Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Nemesis

I resisted, but I kind of wish people would stop bringing this kind of stuff to share at work.
Media_httpdistilleryi_itwnj Aww, who am I kidding? I resisted this one, but I'm a weak man when it comes to the pastries. Nom, nom, nom.

Posted via email from beFrank's posterous

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Okay, so maybe I am a little late in getting around to committing for 2012. It's my understanding that resolutions are for people who want to improve in some way.

That usually relates to getting rid of bad habits.  Sure, I got tons of bad habits. I'm just not positive that I have any I'm ready to get rid of.

The plan is to eat better this year. No more donuts (or doughnuts either).

Stop laughing. Success is always in the attempt.

Make more time for actual writing on the blog.

As much as I like the Instagram app on my iPhone, I feel like it really has contributed to sucking the life out of my blog.

(Can "not posting" be considered a bad habit?)

Make the committment and focus on the two aspects of my life that I really have the greatest interest in pursuing.

Early in life, the fork in the road used to lead towards news or writing and news won that matchup by default (nobody was really interested in paying me to write).

Now it seems the road in the yellow woods is diverging and leading towards writing or still photography.

News (hopefully) will always pay the bills.

But it's not so much about having a job.  It's more about having a job that I enjoy.

My only concern is that if I make something I enjoy my main job, would it become "work" and would I no longer be able to enjoy it?

Well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

In the meantime, I also fully resolve to stop using the annoying watermark and vignetting in my photos.  I'm serious about that one.

I'm not sure how long that donut thing is going to last.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Say, Cheese!

On Monday morning this week, I was greeted by the news that one of my photographs was selected to be a Daily Deviation on the Deviant Art web site.

That was insanely cool for me.

I can't show the picture here (NSFW, NSFW!), but these are shots from the same set.

Deviant Art is a web site where some pretty amazing artists from all over the world show their work.

I started submitting my shots to the site as a way of sharing my efforts in still photography.

Not really promoting myself, just saying my work is there if you were interested in seeing it.

Honestly, I'm not trying to "be" anything. Okay, we'll, I'm always trying to be a better photographer, but fame and/or fortune isn't a big motivating factor for me when it come to my still photography.

The way I look at it, I have a job in news that I love. I also enjoy photography and if I weren't working in news, I might be trying to make a go of it as a still photographer.

The idea of me as an artist is something I still wrestle with. I'm not entirely against it, I just find my enjoyment of photography to be inversely proportional to the amount of work involved.

That's just my way of saying, I don't want a second job. I think we can all agree, there's working hard at something you personally enjoy and there's working hard for someone else.

I can do that first thing all day long (every day).

That second thing? Having another boss? One job at a time is enough for me right now, thank you very much.

Having said all that, let me get back to what I was saying before about the Deviant Art site.

The photo submitted for their Daily Deviation had been on the site for about two weeks and had been viewed maybe four hundred times.

At the end of the day, the photo had over twelve thousand views.

Uh, whoa. That was mind blowing.

There's probably a bit more to be said, but I have to get ready for work. Hey, does anybody want to talk about the whole fine art (okay, nude) photography experience?

Next time.

Hey, I'm having a pretty great week so far. I hope I get a good assignment today and I hope it's something where I can shoot a couple of still shots I can share.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 20, 2012

Losing Great Ones

The father of one of my friends from work passed away this week. The guy I work with is a man of character and I guess that's because of the way he was raised.

Now today Etta James has died.

I know the clock is ticking for everyone, but I can't help feeling that we're losing some great people here and that's bringing me down. I'm listening to Etta James music and trying not to dwell on it.

My resolve today will be that living is the best way to honor those who have passed on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Chanera Ave,Hawthorne,United States

Chilly Art

The huge amount of dry ice that was part of the art installation greeting visitors to the 2012 Art Los Angeles Contemporary show in Santa Monica was impressive.

Other crews were covering the arrest made in the case of the severed head found in the Hollywood Hills

I'm good.

I'd much rather meet a world class artist (Judy Chicago).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Chanera Ave,Hawthorne,United States


This is a test of the new blogging app. I just tossed $3.00 down the drain on it and I don't think we're going to come to anything close to a workable situation.

It's not a bad app. I just can't do the kind of things I'd like to do with the formatting.

I've been using an app called Blogsy for almost a year. It gets progressively worse with each update.

The search continues.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing.

