Tag Archives: portraits

world leaders and me.

| currently listening to: Better than Blue, Goner, Rock ‘N’ Roll Never Forgets, 2008 | LINK

the photography:

this past week i found myself placed smack dab in the middle of a scenario i never thought i would ever find myself. i pinched myself awake and realized that in a room filled with people i was forced to choose between photographing a dozen world leaders/celebrities or standing there starstruck and slack jawed like some rube who had just wandered out of the corn field. well… i decided to do the professional thing. i took photos. gobs of them. then i sat there and stammered like a blithering idiot.

these photos were taken while working for the Chrysler Group LLC at the 2012 World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. i spent two days covering famous leaders, actors, and activists. it was, easily, one of the most rewarding assignments of my career. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Jackson Browne, Sean Penn, Petra Nemcova, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Jody Williams, Richie Daley, Muhammed Yunus, and many others passed in front of my lens and within arms length. calling it surreal would be a gross understatement.

but beyond the glitz and glamour, the famous people and the metal detectors, i walked away from the assignment with a feeling i hadn’t felt in a long time. after listening to everyone speak about making a difference in the world i realized that i haven’t done a damn thing for my community in a long long time. it is truly humbling to sit and listen to complete strangers talk about how to change the world and then present you with solid proof that it can be done. and not just ‘change the world’ in that awesome pre-game speech by your high school football coach. i mean ‘change the world’ but tearing down that Berlin wall ‘change the world’. it was a sobering experience to say the least.

enjoy the photos. my favorite is the stand alone shot of Jody Williams and her pink shoes. she was one of the nicest people i have ever met. and a Vermonter to boot. awesome. also, Jimmy Carter’s hands. they are incredibly telling.

i am still in awe that i was given the opportunity to take them. the entire week was so moving that it’s time to pay it all forward, time to give back, time to do something for someone else. get ready chicago, consider me motivated.

the music:

Goner. what can i say about one of my favorite bands? well… i am biased. i did design their third record cover and i did donate to the recording of their upcoming release via a kickstarter project thread.

BUT THAT BEING SAID… they really are one of the best bands that you have never heard of. pop sensibilities via keyboard, accordion, bass, and drums – no guitars (well ok, there are a couple of tracks here and there with 6 strings on them but not really…). harmonizing vocals, incredibly heavy rhythms, and glorious choruses keep these north carolinians on the edge of what makes indie rock / college radio relevant. they make you tap your toes and sing along. joyously.

love it.

tractor parade

| currently listening to: Go Ahead, The Rosebuds, Loud Planes Fly Low, 2011 | LINK

the photography:

i grew up in a small town not unlike many small towns across rural america. Charlotte, Vermont is a shrinking farming community that has morphed into a rural suburb of Vermont’s largest metropolitan area. Charlotte is a sleepy town with an interesting population that is made up of old school Vermonters, long-term transplants, and flat landers who have recently found themselves living next to the 13th largest lake in the US.

Charlotte is interestingly divided into two distinct groups of people; those who shop at Marble’s Store (Eastside) and those who shop at the Old Brick Store (Westside). It’s not a bicoastal ‘Rap Battle’ but more of a quick determination of what side of the local K-8 elementary/middle school you live on. Does this representation of the locals cause a rift in the population? Not really. But it does lead to some interesting bus routes once you get to high school.

As a child of the eastside growing up, Marble’s Store was my Mecca. Less than 1/4 mile down a rather big hill was the key to my summer as a young adult. I could meet my east side friends there, buy a candy bar, a Mountain Dew in a glass bottle, pick up the paper for my old man, and be ready for the adventure of biking to whomever’s house was designated for the whiffle ball game that day. It was a meeting place and a place of great comfort to those of us who looked at Marble’s Store as the center of town. It was as if Marble’s was placed on this earth to be the VFW for anyone between the ages of 10-14 complete with cheap beer, movie rentals, and various animals, animated townspeople, and local legends floating around at all times. Obviously we only took advantage of the cheap beer later on in our lives but you get the picture.

Two weeks ago marked the 11th straight year that Marble’s has been the home of the Charlotte Tractor parade. What started out as a gathering the first year when a dozen tractors paraded outside of the store in the fall of 2000, has blossomed into the fall assembly of the year for the town with more than 130 tractors prancing down the street.

A small petting zoo, food trucks, t-shirts, and plenty of people watching make the tractor parade the perfect stop for an 18 month old. This year Teddy began what I hope will be a long standing tradition of visiting Grammy and Squid (yes, my dad’s nickname is Squid) during October to see the locals and collectors from afar pull their tractors right through the center of my young adulthood and beyond. It truly feels great to pass on my childhood places and experiences to my son and to my wife. Charlotte, Vermont will always be home to me. and I love making it feel like home to them.

the music:

My goodness. I could talk about the Rosebuds for pages and pages. In the beginning, they were a jangling garage rock trio with melodies ripped more from Buddy Holly than the Ramones. These days their music is much more than Elvis Costello rave-ups and the band has expanded to cover more than just schoolyard relationships as they have grown. With five full length records and a smattering of singles, 7 inches, and one EP, the Rosebuds have solidified their place in modern Indie Rock Lore.

The key to their success? I mean beyond the fact that Ivan Rosebud has a voice that will melt even the staunchest hipster… The key lies within the relationship of the two leaders of the band, Ivan and Kelly. Once married, now divorced, their adult lives have been played out over lyrics, during live shows, and worn on their sleeves.

Their newest record is a collection of statements that ring like questions. Statements to each other, to their fans, to their individual futures, to their collective future as a band, and to no one in particular. Go buy it. It’s beautiful. The audience is not questioning them as a creative entity. We know that they will go on.

moving photography, stylish

| currently listening to: Anchored, Starlight Conspiracy, Sounds Like A Silver Holler, 1996 | LINK

the photography:
so recently i have been broadening my photographic horizons. it’s hard working in an industry (automotive) where you don’t the opportunity to work with a bevy of different scenarios/models/makeup arrays/fashion styles. a car, is in fact at the end of the day, just a car. rubber, glass, and steel. and after four years of photographing over 546 cars in the office (not counting the endless number of cars at auto shows etc) it’s good to find something else to aim your lens at.

now if i were to start blabbing on about an interesting niche in the photographic world it would most definitely be ‘fashion photography’. sigh. these guys have all the fun. beautiful models, amazing and expensive lighting rigs, top notch sets, wads of cash falling out of their pockets, etc… life is good for the fashion photographer. so why not give it a shot?

this exact opportunity arose in the form of my friend Katie Fazio. Katie has started a great little business venture as a personal stylist and as a strong voice for those who are interested in their own personal fashion. her blog can be found here: Katie Keeps it Simple. the above photos were taken on a sunny day in downtown Chicago at Katie’s request so that she could blog about her outfit. i took the opportunity to add my own ‘naturally lit’ style to Katie’s fashion blog and to be honest, i think it works. of course, there will be plenty more opportunities to capture what Katie is wearing so i’ll blog more when i do. and if ever given a budget to pull it off, i would create a seriously bad-ass 18 page spread in Vogue complete with 42 bikini clad background dancers, a tiger, and at least one candle opera all set on top of the Taj Mahal.

but for now, i’m intrigued to take more fashion-forward photos.

the music:
Starlight Conspiracy were one of those bands when i was growing up that changed how i looked at music. up until around the time i was 14 or so, music was just a companion to what i was doing. it wasn’t just white noise but it wasn’t a soundtrack yet to my emotional ups and downs. and it wasn’t music’s fault. i was young and interested in whatever everyone else was listening to. i hadn’t let music in.

and somewhere around 14 i heard (not in any particular order) bands like Fugazi, Morphine, Nirvana, Uncle Tupelo, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Tool, Graham Parsons, Rage Against the Machine, and Billy Bragg. Out of my car went all the generic hippie jam crap that i was listening to at the time and in flooded the rawk, the soul-searching, and moving.

when i was 18 i went to the record release show for alternative local darlings/shoegazing heros Starlight Conspiracy’s ‘Sounds like silver holler’. it was one of the most kick-ass shows i had ever been to. they ripped through 10-12 songs before announcing that this would be their last tune. immediately, guitarist Denny Donovan (Drowningman, Slush, 5 Seconds Expired) decided to hang upside down from the rafters using only his feet. bassist Shawn Flanigan followed suit and decided to pry the bass strings off of his Rickenbacker with a drum stick. drummer Brad Searles crashed and banged his way through the song keeping the beat and beating his sticks to splinters. and the ever shy, ever cute (my first real rock girl crush) singer Jan Tofferi stood by the side of the stage and watched the carnage from afar.

it was amazing. i was moved. life changed. live music was never the same. in a good way.

seeing old friends

| currently listening to: Governor’s Daughter, The Rosebuds, Compulation: Volume One (Pox World Empire), 2003 | LINK

the photography:
so last night i had the privilege to see some of my favorite musicians perform on one of the biggest stages in Chicago (other than Lallapolooza). The Rosebuds and Bon Iver rocked my world at the Chicago Theater last night and I was lucky enough to be invited to hang out with the bands before they went onstage. Humblebrag aside, Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, the leading peeps in The Rosebuds, are old friends of mine and as their careers have blossomed, I have been lucky enough to witness their journey.

back in 2003, my friend Bumbalo (everyone should have a friend named Bumbalo) called to see if i would like to see the band with whom he was touring with and their subsequent headliners, Superchunk. ‘The Rosebuds’? i said… sure, why not. do you need a place to stay while in Boston? and so began a friendship that has lasted a number of different apartments, at least 40+ concerts (as in i’ve seen them that many times), four different states, some design and photo work (i designed the insert to The Rosebuds debut release on vinyl and i shot the photo they used on their first EP band photo), marriages, kids, divorces, playing as the live band at my surprise birthday party, living in the same city, working in the same comedy troupe, and through their numerous drummers (i remember at least 6 of them…).

