemed I needed to read exactly this kind of words. Thank you and good luck in everything. And if you happen to pass by Greece, you will find friends here too.

  120. BigFernowski

    April 23, 2011 at 1:40 am

    David, truly inspiring post that resonates with what’s brewing in my life right now. Thank you. If you decide to include Spain in your European adventure, you won’t be disappointed!

  121. Aeron

    April 23, 2011 at 3:24 am

    You stir some strong emotions, congratulations on getting out there I really hope that me and my friends can come to be as brave as you…

  122. April 23, 2011 at 5:15 am

    I very much enjoy your blog whether it concerns photography or your life view. I just wish you had the time to explore north Texas a bit more when you passed through. It would be an honor to meet and talk with you.

  123. April 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    You have the uncanny ability to write certain things just when I need to read them.
    Thanks for taking us on all aspects of your journey.

  124. April 24, 2011 at 1:57 am

    This was just what I needed to hear. Thanks David! This is the first post I read of yours. I did a google search on black and white photography and then clicked on this blog… hmmm… thanks again!

  125. Vlad

    April 24, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Hi from Germany. Very true post, I’m in the same situation now, took a lot of decisions to change the direction before it’s to late, sure inside my “bonds”, as Basp Uant said, when a child depends on you, you have to weigh carefully all the risks and down sides. I have the luck to have a very supportive and understanding wife, so I hope to find the optimal middle course.

    Do you plan to come to Berlin, Germany ? If yes, give me a line, I would have a spare bed for you and garage for the Landy.

    Btw., the biggest risk you took, is your Landy :-). I have owned various 4x4s since getting my license ( 27 years or so) and there’s no other make and model so prone to breaking down repeatedly. I know, I know, gear is good, inspiration is better, but not if the gear let’s you down in the wild. Hope you will prove me wrong, though until know it you doesn’t sem to :-).

    Good “steering” and keep the post coming.

    Cheers,
    Vlad

  126. April 24, 2011 at 10:10 am

    For anybody who happens upon this and doesn’t know about David’s accident, Jeffrey Chapman has a rundown at http://goo.gl/8jTny . He’s going to be okay, but is in rough shape.

  127. Victor Th

    April 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I hear you. I’ll figure out my dreams, goals and visions, and follow them.

    I’ll meet you up in Sweden.

  128. nate parker

    April 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    oh my god, healing powers to David now- i was shocked to hear about the accident and hope your recovery will be swift and comfortable, and after the last post titled : choose your Risk! get well soon- Nate.

  129. Melissa Reed

    April 24, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Wow – what accident?!? David, hope you are ok! Some get well soon prayers coming your way my friend!

  130. April 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    David, sorry to hear about your accident – wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery.

  131. Catherine Wisner

    April 24, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    David, I will be sending good energy your way. I hope that your time off feet will give you the clarity to know what your next direction will be..post soon and let us know you are alright..

  132. April 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Yes. Absolutely. For me, for a while, risk meant what you’re doing now, wandering from one place to the next, living abroad and not planning more than a few weeks ahead. Now it means staying put and growing my business. But all of it is risk, and all of it is right, for me, for the moment.

    Wish me luck!

  133. April 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    […] I’ve mentioned a few times here on this blog, has posted another great commentary on a life of risks. These always help to remind me why I’m out here. In addition to the occasional inspirational […]

  134. Lisa O

    April 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Just reread this after you accident. I hope you will heal quickly and that you can soon return to living the dream.

  135. Joe

    April 24, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Hope you have a speedy recovery David. For those of you who aren’t on Twitter, here’s what’s going on: http://www.jeffreychapman.com/culturalphotographer/2011/04/24/davids-fall-to-grace/

  136. Mike Paterson

    April 24, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    David, just wanted to echo what so many others are saying… you are in my prayers.

  137. Vlad

    April 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    David, wish you a speedy and full recovery ! What a coincidence, what an “end” in a post talking about risks, the effect of more literal risks …

  138. April 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    David,

    Wishing you a very speed recovery.
    Pls dont take significant risks next time!
    Get well soon,

    Venura

  139. Michael Mönsters

    April 25, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Just heard about your accident, David. So sorry to hear about it! Get well soon, we need your inspiration!

  140. David

    April 25, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Sageful advice David.
    Wishing you a full & speedy recovery and hope you can resume your journey again in the future.

  141. April 25, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Wishing you speedy recovery. Life is ironic, going to put you in a hospital and think about the irony.

  142. Michael Montalto

    April 25, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Get well soon David!!! I said a prayer for you sitting on the train heading into work this morning on my way to Chicago.

  143. ron carroll

    April 25, 2011 at 5:22 am

    David, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  144. April 25, 2011 at 5:47 am

    Bones break… pride bruises… but strong character and spirit never shatter. Even in the little bit that we’ve heard about the accident and your response to it, you are ‘being David’ to the rest of us through it all… gracefully living out the very words that you so eloquently write! Full and speedy recovery my friend!

