A few years ago, Aaron received an old Nikon film camera as a Christmas present from his grandmother. Since then it has been a travel necessity for us. Film has given us more thought behind each shot, as well as patience for developing the rolls. To our surprise, it has been much easier and more affordable to shoot with film overseas than in the U.S., where film has become quite hard to find and pricey to develop. I came across these amazing expired film shots by Tamara Skudies. These nostalgic shots were taken with Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus film, capturing the essence of the Austrian landscape. WOW.
So excited to share the art of desert queen Mara Stones. Immensely inspiring images of her sacred playground, along with words unraveled from bits of her poetry. They always transcend me to an enchanted barren landscape that is abundant with existence and evokes a serene stillness. Find more of her art here.
Let me start again.
The dirty stone gets further out of reach,
beyond my conscience.
I´m an incurable wild.
I have burned up all my chances,
and a chance is life.
I´m meeting my destiny
at the sea shore
and I´m gonna kill it.
So let me start again.
– Mara B. STones
The skin burst above you.
Your hand more slow
and my speechlessness.
-Spill of secrets-
Scars in our maps
without marked places.
I´m using my gravity
to peer into your essence.
There´s a parched story
and a bitter gasp,
where our days are written,
In the rippling sand.
Traces of our plans,
that carry us to
the poverty in the mouth
pronouncing each verb
-as we used to-
– Mara B. STones
You fall in love with the insoluble
Because beauty is not
rather than part of the intangible.
And love actually
is only the beginning of the symptom.
So you fall for the impossible
and then you die a little.
– Mara B. STones
Sometimes it is the least picture perfect moments that end up being the most picturesque. Varanasi is definitely one of those places I can never really begin to unravel. I have pieces of writings in my journal, an attempt to re-write in my iphone notes, a few drafts on the blog, but it’s almost impossible to put into words something that intense and mind-altering. We left the beautiful Tibetan town of Dharamsala filled with artsy cafes, prayer flags, immense mountain beauty and English conversations with backpackers for one of the oldest cities in the world: Varanasi. We found ourselves outside of our comfort zone all over again, and an all too familiar feeling.
Mark Twain once said: “Varanasi” is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together”
The ancient streets were just wide enough for two people to walk by or one cow. We were here during the end of May, and the heat was almost too much to bare. The smell of dung (dog, cow, and people) simmered on concrete as you step over piles of rubble. There is no road signs or road names and I felt as if these alleyways were winding in every direction beneath my feet. You faced all shades of life and death and every facet of holy sadhus. Here you see Hinduism practiced fully all day, it’s a sacred experience and it’s easy to understand how this is the holiest city. As you pass by open windows, many are inside their homes praying to their alters. Crowds push by you as they rush to a ceremony or head to the Ganges. The Ganges display a visual that will have you feeling everything at once. To see people bathing in the same place that ashes of the dead float on is hard to grasp. Varanasi made me realize just how powerful these uncomfortable situations are, and the lessons behind the strangeness of life. It reminded me of how sheltered I am, how little I know, and how there are infinite truths I am still left to question.
India is a huge country with so much diversity. So many religions with “over 8 million” gods, according to a friendly local. When he asked me how long I’ll be in India for, I said, “Almost 2 months… too short for India, right?”. He replied straight-faced, “Of course, why not. A lifetime is too short to see India.”
With so many places to see, where do you begin? Charmie is stationed in the Himalayas and although I love the mountains, there’s something about desert regions that I always seem to gravitate towards. I decided to spend the next month exploring Rajasthan, a desert region in Western India that is home to the Rajputs. Rajputs are a warrior clan within the Indian caste system that claims to originate from the sun, and by looking in their eyes you would almost believe it. Almost everyone I’ve talked to and photographed so far all seem to have this mysterious haze of bloodshot. I’m not sure if it’s from the constant dust storms or the prevalent opium culture. Whatever it is I’m intrigued. I feel so incredibly grateful to be here right now. Tomorrow I head off into the desert, spending the next 3 days exploring the land by camel! : )
I’ve had a chance to get connected with Mihaela Noroc of Beauty Around the World Project, and though we were not able to organize a date we could both be in Bangkok, I still have to share her amazing project! The Beauty Around the World project combines her passion for fashion photography with her passion for travel. Her intentions are to travel to 35 countries in 16 months and capture the diverse beauty of local women in all the places she discovers. Such cultural beauties fill her tumblr, and it’s such an inspiring space to appreciate and celebrate our cultural differences and similarities.
We’re scheduled to return back to the U.S. in August and I’m already bracing myself for the transition. I am however looking forward to being able to grow my book collection again. The images above are by Neil Krug one of our all time favorite photographers. His photography book is something we always had on our coffee table. His images has so much depth, you almost, always see something different each time you look at them.
Two beautiful worlds collide with these images. I was captivated by how alien these orbs of spheres looked photographed against beautiful landscapes. In the video Denis explained his background in a demanding sales job, a destructive cycle of drinking to suppress the anxiety of his high pressure lifestyle, and red bulls throughout the day to keep him awake through this monotonous cycle, until one day he saw the light. Literally. They were in the process of moving where in between he found time to pick up a camera and gravitated towards what he found exciting and freeing. Truly an inspiration for creative Independence, and how artists and or creatives alike who find themselves in a cube the majority of their days can start to feel depressed. It’s your intuition telling you there’s something more, something that will liberate you so much it gives you goosebumps. It may not be on the list of “job options” they presented to you in grade school when you were first asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” As I get older, I realized this shouldn’t have been a list of options, but a fill in the blank/s exercise.
Learn more about the process of light painting in the video, or see more on Denis Smith’s site.
Just came across the absolutely incredible work from Brazilian photographer and photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado. The majority of his photographs leave me wondering how he got to such bizarre locations he did in order to produce such beautifully apocalyptic images. I even start to question if they’re real or if they’ve been digitally created or altered. But indeed they are real film shots. His work is such an inspiration to seek out these far corners of this world that very few have captured the way he has.