Water Light

•November 3, 2014 • 4 Comments

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The afternoon of our arrival at Panama City Beach, FL, while walking on the beach I kept noticing this fleeting burst of color just before each wave turned its curl.  The water seemed to be catching the color intensity that was prominent further away from the shore and tossing a bit of it at my feet.  A beautiful greenish blue….well, I guess technically it should be called ‘Aqua’….that would make sense …

 

Often when I am ‘vacating’ I purposefully shun the typical photo themes…not always, but often, and try to find something that is not necessarily on every postcard and/or magazine ad.  I decided that first afternoon that I wanted to see how well I might capture that ephemeral slice of color that each swell offered.  I took note of the time and direction of light, with that pervasive foreboding that it might never happen again….but I waited nonetheless.

Keeping in mind that sand and saltwater don’t necessarily attribute to camera conditioning, I wrapped the Nikon in a grocery sack so that only the glass of the lens was exposed to the elements.

And this is what I saw….

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Every afternoon at about 4:30 groups of Manta Rays would strafe the shoreline.  What an incredibly unusual creature.  They seemed to move through the water exactly like birds through the air.  Being myself…it caused me to wonder about the many ‘realities’ and peculiarities of life on this planet. Occasionally, one would propel itself out of the water as if it were trying to fly. Did a Ray from eons ago keep trying until his line evolved into birds…or vice versa?…  What is their perception of humans who would have to be as foreign to them as they are to us?  What is it like to be able to move through the world with such apparent grace?

Manta

And sometimes one catches a glimpse of a ‘SeaMonster’…..

 

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Speaking of Manta Rays, how about some Man Ray?

“I do not photograph nature. I photograph my visions”

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I realize that these photos don’t compare to ones I have seen of the gigantic breakers in Hawaii and other places, but I was okay without the majesty.  All I wanted was to capture that little slice…

 

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And now…. the gratuitous beach sunset shots….

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Austin Tejas

•September 28, 2014 • 1 Comment

 

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I had never been to Austin before this past weekend when I was asked to cover the “Lone Star Le Mans” at the Circuit of the Americas track.

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This is not an oval… left turn, left turn, straight… track,  as it was designed originally specifically for Formula 1 racing….a road track….s-turns, hairpins, hills….

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In the center portion of the track is the 25-story ‘tower’ which commands a pretty impressive view of not only the track but also the countryside and the city of Austin in the distance.

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After my last race on Saturday, I wanted to see downtown.

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I have heard a lot about Austin, from its eateries to its music scene to the ‘bat bridge’,

 

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so I decided on a ‘photo safari’, with maybe some good food along the way.

You know how every city has a certain personality…sometimes a split personality.  For instance, I love Chicago which to me is a cross between Manhattan and Little Rock.  Atlanta is a hybrid of Memphis and Detroit.  Austin seems to have one foot in Nashville and another in Los Angeles.

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A Southern lean to a socially liberal tolerance.  Their motto, which is on the primary souvenir t-shirt is “Keep Austin Weird”.

(Though I will have to admit, every tavern that I passed in Austin had live music going…music of all genres…something that Nashville, as Music City, has been lagging behind in.)

My first move besides getting a map of the hopping downtown neighborhoods was to check in with “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” to see if Guy Fieri could give me a heads-up on where I should eat dinner.  I decided on “Casino el Camino”, supposedly known for their hamburgers, plus it was in a location that would mandate a few blocks of walking through the part of town I wanted to see anyway.
When I stepped through the door, my first reaction was to quote a Texas cowboy whose horse was about to jump a wide dry creek bed full of rattlesnakes….
Whoa!!
I had entered what could possibly be the deepest ‘dive’ I have ever even imagined.
“You wanna eat?! Go back to the counter and give ‘em your order!”
Okay, in for a penny, in for a pound. (Or pounds as the case may be!)
I ordered the Buffalo Burger (buffalo sauce, not bison meat) with bleu cheese and an extra… an added slab of pork belly, with fries.  In the middle of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’  ” I heard my name, summoning me to ‘the counter’.
Now, I’ve had burgers in many places, modern and/or funky, and of many styles and accouterments, but I will gladly proclaim that the next time I am in Austin, the Casino will be a definite item on the to-do eat list.

