This past April, I drove from North Carolina to Kansas to pick up my mother and move her to Michigan to take care of my father. It would have been exciting if my father’s health wasn’t so poor, because my mother hated living in Kansas. It’s a desolate place where there isn’t much to do. My mom doesn’t have many hobbies, but she likes to play bingo and the nearest place to play was a half an hour away and she had to rely on friends to take her because she had no car.
I’ve been there numerous times to visit her over the past decade, but I hated going. Really, there’s nothing to do. There’s maybe two stores in town – a grocery store and a pizza store – and only the pizza store had VHS tapes to rent. Yes, VHS. And some DVDs, but their selection was very small and I’d mostly seen everything they had to offer. And most of the time, the store was closed – either seasonally or in transition of ownership; I didn’t care to know why, I wasn’t staying.
But there’s a weird thing about towns like this – they’re ripe for photo and video opportunities. I could shoot thousands of fantastic things out there if I had the time. Of course, you have to be careful; there are many people there that grow weed or make meth and they don’t like it when photographers start taking photos of their homes – as I learned. If I didn’t have a business card on me showing my website, I may have been in trouble.
Below are some photos I took while I was there in April and a short video I made to remember the town by. Most likely, since my mom moved, I’ll never be going back.
Last Monday, Jeremy Messersmith stopped by our house to perform for his Supper Club Tour. We had some great food, great wine, made some new friends and had a great time. Oh yeah, and he played some music.
The first thing he did was give us a nice gift for us offering our home for the tour.
Apparently, he’s a mushroom hunter. I verified that he knew what he was doing (I’d hate to die from eating a poisonous mushroom. I’d rather die from spontaneous combustion). He assured me that he did, but I’m still waiting to hear news from a killing spree by mushroom toting musician. If I don’t hear anything soon, I’ll take a nibble.
He was also gracious enough to sign my albums and take a few photos.
My girlfriend* took this photo, hence the soft focus..
I’m happy that I got some new photos for the portfolio:
One of my favorite films of all time is the science fiction Gattaca. According to this movie, in the future our lives are preordained for us based on our genetics. One of the characters, Vincent (played by Ethan Hawke), battles against the assumption that we’re only as good as our DNA suggests. Over ninety plus minutes, Vincent evades detection, proves us otherwise and blah blah blah…..he’s victorious. Just as Vincent is achieving his goal of being on a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan, the movie ends. And that’s where my blog begins.
I think it would be amazing to travel into outer space. Unfortunately, I was born too soon as space exploration for the common man is out of the question. It seems like it’s right around the corner, but I doubt it will happen before I die. So my friend, Stephen van Vuuren, has decided to do the next best thing: make an IMAX film of space flight. And not a typical Star Trek CGI fake rendition, but the true to life deal. He’s using images taken directly from the Cassini-Huygens satellite and blowing them up and stringing them together to create the effect of fly through motion. If you’ve ever seen an IMAX film before, you know the best part about them is the feeling of actually being there. That’s why I think Stephen’s film, Outside In, will be amazing. I’ve actually had the pleasure of watching some of Stephen’s test footage on the IMAX and it’s breathtaking. Watch the teaser below:
Recently, Outside In, has caught fire online and now has over a million hits and has been boasted about on multiple blogs in many languages and news stations. I’m not sure if the excitement is about having an IMAX film that actually takes you through space or over the fact that Stephen is making this in his basement for about three hundred thousand dollars. Maybe it’s a mixture of both. Recently, I sat down with Stephen to talk a little about the process and how he came up with the idea to make an IMAX film. Below is the first video of a short series of videos with questions I plan on asking him about the process: