26 February, 2007

Journal Snap

From the current book.


Why does it take celebrities to make green issues cool?
I don't think it does. Perhaps it takes celebrities in Los Angeles to make green issues cool. But at the moment I'm in Santa Fe, and green issues just seem to be issues here. Passive solar, water reclamation, hybrids, etc, just seem to be common sense issues and less about "being green." But, then again, you are talking small town, or small city, verses 18 million megacity. What turns faster the yacht or the dingy?

Al Gore won for his docu movie regarding global warming. Haven't seen it yet, but will, and hear it is fantastic. I was more sure of him winning for this than old Marty winning for the Departed.

25 February, 2007

Place to Place

The Phoenix wedding is complete, and thanks to bride and groom for making it very enjoyable. Maybe 15 rolls of 120 Tri-x, some digital files. Film is ready to be shipped, and files are backup up waiting for me to descend upon them till my tweaking heart's content.
Now, however, I'm in Santa Fe on other business. The air is crisp, the peaks with snow. More later.

23 February, 2007

Time to Rethink?

As I leave for a shoot, driving my hybrid car, bag containing two digital camera bodies, one laptop, I wonder,"hmmmm."


19 February, 2007

Message to All Photographers

Okay, this goes to all photographers, but especially to digital people, just as a reminder.

Read David Hurn's "On Being a Photographer." Read the chapter on making contact sheets. Fantastic.

"One of the photographer's greatest pleasures is to look back on ten-year-old contact sheets." "The images provide an open door and total recall to the pleasure (and pains) of the past."

More Gang Stuff

Someone has asked for a little more detail on my experience with gang violence. So, in short, here it is.
In 1994 my cousin Tom was shot and killed by two Los Angeles gang members who were, at that time, living in Denver. My cousin was returning home from a baseball game, and these two guys, who had left a trail of destruction throughout the city, decided they would rob someone, steal their car, etc.
The details of what happened are long and cowardly, but the short of it is that my cousin was shot twice and died on the scene.
It was a big story in Denver at the time, front page of both papers, covered in Court TV, etc.
I had never witnessed a criminal trial, which was sickly fascinating, as well as being very educational.
I have had other experiences as well. I did a long-term photo essay on a young, 4th Street Brothas(Austin,TX) gang member who was attempting to turn pro as a boxer and escape the gang life. He didn’t make it. During this story I was in a full-on machine gun shootout, during a little league game, which was my introduction to gang life.
I also spent a month, on and off, with the Austin Anti-Gang Unit of the APD. This was my final project in a photo class. I was clueless, but managed a few interesting images. More importantly, I learned how gang life is a part of the DNA of cities such as Austin.
And finally, just a sidenote, a tidbit if you will. While living in LA, I heard gunfire at night, many times, even wrote about it, which is the first posting on this blog if you want to go back(Half Awake to My LA), and was at home when a drive by shooting happened in front of our building. This is a block from Beverly Hills by the way. I grabbed my gear, ran outside to see a car smashed into a telephone pole, and a friend of mine with eyes like saucers saying, “I saw the entire thing.”

17 February, 2007


Yesterday I was interviewed on the BBC. Gang violence, and my experience with it. You might be saying, "You?" "The guy who lives on the Newport line? What, a gang of urban, yacht captains angry over you taking the best parking space at Starbucks?
No. I wish. A long story.


Is it time for a collective enlightenting?

15 February, 2007

The Box

Okay, this might sound cheesy, but I do find it very comforting, for some reason, just to have a black and white paper box around. As I sit here, across the room, on a set of rolling file cabinets, is a box of Ilford, 11x14, fiber-base, glossy paper.
And this coming from a guy who worked at Kodak for four years. On top of the box, more prints from recent darkroom time. There is just something fantastic about this box, this paper, and I have no real explanation.
In addition to this, I called the lab in LA, had them send back all my film and contact sheets from recent shoots. So, I have another box of paper now.
My work comes back, contacts, negatives, in sleeves and boxes and envelopes. I love it. Again, maybe nothing special, but to me, there is nothing better.

12 February, 2007

Silver Gelatin

My first print. Well, first print in about 15 years.

09 February, 2007

One Giant Step Backwards

For the first time in nearly fifteen years I have invaded the darkroom to make silver-based, black and white prints. It was GRAND. My first print was terrible, exposure was off, dust spots, etc, but watching that print emerge from the chemical bath was like discovering photography for the first time.
In an hour and a half I made three good prints, one portrait and two documentary shots, all 11x14, on Ilford, warm-tone, glossy fiber-base paper. I used the negative holder with filed edges that gave me a nice, thick, black border on all four sides.
Before I left the house I broke a hanger into two pieces, cut up a business card in varying sizes and shapes, then poked the end of the hanger into the small pieces. What was I doing? Making dodging tools! Just like I did in the good old days. I felt like an alchemist, and strangely, everything came back to me as if I had never stopped printing.
I felt like I was really making something, crafting it from scratch, and I realized I was now going to be spending a lot more time in the dark.


There are three channels full-time, "news coverage" of Anna Nicole Smith's death. Not to take anything away from her, but I have not seen coverage like this of, of anything in recent memory. Iraq, Afghanistan, forget it, a backseat at best at this point.
Yes, yes, we are all glitter and Hollywood, but the reality is these channels are seemingly using the death to sell their own coverage.
This is nothing new. News channel love blood and guts, and they have been using it to sell for years, but like everything else, it is getting more and more overdone.
Just remember, "If it bleeds, it leads."

02 February, 2007

The Heat is On

The results of the great United Nations report on Global Warming are in, and the message seems to be fairly clear. Humans. Once again our species seems to have made a negative contribution, and continues to do so.
However, I don’t this conclusion was much of a surprise. There has been much resistance, from certain groups, about the validity of global warming, but I think the number of resistors is dwindling.
As humans we do many grand things, many of which are positive, but at the same time there is no doubt we pollute. Travel the world, swim in the ocean, peer over Orange County at dusk and it is very evident we leave a residue on the land and sea.
What scares me in regards to the report is the idea, “Well, nothing I can do about it.” Where and how this even came to print, to be, is beyond me, and I can already see this being used as the crutch for us to, once again, pass the buck.
As Americans, we have the luxury of being able to help. We have the time and resources to say, “Okay, I’m going to change.”
The luxury of today, DVD players and leather seats, will be replaced, eventually, with the luxury of just breathing.