26 December, 2007

24 December, 2007

Feeding Frenzy

This is the type of action that makes feathers fly. You should hear these babies fighting for space at the feeder. My greatest achievement of the year, getting these things to adapt to my feeder.

22 December, 2007

The New Baby

Used of course. All the good stuff is no longer made.

Inkjet Madness

Inkjet printing is all the rage, and has been for many years. So tell me something........why on Earth is it nearly impossible to get traditional photographic sizes in this paper?
Let's try something exotic like 11x14 and 16x20, two of the most printed sizes in the history of the medium???

Name one photographer who editions prints in 11x17 or 13x19??? I don't know a single one, yet drive to any dealer and that is all you will find.
I know these new, odd sizes represent pre-press sizes, but why is there not more demand for traditional. If you edition in 11x14, if this paper existed, it makes the process seamless in terms of delivering a traditional, silver print or a digital print.

When I asked at my local dealers.....plural....dealers....they all said the same thing. "It sucks." Each dealer explained to me that photographers come in all the time asking for these sizes and all the dealer can say is "Buy the larger size and trim it down."

Not only is this the most wasteful solution possible, other than buying a second box, soaking it in kerosine and burning it, it also creates handing issues that most photographers are not going to want to deal with.

Plus, what happens to the edge, or edges that are trimmed? Does it suffer from different aging issues?

In an age when photographers are rumored to be substituting fading inkjet prints to collectors who have purchased their images, we don't need yet another reason to only print traditional, silver images.

Help us paper companies, help us.

21 December, 2007

The Other Life

The solitude of cold. One day running, 15 degrees, never again. The crunch of snow and spinning tires. Absolute silence at night, but the falling flakes make you want to rush to the phone and tell someone.

Learn It, Live It, Love It

19 December, 2007

Dear Heinrich

Just as we have progressed from slithering creatures emerging from the swamps, you too much follow this tried and true path to electronic enlightenment.
I'm not sure you noticed, but your life, your entire life, is now about upgrades, and this step for you, this tiny Blurb step, is just another in a long line you must prepare yourself for.
Still using an outdated operating system. How dare you. I'm surprised anyone will even speak to you or claim to know you.

Run forth young man, run quickly and download. Swipe the card. Buy the ticket. Take the ride.

A road paved by Blurb awaits.


18 December, 2007

One Nation Under Blurb

Okay, this is the first of many posts regarding Blurb, THE independent book publisher based in San Francisco. Did I mention how great they are?
My clients love them. I love them. My mom loves them. My sister is mystified by them. My brother still doesn't know about them.
In short, it goes like this.
Come up with an idea.
Formulate what you want to do with this new idea.
Download Blurb Booksmart Software.
Dump your idea into the software.

There are many book publishers these days, a truly great thing, but Blurb is my fav. Why? Where do I start? So much for so little, and an online bookstore ready for biz.

So far I have made 30 books with Blurb, including client books, catalogs, portfolios, etc. I use them for everything. You can too. You should. What is stopping you? Nothing.


What are you waiting for?

14 December, 2007

And the final score is...

Yep, the Mitchell Report was just as expected. Release it on a Thursday, people will talk, and then a little on Friday, but by Monday the sports world will be back to football. Brilliant.

And, was it me or did Mitchell seem as uncooperative as many of the players they tried to interview. Defensive too. Bang up job guys. Well done.

I for one feel supremely confident that we will get to the bottom of this..........

How much did it cost? 20mil? Seems like a real bargain.

13 December, 2007

The Report

Brace yourself. The Mitchell report will unveil itself today. This report is the George Mitchell scoop into performance enhancing drugs in MLB. However, I don't think it will really say much or do much.
I'm not sure how much anyone really wants to know.
It will name some names and there will be rumbling, little gasps, but the public doesn't care, so why should baseball?
Attendance is up, and people LOVE the long ball.
Again, I'm thinking they, MLB, should adopt my Tour De France policy of free doping. Let em.
Seventh inning stretch?? Sure, why not.

07 December, 2007

Paris Photo

This is long overdue but I am going to write up a review of Paris Photo for those single-digit readers out there who might at some point venture across the pond to check out this grand event.

I just realized that the f and j keys on my keyboard have little ridges on them. I have been typing for 20 years and have never noticed this. This might tell you about my power of observation???


A few days ago I got to thinking about guns.

I grew up in a rural community, a community in which hunting and fishing were the average pastimes, like shopping and plastic surgery are around here.......just kidding!!!
But I did really grow up in the sticks.
A gun to me is like any other tool, it has a purpose and doesn't evoke any particular type of response in me. I'm a good shot actually, even had the offer of a full-scholarship to a prestigious school if I had intended on going that route. But, alas, I didn't. I started shooting, a camera, and ended up where I am now.

I'm no gutsy-photojournalist, nor am I a war-photographer, but I sure have had my fair share of guns pointed at me. You would think that having a gun pointed at you would be a horribly traumatic event, but actually I don't recall it being that way. In fact, I remember times where it didn't really bother me at all. Okay, chalk a few of these up to being young and stupid, and a few more to being aging and stupid, but overall, still, not that bad.

Mexico, Cambodia, Brazil, and kind of a half hearted, boredom gun barrel in my direction in Bolivia, but I'm not really counting that one. I was more afraid when an angry Bolivian mob was trying to turn our car over. But, no guns involved, just lots of big rocks. Always get the insurance!

In Cambodia I had a very young kid point an AK-47 at me, at point-blank range, and demand 1500 rial for walking on the grass along the Mekong. Of course this was absurd but he just wanted the cash, which amounted to about one dollar. I wanted to throttle the little punk, but I never really felt afraid because there were so many people around, not that it mattered to him.

The worst gun situation I've been in might have included people who were shooting directly at me. But, I don't know for sure because for about a fifteen second time period I have no recollection of what I did. I remember hearing bullets hitting the cars around me, but I just zoned out, and when I came to I was crouching behind the front of a car with a mother and her child.
This was in Austin, and I had just begun what I thought was going to be a great project. Oh ya, I didn't shoot one frame during this little "outing," and in fact it never even crossed my mind. That shows you how I perform under pressure.

