Category : A totally babbling mess

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A happy pulp

So I’m continuing to work on my project “After Action Review”: a portrait series of extreme and endurance athletes after they have spent a goodly amount of time and effort wearing themselves out in competition. I’m very excited and happy with this as I’ve put the restriction on the project that all the athletes that I photograph be amateurs: they are doing it for the love and not the money. Which makes you wonder even more strongly “the why the […]

Where have you been you old goat?

First off, I have been remiss in keeping up with this here blog thing so I humbly beg your forgiveness. There has been lots going on in JC world and while some is exciting a lot is boring but the kind of boring that nicely pays the bills. The problem with being a working photographer is that you are in fact working. As in the kind that wears out shoes.   Second there are some big things brewing in JC […]

A video confession

I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials on video color grading lately. For those of you not working with video in a professional context that means that I’ve been learning how to adjust and tone the video that I shoot much like you work with still images. But not at all.   Ya see when I become Emperor things will be made consistent. We won’t have 32 different terms for the same thing so that when you learn a new […]

The King is dead and I’m ok with that

Well you all know that Kodachrome is dead. Ya-da, ya-da. The retrospectives and homages that spilled out for weeks about how Kodachrome was and forever will be The King, Elvis not withstanding, just kinda bugged me. And that all, as I’m sure you are expecting, got me to thinking.   1)      I learned to shoot color on Kodachrome K64. I spent my early years running around with either that or K25 in my cameras learning how to get my technicals […]

Throw half your brain out the window

I tend to be focused on making images that are both interesting and technically correct in that order. It took me a while to not make photos in the other order. One of the pitfalls of coming from the landscape photography background is that there is often an inordinate amount of effort in that genre to produce as technically correct images as possible. As a result a lot of what you see is what I would call superbly crafted but […]

To whom does the lens point?

 “The camera always points both ways. In expressing your subject, you also express yourself.” Freeman Patterson I’ve always loved this quote. I’m pretty sure that Freeman didn’t invent it but he’s been such a great philosophic educator of photography and has meant a lot to me over the years that I’ll give him full credit for it anyhoo. But I will expand the quote thus: “What an artist shows in their art is nothing less than their self” I was […]

Gimme some sugar!

It’s well known that when you eat at a quality restaurant that part of what makes the food so good, besides their use of top ingredients and excellent technique, is that they put more salt, sugar and fat into the dishes than you would as a home cook. In fact the amount of sugar, salt and fat – often butter, would freak many people out to the point of them questioning if they should eat at their favorite place ever […]

A book and it’s cover

I know that this comes just after I posted a glowing admiration of great editors but bear with me. I often look a publications and wonder who is running the place. When the publishing industry is supposedly trying so hard to be relevant and not only hold on to their businesses but maybe even grow a bit why do so few seem to be capable of independent or creative thought? Is everyone so scared that they err on the side […]

A toast to those looking after me

I have a confession to make: I wish that I had the benefit of having more strong editors influence and support me in my developing years. It’s not that I didn’t get to work with a few who took me under their wing. Jay Quadracci when he was at the Greeley Tribune gave me loads of support along with the excellent advice to “go have fun and the pictures will be there”. A big nod goes to Paul Aiken at […]

With feet come eyes

I made an appointment to get some work done on my car and that got me thinking. Not about the car as I have an amazing mechanic in Boulder – Hoshi Motors (shameless plug). No I got thinking about what to do with the time that my car was in the shop. I didn’t schedule any assignments so I pretty much had the day to muh-self. I figured that I’d put some gear into my small backpack and take a […]

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