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.