But I have to say, even though these events didn't bother me much at the time, they do make me think a little bit now. All these years later, when I have learned how fickle life is, I realize one small shift in the DNA of the 3D world and I might not be here writing this mess. During most of these encounters I was alone, operating in that space of fragile isolation where there is no 911 and you can't count on anything other than luck, logic and quick thinking.
The world, in many locations, is harsh, dirty and fast and in these places life has, often times, little meaning. In a odd way, in some cases, that's what makes these places so damn alluring and that is what ends up drawing you in, just so you can have this type of experience, a RICH moment of your bodies natural speed dumped into your bloodstream in near overdose levels. Yes, a cheap thrill.

I think what reminded me of these times was seeing the images of the gunman who recently murdered eight people during a shooting spree at a mall in Middle America. There was a security camera angle which made it feel like the gunman was aiming at me, and it reminded me of the past. It reminded me how fickle things are, how quickly things can change and how it can pay to keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

Now that I think about it, it has been a little less than one year since someone pointed a gun at me. The guy pointing it at my was also trying to stuff me in a metal cage in the back of his van, which I know must sound somewhat surreal, but it is true. Again, I was working on a project and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. But again, I wasn't worry about being shot, but I was REALLY worried about being stuffed into the cage, especially with the three guys who I was going to be stuffed in with.
What I'm thinking is that I really hope this is the last time someone points a gun at me. I don't think it will be, but I can still hope.
It doesn't get better, or more fun, or more interesting, quite the contrary.

05 December, 2007

Yearly Nog

Stop pretending. It is that time of year again, when without any trace of guilt we can once again enjoy the splendors of the nog. Egg nog. Forget about soy, or the "lite" version. Instead head straight for the full-blown version, the thick, paste-like mass that just oozes from the carton.
This is living people.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will settle that hot, winter day thirst like a dose of the nog.

No More

It is official. I am now 38, almost 39 and I no longer get carded, not even by the really young checkout person at the grocery store. A chapter has ended and another has begun. It's all downhill from here.

28 November, 2007


Crazy time. 63 rolls so far. Sneak peak? No way. Not showing anything.

Much, much time in the darkroom coming up.

27 November, 2007

D Slr

I really wish someone would do another article about "D SLR Wars." I just can't seem to get enough of that.

07 November, 2007

Why the Rush?

After a recent conversation with a news photographer I realized I needed to write something regarding the latest, greatest media push, the headlong rush into multi-media.
As newspapers and other gathering organizations rush to arm their staffers with sound equipment and video gear I find myself wondering, "Do we really need or want this?"
If someone said, "Hey, our budgeting department needs to spend the money," I would say, "Okay, I get it," but I find it very hard to believe the average paper reader is asking for video links at the papers homepage.
When I hear people talk of their local paper, with few exceptions, they are complaining, and when they complain it is not about video, photography or the need to see multi-media presentations, they complain about the quality of the news gathering.
It seems to me if you were a still photographer, and now you are a still photographer, videographer and sound technician, you run the risk doing three things a third as well as you did just one. And please tell me you negotiated for three times the pay seeing as you are now doing three jobs???
Today we are absolutely flooded with images, sounds, videos, etc, many from the news world, but how many of these are well done? Thought out?
I think we have many times the images we once had, but most are just quick hits to satisfy our hyper-short attention span. It all feeds into the talking head, which is no longer the talking head, but also the sports scores, S&P 500, weather and Brittany all broadcasting, at the same time, to your one head at home.
Can we all say, "Enough already."
Perhaps it is time to put on the right blinker, move to the middle lane, and slow down, not speed up.

06 November, 2007


Get ready for $4 gas, something that has long been a reality for the rest of the world, minus only the oil-rich states such as Iran and Venezuela. And, it will probably continue to rise over the next few years.
Last time I was in Europe I was paying about $7 per gallon.

05 November, 2007

The Race

The presidential race is heating up. Who will win?

02 November, 2007


From Carl Bernstein:

"The ideal of providing the best available version of the truth is being affected by the dominance of a journalistic culture that has less and less to do with reality and context."

29 October, 2007

The Turn

You better get up there and see this. The aspen are turning.

El Canyon Grande

An odd assortment of outtakes. You might have to turn your head, but I never said this was going to be easy.

Aperture Prize

Yep, here it is. We can all suffer together. Enjoy.

Daniel Milnor:

On behalf of the Aperture Prize Committee, I would like to thank you for taking the time to submit your work for review and consideration as a prize recipient. Aperture received over 800 entries for consideration, and they exhibited an impressive level of quality and diversity. I regret to inform you, however, that it was not selected as one of the portfolios to be featured on the website. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to view your work and also for subscribing to Aperture magazine. Best of luck with all your future endeavors, artistic or otherwise.

The Aperture Prize Review Committee

Response to Aileen


Thank you for the post.

I too went to WPPI back in like 03 or 04, and frankly I felt completely out of place, so much so I vowed to never return. I broke this vow, and returned last year, for a meeting which was outside the scope of the conference, and this time around felt even more out of place.
It felt to me like there were 15,000 people all doing the same thing, and this thing was not what I wanted to be doing.
However, I don't see this is a bad thing, only a different thing.
My background in photography is so different than the bulk of people attending that conference, that it is only logical for us to be on different pages.
I fit a small niche in this market, and I exist almost entirely outside the industry. I don't market, advertise or exist in any of the mainstream wedding venues, avenues, sites, etc.
So, what works for them, doesn't work for me.
But, weddings are only a small part of what I do.

The WPPI crowd is motivated, organized and successful, so you can learn much from them if you chose to do so. It might not be anything in terms of actual images, but marketing, advertising, etc.
And yes, you ARE being sold on hardware, software, etc, but that is what is driving the entire industry.
The photo business today is about technology and far less about photography. There has been, and will continue to be, a shift.

Lastly, NEVER be afraid to speak your mind. Your life is too short to skirt issues you feel strongly about. We owe it to ourselves, our business and industry to say how we feel.
Anyone you alienate, offend, etc, was probably not your real friend to begin with.

28 October, 2007

The Fires

For those of you who have been asking, first of all, thank you for doing so. Although the air, in places, still smells of smoke, at least in this area of Southern California, all is much better than before.
My house, covered in ash and debris from 60 mph winds, is still standing, and was never really under threat. The fire would have had to have burned ten miles of concrete to get to where I am.
There are, however, many folks who were not so lucky, and still many more who continue to hold their breath.
Today was the first day I could see the sky, and felt like I could finally open my doors and windows.
I ran the mop in my office today, and once again, it was covered in a fine ash, which turns to a nice, coffee-like mud when you begin to sweep it.
When the onshores blow, and you look inland, the plumes of smoke are still there. The Santiago fire I believe, set by an arsonist, or at least that is the opinion of those who know.
What is odd is that already the fires were somewhat of an afterthougth on the nightly news as people move on with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the presidential race, which now begins to get interesting.