 

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Melange, Potpourri, Hodgepodge…

•August 3, 2014 • 3 Comments

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This is a bit of a ‘mixed bag’, all from the weekend in Indianapolis.  A few shots of the absolutely ultramodern Sportscar designs, some scenes around Lucas Oil Raceway and IMS, and a few more shots from my hotel window.

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Windows

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Shake 12

 

 

Shake 15

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Shake 1

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Shake 5

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As I said…..a ‘mixed bag’…!

 

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60 MSR

Shaken AND Stirred…

•August 1, 2014 • 1 Comment

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The ‘groove’…the ‘Flow’… whatever one chooses to call it, it’s the time when one feels apart from everything but the activity that is happening now.  Painting, music, photography, running, reading, writing, horse-back riding, working in the garden…I would assume every endeavor that someone loves has its moments of flow.  It’s when you pick up the guitar and then finally put it down and hours that seemed like minutes, have passed…it’s when you sit down to get a few things done on the computer and look up to find that everyone else has gone to bed…long ago…when you pick up the paintbrush at sunset and  as the turpentine comes out to clean the oil from the brush, sunset has turned into sunrise, but you’re not tired.  No, if anything you are more energized than when you started.

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For 5 years or so, I have been photographing auto racing for a particular client.  I didn’t come into it as a race fan, just a photographer.  During that time I have developed a certain awareness of angles to shoot and the various activities to concentrate on.  In a way, I could go to the track and get into a groove, yet, there is only so much one can do in this situation.  The cars are different, but the perspectives are generally the same and there are no obvious nuances of photographic ‘personality’ to a race car.  The drivers? Yes, but during a race you can’t see the drivers anyway, so that’s a bit hard to capture.

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While in Indianapolis this past weekend, in the hotel room between races, I was re-reading David du Chemin’s book, “A Beautiful Anarchy”, a treatise on living ‘artfully’.  I was struck, this time, by his expression of the thought that if one is not careful, and diligent, the ‘Groove’ can easily become a ‘Rut’, and a rut is hard to steer out of without a conscious jerk of the wheel.
That’s what this post is about.  Me being a jerk…no, wait…me jerking the wheel into an experimental direction to keep things ‘fresh’.

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I don’t really know what made me grab the camera, knowing that I had no tripod with me, which would normally have had me shrug my shoulders and wait for daylight…yet something in the view from the top floor of the hotel intrigued me.  I make no claims to the aesthetic  viability of any of these shots…feel free to hate them if they ‘offend your sensibilities’,  but,

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Boy, did I have a blast!  This is so far from the style that I usually ‘groove’ with that it refreshed me and sure enough, I had to finally call it a day when the ‘flow’ of traffic died down although the ‘Flow’ was still alive.

 

 

Slow shutter speed, obvious camera shake, and I had the time of my life breaking out of the rut of my own preconceived photographic notions.

 

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Steps

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And finally, my favorite!

Shake 2

 

Little ‘Dust-Up’ on the Racetrack

•July 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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This is short,  just to warm the blog up…

I was in Indianapolis again last weekend for a race or two…or four.

First night was the Silver Crown race at the Lucas Oil Raceway.

This series unfolded….
(unfolded?…More like crumpled….)
Right in front of me…
To the point that I had to lower the camera to be certain that I had removed myself from the path of a couple of bouncing tires.

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Later in the weekend I did some ‘experimental’ photography which I am currently editing and will post within the next couple of days.

In keeping with my policy of not showing ‘injury’ , no drivers…or photographers, for that matter… were physically harmed for this ‘photo shoot’…

Egos bruised, tempers flared…?
Yeah, maybe….

Not marconi, not macaroni, not marscapone, not macaroons…Macarons!

•June 27, 2014 • Comments Off

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This is going to be a quick one.  If you are interested in Macarons (NOT macaroons) there are eleventy-million articles and pictures floating around.  These are from The Painted Cupcake in Green Hills, Nashville, TN.  Oh yes, they have a cupcake or two, but on this particular day we concentrated on the raspberry and the mint-chocolate macarons….okay…

I’m throwing in a strawberry cupcake, too

 

 

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I am looking forward to getting my pixels wrapped around the lavender, pistachio, and lemon macarons…amongst many others. Not to mention the salted caramel, red velvet, german chocolate, etc., cupcakes.

The only real problem I see is that once the shoot is over, what should I do with the subjects…??!!

