Thanks Jesse Miller for the chance to appear on his jTown.TV show to talk about my journey into photography. you can watch the interview below and see the complete Burning Man pictorial at SteveHuffPhoto.com.
Now, before I answer the question posed in the headline, let's review Jordan's Law of Headlines:
If a headline asks a rhetorical question, the answer is always "no."
This law, being a universal law, applies just as well to my own post. Therefore, you don't have to worry, you are not wasting your life.
How can I be sure?
Simple, because your life is already wasted and there is absolutely nothing to do about it. Even if you're the next Shakespeare, which you're not, everything you do will be long forgotten in a few bats of the universe's eyelashes-- say 10,000 years. So, go ahead order that extra glass of wine tonight.
Q: If living has no higher purpose, what's to stop me from ending my life today?
A: Nothing, and you already knew that didn't you? But life is pretty incredible so why miss the show?
Q: Jordan, if we have no higher purpose won't we become amoral?
A: No. Morality is built into humans, like arms and legs. Changing your beliefs can be very powerful, but it won't make you a psychopath.
Q: If we're just hanging out with nothing much to do, what makes life meaningful?
A: You do. Good luck.
I had the great pleasure of visiting Dublin a few weeks ago and while I spent most of my time recovering from jet lag and working with a really talented team, I did take one lazy day to wander around the city with my OM-D EM5. I put together some of the clips so you could get a sense of what it's like to just sort of stroll around this ancient and lovely city.
One of the most (but not the most) exciting adventures I had in Central America was throwing myself down a volcano on a thin piece of wood. At 40km/hr bits of volcano rock were flying in my face, and these things were no joke. In fact, I put two holes in my backpack while going down the volcano. Check out this video for a first-person view of this wild sport.
Volcano Boarding is one absurd and outlandish way to get an adrenaline rush. Isn't it amazing what people will do to get a buzz? A woman broke her arm the same week I was there.... supposedly it was the bone showing kind of injury. Can you imagine that kind of injury in such a remote place? She had to wait hours for any medical care.
But the funny thing is, I felt perfectly safe and would absolutely do this again. The good folks at Bigfoot offer a discount if you're a repeat Volcano risk taker.
And here's some pics of the adventure:
One of my best friends arrived in El Tunco and, though an ill chill was blowing through my bones, the night was hot and beautiful and we went to dance at El Rocas, the beach resort next door. The band must have been playing smash latin hits-- everyone but the gringos knew every word.
After bobbing about for a short while I decided it was time for me to go to bed. But our own hotel's band was playing killer latin instrumental music. They played with the soul of immortals and the music put some interest and enthusiasm back into me.
That's when I turned around and realized that the heat lighting dancing across the ocean needed a photograph, toutsuite. The bounce of photographic opportunity in my step, I quickly hopped to my room and grabbed my tripod and camera. I only had a chance to take a few exposures before a very friendly, very "borracha" man was so enthusiastic about what I was doing that I couldn't really focus on my task. I think he said something about the local TV station, but I doubt he will remember in the morning.
That's ok, I'm happy with the night's result.
Jesus, your 401k, art, apple products, omega 3 fatty acids, drone strikes, cashing out your 401k, moving to brooklyn/oakland, lots of good eye contact, choosing the PPO, making sense of the past, freedom, organic locally grown foods, new sexual partners, ten million dollars, meditation, learning to bake, index funds, taking a nice long break, obama, psychotropic chemicals, a deep tissue massage, getting your own place, making gay marriage unconstitutional, texting “Haiti” to 90999, yoga, Radiohead, calling your mom, opening a roth, smiling more, a motorcycle, something truly beautiful, the google nexus one, riding your bike to work, god, online forums, living on a sailboat, being fluent in Cantonese, getting inspired, street protests, pastured beef, free range chicken, the bar method, watching the sunset, zero items in your inbox, a restricted salt intake, faking it until you make it, going freelance, finally making your art, running a marathon, Gravity in 3D IMAX, skinny dipping, carbon offsets, an mba, really following through this time, marriage, a truly fabulous bottle of wine, a puppy, a child, a grandchild, a mortgage, paying off your mortgage, TED talks, yoko ono, resveratrol, getting that promotion, sleeping in the nude, being in the present, future medical breakthroughs, finally watching season one of mad men, learning to surf, Thailand, keeping a journal, a good cry, love.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have student loans to keep.
So one day I'll buy a Jeep.
So one day I'll buy a Jeep.
I'd like to update everyone and let you know that I'm currently in sunny Costa Rica enjoying the sun, sand, and pura vida.
I'd like to tell you that, but I'm still in Los Angeles. I actually had a ticket in my hand, but the day before my flight I decided to cancel my flight. More on that soon.
In any case, I am still leaving the US again very soon, and have been slowly preparing. Ensuring my gear is in order, charging my camera batteries, and freeing up room on my memory cards and hard drives. Revisiting these memories is such a pleasure, and when I found a few videos of Sayulita on my phone I knew I had to make a short video with them.
Putting this together reminded me just how much I enjoyed that sleepy little surfing town, along with it's little brother San Pancho. It also has provided me with a nice little love affair with the song, April Kisses, which dates from the 1920s.
For Americans, Sayulita is a cheap, convenient, and altogether lovely destination. It's an easy flight from the US, either into Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara. I'd suggest Guadalajara. First, it'll save you a bunch of cash to fly into a metropolis rather than Vallarta, which is a resort destination. But second, and more important, Guadalajara, is a great city to visit in it's own right. I spent only a couple days there and wish I could have spent more there. But that's OK, ya know, I like to leave things undone as I travel so that I feel there is a good excuse to go back.
Burning man was so many things. A respite, a revelation, an ordeal, and the time of my life. Shooting photos there was overwhelming-- far too much to see than I could handle. So I decided to focus on shooting portraits. This also gave me the chance to give something away at Burning Man, which is a big part of the culture.
Here is a selection of my favorite portraits from Burning Man. More thoughts about the experience to come. In the meantime, enjoy!
If you click on the images themselves it will take you to my smugmug gallery where you can see all the photos. To just see my selections, just use the arrows on the sides of the image below.