Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Caddo Lake: Refelections

"I would hate to come to end of life
 to find out that I've not lived."  .....Henry David Thoreau.

Over the years, I've discovered that my moods change.  I don't know why but sometimes a little bit of melancholia slips in.  It's painful but it's part of my process.  While it doesn't define me, it reminds me that I am not in balance within myself.  So, I force my mind to go down a different path.  A place less traveled by but I have to jar it into leaving the familiar rut.  I choose to reflect and create.

Through the viewfinder, I am forced to notice the important details.  I can frame each little bit of life and see how precious the elements that comprise the whole truly are.  The viewfinder enables me to see.  It detracts me from my melancholia.  I can see and feel the vibrancy of life.  I renew and reconnect with the universe around me.

All the components are there right in front of me.  Life moves on and I am suddenly part of its current.  I flow with it and let it take me to a new destinations, unfamiliar places.  The drudgery of the workplace is gone.  The unwarranted criticisms and judgement fade along the upstream banks.

This is how I see it.  This is what I feel.  I choose to share this with my fellow sojourners.  Find the solace in your life and enjoy it. Renew yourself.

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's a Dog Life

Ever since I've been married, our children have enjoyed owning a pet.  My family loves dogs. Truthfully, I was never a big fan.  Seven years ago, though, we got a blue healer, Buckley, and he and I have bonded quite nicely.  In honor of Buckley, I decided to visit other canine friends at the Fort Worth Dog Show this past weekend.  It was an incredible pageant and truly a labor of love.  Dogs, owners and handlers all working together.

There was plenty to catch a photographer's attention.  These dogs were accustomed to the paparazzi.  It was like the Oscars, Emmy's, and Golden Globes for canines all rolled up into one stage moment.  Truly nothing to bark at.  It truly gave me me, well for lack of a better term time to umm, paws.

These creatures had more groomers than a Toddler & Tiaras television production.  It was an incredible spectacle to witness.  Dogs and groomers who looked like dogs.

How do you actually pick a winner, a true champion from all these beauties?

Portrait photography is truly not my thing, but if I had to choose between taking photos of ugly babies and children or photographing a pet, I think the pets would win paws down.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Telling The Story

There's a lot that goes into taking one simple photographic frame.  Sometimes catching the details of the process is almost as much fun.  It's a process of recording the elements that lead to the story.  In this case we were headed to Zabriske Point in Death Valley.  Originally, it was an assignment in capturing the beautiful landscape at sunrise.

Mysteriously, I found myself getting distracted by the details of the moment.  It seems like we were surrounded by photographers all waiting their turn at capturing their masterpiece at sunrise.

As I looked for my best shot and surveyed the landscape through my viewfinder,  I carefully crafted what really was the spirit of Zabriske Point.  It was about the experience of capturing that fraction of a second of perfection.  Something that truly alludes us every day.  It's a special irreplaceable kind of euphoria free of criticism.

In the end, the perfect image was the one that was right in front of me.  It contained all of the perfect elements.  Most importantly it told the story that I wanted to convey.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's the Details

It's just a regular town.  There's really nothing special about it, unless you look.  It's taking the time to look that's the most difficult.  If you  pause and slow down, you will notice the details.

Living entails enjoying the simple details.  We fail to notice them because we only care about the big picture.  Absorb the details.  Draw from them and enjoy them.  Reflect on them.   It's the details that makes life meaningful and special.  Without them our lives are sterile and as boring as a physicians office.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It seems like I've kind of been melancholic lately.  Let me just say that for me, it seems, that spring arrives just in time.  Although winters aren't long in Texas, they can linger.  This year was particularly difficult.

For all of you that follow my blog.  Here's a small bouquet of gratitude from me to you.  Enjoy!  Spring is here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Still Life: Old Bowling Pins

For whatever reason, I've always been enamored by details.  Actually, I am fixated by them.  There are images that I can't forget; sometimes I even obsess with them.  

