Archive for August, 2007

Never quite satisfied


Before I ramble pointlessly, this is Leslie Beukelman, she sings like an angel. I wish my night would have been a bit slower and I could have taken an extra hour to just listen. Such is life.

I want my motto to be, “Always happy, never satisfied.” In truth it’s probably “Never happy, never satisfied.” That’s not to say I’m not happy. I, as a general overall human being, am pretty damn happy.

I’m never happy with my photography. There are a few photos a year I like, 3-7 usually. They still have problems, but they’re alright. Otherwise, I’m pretty much just unhappy with my general performance in photography. I enjoy photography, tremendously, I just think I should do better.

Someday, one day, I won’t feel like a hack. That day, is not today.

With these two photos (Tangent time – well my life may be back to being “more real” this is really quite relative. Tonight was photographing Leslie, because, well, I could, and I ccould call it work. Again, reality is a relative term with me.) So, with these two photos, they’re alright, I guess, but they should just be so much better. Sure, there wasn’t much working for me here (for the tech fans, ISO3200 f1.2 25th of a second) but as a former boss of mine once said to me after I gave him an excuse for why I screwed something up, and said more eloquently than I, “There’s always an excuse, I want people who don’t need an excuse.” Also known as, there is always a reason you can’t do something right, so just find a way to do it right. So, no excuses, these should be better.

Yeah, and maybe I’m not being fair to me, but I wonder how much of that never being happy makes me get better each year.

(and yeah, a psychiatrist would have a field day with me. Such is life.)

Back to Reality?


I don’t know if back to reality is accurate, reality never really exists for me, but back to “the usual” probably is fair. School is back in session, that means back to kids doing school stuff, lots of sports (2 football games a week till I’m blue in the face), and everything back to inside soon enough.

A few years back I started this little project call Portfolio of the Month. I had realized my entire portfolio was from my late teens and early twenties, this was when I was in my late twenties. Let’s just put that in the “unacceptable” category. This project, POM, was/is a chance for me to build my portfolio on an ongoing basis.

I don’t really know if it works for that. I just don’t give that much of damn about my portfolio these days. It does provide a handy mechanism for some much needed self-examination though. I’d argue most people need more self-examination. Journalists are probably even worse. Yesterday doesn’t matter, only tomorrow’s papers matter. POM is a handy way for me to look at what I do, and try to learn something from it, something about being a better photographer, and something about being a better me…hopefully.

Anyhow, this tangent once had a point, which was that this project showed me that I shot a lot more images I like in summer than winter. July and August are my best months. February and March are my worst. I’ve decided it’s all about that outdoor light versus the constant florescents.

Basically this bums me a little. Oh well. I did get speakers, the first every speakers I’ve bought, unless you want to count a boombox I bought a decade or so ago. Music sounds so much better on them then off of my laptop’s speakers. Who would’ve guessed?

Shoot it Right to Start with


So I am doing a project for a very wonderful dance studio, Danza Viva (salsa Rocks!). The project involves mixing images of dancers, not always in dance related poses, with spiritual symbols. And well it is coming along well, now I’m remembering why I like to shot to fit a design, because designing to fit an image is just time consuming.

I also just don’t like doing the computer work. Cropping, toning and other basic image adjustments, fine. Design work, it’s a lot of work. “Work” is a four letter word, so is “real”, I don’t do either. It’s also work I don’t normally do so I’m betting I’m slow, and I’m making mistakes. Straight photo work I can do quick and well.

Bit by bit it’s coming together. It will be done somewhat soon, on the other hand, it may be a bit longer.

The other problem with computer work is that there is always a flaw you can fix, and you can fix it, when you’re shooting, if there is a flaw you live with it and keep moving forward. You remember it, so you don’t do it again, but you don’t go back and fix every small thing, because you just can’t. “Hey, Miss Model, can you just hold that pose for the next 6 or 7 hours please? Thanks, I may also want you to move incredibly small amounts. Again, thanks.”

And I have weird problems. The image of Khazna (she’s the face), for example, I’m worried she may be too beautiful, as in intimidatingly beautiful. This is not one of those things I normally concern myself with.

The project is coming out nice though, just slower than I’m used to. And if I was to do it again, I’d do about 25 things differently. Ah well, live and learn.

And on a side note, Jeff Buckley, “Grace”, and absolutely awesome CD. If you haven’t checked it out, what’s wrong with you?

Life is Pretty Easy, and that’s just Dandy.


My life ain’t a bad life. Not at all. I’ve come to realize that pretty well this summer. I’m very comfortable with this realization.

I’ve also come to realize that my reality has very little reality in it. Work is hanging out at the pool. Work is going to hear great singers sing, work is any number of BS items I make of it. Sometimes it’s other stuff, but the fact that I have the good stuff in there is very unusual in and of itself.

Then I get to see the other side. Watching, photographing, the River Forest Fire Department and Public Works filling and moving sandbags to prepare for the flooding Desplaines River. Damn hard work if there was any. And they were mostly, mostly, having a damn fine time doing it. Lots of jokes, lots of ribbing. Good stuff, but still hard work, but necessary work.

Good Nights


For those in the Chicago-land area, or lucky enough to be where they may be playing, check out Funkadesi, “Chicago’s Indo-Afro-Caribbean Band”. Next time I’ll have to get some good photos of them and the crowd, and it is an active crowd. Sometimes though, it’s just about dancing.

Quick Photos – Summer Love


Just a few new photos from my Summer Love project. More later. (How many times have I said that now?)

Why Did I Come Back Again?


I love the woods. I love the peace, the slower speed of life. Since I’ve gotten back to Chicago it’s been nothing but run, run, run. The norm.

When I was camping I didn’t look at a clock, I was annoyed when someone mentioned time not based on the sun, the moon or the stars. Life was at the speed of…life, not the speed of this city. A chance to create, to create, with no real purpose, just to make some beautiful imagery. To enjoy just being creative, even if I’m saying nothing, just beauty.

I’ve got a lot of wonderful things to say about my trip, but I don’t, as always, have time, but I should mention, Northwest Passage, well worth it. A great experience through them. Sitting on Lake Superior, at night, under the stars, sea caves during the day, activity, activity, activity, and what I want(ed). I couldn’t have asked for more.

So here are photos, a few, quick, photos.