Author Archives

Mike Yost (Photographer/Writer)

I have a passion for words and photography (and craft beer . . . and weed). Just trying to be creative and experience the creativity of others before I'm kicked off this lonely planet. Death may nullify my body and brain, but (hopefully) not my art. I've been capturing snapshots of time and writing out the thoughts of fictional characters in my head since I was a kid. Maybe even younger! Not sure. It's hard to remember that far back. (I blame the weed.) I had the opportunity to pen a novel for grad school. Five characters. One narrative. Existential dread! You can purchase my first book, Remnants of Light, on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/B00MZBT15C It's available in paperback if you want to be retro and ebook if you want to be modern. Personally I think there should be a stone tablet option.

The Spectrum of Space

 

“What are you doing?” I hear a man ask, his footfalls coming to a stop behind me.

“Reaching out into the cobalt chasm,” I reply from behind my camera, taking the shot.

“Reaching out for what?” the man asks.  His voice sounds lonely, searching for conversation with a stranger.

“Meaning, I suppose,”

“Meaning?” he asks.  I can hear his smile.

“Yeah.  My late father once told me that many people look to the sky for purpose,” I say with muffled words, the camera still covering my face as I lean back and turn my lens towards the sky’s meridian.  “Maybe I can somehow capture it.”

The man clears his throat. “Meaning is a construct of the mind, my friend, not of a universe that lingers above those trees.”

I shrug my shoulders while looking through the viewfinder, adjusting the focal length on the lens to take in more of the sky. “Where else would you look for purpose?” I ask, noticing the sky growing darker, draining of color. I turn the camera to take a vertical photo.  I capture the shot.

“The search for meaning elsewhere is a madness of the mind,” he says. “I’m Mr. Lem, by the way.”

I suddenly feel my feet leave the ground, and I pull the camera from my face for the first time. I’m now floating high above the trees as Mr. Lem, hands in his coat pockets with a shock of gray hair waving in the breeze, tilts his head back and watches me fall up into a sky that darkens into the color of space.

Mr. Lem continues: “Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.”

The Earth falls away beneath me as I float into the vast obsidian cosmos, camera in hand. I watch the sun shrink into the size of a pixel, then disappear into the black backdrop of the universe.

Swimming in this vast void, I try to capture a shot of the immense starscape that surrounds me, but there’s not enough light for the camera’s sensor, even at slower shutter speeds.  I should have grabbed my tripod as I was leaving Earth.

But soon, burning bright against the void among the light of two orbiting stars, a planet bathed half in blue light and half in red light emerges from this sea of liquid black and deep silence.

“It’s called Solaris,” the voice of Mr. Lem tells me. “And it manifests what you think you seek.”

“It’s stunning,” I say as I float down to the surface of this distant planet, a small island in the middle of a vast ocean.  I bring my camera to my eye and capture the shot.

This planet, covered mostly with a liquid I have yet to identify, speaks to me through my lens.  Mr. Lem was clearly wrong, for I have found a bastion, a purpose far from my own planet full of dread and loss and death.

Or perhaps Solaris found me, both of us traveling alone through the vacuity of the universe.

I raise my camera for another shot, but notice someone approaching me.  It’s not Lem.

I narrow my eyes.  “Dad?” I ask, dropping the camera at my feet.  He smiles at me as he gets closer

© Mike Yost

Novel excerpt and creative inspiration from Solaris by Stanisław Lem

| looking into the self |

Locked inside my mind, I often overlook the abundance of profound patterns weaving their way through my environment and my experiences.

Photography pulls me out of my head so that I can deviate from all those predictable perspectives, I can re-frame familiar spaces into mysteries unexplored, I can expose these thin slices of eternity to others, changing how we perceive and interact with a bubbling reality teeming with ominous unknowns, flashes of deep dread and abundant awe—all tangled up and held together by connections once unseen.

Bob Ross knew: “Beauty is everywhere.”

Click on my photobooks below to preview or purchase a collection of photographic narratives, poems told with images, stories told without words, and words that personify images.

Plus buying a photobook helps feed a starving artist who would rather play with photos than eat or sleep! 🙂

© Mike Yost [hidden void photography]

Order Prints:
michael.ray.yost@gmail.com

Instagram Cracker Website: hidden_void_photography

Preview my photobooks printed by Blurb:

Hidden Void Photography Photobooks

New Photobook Preview: Hidden Void Photography #6 Distorted Frequencies

 

Greetings my fellow photo friends!

I’m working on a new photobook as a way to decompress from last year.  A personal narrative with photos from my home in Denver, my travels to Tokyo, and snapshots of lost places I wandered in between.

Looking forward to sharing my journey, so here’s a quick preview of photobook #6, coming out at the end of January!

 

You can preview and purchase my previous photobooks on Blurb:
https://www.blurb.com/b/10137941-hidden-void-photography-vol-iv-color-is-a-constru

Thank you to everyone who already bought a book to support a starving artist!  🙂

 

© Mike Yost