Hanging out with Banna

This past St. Patrick’s Day eve, my friend invited me to come hang out with him and his family to watch his new Celtic band Banna perform. Celtic music isn’t my cup of stout, but I had a good time. The band was good and festive and there was Guinness.

While the band performed, I took some pictures. Below are some of my favorites.

Chris

Zack

Jason

Jaye

Kalill

Jason

Chris

Jaye

Kalill

Zack

Jason and Chris

The Band

The Crowd

Fan

Faux Memories

I live in a very nice, well-to-do suburbs in North Carolina. I love it here. It’s peaceful, quiet; safe. Everyone here is nice. The roads are maintained, lawns are well manicured and it’s only fifteen minutes to get to anywhere you want to go.

I used to live in Detroit. Yes, the REAL Detroit, not the suburbs that everyone calls Detroit. Detroit is not peaceful or quiet. If it wasn’t for the bars, food, music, casinos and sports teams, it would suck. The homes aren’t maintained, roads suck and it’s an hour to get anywhere you want to go. Yes, it’s the polar opposite.

It was an easy transition to make. I got sick of watching my back. Multiple break-ins, car being stolen and a gun to your head will do that to you. I miss it from time to time. Especially when the sports teams are doing well. But I’m glad I moved.

The only problem is that I’m used to danger. Excitement. So I have a hard time coming up with photography ideas while I’m home. I see the same stuff every day and it’s clean and neat and safe and I can’t find anything to photograph! That’s why most of my work is shot outside of North Carolina.

My friend told me to grab my camera and go for walks. He said I’d find something interesting to shoot. You just have to put in the hours.

So I decided to take his advice and have been walking around with a big ass lens making people uncomfortable. Only one person has said anything to me, and that was about the camera. He wanted one. Anyways, I’d be dead in Detroit already. No one wants you photographing their crack house.

I decided to make some fake memories of the life I never had. Or wished I had.Teddy Bear

Bottles

Chimney

Driveway

Flakes

Happy Valentine's Day

Roofer

Storage Room

Satanta, Kansas

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.

America
America
Trailer #4
Trailer #4
Swing
Swing
Shine Ministries
Shine Ministries
Satanta Coop
Satanta Coop
Satanta
Satanta
Hay, hay, hay
Hay, hay, hay
Hay
Hay
Grain feeders
Grain feeders
Grain
Grain

Basketball
Basketball

Hotlanta

I just spent the weekend in Atlanta. Had a great time hobnobbing with the locals while watching the exciting Falcon/Seahawk’s game. Being a Detroit Lions fan, I’ve never had the pleasure of sitting in a bar watching the Lions win a playoff game. And I’ve had 16 years of opportunities to do so. How sad. What was I talking about? Oh yeah…..

I also had some time to look for photo opportunities and there were many. The graffiti in Atlanta was great. I wish I had more time to spend there. I haven’t finished editing my set yet, but here’s a little preview of what’s to come:

20130115-135112.jpg

An evening with Messersmith.

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:

And finally, I recorded him playing a little:

And here he is showing a sense of humor:

*note to self, only let pros handle my gear

Macro Photography

I recently got a 100mm macro lens and have had a blast playing with it. It was one of my very first “wants”, but with my filmmaking needs, it kept getting pushed back on the list. I finally made the purchase.

I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s very difficult to get subjects in focus, but I’m enjoying the challenge. Thankfully, my years of shooting at 1.4f have conditioned me for getting the focus right. Most of the time. After just one day of shooting, I realized I want to get even closer to the action so I purchased a 1.4x extender from Canon. I’m looking forward to many years of shooting with this.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s hard finding good information about how to shoot macro and/or getting closer to the subject. If anyone has any tips they’d like to share, please do.

Here are some of my first photos from it:

Portrait photography

I want to get into portrait photography, but I just don’t like the results. I think it may be the studio setting where no one can relax and it feels more like a business than for fun. Whenever I’m out and about, I see perfect portrait opportunities, but I’m always too shy to ask someone to take their picture. I don’t like when my space is invaded and I don’t want to invade other’s. I may just have to say screw it and go for it, because there is immense pleasure from getting that perfect photo. And recently while I was shooting a short film for my friend Jason Pierce, I took a snapshot of actor Phillip Ward while he was waiting for me to get my camera ready. It was a complete accident as I was taking the photo to check the histogram, but when I got home I knew I had lucked out. Now if I could only get this kind of result every time.

Go to this page and you’ll see it looks very similar to the grand prize winner’s photo. A happy accident.