Sunday, January 24, 2010

Next !

So, it appears my email got hacked. Sorry to all of those that received spam from my email. It wasn't me. I long for the days when a little steam and a glue stick was used to invade people's mail. It seemed harder then than it does now. I am embarrassed and more than a little pissed off by this event, but this serves to remind me that this can be an ugly place to be and one must be ready at all times. Last year, I fought off the Vundo virus for a week. It was as if I was targeted for termination by that bastard. I don't look at much more than news and photography websites, so I didn't understand why this thing would rear it's UGLY head for four out of five days that week. That experience made me switch to Linux on the fifth day and things are better.

Anyway, I think I have fallen in love with Alexandria. Just so many places that are interesting and challenge you to capture them. These are taken at the Amtrak station. Had no idea it was there. Only found out about it from my wife booking my son's ticket back to NY. Lots of neat light and fixtures both inside and out. Overall, I am liking Old Town for the simple fact that it IS old and has lots of interesting and charming things to photograph. I am still happy with my recent purchase as a walking around camera. But serious stuff needs to be done with the Canon.

Until next time,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

More of "the tools" and just more

Very special thanks to Patrick O'Brien in Building 10 at the Lorton Workhouse for allowing me to take some quick photos of his workspace. The purity of his work is mesmerizing. His pieces are simply beautiful and are definitely worth checking out.

Obviously still working on my series as well as other things. Trying to see more in black and white. Trying to simplify my imaging. Working on process steps and trying new things. Really need to work on patience. It is crazy that I can look at a particular piece of art for half-hour or more, but can hardly wait to be finished with my own work. This creates the problem of choosing pieces that I initially think are worthy and discovering that there is a flaw that prevents me from going forward with my existing plan. THIS leads to depression and over-thinking and I am two steps away from selling everything and then my wife steps in and institutes the corrective action plan and eventually I get back on the horse. Fortunately, the down time is getting less and less. Better for both of us 'cause I can be a pain in the ass when it comes to my work.

Lots of opportunity for showings, people. I can't wait to see what is next !


Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Icy Grip

I consistently torture myself with decisions. Especially decisions that involve spending money on myself. As a child, I was always called a "selfish ass" by family and others, so I guess that might have something to do with it. I have no problem dropping $$$ on my wife and son, but the mental torture that I use on myself is CIA worthy. I must be able to reconcile any purchase for myself over $20 (no shit !) with the demons in my head and that makes it a little difficult to purchase ANYTHING photographic related. Saw a really nice photo rag today that cost $4 a sheet in a pack of 25 @ 13x19. Wanted it really bad, but was thwarted by the CHANCE that it was cheaper somewhere else and I have a couple of weeks before having to have anything framed and I could maybe find it on the internet for less and what kind of frames will I want and what kind of budget will I have for this and what kind of glass will I get for it and what will I be framing and do I need to go shoot and do I have enough time to do it and where would I go for what subject and when will I have time to mat the decisions and how wide a mat and when can I get to the frame store and HOLY CRAP JUST STOP......

I had the opportunity to share my psychosis with a salesman at Penn Camera this weekend past. He asked me what he could help me with and this is what I told him.

"I am in the market for either a pocket camera or a new lens. I have a Canon 20d that is perfectly serviceable with a 70-200 f4 is and a 50 mm f 1.8. My problem is this. I can get a 17-40 f4 L that will suit my needs. HOWEVER, I KNOW that I will be upgrading to a full size sensor within the next year or so and I don't feel that the 17-40 will suit my needs as much as a 16-35 f2.8 will. I am comfortable with using the other lenses on a full frame camera but not so much with the 17-40 f4. I am not ready to shell out the bucks for the 16-35 before I get a full frame body and I don't want to waste $$$ on something that I will be unhappy with when I make the switch. The pocket camera will have to be able to shoot in RAW and have a very fast lens, like 2. something, as well as ease of use, and the TRUE ability to fit in my pocket. It will be used mostly for snapshots, street shots, indoor things. AND it must be almost silent in operation. What do you have and what do you suggest ?"

I think I took a breath during that but I can't be sure. "Poor bastard," I thought,"store just opened and my crazy ass is his first customer." He hung in there, didn't leave or cry, and did an excellent job in answering the 50 or so questions I had about just about everything without flinching. Although I am a Canon guy (ed. note: The only reason Roy is a "Canon Guy" is because they sponsored some Formula 1 team in the 70's and 80's and sponsored the Brawn F1 team for one race this year.) I ended up comparing a Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens and a Leica digital. What sealed it for me was when I exclamed,"They are the same freakin' camera!" and he said, "They ARE the same freakin' camera, only one is $150 more." Lumix it is. F2 lens, RAW, option for 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 formats, video, settings for various film appearances and B&W, hot shoe flash option, small, and considerably less than a new 17-40 that I would have probably sold within a year.

I hate having the fear, but I love ass kicking new toys. It is a rare occasion indeed that I can kill one and get the other. These are the first shots from the new gun. Now if the icy grip of winter and fear will release itself from my body and mind, I can go out and shoot something ! Unless it involves a decision.....

Be Warm,