Rhett: When I started planning this blog in the beginning I didn’t think I would be able to sustain the writing for very long on my own. I also recognize that I have a bias toward certain genres and styles. I hoped that people would be able to read this and not just hear my voice and opinion, but get some different points of view. I didn’t want to exclude the people that don’t exactly like my taste either. Music is such a subjective thing and that’s what makes it great. So I devised a plan to task some friends with a job that I could supplement my posts with. I liked the idea of making the posts more visual than the ones I contribute as well. So this lead to the idea of pairing songs with pictures. I have a few gifted photography friends and I thought it would be interesting to showcase their photos but also let them think of their own work in a different way as well. Like PB & J will be a collection of photos taken by the writer and paired with a song that they think of when they see it, or vice versa.
My first thought for a friend to start this was Kelby. One of my oldest friends and right at the top in terms of creative minds in my circle. Always willing to step outside the box and never afraid to like something that makes him happy even if others don’t. His musical tastes are as wide as the Sahara and it is something we have always bonded over. In recent years, his passion for photography has also become evident. I’m excited for you all to see these two passions meld together – like PB & J.
Kelby: When Rhett first approached me with his idea I thought it was a brilliant one! When he asked me to write my own section of the blog, I panicked and said yes. I had no fucking clue what to write about or how to start. After several weeks of procrastination, here I am writing.
As some of the readers might know, this past year I have jumped deep into photography. I remember sitting at my computer desk last year around December. I looked over at my shelf and saw my dusty camera sitting there lonely. It is the same camera I used in the past for my lifting vlogs. I just looked at it for a bit, staring at it, waiting for an answer. I thought to myself, “I could attempt to start vlogging again, but no, that shit is too much work for something that doesn’t fill a gap in my life.” Vlogging is fun and all but it never really filled the creative hole I’ve been yearning to fill since I finished high school. So I picked up my camera, snapped a photo of myself and uploaded it to my computer. Once the photo was on my computer, I remember thinking, “I wonder how to edit this the proper way?” You know, like actually edit each component of a photo and not just click a couple buttons on my phone. So what do I do whenever I want to learn something? YOUTUBE UNIVERSITY!
Since that day, I have continued trying to improve my photography and taking it one day at a time.
So! Now that you have the cliff notes on my photography, I figured it’s time to get to the point. Why you’re all here, reading this blog (ps, first time writing a blog, so any feedback is great feedback!). MUSIC! Rhett challenged me to write about the photos I have taken and how they correlate with songs that I love. I spent a fair amount of time on this and tried to figure out how to best pair songs and photos together. But to be honest, I couldn’t figure anything out because I don’t really have any songs that inspire my photos or any photos that remind me of a song up to this point.
What I am going to do for you guys is a little different and yet, the same. For about the last 18 months, I have tasked myself to make a new Spotify playlist for each month. I add any new song that tingles my ears and along side that, I’m also pushing myself to do something similar with photography. I make new folders for each month and keep all of my favourite photos in them which I think is the same way my brain folders are organized!
I am going to choose a song from each of these playlists and folders of 2020 and take a little trip down memory lane! Join me if you’d like!
Side note: If you would like to listen along to the songs as you read through this, it will enhance your blog reading experience!
Butterscotch by Robotaki ft. Jamie Fine and Falcxne
Ok, to start, my musical tastes are all over the fucking place. I love everything from rap to metal, folk to EDM, Golden 50s to Hollywood scores. I heard a quote from Donald Glover that resinated with me, “The weirder the song, the more I like it”. TOO TRUE!
I remember snapping this shot of an old school that is still in great condition. I had just spent New Years in Saskatoon with a bunch of my good friends and on my trek back home, I wanted to get some cool pictures around Saskatchewan Landing.
I hadn’t ever spotted this school before while driving on highway #4. I immediately pulled over, whipped down the back road and got the shot.
I know photography seems as simple as pointing the camera at a subject and pulling the trigger but there is so much more to it. Emotion is a huge factor that plays into a good photo. What you are feeling and how to project that feeling through your work only comes with time. Which is where music comes into play as well.
Great Tune = Great Mood = Great Photo.
