Monday, November 24, 2014

Feeling Lost

It isn't often that I will admit to feeling lost. That certainly doesn't mean I don't feel lost... but actually admitting that I am feeling is lost... that takes some doing. Tonight I feel lost.

Reading about the grand jury's decision in Ferguson makes me wonder if we can ever really look at the divisions in this country with any level of honest inquiry. I feel lost when I look at the massive amount of hate and vitriol that people are spilling over with... so much fear and anger and mistrust. Our fear of other... our fear of what someone else might be or might do... is pathological.

I could go on. I have a lot I want to say about police violence, about fear of Islam, about racism, about class issues, about violence in general. Not tonight. For tonight it is enough for me to feel lost and to just sit with that feeling.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Breaking Bad (or why I don't want to be a pine board)

After watching this year's board breaking demonstrations by both the Lansing dojo and the Trumansburg High School dojo, all I can say is that Cayuga Lake Seido karateka can put some serious hurt on those pine boards! Seeing all that focus and power is absolutely awesome. Watching kids who moments earlier were certain that the pain and fear of breaking a board would keep them from succeeding, suddenly powering their way through... that was amazing to see!

You can tell, I have a soft spot for this blue haired kid o'mine. That face, that kiai...and that POWER! Whooya!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Amazing Performance by Beats Antique

Every now and then, you get one of those chance to do something totally amazing, off-the-wall,... real bucket list sort-of things. Last night Nancy and I got to photograph Beats Antique. From the pit. We're talking In FRONT of FRONT row! We had time to walk around beforehand, watching everything get setup and all the performers prepare... and then as the show concluded, I got pulled up on stage to capture a huge audience portrait with the band. 

Now, this opportunity would have been a fantastic privilege for any photographer, but for us, HUGE long time fans, this was seriously over the top. Nancy had been chomping at the bit to go see Beats Antique since we first heard about them over four years ago. She has always loved Zoe Jakes and her incredible dance/movement/style. Getting to see all that goes into a show was flat out WICKED!

Nancy is the coolest second shooter, because really, who wants to put up with me after a long hot day shooting, me getting grumpy and tired. Nancy puts up with all of my grumpiness and even brings me water and memory cards.

 Last night we set her up with the Fuji X100S. Punched the ISO as high as it could go... and she squeezed her way up front, right below the stage. From there she made some fantastic images of the performance and the crowd. From my vantage, parked between a giant speaker and the barricade, and with my wide angle lens on the Fuji XT1, I was capturing huge swaths of the stage and great views of the crowd... but I couldn't really get anything nearly as close as Nancy. In the end, this was the perfect combination. We couldn't have planned it any better. Our images dovetailed into one another. Reviewing the images today has been a hoot. Almost like reliving all the wild crazy excitement of last night. I can't thank Beats Antique and Nova Han enough, for inviting us to photograph the performance last night.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aurora's Senior Photos

I feel like I have photographed everyone else's kids in the past few months... but not my own. What do they say about a Cobbler's kids?

It was a perfect weekend afternoon with stormy grey skies overhead when Aurora and I went off to Treman State Park. The leaves were changing color and everything felt cool and damp. The trail was filled with folks out for the day, enjoying the fall foliage. Trying to avoid folks walking into our photoshoot was the hardest part of the day.

Tomorrow Aurora and I zoom off to Oregon to look at more colleges. Her applications are coming along. Financial aid applications will get worked on when we get back home next week. I have never felt time fly by so fast in my life. I know that between now and August of next year, time will be a freight train being driven off a cliff driven by wild lions... but I never expected it to feel this fast.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Going Blue

A long time ago, Aurora asked if she could dye her hair blue. I had no problem with that. Nancy thought is was a cool idea. But for the last few years, she held out because she was concerned that it might not be appropriate for a Seido karateka. After getting approval from her Kyoshis, and in preparation for her advanced brown belt promotion, she took the plunge! Seido blue, all the way!

The first step was getting her dark brown hair bleached so that it would accept the dye. That took the better part of the afternoon. Bleach, rinse, repeat. Took a while.

On saturday morning, when it was finally blue, she was the happiest camper! Seeing her last night at her kumite portion of her promotion, and seeing her blue hair peeking out from under her protective headgear was awesome. She is rocking that BLUE!

Kumite at Cayuga Lake Seido Karate

Today I am posting just a few photos from last night's kumite session at Cayuga Lake Seido. It is always incredible to watch everyone in their gear, jabbing and kicking and laughing, all at the same time.

Seeing Aurora's blue hair poking out of her foam headgear is kinda funny. Seido blue, all the way!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lake Training with Cayuga Lake Seido Karate at Myers Point in Lansing

Lake Training with Cayuga Lake Seido Karate at Myers Point in Lansing 

This was the biggest assemblage of students and families, that I have ever seen gather for Lake Training at CLSK. Every year this Lake Training gets bigger! This year, we had perfect weather. Sunny, warm but not sweltering. We had a live band and cheering fans.... okay, those were for the paddleboard races happening, but it was sure fun to hear rock n roll while doing kata.

For the first time, I attempted to use the Fuji XT1 as a "sports" camera. Also shot RAW+jpg. The images here are jpg SOOC (straight out of camera). I had been having all sorts of problems with my Fuji 55-200 lens... but now everything seems to be working perfectly! My only regret yesterday was not owning a waterproof camera/case. It would have been even more fun to be in the water RIGHT NEXT to everyone... getting splashed and not worrying one bit about getting wet. Maybe next year?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jenny and Clinton's Wedding in PA

These are a few images from Jenny and Clinton's wedding last month. They are such a photogenic couple! Makes photographing a wedding seem easy.  Thank you both! Good luck in Montana. Watch out for those jackalopes.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stacked Up and Getting Ready

Over the past four months of photographing around NYC, I have been collecting ideas and inspiration... all building towards putting together an installation. As I look back over hundreds of images, what I am struck by is the range of themes. I have had such a wild experience shooting through different times of day, seasons, locations... all of that has made selecting images for final prints very difficult. There is so much that surprises me in these images... so much more that I want to see again and try to see through a different lens or a different time of day... all in hopes of finding that perfect shot.

As I begin the winnowing process, I am struck by how difficult it is to say one image is so much better than another. My feeling is that as the selection process continues, it will be more about pulling together a common thread. Finding that theme that rolls through all of my images. It is an exciting prospect while being simultaneously daunting in scope.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Not Your Average Senior Portrait

Over the past couple weeks, I have gotten the usual calls about shooting senior portraits... most parents want pretty standard photos. Not this kid.

When Nathan emailed me, I knew we had fun in store. I was pretty sure we would be able to do something way more fun. Throwing aside the "safe" lighting setups, we went for broke. We had such a blast goofing around in the studio, trying out all sorts of cool lighting ideas. Normally I have to use a delicate hand but Nathan said: Go for it! So we did! Very exciting images.

There are only a few more open sessions this summer for 2014-2015 HS Senior Portraits. Don't wait.