and almost 10 years down the line, my relationship with Ivan and Kelly had culminated into an amazing opportunity to see them play in front of 3,500 excited concertgoers. and it was fucking epic. i brought along my 5D and my trusty 28mm wide angle lens. I wasn’t there to take concert photos and i didn’t really want to document the whole show for publication. i was there to listen and to watch and to enjoy the music. photos are for work sometimes. the pics posted here are the few that i had the chance to snap.

and did i mention that Bon Iver was the headliner? i met justin vernon about 5 years ago when he toured through our old art space out in Cicero, IL (documented in this post: Mr. Vernon ) with his first band, DeYarmond Edison. if there is any individual out there in the art world who deserves the success that Bon Iver is currently having it is justin. he couldn’t be a nicer dude. did i mention it’s great to catch up with old friends yet? it is indeed.

the show? outstanding. the crowd? amazing. the bands? couldn’t have been nicer, better musicians, or more earnest. highlights? seeing Daniel Hart for the first time in a while (also a former player of The Fort and a great dude who plays with St. vincent from time to time…), meeting MARTTTTYYYY (The Rosebuds doggie…), and catching up and telling funny stories from our former lives. OH… and also… it was great to see some old friends doing what they love doing and making it big. much love.

the lasting impression of the night? just before The Rosebuds took to the stage, Ivan leaned in and told me ‘You know man? you’ve got my dream job’ (referring to working in the auto industry, photographing cars). i looked out over the sea of guitars (Bon Iver tours with like a gazillion) and all of those faces in the crowd and said, ‘Ivan, i’m pretty sure you’ve got mine.’

the music:
The Rosebuds sound has evolved from the jangled garage rock of their early years to that of strong indie pop rockers. along the way they have released a number of records, ep’s, and they’ve added songs to various compilations. this tune, off of the Pox World Empire comp titled Compulation Vol. 1, the sound of North Carolina, is one of my favorite Rosebuds tunes. every time i hear, i mumble the chorus for the entire day…

maybe art can sell.

and it keeps me going. ivan’s voice is golden, his guitar playing is driving, the drumming is classic bubblegum pop, and kelly’s keyboards and shouts keep the band and audience going throughout this raveup that could have been recorded during the early 60’s. it’s classic Rosebuds and it’s guaranteed that if i’m in the audience at one of their shows, i will first ask Ivan first for ‘more leg kicks’, then i will demand that they play this tune.

someday i’ll get them to do it again…

50 Portraits – 39

| currently listening to: Slack Motherfucker, Superchunk, s/t, 1990 | LINK

the photography:
Portrait #39 is anna

anna is one of those few art school attendees who is living the dream. born and raised in the midwest, anna is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute and even though her career is just taking off, she has already designed for some big names including Ecko, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and Target.

while many teenagers enter art school with dreams of a career in the creative sector, very few actually stick around to see their dream job materialize. anna has been lucky enough to embody the rare combination of hard work, determination, and creative talent… did i mention that she’s talented? but it’s not just talent alone that allows her to run her own clothing design company. while many of us in the creative world struggle with carving out our own space, anna seems to do it effortlessly. am i jealous? of course.

one of the most unique things i learned while hanging out with anna is that she has found a way to stay connected to the community. by finding and utilizing local vendors, (that’s right, all of anna’s clothes are made in chicago) she’s supporting the local economy. that is truly refreshing to hear. in fact, i think more people in the manufacturing world should follow suit.

so how does someone who comes out of art school make it in the real world? how do you move from the creative academic bubble and keep your artistic integrity intact? how do you find a job and keep your eyes on the prize without needing the constant praise and codling that comes from being in school?

from my own experience, you need some realistic goals, a touch of luck, a whole lot of talent, and an intrinsic work ethic that won’t throw the towel in no matter how good quitting sounds. anna has all of these things in spades. some people squeak by on piles of family cash or on their own insane talents (only to implode later under the stress of ONLY being talented). anna is one of the few artists i’ve met who is not only incredibly gifted but who is happy to create AND to work hard to stay afloat. all of this (waves arms around studio wildly) will pay off one day. and that day is coming soon for anna.

please check out her handy work which is located here: Annahovet.com
please check out her collections which are located here: Anna Hovet Collections
if you are interested in ordering, click here: Anna Hovet Shop

the music:
ok, so i’m missing Pitchforkmedia’s Festival this weekend. but you know what? i’m not that into a lot of the newer bands that they are supporting these days. do i want to see Guided by Voices again? sure… Neko Case? i’m always down for a Neko set. but do i want to see these bands again with a gigantic crowd, blistering heat, and bad sound? not really. big let downs? i would love to see Fleet Foxes for the first time and see one of my favorite bands, Superchunk, for the twentieth time. but hey… i guess i’ll have to listen to Superchunk on my headphones in the Denver International Airport instead. oh well.

I once met Mac from Superchunk/Merge records before a show in Boston. my friends were on tour with them and they introduced me to him. i’m pretty sure i said something like

‘you got me through high school’

and then ran away like a school girl giggling at the boy she likes.

so i got that going for me. which is cool.

50 Portraits – 38

| currently listening to: Learo, You’re a Hole, Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle, 1994 | LINK

the photography:
Portrait #38 is tony

i can’t remember who approached whom in my online relationship with tony. we both decided that it was either in reference to early SST bands or Archers of Loaf but we both agree that our shared love of music, culture, and aesthetics (photography and graphic design at the top of the list) has made us, at the very least, compadres. so i thought to myself, why not meet tony in person (IRL for those of you following at home)?

when i first looked up tony’s photography on the interwebs (Don’t Explode) i was grabbed by his attention to detail and the honesty presented in his portraits. my goodness tony can get to the point quickly with his photos. most of his subjects will lay out their life story for you with one deep look into their eyes. tony captures these moments with great precision while giving taking an off-the-cuff relaxed ‘studio-less’ style. it’s no coincidence that he’s quite an accomplished art director and his love of symmetry, colors, patterns, and composition play a large role in his photography.

because tony’s camera work focuses on two niche groups; portraits and skateboarding, i feel that i have found a kindred spirit. many artists these days spread themselves too thin artistically and they forget to practice their craft and focus on the subjects that they love. in trying to make a buck, lots of photographers accept mediocre results in the pursuit of being able to photograph everything for their clients. all of the kind things i said above about tony’s portraiture can also be said about his skateboarding photos as they are world class. you can feel the passion in his work because he is photographing the places he’s been, the people that he surrounds himself with, and the activities that he loves. even if you are not familiar with the subject matter, you can tell when someone truly owns their work.

music and culture can bring people together from all walks of life and tony and i just happened to meet at the end of a gorgeous spring day in chicago. we walked around the Ravenswood corridor right about the time that the light falls off the horizon and the world is left in a soft indirect glow. because we love the same music, because we make art that appeals to us, and because we are sticklers for doing it right the first time, tony and i get along smashingly. i hope that this mutual admiration continues and i seriously can’t wait to buy his first skateboarding coffee table book that encompasses photographs of everything that the modern skating lifestyle has to offer. hats off.

check out some of tony’s design and art direction work at Wellborn Clothing (they are currently undergoing some maintenance) and keep looking for his name in places like Thrasher, TransWorld Skateboarding, and keep an eye out for him up at the Wilson Skate Park this summer. he’ll be the guy with the fisheye 15mm who’s in the right place at the right time.

the music:
before eric bachmann was the leader of indie folk rockers Crooked Fingers, he was the tall front man for the lesser known Archers of Loaf. sprung from the depths of the fertile rock soil in Ashville, NC, these four dudes let us know what punk/indie rock guitar interplay could sound like. witty lyrics, odd finger picked guitar noises, and rabid fans made them underground heroes. speaking of underground, Archers are probably known for 2 famous phrases that they coined in their lyrics: 1. The underground is over crowded (written to show that the tube in London was packed) 2. She’s an indie rocker and nothing’s gonna stop her (written about a sassy riot grrrrl for sure).

if you haven’t heard the Archers before, it’s probably time you heard what all the fuss is about. go out and buy Icky Mettle and Vee Vee. you will be happy that you did (regardless of what Pitchforkmedia says…).

‘you’re a nervous brand of metal, i’m a solid state’.

50 Portraits – 37

| currently listening to: Puke + Cry, Dinosaur Jr, Green Mind, 1991 | LINK

the photography:
Portrait #37 is melanie (riley)

since i started this project i have yet to meet a subject who i had so much in common with. granted we are the same age, we have similar interests, she married a hockey player (i play hockey), and we both like dogs and beer. but there is something comforting about the ohio-ans i know. i can’t put my finger on it but i feel like people my age from ohio and people my age from vermont have some weird bond. did g.i. joe cartoons run at the same time in both TV markets and did we all just fall all over ourselves when watching ‘you can’t do that on television’? i just don’t know. the problem arises when we look back at the 80’s and wonder what all the fuss was about. our time was the 90’s.

and melanie embodies exactly what i love about our generation. she carries with her more than a few shades of punk attitude, she’s a lover of great beer, a shepherd of lost puppies, and she dishes more sharp whit than chuck klosterman. oh, and did i mention she’s a roller girl? all and all, she’s a completely unique and snarky experience that can be summed up by her roller girl name, Riley Coyote.

melanie’s output via her tumblr page and her blogspot account can read like a looney tunes episode. all that’s missing is the Acme Brand missile tied with rope to her back (she’s already wearing roller skates dummy). her unique humor, potty mouth, and personality really shine when dealing with pop culture, the arts, design, fashion, and life. she’s the type of online writer i love to love. humorously graphic non-sequitor’s coupled with riffs on linked images and pop cultural beheadings. she writes the way i think. i can’t get enough.

as i trudge on towards collecting 50 subjects for this project, i realize that i am finding more and more people who i can relate to. not just on a personal level but also on an artistic level. as this project drags on, the newest subjects can flip through the archives and see what i am trying to accomplish. this whole darned thing started out as an exercise in stretching my wings as a professional and it has slowly turned into the best party guest list i could have dreamt up. thanks for watching.

and thanks to melanie and david for the hospitality, the beer, the chips and guac, and the insight into their world for a couple of hours. cheers.

