Exploration, Risk, and Reward

Positive reward continually favors an inherent combination of exploration and risk, fueled by the desire to live a life more full.  

Shoot Every Day - Photo #3 - "American Rennaissance" (click to view full)

I woke up this morning at 5 am to the unfamiliar sound of rain hitting the pavement outside our window. I moved to Oregon almost two years ago, but I grew up in L.A. - two regions drastically different for the way liquid comes out of the sky.

If you don't follow me, I'm currently challenging myself to shoot a new artistic, creative photo every day, and ALSO post a new blog entry every day for as long as possible to rekindle my passion for photography. It's already working, and I'm excited about it. As usual, you'll find my gear used in this shoot at the bottom of the post!

My feet wet and my chicken-legs cold, I embraced the air around me, standing on the street pavement looking at the mountains towering in the distance, dumping rain over the vastly dry, brittle earth of Southern California.

Camera in hand, I charged up the hill near our house and backed into a field overlooking the valley. I took the wedding shirt I’m supposed to be wearing for… my wedding… in 2 weeks, and drenched it in rain. My bare feet covered in mud and my body soaked from the undulating rain, I snapped and snapped and snapped and snapped until I had something I liked.
Later in the day, I set aside time to drive Kiara up to Oak Glen, a beautiful town known famously for its apple industry. I’ve only been to the area once or twice in my life, so being there was a chance to explore outside of my comfort zone. I grabbed my camera and took it in tow on our date, snapping images over our hot apple cider between pockets of cloud and sunshine passing overhead, golden hour heavy. 

BTS - Day 3 (Oak Glen)

BTS - Day 3 (Oak Glen)

BTS - Day 3 (Oak Glen)

We finished our cider and decided to explore… in the name of soon-to-be-eaten breakfast burritos, Kiara and I drove towards the city, stopping at a quaint rest stop that didn’t look to be of much value, until we exited the car. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we stepped out of the vehicle… the sun was setting perfectly over the rolling hills, throwing deep red on the snow-dusted mountains towering above us in the distance across the field of wheat.

This doesn’t happen often, so we seized the opportunity to create, taking turns being a human tripod for one another until we both created images that we were truly happy with.

A past student and friend of mine, Luke Renoe, recently wrote “if you don’t go out and shoot, you won’t get anything. If you DO go out and shoot, you might get something amazing.” 

heaven... in a cup (apple cider)

 this woman...

this woman...

“if you don’t go out and shoot, you won’t get anything. If you DO go out and shoot, you might get something amazing.” 

Most days aren’t amazing, but unless you give yourself the opportunity to create by making space for it, going out and exploring, and taking the risk of creating, you’ll never get the reward of beautiful photos. One of the best quotes I’ve ever read is from the book “The Richest Man in Babylon.” The quote reads: “[People] of action are favored by the goddess of good luck.” I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in the intersection between opportunity and action, and the potential beauty and creativity and production that can come from it.

If you do nothing, nothing will happen. I have spent more time than I care to admit thinking about how I would love to entertain the level of success in changing the world for the better I so desire to do… but the ratio for my thoughts on the subject to my action to get there, are truly embarrassing. 

This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever hunted. 

If you don’t get out and explore the world and take positive risks in your life, you may not ever achieve your goals and dreams. This is as true if you are a photographer as if you are a lawyer, or a dentist, or a biologist. We don’t succeed in our dreams by thinking of them as dreams - we succeed by turning those dreams in to goals, with action to taken to get to them,

Tonight, I am reminded of a very practical way to get what you want:

Explore, take risks, and get rewarded.

Tonight, I got out of my house and put myself in the path of opportunity. I took risk in creating imagery - heck, in even bringing my camera with me - and put aside the emotional potential for failure so that I could create something beautiful. And I was rewarded, beautifully, by a fantastic date with my beautiful, soon-to-be wife, and a set of images I am very happy with.

I also pushed myself to create outside of my comfort zone - a HUGE aspect of this project for me - I created something that I normally wouldn't, and edited today's photo in a way that wasn't in line with what I'm used to. I took a risk. And I love it. 

Get out, explore, take risks, and you’ll always find reward. 

- David


CHEAP LIGHTING KIT: www.davidtalley.io/theblog/budgetstudiolighting

MAIN CAMERA: http://amzn.to/2fdtaq

SECONDARY/ VLOGGING CAMERA: http://amzn.to/2g8hAlw

WIDE ANGLE PRIME LENS: http://amzn.to/2fI5nmO

CHEAP TRAVEL TRIPOD: http://amzn.to/2gatUQf

CAMERA SLING BAG (pictured above): http://amzn.to/2gxU9CZ

AFFORDABLE CAMERA BACKPACK: http://amzn.to/2gsrH5t

MEMORY CARD: http://amzn.to/2fgWFLR

5-WAY REFLECTOR: http://amzn.to/2gxV2vS

REFLECTOR BOOM: http://amzn.to/2fgTFzi

Speed editing video: https://youtu.be/XWKFofUBksk

I'm on a mission to show that the light will always pierce through the darkness.