These are some images from when I spent a couple days in rural Pennsylvania shooting architectural images for a Log Cabin client of mine. I could definitely live here!
Well it seems that it is appropriate to put something up about Sharks since Discovery Channel just ended their “Shark Week” and since I do not have any images of Sharks, thought I would share a website I found from another photographer. Some pretty cool images here by Thomas Peschak. Also, just stumbled on a show last night on PBS called “Inside Natures Giants”, where scientists dissected a Great White. Pretty graphic but incredibly interesting. This group of scientists travel around and dissect other animals like Tigers, Giant Squid, Whales, etc. and I plan to watch every one as it really dives into the intricacies of their physical make up and evolutionary adaptations which make them so unique and at the top of the food chain, that is of course if you count humans out.
A couple weeks ago I had a project that required me to get my kayak out on the water at sunrise. As I paddled along side the model and his dog on our way to the location I watched a fine mist hovering over the lake and marveled at the quiet. As I listened to the rhythmic sound of the paddles piercing the water it occurred to me that it had been quite a while and I wondered why it took a project to get me to pull the spider web filled kayak out from under my porch and put it in its’ rightful place.
After a very brief moment of feeling guilty for not doing this more often, it occurred to me that I was on a job and getting paid to kayak and create imagery that conveyed the experience of calm and tranquility when gliding across the water and the solitude one can feel when paddling at that time of day. So when the demands of work, family, and life in general seem to occupy every minute of every day, the fact that my job will put me in a kayak on a crisp fall morning, and a paddle and camera in my hand, makes me realize that I chose the right field……….. at least I felt that way that day and may need to refer back to this post every so often to remind myself of that fact……….
It has been far too long since I had a blog entry. For the sake of just getting something new posted I will be short on words, which apparently is something that I have a hard time doing according to my wife and the friends honest enough to tell me. Interestingly enough, I can be a fairly quiet guy, but when it comes to putting words on paper, brief and to the point is not my style. You would think that being a photographer, I would let the image do the speaking for me…………. for your sake, I will let it in this instance and will try to do so more in the future.
Last night I attended an event at the Mint Museum of Art, hosted by Pace Communications, where 20 of the most dynamic women in Charlotte were recognized. Featuring an appearance by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, It capped off the successful project in the December issue of US Airways Magazine, where these women were honored for their leadership and overall positive impact and contribution to our community. I had the personal honor of working on the project and meeting and photographing many of these great women.
I listened as Governor Perdue spoke about the role of women in our society, as she exuded with confidence and optimism about the greater impact women will have in the future. I took in stories about how CEO of Pace Communications, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, founded the company in 1973, and marveled at how she could command a room and capture an audience. I looked around at the room filled with women who have broken barriers, excelled in their fields, committed lives to helping others and their community, who are all living lives of passion, determination, high expectations, and purpose. Being married to a woman who exudes many of these great qualities, it comes as no surprise to me that women are capable of anything, have no limits, except ones they place upon themselves, and are essential to our families, communities, businesses, and future. This I have know for years, but what dawned on me last night was that it is because of these very individuals and those before them, who have redefined what it means to be a woman in our society, that my job as a father to a 7 year old little girl, is and will be infinitely easier………. and for that, I Thank You All !
Below are a few examples. To view all 20 women in the current issue of US Airways Magazine, click HERE
It is just around the corner and already the nights are beginning to dip into the 50’s. When you walk outside in the morning and are met with a coolness instead of the thick humidity we have endured for the past several months in the South, my mind instantly floods with the potential activities that the coming weather is synonymous with. Camping, hiking, pumpkin carving, leaf pile jumping, fires, and roasting marshmallows in the backyard.
Oh and Fly Fishing of course. I don’t even Fly Fish myself, mainly because I so thoroughly enjoy capturing those who immerse themselves in the outdoors. Years ago, my passion for engaging in outdoor sports and adventure transitioned into documenting outdoor sports and adventure. The camera and the need to create and capture the essence of the activity, surroundings, and people, became necessary to my fulfillment of the activity itself. I find it it to be the perfect blend. It is impossible to document outdoor adventure and sports or the landscape itself, without being in it, taking certain risks, and engaging with it. Whether it is climbing a rock face to get a better perspective, hiking several miles to a certain location, kayaking down a coastal river, or wading in a cold mountain stream, the physical effort it takes to be there, the vulnerability to the natural elements, and the ability to visually capture the experience or surroundings, perfectly fulfills my creative needs along with my need for adventure and the outdoors. I absolutely love my job !
