"This project isn't about making images. It's not about creating the world's largest camera. It's about doing what you love. If you had been searching your whole life for something you love, what would you be willing to sacrifice?"
~Ian Ruhter, from Silver & Light

I can't remember watching something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway, inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life. What am I doing here?

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Reflections

 To
all of my friends who love photography, check this video out. It
reminded me of why I love photography! I joined the digital revolution
just like everyone else, but this video reminds me of my 1st
love...film...there is something magical about working in the darkroom
with an image and never knowing what you're gonna get until you come
out! I think I'm going to revisit her, it's been too long!♥ I hope you
enjoy this as much as I did!

I, too, started my journey in photography in the darkroom and agree...magic happens when you see the image appear and you have such control over the end result. WHile I do shoot digital, I have not been able to get rid of my darkroom equipment...it calls to me.

There aren't enough such inspirational projects out there. This one is visually beautiful while expressing a lot of emotion and it makes you think and wonder about your life and your purpose. I've shown it to all my colleagues from the videochat iasi studio and they were visibly touched. I hope to see more such videos appear, the world would become a better place.

All we have in life is our desires and the will to pursue them. Being willing to sacrifice everything for what you really want can take to the highest peaks of glory and world fame or it can consume you and destroy your life. My dream has always been to see the world and I got to travel to each continent but as I got older, I couldn't pursue this lifestyle anymore. Instead, I allowed other people to live the dream for me by creating a travel agency that takes them to the French gites placed in a magnificent area of France. It is my gift to them and it is my new dream.

inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life. What am I doing here? I can't remember watching something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway.

Awe inspiring! This is what all fine art and especially photography is about. Bringing magic to the masses.

I agree. The visuals -- the photography and video -- were attractive. But the video with its clipped editing, music that tells you what to feel, and cliche-filled narration, feels manipulative, pedantic, and self-aggrandizing. Very sophomoric, very L.A.

Adrian, what might happen if you just surrender; suspend judgement? What might happen when you just breath, and enjoy another's accomplishment and joy. : ))

Amen. We all need a life lesson in suspending judgment and genuinely feel the joy in the accomplishhment of others

Over sold, overstated, hyperbolic. That's great, he's following his bliss, but it's HIS bliss, not mine.

That's the point...it is his bliss.

Why do we think that our "bliss" is reliable or is good rather than self indulgence or delusion?

That's how I feel too. I could do without the way he aggrandizes himself. 'I created a time machine'. Franz Kafka reached a point of hubris where he felt that every word he wrote had perfection in it. Many artists go to a place like that. It's a 'high'. But it rarely turns anyone on who really understands the creative process. Get over yourself and do what you can. If anyone is going to aggrandize you (and NOBODY should), at least don't let it be yourself.

So find your bliss!

It's not about photography. Photography is the vehicle for exploring taking risks to do what you are really drawn to do with your life-- including the risk of total failure.  There is a story here for anyone willing to suspend judgement about the specifics and look at what it is really about. I'm awed by the process and the images, but I take away the message that the risks I take in pursuing my own artistic path, or any other life path, is right for me.  For some, the risk might be letting one's guard down enough to let oneself be loved, knowing it might lead to pain and failure.  It's that simple.

Lovely analysis.. that's what I took away from it as well... 

 Well stated. Full of truth and wisdom of someone who has pursued an authentic life! xo

Yes, exactly. Thank you. :)

Risk. I agree on that point. I believe you risk more if you don't give it a go.

It ia a challenge to do what you have passion to do and be in community for we are all connected.

Incredible, wow, not enough adverbs to describe this photo session, this is what perseverance is about. The power we humans can muster when we have a dream and drive to make it happen. Love the work!

sounds familiar!

For years I dreamed of turning my van into a camera, but my life took a different direction. I am so happy that you made this happen.

Inspiring, terrifying and profound.

