VIEW THE PORTFOLIOS

Ten galleries of images representing David's work, both personal and professional, over the last 8 years.

READ THE BOOKS

If you've tried the books about gear and long for something more, David's poured his heart into 20 books and ebooks for you.

COLLECT THE PRINTS

Two carefully curated collections of 24 beautiful fine-art prints and folios for your walls or your personal collection.

May 8th

2015

Comments Comments 17
CategoryPosted in: Life Is Short, Pep Talks, The Craft, The Life Creative, Vision Is Better

Enough.

duChemin-enoughBull Kelp, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

When I dropped into the waters of Queen Charlotte Strait a couple weeks ago it was a bit of a graduation for me. I’ve spent a year working towards it. Four different SCUBA certifications, a lot of reading, research, and far too much dreaming about the photographs I hoped I would make. And there was the gear. Figuring out housings and strobes and which part connected to what other piece. But I finally had it all together. So when, in the days before the trip I forced the lens port in a direction it didn’t want to go, and loosened it in ways it wasn’t meant to loosen, and then broke another piece because the directions were so poor, and then completely forgot a piece I really didn’t know I needed, it meant leaving my so-called big-boy camera on the shelf in my cabin while taking my little Sony compact with me instead.

I’ve toyed often with leaving my big gear at home and doing my work with smaller so-called entry-level cameras to make a point – the point being: the camera doesn’t matter as much as we like to believe it does. I say it alot, but maybe putting my money where my mouth is would convince the dubious. I never did, at least not to make a point. But when I took my Fuji gear with me to Kenya for my recent assignment in Kenya, and then my compact Sony because of this recent adventure in learning the hard way, and still returned with images of which I am as proud as any other work shot on cameras I once considered more serious, I started to think I’ve made my point as well as it needs to be made. And if you have eyes to see, artists all over the world do so everyday.

We all have raw materials and tools at hand. We have what we have. Some we have in abundance, some we have very little of. Money. Talent. Time. We’re constrained by life at home and emotional distractions and physical limitations. This, my dear friends, is life. We always have, and always will, make of it what we can, with the tools at hand. Or we won’t. But that’s our choice. There will always be something better, some tool or resource we don’t have. The great masters faced this same lack. And they still made do with what they had. All the advances in typewriters and paintbrush technology hasn’t made their work less powerful, less beautiful, or less meaningful.

You have everything you need to create something great. Something compelling. Something human, You also have what you need – the constraints – to make enough excuses to keep you from your work for the rest of your life, or to get creative and make something amazing. Something authentic.

I don’t know what you’ve been told, by your teachers, the guy behind the counter at the camera store, or that one a$$hole at the photography club, but you’ve got what you need. And you’ll grow into what constraints you have, and make something great not despite them, but because of them. Because you need constraints as much as – no, more than – you need a newer, shinier, better lens. Sure, we need the tools, but we need them much less than we imagine.

I can make art with my Sony RX100. And with my Fuji X-T1. Sure, I might make bigger art, sharper art, with this new camera or that pricey lens, and there are good reasons for doing so, but it’ll be no more compelling. It might even be less compelling, because when we rely more heavily on our gear than on our creativity, our work suffers. Our process suffers.

You’ve got what you’ve got, and for now it is enough. Go make something.

Apr 29th

2015

Comments Comments 20
CategoryPosted in: Life Is Short, News & Stuff, Travel

Below

What an unforgettable week. Last Sunday I closed the door of my Vancouver loft for the last time, threw my SCUBA gear into the Jeep and headed to the airport to pick up one of my best friends. We got on a ferry to Vancouver Island and headed north to Port Hardy, camping for a […]

Back to Sucking.

This weekend I’m off to the northern tip of Vancouver Island to dive in the giant kelp forests with sea lions and octopus. I can’t wait! After a year of taking SCUBA courses and, forgive the pun, immersing myself in a hobby more bewildering than even photography, I am finally taking my cameras into the […]

Apr 16th

2015

Comments Comments 52
CategoryPosted in: Rants and Sermons

On Real Photographers

My friend, and inspiration, Chris Orwig My first experiences of being part of a group of my peers did not go well. My memories of being in school are mostly filled with my efforts to fit in, and the efforts of others to keep me out. The new kid. The smaller kid. The kid with […]

My Favourite Magazine

Being its editor-in-chief, it’s hard not to be unashamedly biased about this magazine . Each issue gets better and better and with each one I’m more sure we’re doing something beautiful, something full of value. It’s ad-free, and its circulation is still on the “cult-following” side, which means this is more a labour of love […]

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