Huge photos, nicer blog. Future content on this blog will stop. Follow the link below to my new blog on the Luceo domain.
[I've been stuck with writer's block for the better part of the last month, trying to piece together something on the occasion of my grandma's death. It's not that there's been a shortage of things to say, rather that the experience has significance beyond losing a loved one. Figuring out which aspect of that experience represents the greater forest of trees seems like a undertaking that will write itself when the time is right. Of all the things wrapped into the dying and death of my grandma, the smaller realities --the idea of entropy, the grace of slowing unto stopping --is something that is immediately accessible. I'm no Yeats in my ability to talk with any deeper eloquence about entropy and I definitely can't come close to Eliot's masterpiece on aging, but her passing has left me with a few certainties that I feel like I can discuss. The photographs --images of the Slaby farmstead, the drive back to my father's childhood home on the rural Kansas-Nebraska border, my grandmother's burial, cleaning the house following the funeral --is, for me, a record of what it means to get older, to relinquish things that are gone, and to see my family's history in the context of my own, separate life. It is, in a sense, what Adrienne Rich describes as "diving into the wreck."]
Not the most glamourous piece of real-estate in the magazine (as you can see below, a wee little picture drowning in a sea of words), but I definitely had one of the best conversations in the last couple weeks with the subject of the shoot, Helen Garcia, one of my neighbors who lives just steps from my house. Kind of an everyday hero in the sense that she volunteers massive amounts of time for the local middle and high schools working on health-related issues (and other more academic causes), she's mother to several adult children, grandmother to several more, and an adopted grandma to what seemed like every kid I met in the course of my day with her. Definitely one of the more positive forces in the neighborhood.
Fire seems to be the only thing that ever brings me to Nevada. I travelled there for the first time with my job as an 18 year-old wildland firefighter on a hotshot crew based out of Arizona. The trip repeated itself with each passing fire season until my departure from that line of work in late 2003.
"[A] collective formed by like-minded, passionate photographers that simply wish to have a greater voice by banding and branding together. Our collective could not serve as a representation of our work ... in fact, it is quite the opposite. It is the photographer who represents the collective. Actively promoting and searching out new clients ... not just for themselves, but for the other group members as well. When one of us do[es] well, we all do well."Kevin's post also draws from an interview given by group provocateur David Walter Banks on Aphotoeditor.com explaining his enthusiasm and belief that the photographer lone-wolf mentality is becoming a harmful proposition in an increasingly saturated industry. Banks elaborates:
“The other reason for all this is our belief in helping each other out and being open in the photo industry rather than the one-for-all mentality that is so engrained. We can all work together to edit new projects, work up budgets, make pitches and generally have power in numbers.”
Started the night off here (pictured above, planted on the couch with friends and long-term documentary subjects Tripp Wallin and Zach Spencer) watching what could be the most patronizing amalgamation of soundbites in the last 48 hours of television history. You know, the whole 'Joe Plumber' exchange in which we are introduced to "the nation's everyman." Apparently the protagonist of this little fairy tale is concerned about his taxpaying role as an average, ordinary, regular guy earning the meager scrap wage of a quarter million dollars annually. (awesome work on the 'everyman' verbage there, Fox News)
"When you see or hear a singer or a performer who has this incredible charismatic gift or this incredible voice --who could sing the phonebook and make you cry --they often fall into performing or recording substandard material, because it's so easy for them to pull it off. Whereas somebody who has to try harder, and you can sense that in their performance, you kind of believe it a little bit more."For anyone who doesn't like to read, you can see Bill Hicks express this same idea (with a little more, um, clarity) here. Townes Van Zandt plays it here. The obscure and fantastic Friends Forever gang do it here.
Democratic congressional candidate Hank Eng at his campaign headquarters in Littleton, Colorado. Eng, the son of Chinese immigrants, is a self-described moderate Democrat. He is running in a historically conservative district against Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman for a seat vacated by longtime conservative, anti-immigrant Congressman Tom Tancredo.
Had another fun assignment for TIME that played out like a three day photographic scavenger hunt. Started with a short-list of things the magazine was looking for and took to driving around one of Colorado's largest counties, putting in a couple 16-hour days exploring and photographing. Thrilled with the magazine's choice of pictures and found their hands-off approach to something as thematic and abstract as the electorate of an entire county a welcome and refreshing challenge.
Betty Englebrecht plays multiple Bingo cards at the weekly game held at the American Legion hall in Byers, Colorado. The hall sees between 20 and 70 residents each week from surrounding communities for the game.