Yes, we are all connected. You should reflect a moment on the amount of chemicals used in your processing. The nature we all enjoy suffer so you can stroke your ego. This is a gratuitous use of chemicals when we should be focusing on doing things more intelligently.

 lol! Name ONE thing we are not doing as a race as a species that isn't tearing apart this earth? Yes, we should be conscious of our impact....but um hello...I'm quite sure he doesn't live in sub urbia and shop at Wal-Mart every week. I'm sure his impact is well below the average American! So, let's be realistic here!

Part of helping the planet, I believe, is beink kind, non-judgemental and supportive. It's very easy to see the negative (ha, pun!), look at the positive. You'll even feel happier.

Yea, this is what I thought too.

I too was shocked at the lack of environmental care and concern. Simple tarps rather than shallow collection tubs? Then he flings a dripping plate out, as if it would have no impact on the place he was flinging it, really?

This film strikes me as the over-indulgent lark of a self absorbed artist. Resources wasted by a white guy playing it sympathetic. Environmental impact that is undeniably harsh, as is evidenced by the breathing apparatus. I love photography and miss the hands on feel of developing in the dark room too. However, I recognize that all those chemicals I dumped down the drain didn't just disappear down a hole and 'go away'. They, in fact were processed out into the local eco-system at a local facility. This photographer is basically pouring those chemicals on the ground.

Perhaps I could have appreciated his zealous pursuit of his dream of a tangible photograph of a daguerreotype nature, if I were not so shocked by his lack of "Leave No Trace" ethic.

We won't get another planet. Inspire me with the achieved dreams of underprivileged people of color that benefit the planet and communities as a whole. I am tired of seeing white guys produce more products that waste resources and end of in landfills that merely serve to perpetuate unsustainable consumer culture. Show me something truly beautiful.

It's lovely, but I agree the amount of chemicals used!

Thanks for having the balls to post this comment. The entire time I was thinking the same thing.
Of course, the "artist" is wearing an inorganic vapor mask......god forbid the artist become injured.

My enlarger is still out in my garage but I have done away with my large format cameras.  Rethinking...............Thank you.  There is NOTHING like watching an image arise.

Risks, big or small, make us all stronger and better for taking the risks.  Step out of your free zone, your safe harbor and face the storm.  Strength in failure makes you truly one of Gods greatest creations.

I'm happy that he is not getting his personal satisfaction from Meth, but from something creative like photography, but exactly what is he "sacrificing" for this hobby?  I get his point, but the title seems quite off-putting.  Indeed, what is he "sacrificing".  Fulfilling ourselves with gratifying experiences has its place, but what about our neighbor?  This Twixter generation seems to have its fill of personal interests (albeit often very wholesome and illuminating).  But are they not "sacrificing" some other worthwhile values?  Saving money, making time to be with family, giving to the needy, adopting a child, visiting the sick, buying health insurance, serving others more through your vocation, etc.  This guy seems to be spending it all on his hobby.  People seem willing to "sacrifice" their savings and time with others for an amazing trip to Machu Picchu.  But are they will to sacrifice that trip to Machu Picchu to invest in their children's education?  Indeed, exactly what is he sacrificing?  I gotta insert some tension here.  I know, wet blanket.  Sorry.

 Thanks Ryan, I struggle more with what you expressed...

I was a bit worried over the opening screen, also. Had a similar reaction. Thought it was a set up for drug addiction and thought it was a story about what he was willing to sacrifice to overcome the self destructive indulgence. Relieved he wasn't making meth! But I agree with your comments, questions of values. After experiencing horrible family arguments over the care of aging family members with dementia, and realizing how some family members don't want the imposition because it isn't fun, intrudes on their lifestyle, can't take the time, I began to wonder about the values of community, the willingness to sacrifice to make another person's life more comfortable when the other person has more than enough 100 times over. it's very discouraging and painful to watch how many have moved away from these concerns. I appreciate the message of taking risks, letting one's guard down to love and be loved or express one's inner creativity and risking failure. Not sure one can grow into an authentic human being without it, but I do wonder how many people in today's society are concerned about those values.