Photo Plus

Okay, recap of Photo Plus.

It was just like last year. Only there were less pros and more advanced amateurs. I nearly lost my voice after speaking for three days. Most people don't understand, or even know about white balance, and this includes most of the "pros" I spoke to.

There is a huge amount of new technology, but I would say the quality of image, overall, has continued to slip. It seems we are all preoccupied with gear, and not as intent on actually using it to make better pictures.

Produced, retouched work is what is exhibited the most, by far. So, if your goal is to get sponsorship, get known, I would suggest this style of work.

There was still very little about archiving. Scary.

And, there are many copy cat companies that are mimicking existing companies. Nothing new.

Weather was fantastic. New York is gentrified, although the streets in the Meatpacking District are still sticky with death.

In a nutshell.

Best meal I had in the city??? A home cookin job by the Beegs!

21 October, 2007

Photo Plus

Photo Plus is over. Recap is forthcoming.

15 October, 2007

Monkey Business

Well, the Floyd Landis debacle appears to be headed for yet another court date, and in my mind there are still more questions than answers. Namely, if he didn't do it, then how can the substance be found in his system. And, if this case was so cut and dry, why did one of three people vote "not guilty?"

"France's anti-doping agency dropped its investigation on Thursday into Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro, saying the Spanish rider had provided sufficient justification for use of an asthma medication."

So here is the runner up, another rider embroiled in yet another doping scandal, but as with many of the other European riders, he is somehow cleared. There sure seem to be a lot of pro cyclists with asthma problem. I mean alot. Funny, I had asthma as a kid and a bike was the last thing in the world I would have been able to do.

I'm wondering if other riders have been implicated for the same drug? I'm a little unclear on this.

14 October, 2007

From the Streets of DC

Right Now

The only goal is to produce work. More than ever before. There is something that changes when something becomes commercial, and there is no way to deny it. You might not want to think that, but it's true. But, you walk the line. Nothing wrong with that, but freedom lies outside the commerical world.
The challenge is to walk that line, as sharp as a razor's edge, and make sure you don't drift too far.

When will be see the first CGI fashion spread? Next year? How about CGI portrait?

Why watch the sunrise when you can create it as your desk. If you have to ask you are missing the point.

Gotta go shoot.


Adrian Peterson = Gale Sayers

04 October, 2007



Milnor Pictures tak...
By Daniel Milnor


No, this is not a Leica pictured below. This is a Zeiss Ikon, 35mm, rangefinder camera. Just fyi.

02 October, 2007

Old Warhorse

Impending Doom

As the latest candidates jockey and jab one another I realize the time to vote is, once again, drawing near.
Now what? Not again. What next? Lesser of two evils...all the traditional, vile consequences are apparent, and like always, there is nowhere to hide.
You can't NOT vote. Can you? A protest vote? Would it matter.

Rudy has bad manners. Hillary fakes her laugh. Obama hasn't done anything, and Edwards spends too much time on his hair.
John M. is too old, Fred won't get in the game and Snoop doesnt' seem interested in running. So now what?

This is it? This is the best we could do? Now we have to vote for one of these people? Oh man. Come on. Not again.

Where are our leaders? Our real leaders? Where are the people without strings to oil, big-business and the intricate web of corruption wrapping them like a warm tortilla?

Somewhere out there is the great hope. Perhaps revolution is what we need, a small, suburbic uprising of Walmart shoppers who can take it no more.

If they get up, we'll all get up. Let's go! Aaaaaarrrrrrrggggg!

Wyoming Friends

Stewardess, I'd like more warm nuts please!

AP is reporting......."Federal employees wasted at least $146 million over a one-year period on business- and first-class airline tickets, in some cases simply because they felt entitled to the perk, congressional investigators say."

Wow, $146 million. If you are going to abuse travel perks, might as well go all the way. What does that equate to in warm nut spending? Is there a warm nut angle? Do they lobby, the nut people? If so, I'd say their efforts are paying off. No pun intended.

Why not just charter at that point? Gulfstream anyone?

I'm a coach guy. I gave up years ago, and realize when I fly it is just going to suck, I'm going to be late and there is nothing I can do about it. At least I'm not in front of my computer.

However, if they allow people to use their phones in flight, I'm never flying again. Ever. For any circumstances. Ever. Again. Never.

30 September, 2007

Check This Out


Recently I was able to meet with this organization, which is an NGO centered around the idea of microcredit, and the ease in which small amounts of money can have direct and lasting impact on people around the world.
I will post more about this later, but wanted to get this online as soon as possible.
In short, for the price of what you pay for one lunch, that same dollar amount, in microcredit loan form, believe it or not, can launch a small business, develop a new product or provide the ability to plant crops, etc.

Take a look.

25 September, 2007

Top to Bottom

You ever notice those annoying online or printed magazine lists about the best towns to live in? Or the coolest town to live in? The best states to live in? The best kept secret spots to live in?
The list should read, "The Towns Which Will Surely Be Ruined By Us Putting Them On This List." Because in essense what happens is the masses of people who live in the worst places to live, or the uncoolest towns to live in, or the worst states to live in, or the worst kept secrets spots to live in will all see the list and begin to flee their putrid hell and move toward the towns on the list.
Your town can't be the best, cool or secret once it is on the list. Ever wonder why the towns on the list change every year? Well, it's because the towns from the previous year are already ruined.
There are people out there packing right now, heading toward your secret town, and they are bringing all their stuff with them.

If your smart you will start your own list and aim the masses of unhappy residents to decoy "garden spots."

19 September, 2007

To Wear or Not to Wear

What is up with photojournalists and scarves? It can be 100 degrees and these guys are wearing scarvces like this is normal behavior, dress code or style. And, I'm not talking about a lightweight scarf. I'm talking a MAJOR, seventeen wrap grab thingy with an entire village attached.
Is this the adult photo world equivalent of dress up?