PS. you are truly the only people i know in the city of chicago who have a feeder specifically for the squirrels.
PSS. and melanie, you should totally get an Acme tattoo. i’mjustsaying.

the music:
j. mascis is a force of nature. as the college radio friendly indie kids were knee deep in the pixies and DIY ex-hardcore bands, j. snuck in the back door by offering up this mainstream record filled with guitar heroics and heavy drums. this record single handedly opened up my mind to what was coming down the pipe. i liked pearl jam, and i liked nirvana but i didn’t like dinosaur jr. it was grungy, it was dirty, it was loud, and it was heavy. but it wasn’t grunge. and it wasn’t from seattle. shows you what i knew when i first heard them.

it took me more than a year of owning this record to truly enjoy it. dinosaur jr have always been a bit of a shipwreck as j. is not known for being able to hold onto his personal relationships. and honestly, i felt that our relationship (music provider, music listener) had been up and down more than once or twice through the years.

and c’mon, j. can’t sing in tune to save his life. it’s as if his voice is hitting next to the right notes and hitting the right notes at the same time. and that’s what makes him unique. oh, and his bombastic ‘LOUDER THAN SHIT’ guitar playing and his heavy handed drumming that make this record undeniable. it still finds it’s way onto my stereo fairly regularly. you should really listen to it. there are a number of great songs here but the aptly named ‘puke+ cry’ is on my list of favorite songs from the early 90’s.

portraits, cars, where i wanna go

| currently listening to: Fiery Crash, Andrew Bird, Armchair Apocrypha, 2007 | LINK

the photography:
this past week i spread my wings. not only was i asked to put in a bid for a commercial job via an ad agency for a national campaign but i also saw one of my photos published in Bust Magazine. well skin me alive and call me luggage, that’s a couple of steps in the right direction…

so what is my right direction? my professional goals include at least 3 very different subject matters. professional direction #1) i want to shoot editorial content for print/online (story based portraits, lifestyle, fashion, etc. in the vein of Mark Seliger). professional direction #2) i want to shoot automobiles for print/online magazines (old, new, editorial, pinups, models, calendars, you name it i’ll shoot it – as long as there’s a car in the frame). if you haven’t seen my first big step into the classic car photography arena, please check out my site: http://shinyside.net. it truly is a labor of love and it’s where i want my creative juices to take me. #3) run my own studio that shoots fashion photography. i mean… what photographer in their right mind wouldn’t want to do that?! lights, models, action.

on top of my directional aspirations, i want, nay, i need to take the time to go to get my masters in fine arts. my professional goals do not inhibit this from happening but rather they allow me the time to get back into the studio to study what i love. i can’t think of a better way to spend 2 years of my life. dive in, get dirty, create, and produce. sigh… applications for fall 2012 are due in winter 2012. time to get cracking. but hey… it can wait too.

so where does this put me? i would be really excited to start shooting editorial assignments for magazines or fashion models with bright lights tomorrow (but realistically that’s not gonna happen). i love the idea of following a subject in their own element, taking photos of them at home, at their favorite bar, getting into their routines, their rhythms, their daily lives… i love the idea of becoming a fly on the wall, making relationships, printing images in magazines, and moving on to the next subject. these ideas inspire me.

so what does this all have to do with these images? well… while looking through my hard drive to find more photos to pitch to the ad agency, i stumbled upon a bunch of random shots. these just happen to be the ones that jumped out at me.

speaking of jumping… in the future, if given the chance to tell a story with my photos, i’m gonna jump all over it. JUMP ALL OVER IT. this is a turning point for me in my career, not just as a photographer on the move but as a human who is clearly setting his sights on a goal and my god, you really should get out of my way lest you get trampled. oh… and i bought a new iPad2. so you know, i’m really on the move now…

don’t get me wrong, i love my current job but these are future aspirations, goals to strive for, bars to reach. we all need something to believe in. i believe Poison taught me that…

the music:
if i were to pass away today and my wife was forced to marry someone, i think she would choose Andrew Bird. and it’s not because his music is so amazing (because it is) or that he’s such a good looking dude (because he totally is) or that because he plays most shows without shoes on (because he does)… it’s because he’s all of these things wrapped up in a shaggy haircut and a vintage suit with a shy demeanor and a perfect chin.

did i mention that his music is phenomenal? i first saw Andrew play the Intonation Festival (Pitchfork Fest before it was called Pitchfork Fest) and he was truly an incredible musician to watch. andrew mixes live guitar, xylophone, and world class violin with looped sounds of all three that he creates on the spot. not to mention that he has some of the classiest speaker systems on the planet to back him up.

if you get a chance, buy all of his music and see him live as much as possible. he’s my generation’s best musician. and my wife really crushes on him. hard.

DeYarmond Edison

| currently listening to: Bones, DeYarmond Edison, Silent Signs, 2002 | LINK

the photography:
while most of us were sitting comfortably in our various living spaces last night, somewhere down in austin, texas at the SXSW music convention, one of the best bands of the last 15 years was reuniting. and to be completely honest, these guys never really broke up. they may have stopped touring as DeYarmond Edison back in 2005 but really, they’ve stayed close friends ever since and have even shared in each other’s success.

Now let’s start at the beginning. I moved from Raleigh, NC to Chicago, IL in the dead of winter at the end of 2004. Within two weeks of moving to the midwest, I was up and running at a new gig designing pen packaging at uni-ball. Within a few months, four dudes from Eau Claire, WI moved into Raleigh, NC to set up shop as indie heroes. We essentially swapped living arrangements. I feel like a Karma high five happened somewhere in Kentucky as we crossed paths. It would not be the last time.

That band was DeYarmond Edison and before the end of their second year in Raleigh, they broke up. Justin moved back to Eau Claire and recorded his seminal work as Bon Iver. and the rest of the guys ventured on as Megafaun. It was a beautiful yet heart wrenching dissolve of a band that had so much promise, an incredible stage show, an amazing catalog of tunes, and enough touring gear to make a symphony wince.

But before they broke up, they put on one great tour that just happened to have a stop in Chicago at the artist space I was running with a good friend out in Cicero, IL called The Fort. What an amazing show. Emotional Joystick and Collections of Colonies of Bees opened and brought the crowd of 50 people to their knees before DeYarmond took the “stage” (the spot under the string lights…). Old Styles’s were toasted, songs were sung, and friendships were solidified. Todd the mannequin was introduced and held aloft (he was subsequently dropped on Wincek mid keyboard jam from a height of no less than 7 feet). It was a magical time and a magical place. People peed off the side of the building as cans were thrown through the gaping hole in the roof, and some group of kids drove all the way from Eau Claire to see four dudes sing their songs. I’ll never forget it.

So when I see that DeYarmond got back together last night, I raised a glass and toasted their success (BTW, Video can be found here: DeYarmond at SXSW). There couldn’t be a nicer group of guys on the planet and I hope they stick around and make more music for us to enjoy. The photos are from a photo booth I had set up in the corner of our space during the dhow at The Fort. This is a snapshot of one of the best live music nights of my life that peeked with a hardcore/screamo rendition of Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’. I wish i had video of that… Enjoy.

Also, I used to design rock posters… so I threw in four of my DeYarmond Edison posters for posterity.

the music:
while The Hold Steady carry the ‘The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle,’ Bruce Springsteen torch, DeYarmond Edison occupy the music lexicon as ‘Nebraska’ era flag wavers. Tight knit harmonies, beautiful acoustic melodies, and Justin Vernon’s honest, needy, and strained voice bring the songs home. Their music is as comfortable as The Band with lyrics as honest as Springsteen, and all within a genre as americana and folk as a banjo. Find their music. Listen to it. You’ll be happy you did.

suggested/related listening: Bon Iver, Megafaun, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Gayngs, The Rosebuds, The Bowerbirds, Volcano Choir.

mexico

| currently listening to: Light Rail Coyote, Sleater-Kinney, One Beat, 2002 | LINK

the photography:
so we snuck down to mexico recently with a group of friends. all-inclusive travel is something new to me so i really did not know what to expect. amazingly? i loved it. now i’m not a “let’s go sit by the pool for 8 hours and drink foofy drinks till we need a nap” type of guy but as i learned rather quickly, i can be persuaded. the weather was perfect, our friends were great, and the wedding was amazingly beautiful. it’s always fun to meet new people, reconnect with good friends, and just be relaxed and happy.

one of the best parts of the trip was the wedding. it was gorgeous. a beautiful setting with wonderful people and the perfect weather. i hate to say it but i’m not always a happy camper when i’m behind the camera at weddings. don’t get me wrong, i’ll do it graciously for strangers (or friends of friends) but when you know the entire wedding party and many of the guests, the dance floor becomes a minefield of aunts who feel the need to pull on your sleeve to let you know that you should be photographing their 11 year old who is doing something remotely funny somewhere NOT near the bride or groom. it can be really really hard. thankfully i was just an innocent bystander for these nuptials. which also means that i also took the photos that i wanted to take. which is fun.