You are a very judgemental person. It is not your place to decide whether a life has value because someone is or is not helping a sick person or adopting a child. We all have a role to play and somewhere along the line folks need to accept artists as working members of society. After September 11th the museums in New York City were free. The reason being is that art can offer a healing and folks were in great need for something to feel better and who knew how that would come. But instinctively we chose to sit quietly in front of a painting or write poetry. Art is not "just a hobby". It is a calling worthy of your respect. I am an artist and yes....I serve humanity, more than you know. Where would we be without Mozart, Michelangelo, Picasso and ...oh yeah, Ansel Adams.

i agree artists and art are a valuable part of any culture, but i have more than once encountered "artists" who feel that because they do art they are entitled to being carried by the rest of us. for example, i'm in the healing arts, and an aquaintance of mine, an artist, was in pain and needed some help. of course i helped her. she had no money to pay, being an artist who hasn't been actually creating art for a rather long while. but still, i helped her. after she felt better she told me she was thinking about getting a facelift, as she hated the way her face looked as it aged...i was more than a little surprised that she could afford that when she couldn't pay me, but...

this is not the only experience of this kind that i have had with the artist community...word gets around that i'm willing to help people without alot of miney. but at some point, i have rent to pay, and i also have my calling...to help the sick. i rarely even think of it. but when i read your comments, i felt the desire to share my own thoughts and experiences.

i have also had artists who insisted on paying full fee, even if it had to come in payments over time, so i'm not saying this is true of all who persue art as a "calling." i'm just wanting to remind people that persuing their calling doesn't mean they are entitled to being carried. they need to carry themselves.

To emphasize the point made by Ryan. What exactly is the sacrifice being made here? The story is incomplete until we know what the photographer sacrificed in order to fulfill his dream.

Agree agree agree with you Ryan!

I agree with you too. I'm happy he's happy, that counts. But sacrifice is not the word I'd use. Waste perhaps. Or selfishness.

sorry, i don't get it.

Same here. "Heartbreakingly Beautiful?" "Sacrifice?" huh?

Making the invisible , visible; the unseen, seen. Brilliant

TAKE MY BREATH AWAY, FANTASTIC....YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THE ARTIST ANGST ARE UNIVERSAL.....BRAVO FOR YOUR JOURNEY. FAILURE AND ABSOLUTE PEAK BEAUTY....SAME CIRCLE..MIRACULOUS WORK..

Neshobe's comment below is a great reflection of my thoughts about this video.  This video speaks powerfully to the challenges of creative work -- of devoting one's self fully to the process, holding the questions about the worth of the work, the meaning of the work, and the worth of one's self and the path.  An honest portrayal of the experience of many creative people.  

Would you like to come out to shoot my farm in Iowa?  Trees, prairies, creek, cows, limestone bluffs.  Can stay and eat muffins?

Where's the LOVE button.

I have a faith today that mankind will overcome its greed and selfishness. That we know right from wrong. That we are choosing to love and value each other more than we love and value things. I see more and more brothers and sisters who are asking themselves if it's more important to chase the almighty dollar and worship at the alter of "More!" or whether the way is through service, love, compassion and following their heart and their bliss.
By those without vision it is decried as madness and immaturity but those of us who can see are clapping and cheering them! We are inspired and awed to our cores! Figure out what's real, what truly matters, what speaks to you and start putting one foot in front of the other. This brother inspires me and he has made my world a bigger, more appealing place!

These are stunning art pieces. Thank you.

Breathtaking!

I love this s***. People finding their passion and chasing it and making it a reality...creating w/ joy.

Wow. Something worth a spent life saving. I want to buy one of these.

Thank you. COMPLETELY. MORE. PLEASE. YES ¥ ¥ ¥

I loved the photos, but what impact was the use of all those chemicals having on the environment? If people want to experience this wonderful part of the world, they should be able to do so, without fear of being poisoned, or the very trees and plants he is photographing , being irreversibly damaged.

Wow! Beautiful, inspirational and peacefully exciting!

Impressed with the first photograph......but not the process which is unique only to them. Photography is about capturing light and life. It is not about process which is only a means.