11 September, 2007

To War Or Not To War

Yesterday during the Petraeus testimony the idea came up that the military is at war but our country is not. What do you think? How much of an impact have the wars had on your life? Talk to me.

07 September, 2007


No more bottled water for me. I'd been buying five gallons at a time, which is fine, and still better than buying individual bottles, but now I have The Berkey, which has been fantastic, and takes a bevy of bad out of my home water supply. Read about it. And the water tastes great.



"The Cell" Inside the 9/11 plot and Why The FBI and CIA Failed To Stop It.

A good read. Fast and informative.

04 September, 2007

More Texas

Nephew and such.

28 August, 2007

26 August, 2007


There has been much talk recently of the green movement, environmentalism, etc. If you have had your ear to the ground, this talk has been going on for a long, long while, but until recently was not a part of the mainstream.
The latest issue of American Photo deals with several "green" issues, photographers, images, etc.

What I'm finding hard to wrap my head around is, firstly, what does it really mean to be green, and what does it mean to be an environmentalist. Who can call themselves an environmentalist? Why I ask is that I find it very difficult to equate photography with being green. I think it takes a real stretch to be a photographer and an environmentalist, just based on what it takes to do our jobs.

I drive a hybrid, am builing plans to change my landscaping to a near zero water level, as well as adding solar to my house to try and get myself off the grid. I no longer buy bottled water, instead use a high-tech water filter which will allow me to safely use tap. I buy organic food, try to buy local, and in as many ways possible I try to leave as little footprint as possible.

But in reality, I'm not sure this means much. Just my e-waste alone, use of all the latest technology, and what it takes to design, market, release, sell, discontinue and destroy products probably offsets any positive effect I am making. In the darkroom I waste water, paper and produce toxic chemicals. Much of what I buy for my profession is made to be obsolete, impossible to upgrade so that I must, almost always, buy the lastest version, furthering the cycle of consumerism and waste.
And then there is the travel.

This is not to say I'm going to stop, on the contrary, I am planning more and more things, but I think we have to be realistic, and realize the real change will occur when either we as a collective make these decisions, or the planet makes them for us.


Rain today, first time in ten months. Well, a sprinkle really, but we need anything we can get. And lightning flickering down the coast. Nice to see. Maybe the brown will go green?

14 August, 2007


How can we have more people in space, but don't yet have a light-rail system for travel within the United States. Drive the I5 on a Sunday, witness the 200+ miles of gridlock and you will have plenty of time to ask yourself this same question.

More Snaps



A new birder feeder hangs above the back patio. Squirrel proof. Forty pounds of seed in standbye. Waiting.

07 August, 2007


A random Newport image.

03 August, 2007

E Waste

Well, I'm sure if you tried hard enough you would find someone to say that film is good for the environment, but you won't hear me say it. Yes, NYT did a piece called "Digital Landfill" or something along those lines. These stories are coming out all over the place, now under the title of "E Waste." Stuart Isett has a new story about E Waste in China.
This revolution has been, and will be, far worse for the environment than the analog years, especially when you consider the energy and resources required to design, market, launch, sell, discontinue and destroy product after product with hyper-short lifespans. Camera companies used to make a new camera every four years, and now it is every four months, or quicker when you think of all the point and shoots. Couple this with the computers needed to work these machines, filled with cadmium and other heavy metals. Not to mention the 12 million cell phones a year added to the landfill.
Analog never looked so good. Perhaps only the lesser of two evils.

02 August, 2007


Hey, for any of you out there who are into the podcast world, the one and only Ross Whitaker has launched his fantastic series with The George Eastman House. These are well worth the time, check them out, subscribe, sit back and enjoy.

You can find them at The George Eastman House website, where you can sign up to receive their newsletter, also worth doing.

31 July, 2007


Recently, another photographer approached me and asked what Photoshop filters I use on my images. Now, I do use a sharpening filter, and I do have a custom, warm-tone for my black and white images, when I feel they would look better warmer, but I knew this person was not referring to these basic filters or actions, but rather the “sets” that are available all over the electronic frontier.
“I don’t use any,” I replied. The photographer looked somewhat puzzled, then smiled, said, “Okay,” and walked away.
About an hour later the same photographer approached again and asked, “What I meant was, what action sets do you apply to your pictures?”
Again, I knew what they were talking about, but I tried explaining it again. “I don’t use anything like that,” I said. “I resize, dodge, burn, slight sharpen and bingo, call it good.”
This time the photographer not only looked puzzled, he looked frustrated.
I explained to him, “Look, I know these custom actions are very popular, and they produce a wide array of looks and feels, but I don’t use any of them.” “I just do what I did in the wet darkroom, or as close to that as possible.”

I think what this relates to is fantasy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Harry Potter, but I didn’t read the book. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Lord of the Rings, but I didn’t see the movie. I’m not really into sci-fi and many of the image filters give the pictures a surreal look and feel, and that just doesn’t suit the style of photograph I’m trying to make.

When I’m making pictures I’m really trying to focus on light, timing and composition, nothing more, and trying to make my decisions and my pictures IN THE FIELD, not at the computer once I’m back at home.

Many of the portrait/wedding images I see have a look and feel that is way beyond anything I have seen in reality. Layer masks, coffee-colored skies, hyper-real colors, extensive retouching, etc.
In fact, with each passing year I see the level of manipulation going further and further. Case in the point, the car shooters are now, in some cases, being pushed out by CGI. My first response to this was, “When will this happen in other genres of photography?”
Why hire a shooter when you can CGI your pictures. Some photographer friends of mine laughed, but already I’ve seen two fashion spreads that are nearing this plateau.

One retoucher I met said that he felt we were now in the middle of the time period we would look back on and laugh at, saying, “We are in the middle of the period when we didn’t know when to stop,” in regards to retouching and manipulation.
Simply put, the idea of "perfection" is now what is expected. I prefer real or slightly flawed.

Several months ago I returned to the wet darkroom for the first time in years, and began to, once again, print silver gelatin. One of the FIRST things I realized after viewing these images, was how far I had gone with my digital prints. I realized I needed to pull back in almost every regard, sharpening, color, etc, and just how easy it is to get carried away by the technology, and the ability to get into every nook and cranny to “adjust.”

For me, the bar is reality. I don’t see with vignettes, with layer masks, with hyper-intense eyes, or with clarity beyond 20/20, so why should I see that in my pictures?

