Thursday, December 08, 2005

Craig

This is my brother-in-law Craig and the photo was taken on large format and Polaroid Type 79 film. It’s in his backyard and was part of the family project I did on Thanksgiving Day this year. It think it’s an interesting take on a photographer being photographed as he’s photographing. I’ve got about 18 or so other images and I plan to do this with my family back in Kentucky when I get there again.

The film just adds another dimension to the photography that really doesn't equate on the screen or in a print. Obviously, I had them scanned, but I just can’t get the luminosity or feel to translate that well. I need to experiment more on this and see what I can come up with. The photo, and the ones to follow, have no adjustments in PS other than some minor levels and curves adjustments. I’ve left the inherent imperfections in the prints to show. It’s what makes the Polaroid film, and it’s outcome, so interesting to me.

I’m not sure how to make this a long term project but I would like too. I’d like to do something with the people in the office and it seems like there is interest. I just need o get company approval. we’ll see where that goes.

In the future I’m going to try Type 55 more often. I can scan that film and still get the feel or at least I think I will be able to do so. Here is the first of a few of the other side of my family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

San Clemente Pier

Last weekend I shot a wedding and while I was there this fabulous sunset took place. This is the pier in San Clemente taken as a motion shot or my continuing interest in color and motion. I took several while there but didn’t really get to explore the possibilities as much as I would normally do. I did have responsibilities after all.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sunday Morning Experiment

I don’t have much time to actually write this. Work is crazy, and just like the last post it’s really getting in the way of creative efforts. These two images are panoramas I made this past weekend at the park down the road.

I used a Canon 45mm L TS lens for the images and stitched them together in PSCS2. For those of you that don’t know what this lens does, it’s used a lot in architectural photography to correct perspective. With digital imaging the lens, and its counterparts the 24mm and 90mm, have seen a resurgence in its use. For panoramic work it makes stitching easier.


Here are my first attempts at this. I love the perspective panoramic images provide. They seem to match my way of seeing much better.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Taxi III


Taxi III

I’m not sure why I like taxis but I do, especially in New York.

My first taxi ride actually occurred in Naples, Italy. At the time, I was aboard the USS Semmes, a guided missile destroyer out of Charleston, SC. I was on my first deployment overseas and this was the first port of call. It was also the first foreign country I was to visit at the age of 24.

One of the first things you do once you hit a new port is to get away from the ship as fast as humanely possible. A couple of other guys and I wanted to get some food and grabbed a taxi by the wharf. It turns out that this was a designed initiation of sorts.

Everyone should experience this at some pint in his or her lives. A ride in a Naples taxi is fraught with surprise and some danger. Road signs seem to be nothing more than a suggestion and not necessarily meant for that particular taxi driver. Ours was no different and by the end of the ride, we had ridden on a sidewalk, hit a bicyclist and learned several Italian curse words not suitable for discussion here.

So it brings me to this photo. Last year, with a film camera, I tried this and nothing remotely came close to what I had envisioned. But with digital I could see what I was getting and I knew I would end up with something I liked.

If you’ve read the previous post you know that I want to make images that resonate with me. If they do, then other people will ultimately find them compelling in some form or another. These images might be a cliché to some, and repetitive to others. But they are mine and I enjoy them. At the end of the day I really need to enjoy an image.

Chris Rainier, a photographer I really like, says that he enjoys the idea of a personal gallery space. It gives you time to see if you can live with the image and how it will look after some time spent with it. This blog, and the wall of my office, act as that gallery space for me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New York

This is a belated, and probably short, entry for our trip last week to New York for Photo Expo. The J-O-B is definitely getting in the way. (But just in case someone from work is reading this, I’m writing it on the plane coming back from San Jose. So get off my back.)

We did make it into New York for the Expo this year but it was a very shortened version of previous years. Jordan’s league meet at Mt. SAC took place on the following Saturday and we missed it last year. We just didn’t want to miss it again this year. So we flew out on Wednesday, attended the show on Thursday and left Friday morning. It was a whirlwind trip but I did get to the show and got some well-deserved geek time.

The display section for the images of the year was so small as to be unwelcoming. I think it was the one place that solidified the feelings I’ve been having lately about technology versus image making. The exhibit seemed to be treated as an afterthought this year. The images were small. This display space was tiny compared to earlier years and the presentation wasn’t compelling in the least. This year the show made me realize its time to get over the technology and get back to making images mode.