without any bad sun burns and without falling on my face from the tequila, the only downside came the morning we left when i got sick. throwing up in the Cancun airport is nothing new. in fact, i’m pretty sure i wasn’t the only one in the bathroom partaking in the ritual, known to my brother and myself as, ‘shouting for huey’ (just try not to laugh by adding the name ‘huey’ while making vomiting noises, it’s tough). flying with a stomach bug is really not fun but nothing could ruin the rest and relaxation that comes from not having a schedule for six days and five nights. did i miss my son? more than anything in the world. but you know what? he had a blast entertaining his grandparents with all of his squawks and walking abilities. quality family time indeed. i’m thinking we could try to do something like this once a year as it does a body good.

the music:
there is something amazing about sleater-kinney. there is a lot going into the music of this outfit: inter-band relationships, the pacific northwest, straight love lives, ridiculous breakups, gay love lives, the rise and fall of grunge, riot grrrrl power, anti-stupid, punk rawk, and DIY ethics all siphoned through two distinct voices, two distinct guitars, and one heavy-ass drummer (in style, not IRL). it’s epic, truly epic.

and through it all, they made some great records. and hats off to them for going out on top. they saved their best record for last and they took an incredible stage show and made their impression lasting. sure they’ll probably do a reunion tour in five years but i, for one, will buy tickets. because they were that good. suggested listening: the entire catalog. this song is one of my personal faves.

unique portraits

| currently listening to: Radar Gun, The Bottle Rockets, Brooklyn Side, 1995 | LINK

the photography:
taking photographs is a process. i don’t think anyone would argue with me on that point. and it’s process that is constantly evolving. i can boil it down each portrait session i have worked on to the simple dialogue between subject and photographer. as the photographer, i engage the subject on many levels and rely on my personality, my body language, and my conversation to create the right environment for the subject to feel any number of emotions that i want them to evoke. the more photos i take, the more i refine these conversations so that i can (essentially) get the subject to feel the emotion i want them to feel for the final picture. nine times out of ten i want my subjects to feel relaxed and calm but every now and then i aim for sexy and seductive, angry and sad, mad and unhappy. it all depends on why i’m taking the photo in the first place.

lots of times, great photos are the karmic explosion known as ‘dumb luck’. but hey, as a photographer, you had to be in the right place, at the right time, with your camera to your eye, AND with your finger on the shutter. it’s never really cut and dry but you can give yourself the best advantage by knowing how/where/and when those moments are going to be captured.

the more photographs i take, the more i learn about myself and my personality. looking back throuhg my nearly ten years of getting paid to take photographs, the more people i meet and shoot, the more i catch a glimpse of how i act and react to strangers and friends alike. each portrait sitting is a lesson in manipulation and control, in creating a sense of comfort or a sense of uneasiness depending on what reaction you are looking for from your subject. if you know what outcome you want to achieve, then you should always be ready to set the subject in motion to get there. sometimes, it’s a strange ride.

each shoot is a learning experience. i’m not the photographer who blows through 15 head shots in a day so my favorite question to ask myself after a shoot is, ‘what would you have done differently?’. to be completely honest? i answer that question a dozen different ways every time. ‘i could have asked the subject to move slightly this way’ or ‘i could have chosen a different lighting technique’ or ‘i could have dropped my point of view about three inches to hide that gigantic forehead’. bottom line: photography is a business where i will never be completely satisfied with every shoot. i AM a perfectionist in my head but i MUST BE a realist in my output. the client wants it one way, their budget allows for it to be a different way, and it’s raining out, so make it work (thanks Tim Gunn…). as long as everyone is happy with the final outcome, i have done my job and i can lay to rest the over-amped OCD voice in my head. or i can at least drown it in beer.

the music:
when i was 17 years old i couldn’t decide if i wanted to be in Uncle Tupelo or The Bottle Rockets. it was a toss up between the band that would define the great mid-90’s movement known as ‘Y’all-ternative’ (Uncle Tupelo) and just another band from the St. Louis bar scene that kicked total ass (The Bottle Rockets). amazingly, i never got into either as Uncle Tupelo famously imploded and, well, The Bottle Rockets are still an amazing bar band from St. Louis. but my goodness does this song rip. 15+ years into their career, the Rockets still get up there and extend their brand of midwest grit to our ears. love it. bob yer head. raise a shot of jack. enjoy.

50 Portraits – 36

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| currently listening to: Modest Mouse, Ohio, This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #36 is brad

well well well. post-child 50 portraits project post? don’t mind if i do… brad is the brains/brawn/style behind one of chicago’s best local websites, Windy Citizen. Windy Citizen is a news site that asks for readers to link to their favorite or most interesting stories and post them for other readers to rate. the higher the stories rate, the closer they are to the top of the page with the highest rated story on top. sometime late last year, i was lucky enough to have this very blog (blog.idmphotography.com) be chosen by a reader to be posted on Windy. it was an honor and a privilege to have readers fight for my words and photos to be at the top of the page. power to the readers!

earlier in the week, brad had contacted me about taking some head shots for him to use professionally. the silly thing is my interactions with brad started back with theresa who had mentioned that brad would be perfect for the 50 Portraits Project. i can’t remember if we emailed and things fell through or what but alas, he is here, finally, and he is standing and being counted. so to brad’s name (not this brad), i attach the #36. and i also set him up with some sweet hi-res pics that he can distribute when needed.

since brad and i were already in the photographing mood and had spent a few minutes smiling and clicking off head shots respectively, i decided to fuss around with my own method of shooting portraits. for if anything, this project exists for me to broaden my horizons and to explore new ideas, methods, and styles. so here’s my take on the photos:

a. i injected my own framing into the shots i took (as i have trained myself to do, ie. my own style) but instead of publishing just one image from a set of 5 or 6 example photos of said framing, i published almost all of the images in order. the biggest example of this being the last 6 photographs, shot in succession within a couple of seconds as a garbage truck rolled by.

b. it was about time someone took some black and whites around here. since it was such a blindingly bright day, i figured what the hell, let’s lose the color and crank the contrast. i think it worked quite well considering the subject, the color of outfit, the shadows and highlights, and most of all, the urban terrain with it’s bricks and concrete and metal.

c. i didn’t edit myself as strongly as i have in the past. there are two (count them… 2!!!!) out of focus images in this set. this is coming from a guy who is so infuriatingly anal and technical about how he uses his gear that it’s unfathomable to use such a wasted piece(s) on such a pristine set of images. but hey, i took a chill pill and look where it got me. these blurred images work artistically with what i was trying to accomplish, which was to create a coherent and expressive set of images of brad. maybe someday i’ll turn the camera around and take a vertical image… but don’t cross your fingers.

the first two images were taken with the 24-70mm f2.8L as we were working on professional head shots for brad. the rest were taken with the 28mm f1.8. all images were shot with the Canon 5DMKII

the music:

modest mouse is one of those indie rock bands that has been around forever. they started small and ended up getting huge. but you know what? their small records with all of the blips and scrapes and out of tune guitars are what i love about modest mouse. the high-gloss mega records they make now? they’re pretty decent. but they lack the authenticity of their early work. when i first saw issac brock in person he was skinny, drunk, and worn out from being on the road for eight months straight with the same three guys in their cramped econoline van. five years later? he was still drunk, but now he was well fed (read a bit pudgy), he was smiling, and you could tell that he was happy to be traveling across the country on his pair of tour buses with his numerous roadies and his six band mates.

i’m not putting issac down for making a living at his art. in no way am i doing that. i applaud him for all that he has rightfully earned. but as even issac knows, the sense of urgency in his playing the guitar, the gut-wrenching heartache that drove his lyrics, and the bombastic personality that led to public band implosions have all but been replaced by personal happiness and leisure. brock is not the first to stumble upon feeling good about themselves after spending so much of their artistic careers feeling shitty. it is why, when artists like the shins, modest mouse, the promise ring, when these bands wear their hearts on their sleeves as twenty-somethings, people can relate to them. fans were there man… they felt that pain in person, in the front row, in the pit. but ten years later, when you try to write happy music about happy times with happy sounding instruments, your early fan base is gonna cry foul. not because you sold out, but because the very thing that hit home with so many of your contemporaries has suddenly been erased for you as an artist. but your fans? they still burn for your misfortunes. they still cry for your breakups. and they still want to get in fights with you at the bar. because when you’re unhappy issac brock, we all can relate to you.

even though i have a mortgage, a child, a wife, a dog, a car, and a 2.5 car garage, i still relate to the traveling musician who stuffs their entire life into a beat up mini-van. don’t get me wrong, modest mouse has payed their dues. i just like the music they made while doing so, much better than their new stuff.

this song is a great ode to Ohio. ohi-o-o-o-o-o-so.

looking back at my 20’s in polaroids part 1

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| currently listening to: Ruins, Aloha, Home Acres, 2010 | LINK

the photography:
for a few years in the late 90’s and early 00’s, besides shooting b/w and color film for school, i spent much of my time toting around a polaroid instant film camera that i bought for $19.95 at an upstate new york CVS. the height of my polaroid fetish can be pinpointed some time around 2002 when the house that lived in was perfectly suited for a polaroid wall. one such wall was created in the kitchen. every photo i (we, as guests often snagged the camera) took went up on that wall and some word or phrase was written on the photo in Sharpie about what was happening, who was there, wtf, etc… in hindsight, we should never have written on those polaroids. said wall can be seen in some of these images. someday i’ll scan those in as well… but for now, here are the clean ones. at least the first part of them.

as teddy marches forward into life, i am struck by how his new experiences drum up my old ones. nostalgia creeps up in many forms and sometimes it’s fun to go back and see where you’ve been so that you can make some choices in where you will be going.