If you do fly fish and need a guide, John Monroe is a great one, but more importantly, he is a super nice guy that you will enjoy spending a day out on the river with.
I don’t claim to know the right answer to this question and suspect it is different for every individual, but it has plagued me and so many other photographers for years. The question at hand….. Do we specialize and create a niche with our photography or not? To be honest, I have been picky my entire career and for the most part have been very selective about the work I show and the jobs I accept. I have never wanted to water down a web site or portfolio with images that I thought a client might want to see or hire me for, if it would somehow reduce the quality of work that it was among.
For all intents and purposes I completely stand behind that philosophy, however as I mature in my career and creativity, the fact that I like to push myself to be challenged in shooting different subject matter, grow creatively, and have a passion for creating and problem solving in general, is hard to ignore. It also seems counter intuitive to the way I was educated in a liberal arts and Jesuit tradition in both high school and college, which emphasizes a love of learning, well roundedness, and critical thinking. Who would have thought that having a wide variety of talent and experience to bring to the table and a passion to learn and challenge one self to try new things and deliver the best results, regardless of the task, would be a disadvantage.
I completely understand that to be great at any one thing, an individual must invest an incredible amount of time and effort to pursuing that education or craft, but I wonder if as a society we have taken it a little too far. Witnessing the intensity and training of some of my sons teammates in particular sports at the early age of 8 is a prime example, and I find it sad. It is determined for so many children at an early age by their parents, what sport they will play and dedicate their lives to. In China, children who show promise and talent in a particular sport or area of education are plucked from their families as early as 5 years old to train year round. In a global market, those are exactly the individuals that we and our children will compete against at every level and wonder if trying to keep up, compete, and follow the mold of success like the Tiger Woods of our generation, is the wisest choice. Yes they might have far superior training in one area of expertise. Yes they may have played a sport so many hours for so many years that their bodies operate like machines on instinct, or they might have studied difficult math problems and equations from the age of 3 that they can make sense of any complex code and command their salary for a job at the NSA, and yes, I have absolutely gone a little further down a road then I anticipated, but my point is this. As much as I respect the Peyton Mannings of this world, or the Frank Lloyd Wrights, or Warren Buffetts, the reality is, most of us are not in a position to win a Superbowl, are trying to build the most creative and unique home in the world, or have the means to seek Warren Buffetts investing advice to make millions. The majority of us simply want to seek satisfaction out of our work, do a job well, love and be loved, and live a quality life.
I am not sure what grand revelation I have come to, or whether I will brand myself as a specialist or not, but what I do know is that the friends that I enjoy the most are those that I can hold an intelligent conversation with about any subject matter, the best solutions to specific problems often come from people who are able to look at it from a different perspective, drawing from a broader knowledge base, and as much as I hold myself to an extremely high standard and would love nothing more than to be the absolute best at one thing, I believe the sacrifice of not experiencing all the diversity that life has to offer, as well as the time with my family in the pursuit of perfection, is far too much to sacrifice.
This image is from a trip I took to San Paulo, Brazil to visit a friend. For whatever reason I like this photo, probably in some respect to the fact that it is chaotic, which is what San Paulo feels like. It is like New York city on steroids and is the most populous city in the Americas. I happen to fly in the day the airline workers went on strike and ended up standing in the customs line for over 5 hours. With no way to communicate with my friend on the other side, I finally emerged through customs with no one to greet me.
Weighing my options, and not able to speak any Portuguese, I exchanged some currency and finally decided to show a cab driver the address I had written down on a piece of paper. It was then that I experienced the most thrilling and nerve racking cab ride of my life, complete with motorcycle messengers racing in between traffic and kicking the cab if it dared impede their progress. They are commonly referred to as “cachorros locos,” Portuguese for “mad dogs” and rightfully so. One or two die every day doing their job. Surprisingly, I made it to my friends place in one piece. As interesting and cultural as San Paulo is, the ability to escape the chaos in a couple hours to some of the most beautiful beaches and small coastal towns in the world is what I found most appealing about the city.