  145. April 25, 2011 at 5:53 am

    David, this is truly eye opening and I am glad you are living your beliefs and embracing the risks involved. I wish you the best recovery from your accident and a joyful return to your journey someday soon.

  146. Tim Abramowitz

    April 25, 2011 at 6:42 am

    David, our prayers are with you this day. Praying at this point for a convenient way back to Vancouver. With all that has been happening in your life over the last year or so and the direction and even words that He has given you, it is almost shocking to see how God is molding your life and using you to change the lives of others. God bless.

  147. April 25, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Read about your ‘Fall to Grace’ and hope for a full and speedy recovery.

  148. April 25, 2011 at 7:13 am

    David, You are very inspiring dude!!!! I try to live like it everyday of my life, sometimes it’s harder, sometimes it gets easier but it is always rewarding!!! … Someone once said: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: “WOW!!! What a ride!” … Totally subscribe to it;)))

    BTW, love your books, great inspiration!!!

  149. pk

    April 25, 2011 at 7:32 am

    David,

    Read about terrible mishap. Wish you a speedy and full recovery, so you can back to living your dream.

    pk

  150. April 25, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I just want to add my name and prayers to the many that have commented already!

  151. April 25, 2011 at 8:30 am

    hey david,

    heard the news, wishing you a speedy recovery. get well soon, we’re here to support you along the way…

  152. April 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

    […] his craft runs deep, far, and wide, within him. If you don’t believe me, read the article he posted to his website just before the accident took place.  It’s an ironic, and yet pointed piece about how all […]

  153. Bryan Nelson

    April 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  154. russell

    April 25, 2011 at 9:22 am

    just read about the fall. Best wishes for a fast and lasting recovery … keep living the dream.

  155. George

    April 25, 2011 at 10:10 am

    David!
    Just heard about your accident in Pisa. Wishing you a speedy recovery and glad to hear you have kept up your good spirits. Just wondering… after your fall, did you see stars before your eyes… did you see oh’RYANS belt?
    Take care big fella.

  156. kevin

    April 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

    ..and I’ll be one more who wishes you well and a quick recovery. I look forward to your book, your blog and your images.

  157. Rob Davidson

    April 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Thank you for words like those in this post and for living your life as an example.

    Very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery, David!

  158. April 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

    […] Your Risk was the last post on his blog before the fall. http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/2011/04/choose-your-risk/ A great post I am still inspired!!! This entry was posted in artists/photographers and tagged […]

  159. Shari

    April 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Oh David – just read about your accident on my NAPP forum. I am finding this hard to believe but I know because of the kind of person you are that you will overcome. Get back to Vancouver quickly and work on that recovery. My prayers are with you all the way.

  160. April 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    New rule David, no more tempting fate by posting about how short life is, alright? ;-) Gravity does a great job of helping our tripods stay put, but frankly there are days that it just sucks! So thankful you are still with us and praying for the pain to stop and all of the floaty and detached bits to get back where they belong and stay there, ASAP. Heal up quick my friend. The world needs more of your amazing wit and imagery. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  161. Tim Vailoces

    April 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    My family is sending our best wishes and hopes for a full recovery from you mishap. Do come back stronger!!!

  162. April 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Just heard what happened. Wish you a speedy and painless recovery. Take care of yourself.

  163. Bao

    April 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    David I hope your feeling better. Our prayers are with you.

  164. Robyn

    April 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    David, just read on twitter about your accident. My prayers go out to you for a speedy recovery. I am so glad you are ok because this world is definitely a better place with you, your words and wisdom in it.

  165. April 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    We are wishing for a speedy recovery!
    Today while my boyfriend Mike was on some steep rocks so he could get a picture of the (cold and fast flowing) river I said “remember what happened to Dave”… Take risks – but watch your footing.
    Get well soon.
    Leah and Mike

  166. April 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Espero que melhore logo. Boa sorte!

  167. Ben

    April 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    David, so sorry to hear about your fall. Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery. Watching you live your dreams through your blog serves as an inspiration to all of us working stiffs with a passion for light. Get well soon!!!

  168. Shari

    April 25, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Just read you were medivacing back to Canada. If it is Vancouver I can vouch for St. Paul’s and the fact that they do great pain killers. Prayers still coming. I am reading Vision & Voice again and realizing how very much you have inspired and helped me with this wonderful hobby I found in my senior years. Thanks again.

  169. anirban chatterjee

    April 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Hi David
    Heard abt ur accident. Please do care of urself and remember what u have written over here in this post.
    Take Care and Get Well Soon
    :)

  170. Nikki

    April 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Hey David, hoping you can get back home quickly to Canada where you can be taken care of. Thoughts and prayers go out to you.