That was AMAZING! I really had no idea where it was going at the beginning. I thought I was looking at a meth lab. That is absolutely awe-inspiring.

Wow what detail. High Five this one.

I guess we must first ask the right questions.............

Quite amazing from an artist and photographer's point of view... but from an ecologist's point of view... how do the chemicals affect the environment?

Beautiful film and beautiful sentiment. My only comment is I hope the liquid chemicals used to make the art are cleaned up from the premises and disposed of properly

Inspirational, beautiful, admirable. Thank you

Thank you for the inspiration, the beauty, and the emotional exposure.

Doing what you love and struggling through it. Is it worth it? Does it matter? Powerful video. I'd like to hear your what this video made you think Trent.

Yes incredible and / but I want to see more of the work that came out of this! Feeling somewhat frustrated at the same time as most definitely inspired.

BEAUTIFUL....in the art, and in the message!

Thank you for sharing your vision and your skills! Very inspirational.

In the intro, I thought he was in a meth lab.
Great promo video.
Does he manage to recoup the 500$?
Where do all the toxic chemicals end up?

Oh my g-d. This is beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you...for it all.

Truly beautiful art doesn't require gas masks...

I love your time machine, it takes us to the places we may never have seen with out your teletransportation. You are a true Artist.

Watched this several times. I am so grateful that some of us do what feeds us, deeply.

I love it..

Thanks for showing us, among other things, that documentation can be person-scale art.

As a full time artist I am inspired by this video...keeps me at the solitary work of creation! Thank you

Exquisite abd inspiring. Thank you

Really beautiful vision and commitment to being all you can be....

This commitment to following a passion for something beautiful, a passion the origin of which comes from who and what one is, can take the doer and the watcher on pathways of spiritual wonder.

Spent the day talking to friend about something we love and will sacrifice for, and came home to this. Powerful.

What a joy to capture God's beautiful creations. Keep your mind open.

Beautiful. Inspiring. Deep yet simple. Thank you.

Just beautiful!

A magnificent depiction of what it takes to go after something you are passionate about.

Beautiful........the essence of life....live our dreams -that's all we can do.

it is a nice thing. One important question left behind does he care about the environment as well? I see he throwing the stuff around and some liquid around!

Fun cool medium to work in but can't help thinking about all the chemistry he's dumping in the natural environment. The nice thing about digital imagery is it's softer on the environment which is really more needed at this time in the world than large plate silver photography.

Having been in Photography for 75 years ( yes since 1935) I feel for all you tree huggers who see anti green in progress. Get a life!
95% of photographic chemicals are organic, biodegradable. If our carbon oriented lifestyle is causing global warming why are Venus and Mars also showing warming? In the early days of the aircraft industry we printed, photographically, on 6X9 foot sheets.
I like the guys work. My guess there is a little weed mixed in there but then, most productive people have relaxed with some sort of hallucinogen.

This is fascinating and wonderful, but why the over the top sell job? Like his photographs, Ruhter's journey is one of a kind and inspirational, but I can't say it's beauty broke my heart nor did it have me "pondering my station in life." Holy cow, that gives viewers expectations that are pretty tough to live up to!

Trent Gilliss's picture

Hi Kristi. As you can tell, I (and many others) were moved by it. We hear from quite a few people who aspire to live a life of passion and beauty, people who want to do exactly what the photographer did: pursue his passion at the expense of his pocketbook and a more comfortable, stable studio life. For me, it's a challenge as I think of my own passions and my willingness to pursue them at any cost.

Obviously, these types of stories have different appeal for various folks, and I respect that. For our blog, I ask all our writers to bring themselves to their pieces and not just "report" — and this is what I tried to do. The onus is on me to deliver on my promise, and I thought this did. I didn't mean to disappoint you but hope that you enjoyed it even if it didn't move you to pondering. :) Cheers!

"What are you willing to sacrifice?" This is one of the relatively few MOST important questions we can ask ourselves. If, as Rilke intimated, we have the heart and will to live into the question, the 'answers' that manifest will radically alter our lives for the better and the lives of others for the better. It is a healing ('wholing') question. Ruhter shares his 'living into...' brilliantly. The creative life is absolutely uncertain except for one thing... the certainty that one is truly alive, in a state of love. Thank you and congratulations, Ian!