Again, this is just a matter of opinion and preference, but I was asked about this recently and thought I would write it down.

Happy Snaps.

30 July, 2007

Hat Trick

Yes, Iban Mayo, a positive test. The Triple Crown of Le Tour doping busts?


"But the truth is that the majority of adults who blog are doing it for business reasons."

29 July, 2007

Le Tour de Farce

Okay, Le Tour is over, and we look back on yet another debacle in professional sports. Baseball has Bonds. Football as Pacman, Vick, etc. Basketball has corrupt refs and mafia connections, and cycling has lust for dope.
Personally, I don't care if they are doped, and in fact, I would suggest we legalize and promote systematic doping in cycling. Why not?
Frankly, I'm growing bored with cycling. It is not enough anymore for someone to ride 30mph over 100 miles and then do it again the next day. It is not enough for someone to ride three days straight up near veritical mountain roads. It is not enough to ride nearly 3000 miles in three weeks. Boring. Boring. Boring.
I need more.
The standard sports are no longer the attraction they once were and are being surpassed by Mixed Martial Arts, Base Jumping, Bull Riding, and my favorite, Acapulco Cliff Diving.
So, I say give the riders in Le Tour as much dope as they can handle. Move the transfusion equipment into the team car so that they can get new horse blood as they ride.
In fact, I'd go one further. I would clone my best rider. That way if yellow jersey number one nears the mountaintop and explodes into a puddle of bovine adrenal gland, so what, just move on to yellow jersey number two.

I fear that even with these improvements cycling nears the abyss of soccer, or futbol, or football, or whatever you want to call it. It will never REALLY catch on in America. Americans want high scores, drama and full tilt action. We want crashes and wrecks. Look at NASCAR or hockey for that matter.
At the start there are only about eight guys capable of winning the entire event, the rest are there to suffer beyond comprehension in an effort to aid one of the eight. Americans don't dig this. It should be every rider for himself. Get rid of "team" all together.
Most of the time, in Le Tour, the guys are not really racing, including the last day when you think it would be tooth and nail, guys diving in front of each other to create wrecks to free their mates, especially when only separated by 30 seconds! But no, today's final stage was not "competitive" or "interesting" and thus neither was Le Tour.
I would delete the time trials, the rest days, the breaks and just say, "Guys, you have three weeks to get from point A to point B."
"See you in Paris, may the best man win."
The sound of blood pumps, hypodermic sharpeners and medical personal would deafen the spectators.
My fingers are crossed that these improvements are implemented. Although I'm bored with the current state of cycling, there is much to gain in keeping it around, especially if you own medical stock.

28 July, 2007


Wanted to send out a word to the families of those killed in the chopper crash over Phoenix. A horrible thing to endure, witness, etc. They were just covering the story, something anyone with any journalism background can appreciate.

The Old & The New

In the past 96 hours I have visited no less than ten photo galleries. Where these galleries were will remain a mystery, and so will the pictures that flashed before my eyes. This was not my first time visiting galleries, of course, but each time I go I see things in a slightly different way.
Before we begin, let me stress, I LOVE digital printing, and to blow my own horn, I was, with my friend Paul, one of the first photographers to start using this method, WAY back in the day. In fact, I have a handwritten letter from the National Geographic stating that I was the first person they had seen with this style of print or portfolio. I'm not saying I was the first, but I was in on the beginning of the curve.
Over the years I have had dozens of digital printers, dozens, and regardless of the make I found great things about all of them. Initially, permanence was an issue, still is on many printers, but early on prints would turn pink in less than two weeks, even the laminated copies. But, from the start, these prints were viewed by many using them, as "throw away" items. And this is what leads me to this post.
I noticed something at these galleries. I noticed a progression of sorts, of "old" technology being replaced by "new" technology. Of course you have the trend of the moment, enormous color images, printed this size for no apparent reason other than we now have the technology to do it. I think this trend will be on the outs as quickly as it came in, the same with hyper-small editions. Why? The fine-art world is fickle and changes with the wind, and we have history to prove it. Don't fret, this is a good thing, or another way of saying the fine-art world is WIDE OPEN. And how many people really have wall space to hang something 96x96? I'm rambling.
Okay, back to the trend.
The best prints I saw this past week were old prints. Yes, old prints, some fifty-years-old or more. The best color prints were cibachromes from a landscape photographer, and the best black and white, without question, were silver gelatin prints.
Again, did I mention my love of digital prints?
The "modern" prints, or digital prints, didn't compare in any catagory except size. The modern prints were huge, but in most cases had the digital look, and in some cases, were starting to display things that reminded me of my 1995 inkjet prints. Aspen trees with pink sides, flatness and overall color shifts. I noted prints that were made and sold ten years ago, and how they were labeled, which is CRITICAL for collectors, and then prints sold five years ago, one year ago. The terminology had changed, but the method of printing had not.
Now you see modern prints labeled as "pigment" referring to the ink base, which again is CRITICAL to collectors. And what all of these labels prove is just how fast the technology is changing. This is good right? Well, yes and no.
Yes because we have better printers. No because if you are the photographer, or gallery, you must catalog all of this information for your future as a photographer or gallery.
Several months ago I ran into one of the world's largest collectors of photography. His words to us were, and I'm pulling this out of my memory without notes, so cut me some slack, "If I buy a digital print from you today, and twenty years from now I need to restore it, or work on it, and I don't know the printer, the inks, the make up of the inks, etc, the value of my print just went way down." This person, as well as the other collectors I have spoken with, have all been interested in collecting, in my case, silver prints ONLY. They are not fond of the rapid changes in the digital world, the uncertainty of whether or not these prints will be around, regardless of the current longevity information. There are many arguments about permanence and I think for the most part, it is viewed that digital prints could last even longer than traditional prints, but seeing as nobody really knows for sure..... I guess only time will tell. Remember, there are prints sold as "archival" that last for one year because in the viewing conditions they are sold for, that is considered archival.
When I show my fine-art work to people looking for images, for the most part, I am showing digital prints. Why? Because I make them myself, using a 200-year, pigment printer. But, when it comes time for people to buy, they ask for silver. A few weeks ago I asked one of these people, "Why silver?" There response was, "Because I know that no matter how good you are, you can't make two prints exactly the same, and I know I have a unique OBJECT." Remember this word, it will be more important later on.
The opinion of inkjet, pigment, digital, etc, is that you can hit "print" over and over and make print after print that are identical, eliminating the idea of the image being an "object." It is now "just" a print.
Also in the past few months I ran into a museum curator who said, "I'm not looking for prints, I'm looking for "objects."
This is a very important idea. Making digital prints, in the minds of many, eliminates the craft involved in making images. There is no longer a physical element to the print, there is only the cold, lifeless technical.
I agree. When I make a great digital print, I say, "Wow, that looks great," but when I make a great silver print I find a far greater satisfaction of having "made" something. Now my friends in the tech world take great offense at this, for some reason, but most of them have not made a silver print in decades. And most of my friends in the tech world were not great silver printers to begin with, so the hours of fumes and frustration were easily tossed aside for the conveniece of making prints while watching You Tube or Springer. Yes, I have friends that watch both.
Okay, my last point in this long-winded mess...walking around a trade show I noticed enormous digital prints being hung in many of the booths. The moment the show was over, the prints were pulled down, torn up and thrown away. Thrown away. Can you imagine someone doing this with a cibachrome, silver print, platinum print?
Trivial. A key word here. Trivial. Trivial is what, in many ways, the "modern" print has become. You can make it, ding it, trash it. Who cares? Make another.
But, I think the "modern" print suits our lifestyle and attention span. Again, they look FANTASTIC, but there is a difference in perception. Who has time to print traditional anymore? Just bang out a few on the trustly old inkjet. Oh, the first one is blue, make another. Oops, this one is red, go ahead, make another.
There is no right and wrong in this world, only shades of grey. This coming week I have plans to make several digital prints, which will be sold, a silver print as well as a ultra-new, digital-silver print, thanks to new technology from Ilford. I think most of us live in a hybrid world, as evidenced by the Prius sitting in my driveway, the world's dirtiest Prius I should say.
But I think the message I have taken from all of this is that just because it is new doesn't mean it is better.
Next I will ramble about traditional verses digital capture, another puzzling "advancement." Since when did blown highlights become acceptable??? Oops, did I say that out loud?
Don't get me started.

