Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I am desperate for another project, and nothing is coming to me. I've had ideas, but ideas and a buck 50 will buy you a cup of coffee. I've looked at a thousand websites searching for a spark of an idea. I've looked at the work at all 50 of the 2011 Critical Mass winners. I search for something that is not derivative of me or others. So, today, desperate, frustrated, I packed up the Super Graphic and drove around just searching for a photograph. Anything, and sadly I found nothing. The high clouds, which beautifully diffused the sun when I was packing my gear disappeared once I left my house allowing the harsh contrasty sun to dominate any potentially decent photograph. Especially after having been in Tuscany and Paris last month I'm feeling creatively stifled, and sometimes I just hate where I live. It's so culturally unalive and uninspiring. To demonstrate my frustration, this is the first blog post where I omit an image. Bahhhhh.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Yesterday with Fluorescent lights that I purchased at Home Depot I made these two portraits of my friend Herman Johnson. I met Herman at a photography class at Long Beach City College. We collaborated on a project and have since become friends. I have a lot of respect for Herman. He's been through a lot, and done time. Yet, through it all he's one of the most positive people I know.
I photographed him with both the Super Graphic 135mm F 4.7, and these two examples here with a Nikon 50mm F 1.4 with an adapter on the Canon 5D Mark II. I am very pleased with the results. I'm also liking, even though it's been done again and again, the cyan-blue color cast of the Fluorescent bulbs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Memphis, TN

Last September Sydney was working in Memphis, Tennessee, so I decided to visit and keep her company . We had some good barbecue, both wet and dry, went to Graceland, which was not as tacky as I had assumed, and spent an evening on Beale Street in downtown Memphis listening to blues. We also took a long walk along the Mississippi. When Sydney worked I drove around Memphis, and West Memphis, Arkansas looking for pictures. I'm in love with my Super Graphic, so I travel with it while the 5D collects dust in the cabinet. I didn't make a lot of exposures, perhaps 15 total, but the ones I did make I am quite please with. We were lucky with the weather. Michael Sebastian who lived in Memphis for about 4 years wrote to me that in summer that part of the south could be as hot as the gates of hell. But we got a break with the temperature--it never rose above 75 and neither did the humidity. Although it poured the day we left, most days there was these high light clouds that illuminated the Mississippi Delta with sweet diffused light. I loved photographing there, and if get the chance to return for a couple of months I'll do a project called "chillin." Folks just hanging out waiting for what comes next. Here's sampling of some of the images I like best.
The day before we departed I was photographing amidst this horrible dilapidated demolished area that had at one time been the location of a convenience store off of highway 51 just north of Memphis. I was bending over my camera case to grab something and in the corner of my eye I spot something very small with 4 legs walking towards me. My senses told me it was a rat, so I jump back and let out a loud sissy scream. Turns out the rat was a scrawny kitten not over 6 weeks old. Well that kitten won the lotto, and is now living in Lakewood eating 3 squares a day. I thought he was a boy, so we named him, what else, Elvis. Turns out my understanding of feline genitalia is lacking, and Elvis is not a boy. However, Elvis is keeping her name.