September 27, 2006

American History | Paranoia | Tokyo Rose

I lived in Chicago and had been to Toguri's many times, as a kid and adult. It wasn't until my late teens did I find out who this Tokyo Rose really was. Even back then did I realize the lameness of my education when it came to American History.

Here is to Iva Toguri D’Aquino, her persistance and lessons to seek out the truth.

D’Aquino, Convicted as Tokyo Rose, Dies at 90 - New York Times

September 25, 2006


Music | Caravan by Ben Webster

It's so gratifying to be able to deliver prints again. There is so much care put into these pieces, it is almost sad to see them go. In the last week, I've delivered 3 images to clients. Today, I picked up one from the framers. I got to admire it for a few minutes before sending it out via fed ex. Last week, 2 images were printed and delivered. I got to see one of them out of context, it was being displayed during a couple's wedding and reception that I was covering.

The images are the same, it is the process that has changed. I feel so much more connected to what I am delivering. While shooting a lot of editorial since 2001, everything I delivered was electronic. A website of images for the client to select, followed by a CD or ftp to deliver the file. Shooting weddings got me back to delivering prints, but prints made with no love, no emotion. Sending my files out to a lab for someone else's interpretation to send my files thru a machine to make the prints, on paper that has the personality of a plastic utensil.

I used the word sensual to describe some of the prints I've made on fine art papers to a comrade who remembers the days of the darkroom and fibre based prints. I believe those days are back, full force and multiplied by 10. The tactile and aromatic senses of creating the print are no longer, but the ability to create dimensional, tonal images with depth and to be palpable in the hands are here to stay. It is nice to be home again...

September 22, 2006

Work of Art...

Music | Jagged Threads by Susie Ibarra Trio

In between sessions, I pulled the model off to the side and asked if she would pose for me. Timing was perfect as we got a good 20 minutes or so to work together without the client or other distractions. We clicked surprisingly well considering that we didn't have much intro time and she really had no idea where I wanted to go with the shoot. Actually, I didn't really have a direction either, other than working with the natural light and form of her body. I know the light well as I've used this studio several times in the past. And seeing the shape of this woman's body, I really wanted to get together. This is only one of several amazing shots we created together...

September 19, 2006

Magic... again...

Music | Simple Things by Zero 7

It's 1 a.m. and I just finsihed a 13 x 17 inch print on a fine 100% rag paper. The image is of a nude I posted earlier, but to see it this size, on this paper, I'm now wide awake. Not only are the tones and shades and highlights and shadows, but the texture and the feel of this print simply beautiful.

Last week I finished a series of images for a portfolio bound in an album. As each image came out of the printer, I couldn't help but to be facinated. Images used to magically appear in a tray of developer. Now they come slowly out of the shadows of the printer and presents itself in the light. It is the same anticipation, the wait, the result.

September 14, 2006

over easy...

I felt compelled to write about this simple deed, only because it has been so long since I've had this type of "treat". I got up, and made breakfast. Not just cereal with milk, or a breakfast bar, or even oatmeal. This morning, I had eggs, sausage and toast with coffee (at home and not a café!). I can't remember the last time I've done this! I guess it helped to have all this at hand, I did recently get this stuff from the grocery... I have 2 more rounds of sausage, but need to get more eggs!

September 11, 2006


An amazing animation video...


The Conscientious Deer...

Last minute plans are sometimes the best. I know that our fantastic weather days are numbered, so I've been putting in some heavy miles since I got the bike back together. Yesterday morning, I got up feeling well, considering the night before I thought I was really ill. Made a call to my buddy Bob to see if he would want to go out to Windy Ridge, a little more than a hop skip and a jump to Mount Saint Helens, but closer than many people ever get to that mountain. Bob was all ready on the road when I called, but he answered his phone while at a stop.

By around 8:30 or so, we hit I5 north to Hwy 14 in Washington. We talked about doing this trip earlier in the week, so we had a good idea on how to navigate the back roads. Our first stop was in Carson, where we topped off our tanks to take the journey to Windy Ridge.

