Monday, July 12, 2010

moving on... you can come too!

so obviously i don't love this blog like i used to. truth is its really hard to use. not really but that sounds better than the real reason. so what do i do? i create another one!

actually i have for a long time wanted to start a more professional blog to show off the now hundreds of images that have never made it anywhere but print... let's be honest who reads print anymore.

my world is quickly transitioning. videography and outdoor adventure lifestyle photography. i don't know how this happened. but in order to do it justice i've decided to move my blog presence over to wordpress. sorry google i know that probably just set a siren off in california. so i invite you to a new blog. if you bookmark or do reader please mark it. i'll be showing off lots of fun shoots over the next few months. thanks

Thursday, March 4, 2010

grayben's been paying attention

between erin, myself, and the business we have 3 facebook pages, 3 blogs, and 1 twitter account. when i realized this this morning my first thought was that i need to simplify. unfortunately we have subdivided our life into so many categories that each one serves a different purpose. i know it sound ridiculous but it is somewhat tried and calculated. for example erin's clients don't want to hear about my brush with birmingham's premier homosexual landmark. so naturally there are times that we want to share something and don't know where to put it. i finally after hours of deliberation (right) decided to stick this video here.

when i'm in the office all day erin will bring grayben down a few times to see me and hang out. it is his favorite place because there are tons of things that could injure or kill him (shredders, damp rid, glue, scissors, paper cutters, etc). he really loves to come downstairs now because his new bff alyssa (our assistant) is down her a couple afternoons a week. so here's a video of him telling us about everyone in our house and then showing us what you do when it's time to put the camera away.

Monday, February 22, 2010

sewage... the great equalizer

there's a saying out there that eloquently sums up the point i'm about to make but i'll refrain from profanity in this post.

where to start? a couple weeks ago we had some issues in our front yard. i'll avoid description but let's just say it wasn't very civilized. so i call the experts out. as i'm standing over my septic tank looking in with my plumber beside me i said something like, "this feels really personal... you looking at my poo". really it kind of felt like i was standing there naked. okay, pretty gross thought but it was very humbling and yes very personal... i mean you can't exactly blame it on someone else. {aside} you know the jefferson county sewer issue is bad when your looking at a tractor (which grayben still is talking about and saying bye to) digging up your yard, smelling the raw sewage filling up your neighborhood, and watching your bank account dwindling yet still are thankful you're on septic.

okay fast forward to this weekend. we just got back from a great weekend of skiing. as i was driving up i thought to myself "i wonder what will be the defining element of this trip". my first thought was an injury. turns out it was sewage. i should preface this by saying we were staying in a NICE house... one of the nicest on the mountain. saturday night we come back in from skiing, all tired yet pretty happy about our day. (cue ominous music). everyone else has gotten a shower and we walk downstairs to our room only to find our bathroom filling up with water... not clean water. again i'll spare the details but from here it only got worse... lot's worse. the rest of the trip we were washing dishes outside (among other things) and giving ourselves sponge baths. the irony was tremendous.

i unfortunately have several other stories along these lines i could share but i'll go ahead and get back to my point. there's really not a whole lot separating the civilized world from the uncivilized. just some pipes. no matter where we live or what class we're in there will always be some things that put us all on the same level. it's a good reminder though some might think it stinks.

i'm happy to recognize feb as black history month. i will also remember it at "sewage epiphany month".

Thursday, January 28, 2010

keyframe animations

okay this is totally techy and boring to most but i'm really excited that i'm actually learning how to create animations. i would have never in a million years thought i would have a need for this much less think i would enjoy it. turns out my photography venture has led me to video which has led me to motion graphics. any pros out there will tell you what you are about to see it extremely elementary but i'm stoked. pretty sure this will not make it into the video i'm doing but am happy to have figured it out anyway. the video's about an actress who starred in the play "parade". this would lay over the video.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

i have not posted in a very long time. however, every once in a while something happens that i just have to talk about. in this case it's more like therapy.

below is an email I received for a shoot. if you got this email and are familiar with bham, where would you go? even if you're not from birmingham, where would you go?

