Monday, November 24, 2008

A Balancing Act

Photo by: Ron/ On Top Of The World Looking For Signal/ Honduras/ 2008
Current Location: Midland, Michigan, USA / 43°37′25.0″N 84°13′45.7″W

Lately, I've spent more time critiquing my own words than actually writing them. As a photographer, I spend much of my time behind a lens, procuring rays of light by day, and drafting journals by night. It's a hobby I'd like to continue doing, but sometimes, it's hard. I guess it's a constant struggle between choosing what to write about and finding the time to transcribe the backlog of stories floating freely in my mind. And other times, it's deciphering what's right and what's wrong--picking and choosing content that I'm comfortable sharing.

You see, for years I've been trying to find a balance in my life, separating myself from the world I was filming and the environment I actually live in. When you travel and see the world as much as I do, it's a never ending journey, and sometimes, I find myself deeply involved in the topics I'm covering. Finding that separation between my subject matters and my personal life is a daunting task. This year, however, I've come to the conclusion that it's literally impossible. And I'm glad.

I've been photographing the world for almost ten years now, and have covered some of the worst situations on earth: Cambodia, Afghanistan, Laos, Kenya, and lately, Ghana. I've seen more suffering than I can count, more horror and hatred than I can remember, yet I'm still surprised by what I discover in the far reaches of our planet. In the midst of abject poverty and despair, war and suffering, moments that define the power of the human spirit ultimately prevails--snapshots of hope, humanity, and the sheer will to survive encapsulate my lens. I've come to see how these moments enrich my life, past and present, personal and professional. It's all inter-connected. Life isn't all about successes and failure, triumph and tragedy, there's more to it than that. It's about finding your place, acceptance for who you are, and believing in a better tomorrow.

Working overseas, traversing front lines and witnessing the world unfold before me is my dream come true. But never did I imagine myself feeling the way I feel, forever gifted by my experiences, forever grateful for the moments I've captured. And with that, I am balanced.

Photo Above: Taken during my first trip to Honduras earlier this year, a pheasent villager hikes to the top of a mountain to find signal for his phone. Goes to show how connected we all are--rich or poor.
(7 days to departure).