I think that math works out? I only failed math every year in high school. Where is Ms. Calcutt when you need her?
Circles by Mac Miller
The month I went on one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on, followed by the world shutting down a week after we got home. My Father, Grandfather and I decided to trek from Sask all the way to Arizona. Along the way, we attempted to see as much scenery as we possibly could. We saw what Montana, Idaho, Utah and Arizona had to offer. I will never forget this trip. Not only did I get to spend all of that quality time with my Father and Grandfather, but the experience to see all of those new scenic areas was amazing. Experiencing different cultures and seeing how people live in completely different circumstances as myself peaks my interests.
By far the best place out of the whole trip was Page, Arizona. We spent about 2 days there and we got to see Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Marble Canyon, Etc. Page has more than enough scenery to offer, which means I am definitely heading back there one day.
I think being able to see all of this and experience all the different cultures really opened my eyes and mind. Which is something I feel like I have been lacking ever since Covid-19 has taken over the world. But more on that to come….
Sunny’s Time by Caribou
My birthday month! AKA the best month out of them all! Until 2020 showed up.
All while the rest of the world was going crazy over Covid, my little world really didn’t change much. Where I live, I keep to myself a lot of the time anyway and I spend my “spare” time learning more about photography and shooting photos. I watch hours of youtube videos trying to learn as much as I possibly can. That is how I operate. When I become interested in something, I am obsessed with it. I put 100% of my focus into it and surround myself with what I am interested in.
With all the knowledge I had recently gained, I ended up printing my first photo and it was such a satisfying feeling I might add. Seeing a printed photo that I worked towards capturing will always be one of my favourite feelings. It’s just funny that my first print was a complete fluke; right place, right time!
It was sunset and I decided to head out to get some photos. I drove north to the Frenchmen valley, hopped out by the river, walked down to the water and set up my tripod. After I got everything set up, I looked up and saw a flock of geese flying overhead. “Oh cool, geese”, I remember thinking. I reached down and snapped the shot not thinking it was going to be much but when I got home and looked at it on my computer, I completely fell in love!
Marijuana by Chrome Sparks
In April I must have learned about how to utilize reflections in my photography because I captured A LOT of reflection shots. I’m certainly not mad about it either because a reflection can up the ‘banger’ factor by a boat load!
In conjunction with my song choice, one thing I wanted to touch on with this write up is Marijuana. I have never really come out about my cannabis use in a public forum before and this blog seems to be a good place to do so! Prior to the Covid pandemic, I smoked a lot of weed.
I love weed for a million different reasons but most of all, it sparks creativity. Marijuana paired with with a lot of alone time can be the perfect storm for a wasted day. If you know going in that you are using it to help spark some creative work, it can be wonderful.
To be completely honest, I’m high as I write this. I find my brain trying to find different avenues to navigate on how to express things. I feel like living where I live and how I was brought up, my brain was set to “default” if that makes any sense. Weed helps me clear my default settings and create my own settings.
Just wanted to get that off of my chest!
Lattice by Minnesota
Not really at all but did I get your attention?
May of 2020 was a special month for me because it was the first time I ever tried Mushrooms. Now I know what some of you are probably thinking. “All this fucking guys wants to talk about is his drug use???”. I wouldn’t talk about it if it wasn’t beneficial to me in some way.
I have always been intrigued by mushrooms and what the experience is really like. I have asked people I know who have tried them before, “So, explain to me what its like?” Most of the answers I got were that its hard to explain or that its something you need to experience for yourself. I never understood why someone couldn’t explain it to me, until I tried for myself….
I have never experienced anything like it in my life. I ate some with a few friends of mine that I really trust (which is very important if you’re thinking about trying them). Long story short, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. While we were high, we were all sitting together listening to music and I remember feeling pure bliss. I was so happy with the sounds that were coming into my head and how I felt at the time, but most importantly, I felt so happy that I got to experience it with my friends that I love dearly. I ended up crying because I felt such pure bliss and didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world except right in that moment.
Now I feel like that experience was important to me because I have never felt like that way before. I have never felt so happy to just BE. To be in the moment and enjoy what is happening exactly right now.