My dearest Ian, You are of the generation of pioneers. You have taken your dream and made it real. :Your courage, undaunting dedication, determination and resolve moves me to believe there is hope for this world with people like you (and your crew) doing what you are doing. Afraid, I'm sure, but having the strength to trample that fear and move forward. I CONGRATULATE YOU AND I THANK YOU FOR SHARING. THERE IS MUCH THE OLDER GENERATIONS CAN LEARN FROM YOU. PLEASE, PLEASE, MY DEAR IAN, CONTINUE ON YOUR JOURNEY AND I THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH ME, AS I FELT A CONNECTION WITH YOU. GOD BLESS YOU IN YOUR WORK.

What encouragement you are to me! Thank you. You said so many things that I ask myself...maybe I suck, I feel like I suck...maybe I'm going down the wrong path...the only limitation there are are the ones I put on myself...if it was super easy, it would be fun!
Thank you again.

If you are looking for "something so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway, inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life" try sacrificing your Sunday morning and attend the Divine Liturgy.

Doing what you love is an extention of mindful living. So much of our life goes by because we are searching for the elusive thing that makes us feel love and loved..I like to think like St. Theresa " Do little things with great love" OUr entire life is one hugh oppertunity to love deeply one little choice at a time

Ian you are on your path and it is very nobel. Thanks for reminding us to follow our vision quests

I have given up my home, a job and a relationship to follow what I perceive is my task in life improving the lives of children through an anthorposophical understanding of the human being. There are no limits to what I will give up. However, I do fear homelessness.

Out of the darkroom into the light. There is a deep hunger in our culture to create things with our hands.

If you are after "so heartbreakingly gorgeous, unswerving in its emotional sway, inspirational to the point of forcing me to wonder about my current station in life. What am I doing here?" You should sacrifice your Sunday mornings and attend Divine Liturgy...

Thank you!

So beautiful. The only thing is, what about all those chemicals that he uses falling to the ground being absorbed by the earth.
Not so eco friendly I must say.

Great story!

Thank you for sharing your journey of believing in believing!

Awesome. Beautifully awesome.

Beautiful, is what, and yeah, it works and it is a true thing. Every artist needs to see this film.
www.patchapin.com

Very inspirational -exactly the medicine we need for the 21st Century!
I started out creatively with photography as a young man and have only returned to it with 3D laser scanning: http://www.scottpagedesign.com/ (read my 'Musings' section about light).

But I absolutely love your dream, your vision, and your commitment. I sent this on to many creative folks to cheer you on!
~Scott Page, Berkeley, CA

How amazing to accept this great gift of ingenuity at such a tender age. I am watching this just as we move past Winter Solstice. This reminds me of the light we all carry within our souls. It just takes some of some a little longer to open their hearts to it.

this is the post-postmodern. the tide is among us.

Do what you love.

As beautiful as these photographs are, and as enthused as the artists are, what about at least a mention of the Great Creator who made the light and the trees, the world and all living things? Images can not be taken without the existence of this amazing Earth, with her natural systems and cycles and all living things. Is the image more important than the real? Who is the artist of the real? This is where a little humbleness is called for, and reverence, and gratitude. May this artistʻs journey lead him on to even greater realization.

This has made my day. I wish all potsngis were this good.

I have been ranting about the magic of silver and refuse to go digital. This touches my heart. Wonderful evocation of darkroom magic. The dream of authentic human vision.

Not a big fan of people using so many disturbing chemicals out in nature. Can anyone tell me what impact there maybe with the chemicals he is using?

A magnificent statement of creativity and individuality and the struggle to get it just right. I have lived that struggle all my creative life as a filmmaker and honor this film and all the characters who made it possible. I recently struggled to create art from burned objects and made a movie of the experience– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUTZ913FN4M .
David Altman–filmmaker

Makes me miss my black and white developing days.
Would love to purchase one of these.