  171. April 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    David,

    I just know you had an accident in Pisa.

    All our family prays for your recovery.

    We are shock, my wife and I were reading your post about taking chances
    in life an were discussing it with our sons.

    Your blog is a fountain we always drink to satisfy our thirst for positiveness.

    We pray and hope you´ll go well trough your surgery.

    Fernando Franco and Family

    From Aguascalientes and Oaxaca, México.

  172. Praveen

    April 26, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Best wishes and get well soon!

  173. April 26, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Hey David

    As I read this, i have just read that you have been injured and that is sooo sad. This blog post is great as it challenges us to take risk and deal with the outcomes. My wife and I did that 16 months ago, sold up everything…and I mean everything and went on an extended trip through South America. In the 9months in South America we experienced a gale force storm at sea on the way to Antarctica, we were caught in the 8.8 earthquake in Chile and were evacuated in a Tsunami alert in Chile. We took risks, but saw some amazing stuff and I captured some “once in a lifetime” images too, Antarctica, Perito Moreno Glacier, The Atacama Desert, Macchu Pichu. The most amazing part was that we met the most incredible people. Don’t let this injury deter you, you will recover and heal, you will come back stronger and you will continue to capture amazing images and you will continue to inspire others with your desire to capture the world through your lens…thanks for your work!

  174. April 26, 2011 at 5:06 am

    We wish you all the best.

  175. April 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

    David, I pray that you get better soon. Thanks for all the knowledge and inspiration you give to the photographic world (and the world in general).

  176. Anja

    April 26, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Glad to read that you are alive, and I wish you all the best!
    Hope you are not too much in pain(?)… because to be in an Italian hospital with lots of pain is not the best thing, my experience is that they are very sparingly with pain-killers, I don’t know why… Hope you can manage your flight back to Canada soon. If not maybe one of your friends can try to organize a transport to Innsbruck (Austria), the emergency department is very good there, and everyone speaks English…
    Get well soon!
    Anja

  177. April 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Sending healing thoughts your way. I totally believe you would be asking people to take the shots of your rescue!! Good luck, and look for the positives in this mess! (More rest and time to write maybe??)

  178. Ross B

    April 27, 2011 at 3:26 am

    Hang in there buddy!
    Prayers from a Kiwi in Oman.

  179. Dan Goossens

    April 27, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Get well soon, young man. Or better, take all the time you need for a full recovery. Hoping to travel with you again in the future. The workshop in Liguria was fun (and instructive).

  180. Rick

    April 27, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Get well soon, my friend! I need you around to take me on future workshops!

  181. Sandy Shook

    April 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

    You have been an inspiration to me and my photography. I was so shocked to hear of your accident. You are in my prayers not only for a speedy recovery but that the doctors will have wisdom in treating your injuries.

  182. April 28, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Oh no – what will happen to Jesse? :) But what I think everyone really wants to know is – how did you gear handle the fall? I mean, I assume the lens shattered, but what about that D3s? :P Still capable of capturing the photo? (oh, and if you tell me that you were able to raise your good hand and give a thumbs up to all the people watching, like the [American] football players do – I may have a newfound respect for your bad-assedness… :))

    No, but in all seriousness, I was shocked to hear about the fall. I’ve been on vacation and missed the news until today. I do hope you recover quickly, am happy to hear it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and I will pray for you and your family (and the medical staff – though I may be a little late. ;) How does one pray retroactively…).

  183. April 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Get better soon David. Thoughts are with you, if not always in agreement ;)

  184. April 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Get better soon, David. Just heard about your accident. Wishing you quick recovery. Take care.

  185. April 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Just heard Zack Arias talk about your accident on Creative Live! Get well soon buddy!

  186. April 30, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I’ve done the same toughts around last year, and started my photography business.
    It’s hard but I strive to making it better.
    Wish me luck :)

  187. April 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    You and your photography are an inspiration. My wife and I too are taking off on the “Road Less Traveled” next month. It is good to know that there are like minded individuals such as yourself out on that road.

    Recover quickly!

  188. May 4, 2011 at 7:06 am

    […] living a life to the fullest and with intention, this almost seems prescient. If you didn’t read his post the last time I suggested it, I’d recommend that you do […]

  189. May 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Hi David,
    so sad to hear about what happen.
    I’m photographer and i’m italian too…and besides i finished in your same condition int he past. i wish you could get better and better again. I hope my country have given to you assistance and kindness… i’ve been in canada and i receive all of this from your wonderful people. Now i’m still in america travelling and taking pictures in Mexico! Big hug and happy ending!

  190. Sonya Payne

    May 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Indeed, not all who wander are lost. I had lost belief in this quote that once evoked such a profound sense of freedom in me. I am starting to believe again.

