Monday, September 28, 2009

Festival Month

I made it up to Mount Pleasant for the Latino Festival yesterday. There are a lot of festivals in September - Adams Morgan Day, H St Festival, Ren Fair just to name a few - all with requisite crafts, crowds, lemonade stands, and a variety of foods grilled and/or fried and consumed on a stick. Few in my mind compared to the spectacle of the Latino Fest yesterday. I made it to the Ren Fair the day before - brought my film camera with high hopes, but feeling a bit uninspired, I managed only a few shots. Yesterday I topped 800 with my digital - so many bright colors and open faces, and genuine pride conveyed by each participant. It made me feel like I was seeing something very special.

All and all probably a few too many pictures, but ... so much to see. I hope you take a bit of time to view the rest of the set here, and better yet see it for yourself when September comes around again.

Friday, August 28, 2009


After a couple of months of talk, I finally got the ball rolling on a fashion / editorial project with my friend Lukas. (Why does it always seem to take such a long time to achieve any sort of artistic collaboration in this town? - just saying ... ) Here are a few shots that we are hoping to use as a springboard for the real thing. They are shot with my DSLR. Each uses a pair of small strobes to create or enhance the existing lighting.

Not to bad for a first go-round ... I'm thinking 4x5 for the final images

Monday, August 17, 2009

Know Your Rights

Some photog friends of mine were having a discussion last week regarding photographer's rights while taking pictures in public. I wanted to put up this link regarding a photographer's first amendment rights. Printable reminder here.

More photos - hopefully - later in the week! Best,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

B(L)ackstage at the Black Cat - It's Friday! Come read my Blog!

First a few photos from the Black Cat earlier this week - then a little rant.

I've got all this stuff about photography going on in my head these days. The feeling is a bit like being a flea on the back of a dog that's spinning to catch its tail. (or maybe it's just a leftover from my week of country solitude - minus 5 dogs and an old tabby cat) Anyway, I've been doing this gig with an on-line magazine called Brightest Young Things (or BYT for short) just for a bit of fun and exposure, and it has been fun - press credentials, free entry into events, etc. The best part is I'm basically free to roam photographically speaking. Again, maybe not be the best thing since it has got me thinking and feeling a bit flea-ish.

However, and I think this is my point, I have come to certain (possibly fleeting) conclusions about camera technology and the medium. First, the camera is a wonderful tool with endless possibilities, and in my head it kind of irks me to hear good people say limiting things like, "I don't like flash; I only use available light" or "this camera is bad because of the high ISO grain, so avoid 3200 ISO", or "if you do use flash it should be off camera", and face recognition focusing - what's that? Which leads me to my next point. As camera technology becomes better and better my inner flea is saying it's going to become easier to take photos that look just like everyone else's, and who really wants that?

Several month's ago I'm watching some music in the Black Cat's "Backstage" room, and there's this guy taking pics with a flash, and he has one of these little white domes on top of his flash to "soften" the light or something. The idea being the dome allows some of the light to escape out the side of the flash and bounce off the walls, ceiling, etc. to fill shadows and reduce the harshness of the light. However, the Backstage walls are flat black, and the ceiling is like 14 feet high, so the only thing he was accomplishing with this little dome was to blind the audience behind him. It didn't matter what direction he swiveled his flash or how many times he looked at his preview window it wasn't going to work - It certainly didn't matter how many times he repeated the mantra about creating "soft" light ... at a divey rock show ... in a pitch black basement of a back room. I think you get the idea.

Long story short, when I was asked to shoot a small rock show, Royal Bang up from TN, the other night at the Cat, I jumped (get it ... flea ... jump) at the chance. Whew! And the flea will now retire from his soapbox. At least the dog has stopped spinning for the time being. Which is a pretty good thing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We're Movin' to the Country

Sadly, just a week of house sitting in southern VA, so a taste is all it was. We packed ourselves and some light provisions plus our 2 dogs and 3 ferrets, and we drove 4 hours, past cell phone coverage and past the range of a reasonably speedy internet. Our final destination 2 acres of land and our friends country cottage where we joined our cadre with their 3 country dogs, 4 chickens, a horse and an old orange tabby. Not really much to do but eat fresh - eggs from the hens and blackberries, just past season - sit under the walnut trees while listening to the finches and the humming birds - walk through the neighboring tree farm - laze in the river, not even a rope swing to get things moving. (more here - warning - many, many dog shots)

( Yes, that is a horse turd in my dog's mouth)

6 second hand held shot under the full moon.