each of these images is a documented memory linked to something in my life. and looking through them makes me happy to know that teddy will be given the opportunity to make his own set of memories. i am floored and humbled by that idea.

i just hope that when teddy is old enough to document his life, he doesn’t waste as much money as i did on cigarettes and polaroid film… holy crap. what i would buy today…EDIT: ok ok ok… the photos were well worth the cash. i should have stopped smoking 5 years before i did. Teddy, if you’re reading this, spend money on film and beer, not on cigarettes and 3 card monte.

the images above are full of people i know, people i knew, people who are not alive anymore, old girlfriends, old co-workers, old friends, random strangers, binge drinking, music playing, too many self portraits, too much shaky picture taking, poor focus, scratches, road trips, parties, random people who my wife was friends with before i knew my wife, musicians, a couple of airplanes, a cat, a dog, halloween (in general), thanksgiving, a couple of kegs, poker night, roommates, roommates friends, neighbors, fire, one boob grab, an infamous red wall, friends ex-girlfriends, raleigh north carolina, boston massachusetts, saratoga springs new york, bartenders, bar owners, bad haircuts, bad outfits, and three nipples of the male variety.

the music:
ok ok ok… i know… Aloha is the same band i talked about last post… but they are that good. for real. this record is unstoppable.

this is the last song on the record. the chorus is:

waiting for the get-away car that never came.

my first day back

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| currently listening to: Moonless March, Aloha, Home Acres, 2010 | LINK

the photography:
it’s been a number of weeks since my last post and i’ve got a pretty good reason for that. for two weeks, i took a paternity leave. on march 22nd, at 4:49 pm, my wife gave birth to a baby boy who we named Theodore. wow. and what i really mean is “holy shit woooow… (smiling)”.

my wife has been amazing since the beginning of this whole process as she carried almost all (99%) of the physical burden of bringing a child into the world. her mental and physical strength through the entire 9 months deepened my feelings for her and our relationship with each other. she’s a rock and i am in awe. and that’s not some “lovey dovey date movie” affections, i truly mean it, she’s amazing. sigh…

and this little dude who makes noises and squirms when you hold him, and who can’t quite focus his eyes, who can’t quite lift his head, but who can poop, eat, and sleep at the drop of a hat; this little dude is such a peanut, he’s such a gift, and he’s such a handsome devil. i can’t wait to watch him go through life’s trials and tribulations and to help him when he needs a hand or to give him tough love when he needs to learn to do it himself. it’s going to be an amazing journey from here on out. i just hope the dog forgives him for stealing his thunder…

my favorite image from this set is the photograph that captures the moment when the nurse hands Theodore to Catherine so she could see and hold him for the first time. this is the same face that Cath made when she saw me standing at the end of the isle next to the minister at the wedding. it was a simply amazing moment among many simply amazing moments this week. other notables in this set include the family photo, Teddy’s first toweling off after Teddy’s first bath, and of course, who can forget, the holding of Grandma’s first grandchild.

looking back at the last 2 weeks, i can barely even wrap my head around it all. after 13 hours of contractions and labor, 2 days of sitting in the hospital without seeing the sky, and after a week with my parents at my house, and after almost a full week by ourselves, i’m still beside myself with happiness, joy, and utter bewildering curiosity as to who this little man is.

he is, of course, Teddy, son of Ian and Catherine. and i couldn’t be any prouder of him.

you’ll have to excuse the lack of camera information on the photos, i pulled them from my Flickr account and the meta data was lost in the transaction. they were all taken with my 5D and with the exception of the first photo which was taken with my EF 24-105mm f/4.0L USM, they were snapped with the trusty EF 28mm f1.8.

oh, and how nice is Prentice Women’s Hospital? my lord…

the music:
aloha is one of those bands that sounds so familiar that you know you’ve heard it before but you just can’t place the signers voice, the instrumentation, and the songwriting. BUT YOU SWEAR you’ve heard it before.

with their new record, Aloha takes their brand of indie pop (think 1 part Rogue Wave, 1 part Trans Am, and 1 part Minus the Bear and mix with some emo underpinnings) to new heights. poppy and beautiful and full of melodies, sing alongs, keyboards, harmonies, and dripping with 16 beat drums and guitars… i flipping love it. it’s been a long time since indie rock came out from the underground and it’s been even longer since pop indie bands haven’t forced themselves to have an angle (angelic indie pop, twee, twee-gaze-pop, indie folk pop, etc) to delineate that this band is not a pop band but an indie pop band. Aloha is above all that. did i mention that i love it so? glistening grooves and sugary strolls in the park, take me away…

you’ve been down so long
can’t let the light in…
you’ve been down so long
can’t let the light in…
you’ve been down so long
come let the light in…

indeed good sirs, indeed.

out the window

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| currently listening to: Please Drive Faster, Braid, Please Drive Faster 7″, 1999 | LINK

the photography:
i spend about 1/3 of my professional life in/around/driving cars. it’s the life i’ve picked by accepting a job as a staff photographer for an online automotive editorial team. what all this boils down to is the fact that i spend a lot of time driving. a lot.

in my intro to photography art class in college, one of the first assignments we were given was to take photos from a moving vehicle. nothing more, nothing less. take photos from a moving vehicle. wow… my teacher had a lot of faith in our driving abilities especially since i went to a college in the middle of upstate new york that catered to many a youth from the isle of manhattan, many of which had never driven a car until they were 19. scary stuff. add in the extra curricular activities commonly found at college and i can’t believe that no one got hurt.

photos are exactly that… from a moving car. but alas, i was not driving. which was great. i just aimed the camera any which way i could though and i did not pay attention to what i was capturing, i was most interested in capturing it. when processing these, i didn’t crop or rotate the images as i felt that holding the camera away from my eye and aiming it all willy-nilly was much more productive than trying to slow down and spend the time clicking at what my eye would want to capture. i was in the was in the zone of photographing what zooms by before it has a chance to be gone. angles are skewed, things are out of focus, and i like it.

i’m also a sucker for an 1980’s MG raodster…

photos are with the 5DMKII and the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM aimed out the window with the auto-focus turned to on.

the music:
with the passing of two revered song writers in the last couple of weeks (the profound and misunderstood Mark Linkous and the indie-hero Alex Chilton) i have found myself going back to my favorite records over and over. i feel like i have to sop them up before they too will be gone. it’s like hoarding your favorite toy in the sandbox because, subconsciously, you have the insight to know that you will never play with that toy again in another year. this also could be chalked up to my severe ‘american-consumerism’ gut reaction of MUST HAVE NOW… sigh.

this is again (i think i’ve talked about Bob Nanna and Braid a lot via this blog, sorry…) just a fantastic song. i’m constantly on the lookout for post punk reunions but as my new baby gets ever closer to a reality, my show going days might just be numbered. at least for a little while. until then… i will listen to my favorite records at a galloping pace. press play, ingest record, burp, repeat.

beijing revisited – 1/3

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 40mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 40mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 45mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/640 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 47mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 105mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 105mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 105mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 92mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 105mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1000 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 50mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 55mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 45mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 73mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 40mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 58mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f4.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 24mm
EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Room Temperature Suite, Don Caballero, What Burns Never Returns, 1998, | LINK

the photography:
SIDE NOTE FROM THE LAST POST: so i have one clarification to make about the music from the last post. my wife noted last night that if it were not for her, i would not have listened to that stellastarr* song so much. this statement could not be more true. i love my wife and during our early days of courting, i would play whatever music that she liked so i could keep her attention on the music and not on the fact that the floor of the passenger seat of my subaru was covered in empty dunkin donuts extra large coffee cups. oh… and i tried to hide the fact that i’m a steering wheel drummer. that didn’t go so swell…

here is more of our china trip revisited. images are from our stay in beijing. we spent much of our time walking along the enormous (and i mean really large) streets near the forbidden city as well as taking some side trips out to see the great wall and some of the larger temples outside of beijing proper. the forbidden city and the waterways that surround it are some of the most interesting places on earth to people watch. fishermen, peddlers, tourists, students, you name, they’re here.

amazingly the only thing that bothered me about beijing (besides the fact that it reminded me of not only LA but also of the couple miles of Western Avenue in Chicago north of North Ave and south of Howard) was the air pollution. not only was it everywhere but it was dense and thick and awful. i have had asthma since i was in 5th grade and i have never been in a tougher situation than walking the streets of beijing. it was like breathing through an exhaust pipe on a car without a catalytic converter while smoking three cigarettes. ok… maybe it wasn’t that bad… but it was pretty awful. looking back on it, i didn’t even worry about the air while i was there because everything else was so amazing and new and intriguing that i didn’t let it bother me until after the fact.

mmmmmmmm. street food. stinky tofu has a scent all it’s own. it’s the closest thing to ipecac that i have had the pleasure of smelling.

sigh… it was a gorgeous city to say the least. this group of images is part 1 of 3. the photos were with the 5D and my EF24-105mm f/4.0L USM. did i mention earlier (in fact i did…) that for this entire trip i was wearing either flip flops or my blue dock-siders. true story.

the music:
volatile is probably too kind a word for the history of this band. as far as descriptives terms used for their live shows, i would pick “bombastic”, “thrilling”, “loud”, and “build it up so you can break down and/or blow it up”. don cab has been through more lineup changes than the smashing pumpkins yet the center of attention is always on their founding member and drummer, Damon Che. that dude slays.

so many time changes, so little time.

so many hammer-ons, so few fingers.

