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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sign of the Times

As a frustrated, and currently inactive writer, I often lament the passing of long-form journalism and use it as my excuse for inactivity.

Then, out of the blue, the "Old Grey Lady" publishes an astonishing piece online that not only revives the form, but redefines it for modern times by including video and stills, in addition to brilliant writing. Could this be the future? I sure hope so.

The piece is about an avalanche - I won't say more because you should read and view it for yourself.

I can't say I read this piece because it is more than that, it is to be experienced. Experience it I did and felt my pulse quicken in awe and with glee.

To paraphrase Dirty Harry, " go ahead, make your day."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

You're kidding, right?

Today I received a voice mail from a well known supplier of marketing services to the photo industry.

They have a special promotion on right now "and I'd like to tell you about it". I know of this promotion because I have received two emails about it already. Actually, it didn't sound half bad and I was actually contemplating using this service at such an affordable price. Even at full price I was thinking about them because I just hate doing this.

I know, I know, it has to be done because even the best photographer in the world needs to more than just spread the word through their work. Having someone do it for me removes the cringe factor I would feel inside when doing this "necessary" task. It's not that I look down on this activity, but it's just not me.

Hence the notion of someone doing it for me.

Then I received this voice mail. The people who want to undertake my marketing have Courtney the Valley Girl doing their marketing.

Enough said.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Appointment Notice

I'd be remiss if I didn't introduce the newest member of the team. This is Frances, First Assistant extraordinaire.

Frances is adept with many camera systems, lighting techniques and is a Photoshop wiz. Her production capabilities are not short of logistical genius.

Now, if only she could stop yawning and stay awake long enough to make coffee and answer the phone.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Riviera Maya Resort

Back in the saddle again just south of Cancun. After numerous jobs in the desert this year it feels good to be back in such familiar surroundings.

I'm trying out the Cambo Technical camera with a Phase One back for this and after a bit of fiddling I'm getting the hang of it. This was with a Schneider 35 XL lens and it's lovely.Such rich rendering from the Phase back and the Schneider.

The cruise ship passing by on the horizon was just a lucky beak for this shot, taken from the roof of an adjacent building.

The original processing was in Capture One for the heavy lifting and then with adjustments from Lightroom, and then finally in Photoshop. A lot of work, but worth it I think.

The Cambo forces a very different way of working which I found a bit tedious at first, but you get used to the slow and methodical pace after a while.The results are sure worth it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The lull before the storm

Three days of weather just like this before Hurricane Isaac came visiting. Then, three days of howling winds, flying debris and monsoon-like rain, and watching more Law & Order reruns than are good for you. Who knew the Weather Girl on Peruvian TV wore a bikini? I do now.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tofino, B.C.

Far from the desert in this post. Tofino is truly "end of the road", in spirit, as well as physically as far west as you can drive across Canada before falling off into the Pacific and presumably ending up in Japan. At least that's the punch line of a joke by the local surfers. Home to great surf, commercial Salmon fishers, black bear, cougar and a variety of deadbeats and aging hippies who call this place home. I feel right at home with my peers here. This is our third job here in about as many years and the attraction hasn't worn off. Reminds me of Monterey in Steinbeck's day, or at least as I imagine it. We had to cram a lot in during our time here because we arrived two days late after I fell sick thanks to some contaminated chicken at a fast food place in Victoria, the closest international airport, a 6 hour drive away. I spent two days in a local hotel thinking I was going to die, but that was okay, because I really wanted to!Anyway, e coli notwithstanding, everything went well, the weather was as as great as the people and the only Black Bear I saw was as I zoomed by doing about 70. Because of its hippie-haven past and surfer mecca present, Tofino is very Eco friendly and with the plushest resorts to be found on all of Vancouver Island, you can graduate to Eco chic for a mere several hundred dollars a night. Although this little town almost shuts down over the winter, the resorts claim that there is no off season. Winter time with its brutal rain and wind becomes Storm Watching Season and as the heavy weather coming down from the Bering Sea pummels the coast. I'm sure it's spectacular to watch - from the comfort of your ocean view room complete with fireplace, lots of glass and piped-in Sarah McLachlan. The last comment is true, I quite enjoyed it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rodeo Drive

I'm normally not one for social commentary, I'll leave that to much more talented people like Sebastio Salgado. I couldn't resist this though. In behind the designer stores on Rodeo Drive is an alley for deliveries and such. This is where the little people deliver merchandise, pick up garbage - all out of site of the shoppers and tourists. This is also where the glue sniffers and the winos go, but we Photoshopped them out - respect their privacy and all - as we also blurred the plates on the cars and the name on the van. Happy shopping.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Edris House, Palm Springs

The Edris House was built in 1953 by E. Stuart Williams, who also designed and built The Sinatra House,and is a wonderful example of Modernism and the Palm Springs lifestyle. Our thanks to JR, the current owner and careful curator of this masterpiece.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hyatt Palm Springs sunrise

It's dawn at Starbucks on Palm Canyon and I'm sitting with Larry, Darren, Tim et al, and working out the day's shooting schedule when I see them out of the corner of my eye.

A sixtyish couple: she, tall and thin, very elegant looking in linen slacks, plain silk blouse and a discreet pearl choker. He is about five foot four, two hundred and seventy pounds plus, wearing a muscle style T shirt and the loudest Hawaiian shorts I have ever seen.

How do people as different as them even know each other, I think? What brought them together in the first place? Was he a silver-tongued smooth talker, while she was painfully shy? Is that too obvious and simplistic? Probably.

I'm engrossed in them, projecting all kinds of scenarios about their initial meeting. "What do you think?" Huh? "Are you even listening? What do you think?" About what? "We're were thinking of not working today and just goofing off." Very funny guys, I'm not in that much of a fog, let's go.

As we stood up and left, I realized that I actually was in that much of a fog so I went inside and ordered another coffee to go. As we walked up the street, past the T shirt shops and for lease signs that are so familiar on this section of Palm Canyon, I couldn't help but wonder what Palm Springs is all about. I certainly don't get it. It's okay, but no big deal in my mind - unlike Beverly Hills where we had just left after a couple of days and I think is one of the most mindless places I've ever been.

Back in my room, packed for the day and looking out from my balcony, I took this shot. It will always remind me of my mystery couple.