I have to admit that I am guilty of this technology craze. But this year, and it’s something I’ve been wrestling with for a number of months now, the technology didn’t seem all that groundbreaking. The same group of photographers that have been hawking gear for the last five years were there with no real new images. The Epson booth had the same old images and the same old image-makers. It was the same with the Canon booth. It makes me wonder when these guys actually work in the photography profession. It seems that they are at all of the shows, producing large advertisements for the manufacturers reminding us of how wonderfully talented they are, but not producing any new work. They have become celebrities in the digital imaging market segment. It was sad, annoying, and just downright tiresome.

Apple announced a new program and the lines at this booth were long. It was the single largest booth there and it was centered on their new program called Aperture. I’m not putting a link here because I refuse to become an advertising arm. Even if there is probably only one person that even reads this blog. I did get really excited about the program. But then I thought about the cost. Another $500 just to look at my images. While I do love the digital images I produce and its immediacy, what I don’t love it the constant amount of dollars that I shell out just to keep up. It was nice that Apple at least used some other photographers to hawk the software and not the usual self-proclaimed experts.

Back to image making. There was some new paper from Innova that looks really nice. I got a sample pack and I need to print out some test images to see how they look. There were some innovative book publishers that would allow a photographer to self publish and put out work that was good for self-promotion. Other than that there was little to talk about with regards to pure image making.

As usual the food was good, the energy great, and the weather was nice although Diane thought it could have been colder. We got to see Ken for dinner at Virgil’s BBQ and he was joined by another friend of mine, Roger. Diane got to see us bash on each other but mostly bashing Ken as we are wont to do when the three of us are together. I think she found it mildly entertaining.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Seattle Clouds

I’ve not had much time to post lately, or for that matter, work on images much at all. These are from a recent business trip up to Seattle.

I finally was on a plane that was less than half full. If you travel much you’ll realize how unusual that is these days. It’s normally packed and the feeling of a being a piece of meet quickly comes to mind.

Anyway, storms had rolled through Southern California the night before, real, honest to goodness thunder and lightning storms. Being a mid-west transplant, I’ve never gotten used to the fact that you just don’t see lightning or hear thunder here very often. It’s what makes a storm a storm. It also produces clouds like these shown here.

Coming out of Orange County and flying out over the ocean, there were big billowy clouds as far as you could see. They rose up from the ocean and towered high in the sky. It was absolutely beautiful and I realized how much I missed cloud formations associated with storm activity.

I didn’t have my camera out of the bag on take-off as I should have. I missed a really great opportunity to catch the sun breaking through some beautiful cloud formations. But as soon as I could move over to the window seat and could get the camera out, I started looking at the clouds and taking photos. You see a couple of my favorites here.

I wasn’t sure if anything would actually work image wise. Obviously windows are small and prevent you from getting good optical quality but it’s digital; what do you have to lose? Turns out the light was wonderful and the 24mm lens worked out well in this instance.

I converted them to B&W because I liked them better. I also was trying out some new post processing techniques I’ve been experimenting with. The images are what I saw. I haven’t added any clouds or taken anything away.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Continuing On

I’ve struggled over the last few weeks with the content and publishing of this blog. I’ve tried several avenues to generate more traffic all to no avail. I started wondering if it was worth it if no one saw it or the images.

I know I want my work seen and the more I shoot the more convinced I am of that statement. I seem to produce more when it’s seen and I certainly want to shoot more when I show my work. But I wonder if that defeats the purpose of this blog and my original intentions.

I originally started this in order to encourage myself to shoot more. I wanted to play more with images and explore light and shapes. At the beginning of the year I did that and actually came up with some images and a direction that I was generally pleased with.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending time getting my photos organized. I’m a sucker for software, cool gadgetry and technology in general. But, contrary to what technology inventors and producers would have you to believe, it makes life infinity more difficult. My library of images with the digital camera has grown rather large. And just like the days when I shot chrome, I keep almost everything. I get rid of the obvious duds, the completely out of focus stuff but keep just about everything else. In the digital age who knows when it might be useful.