"You meet the nicest people on a a motorcycle." That was the tag line of Honda, when they brought their motorcycles back in the 60's to sell to the American market. So true are those words. We met a family of bikers. A mom, dad and daughter trio, all riding sport bikes. The mom and dad sported bumblebee GSXR's and the daughter was on a beatiful blue version of Bob's bike, SV650. We graciously accepted a great map of the area from the Dad who knew these roads like the back of his hand.

After leaving Carson, north on Wind River Highway, in the distance I saw a strange shape that was moving. I quickly slowed and moved away into the opposite direction lane that was open. A very good sized deer calmly looked at me as I passed. The deer stayed to the side of the road until Bob passed, then scampered off across the road. Bob had just sent me photos of a biker who hit a deer and totalled his bike. He was well enough to take photos of the ugly event and we both had the images of the bike in our heads as we travelled on...

Around Curley Creek Road to FS25, we stopped at a very dramatic view of Mt. St. Helens from a distance. We again met up with the family riders, along with a slew of other bikers. It is such a cool feeling to see more motorcycles on road than cages.

Up FS25 to FS99 led us to our destination. The drop off on the un-railed roads didn't affect me until the way down, where a bad move could cost you the ultimate price. I'm so sure the scenery was amazing, but both up and the way down, I couldn't focus on anything but the road. Once we reached Windy Ridge, the view of Spirit Lake was just as astounding. The fallen trees are still clogging up a good portion of the lake, after over 26 years. New growth has made up for years of desolation, but you can still feel the power of what happened there.

The ride home was trying. The constant focus to form and technique down the challenging twists and turns put a toll on both B and I. We took a different route thru Couger, which was the only place in the area to feed our bikes with fuel again. Back to I5 near Woodlawn and the last sprint home.

We made the trip safely, but I always will think of the deer who allowed it to happen...

September 04, 2006

Photography and Motorcycling...

Music | Ode to Tip by Fred Anderson

For the past few days, I've been thinking of converting a motorcycle bag to carry my digital slr and a few lenses. Ratspike, a fellow rider and photographer was thinking the same. Since getting this printer, I've found much of what I photographed with my point and shoot is just not going to make it if I want to print large photographs. During morning coffee, we talked about what sort of bag would be best. A tank bag, tail bag, or what I ended up with, just a normal camera bag slung over my shoulder. I didn't think this would work out because of the weight, but if I'm only carrying one body and 2 primes, that might be managable.

So to test my basic idea, I went out on the bike this evening and rode to an industrial area where I knew I'd find some photography subjects. The bag stayed in place, and yet did not weigh down my shoulder where all of the weight was bearing. One lens mounted to the body, another lens in a seperate partition... easy out, easy in and the bag can always stay on me!

Having the ability to tie 2 very important aspects of my life together is going to be a creative blow out. I've all ready often ridden thru small towns with great old western architecture. Riding thru industry, there are so many textures I'd love to add to my library. Now I can ride and stop and photograph things that are not otherwise easily accesible.

On my short jaunt tonite...

I can see with my minds eye the once turquoise building in its heyday, now sun faded to its natural colour, only leaving traces of its history.

a scene out of a movie by my favorite director, Wim Wenders

A remarkable acheivement of hand holding this shot and being able to capture all the tonality. 1/4 second, wide open.

None of these photos would have been captured this evening without the motorcycle. I'm looking forward to more riding and more photography.

September 01, 2006


At this very café where I sit, I just made my very first transaction from an output from the 4800 printer. My first sale was of this image...

The print reproduced beautifully on thick stock matte paper. Though it was a sale, and though I can easily make another, as I was packaging the print up, I didn't feel remorse, but sad, but a good kind of melancholy. At this point, I'll be getting more materials to keep on printing. More ink tanks, more paper... more paper... more paper!
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