Ok, I’m done with the hippy mushroom talk now. The last thing I will say is don’t be scared to experience new things in your life. Be open to everything and do your research before you form a strong opinion. At the end of the day, memories and experiences are all we have and this, by far, is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.
Goodie Bag by Still Woozy
June 17th, 2020 will go down in Climax history as one of the craziest lightning shows ever witnessed.
I have absolutely no experience with lightning photography and still pulled this banger out of my ass! I remember this night like it was yesterday. I was sitting out in the rain with my camera on a tripod. I had a blanket draped over my head and camera while I was googling how to properly get lightning shots. Probably research that could have been completed before heading out into the rain but I digress. After spending 2 hours screwing around trying to get a good shot, I finally got this gem.
When we were kids, we used to go outside during thunderstorms and just watch the light show. Just sitting, not saying anything to each other and enjoying the weather and the company. Another one of those, ‘enjoy the moment’ moments. Every time I look at this photo, I feel a sense of those moments in time. Nostalgia. My favourite feeling!
Retrace by Lusine
The year without baseball…
With Covid-19, our hometown baseball league had to be put on hold. Which sucks big time because that was my main source of exercise.
In 2015, I decided it was time for the Cardinals to come back to Climax! With an absence from league play since 2004, we gathered a group of local boys from Climax and neighbouring towns. When I first started talking to people around town about trying to get a baseball team back together and enter the league again, most people told me it was a waste of time. “Nobody wants to play. Nobody will take care of the field. Nobody will come watch. Nobody will support the team”. These are all things I heard through out those years and guess what? IT DID FUCKING WORK! THE FIELD LOOKS BETTER THEN IT EVER HAS! WE HAVE RAISED MORE MONEY FROM FANS THAN THE CLUB EVER HAS! AND IT HAS COMPLETELY REVIVED THE LOVE FOR BASEBALL IN OUR COMMUNITY!!
Sorry about that, I just like shoving it back in the haters faces sometimes.
With the lack of baseball this past year, our community has taken a hit. Our community takes pride in our togetherness. The Cardinals are a hub for everyone to come together, have a good time and participate in their community. These things are important to our small towns and we haven’t been able to experience this for quite some time now.
By the way, this photo is one of my favourite photos I have ever taken.
Life by Cherub
A sense of pride I’ve never felt before
In August 2020, I got to stand beside my brother as his best man. We spent the weekend in Cypress Park with as many family members as were allowed at the time. I think in total there might have been 30 people there, which was absolutely perfect! The entire weekend had such a strong intimate vibe that carried smiles day in and day out. I have never been so happy for my brother. I see how happy Des makes him and how she pushes him to be a better person. She challenges him, all while being right by his side throughout the whole process.
Nick and I have been through a lot of rough “relationships” in our life. Witnessing our parents split up at a young age put a lot of questions into a young boy’s head.
On top of that, we have helped each other navigate our own troubled relationships as well. Watching your own family member go through hard times is a big weight on your shoulders because all you want to do is fix it but sometimes time is the only cure.
So why do I say “A sense of pride I’ve never felt before”?
Watching Nick stand up there and marry the love of his life made me feel the most pride I’ve ever felt. I have been there to see him through all the hard times and to now see him on such a high note, makes me feel very happy for him.
This song had a fun little tie in to this section. The song is all about trying to stay positive and not sweating the small things. Shit may get hard but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Bon Voyage by DROELOE
September was the start of some fairly dark days for me. Things in my life were kinda getting scrambled and the whole “pandemic effect” was starting to kick in hard. Having to stay home and not interact other people always seemed like a breeze before the pandemic, but being forced to do it starts to twist your brain up. Sitting at home alone with nothing but your thoughts for days on end can be rough for someone dealing with life issues. My relationship was in the dumps and work had been weighing on my shoulders for multiple months. It was almost the perfect storm.
I have dealt with depression in the past but this was the first time I could really see it coming. This may sound very strange to someone who hasn’t dealt with it before. Why don’t you just try to avoid it? Easier said then done. It is so hard to explain how depression develops in a person’s head and it can definitely vary from person to person. You start thinking negative thoughts and it just grows and evolves day after day and then you start to think it’s all because of you. It is a very toxic mindset to be in and talking to someone about it has been the only thing to help me.