I’m finally using some of the technology I’ve gathered over the last year or so. I’m using Portfolio 7 to organize my images. For anyone who knows me well organization is not my strong suit. But it has helped me find the images I have taken over the last year or so and to find more content for this site. It’s also let me see where my mind was and where it might go in producing images that appeal to me. I tend to wonder, shift and change with apparent changes in the direction of the wind or the tides. At least that is how I think of myself and my fleeting whimsies.

In organizing the images I see that I was experimenting with visuals in both the digital realm as well as the analog realm. I’m still using film although at a much lower rate than before. As I learn to use the images from the digital camera the film cameras tend to stay in the bag more and more. This to will probably change over time and I’ll find myself going back to film and experimenting with that medium again.

During the course of this rare organizational period, I saw an article that talked about journals and a project sending them out to be returned like the old message in a bottle days. It was encouraging and provided me with an idea that what I am doing on the net with this blog could be constituted as something similar. In a way, I’m throwing out a message to see if it comes back. And so I figured I would continue to put up images that I’ve shot. After all, I’m not shooting for anyone but myself in the end anyway.

Here are a couple of images to view. Enjoy them if you like and comment on them if you find this message. Throw it back and see where it might take you.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Santa Fe Candles

Technical

Camera: Canon 1D MkII
ISO 400
Lens: 50mm f1.4
1/85 @ f 1.4

This is an image of candles at a church in Santa Fe. It’s a large tourist attraction downtown Santa Fe that has a staircase with no visible means of support. Legend has it that a carpenter came into town, built the staircase with meticulous craftsmanship and disappeared. It’s an interesting place to visit. The staircase itself was difficult to photograph due to the people inside the church and awkward angles. I didn’t get anything really usable and failed to capture the main attraction. In this instance, I failed to capture what I wanted but found these candles at the altar. They provided some nice lighting in an otherwise drab interior.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pop's Shop

I’m a little behind in getting images up although these have been on flicker for the last month or so.

These are images from my Pop’s shop I made while I was at home in June. He’s been retired now for several years and travels throughout the Midwest attending quilting shows selling his work. I think he has fun doing it and it’s nice to see him doing something fun considering how hard he worked all those years.

I actually used a tripod on these shots instead of going with my usual handheld shots. I wanted to document the shop as it stands today. I’m not sure if I really captured what I had envisioned when I went out to make the images, but I enjoyed doing it and that’s part of the process. Enjoy it and eventually something will come along that you are happy with.

I did learn one thing shooting in the shop; I get my organizational skills honestly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Buddha Statue

While in San Francisco we had to stop in Chinatown. It was 10 blocks from the hotel, on the cable car route, which for Jordan meant a ride no matter how long the wait. I think her favorite thing about the trip was the cable cars and the ability to ride standing on the side step while holding onto the railing. I have to admit; it was fun.

Jordan loves trinkets and I doubt there is a better place in the world to find a trinket than in Chinatown. It’s a virtual plethora of the colorful, useless and endlessly annoying items that seem to draw children and adults alike to lay down good money for the souvenirs. Whatever the draw they are a necessary accompaniment to any vacation trip. In time, long after the trip and while cleaning a long forgotten shoebox, the trinket will bring back a memory of youthful exuberance, a family bond and a yearning for a simpler time.

That’s what this image does for me. This statue of Buddha reminded me of the small statues my father brought back from Thailand when I was a kid. It reminded me of the wonder I had about the far away places he had been and seen. It reminded me of the times when my family was the closest and the times when I viewed my father as the hero, the man I wanted to be and the person I least wanted to disappoint. I wonder whatever happened to those old statues he brought home from that far away place?

San Francisco

I was going to write about our trip to San Francisco the usual way, sort of a travelogue that outlined our comings and goings over the three days we spent in the city. But the more I wrote, the more bored I became and I wondered if anyone really cared about the details. So I decided to write a little differently, a little more personal, a little more passionately.

I love going to places with Jordan and Diane for the first time. We get to experience things together first hand and I get to see their faces and enthusiasm as they see something new. In this day and age, it seems that it’s really difficult to accomplish this, but in some respects, it really isn’t that hard once you think about it. Jordan continually asks questions to which I sometimes have the answers, but more often than not, I have to really think about the question and see how it applies to my previous experiences.

