Before Solstice: Engage, Sing, Dance, War

Desert Dawg Tomahawk

Life is meant to be joyous. Whether it is in passion or war, humans were meant to engage in the moment; to thrive in the ecstasy and sway with the wind. In my life, I have missed the point in so many ways. I had attempted to build a fortress around my soul to keep it from the constant attacks of those who out of spite and anger love to destroy our faith. Since September I have pushed hard to rebuild my life approach, and since September I have found the journey to be so rich that the outcome has lost all meaning. In the moment there is nothing else; outside of the moment there is nothing.

While it may sound like I have been spending my time philosophizing, my time has been spent surrounded by the amazing kindred souls I have found once I opened my eyes to seek them. My photography has refocused itself on such kith, and for that I have been rewarded with work that reflects what I have found: art, love, warfare and jubilation.

Darren Eedens-4

Last night had me photographing Graeme Cameron’s latest work of genius: the Desert Dawg Tomahawk. Made for Ace Kvale, I think, this piece feels so raw yet refined. The blade head is rough hewn, but the lines are more delicate than my own Hellfire X Tomahawk, and the leather strap makes it feel much more secure when swinging it about. Two of these used in tandem would make quite a formidable deterrent. There is more to come from Base Camp X this week. One piece is especially exciting: the Superman Titanis for Zack Snyder.

Last night also had me processing a series of photographs I took for banjo player extraordinaire, Darren Eedens. While none of these shots are tack sharp, nor are they technically perfect, the feeling and motion are honest and beautiful. I feel like I was able to capture this artist’s vibe on digital and then warm it up with analogue processing filters. I drop off the disc to him tonight at his big Indie artist show at Lee’s Palace tonight. I am always thrilled to hear his playing and picking.

Darren Eedens-5

Last week I also had the honour of viewing an Estonian dance troupe perform a series of pieces at The Distillery District’s Christmas Market. What I loved about the show was the joy that they could express through their movements and in their faces. The unique brocade and trim on each costume pulled the audience in as it swirled though night air under the stage lights. For anyone interested in supporting my plight to gain a bit of recognition within the Toronto community for both myself and this troupe, then you can always click a vote on the Distillery Contest site : every vote helps me get closer to making the top ten and be judged by the judges.


Finally, on Sunday I had the privilege to shoot a series of engagement photographs for my close friends, Scott and Amanda. Portraiture is perhaps the most challenging genre to do right, because every participant hopes to look a certain way, to have certain emotions present in the best photos. What I had hoped to capture was how much my two friends love each other, and the role they play in supporting each other on a daily basis. While I will not describe how I see their love, I think that the preceding photograph captures an emotional connection that might not often be communicated for others, and may even be impossible to show unless captured on film. We spent three fun hours walking along Queen Street West capturing who they are together, and not four hours trudging through a series of lame preset poses with fake smiles. I still have 24 Hasselblad photographs to scan tonight to complete their set, and I think those shots are even closer to what I was aiming to procure for them.

The truth: Love is a balance between Passion and the Warfare; it is what makes us cry, makes us laugh, prompts spontaneous singing and dancing until the time when we lose ourselves to its beauty; when we submit to its power willingly.


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