"Fashion preview –– Thurs. 1 p.m. Coldwater Creek at the Summit (Will take pictures in front of waterfall off Cahaba River going East on Hwy 280) Three models involved. Want group shot and three separate shots."

the cahaba river waterfalls off 280 right!

well some of you may know where this is going. unfortunately 2 hours ago i did not.

so i pull up to the parking lot which appears to be a nice little access to the river and waterfalls. i am 1 of 4 cars... check that, 1 of 5... another car just pulled up. what was interesting, i noticed, is that everyone was sitting in their car, oh yeah and everyone was a man! now excuse my naivety but i did figure since it is lunchtime these guys are just having their lunch by the park.... although no one was actually eating..... okay they've already finished their lunch and are killing the rest of their lunch break enjoying the falls.

my job at this point is to find a good place to photograph 3 middle age women so i get out of my car and descend the hill to the waterfalls. i'm walking around the banks looking for the right angles and some solid ground. i turn around, satisfied with the location and notice that 4 of the 5 men who were sitting in their cars only 2 minutes ago are now coming down the hill towards me. okay, this is a growing up moment. my innocence is in the process of being destroyed and i'm hoping that's the worst that's going to happen to it. still my first thought was drugs... but then i just kept watching these guys. they were pacing, occasionally looking up at me, then looking down, pacing some more... all except this 1 guy. this guy looked like a suburban little league coach and he was coming right for me.

we made eye contact, i nodded, trying to be polite! (in hindsight i'm thinking that must be the code) realizing nothing good can come of this location i hurry up the hill, quickly get in my car, look in my rear view and see that the little league coach is also already in his car. i step on it barely looking both ways only to catch the longest light on 280 where he enjoyed sitting behind me and getting all the info off my license plate. i then got into the slow lane, called the editor on the phone to gently explain that her email description was unbelievable wrong! (she meant the waterfalls at Grandview Parkway)... the cahaba doesn't even got over there!! thankfully my potential assailant must have concluded that based on my volvo wagon with a roof rack i must be more likely to be a lost outdoorsman than (as my mother so eloquently described it) "fresh meat". so he drove on by.

i called a few people after that and apparently EVERYONE! knows what that place is except for me! i came in and told erin and she was like "oh yeah i saw that on the news". i don't watch the news! stokes comforted me by asking if i thought he was still following me? thanks. another thing that bothers me is why did only 4 out of 5 guys get our of their car? was i not good enough for you #5? doesn't seem like the place for standards.

anyway i feel like i got punched in the stomach. thankfully i didn't really. seriously though look at where this is. that's 280! how much more public does it get? also notice how many cars are there. mine will never be again!

isn't it sad that i felt the need to edit the google satellite image?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

beauty in the SC

so i've been gone on vacation for about 3 weeks now which i really don't feel bad about at all... despite all my friends and coworkers attempts to try and make me.  1. because i had to come back home to work each week in between and 2. because if you added up all the Saturday's i have to work over the course of the year it would still be about 10 days more than what I just took off.  i consider it self-employment comp time. so anyway....

i spent hours of my vacation looking at new places and appreciating their beauty.  a lot of that time i had a camera with me.  i was able to really enter into my scenery and try to capture the beauty that it impressed upon me (philosophical, i know).  one of my favorite things to do in life.

as i was back on assignment in between my vacations, it occurred to me that yes the places i went were beautiful but i thought they were more beautiful because i had never seen them before.  as i looked around i began to appreciate what was around me (in Shelby County) a bit more.  they say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".  i say "beauty is.  and the beholder is the one who makes an effort to see it".  that is deep.  but really, there are beautiful things all around us.  it is usually us who are too busy or distracted to see them.  

so i've decided to try and look a little harder at the simple things in life.  try and find a little more beauty.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

bump n grind

no, that's not the name of the latest kenny chesney album. actually this was the most recent event i covered that made me feel like i needed to get in shape. last week was xterra this week bump. these are both basically outdoor extreme sports races where people, who border on actually being non-human, compete against one another to the death (or at least that's what it would be for me). in this event there were lower categories and i did see a few people that made me feel like i could get by with running 2 miles a day this week rather than 10. still, the amateurs in this event were quite impressive. 

part of my assignment was to get shots at "blood rock". needless to say a lot of people fall there. i felt kindof bad sitting down to watch/hope people busted so i could take their picture. i'm sure the other 20 people there felt the same. 

one of my favorite things about assignments like this is that you get to experience pockets of culture... a variety of things you would never know otherwise. birmingham cycling is definitely it's own culture... quite a big one at that.