Photography allows me the freedom to obsess/experiment as much as I want.  So I change the lighting, I move the subject(s), subtract out details, and even change mediums.  Ultimately, the image, my vision is in my image.

My wife, Kim purchased these old bowling pins.  I related to the pins;  old, used, down, but waiting to be put back up and played again.  There's nothing wrong with these pins.  They are functional and have plenty of character.  They are full of history and if they could speak I wonder what they would say.

There are pins in our lives.  Some have been removed from our alleys and are out of play.  They are still pins; some say for display.  It's all a matter of perspective, I say.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Town

We can't always travel so it's equally as important to capture the mundane.  Simple ordinary things we witness each day, presented in a new light, makes our routines different.  We take time to pause and reflect;  what was once ordinary becomes extraordinary.

This series is on my home town, Keller.  Its an average place but in my mind extraordinary.  It's hometown USA.  What does it hurt to see things differently?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grey Days in Zion

Everyone loves the sunshine but few love the grey days.  For the most part we shun them and write them off.  Had we done that in Zion, we would have missed the splendor that we ultimately captured with our cameras.  Truthfully,  the camera teaches us the value of the grey day.

Grey days have their own magic.  Colors come to life. Yet everything seems to slow down.  Places like Zion showcase their splendor to a limited audience.  We were fortunate to be their without the sunshine.

For those of you who know me, you understand how much I truly enjoy sunshine.  However, photography has forced me to appreciate grey.  Think about how many days we waste wishing away the grey.  Maybe we should all pick up a camera and enjoy them.

There is some grey in my life right now.  The sun is not shining.  It's time for me to pick up my camera again.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Path in Zion

If you can find a path with no obstacles,
It probably doesn't lead anywhere.
...Frank A. Clark

All journeys have obstacles.  Some have more than others.  If you really want the journey's treasure, you have to be willing to find the path that takes you to your destination.  Obstacles are part of the journey.  Without them, our lives would be monotonous. 

How we handle the obstacles we encounter is part of figuring out our map.  We choose how we will get there obstacles and all.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Zion National Park

The irony of photography is that great equipment does not necessarily equate to stunning images.  Ultimately, it's always about composition and perception.  How you convey what you feel is equally as important.  It's not just about being right or even perfect.

After nearly twenty-three years of marriage, raising a family and several pets, I know that I am far from right or perfect.  Photography, for just a fraction of second, provides me the benefit of the doubt.  I can be almost right.  That's enough for me.  It's the closest to the pin that I will ever get or even aspire to get.  My collection of seconds is my tribute to perfection.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celebrate Yourself

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. 
...Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)

For years I've repressed the me in me so that I could say the corporate we.  I indulged corporations to smother me and all the while the me wanted to be free.  Free to create and speak and celebrate the me that I really am.

Today I celebrate myself and sing.  Whether its finance or photography, I celebrate my God given creativity.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More from Death Valley

Life is full of paradoxes and mysteries. My trip to Death Valley and Zion National Parks resulted from a casual conversation with Harry. We made plans right up until the day before I lost my job at Commercial Metals Company. This journey was more important than the death of my career.

Things do not happen by chance. There are reasons for our casual meetings. Nature is no exception. From the photographer's perspective, he captures not only what he see's but what he feels at the moment of capture. You do not have to be religious to experience religious moments.

We are but a speck in the universe. The universe is here for us to enjoy during our sojourn.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Death Valley Adventure

There are all kinds of journeys we experience in our lives. The best ones are with friends. Even better yet are the ones we take with friends made on a journey.

Several months ago, I met Harry. We both were attending a workshop in Palenville, NY at Dan Burkholder's ( studio. We became friends instantly and since then we've embarked on several photographic adventures together. (I am sure that I wouldn't have taken these without Harry's insistence.) Here's a view of Harry at work capturing sunrise in Death Valley.

We all need friends to accompany us along this journey. I am one of the lucky ones.

Come and join me on my journey.