Incredible tenacity and beauty

It's a good history lesson, but if we were all still doing photography using so many chemicals, our rivers, streams and well waters would be a lot more polluted than they already are. One of the good things photography did was go digital.

Great video on sharing doing what you love :-)... thank you.

our only limitations are the ones we place on ourselves. You are amazing

Amazing project. I hope to one day see your work. I'm comped by your dedication and passion. To have family portraits don'e like this. That would be ideal.

I love it. I found it inspiring. We're seeing beauty through his unique vision. That is art.

Outstanding. As an old Photographer and on who was also a Photo Chemist. I salute you and the Project you have embarked upon. There are a lot of "Old School" Navy Photographers out there rooting for you. Don't lose heart. Wet plate is different with every shot. Keep up the good work..
John A Robertson
aldric_1@hotmail.com

thank your for your show i am a huge fan been listening for years i am an adjunct professor in the religious studies
department in a jesuit college in buffalo i like the "staff pick" on "what would you be willing to sacrifice"... here is a youtube
presentation on the philosophy (and *spirituality*) of photography by Henri Cartier-Bresson which i thought you would like
and would be worth posting https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/13c973442ffe9245 thanks again for all you
do... thanks for just... being :)

Thank you for doing this beautiful and important work. Now I am inspired!

. . . perseverance furthers . . .and you chose to be in the most beautiful places . . . and your photos remind me to go out and experience those places. Thank you!

wonder----full!

Beautiful and yet it's an example of the "I want, I need, I'm unfulfilled, etc." aspect of the human ego, and also, the unexamined soul. He's aiming his efforts at a form of self-realization, and yet, our notion of "self" realization has not yet included our immediate surroundings. I too want realization, but not at the expense of the Planet's ecosystem. My experience of watching this was two-fold: inspired AND dismayed at how the inspiration of his passion glossed over his unconscious use of chemicals. Now, show me a soul-passion that is integrated with Planet-passion and you've got something!

So beautiful....Both the struggle and the "end" result (is there ever an end?)....Thank you for sharing.

I loved the discipline and passion of these determined artists. I could feel their energy in capturing the images they so wanted to freeze on the "frame", larger than any other camera. This is a beautiful film about vision, drive and the creative mastery of a process. I loved it!

I love you for making this film.

Ian , your art is astounding. We done. All the pain you went through to create those masterpieces was so worth it. I am a sculptor and have not taken the time to understand photographic methodology, but am now feeling a need to try it. Thank you

very cool. It pulls at my heart strings. It is true art at it's core. Thank you for sharing

This is so relevant for so many artistic pursuits. I get it. Thank you.

I forwarded it to my friends ... for all those pursuing a dream this summer ....

Does anyone fret when he has trouble with the photographs? Does anyone
believe a genuine moment was captured when he tosses the plate into the desert?
Is it even possible to be genuine at all when you're making a promotional film about yourself
but presenting it as a regular documentary? I love Ian's photography and his filmmaking
but this kind of self-mythologizing makes me TUIMM.*

*throw up in my mouth. yes, i'm just being silly now.

Thank you for showing us something so genuine, so deeply human. Woven between dreams, courage and tenacity the video leaves a resounding sense in my heart to deepen and 'step up' too as a leader in my world.
Many thanks
S

Totally amazing.

so beautiful & inspiring. "If it was super easy, it wouldn't be fun." so true.

Beautiful images but at what cost? This art form is TOXIC! Gas masks, heavy rubber gloves and protective clothing in the middle of Yosemite!! As these beautiful images are being created, toxic chemicals are spilling over onto the earth, leaking off the tarps, contaminating and harming the earth, ground water and air. YUCK.

A beautiful example of what it really means to be 'all in.' I, for one, am grateful for this man's exquisite gift. For sharing the way he sees the world, for showing me. Inspirational.