Oh, by the way, during the time it took me write this I made 14 digital prints, cleaned my toaster and chased the neighbor's dog out of my yard.

Oh, and I failed to mention that all the black and white papers are going away, so we are all going to be stuck with digital prints. Sorry, slipped my mind.


They look friendly, but get out in the open spaces, suddenly you are surrounded.


I was in 15E

My Life

26 July, 2007

Things We Don't Need: 0002

Hotel toasters. They NEVER work. They allow you to press down, but they never toast anything, at any time, at any point in any way, shape or form. It is remarkably consistent.

El Perro es Muy Fuerte

On a flight, delayed, sitting on the tarmac waiting for storms to clear. A dog next to me. Cute little bugger, but he empties his digestive tract into his mesh cage. Hmmmm, so good on a plane with no circulating air. Help.

13 July, 2007

Things We Don't Need

This is the first post in a long, long line of posts regarding stupid things we have but really don't need.

A high def camera on the mountaintop for the weather guy when he annouces what the forecast is. Do we really need a high def cam? Do you ever notice the macho poses these guys strike when they lay into a fast moving storm front?? Too much.

Paris Review

If you don't subscribe to the Paris Review, you should. Their redesign is far better than old version, and I think Gilles Peress is on the advistory board, which means there are suddenly some very nice essay, photo-essays included in this magazine. This month, what must be a 30-page essay by Raymond Depardon, which is nicely done. Probably doesn't hurt he is also with Magnum, as is Peress.

12 July, 2007


Look at this stud. Check out the wind blown combover.

11 July, 2007

Vote for Calvin

Vote for Calvin:

It appears as if this pesky conflict raging in the Middle East is not going to quell itself anytime soon, and I’m thinking if we had a new spokesperson, a new flesh-bridge of some sort, we just might be able to make a little progress in getting this meat-grinder war, or wars, to shut down.
Looking at Iraq, it is clear to see the merge of Sunni and Shia didn’t work, and neither did the purge. How about the surge? Nope, it didn’t work either.
But who the heck can we send to be our ambassador?
Typically, in this type of situation you go to your star closer, someone like the aging Jimmy Carter. Maybe Carter doesn’t have a 100 mph fastball, but his off-speed political tactics have worked before, as in The Camp David Accords. But, I’m not really sure what those accords ever REALLY did. Plus, our negotiators are always aging Caucasian males in suits, and I’m not sure that style is going to work yet again.
So, Bush Sr.? Nope, won’t work. He already had one war there. Bush Jr.? Just kidding, not a chance.
Okay, got it, how about Clinton? Gentleman Bill, not known for his foreign policy during his tenure, but now he is a pseudo-diplomat, at times. But man, again, an aging white guy in a suit. My gut says it just won’t work.
I think what we need is a new direction, a breath of fresh air, and I have the perfect solution. I know the person we need.
Calvin Broadus, aka Snoop Dogg, the legendary hustler and rap machine is the PERFECT man for the job.
In short, Snoop transcends. Snoop transcends race, religion and politics.
The D-O-Double G is about three things, making music, making money and making love, and if my calculations are correct, those three things represent the goal of at least 85% of all males in the known universe, including those raging in the Middle East.
They might not admit it, at least at a public demonstration, but behind closed doors the insurgents, even the mighty Taliban are ready to sample the goods.
Snoop raps about many things urban, violent and on both sides of the law, but under that facade, I believe, is a guy who is at peace with the world and with himself, and that is JUST the man for the mission.
Imagine Dogg rolling down Hussein Blvd in Sadr City in his “Chevy 64 Red,” with Dre, hitting the “Bubonic Chronic.” A mind-blowing moment is what we need and this could be it.
Snoop would gather the groups and say, “Bitches, just work this shit out,” and they WOULD. How could you not with him in his purple robe and jewel encrusted cane??
After all, the groups fighting, us, them, Sunni, Shia, Al Queda, Taliban, etc, they all lust after what Snoop has…..AN EMPIRE.
Girls, drugs, a posse, real estate, fame, celebrity…you don’t think this is what everyone wants? Wake up! Jimmy, Bill and George don’t have it, never will. Snoop inhales, and isn’t afraid to admit it.
And, most importantly, especially with the Taliban, Snoop has street cred. Let’s be honest, The Dogg has found himself in several uncomfortable situations with the law. Snoop might know his way around a weapon if you know what I mean, allegedly, and with guys like the Taliban, this is instant respect.
Now, I’m not even sure you can get him. He might be touring, and for sure you are going to have to redo the inside of Air Force One. As it is, the posse won’t fit and Snoop’s needs are beyond what the current administration has in place. And forget about Customs.
Is it time to get a little shizzle on our pizzle and start the drizzle? You know what I mean. It’ a dog eat dog world out there. Maybe it’s time to feel the bite.