I guess I’ll figure something out

 

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To Bargain With The Wind

•June 19, 2014 • 2 Comments

bigben

To try to change the past or predict the future is much like trying to bargain with the wind.  You may turn up your collar against the past or button your coat in anticipation of the future, but neither can be effectively contained or diminished…
And as soon as you feel that you are adequately protected you turn a corner and an icy blast from the Abominable Snowman will warrant a hasty retreat or perhaps the dragon’s breath of the Past will pummel you from behind.
The future is an illusion, a myth, an Abominable Snowman or a Dragon, created by our free will, but our free will only exists in the fleeting moments of NOW,
soon to be the past…
but shaping us now for what is to come…

 

I am intrigued by the misguided concept of living through the effects of,  and spending a great amount of time and energy reacting to,  the Past.
And/or we act as if every move we make is inspired for, or is essential to indelibly mark and shape,  the Future.  Don’t get me wrong, we indeed should learn from past experiences…but though the lesson is Now, the Past has passed…forever.
We are often so keyed into these absolutely non-existent moments, the Past and the Future,  that we totally override and neglect the NOW.
And the NOW is truly all that exists.

Through photography one exercises a craft that  is hopefully almost entirely taken up by the NOW…
(although by the time anyone, or even myself, sees my recordings/reporting, it is from the Past…right?)
That NOW moment is what photographers attempt to capture…and then it’s gone… leaving us with only an image representing one fleeting portion of a tick of the clock.
Why are we, most of the time, afraid of or at least not in tune with
the NOW?

We tend to struggle and search for the ‘extraordinary moments’ while the most, the ONLY, extraordinary moment is passing us by as we presage the future or ruminate on the past.

In our daily lives, we miss the NOW more than we grasp it.
We carry hurts from the past, (many self-inflicted, though we find it easier to cast the blame elsewhere),
and we fret over possible future annoyances that exist only in our minds.

There is no future other than the illusion that we conjure…that we
manufacture!

There is no past other than the memories that our mind chooses to recall and their meaning is only relevant to our own  interpretations.
(Blind men feeling an elephant)
The future does not exist.
The past may be said to have existed… but is gone.

It simply is not there!
If we react to the past we are tilting at windmills.
If we are anxious about the future, we are wasting our time and our mind…tilting at windmills again!
It does not exist…!!

(BTW…I will be using a new text-speak abbreviation from now on…
T@W….tilting at windmills…)

We think of what could have been and what might, or ought to be… what others should be doing or thinking… and we allow those thoughts to crowd and cloud the view of the very moment in which we find ourselves….
NOW
How often have I missed the importance of the moment because I was comparing it to an experience that I’ve talked myself into thinking was more important…or more immediate than NOW?

I go for a walk every morning with my dog.  Many times I become aware that we are halfway done and I have missed the sunshine, the rain, the fog, the breaths, the blue sky, the grey sky… the feeling of movement… because my mind is elsewhere…out of the NOW.  What a waste!  I am becoming better at then stopping and admiring an insect going about its work, or the song of a bird, or the ‘busy-ness’ of my pup as she sniffs out what has transpired in the neighborhood overnight…the things that are true, immediate, and form the NOW.

How often have I allowed some thing or  someone to  assume the role of  the lead character in my own play?…to change the theme and to direct the  flow of my ‘being’,  not unlike a fallen tree may dam and  obstruct the pure flow of a mountain stream?

My goal is to be the stream…to continue to flow around, over, or through the dam.  The fallen tree does not change the nature of the stream…it merely diverts.

“What is in the way, IS the way!”  Lao Tze

 

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I am of the opinion that the clock and calendar (and possibly mirrors to a certain extent…) are what expedite our growing old.  I, and I’m sure you also, (unless you are seventeen), feel exactly as we did, inside,  when we were eighteen…

not quite as spry…and hopefully wiser…but basically the same.

 

Without clocks we might grasp the concept that our lives are really only one day…the sun comes up and goes down but that is merely a measure of  Earthly revolutions…we still are the same.
If we didn’t require sleep occasionally, we could see the flow of ‘time’ for what it is….NOTHING
It would all be NOW.
Ask a tree  what it did yesterday…what are its plans for tomorrow?  If it could talk it would probably say, “Oh, I think I’ll just grow…unless of course I don’t”

NOW is all we have,
all we ever have had
and all we ever will have.
And we don’t really HAVE that…
We only experience it…
if we allow!

The key is not in the “I Will…”, “I Should…”, or the “I Was…”.

It is the  “I AM“!

 

 
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