LIFE PHILOSOPHY and TECHNIQUE
Life & Philosophy
I’m a lover of life, a creature born from experience, and a collection of short stories. I have a hunger for adventure and a strong thirst for caffeine. I take shelter in the world, traveling from place to place, going with the flow and always striving to move forward – to progress – to learn – and to understand.
I fall in love with each place I visit and with each photograph I try to share my vision with others so they can see things the way I do, full of color and emotion, depth and texture. I want to inspire people to travel for themselves, visit these beautiful places, and to fall in love with the beauty of the world.
Find out where I am and drop me a line. If you see me somewhere in the world, I’m always up for a cup of coffee.
Technique & Advanced Dynamic Blending
I have always favored the artist over the tools and I truly believe that no technique can be wrong if it produces beautiful results. Whether it’s a hammer and chisel, a keyboard and stylus – whether it’s chemicals in a darkroom or pixels in photoshop – whether it’s Tone Mapping or Digital Blending, we’re all just trying to create something beautiful.
My process is composed of many different techniques combined to create something I like to call Advanced Dynamic Blending. Advanced Dynamic Blending allows me to combine effective methods of photography ranging from the very traditional to the very digital. Each time I create a photograph, I use what I feel to be the most effective methods to produce the most visually compelling image possible. I think exploring many different techniques allows us to grow as individual artists and fully develop our own unique style and vision.
It’s my hope that as artists and photographers we can break out of the stigmas that dictate the rules of genre. We can become unbound by the proposed standards and freely explore our creative passion. So for all those that hate and/or judge a particular style to be wrong, I fling poo in your general direction.
Certain things have never come easy to me and writing about myself is one of those complicated things. I mean, how can you really describe yourself in an interesting way without sounding boring or egotistical? Hi, I’m Elia. I travel the world full time – looking for unique photographic opportunities and the stories to go with them… Give me a break, I already sound like a tool. Shit – and now I’m rambling again. This is going to be harder than I thought.
The truth is that I had a long series of life lessons to get me to this point. And just what exactly is this point that I’ve come to? I have no fucking clue – honestly. I make half this shit up as I go along. The only thing I know for sure is that there has been a combination of really special events that have led me to where I am now. And over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some phenomenally talented artists and animators that I’m proud to consider friends. So, before I go rambling on again, what follows is my attempt at an honest and entertaining bio.
How I became a travel photographer
Photography is actually a recent path for me. From 1999 – 2009, I had a long career in Post Production and Motion Design but after 10 years, I reached a breaking point. Tight deadlines, constant revisions, late nights, and 80 hour work weeks had left me completely burnt out. Pursuing larger paychecks and bigger promotions had earned me a bunch of financed things and a mountain of debt. Life had become all about making enough money to cover the bills each month. It seemed like the more money we made, the more we needed, and the further behind we became. Finally, financially stretched to the max, my wife and I felt completely trapped. For a few rough years, we felt like all hope was lost.
In the peak of the housing crisis, over loaded, upside down in debt, and too many months behind, we finally gave up. We sold our house and left our old life behind, deciding to pursue a more simple existence instead. I swore that I’d never work on a computer again and we moved to a small community in Central Florida called Melbourne Beach.
The next few years were all about keeping things simple and feeding the soul. Nearly every morning, groggy and determined, I would paddle out into the ocean on my surfboard, catch a few waves and feel totally connected to the Earth, and for the first time in my life, at peace. We didn’t make much, we didn’t spend much, we didn’t need much. It was an amazing experience but after a few endless summers, something unexpected happened. I felt a strong desire to get back into art and production. I had a profound and unstoppable desire to create something. I had to start moving forward again. It was time to try something new.
It was our first trip to Italy that changed everything. For the first time in my life, I was able to meet my Italian family and they embraced us with open arms. With our old work schedules, there was never any time for travel and we had let 8 long years go by without even taking a single vacation. Now, there was literally a whole new world of possibilities. On that trip, we made a pact that from then on, we’d change our lives and experience the world.
On that same trip, when I decided pick up a camera again, a plan slowly began to form and my path was forever changed. It was like being struck by lightning. I felt totally energized and completely motivated. I didn’t know it yet but Blame The Monkey was already born.
After Italy, we started making traveling and photography our top priority and by the end of 2010, BlameTheMonkey.com was online. Then, in 2011, with a determined blend of insomnia and jet lag, I flew 220,000 miles to build a portfolio and feed my passion for Travel and Destination Photography. No matter how long we stayed away, we still had a little place to come back to in Melbourne Beach. The more we traveled though, the less returning home made sense and our lifestyle had once again become a financial burden. Throughout the year we started to plan our escape into a fully location independent way of life.
Now, as of March 2012, after relinquishing nearly all of our possessions and condensing our lives into a few small suitcases, there will be no more round trips, no more going home, and no more looking back. The world is our new home and we fully embrace it with boundless joy and a childlike passion for life. – Unless of course, our luggage gets lost… that fucking sucks!
Metaphysical Mumbo Jumbo – For all those astronomically inclined.
If you’re into Chinese Astrology I’m a Monkey. My nephew, Emrys is also a Monkey which makes me a Monkey’s Uncle as well.
If you’re into regular astrology though, I’m a Cancer.
If you’re really into astrology, I’m a Cancer with a Capricorn Rising and a Moon in Leo.
If you’re really really into astrology, My North Node is also in Leo.
If you’re really really really into astrology, my planetary quadralific aspect ratio is a 5.672
…But if you were really really really into astrology, you’d know I made that last part up.
Bananas contain considerable amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. They are also ever so slightly radioactive. Eat them! I couldn’t resist. They’re damn tasty.