06 July, 2007

Get In The Water Now

Okay, for those of you living in Southern California who never get in the water, now is the time to break that habit.
The water is 70 degrees, a far cry from the mid-winter, mid-50's, crippling norm. So, get off your butt, drive west until you can't drive anymore, put money in the meter, and just start running. Run until your forward momentum has gone past the point of no return. By then, you will be in water thigh deep and can let yourself go. That first breath is a short one, but once that first wave washes over your head, you will be reminded, instantly, of your days as a kid when the water temperture didnt' matter.
Now, dont' swallow any of the water, cause you will probably get a serious disease, but that is the easy part.


I know what is going to happen. Today at Wimbledon there were some EPIC matches, we are talking slugfests including Federer, Ferrero, Djokovic, Nadal, etc, and what will NBC show????
Venus Williams for the third day in a row. If we are lucky we might get a little Roddick, but the chances of his match living up to the drama of other men's quarters is not likely.
And, I'm a big Venus fan, think she will probably win the entire event, but her matches are blowouts, routes, drubbings, and they are not great to watch, in comparison to others. Again, NBC has chosen to ONLY show Americans, unless we are in the finals, where they don't have a choice.
We gotta stop doing this and just show the best matches. My guess, if we are lucky, we will see Venus in the finals, hoisting the jewel encrusted platter for yet another time. But, until then, give us the good stuff NBC, quit messing around. It's bad enough we get tape delay. Dont' make us suffer another day.

05 July, 2007

Le Tour

My pick for Le Tour: Denis Menchov. Russia.

Stop The Madness

I'm worried. I'm now hearing about global warming in just about every way imaginable. Radio, tv, magazines, newspapers, talk shows, satallite, sign language and smoke signals. Global warming is now MAINSTREAM!!!! I know fifty other photographers working on global warming projects, and dozens more lining up to take a crack at it. Art communities, magazines and non-profits, only interested in hitting what's hot, and that is GLOBAL WARMING.

You might think this is a good thing. "Get them talking about," "that's what I say," Billy said. But, I'm not so sure.

In today's world of 24-hour news madness, where the same story, images and soundtrack are are blasted at us, over and over and over, on the same channel, in the same fashion, with a different host at the top of every hour, you just have to wonder what the accumulative effect could possibly be?


The problem is I am already hearing a collective fatigue in regards to this issue. Let's face it, when we get bombarded by something this much, it turns people off, and turns them off quick!!!!! Our collective attention span is so fast...whoa, that was it....it just went by. Gone.
I'm not saying I'm fatigued, but I have a special interest in this issue, but I know a lot of other people are already over it. I know because I've heard them say it.

I have no answer, no solution, other than perhaps turning off 24 hour news. Get in, get out, then research on our own. I don't have 24 channels by the way, don't even have cable, cause I know I'd spend WAY too much time in front of the tube. I'm weak and I know it.

So, let's be rational, and don't buy into the madness. The issue looks real, but the frenzy is not.

04 July, 2007

Recent Snaps

A few scenes around the office, and one really bad hair day.

Plutonium/Hotel OJ

Unknown sources are reporting that black market plutonium and hotel orance juice are now selling at identical prices on the open market. Smuggled through the Urals and into the wanting hands of terrorists and heavy metal lovers alike, plutonium has long been known for it's astronomical asking price. But visit any hotel, in any location in the known world, order orange juice, and you will also face a bill of ungodly proportion.
Both fluids are held and transferred in tiny containers, similiar in size and shape to other vessels, but miniature in form.
At last report, crack teams of world experts were monitoring the latest developments.

02 July, 2007

MP on Aligrator

Today on Aligrator.....


Okay, anyone reading this with an "info@" beginning of their email address has to change it right now. Yep, it's official, and the cat is out of the bag. We all know that "info@" means, "I really dont' want to talk to you unless I need something," and the fact that everyone now knows what this means renders this method no longer effective and only makes you look bad.
During my daily activities, my very diverse daily activities, I run into people with this type address, some used for personal and others for their business.
When this first started it was done as an attempt to cut through the hordes of email zinging around the electronic world. Then, the person with the "info@" address would typically have ANOTHER address you were supposed to use after they determined you were normal, or that they needed something from you, or that you could do something for them.
But, at least 90% of the time those addresses are nothing more than black holes, or sure death for email, prompting the client to then get back to you asking why you never sent the email you were supposed to send in the first place. The game goes back and forth, back and forth.
But now, after all these years, when I see an "info@" email address, about 99% of the time, I refuse to use it, and surely won't take any time sending anything to that address, forcing the client to actually call me. That way I can save the trouble of waiting for the "real" email address.
So, anyone out there using this system, it's old and somewhat outdated. Time to move on, show your real address, heck, go crazy, put an actual address, a real address, mailing, postage, white vans in front of your house, flags on your box type of mailing address. Go for it. Don't be afraid.

01 July, 2007

Sinking Ship

Okay, I found something worse than having major dental work. NBC's coverage of Wimbledon. I think it would actually be better to just not cover it at all. There is a real channel that covers this event, which used to be HBO, but I fear those days are over. I think now it is ESPN2, or another sports mega channel. NBC, for some reason, continues to broadcast tape delayed junk, or at least attempts to do it, but ONLY on the weekends.
Coupled with this alarming style of coverage is their incessant need to seemingly ONLY show American players, who in most situations, are NOT the best players in the game. If you are talking hardcourt, US Open, I can see trying to focus on the American players, but anytime you leave this tournament, head across the pond and find yourself on a "natural" surface, you can bet there are other players that should be being featured.
So, when I see NBC is "ramping up their coverage" I know it will be a two day old Serena match, where she is pounding someone. Or, Roddick, playing his baseball style, game, which is about a serve an brute force. Occassionally, they will give you a taste of Federer or Nadal, just because they HAVE TO, seeing as they are head and shoulders above anyone else playing the game.
I'm not saying that supporting the US players shouldnt' be done, not by a long shot, but you have to decide who you are targeting, tennis fans or the "casual" fan, an elusive bugger who has popped up in recent years and is demanding much attention.
So get with it NBC, take a stand. The Tour de France is coming up, and the networks here do the same thing. Painful, organ music, coffee filters over the lens and talk of "destiny" and "man vs mountain." If you want to know what is happening, real time, you gotta go to Verses where instead of buying coffee filters and organs they put a guy on a motorcycle with a camera.

