For more than 20 years, in my day job, I've worked to help define, design, and launch goal-oriented communication projects. I'm in the ad business. Or I was, because the 'ad business' doesn't really exist anymore. Whatever the current industry is called, my job is to write, design, photograph, art direct and execute commercial marketing projects. I've worked with for profit companies and not-for-profit organizations and public and private firms in a number of roles: Art Director, Graphic Designer, Project Manager, Copywriter, Photographer, Web Designer, etc. It is very mentally demanding, sedentary work.
6 Years of Runtography
In 2013 my wife left a pair of swimming trunks and a towel on my computer chair. It was a not-so-subtle hint that I should get off my (rather large jiggly) buttocks and take some exercise. Apparently, I’d become portly.
That nudge lit a bit of a mania in me. I started exercising. That’s its own story but the short of it is: swimming lead to running and running lead to runtography. Runtography is a word I coined to legitimize what I’ve been doing for the past five years to make it sound, well, less insane.
Since 2013, I’ve run more than 10,700 * kilometers, mostly outdoors, with a DSLR camera in a backpack in the harsh climes of Western Canada.
Making Art, On Foot
My home town is Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Running outside in Edmonton is stupendous for about four months of the year. The other months? Not so much. During the remainder, it’s akin to running at night on Mars.
I’d lived in Edmonton for decades but until I started running through the city, I never really noticed it. It was just a background visual; the place where I lived. Visually, Edmonton is often maligned. By many it’s seen as a industrial wasteland; a petrochemical hub. I’ve come to see the city as beautiful in its own right. It has an elusive beauty. There’s a rugged gritty toughness to Edmonton that appeals to me. It’s a place where hard work and big dreams have collided with an equally harsh natural environment. It’s a city always in transition. It ruptures in boom and bust cycles, like the freeze and thaw landscape it's built on. I’ve been looking for slivers of that.
When I got stronger with the camera, I started focusing on capturing imagery that I saw as being ‘poetic’. I believe the best photography is where the head, the eye, and the heart align. That’s the real challenge of photography, that alignment. There are so many images being captured now. The ones that stand out are created from something beyond the press of a button. None of my images were shot for a client. That’s important, too. These are pictures that matter only to me. They are scenes that made me stop. I took time to process them. I've invested in them.
Somebody told me once, "Find three hobbies that you love: one to keep you in shape, one to keep you creative, and one to make you money." But who has time for three hobbies? So I rolled that into one. The making money part is a new aspect of this. I am now selling a selection of my images at https://www.curioos.com/jday
If you have questions or something please contact me.
* 10,709.8 as of Feb, 2019 | 10,373.4 as of Nov 10, 2018| 9,576.2 as of May 6, 2018 | 9,117.8 KM as of January 17, 2018.