Cassius Clay

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.” – Muhammad Ali

Hello Reader,

I never knew the second half of that saying until very recently.  The quote itself is obviously in reference to boxing technique and style, but that second half holds a lot of deeper meaning. “The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see”.  Sounds pretty obvious right? You can’t hit what you can’t see. But think about how this can relate to handling our own problems or reaching our own goals, hitting our own targets.  How many people can you think of that you hear every day complaining about their situation, only to remain in it, saying that it’s not the right time, or they’re just not ready. They’re swinging at the target while facing away from it. These excuses are just comfortable distractions from facing the uncomfortable real solution.  It’s like sitting at a pond with a fishing rod, knowing all you will catch are minnows, while also knowing that Moby Dick is just below the surface, there’s a harpoon leaning on the chair you’re sitting on and all you have to do is jump in and get him. But comfort and a guaranteed delivery of minnows (however small) somehow outweighs a much bigger fish (or mammal I suppose in this case) with a much bigger risk.

I hope by the time this is posted that I have followed through with grabbing my harpoon and diving in after my white whale.  It had become way more than apparent to me that I was very tired of hearing my fellow fisherman complain about the “minnow supply”, and then exclaiming about how ready they were to go after the great white whale only for them to return to the pond the next day, fishing rod tightly gripped in hand. Every. Single. Day.

So then I finally decided, no matter what may be causing me to not “see” what I was trying to hit, I needed to get that target in my line of sight and Muhammad Ali it until it was smashed to smithereens.  I needed to dive in, swim straight towards that whale and harpoon the shit out of it (but really, save the whales).

Now, on another note, I’ve come to a realization in this whole transformative process.  In my previous post titled “Hello, Old Joe” I talked about how I’ve been dealing with overcoming the anxiety and depressive nature of the insecure and ungrounded self criticizing person I had become accustomed to being. But I realized something about this Old Joe that Jamie made me really think about. He wasn’t always around, there was a time before him when I was extremely confident in my art form and didn’t care who might judge me. When I first met Jamie more than 8 years ago (and not many people who have met me in the last few years know about this) I was pursuing a career as a dancer. I had started a team at my old highschool that went on to win local competitions, proving our critics wrong and succeeding when I had been told to my face (yes, highschool sucks) that we should just give up before we embarrass ourselves. I then was part of our local dance company’s competition team, winning national competitions with my peers going on to star in music videos, tv shows, and as backup dancers to huge pop music artists.

So at what point did I decide to drop all that? Get ready for a pretty sad psychological explanation that I only just recently realized after having a good talk about it with my wife.

So what had happened was, my dad took a risk. Long story short, he took a new, exciting and different job and left his old one behind. It seemed great at first, he got to travel a lot and made more money. Then he lost his job, and then we lost our house.

He ended up getting another job but it was very far away and he had to work his way back up again.  I saw my dad go through all this, and really thought about my future and whether I could really take care of Jamie and kids once we had them. So I immediately quit dance, I went from office job to office job, slowly becoming old Joe, thinking “this is it, I had my fun dancer days and now I need to be serious”. I stuck to the comfortable and secure steady income, I never took any risks out of fear, and I convinced myself that this was the best for me.

I explained it to one of my closest friends like this: the real me, the creative and outgoing me that lives in my heart and soul that has an unlimited amount of creativity and positivity was folded up and put into a tiny box then promptly shoved under my bed. Now, that box has been reopened and the original me is finally unfolding, releasing my true being back into my body.  I’m back baby, and a little extra.

Okay, so maybe I’m not being reborn or anything like that. I still have my fears, my anxiety, and all the insecurities I had before. But I’m completely aware of them now and able to realistically ask myself “why do I feel this way?” and then “how do I get past that feeling so I can enjoy things again”.

The solution is almost always uncomfortable but open minded. And like working out a muscle, the more you make these decisions, the easier it’ll be to make them in the future.

So here I am nearing the end of another extremely long-winded post about myself. I really do hope these posts help others out there.

Anyways, on to some gear stuff.  I haven’t really posted any photos of the cameras I use and now that I’ve gotten my Sony I decided to take some photos.

Old faithful.  Still my main body for shooting portraits.  Love my 6D, we’ll see how much longer though… lol.  Here’s a video I did for SimplyB crafts just before I got my Sony a7II.

The new-new.  Still barely learning how to use this thing but I’m loving it so far.  Not sure how long I’ll keep it though, compared to the A7S and A7R’s the low light is just not good enough for the type of videos I’d like to be doing.

With the Canon EF lens adapter.  I actually did a video for an LED lighting company and it was all low light (along with Brian’s DJi).  Luckily I found a good plugin to clean up the noise.

I never actually posted my X-70.  I love this little thing; it’s just so easy to bring along and produces pretty exceptional photos for what it is.  I’ve even used it for work.  Everything in the below gallery was shot with my X-70.

I don’t think I’ve taken a photo of the AE-1 Program either.  I have a whole roll of film that needs to be developed also.

Some other comparison shots.

I think that’s all I’ll be cramming into this post now.  I’ve been keeping busy with photo and video work.  Things seem to be off to a good new beginning.

Here’s to hoping these hands hit what these eyes always dreamt of seeing.  Float like a butterfly with a huge ass bee sting.

More cool stuff:

Dirty Vegas – Days Go By

Oh god, this could possibly be the first electronic music song I ever enjoyed listening to.  And every time I think about it I think of the commercial for the 3rd generation Mitsubishi Eclipse.  This video is awesome though.

Kendrick Lamar – DNA

Fatboy Slim – Weapon Of Choice

Because Christopher Walken dancing and flying.

Ali (2001) Starring Will Smith

I was in a place where I wasn’t unmotivated or very motivated.  This movie picked me up to super motivated.  Lots of history I had no idea about.  Ali’s relationship with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and just the whole civil rights movement and the Vietnam war.  Also didn’t know the full quote I used at the beginning of this post until I saw this.

Perfect Blue (1997)

Another Satoshi Kon film that is pretty dang trippy.

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