29 June, 2007


Man, don't think I've seen this kind of madness since Cabbage Patch. The iphone. A small, rounded rectangle of metal and plastic capable of causing lines not seen since the Depression Era.
Call me skeptical. No, really, call me that cause I am.
I have a cell phone, an old one, so old the kid behind the counter at the cell phone shop probably wasn't born when my phone was launched. But, it works. I love it when I need it, when it works, but then I don't love it anymore because it is just a small, rounded piece of metal and plastic.
In many cases I love the people on the other end of the magical cordless line, but I'm not sure how much credit I can give the phone. After all, it is just a small, rounded piece of metal and plastic.
I'm starting to think we are gadget happy. No, correction, I KNOW we are gadget happy, but in the long run is this a sustainable trend? Do you detest me for even questioning the great Apple father in the sky? If are asleep in the parking lot at Fashion Island, portable radio in hand, fending off hordes of line cutters you probably do detest me, but my question remains.
Cause remember, I'm skeptical. When I hear iphone 1.0, I'm already thinking iphone 2.0. Just like high-def tv. I'm already over it. I dont' even need to buy one. I have a TV, an old one, so old the kid behind the counter in the TV shop probably wasn't born when my tv was launched. You get where I'm going here?

24 June, 2007

Customer Service

Okay, in contention for worst customer service.....cell phone companies.......office supply companies..........neck and neck, too close to call.

19 June, 2007



15 June, 2007

Spurs Win AGAIN

I think we owe this entire "feeling" of the finals to the sports media, who never seem to want to work for there stories anymore, and to the league for producing a product that is getting worse and worse every single year. Check the ratings numbers and you will see, on the DECLINE.

The celebration last night was the perfect ending to the year for the NBA, the sportswriters and fans. It was the worst thing I have ever seen, and exactly what everyone deserved. We didn't deserve a game seven, with a high scoring shootout, but the league didn't produce that all year long. Why expect it now? The those ten people who hung around to boo the Spurs, those guys, and gals perhaps, were fantastic, and just made Cleveland look more like a sore loser than ever before. (I am a Saints fan, however this year my secret AFC team is Browns, so I know something about loser teams.)
The league doesn't produce good basketball, it produces a lot of sloppy, lazy games because players have guaranteed money. There are MAYBE a handful of teams that play defense, the Spurs being one, and a handful of teams that play as a team, the Spurs being one.

Dynasty? Of course not, the sportswriters, who have to work with the Spurs to get stories, no court cases, contract holdouts, infighting to make their days go easily, will not allow the Spurs to be a dynasty. In fact, they have already started. Two minutes after the game, one commentator said, "Well they have to win back to back to be a dynasty."

You have a team of unselfish players who only care about winning, and in today's NBA that is just not what people want. People want controversy, entertainment, celebrity and 120 point games.

What I love is when the series started, and the sportswriters said, "Oh this is going to be boring," it appeared as if most people just took that at face value and said, "Okay, this is going to be boring."
I didn't watch much NBA all year, but I did watch at least part of three or four of these finals. I didn't seem a boring game at all. I saw one team who was a supreme, well oiled, disciplined machine, dismantling a lesser team. How can you call what Tony Parker did boring? Manu? Even Duncan, who isn't flashy, but who possesses BASIC skills that allow him to be one of, if not the most dominant player at his position in the history of the game.

The Spurs had no weakness other than their 4th quarter lapse, which has been a trademark for a long while.

As for the Cavaliers, they are just fortunate to play in the East, and could have been easily handled by at least four, perhaps six teams in the West. Lebron? He just isn't that good at this point in his career. I'm not saying he isn't a good player, he is , and has the entire team and city on his back, but he is too rightside heavy, turns the ball over, shoots too much, and does not have a consistent jumper. I think he WILL be a great player, at some point, but he surely isn't a Dwayne Wade type guy at this point in his career, and the team needs to surround him with at least a better point guard, and big man. Otherwise, I don't see them returning to the finals, not with the Heat, Bulls and Pistons hanging around.

And now we head into the off season with the "boring" Spurs polishing yet another trophy, and for the sports media it only gets worse. There will be no domestic disputes, no DUI's, no ego or money issues, no trade demands, no trade retractions and probably no interviews. They will just disappear.

13 June, 2007


I wrote something today for BBC World Have Your Say. Well, I wrote a comment to them regarding the piece they were doing on the recent events in Gaza. It wasn't like I was called and asked to write someting, just sent an email and asked to comment if I felt like it.
I wrote it on another computer, which I could turn on, then copy and paste, but I'm too lazy to even cross the room, so now I sit here telling you what I wrote.
My point was, "What else is there to do in Gaza but fight?" If you are twenty-five and have been fighting for five years, ten perhaps, then what else are you reallly qualified to do? Is it easier to fight than to build for a better Gaza in the future. I have never been there, so I'm just talking and wondering, not pointing the fingers at those living in Gaza. It doesn't appear that there is much infrastucture, industry, education, jobs or opportunity, besides linking up with one side or the other and squeezing your trigger finger.
If you watch the footage, it appears to be total chaos. What I'm saying is that yes there are supposed to be two main factions fighting, but within each faction there appears many splinter groups, conflicts, opportunists and a lot of people just standing around.
I began to wonder if conflict will become a part of the DNA of this culture, or maybe it already has. Afghanistan, Colombia, etc, places that just grind on, year after year, war, famine, war, corruption, etc.
I think these places, in some ways, fail to exist to most people because this drama has been so "normal" for so long it no longer has much of an impact, unless you have a personal connection. I think it proves there is an intanglible aspect of humanity that almost needs war. And war is good business, for the people on the fringes, and it sure seems to be, in some ways, an "easy" way out.
Mabye I'm wrong, but each day I see more and more that makes me wonder.

My First Camera Bag

I still have it. A Domke F2 I think it is called.