The first thing that comes to mind is that I used to have the same questions as a kid but never asked them out loud. It’s one of life’s pleasures to be asked the questions. I really should be extremely grateful for the gift she gives me. The next thing that comes to mind is the level of imagination this child has. She has a furtive mind and is endlessly curious even though she’s shy and sometimes a little apprehensive in engaging the world.

Diane and I enjoy the time away because we can just BE. I’m not sure it’s as much of a joy for her but it certainly is for me. I like the unknown, the ability to wonder around with no real time table or schedule. Diane and Jordan really like to know what’s next but they seem to let go and trust that I’ll take care of it, and them. That’s immensely rewarding and I should be grateful for that gift.

So we traveled to San Francisco. We did the touristy things and we enjoyed it. But I came away with a lesson in what I should be grateful for and how the two most important women in my life give me gifts everyday. It was a really enjoyable and rewarding trip. I was fulfilled that weekend. I was comfortable.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Diane III

This entry is dedicated to my lovely and beautiful wife Diane on the anniversary of our first year of marriage. This time last year we were in Vegas getting ready for our wedding.


These were taken for an assignment in a workshop I took in 2004. These are some of my favorite images of her because I get to to see the rare playful side of her. It was a load of fun doing this together and we really need to do it again.


Anyway, this is to you honey. Thanks for being married to me and putting up with everything I throw at you; there’s a special place in heaven for you. You are a good woman in every sense of the word. I love you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

San Francisco Bar


San Francisco Bar
Originally uploaded by Larry D. Hayden.
The last few posts have been photographs more personal in nature and has turned this blog from a photography blog into a travel log. I guess that isn’t all bad and it’s a chance to show off the family and introduce them to the internet world. I’m not sure many people are actually reading this and how many would actually care, but it’s fun and I continue to do it as I have time.

This weekend is a long weekend for us. We have a Friday and Monday off for the 4th celebration and I’m planning at least one photographic excursion. I’m heading out to the Salton Sea this weekend to see it. This trip is inspired by Mark Tucker and his recent road trip to the area. Mark is a wonderful photographer from Nashville and a visit to his website would be a nice way to spend a few moments. Check it out and surf a site worth visiting amidst all of the visual clutter existing on the web.

This image is from a trip to San Francisco earlier this spring. It was a business trip and in keeping with my goal I carried my camera. I even carried it to dinner with coworkers. I’ve always liked the colors in the bar areas. The bottles, and especially the backlighting, add a graphic effect. The blurred bartender was an unexpected surprise. These are still possible with digital. You just don’t wait as long to see them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Timmy

A couple of weeks ago, Jordan, Diane and I made a trip to Kentucky. It was the continuation of the planned trip in April when we were met with a spring snow storm in Colorado. This time we flew into Louisville and left Soli at the Dog Ranch for a few days.

The flights were uneventful but every plane was filled to the gills. I think school had let out for most of the country that week, or at least it had on the west coast, and every family decided to leave on the same day that we had chosen. We were separated and couldn’t get seats together but Diane and Jordan did end up next to each other when a kind man offered to change seats. The man was a saint, at least in Diane's eyes, because he gave up an aisle seat and took a middle seat on a 3 hour flight. It was very kind of him.

This is a photo of Timmy, the middle nephew from my sister Lori’s family. We had a picnic at his older brothers house on Sunday night and it was great to see all of the family together. Zack, the older brother, has three children of his own now. We were introduced to Aidan for the first time and really got a chance to see how much Jack and Lilly had grown over the 2 years since we were last in Kentucky. That’s a long time between visits and should be rectified, but for the life of me I’m not sure how we do it.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Shooting Through A Scene

OK. You probably wouldn’t figure me for a flower photography kind of guy. But I’m photographing what is at hand and presented to me as I look around. I’m looking for graphics, lines, colors…

Sometimes it works but most times it doesn’t. I like the flower image mostly due to the colors that are in the image. It certainly doesn’t fit the normal flower image that seems so prevalent on the web. Trust me, I have plenty of those in this short session with the flowers Jordan and I had gotten for Diane.

When I saw the image I liked the blue color behind the flower and went from there. I was trying to do something Steve McCurry said in a presentation I saw last November and that was to shoot through the scene. There were a lot of boring images from this session and not many keepers. This was one of my favorites.