I've spent the better part of the past few days indulging in the work of other photographers.  That's two weekends in a row that I've managed to set aside some time to appreciate artistic endeavors.

I'm sure that's a good thing, but it still frustrates me a little.  It's always in the back of my mind that I should be paying closer attention to my own work.

No matter how much I do, I always feel as if I should have done more.

This past week I did accomplish one thing which got me out of the comfy chair and made me feel as if I was at least making an honest attempt to stay out of my comfort zone.

I had to pick up my truck from the station (long story, not important) and instead of making it a two person drive, I voluntarily made use of some of that "public transportation" you sometimes hear about.

This was about 9pm, so it wasn't without some concern for my safety.  That still goes towards the whole "getting out of the comfort zone" thing.

Sanity did prevail in that I decided not to take the big camera and documented the adventure with my much more concealable Nikon P9000.

There are lots of street photographers out there who can engage strangers and form connections with people that lead to honest heartfelt images.

Mostly (and I tweeted about this) I was just hoping to not get stabbed.

The people I photographed looked harmless.

There were people behind me who looked like baby killers.  No, I do not have any pictures of them.

And just to clarify, no, they did not look like babies who might kill people.

Anyway, we all got on the train.

All I could think about were all the cool shots I've seen that people have taken while on public transportation.

To be fair, you never really see how many bodyguards are backing up the photographer.

Could be half a dozen bodyguards standing behind the person behind the lens.

That's what I'm going to believe.

I probably could have taken a shot of the street vendor at the Universal City station who walked up to me and started talking to me in Spanish.

Honest mistake on his part.

So, to recap my route, I traveled on the Green Line to Willowbrook Station.  From there I took the Blue Line to the 7th Street Station in down town Los Angeles.  That's where I caught the Red Line to North Hollywood and transferred to a bus for the last couple of miles left in my adventure.

The bus transfer is always kind of tricky for me, but I managed to arrive at the station a mere two and a half hours after my journey began.

Not exactly a grand adventure, but it felt good and gave me a chance to clear my mind.  This was just after I'd gotten back from vacation, so it gave me a chance to get my head on straight before hitting the mean streets of LA news.

Riding the rails is a lot more fun when there's a nice meal or beer at the end of the line.

I'll do it again when I've got a few more guys with me.  I mean, come on, who wants to be stabbed alone.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Late Night Risks

The dilemma was that my truck was at the station and I needed to pick it up for Dellis to use to haul some educational crap (That's why I have a truck instead of a sports car). I could have had my lovely wife drop me off at the station.

Instead of doing the easy/smart thing, I decided to take the Metro train and do a little late night street photography.

Getting out of my comfort zone was the ultimate goal.

Mission accomplished.

. . .and I got my truck home.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Shreveport, LA

It wasn't a vacation.

My mother was experiencing some health issues that were not seeming to get better.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Her health seemed to be getting worse.

That's why I spent the better part of this week visiting my folks in Shreveport.

I'm cautiously optimistic, but everything does seem better now.

I'm not sure if it was anything that I did.  If I had to guess, I'd say it was a combination of the care she was getting and just possibly the added boost to her spirits from my visit.

I did a lot of praying early this week, because I am so inclined.

After just a couple of days, there was a measurable level of improvement in my mother's condition.  I was still a bit of a wreck, but at least there was  cause for optimism.

There wasn't much time for me to relax and enjoy the regular activities that I look forward to when I visit.

Late in the week, I did push myself to take a drive by myself to try and snap a few shots to share.

I'm sure it's odd (to some) but even in uncertain times, I find myself unable to just sit and observe without feeling that urge capture my surroundings with my camera.

My folks wouldn't appreciate me posting photos of them from this week.

Well, my dad might not care, but my mother would have a fit.

I'm going to just leave that part of the trip alone.

I had about two hours to capture what I could.  I also needed the time to clear my head.

There's a lot I'd have done different if I had a little more time.  It was actually difficult for me to get warmed up.

It wasn't as much time as I needed (to get a good sense of where I was, let alone clear my head).

But the purpose of the trip wasn't to take pictures.

I was visiting my folks, because i thought they might need me and because that's what children do.

My thanks for the good thoughts and prayers sent our way from the people who knew about my trip.  It was never my intent to exclude any family or friends, but it wasn't an easy trip to make.

I didn't want discussion.

I just wanted to do what I needed to do.

(Also, there's no significance to the b&w processing choice on some of the photos.  I just felt like it.)