Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Art is Wherever You Are

Last week I went to Nationals Stadium to shoot images of stadium seating for a seating manufacturer. Pretty exciting, huh? Well, for me it is! The normal person probably walks into an empty stadium and sees lots of empty seats, but, for better or worse, I am far from normal. As I Walk the Earth, even when not photographing, I see the world around me in terms of shape, color, patterns, composition, and light. I have always seen this. I suppose it’s what has enabled me to become a good photographer. I already see images, the camera is just my tool to capture what I see. I see beauty and art in everything around me As I Walk the Earth, even in stadium seating.
(click any image to see larger, they look better bigger)


Saturday night we played a party, the first time out with our new drummer Chris. Finding a solid drummer ain't easy and Chris is good, really good. He's rock solid, loves our music, and fits right in. Playing music is my favorite recreational activity, with Chris we'll be playing better than ever. Life is Good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Youngest Zappa fan I know

My youngest son James has Autism. For several months I have been taking him every Saturday for one activity he particularly enjoys, horse riding lessons. Through a friend of our family we learned of this wonderful Therapeutic Horse Riding program TRRC which is designed specifically for children with special needs.. Recently our instructor mentioned the child before James, Michael, was at a similar skill level and perhaps in combining their lessons they may learn more effectively by watching each other. Upon meeting Michael the first thing he tells me is he likes music and his favorite artist is Frank Zappa. Well, this just blew me away coming from an 11 year old. I immediately liked him, anyone who realizes the creative genius of Frank Zappa is a friend of mine. He told me his favorite album is Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Obviously his parents have surrounded him with the correct influences. Coincidentally, as James and Michael were having their lesson we had a visit from a Pygmy Pony, just like the one the aspiring Dental Floss Tycoon wants to ride Along the Border Line in the song Montana. Below: Michael (w/Frank Zappa shirt) and his Mom, Chris. Also, the Pygmy Pony rides the border line.I told Michael I would post some photos for him that I took. These are a few from a show, I think in 1976 at University of Maryland. I saw so many shows in those days, prior to heavy security (and Clear Channel corporatizing and ruining concert venues). I was 16 and literally sitting on the edge of the stage with my trusty Cannon Ftb equipped only with a cheap 50mm 2.8.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Crabs in Baltimore

Went out Wednesday night with my brothers Chris, David, and my son Brady to our favorite crabhouse, Bill’s Terrace Inn. Bill’s is a classic real downhome crabhouse, the best in all of Baltimore. We’ve been going there for many years, I don’t know how he does it but Steve, the owner (seated at the bar below), always has the biggest and best crabs anywhere. We ordered our usual line-up, cream of crab soup ( I passed since I’m on a health kick to regain my girlish figure), super jumbo spiced shrimp steamed w/valdalia onion, and the big mutha crabs. The crabs were great, Huge and Heavy. The crab pictured below was my first of the batch and then opened to show how packed it was with Prime Grade A Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Jumbo Lump Backfin Goodness.
When we arrived the evening light was so perfectly beautiful I couldn’t resist a few photos in the parking lot. Waiting for the crabs I took a few around the inside to capture the ambience. Who doesn’t love a good Salty Sea Captain at the Wheel with pipe/Stormy Sky/Ship in Rough Seas painting? But, when the crabs arrive picture playtime is over, all conversation stops, and we get to the important serious business of consuming mass quantities of huge crabs with lots of Old Bay and vinegar. Jupiter is so prominent in the southern early evening sky this month, even clearly visible from a Baltimore parking lot as shown with Brady above. (click on any image to see larger)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Speaking of Sensationalized News . . .

