Field notes and late night rambling

Shifting gears

I was halfway through a superb BLT sandwich for lunch today when I had the following thought “Why haven’t cameras taken on the same approach as cars”. Ok I can see that this makes no sense so I’ll rewind a bit. The wife and I were having lunch and watching an old episode of Top Gear, the British “real” version, and they were trying to find the first car that drove and felt like a proper car and not some […]

Puting it in their hands

Things have been overly busy here at world headquarters and when that sort of thing happens you go into a mode whereby the important things get done and everything else waits until you can either personally get to them or you can delegate to someone else. Case in point, I've been trying to teach our cats to reply to emails that arrive at the office while I'm in the field but so far no luck. Alas it would have been […]

How a $6 cord made my life a lot easier

One of my good clients contacted me a while ago about doing a fairly significant bit of work for them that would take place over three days. Everything was spot on: perfect access, total organization, great client, interesting assignment, oh and the money was nice too! So I was putting everything together and then about less than a week before the assignment date I was asked if it would be possible to be able to get images to them directly […]

1,000 words …

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true in many ways that we don’t often think about. I had a revelation the other day about this phrase and said it in this manner: “A photo is worth a thousand words but most of them are only true to the photographer”. Wha? Yeah. Let me explain. We know that in that “decisive moment” there are lots of big conscious choices that the photographer makes among which are: lens […]

Backed in a corner

Even when you have a plan, especially when the client has a plan, I always assume  that if something doesn’t go to plan I need a backup and maybe a backup of my backup. As was the case when the Wall Street Journal sent me to photograph the new CFO of Ch2MHill for a story about how he is trying to expand the company’s ability to put mobile technology at the ready which will not only save them money but […]

Grab the pitchforks …

… the President is coming to town! Well it really wasn’t that bad at all. Last week President Obama made the first presidential visit to Boulder Colorado in something like 60 years. That made it an even bigger deal ya know? I was given an assignment to help cover the hub-bub and happily I got to photograph the protests. Ok I would have loved to be pointing my lens at Obama but all that stuff is so clean and staged […]

Just a thought

I ran across the following thought just now as I was catching up on some stuff. It has everything to do with photography and my way of looking at life. Grand aint it? “Human beings took our animal need for palatable food … and turned it into chocolate souffles with salted caramel cream. We took our ability to co-operate as a social species … and turned it into craft circles and bowling leagues and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We […]

Staying in the digital underground

I often say that illusions are important to maintain. We all keep a certain amount of fantasy, healthy delusion, mystery and in some cases outright subterfuge in our lives to get by. Generally there is not only nothing wrong with it but in fact it’s both normal and necessary. Heck sometimes it gets us out of bed just so that we can be productive “I gotta go to work, can’t let the team down”. Especially when you know that you […]

I love being self employed …

Some of you know that I firmly believe that regardless of how driven you are in your art and or business you need to have something that resembles a personal and satisfying life. I am blessed beyond belief that I have a: wife, lover, girlfriend, sandbox playmate, adventure buddy, best friend, confidante and good time gun shootin’ and beer drinking dude all wrapped into the same person. Makes things a whole lot easier! (Fewer lies to tell that’s fer sure!) […]

Hello, my name is …

Gawd! I hate name tags. If I am in a situation where I expected to wear a name tag it seems to me that the organizers believe that I and my fellow attendees are not capable of  introducing myself or to have the person that I’m talking to do the same. The stupid ones that come in the package at your local office supply store are the worst and you know the ones that I’m speaking of. I try to […]

It has begun

"Chance favors only the prepared mind." – Louis Pasteur Sometimes you stumble upon the most wonderful things when you least expect them. That is if you keep an open mind and are willing to take what comes your way as essentially a long string of opportunities. How you either capitalize upon them or pass them up is up to you. I do however believe that every day you can have an encounter that is in some way truly significant. I […]

Pulling a rabbit

I was reading one of my industry blogs the other day and there was a bit about essentially “How can you screw THAT up?” It was in the context of if you have all the gear you could want, as large a crew of top level assistants/wardrobe/hair-makeup/post-production professionals as you want, a bunch of stunningly gorgeous models and a week at an amazing and exotic locale … how can you not make photos that people want to look at? You […]

Insane in the membrane

Shortly after making the last post, about the crushingly not-much-happening protest I had a reflection upon the state of mind of someone who gets excited to make photos of things such as protests. Ya see, news guys and gals aren’t right in the head. We don’t spend our time trying to find the perfect face and find a way to light it angelically to produce an etherial and other worldly image that sells stuff. Nope. We aren’t interested in creating […]

People in Denver are too nice, or: don’t you hate when …

Don't you hate it when you go to a riot and a friendly rally breaks out? What a bummer! I was alerted to the fact that there was going to be an Occupy The Courts protest event here in Denver on Friday and thought "Well, yeah!". I don't cover hard news much any more and that's cool with me. I've been a feature story/essay kinda guy since I realized that not only is there no real carrier in it the […]

Innit funny?

Something happened the other day and it took me until about now to understand what really went on. Here's the situation. I was given an assignment to go someplace and make photos for an article. Nothing new here. I pack my bags to get physically ready for what I am to encounter and to render it as the client is anticipating. Load up the car and drive to the location but something is bugging me the whole time. I get […]

Goodbye my old friend, it’s nice to see you again

I was on assignment the other day to do photos for a story about an exercise trend/fad that is based on classical ballet barre work. Yadda yadda. Anyhoo the client wanted some video for their web edition. Hey, no problem. Well actually it a real pain to do stills and video but hey if that's what the client wants then that is certainly what they are going to get. While I was doing my thang when I had a quick […]

7 hours to civilization

I'm having dinner at a little steakhouse near Omaha. It's the final leg of a long day of driving, 600+ miles, to a small Iowa town in order to do a story about the Iowa Caucus. I hate to even say the term but “flyover states” like Nebraska and Iowa get a bad rap. They have their own kind of beautiful and are filled with honest, hard working people with no pretense. But they are sparsely populated and essentially rural […]

Lani and The Stachettes

Since I work almost exclusively on location I am in some ways a bit jealous of the dudes who have the time and budgets to create entire sets for their subjects to be photographed in. So one of the things that I try to do when it suits subject and when it is f rankly even possible is to find a way to take a location and make it look better/different than it does with just a bit of tinkering. […]

A salute to the troops, all of them

I was sent to do a quick few shots the other day for a little story about a local veteran who recieved the Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a translator during WWII. I got talking to one of the people who works at the retirement community that the guy lives in and was told "Boy, you should talk to some of the other veterans that we have here. The stories they can tell … don't want to loose […]

Pixel wars

I swear. Just as ice cream is cold, when it’s not all melty, that just about every time I’m shooting out in public somebody asks me “How many megapixels has that got?” I tend to reply “More than I need” and with that I leave it to his imagination. It’s usually a guy who asks and we all know that guys love numbers that define things. Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races – we used to say. Pixels is the […]

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