The image of the ivy is from our backyard fence. I see this ivy everyday and I like the way light falls on it and the patterns that I can find. Vincent Versace says that patterns are interesting but an interrupted pattern is more interesting. I’m not sure this image fits that comment but I tried to emulate the thought as I was shooting the ivy.

The quotes from these two photographers are here because I’m trying to apply things I’ve learned to my shooting no matter the subject matter. These are image makers that I admire and their images provide some small inspiration to me. Not so much for their content, although I do like that. It’s more for their passion, their ability to convey a thought and the ability to translate a sense of wonder to the viewer.

I’ve been preaching to Jordan about giving 110% no matter what she does. I’m trying to do that myself when I shoot, even though the subject matter may not be the most personally compelling or preferred subjects for image making. It has made a difference in my image making and I certainly shoot through a subject more now. I still have a way to go. So, while I’m not a flower kind of guy, I am a photographer and I enjoy finding shapes, arranging lines and figures to make a compelling image. At least that's the goal when I break out the camera.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Spring Break Road Trip

In an effort to catch up I'm posting a couple of images from the spring break RV road trip.

Our plan was to rent an RV and travel to Kentucky during spring break with stops at Bryce Canyon and Denver along the way. What I didn't think about, and I should have, was the weather along the planned route. My lack of planning became apparent as we approached Bryce Canyon. We ran into the first snowstorm of the day and it quickly became apparent that our trip was not going to workout as planned.

We continued past Bryce Canyon because the RV wasn't the best vehicle to navigate winding, snow covered roads up the 2000 feet to the entrance of the park. Continuing on, we began to make alternate plans and decided to see if we could make Arches National Park and stay there for the night. Unfortunately the snow was falling there as well. I started to wonder if I had bit off more than I could chew. Five thousand miles in an RV in 8 days was probably not the best choice.

By Grand Junction I knew I had miscalculated the trip. We covered roughly 800 miles in about 15 hours of drive time. We ate at a nice little restaurant in Grand Junction and headed to our first RV Park for the night. That proved uneventful and it was nice to not have to unload and enter a hotel for the night.

The next morning we took off and decided to stop in Vail. We stopped at a few sites along the way to enjoy the scenery and to allow Jordan to see something besides the interstate from the RV. The trip that was designed to see the country was proving to be just the opposite.

By the time we got Vail it was snowing once again. It didn't appear to be a significant storm but had I checked the weather I would have seen that Denver was experiencing a significant snowstorm with high winds and blowing snow. By the time we reached the first pass on I-70 there was about 6 inches of snow and the roads were covered in slush. The RV, surprisingly enough, motored right through the stuff and we slowly made progress. By the time we reached the Eisenhower Tunnel we knew that getting out of Colorado was going to be an issue. The snow continued unabated and as we approached Denver the storm steadily worsened.

By the time we reached Denver, both I-70 and I-25 were shut down. Blowing snow and high winds between Denver and the Kansas border would keep I-70 closed until the following evening. The only thing left to do was to find a hotel and wait it out. These photos are of the Jordan and Soli enjoying the snow as we waited for conditions on the roadways to improve.

Needless to say the trip to Kentucky was shortened. We ended up heading south through Colorado seeing country I've never seen. The RV worked out wonderfully but the next trip to Kentucky will be taken by plane. Sorry Soli.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Around The Lake II

This is another image from the day at the lake in January. See how far behind I am. That day was pretty fruitful in producing a few images that are favorites and this is one of them. Since I don't get to shoot portraits as much as I would like I need to shoot other stuff that promotes creativity and gets me actively looking for images.

We are often motivated by external forces and the following link is one of them. I check out a site that may be the way we get our news, or at least photojournalistic type news, in the future. The site, "The Digital Journalist", provides an outlet for images and writings that very likely will never see the mainstream press pick them up. Photojournalism is the passion I never fully pursued. There are a variety of reasons for this and I won't go into them here. But I check out these types of sites on a regular basis and they help feed my passion for photography. Check out the remembrances to a woman who was admired by a great many people at Remembering Jocelyne. You may enjoy it and it will certainly make you think about those close to you.

