24 March, 2007


Carl in action sequence.

23 March, 2007

Double O

I watched the new James Bond movie last night. Well, it isn’t really new, but new for me, and the latest in the Bond series. It was a dud. Twenty minutes in I was waiting for it to start, even after the overdone opening scene, and twenty minutes from the end I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
My wife knitted through the entire thing.
This was my first movie in a while, so I’m not sure what I was hoping for, but this wasn’t it.
It was mostly overlit, that huge softbox feel of people standing in bright sun, but for some reason one side of their face is glowing orange from the warning gels. And, there were too many tight close-ups of Bond’s grimacing face. Okay, we get the point. He doesn’t open his mouth or huff and puff when he runs, and his eyes are like those of a hawk. Great. Most of us don’t run, or can’t run at all and our eyes are shot from too much computer times sandwiched in our tiny, veal-fattening work cubicles. Just more reason I relate so much to this long-running character.
Oh, and the beefcake scenes were just too much. Okay, okay a new Bond, the audience has to get the full review, but please one is enough. When he comes running up the beach in his “Euro” suit my mind flashed to Dudley Moore running towards a dreadlock wearing Bo Derek.
“So relax,” I said to myself, “just let it run and enjoy it.” But when I noticed the main, evil character had a scar on his face and one bad eye I just couldn’t stop thinking of Mike Myers.
I was literally laughing to myself, smiling, and had to say, “Okay, enough you idiot, stop laughing and get serious.” Stop thinking about Doctor Evil!”
And then came the Bond Girls. I think her name, this time was “Ms. Broadchest,” which I have to say might have been the best part of this movie.
I have no idea who this woman was, or the other girl was who slain earlier in the film, but I had to endure the “Honey, do you think she is pretty?” from my wife.
I did what any man watching a Bond movie says, “No sweetie, that woman is grotesque.”
(Knitting needles speed up in the background.)
And the clichés were done as if on a checklist. “Aston Martin, yep, got it.” “Martini, check.” “Bond, James Bond, okay, ya, got that too.” All the gadgets were there too. Really, it had everything but a plot and script, so it was a good start.
I’m not sure who made this movie, or why they made it, and chances are I’ll never get an answer, no matter how many email template pages I fill out. I think this new guy has a chance to be good, but only in the right directorial hands.
They have to go dark people. I mean come on, how many wars are raging around the world right now. People don’t want peace and the good guy. They want the white hat wearing lead to develop a drug habit and get cut down in a back alley deal gone wrong.
This is 2007 and I’m just not sure that the clean violence of yesteryear’s Bond is enough anymore.
You can’t be macho and not deranged at the same time.
My advice is to take a step back, take a breath and stop everything. Take out the explosions, the chase scenes, a few of the clichés, and start with a plot, script and screenplay that are tighter than Yale entrance exam.
Bond needs to be rougher, more real, not some gym dude who is all perfect all the time.
Embrace a modern evil plot and villain. Look around; this won’t be hard. Surprise us. Have TWO changes in the plot…whoa, I know that is a real stretch. But do it anyway.
Or, put Bond into a larger overall plot, like the war in Iraq. A bit player lost in a situation he cannot control.
Okay, that’s it, no more help from me.
I think the good news from all this is that I’m sure it didn’t cost anymore than like 50 million dollars to make, so we all have that going for us.

20 March, 2007


Okay, what does this say about the photo industry? I just took a quick tour through Flickr and found FAR MORE interesting work than I find on most of the "industry" stops. Wow. Really, blown away. There are some unknown pioneers, blazing their way through the world, and unless you go hunting you will never know they exist.
These folks won't show up on any top ten list, contest results or glossy pages. They just go create, and by the looks it, they are creating more than most of the "pros" I know. But, as you know, "pros" have many demands the casual creator won't have to deal with. Not knocking the "pros" by any means. In some ways it is far better and more fun to shoot for yourself than for others. I've done both and can see an upside to both.
The Flickr crowd doesn't seem to be hung up on retouching, on perfection, on making everything look bigger, better, smoother, faster and more over-the-top. They just experiment. Remember doing that?
And, with the revolution happening in the printing/publishing industry, this could mean big changes in the world. I don't about you but I'm smiling.

18 March, 2007

Indian Wells Madness

A strange bar until 1am. What were we doing, and why were we doing it? Sometimes there is no good answer. This bar was like the bar in Star Wars, only filled with humans. There was a lifesize cardboard cutout of some "beer woman," and it just kept appearing. Karaoke was blazing. I was going to do my version of War Pigs by Black Sabbath, but oddly enough that song was not on the list. In hindsight, perhaps this was a good thing.

13 March, 2007


Gone Missing

Just did the sync, address book is gone. Oh well. I have two more copies, four actually, now that I think about it, but is that enough?

Gone Missing

Just did the sync, address book is gone. Oh well. I have two more copies, four actually, now that I think about it, but is that enough?


Gas is $3.06 per gallon and counting. Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.

09 March, 2007

It's Official

Okay, it's official. I set my mom up with her own blog. Yes, her own blog. I'm not sure if any of us are truly prepared for what this means, but we are about to find out.

It Needed To Be Said

Okay, a friend calls me, says she knows the photo-editor at a large, national kids magazine who saw my work and liked it. “Send her something,” my friend said. “I told her you would.”
So, I grab a nearby promo card, head to my database to address the card only to notice I don’t have a listing for this particular person.
So, I go online, search for “editorial offices,” and hit send. Nothing.
So, I go to the magazines site. Nothing. No address, no phone, no fax, nothing.
At the far edge of the page a “contact,” button. “Ah-HA,” I think to myself.
What do I get? The dreaded, black hole, template page. “Please send us your message, and include your email and question,” the page stated.
What it should have said was, “Go through these meaningless motions and the only thing you can be SURE of is that we will never respond in any way, shape or form.”
This is why these places have these templates from Hell in the first place. There is nobody there to take your message. There is nobody to follow up, follow through or care about what you could possibly want. UNLESS, the GREAT UNLESS, you have something they NEED.
Then, suddenly, a strange thing happens. Suddenly you might get a call, or an email. “Hey, we heard you have such and such.”
You respond, “Well, I sent my message via your template from Hell, but strangely enough, I never got a response.”
“OH,” they will say. “That is so very surprising.” And then here it comes…”Why don’t you send it to this OTHER email address.”
Let me decipher this. This means, “Why don’t you send it to this REAL address.”
People, my fellow citizens, my fellow taxpayers, are we not yet beyond this?
As you all probably know, this is a very common strategy amongst those who feel they are either very important, or that they would get too overloaded by “people” trying to communicate with them.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a wedding and kids portrait photographer. Let me repeat that. I am a wedding and kids portrait photographer. I get A LOT of calls, emails, etc. I would put my call/email load up against a magazine photo-editor any day of the week.
And you know what. It’s not that bad. My numbers and addresses are all over the place. And, the best part is what comes of unexpected calls and emails. I look at this as contributions, humans interacting with other humans. Partnerships are formed, friends are made, plans are hatched.
So, my dear photo-editor friends, it’s okay, open up and enjoy the rest of the world. We won’t bite. I promise.

08 March, 2007


I bought my first lottery ticket. I lost.

02 March, 2007

Which One

Duraflame or Fire Mountain Super Log?