Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another day, another triple-feature of Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and Platoon playing nightly in 3-D with surround sound.

I love to talk to people. And some of the folks I most enjoy talking to are those who have served their country. I am of the generation born during the Viet Nam War so I never knew the draft or any of the repercussions. Whether I have my camera or not (which is quite rare), I always say "Thank You" no matter their service, conflict or cause. To put yourself in harm's way for your country is a staggering thought for me. But Eddie did. And still can't get some of the images out of his head. I simply cannot imagine what he and countless others experienced. But I listen to them; and take in some laughter but far more of what I take in is chilling and haunting.
What I can do, in exchange for their sharing their time with me, is take pictures of them (not like the one below) for their families and their grandchildren. 

And, I always say "thank you"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another day, another busload of gaping, gawking tourists to entertain

oh sure...scamper from tree to tree, play with some flower buds (ooh yum), catch and eat some insect larvae (that'll gross 'em out), throw some poop at the crowds (ha...that'll REALLY gross 'em out), join in the kids' impromptu wrestling match, act all chatty and friendly with the young ladies (those sluts...what, are they ALWAYS in heat?), groom that big, lazy male with that god-awful pelt...Jeez! Momma's tired. My back aches. I am way overdue for a waxing. All I want to do is sit here, relax and wait for the Real Housewives of Bali to come on. (click)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another day, another demolition derby babe working her charms to sell more fried butter

Another day, another demolition derby babe working her charms to sell more fried butter.

Be still my heart. Literally.

Note: take 100 percent pure sweet cream butter, whip it until it is light and fluffy, freeze it, then surrounds it with dough. Drop the butter-laden dough balls into a deep fryer (whether the oil is clean or has been frying up bacon, twinkies or turkey legs is entirely up to you).
For purists seeking the unadulterated taste of butter, serves plain. For others who want a little more pizzazz, feel free to flavor your batter with garlic, bacon fat or coke syrup. (sigh)

Another day, another demolition derby intermission when a young man's fancy turns to corny dogs

Another day, another demolition derby intermission when a young man's fancy turns to Corny-Dogs, kool-aid dill pickles, spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, chicken-fried bacon, deep fried turkey legs bigger than his head, fried mac 'n cheese balls, buttery kettle corn (to munch and throw at his older brother when his back is turned), a caramel apple (to take three bites of and then...somehow...ends up wrapped in his kid sister's hair), deep fried twinkies and oreos covered in chocolate syrup and whipped cream and (last but not least) a towering, fluffy, cumulonimbus cloud of cotton candy that looks surprisingly like the pink beehive of the surprisingly attractive woman 5 rows back...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another day, another debate over Miles Davis or Charles Mingus or Thelonius Monk, trumpet versus vibraphone and which is less important: drums or or bass.

Please don't start debating jazz with me. I just like to talk to the folks who let me take their pictures. Can you see his wheels turning before his opening salvo?

For me, photographing people is like good jazz; there's always an arrangement but far more important is the interaction, collaboration, spontaneity and the heaping helping of improvisation we all bring to the party. (works for me anyway)

Another day, another flawed photo that speaks volumes more than the perfect ones

A few moments ago, I was marveling at the work of +Carl Stovell over on Google+ (have a look as I think his work is quite amazing) and I came across a quote by Scott Adams included in Carl's post about Creative Perfectionism that I happen to have hanging in my studio. I love the quote and it bears repeating:

"Creativity is making mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
Scott Adams

It's a constant debate isn't it: When is something a simple (honest) mistake or something more.

And who gets to decide?

I for one have an ongoing love/hate relationship with mistakes. But having said that, it's something I encourage my folks to strive for and make on a daily basis for that is where growth is and Art lies waiting, hiding...

Another day, another trash-talking photographer rendered powerless with a single glance.

This is John. We play chess together. Actually, it's more like wage epic battles...there's no play involved. Now I think I'm pretty good but John is way better and the only question is how many moves will I last until the inevitable checkmate. Of course, being the photographer I am, I try to distract him by taking his picture and talking "smack":
There aren't enough Bishops in the world to help you, John."
"Oh, need a big queen to fight your battles, John?"
"I heard your mama liked knights a little too much, John."
I'd go on and on.

Then, the other day, I asked a serious question:

"So John, what if you couldn't ever play chess again?"


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This is Lucy

Maybe it's that I was there, literally a few feet away from her 
as our eyes met and held. 
Maybe it's that I kept wondering 
who was more curious? 
Who was studying who more intently? 
No matter, this image for me is about connecting with our subjects and the spirituality that comes from having photography as an all-consuming passion. (Note I did not say "job" for it may not be for everyone and even if it is, it rarely feels that least to me).
For me, this image is beyond powerful as it reminds me of what is possible and what is waiting (demanding) to be shared. And while I know technically, there are things that are less than perfect, on an emotional level, it doesn't get any better for me.
It's one of the joys of being a photographer, isn't it...when these moments of connection arise for each of us (no matter your genre of choice or experience level) and take us to a truly magnificent place. 
Find them.
Share them.
Celebrate them.
Stay inspired