Explore. Dream. Take pictures.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Morning on the lake

I don't have much to say about this particular image. I like it. I like it a lot. It's the result of a walk around the park just down the road from the house. I really don't remember shooting this particular image and I think it's a result of me just shooting and trying things and seeing what would happen. Regardless, it's one of my favorite images from this year.

Monday, March 28, 2005

San Francisco Airport Lights

It's been a crazy few weeks and I've not been able to post as much as I would like. In my head, I've got grand ideas and little time to act on them. But I'm still trying to get images created and then posted.

Editing in the digital world is much more difficult for me than it was in the analog world. Film on light table looked good to me or it didn't. I very rarely had images that fell into a middle area. In the digital world I find it much more difficult for me to decide on an image. On the LCD of the camera everything looks good to some degree. It's really difficult to see if the image is sharp or not. Its a little more difficult to tell about the composition. Unwanted distractions are more difficult to see. I don't edit out in the field unless I know I've really blown an exposure.

Once on the computer it becomes a little easier to edit but it's still not as easy as it was on the light table. Chromes on a light table will be correctly exposed or you toss them. With a RAW image you can adjust the exposure, the white balance and apply a curve that may make it more of a compelling image.

Having said all that here is an image from a recent trip to San Francisco. I was stuck in the airport (again) waiting for my delayed flight and pulled out the camera while in the Red Carpet Club. If I was in the terminal I would be a little more reluctant to pull it out. You never know when an over zealous security person will apprehend you for a security breech.

I was experimenting with the lights from the halogen bulbs over the bar. In my minds eye they made a compelling image but I just couldn't get them to work in the frame. I turned around for a moment to check something out and the reflection in the window looked equally as compelling. Several of the straight shots look OK but the intentionally blurred images looked better to me. So here is an image from that night.

Experiment and take a chance. You never know what will happen.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New York, October 2004

I'm catching up on scanning from the last 6 months or so. These are some of the images.

For the last 5 years or so I've taken a trip to New York to attend the Photo Expo. It allows me to geek out on photography stuff and to visit with friends I have in the area.

These photos are from last October when we went to NY and spent a few days away from Southern California. The Expo was its usual fun and we spent two days on the floor looking at the various booths, talking with manufacturers and attending a few seminars.

The highlights of the trip were the Chilean restaurant on restaurant row in Times Square, a BBQ place just off of Times Square and the bumper sticker creator.

The Chilean restaurant is wonderful and just a joy to eat in. It's been our first night restaurant for the last two years and when we return in October we'll go there again.

The other eating joy was the BBQ restaurant just off of Times Square. We were trying to select a place to eat and I saw this place from the hotel window. I wasn't expecting something great but it was Saturday night, we didn't have reservations and we were really tired from walking the city all day. We headed over to the restaurant and it was jam packed at 5:30 in the afternoon. We didn't expect this but the smell of the food was compelling and the bar had two open stools. Before I go any further it's probably worth telling you I'm from Kentucky and I grew up in a number of southern states. In my opinion, I know BBQ when I see and smell it. This place was going to be worth the wait.

As we headed to the bar I noticed a beer I hadn't seen since my poverty stricken days right after college. I was the only guy in the house, that I shared with 3 other people, that had a job. If you count the other 6 or 7 people that frequented the house at various times of the week, you had about 10 deadbeats and me. The food and beer that I had stashed invariably disappeared before I had a chance to partake of it, and I learned to buy things everyone else had the good sense not to eat or drink. One of those things was Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. For nostalgias sake I ordered one of the $1.75 cans and, to the dismay of my wife, I actually drank it. Drinking it brought back a flood of memories and the reminder that I drink anything but domestic now for a reason.

But the biggest surprise was the food itself. The owner of the place had traveled throughout the country eating in a variety of BBQ establishments. With permission, he would take their signature recipe and bring it back to his restaurant in New York. He acquired the placemats and menus and had them tacked up on the wall. As I looked over the restaurants he had been to, there were several where I had eaten; most notably two from Owensboro, KY, which is practically my home stomping ground. The food was delicious and I'm happy to say that the Moonlight Inn and Shady Rest Restaurant were well represented.
By this point in my long-winded explanation of the trip to New York, you're wondering what this has to do with photography. We were there just before the election and there was a guy on the corner of our hotel everyday with this bumper sticker that was absolutely hilarious. I kept seeing him and wanted to take a photo but we never got around to it. On Saturday night after we finished at the BBQ place (the connection) we saw a young lady with the bumper stickers. Her name was Tiana and she was most gracious in letting me get a photo of her while others milled about. She was having a blast and we purchased a few bumper stickers because they were so comical. In this web photo I'm not sure you can read the sticker but it reads "Lick Bush and Dick in 2004". No matter what your political leanings might be, you have to find that hysterical. The originator of the stickers was Paul Rosa and he has several others. You can check out his web site at www.idiot-ink.com.