I took a bit of a break from photography around this period. I don’t think I touched my camera for 3-4 weeks, which was very unlike me. I remember one random day I picked up my camera and took this picture of myself in the mirror. It was almost like a cry for help in a way as I wanted to show myself but still so scared that I hid behind my camera.
All I can say is that I am very happy to not be in those dark days any more. Things still aren’t quite 100% yet but really, what is 100%?
Entropy by Ark Patrol
While still being in the depths of my depression and covid isolation, I finally got back into grabbing my camera more. I found myself trying to take more artistic photos in the moments of my life. I don’t know if it correlates with the state of mind I was in or not but I like to think that expressing myself in an artistic way while I’m feeling down helps. I feel like turning my murky thoughts into photos helps me understand myself more, if that makes any sense!
I think being able to relate a feeling to a photo or a song is definitely how my brain is wired.
Take this photo for instance. I remember wanting to get photos of the new yellow leaves that were developing in fall. I wanted to get them falling in action to stop that moment in time. Catch a moment of falling, just like how I was feeling. I felt like I was always falling.
Expressing myself like this makes me feel really good and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
Wait a Minute by WILLOW
Every year when hunting season comes around, my father, brother and I get to spend a lot of bonding time together. We all love getting together around this time, scouting deer in hopes of harvesting a trophy buck each year. I value these days more than most because I love driving around with them, saying the dumbest shit I can think of trying to get them both to laugh. It’s times like these I will always look back on and cherish. The hunting is fun, but the company is forever.
One morning we headed out to scout and as we drove further west a thick fog dropped in on us and created this eerie look everywhere. We were driving down a dirt road when we popped over a hill and saw this beast standing up top. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped this photo but after much deliberation, we decided to leave him for next year as he has a lot of potential for more growth.
I love how cool this photo looks. I named it “The Monster in the Mist”! And I’m so glad I will always have this picture to look at and remember this day.
Star by Machinedrum ft A$AP FERG
Well it’s December! Christmas is here and 2020 is almost over. Something we have all been waiting for during the longest year ever.
2020 was a huge year of reflection for me. I spent a lot of time with my thoughts and I found things out about myself I never knew before. I dealt with a lot of hard times and a few good. The year was filled with negativity wherever I went; work was negative, my relationship was negative and the world was negative. I found very little joy as the year went on but sometimes the bad can be a good thing to go through.
Throughout 2020, I felt like I was waiting for things to get better. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for my life to improve. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that I’m sick of waiting. I am sick of waiting for things to get better, so I’m going to fucking make them better. I am going to focus on what I am in control of and attempt to improve my own life any way that I can.
Well, I hope you all enjoy my little trip down memory lane. It was very enjoyable for me to go through all these memories and reflect on how they have made me today. Before I go, I’m going to leave you with a little Kelby Coburn knowledge:
Life is a giant mystery. Everyone is trying to figure their own things out and navigate the best way they know how. Our society has built a strong ‘this against that’ mentality with everything now a days. It seems like you’re only allowed to be on on side of an argument or the other. But understanding the other side of the argument might be the secret to success.
Life is too short for us to be against one another. Working together will never harm progress. Ever.
Like PB & J – Kelby Coburn
- JANUARY 2020: Butterscotch by Robotaki ft. Jamie Fine and Falcxne
- FEBRUARY 2020: Circles by Mac Miller
- MARCH 2020: Sunny’s Time by Caribou
- APRIL 2020: Marijuana by Chrome Sparks
- MAY 2020: Lattice by Minnesota
- JUNE 2020: Goodie Bag by Still Woozy
- JULY 2020: Retrace by Lusine
- AUGUST 2020: Life by Cherub
- SEPTEMBER 2020: Bon Voyage by DROELOE
- OCTOBER 2020: Entropy by Ark Patrol
- NOVEMBER 2020: Wait a Minute by WILLOW
- DECEMBER 2020: Star by Machinedrum ft A$AP FERG