I will admit, I used to love reading the Weekly World News. In fact I used to have some of the covers hanging in my studio. Covers like, “Elvis to Perform at SuperBowl XXII” and “Jesse Jackson’s Love Child Born with Two Heads”. And who can forget the zany antics of the freakish yet adorably lovable BatBoy?
Going through the contents of an older hard drive I came across the above scan that I had completely forgotten about. In addition to licensing images myself, I have many out there in circulation through agencies (rights managed of course - MicroStock is the Devil but that’s another subject). My images are published but I never see their application, just receive statements regarding their use. So you can imagine the thrill when to our shock and amazement my son Brady opens up The Weekly World News while checking out at Safeway to one of my images, full page. I've had countless images published, but for me professionally nothings conveys a greater sense of validation or personal fulfillment than having an image placed prominently in The Weekly World News-”The World”s Only Reliable Newspaper”.

I for one felt a great sense of relief when those “dangerous insect-harboring beehive haircuts went out of style”. Frankly I am shocked that in this modern day and age people “have ignored the warnings” and “have chosen style over safety”. Another item to keep you up at night tuned into 24 hour sensationalized doom and gloom/economic crash/wwIII/collapse of society/end of the world TV News, a two-kilometre-wide asteroid that could be on a collision course with Earth. BTW- the model for the shot above is The Lovely Linda Parker, Stylist was Kimberly Searle. Click on the image and read the full riveting story,

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gettin' my Groove back on

Happy Man on the Steps of du Sacre Coeur - Paris

I’m finally regaining my normal sense of blind optimism. I look around and see all things good and think of the future as bright and shiny. If I may suggest, DON”T watch TV news. I just don’t buy into this sensationalized TV News driven doom and gloom/economic crash/wwIII/collapse of society/end of the world scenario presented nightly. I really believe that people being hammered repeatedly with fear and anxiety towards the future perpetuates a self fulfilling prophecy. Things get tough from time to time, and I certainly face my own challenges, but only you create your own future. The future is good if you choose it to be.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Postcard from this Week . . .

Walking the Earth takes it's Toll

Just got back in from a relaxing Milk and Honey Pedicure with Sugar Scrub and Extended Foot Massage with Creme Butter that my ever loving wife Valerie treated me to. Since I’ve taken so much time off work I literally have not worn a pair of shoes, other than flip-flops, the past two months as I have Walked the Earth. Whereas in my mind I still maintain the presence and vitality of a virile 20 year old, I fully realize my feet are that of a 90 year old Tibetan Sherpa.

It fell upon the lovely Tracy, this wonderful sweet girl, to disinfect, scrape and scrub my decrepit feet back into something resembling those of a civilized man living in the 21st Century. She got out all her tools including what looked like wire cutters and I swear she put two pairs of gloves on. The foot massage was the best, she has her technique down, she don't be tickling or nothing. I like her and the job she did so much I’m making an appointment next week for the Banana Daiquiri and Nitrous Facial. Thanks Tracy!

Achieving Crab Bliss

Just returned from a wonderful relaxing vacation on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The crabbing was great! Everyday I caught dozens of crabs that my youngest son James and I would have for lunch. (also did some clamming for the first time although without the dorky high waisted rubber pants). Crabs and Clams everyday for Lunch on the back porch overlooking the water, this is what I imagine Heaven must be like.

I had my first lime flavored beer last week, Michelob Ultra Cactus Lime. I am a Genuine Certified Zen Crabmaster. As any Certified Zen Crabmaster worth his weight in Lump Backfin will attest, the right crabbing beer is a key component in achieving Crab Nirvana. Perhaps they derive the flavoring from the Peyote Cactus because this beer enabled me to attain complete transcendence into the Crab Mind, summoning crabs at will from all directions. I also saw my first Bald Eagle who came to visit us each day as we were crabbing. I took this to be a good omen from the Gods.

As always when on vacation I get up before the Sun to go out and take photos. For me there is no better way to start the day than having several quiet hours alone to be creative. Whether I get good photos or not isn’t important, it’s more the process of being highly observant of the world around me that is stimulating. I haven’t had time to go through and process what I’ve shot but below are a few quick selections just for fun. I actually still have a little gallery of some of what I shot last year here: Chincoteague07 Gallery. If you’d like to see more from Chincoteague / Assateague I have several hundred images posted in my Scenic Virginia Gallery on dcstockimages.com posted here.