Saturday, December 20, 2008
I finally saw some weather in North Texas the other day. It is usually sunny or cloudy with no rain or snow. For 24 hours the roads and fields were covered in fog. I had to take advantage of the milky faded horizons. I'm happy with the mix of photos that came out of the drive. I am hoping for another day soon. It has potential for a good series.
at 11:01 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008
Every once in a while you meet a particularly strong person. Not strong in a physical sense, although that is also a common attribute, but more a person who carries themselves in a powerful way.
Last week I photographed Mary Saunders. Currently, she is heading a new leadership program at Texas Women's University here in Denton, Texas. Leadership apparently came naturally to Mary, as she spent most of her life in the Air Force eventually becoming a Major General. She held a certain patience in her manner that went beyond military training. Clearly she was accustomed to speaking and dealing with people like myself. Her personality was both calm and direct.
This was my first time taking a portrait of a high ranking military person. It was an experience I hope to have again.
at 11:23 AM
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It's Christmas time again. Time for massive ad campaigns and things I don't need. It does help me turn off the television set. It does not, however, sell me products. Especially when work is slow and the last thing I need is a new car.
It is also a time for Santa. I always take photos at some of the many Santa events for kids. I feel for the Santa more than anything. First words out of this guys mouth to me: "Are you married? Don't do it or you'll end up dressed like me."
Tis the season.
at 10:55 AM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I showed up to another football game last night to see hunters forging their way into a high school stadium. After a second look, I realize that the orange is really the school color of Celina High School. This, I gotta say, has to be the best color a school could pick. Just orange. I set out to find a set of images not action related.
at 3:12 PM
Monday, November 17, 2008
I took a portrait of this cool dude named Robert Hafer. After a short while of photographing we got around to chatting. Robert teaches people how to be successful using NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming.) I am usually skeptical of such "self-help" psychology programs. This was no exception. After hearing a little from Robert, I started to understand that this wasn't really a self-help program but rather an understanding of the ways words can be used to relate to life. We, as humans, take in senses in many ways. Obviously, there is no way to be conscious of all experiences at once. NLP, it appears, teaches you to recognize the way words play off experience and opens scenarios to use words for personal success through personal behavior. If more people stopped and consciously payed attention the ability to shape communication through words, human interactions would probably meet its potential.
I have to look more into NLP before truly placing it above the many self-help programs created or discovered primarily as a money makers. But it sounds convincing so far.
at 12:04 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I never won the prize. Not that I was too far off. I was liked. Not the most popular by any means, but certainly approachable. The prize wasn't even the goal. I had my group and we more or less turned our noses to the distinction. Truthfully, I don't think I was at the game and thus missed the parade.
I can imagine the joy (or embarrassment) of getting the crown. Depending on your level of ego it can make or break the season. It can be redemption or repetition, a full-filled expectation or a forgotten moment.
Homecoming. A tradition. While my date's name has slipped my mind, the memory of the dance still sits somewhere in my mind. It was not the missed prize I remember, but rather it is the moment of life that remains in my memory.
at 9:55 AM
Friday, October 17, 2008
I'm back from NYC after a beautiful two weeks. This was the first visit to New York where I really could see myself living there. I have no idea what I would do. Certainly photography would change for me and I might even look in a new direction. Realistically, I don't have the desire or ability to move right now. But, I do love that city and the personality that seems to seep out from every stop on the subway. It is hard to get over the faces. The trains allow for time to just look. This is likely the reason I love the Subway so much. Living in Texas, one takes for granted the idea of interpersonal connections, instead, driving from point to point in a self-absorbed box (literally.) The unique thing about NYC is the utter unavoidable and sometimes intense proximity to strangers as well as diversity. People have it wrong when they say New Yorkers are angry and rude. I find people there to be some of the most open minded I have met. They just live fast. It is understandable.
On a technical note, these images were all shot with the iPhone. Don't be alarmed. I am certainly not expressing myself through new artistic inspiration. I don't even look at the iPhone as a serious photographic piece of equipment (yet.) I do think that it is capable of producing some fun images in an easy and discreet fashion - there is no shutter sound and people usually assume I am simply looking at my phone. I do like that.
One more thing, I have done little to no retouching on these photos. They are cropped and toned to look like a Holga in the iPhone by an application called CameraBag. I like that too.
at 7:25 AM
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Now I'm a Rockies fan. A Colorado Rockies fan. I went to several games their opening season. That was 1993. They were terrible. In fact, they were terrible until last season when they went to the World Series only to be destroyed by the Red Sox. I think they are pretty much terrible again this season.
I always enjoyed playing baseball. I was terrible too. Perhaps that is why the game never meant much to me. It was always about the experience. The time of year was perfect to be outside. I remember getting Taco Bell from mom every third inning. I remember buying Big League Chew and not liking it at all. I remember the batting cages with dad. Two tokens for 25 pitches. He would tell me to bunt the first ten...then swing away. I would hit maybe 10 balls. In all my seasons I hit one home run and made All-Stars one year (the year my dad was Coach.)
My dad would take me to Rockies Games. Depending on the ticket, my hopes for catching a foul ball would be high. We would wait for autographs and buy foot-long hot dogs. He would make fun of me for putting ketchup on the dog because in New York that would never happen. Around the fourth inning I would get ice cream, dippin dots, another hot dog, or a soda. The rest of the game would be relaxing. We wouldn't even talk much. Just sit and watch the game. I never did catch a ball.
at 2:10 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I debated about going to the coast to cover Hurricane Ike. In the end, the decision was easy. I had no disaster experience. I had no truck. I had no connections. And possibly most important, I had no secured assignment.
The day before Ike hit evacuees started rolling into Dallas. I decided to head down to the Dallas Convention Center where 1,450 cots were positioned with health and food stations. I arrived a little after 11AM and already the place was busy. With good reason the media was not allowed inside. After speaking with the Red Cross media liaison, I was reminded that these people had just been through a traumatic experience. Considering I had no assignment, I was more than OK with their position. After all, there really was no reason for the media to get involved.
For a good half-hour I watched as families shuffled about with their lives stuffed into plastic bags. I talked with a few people, mostly from Bay Town, about what they left behind.
Things were relatively calm and I decided to shoot a few Polaroids. It is amazing how open people can be in the middle of a disaster.
I hope things turn out for them.
at 7:19 PM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I never really liked country music. Let me take that back. I don't like country music when it is overdone. I photographed a Toby Keith concert last week and I must say that I have never seen something so over the top and frankly pathetic in my life.
The guy is sponsored by Ford. Fine. But did they have to make a movie staring a truck while co-staring the musician to be presented before the show? Did they have to shoot 50,000 dollar sized ads out of a canon to start the show? Did they have to put a 20 foot Ford sign IN FRONT of the drummer? I usually don't care about musicians selling out...but come on.
I also think Toby takes steroids. His arms are a little too big, while his stomach is as well. I wonder if his ego gets upset when the girls scream louder for the truck then him.
Now I know this picture doesn't match my complaints. It is just the only Polaroid to come out from the show. So deal with it.
at 7:50 PM