    Thanks.
    sp

  191. Sonya Payne

    May 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Oh, and be well. :o)

  192. May 10, 2011 at 6:00 am

    […] David duChemin talked about taking risks, and apart from how it applies to how we approach life, I think it also applies simply to how we get better at something. Without taking an extra step toward what we don’t know, we may never know. And being able to know might be a risk worth taking. […]

  193. May 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    David, I enjoy the blog and hope you recover soon from what sound like some awful injuries. Back to this blog post, it seems a little untempered. I think it reads as a great diary entry for you, for where you are, what you’re after, but I’m not sure that it’s generally applicable. The reason that I say that is not that I disagree with the notion of not settling, but I think that personal perceptions, responsibilities, selflessness all come into that mix as well. Perceptions – right now, I look at photography as a bit like the new real estate boom – with more and more photographers making a living selling things rather than on photography. That doesn’t mean to be as pejorative as it sounds. There was a recent article on Slate about David Hobby – when the paper job went away, he found a life teaching flash, which is great, but the very fact of the matter is: the day-to-day photography job went away. David made a great transition that works well in a time when photography is America’s number one hobby. But what’s also driving that and things like Kelby training (which, again is great and it’s not Scott’s fault that there is a huge market for this now – $18 million a year for his business), and the countless tours (some of which remind me of the real estate presentation by Carlton Sheets) is this notion of self-employment, of controlling ones own destiny, etc. Here’s where it gets tricky – yes, that’s great and some will do it, but there’s a limit to how many high end clients there are, how many photographers are needed, and how many people can make a living at it.

    Part of this is informed risk and checking your perceptions – what is it that you (meaning someone in general) want? More time, control of your own destiny, etc.? Yes, Okay, so that’s the human race. People who work 10 hrs in a coal mine, or are cleaning hotel rooms, are doing it to put food on the table, and a roof over a family’s head. They’d love to be free of that in many cases I’m sure. The path to that is often education and seeking out a better job – it might seem like settling to some, but to them it’s an achievement, a better life and their reality is much more grounded than many who think the world needs another stock photographer to photograph Patagonia … again. There are certainly photographers that will add something to that art, who will give a client something that Art Wolfe hasn’t yet, but I suggest that those folks are very, very limited in number. Another way to say it is: realistically, the world doesn’t have the market demand for it. It just doesn’t exist. So again, this is where realism comes into a rational assessment of risks. It shouldn’t be mislabeled as fear.

    Responsibility also comes in and is a side of the same coin discussed above – do you need health insurance for a condition? Or do you have kids or a wife that depend on you for income and benefits? This is the – don’t be an immature a** point. Keep your job and benefits. Help your kids with school. Take care of your wife and send a card to you retired parents with a little something extra as a thank you for all the sacrifices that they made for you. They would have liked to do other things to, but so many of them worked countless hours at thankless jobs to help us have nice lives with a huge amount of leisure time and enough security to engage in photography. And in the end, did they regret it? Some may have, but I think this is where the bigger life perspective kicks in – my parents, I don’t think that they do at all. Because ultimately happiness was bigger than them – it was knowing that they provided for all of us, that they made sure we had what we needed for school each day, that they could help us a little bit when they could, that they gave us good life skills. This is a tricky thing, but that bigger perspective informs what success is, what settling means, what are the paths less travelled in this one, relatively short life.

    So, be a Dr. or an accountant or a lawyer or a construction worker or biologist for the state or province fish and wildlife service, or … fill-in-the-blank. Obviously it’s great to pick something that you enjoy, and something that you’re good at. But, for the masses, take a breath and exercise some judgment – which is not fear – before you decide that you can make a good living at photography, like the guy at the workshop told you. If you’re focused on photography, then do that, but it doesn’t mean you can’t also be a successful city planner (read: gainfully employed in an area where there is market demand for a skill you’re good at) or whatever else. Or stated another way, don’t mistake fearlessness for a lack of judgment or wanting to be self-employed with a love of photography. (again the “you” written generally and not to you David).

    Thanks for letting me post.

  194. nate parker

    May 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    that was one of the most interesting replies i have had the opportunity to read! here’s to Life and Living!!

  195. June 1, 2011 at 3:02 am

    […] post which I just stumbled upon weeks after he had wrote it.  You can check out the full stories here and here (you can scroll past the pictures of the accident he had to get to the part I am referring […]

  196. August 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    […] ways. David duChemin is a photographer who travels the world, and he writes about photography and living with passion. It’s an unexpected mix, but it sure is an interesting […]

  197. June 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    […] é por causa da fotografia que resolvi traduzir e publicar este post (o original em inglês está aqui). Como ele mesmo diz, é um post sobre a vida. E para viver precisamos nos arriscar. O resto, deixo […]