50 Portraits – 35

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 1000 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D MKII

| currently listening to: Teen Idles, Get Up and Go, Minor Disturbances, 1981 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #35 is Shannon

holy crap it’s been a while since i’ve posted one of these. if you think i went over board on the pictures… you should see the out takes. it was the toughest group of photos i have ever had to whittle down. jeeeeeez…

i first heard about miss shannon from a mutual friend via twitter. it was a mention here, a twitpic there, and before you know it, i was tracking her down for a chance to model for the the 50 Portraits Project. it’s crazy how social media and the online world works with all the idea-megaphones (blogs), personal advertisements (facebook pages), and instant friend-of-a-friend connections (you may know so-and-so). the fact that i can connect with and follow like-minded people from all over the world and check out their content, view their video blogs, and read about their creative process’ is mind blowing. like minded people should really band together. maybe that’s exactly what i’ve been trying to accomplish with this project. maybe i’ll call it my 50 Peeps Club when all is said and done…

shannon is one of those people that likes stuff that i like. shannon moonlights as a food/horror movie buff who writes and video blogs about the connections she makes between the two. her blog, Slash and Dine, and her videos pair recipes to fit bloody classics. when she’s not enjoying her time in the kitchen (and her time with her BFF #33, Miss Bake and Destroy, she’s styling hair and educating her fellow stylists at a high-end salon in chicago. judging from her personality, her outgoingness, and her overall demeanor, i’m guessing she has a lot of repeat clients who love her work (and that’s without factoring in her expert skills as a stylist). let’s all just agree that shannon is pretty flipping rad ok?!

currently, shannon really loves the color orange. the kitchen walls are covered in the most warming and comforting shade of orange. if given the chance, why not “go big” in the one room of the house that you spend the most amount of time in? any way you slice it (i have a lot of knife jokes…), it works smashingly. her design style and aesthetic shine through from the art work on the walls to the vintage chairs and table to the vases on the half wall. sigh… with all the natural light and spot-on layout, shannon could rent her kitchen to those photographers in need of a kitchen set. it’s totally sweet.

as a side note, it turns out shannon has done some modeling in the past but really? that should surprise no one. this girl has style, style, and more style. it was a pleasure getting to know her and it was a breeze taking pictures as all i had to do was sit back and soak it all in. please make sure to check out her writing and videos at Slash and Dine and at Brutal Snack when you get the chance. as usual, the photos were with the trusty 5DMKII and the always present, 28mm f1.8. cheers.

the music:

if you choose to look beyond the skin-deep visuals of hard core and punk rock in america there is one music scene that sprouted some of the truest bands lyrically, the straightest bands ethically, and the most forward thinking bands musically. since the early 80’s, the Washington D.C. hard core/punk scene has been the birthplace of many of the truly great underground/DIY bands of my generation: Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, Youth Brigade, Government Issue, Fire Party, The Nation Of Ulysses, Jawbox, Q And Not U, Circus Lupus, and of course, Fugazi (just to name a few…).

Teen Idles is one of the first bands to break the DC scene wide open. this band is why Dischord Records started. this band is why it all came together. and they were pretty impressive. shannon’s framed cover of Minor Threat’s s/t record on the wall in her kitchen kick started my DC review on my iPod. it’s pretty awesome to try to soak up an entire scene via the magic of digital music. looking back, the Teen Idles were raw and powerful, sloppy and trite. but they were just what the youth of DC needed. art needs a catalyst sometimes. in the early 80’s, leaders like Reagan provided that riff. sigh. the kids on the streets today just aren’t that interested in making a difference. that’s a tough truth to swallow…

inside detroit

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 48mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f3.2 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 70mm
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 150mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 130mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 145mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 200mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 150mm
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: Forever got shorter, Braid, Movie Music, Vol. 1 2000, | LINK

the photography:
you know what’s fun? taking an outsider’s stance while standing in an insider’s job. confused? you should be. i’ll lay it out for you:

a) i work in the automotive industry as a photojournalist

b) i’m not an enthusiast (or at least i wasn’t before i started this job) nor am i an automotive blogger

c) i’m not a reporter

d) and i’m not easily swayed (or impressed for that matter) by those who are

when i’m working the show floor, i’m simply a photographer with a job to do and a deadline to meet. thank you so much for understanding my frustration when you step in front of me to make sure you take a camera phone photo of your buddy for facebook. please be polite and get out of my way.

this (almost) oblivious mind-set allows me to work at an auto show as efficiently and as objectively as humanly possible. auto shows are basically cavernous rooms filled with PR suits, reflectively clean metalic cars, million dollar plastic replicas, and thousands of people wanting to know what this that and the other thing are all about. there are freelancers, writers, photographers, and videographers everywhere, snapping pictures, taking video, tweeting, and producing everything from newspaper columns to the occasional online web-isode video about transmission fluid. it’s an interesting group of people to say the least.

by staying in an almost oblivious state of mind, i find that i don’t easily wrap myself up in the notorious game of cat and mouse that i have dubbed, shiny objects (shiny objects is a marketing ploy which causes the buyer or viewer to stare at a new shiny object and because said new shiny object is so amazingly shiny and new, the buyer/viewer’s head is cleared of any thoughts whatsoever. ending scenario? buyer/viewer’s head has clouded over and any sense of how said shiny object fits into the “big picture” is lost; it’s a distraction method employed by many and understood by few).

one of the few historic sights (and the grandest of shiny objects) from the auto show circuit that always draws my attention above the sea of noise, news, lights, and commotion are the gorgeous (and highly-suspect) auto show models. dressed to the nines and paid to stand next to a large hunk of steel and plastic, these models eek out a living looking pretty, standing at attention, and smiling like they don’t know how to frown. unlike their runway cousins, the auto show model must not only fit the part (visually matching the brand) but they must also stand next to their respective vehicle and touch it occasionaly, thus drawing needed attention to whatever is being displayed. it sounds silly, but picture bob barker repeatedly announcing “A new Car!!!” over and over. car show models are a lot like that. imagine this job description:

seeking size 0-3 female, at least 5’9″
must be able to stand under hot lights with very little clothing for 5 hours straight
must be able to smile entire four hours
must be able to stand smell of armor all
must be able to stand up to sleezy reporters and photographers who want to possibly smooch you or buy you drink
must be able to stomach new chrysler lineup
must be able to do all this in 4″ heels

there are more than a few deal breakers in there. jeez…

so anyways, i took some quick pics of the models. my mind always works in funny ways so i tried to create a dichotomy between images of the models being models and hamming it up for the camera, and of models not paying attention to me. i think it works well. the funny thing is, half the time i’m at an auto show, i pay zero attention to the models. zero. except unless they ask me to get them a sandwich (model humor… too soon?!) or possibly a 2,500 calorie protein shake? (way too soon)

photos are with the 5DMKII and the 24-70mm f2.8L and the new 70-200mm f2.8L. i likey. thanks for another smashing year detroit, i actually miss you already. Joe? i’m gonna take you up on that offer to do a DETROIT-IN-24-HOURS-PHOTOGRAPHY-MARATHON. that will be fun.

and just to clarify, i am a little jaded at the process but i love the people i work with and i love what i do for a living. some of the best days of my year are spent walking around detroit during the auto show. i really dig it.

the music:
i enjoyed spending much of my downtime today reading hilarious braid facts posted by their bass player Tod Bell over his twitter feed. this stroll down memory lane obviously led to me playing lots and lots of braid over the headphones. i could listen to them forever. i’m a nerd, a geek, a husband, a former jock, a soon to be father, a photographer, and a braid fan. but not in that order.

taking over at lunch, flickr style

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 1/50 sec – Aperture: f2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D Mark II

| currently listening to: Ball and a Biscuit, The White Stripes, Elephant 2003, | LINK

the photography:
another day, another Flickr meet-up. sigh. i will never get tired of meeting and chatting with this interesting group filled with interesting people, who are all interested in the same sorta stuff i am. there is nothing better for the soul than meeting like minded people and eating crepes. hallelujah!

this is my second time having lunch with this crew and it’s really been fun getting to know people and their work. sometimes when i get some free time while i’m sitting at the computer, i’ll peruse various pages of their photography and catch up with what the peeps have been up and who’s talking to who and who’s photographing who. it’s a great visual representation of what these photographers are doing and what they are finding artistically interesting.

i could look at photos all day long. the act of photo browsing is pretty wonderful and if i didn’t spend so much time editing my own photos, i would spend all day flipping through photos. here are 5 (.5) reasons why i find looking through photographs (specifically) on Flickr so cathartic and ediucational:

1. i really enjoy seeing what other people are doing with their cameras and their free time. these particular searches sometimes end in fits of jealousy but at the very least, looking through photos of someplace i want to be invigorates me and gets me out the door with my camera strapped to my shoulder and a granola bar in my pocket.

2. i get to see where my fellow contemporary photographers (professional and amateur alike) in the city of chicago are finding the gritty gritty. i like the gritty gritty and so do a lot of the people i follow on Flickr. urban decay is gorgeous. say that five times fast… gritty gritty… it just sounds dirty. now picture tom waits saying it… awesome.

3. i love to see how different photographers take portraits. from the kid on the street shooting strangers with his new DSLR to the woman who photographs herself and her husband on the train with a point a shoot, portraits come in all shapes and sizes, and colors. i love checking out what people will do while having their picture taken. i also love where people decide to take portraits. i take notes on the stuff i like about other people’s portraits and i try to remember to reproduce certain bits and pieces when i create my own work.

4. it’ always fun to see how people set out to do photography projects. i personally have spent almost a year working on my own 50 portraits project. best stuff on Flickr? self-portrait projects. especially the 365 self-portraits (1 a day for a year). there is nothing better than looking through hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of photos of the same person to see how the photographer (and the subject) changes it up (to beat the monotony) or keeps the shot the same especially when said person is on their 8th year of taking one photo of themselves every day (that doesn’t actually happen but you get the idea). so much interesting work being done here… lots of great ideas and plenty of bad ideas too. it’s a virtual how-to and how-not-to in one set.

