As I continue to work on my balance issues. My drive to be more independent, to explore more, and to not so awkwardly engage with those I wish to photograph with the confidence that once led me to less traveled roads and adventures grows stronger. Attempting to do things I was forced to take a break from have become more attainable. That thirst for adventure, exploring, and creating, sometimes, off-limits subject matter sharpens. Having lived in our condo for over a year now. I can’t help but question why I haven’t explored the many nooks and crannies of an architectural achievement. Unsurprisingly, we often find inspiration while venturing into areas and corridors just off our daily path. Coming upon this paint inspired me to get a lower perspective and reminded me of stopping at a fire-damaged automotive repair shop on my way home from Boston.
In my opinion, a complete history of a bands recorded output is a great way to familiarize or even introduce one to music you might know, but completely missed out on during their existence. Such was the case for me with Spitboy. Though I was aware of their pivotal time together. I never had the chance to see them live or indulge myself in their records. Getting to listen to the recently released discography “Body of Work”‘ was the hollow point bullet that confirmed I had truly missed an opportunity to witness monumental discourse. By interviewing Michelle, I was given a window to the life of a musician, teacher, activist and public speaker who took me through her journey, while introducing me to new classifications, such as ‘Womyn’ and ‘Xicana’.
It’s safe to say, my interest in photography was born out of necessity. As a teenager in love with hardcore punk and going to Sunday matinees, I started a fanzine which needed pictures to go with my interviews and show reviews. Admittedly, my pictures were terrible. I really knew nothing about composition or camera settings. When I think about it, I didn’t even own a film SLR until I was twenty four. by then I was more interested in documenting my new surroundings in a neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. While I was still going to shows regularly. and taking much better photos, I eventually got bored, which started my focus on experimentation with light and movement. Ultimately, is was within the shadows, movement and darkness, that I found my love. The more I learned about composition and waiting for the right moment, the more my images stood out. While it wasn’t alway pretty, I felt that I was finally capturing the energy, raw emotion, and elements that capture the essence, and intimacy that smaller venues offer.
In a little less than a month. I hope to attend a friends band play what seems to be a small, intimate venue in Richmond. Due entirely to health and my inability to maintain any sense of balance. I haven’t been to a music event since 2017. Considering my love for music, going to events and capturing moments through photography. The event and the chance to see a really good band that hasn’t performed remotely close to my residence. The excitement can be compared to the feelings I often experienced as a much younger show attendee. With a new camera and being years removed from shooting live music. I have a lot of relearning to do.
Inspired by a recent exchange with a film photographer and a dive into photo blogs exploring and practicing life as film photographers. I decided to revisit some of my past by unpacking and examining what’s left of the film cameras I collected and used in the early stages of my life as a photographer. The last twenty or so years of selling, trading, and donating bodies and lenses have more than cut in half the remnants of my humble beginnings. Looking back, I’m reminded that you can’t keep it all and can’t remain sane while holding on to the past. Below is a link to one of the You Tube channels I’ve been enjoying.
For what it’s worth. My wife has always been my harshest critic. So, when I shared this image with her last night, I got, what I’d consider, a pretty good reaction, when she said, “I don’t know.” “What the fuck is that?” I found it cool, because so much of what we/I photograph is instantly identifiable.
Over the years, it’s become crystal clear that my wife is my staunchest critic and supporter. However, adding her to the creative aspect of it all is both a major distraction and a pain in the fucking ass. As someone who has become more of a landscape and street photographer in recent years. My wife is, more than often, right by my side. Whether it be asking a million question as to what attracts me to a subject or being over protective to my history of risky attempts of capturing a moment. A good example would be yesterdays trip to Richmond and my fascination with photographing many of the downtown murals.When asked about “Photographing other peoples art.” and, basically hijacking someone’s creative energy. When my explanation of both documenting and interpreting my surroundings didn’t communicate the intended message. Explaining that my approach and goal while when shooting is to document the artists work respectfully. While also interpreting and conceptualizing in my own way. Why that might some like bull cookies to many. It’s how I do.
For as long as I can remember, my wife’s “What do you want to do this weekend?” has been a trigger as far as my habit to over think. While those words and that question are not and have never been intended to inflict any fear or pressure. I’ve often taken it a lot more seriously. As the years go by and we both get older. Our interests have narrowed considerably. My answers to “What do you want to do this weekend have narrowed down to coffee, photography, and record shopping. Bacon often finds its way into the conversation, but that’s just me being patriotic.
Somehow, this recently captured image reminded me of how important it is to stay open-minded and open to advice and criticism. As someone whose bread and butter has always been writing and critiquing others’ music and product. I wholeheartedly admit to not taking criticism of my work or the backlash on my opinions and beliefs very well. As of late, however, I’m trying to become more open to criticism while being more helpful when applying my views of other people’s work. It’s not easy. However, we can all benefit from listening to and accepting other people’s views, critiques, and advice. As the future quickly becomes the now. I aim to learn and apply the knowledge and criticism from those who think well enough to help. Luckily for me, many do.
This weekend, for the first time in more than ten years. I took a trip to Richmond to attend a long-time friends inclusion in an intimate record show. Aside from seeing this beautiful friend, getting the stuffing hugged out of me, and meeting her husband. I enjoyed nourishing food, walked the streets of a diverse city and took lots of pictures. On the right is the restaurant, delicatessen where we started our day.