Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Different Angle

I apologize for the poor quality pictures...the point and shoot has seen better days...


Welcome to my latest and, hopefully, greatest blog! This time round I'm going to focus on my two greatest passions, travel and photography. Sadly, however, I don't get the opportunity to do enough of either so most likely this will focus more on the photography I try to do every day. Things always seem to step in the way; work, school, car payments, whatever. All of these things have always kept me somewhat at bay when it came to buying that new lens that I've been lusting over or, more importantly, walking off into that sunset that has always drawn me from home. I think, in my case specifically, there has always been a fear of the unknown. If I don't hoard enough money will I make ends meet? If I buy that gizmo will I be unable to pay for school? If I pick up and go looking for the adventure of a lifetime will I throw my well ordered life into complete and utter chaos? The last question is probably the most important and its answer is somewhat of a double edged sword. Will my life be thrown into a vortex of confusion if I pick up and leave? Probably. Is that a bad thing? Ah, there's the rub…

Let's back up a second. What well ordered life am I talking about even? Well, currently I attend the University of Akron and, on top of the school work, I work as an engineering intern at a firm here in Akron, Ohio that designs software for different military outfits around the world. This includes the U.S Navy and our allies and while this job is rewarding and even is what I chose as my career path (I am a Mechanical Engineering major) I have come to the conclusion that it is most certainly not all I want out of life. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it, but I want to see things, I want to meet people and I want to experience the world.

That brings me to my point. Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear a speaker that the University had lined up that pretty much solidified my opinion on my question as to whether or not I should throw a little monkey wrench into my life. Kevin Connolly, author and photographer, exemplifies an outlook on life that we could all stand to emulate. As a college student, he traveled around the world and photographed the experience. When all was said and done, he produced somewhere on the order of 30,000 images that would become part of his "Rolling Exhibition". It is, at least for a suburban boy who has never made it farther than the next state over, inconceivable that someone could take what little money they may have and travel to a multitude of countries and have an experience most will only ever dream of.

But that isn’t the end of the story. Kevin has one more attribute that sets him apart, he was born without legs and this puts him into yet another level of “incredible” in my book. I have to just bow down to how incredible I find it that anyone could make that journey let alone how much more amazing it is that he could do it without the use of legs, a feat that most people would believe impossible.

I don't want to write this in homage of overcoming of disability but rather focus on the spirit that one person can have. During my time talking a bit with Kevin at a meet and greet before the talk and during the talk he gave I couldn't get over how badly I wanted to have my own experiences such as these in the world. I thought to myself, this is someone who is worth imitating.

Kevin’s photos are gripping and fascinating most certainly not just because he has a disability (which if you ever see him get around doesn’t exactly seem like the right word) but because they are fantastic in and of themselves. His style relies heavily on his situation; he shot all of the shots for the Rolling Exhibition from the hip while moving at a pretty good clip on his skateboard and you really get a sense of a fleeting moment in the resulting feel. I highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t seen his work yet go check it out at for his blog and for the site for the Rolling Exhibition specifically. Both sites are great and Kevin is a great guy and very entertaining so you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks go out to Kevin for the great talk and the pictures!

Kevin Connolly’s Blog

The Rolling Exhibition

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Tallmadge, Ohio, United States
I'm Mike and I'm The Perpetual Hobbyist! I'm an avid home brewer, tinkerer, and traveler. Even though I work a 9-5, I always find time to indulge in my passions - even with a tight schedule. Join me as I make the most of my free time - learning and doing as many things as I can