I would love to be updated and find out about where you are now, what are you doing, and how you are. Thank you for sharing your story.

thank you for sharing - you are amazing -your devoition, your caring shows

wishing you much luck - keep it up - we will enjoy your efforts-

I know it takes work, much work - but, it is well worth it.

thank you again

My mouth is hanging slack as the video closes; awesome hardly justifies what you are doing and what you have accomplished, As I watched this and heard your self-doubt, criticism and cynicism be shared with the camera, I couldn't help but think two consecutive thoughts -- "NO, how can you have such negative thoughts about the beauty of your dream; how can you doubt yourself for trying to realize something that is so big and unknown; how can you know that what you are doing is not right when it hasn't been done before, how can you doubt the realization of your innovative process is not just exactly the way it is supposed to be - that what you are creating is perfect now - and only your doubts are getting in the way of you seeing the perfect-ness of what you are doing?" and "Shhhhh...you are in the place you just described as "one of the most beautiful places in the world' and you are criticizing something that is just as beautiful and unique -- your expressive process." As the camera pans across Half Dome and as you climb up off the road while the snow is cascading down the hillside above you, it is almost as if we were being shown proof that Yosemite is in a constant state of flux and still morphing on itself after eons of time to create itself and you want the perfect shot to occur when you say it is time? A cosmic joke, perhaps, or maybe another example of how we seldom give ourselves the grace God gives us and the world - the grace to say, 'Maybe not the best, but close enough to call it good. Now, what's next?' I'm proud of you for trying so hard to get it right and I'm amazed that I think one of your first shots shown on the video would have been acceptable as mind-blowingly incredible. Keep at it, Ian, as only you will know when it is right for you. I'd love to be kept informed, if you are so inclined. Best of the best, Rhonda @ onceagain2007@gmail.com

I think all you can ask for in life is to find your purpose. I know many people spend their whole life searching for it. To see someone find theirs is truly amazing and inspiration at the same time. You can feel how much passion and commitment they have. You envy that person. It makes you want to find your purpose, passion, and desires so you can see how far it will take you. Really enjoyed the video. Thanks so much.

What's with the face masks?

Who are these egomaniacs, and why are they poisoning our planet? Is it worth it, nuthuggers? Smoke, mirrors, and poison.

Through Ruhter's experience I can imagine a little what the early photographers went through dragging huge cameras and chemicals and hardware with the then most advanced technology. When we now see the spectacular results, results we can readily duplicate, more or less, with far lower resolution, clarity and size using mass-produced instruments, how many of us understand how difficult, difficult, difficult it was. How much time and dedication, how many failures, plates thrown into the scenery in frustration? To continue doing this, you have to love the process and the product. I admire the artist.

You have lived the American Dream---you followed your passion!! God bless you!

Hi, tube over the aperture might reduce atmospheric effects to get the waterfall pic

What an amazing journey. Thanks for reinventing your art. It is beautiful!

The magic of film. Thank you for reminding me what attracted me to photography in the first place.. and that all is not lost to the digital world - for showing what beauty is possible, when you have a dream!

beautiful photography but wondering about the toxic dumping of chemicals onto the land scape you adored??

Cool.

Love the story and the message of the video. But for whoever decided how to 'market' it - not cool. Yep, I just sat through your entire 9 minute video like an idiot. i thought that sooner or later the naked girl and meth head which started the video would be incorporated into the story - or at the very least be addressed, but no. I guess you expected me to be so overwhelmed and caught up the story that I'd forget?? I mean, it is 9 minutes long. And yea, it was a great story about making art and one that I would usually find amazing - but this was set up under false pretenses. Thinking about unfollowing OnBeing on twitter haha and I never get that annoyed
!!

YOU DID YOU DUG YOU DARED YOU RISKED YOU GREW YOU KNEW YOU CREATED YOU PERSEVERED YOU WON !:)
IM PROUD OF YOU

i held my breath throughout this piece. Ian Ruhter is inspiring.Thank you. I turned my life upside down to follow what I love, taking care of horses, and today this helped me to know that it was worth the upheaval. "The Great work of your life", by Stephen Cope is a perfect read for anyone who thinks about pursuing their passion.