5. and finally, i just love reading people’s comments and thoughts about photographs. sure, it’s easy to leave the essential “Great shot!” or “Sweet!” or “First!” but i love it when people start to converse in photographic terms with meaning and insight. it’s great feedback not only for the photographer at hand but it’s also great for readers to converse in the conversation as well. fun (and sometimes humiliating but mostly fun!).

Special Reason (or reason #5.5). every now and then you get to see something truly exceptional, emotionally driving, and knock your socks off fantastic. then you copy down everything you like about the photograph and you try to grow out of your photographer’s shell and make your next female model drop the top of her dress just a little lower, you ask your next male model to make that dark sinister face a little more believable and disgusting, and you push your boundaries of comfort as a photographer to make yourself and your art, that much more productive. sigh…

if you look closely, you’ll notice the photos are with the new Canon 5D MKII body and my same old 28mm. a rather splendid combo if you ask me…

the music:
this record has been listed on almost everyone’s “end of the century” essential-to-own record list which, to be completely honest, has become a boring way to wave your i’m-just-as-meaningful-to-america-as-lester-bangs-male-phallus about to see who has the biggest one (the winner of that contest = no one, you all lose). this particular white stripes record deserves all the credit it receives, don’t get me wrong as i tend to rant when prodded with a stick, i’m just upset that making a definitive list is the only way to prance about and posture your “manhood” in the music press. that’s right, i’m looking at you pitchforkmedia… lame.

the white stripes have always been known to take traditional blues and push the boundaries. ball and a biscuit is their ode to the old timers and the forefathers. it’s also jack whites homage to the screaming distortion pedal and tube amplification. in the beginning, this song just fingerpicks midlevel hum hum and reverb that builds to a squeeling, pedal stomping, guitar olympics that could just as easily define white’s guitar playing style if only we could imbed MP3 files into the dictionary. the fact that meg actually keeps time (i mean really truly actually keeps a standard 4/4 beat) throughout the entire song is not lost on me. the lyrics are old world, the guitar sounds are all jack white, and the drums are meg’s best slowed-pace-bohnam bass drum and snare. i love this song. love it.

50 Portraits – 28/29

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/20 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/320 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 500 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Van Halen, Nerf Herder, s/t, 1996 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #28 is Joel | Portrait #29 is Elizabeth

kickball shall bring-ith us together-ith. that’s pretty much the mantra that i followed for a while back in 2007. that’s when i met joel. it’s also how i subsequently met elizabeth but i don’t really remember it that well. either way, they were both kind enough to tag along for some logan square photography complete with a 2 block radius sweep of the CTA blueline stop.

joel is a kindred soul. i knew this already but after further discussion, we realized that we each have significant ties to the upper peninsula of michigan and that we both enjoy the same humor and intellectual stimuli. amazingly, we have lived with the same roommate albeit in two different parts of the country and at least 5 years in between the two apartments. funny how life works like that? friends bring friends together in the oddest of ways.

and that is also how i met elizabeth. she’s from the same suburban chicago-land town as joel but they were enough apart in years to not know each other from school. it’s all about how you use your six degrees. the reason i asked joel to be a part of this project was because he is a reader of the blog and he owns this fantastic leather jacket. i told him to bring it with him. elizabeth noticed that joel was being photographed and wanted in. my philosophy? the more the merrier. and she was smashing. it helps when your subjects are comfortable with each other. awkward moments caught on film? we save that for facebook. they do make a pretty pair, don’t they?!

photos again are with the 28mm f1.8. it just makes things right in the world. i’m gonna get the 50mm fixed, someday. numerical order = chronological order = story telling w/out editing.

the music:
i started a thread on twitter the other day that centered around nerf herder lyrics. my friend dixie picked up on it quickly and we have been going strong for a few days now. it’s been cracking me up the entire time. who knew that some fleeting frat-punk band could last the years and make some inspiring songs for the world to hunger over? the song van halen was my introduction to nerf herder. pantera fans in love is where i pee my pants. “i bought van halen I it was the best damn record i ever owned…”

pitchfork festival, not just another outdoor party in the chicago summer

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/30 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/200 sec – Aperture: f2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: f2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: f2.2 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: f1.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Over It, Dinosaur Jr., Farm, 2009 | LINK

the photography:
it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. i have quoted that statement so many times it now just flows from my mouth without the slightest touch of irony or snark. these days, when i get together with my best friends for a weekend of crazy, i’m pretty sure i actually mean it. two weekends ago, the pitchforkmedia music festival was in chicago for three nights of fun, music, art, crowds, and above all, drinking- festival style. what a great excuse for three of my groomsmen to float into town for some down home festival loving. and friends in a band who were playing showed up to boot. it was great. with said band, came some VIP passes. wow. you know what makes a great festival even greater? free beer. friday night, after a great noshing on lots of pork (thanks Publican, you rule. i will be back), i endured one of my “Top 10” going out on the town nights. needless to say, saturday hurt. the photos are from running around the festival grounds and from getting ready in my TV room. count the number of Sparks wrist bands that show up and make sure you look around in each photo, sometimes the best moments are happening outside of what you’re looking at. thanks again to the Bowerbirds, you guys are amazing. shot with the fixed 28mm f1.8. nice.

the music:
dinosaur jr. kick butt. i have been listenign to them, pretty much non-stop, since i was in the 8th grade. it’s one of those bands that are so instantly recognizable and oh so gosh darned love-able and warm and fuzzy, and above all else, loud. this new CD with the original lineup of Murph, J. Mascis, and Lou Barlow, is their first output as the original lineup, in decades. i love it. it’s 1994 all over again. bring the fuzz boxes, the marshall stacks, and shimmy yer butt. i said shimmy!

50 Portraits – 22 | Part #1 |

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 320 – Focal Length: 46mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 28mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 1600 – Focal Length: 24mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 640 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/125 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 400 – Focal Length: 32mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/80 sec – Aperture: F2.8 – ISO: 800 – Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Pink Chimneys, The Promise Ring, Nothing Feels Good, 1997 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #22 is Bob

first off, i did something i thought i would never do. i dropped my camera about 2.5 feet above a concrete sidewalk. i’ve never done that before. and before you get all up in arms, the only thing that broke was my 50mm 1.4 lens. THE ONLY THING? i need a vacation from myself… but more importantly, i got to meet and photograph the most excellent, bob nanna. bob is a musician who works at threadless t-shirts and he has had numerous previous lives in the bands, certain people i know, the city on film, hey mercedes, braid, and friction. now if you are thirtysomething who has a slight love for all things 1998 kick-ass post punk, (gasp) emo, chicago mathrock, than you already know who bob is. i first heard bob’s name after a get-up kids show in worcester, mass. as i was smoking a cigarette outside someone was talking about him and his guitar gear (Gibson SG, Marshall half stack, etc…). i asked the question “who is bob nanna?”. and someone retorted, “you don’t know? he’s the singer for Braid… duh.” my bad. i knew the music, never the name. i know who he is now. as i start to get into the heart of the 50 Portraits Project, i decided to push the boundaries of my own shyness and ask people that i respect (a whole hell of a lot) to sit and be photographed. andrew huff was the first (as i once started a website that really wanted to be Gaper’s Block but never got off the ground) and i’m already on to mr. nanna. who’s next? well… you’ll just have to come back and see. bob and i had so much fun cruising around the very photogenic threadless offices that i had to split this portion of the 50PP into two parts. as you may notice in these photos, i spent a good amount of time battling the lighting. as the 50PP is done without the use of external light sources attached to the camera, i ended up using both the natural and unnatural light in threadless. all in all, it makes for some fun saturations and skin tones. enjoy. every shot here was taken with my EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. shed a tear for the 50mm.

the music:
this album pretty much sums up the end of my college career. a friend gave it to me and it’s never left my side. i was once told that i would never be able to listen to this song in my friend ashley’s volvo ever again. i pretty much beat this album into the ground and it still holds all of the energy and insight that it did more than 10 years ago. as the promise ring started to call it quits in the early 2000’s i managed to catch them on their last tour through boston. it was a fantastic swan song show with all of the energy that i expected from a band that was playing for the fans. i quite enjoyed the hell out of it. i look back and wish i was hearing this record for the first time. and in some ways, i hear something new every time i play it. just a side note but J. Robbins produced this record. you should google him. he’s worked on some fantastic records.

50 Portraits – 21

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/3200 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Honey in the Sun, Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career, 2009 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #21 is andrew

andrew is the editor in chief of one of chicago’s great blogs, Gapers Block. i met andrew a couple of years ago at a Gaper’s anniversary party. my wife had befriended him via her path as a PR superhero. andrew has one of those memorable faces (which may be directly linked to his sideburns) and when i decided to branch out of my inner circle for this 50 Portraits Project, his name was near the top of the list. i met with andrew, his wife, and a few of their friends for a beer and some portraits (i am lying about the beer because it’s hard for me to say cider in public). please check out GB as it collects the finest that chicago has to offer in the arts, social stratospheres, food, politics, and puts it out there in blog form for all to see. check it out for sure. thanks to andrew and cinnamon for letting me hang for a bit. i would love to see the photos (that cinnamon took) of me taking andrew’s photo. that would be a fantastic attachment to this post.

the music:
besides the aptly chosen name for this band, there are many many many things i love about this multi-pieced group from scotland. fortunately almost all of my interest stems from their lead singer tracianne. my god. for a long time now, i have had an imaginary friendship with her. we run in the fields of grass, we hold hands, we toe the sand on the beach together, we take funny polaroids of each other outside of the Louvre, we ride a bicycle built for two together, and we go skinny dipping in the pond without looking at each other (ok so maybe i look but i know she doesn’t). it’s fantastic. their music is so bubbly, so happy, and so much more than the bubblegum pop that it poses as. this band is now five records into a great career and your should buy them all. but make sure to bring your toothbrush. this band is indeed, too sweet for most. i almost fainted when my friend ivan introduced me to tracianne back in 2004. true story.

