Life is a polluted sunset.

So I've always wanted to be one of those people who sits down and writes inspirational blog posts with life advice and metaphors and such, but then I think, nah, I'm not qualified for that; save it for your therapist. However, by looking at the title of this post, I bet you can guess I decided to do it anyways. Here's what prompted me to do so: Last week, I wrote a post about my friend Ryan. Mostly, I wrote it for myself, as a means of holding on to memories with him, but I was absolutely blown away when my Facebook page reported that the link had been seen 3,300 times, and shared by around 15 people. People who I didn't even know, or didn't know him. I then realized that this blog, and what I've created for myself in the world of photography is a platform to speak about things I believe in, and if I don't, aren't I just wasting everything I've worked for over the past few years?

I used to love to write, but upper level high school classes (AP English kids, you feel me.) burned me out, and once I went to school for photography, I happily never wrote an essay ever again, except for the few times we had to write reports on something photography related, which didn't bother me all that much.

Anyways; I've wanted to get back into writing, and I think now is the time. So, if you're interested, read on.

I guess I have to start this topic by explaining what I want to say in two ways: through photography, and through some research on air pollution. 

Los Angeles, California is ranked almost number one on the list of cities in the US with the most air pollution. Polluted air can create something called "acid rain", which is extremely harmful to plant life. Acid rain deposits nitrogen in to rivers and soil, which causes algae growth in lakes and bodies of water. Human exposure to air pollution can cause bronchitis, phenomena, asthma, lung cancer, brain disease and heart disease. It's crazy stuff.

And yet, have you ever seen the sunset in LA?

Yeah, it's that incredible.

Now, I could bore you with things I learned in photography classes and explain all the reasoning behind why pollution creates sunsets like this; how the light travels through the particles and results in a rainbow of waves and colors in the clouds. But you don't want to hear that, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that places with the greatest amount of pollution have arguably the most beautifully photographed sunsets.

Kind of seems ironic right? That so much beauty can come from something whose negative effects far outweigh the positive ones.

Recent events in my life have caused me to think a lot lately that maybe we're all just living in one big, perpetual, pollution filled sunset. I lost a friend a few weeks ago to a motorcycle accident, and although it's one of the harder things I've been through, it's reminded me to live like he did, with so much passion for seeing the silver lining in everything. This trailed me into thinking back to other negative situations I've dealt with, and how I'm actually so much better off now because of them.

As the great Macklemore (sarcasm, people) once said, and I quote, "hind sight is vibrant, reality, rarely lit." It's so easy to be a Debbie downer in hard times and immediately let your brain go to the worst possible outcome, but I bet you can all think back to at least one time in your life where you're thankful for a lesson you learned because of something that happened to you that was out of your control. 

Hind sight truly is vibrant. Our current realities are one big, hazy, cloudy, dimly lit existence in which we drift through from day to day, just hoping we can complete a full 24 hour cycle without crashing and burning along the way. And it is rare to have clarity in a moment, and it is next to impossible to force yourself to see the big picture when you can't even tell which way is up half the time. 

So, to conclude this and hopefully provide you all with some sort of insight, try and take your troubles and turn them into something beautiful. Take all your polluted pieces and burn them brightly. Perspective is something that I've been searching for lately, and making this connection is something that has helped me find it. 

Life is a polluted sunset.