I'm glad I had the camera with me that night and it was a good reminder that no image can be made without it.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Rainy Day Experiment

So, I've started to look at photos in a different light, experimenting and taking chances. Digital affords you that luxury. It's not the technology I'm interested in although keeping up with it is fun for me. It's more about what it allows me to do and how more I shoot and experiment.

The image you see here comes from an experiment that came to me one day it was pouring here in Southern California. People reading this may not believe it ever pours in this area but this year we have had more rain than Seattle. Anyway, I saw the raindrops on the truck window and wanted to see what my 24mm lens could do with selective focus. Turns out it could do pretty well. It can focus quite closely and in the future it's a lesson I'll remember as I shot other images.

It's not that I couldn't have done this with film. But I wouldn't have been able to see the results quickly and I would have been reluctant to shoot enough to have something that really worked. In the end, I was able to find an image that worked for me, and one that was a reflection of what I saw in my mind as I looked out the window.

I still shoot film and I'll post some of these images in the next week or so as I find a way to scan 4x5 Polaroid film. My current scanner is a film scanner and doesn't handle positives very well.

Experiment.

Friday, February 18, 2005

"Taking Pictures" Inspiration

At the beginning of the year I had decided to spend more time with my photography. As so often happens, plans are laid aside while more pressing matters take precedence. Of course, it only seems that the something is more pressing and once you reflect on what it is you haven't done, you find you can't recall what it was that took the other things place. Anyway, I have been somewhat successful in spending more time with the camera in hand and with the "digital darkroom" making images that I like and enjoy.

I found a photography site that looked interesting and it's led to this blog. I don't remember how I got to the site of Clay Enos, but it led to a further exploration of his photography where I found street portraits he did several years ago and finally led to his blog Take Pictures on this very blogging site. He says that he started his blog as a way to inspire more people to "Take Pictures"and I for one have been inspired by his photography. I'm envious of his obvious photographic talents but I'm more envious of his ability to interact with complete strangers. The portraits are compelling, insightful and thought provoking. Go through his site if you are so inclined and enjoy the work of someone who seems very passionate and willing to share. It seems all too rare these days.

This is an image in keeping with the "Taking Pictures" site, although it pales in comparison. I hope you enjoy a view into my little slice of the world

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Arlington West

On the beach, next to the pier sits a memorial to the fallen service members of the Iraqi War. This is the first photo of a small photo essay I took on Sunday, January 30th, 2005. I have no intention of getting into a debate about the war, its justification or its need. Having served in the Navy for six years myself, I found myself drawn to the memorial thinking of these men and women and what they had sacrificed.

Paper was available to compose messages to the fallen. Rubber bands secured the notes to the crosses and each note looked to be lovingly composed. Photos adorned some of the crosses and I saw one bible adorning another one. The Star of David was included as was the moon. I am assuming that the moon represented the Muslim religion but I can't be sure and I haven't had the time to research it.
I can't help but think of these men and women on a daily basis and the makeshift crosses reminded me that each day many of them are entering into dangerous and life threatening situations. I don't doubt that many of them believe in what they are doing. Some of them entered the service prior to 9/11 and may have looked upon it as a job, an opportunity to get an education or experience for the world beyond the military. These are the people I identify with the most. The military provided me with this exact thing and I,ve been out long enough to have forgotten how badly I wanted to get out once my hitch was up.



The day was sobering and a reminder of the cost of war. I saw several reminders that these casualties of war are not the only ones to suffer. I saw several family members place placards and flowers beside a marker. But the most heartfelt thing I witnessed that day was a young man that placed a flower next to each cross. With a gentleness that belied his size, he placed a flower next to each cross, carefully covering them with sand. His quiet action was reverent and peaceful. It was a moving tribute to the fallen.