50 Portraits – 17

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/6400 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/5000 sec – Aperture: F2.0 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: (Arrow Up), Boredoms, Vision Creation Newsun, 1999 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #17 is christopher

not only did i get a chance to spend a day at the horse track but i also knocked off both #’s 16 and 17 of the 50 Portraits Project. whew. life moves pretty fast during the summer. true that. chris is related to my wife and he is visually, a great photographic study. he’s a handsome man with impeccable taste in dress wear and he knows it. a little attitude will get you everywhere in the photographic world. especially when you look that good in front of the lens. his modeling contract days may be behind him but i was happy to be able to pull him out of retirement for my 50 Portraits Project. he’s a good egg. also, the wind had very little effect on chris’ hair, unlike that of his counterpart, leah. not to throw us all under the bus (and not to make leah feel too bad about the incident) but chris was also there when the tambourines went missing. i have many stories to tell about this one but both chris and i prefer our privacy. we’ll tell my kids one day. it’ll be fun to watch their jaws drop. i don’t know if i have mentioned this before but within each of the photos in the 50 Portraits Project, i am using the same lens and the same camera and all of the photos have been taken since the day i started posting them. these are not being culled from the vault. they are fresh. just like chris.

the music:
japan’s favorite noise, funk, rock, indie, weirdos, and all around torchbearers of dreadlocks, boredoms, love to play music and they really love to play the drums. their music is a percussive heavy / keyboard leaning shout-out to american / british psychedelic rock of the seventies. lots of overdubs, tracks, noises, blips, and echos are heard above the driving beats. there may be gobs of manipulation on the surface but don’t let that fool you, the drums are recorded live and played by drummers (usually 3 of them when they play live). the keys are just there to add enough sunshine to highlight the rhythm. i think that every song boredoms produce has at least one symbol being crashed every second. this track contains actual guitar and vocals as well. but i always forget that.

50 Portraits – 13

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F10 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/800 sec – Aperture: F5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/2000 sec – Aperture: F4.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/400 sec – Aperture: F4.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/500 sec – Aperture: F4.5 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: The General Specific, Band of Horses, Cease to Begin, 2007 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #13 is catherine

in my family, the #13 has always been lucky, my father’s birthday, my parents wedding anniversary, my brother’s jersey number from youth hockey, the sum of our house number in rochester, minnesota in 1986, etc. it was only a matter of time before i added the love of my life to this 50 portraits project. why not make her #13? cath’s very presence in my life is a joy that i never overlook for a second nor do i ever take it for granted. she’s beautiful, smart, and caring. catherine. these photos are from our recent trip to the west coast. it was a whirlwind four days spent driving around sonoma county stopping only to taste more wine, check out the ocean, eat fantastic food (kumamoto oysters), sleep, or to put our feet up after a long day and relax on the patio (probably with a bottle of wine). it was the most refreshing trip i have ever been on and it was the first vacation we have taken in a few years where we did not have to see any loved ones or have an agenda chock full of tourist’s visits. healdsburg, california and the surrounding areas comprise one of the prettiest landscapes in all of america from the redwood forests, to the vines in dry creek river valley, this county has it all. and we took advantage of it. sunglasses, open window driving, fine dining, and vino were our only pre-reqs for each day. it was perfect. we were perfect. that statement reflects more the company that i keep than anything that i had to do with the situation. as i tell most strangers, i married up. and it shows.

the music:
one of the catchiest singles from the 2000’s, is there a ghost, is one of the better pop gems from a band known for their melting pot of freak folk, pop rock, and indie guitar jams. this track is just as beautiful and it’s for those people out there who buy records because they want to find the deeper cuts of a record to listen to and fall in love with. these guys (band of horses) look like they should be driving 18 wheelers across the country while on meth. they are equal parts beard, mesh hats, tattoo sleeves, flannel, and overbites. how fitting. this record is really worth a listen to if you like the more poppy indie rockers like death cab, the rosebuds, or my morning jacket. this record is such a great representation of good song writing and music that will stand the test of many years to come. think arty beach boys meets neil young meets death cab for cutie. i likey. “it means shit to me now…”

50 Portraits – 10

Exposure: 1/100 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/160 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/60 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Catch the Sun, Doves, Lost Souls, 2000 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #10 is jamie

jamie is someone i met though two mutual friends in brooklyn. she didn’t really believe me when i said i was a photographer. then i started taking pictures. i think she got it pretty quickly after that. ever since i started this project, jamie might have been the easiest model to shoot. she has a natural comfort in front of the lens that allows me to shoot photos without much thought or care about what’s going on. it’s just brainless clicking and yet the photos speak volumes. i also love that she came equipped with her own leopard print jacket. normally i have to ask people to wear clothes like that. outstanding to say the least. after drinks, dinner, drinks, our crew became fast friends even though many of us had just met that day. it’s easy to hang out with people you have known for years and accept their friends as your own. at this point in life, i think the more the merrier. and what better setting than running around brooklyn?

the music:
oh my goodness i almost forgot about the band doves. these guys snuck onto my radar at some point in 2001 when i saw them play a show in boston with my morning jacket as the opening band. my morning jacket played flying V’s with marshall stacks and they blew my head off. doves came out and rocked me gently, rocked me slowly, and blew my brains out. this band is awesome, the music is grooving infectious indie rock and if people think that radiohead is the only good british band in that category, they have never heard doves. or the beta band for that matter. get your headphones on and love this record.

50 Portraits – 9

Exposure: 1/2500 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1250 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/1600 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/4000 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 100 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

Exposure: 1/40 sec – Aperture: F1.4 – ISO: 200 – Focal Length: 50mm
Lens: EF 50mm f/1.4 – Camera: Canon 5D

| currently listening to: Ankle Injuries, Fujiya & Miyagi, Transparent Things, 2006 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #9 is brad

the next installment (#9 by my count) of the 50 Portraits series includes photos of my original model. brad and i have known each other for more than 13 years and our relationship has always been based on mutual respect. when we were younger, it was based on musical tastes. these days, as our musical tastes have morphed over the years, our mutual respect is based on watching each other become the adults that we are today. it’s fun to think and talk about the stupid things we did in college and in our post college years and it’s always great to laugh with people you know so well. when we see each other these days, we try to get that mushy stuff out of the way so that we can catch up on what’s happening in the present time. it’s fun. brad is a high-end bartender/mixologist. he’s known as a class act in the new york speakeasy circles. and he is. he’s also pretty sick of me taking his photo.

the music:
fujiya & miyagi are a group of electronic british dance rockers who try to pull off the idea that they are japanese like their name implies. well… they aren’t. but they do play fun little dance rock numbers that get your feet tapping. lots of bass, swirling keys, and just enough funky guitar add some spice to the electronic drums that push the beat. it’s light hearted and great for evenings at home and in the car. brad introduced me to them a while back and i’ve seen them in concert. they do quite well for themselves. their name always makes me think of the karate kid though. daniel san.

50 Portraits – 2 and 3

| currently listening to: Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Neil Young, After the Goldrush, 1970 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #2 is jackie.
Portrait #3 is katrina.

when i spend enough time in one place i start to remember the way that light fills that space. the street i live on, the rooms in my house, the parking garage elevator, etc.. when i picture these places in my head, i remember the way that the light fills each space and how the perfect light will always look. with these next two additions (i am officially calling them Portraits #2 and Portraits #3 with the shared portrait being Portrait #2/3) to my 50 Portraits Series, i have started to cash in on my favorite lighting spaces. this happens to be the previously mentioned parking garage elevator lobby on the 8th floor across the street. i am in this building 6-7 times a week. in the afternoon, this glass room shimmers and shines with what can only be described as “awesome lighting”. thanks to both models for being good sports about it all.

the funny thing about undertaking this many portraits is to find unique settings, different models, and friends who will help you out along the way. as i sweep through my rolodex and my contacts list on my cell phone, i’m realizing just how much fun this project is going to be. i’m happy to be off to a good start.

the music:
this is such a sad song. i remember listening to it while laying down in my parents living room with the vinyl version of this record spinning around. this was always known as the song just before Southern Man but in a digital world, MP3’s have no order. sad but true. i’ll still listen to Southern Man though… it’s habit.

50 Portraits – 1

| currently listening to: Divinations, Mastodon, Crack the Skye, 2009 | LINK

the photography:

Portrait #1 is vann.

i am going to start a project right here and now. this will be the first of 50 portraits. this will be an ongoing thread so you can see the updates as they come in via clicking on the category, “50 Portraits”. my first subject is vann. he hates getting his picture taken. well. tough cookies. i got him to stand still for about 5 seconds. i always love the oddball portrait that you can throw into the mix whether it be out of focus, non-traditionally framed, or what have you. the focus of the last photo is not vann’s mid-section (as he thinks) but rather the two people behind him waiting to cross the street. i like that one.

check back soon to find more 50 Portraits posts. i’ll be posting at least 2 a week if not more.

the music:
i have been waiting for this record for a long time. it is finally in my hands. and i am so happy. i know that heavy metal music has never been a badge that i have worn in public (other than when i want to prove just how vermont i am to other vermonters) but this record and this band are quite unstoppable. quite. if you like melodic metal, this is for you.