This morning we took a short walk over to the Seattle Center to attend the Hawaiian Cultural Festival. There was music, entertainment and more food than you could shake a skewer at. Below are some of the images I captured during the hour, or so,s pent there.
As we approached today’s Thai festival, my wife started testing me on my geographic knowledge of Thailand. Having experienced years of ball busting, nipple twisting and chain pulling from my wife. I’ve come to not let her thrice daily jabs get to me. During our short ride, she tried to imply that I was unaware that though both are located in Southeast Asia, Thailand and Taiwan were two distinctly different places. With Thailand being a kingdom bordered by Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Burma. Taiwan, on the other hand is an island located south of China. Despite the fact that we eat mass quantities of Thai food and that I grew up with a number of friends whose families had immigrated from Taiwan. She continued to push the envelope. Despite any nudging on her part or geographic miscues on mine. We made it to the festival and had a great time enjoying the food and festivities. In conclusion, I’d really like to start working photographing and covering events for the press here. It’s something I enjoyed doing back east and something that always seems to teach me more about other cultures, expression and rituals. The money I’d earn would most likely go towards all the great food these festivals offer.
In a recent conversation with friend, fellow photographer and mentor Kevin. I was questioned about my use of watermarks. I explained that I had so many of my music related photos used without permission, notice or credit over the years and how using a watermark gave me a sense of assurance that such branding would cut down on, if not eliminate the practice of taking without asking. As ridiculous as it might seem, it pisses me off when I have to ask for a photo credit after it’s already been used without notification. In the days of film, this never seemed to be an issue, due to the fact that you, the photographer, owned the negative. In a time of social media’s immediacy and a digital age where a file / image replaces the negative. Problems certainly have more of a chance to arise.
Still, his question and critique really made me think. Is it really worth it? Does it reduce the emotion or intended message within the image. If so, does that tiny assurance relieve any of the anxiety or paranoia of having one of your shots appear uncredited on someone’s band page? Probably not. But still, it’s an idea I’m still not ready to completely embrace. So, what do you think? Bands, Photographers? I’d love to hear from you.
The other night I posed a simple, yet complex question to a friend and fellow music photographer. “Can you ever see yourself enjoying, or even going to a show or concert without your camera?” It was a question I had to ask, considering I’ve asked it of myself countless times. After what seemed to be a decades long pause, he exhaled “No. I don’t.” The answer was as much a surprise as it was a relief. Having asked myself that very same question numerous times over the years. I find it somewhat strange that I know for a fact that I couldn’t. I don’t see any time in the near of distant future where I’m hanging back with a beer in my hand taking the show in as nothing more than a spectator. Whereas I see myself now as the old man with the camera at the show. I’ll probably end up as the really old man with the moment capturing apparatus at shows twenty years from now. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
Last night I added a KIDS section to Damion Photo which includes studio and location shots taken at local parks and beaches. Working with children and families has been one of the most rewarding parts of my photography life. Something I hope to dive head first back into in the coming months. I’m currently booking Spring sessions which include visiting clients homes where kids seem most comfortable. I also plan to continue taking advantage of Hoboken’s Parks and beautiful Hudson River view. There will be many updates and additions in the coming days, weeks and months. Come visit and watch for the coming updates. Yours Truly, The Photo Geek
Each week, usually by Wednesday, my wife’s line of questioning goes from “What do you want for dinner?” to “What do you want to do this weekend?” Inquiries that keep me on my toes while keeping my mind in a continuous creative mode. Over the years I’ve come to learn that this particular line of interrogation has a readymade answer most likely calculated long before the question was ever served to me. The key to my success has always been about taking the time to research and come up with the proper match to said answer.
This week she emailed me three compelling options for the coming weekend. A list which included a trip to Philly for a festival. One to Connecticut for some tasty food and a zombie walk in Asbury Park. Knowing my wife pretty well, you can imagine my surprise when my answer “Zombie Walk” matched hers perfectly.
As we came upon Asbury Ave. the traffic hit a stand still. One that brought to mind the first episode of “Walking Dead” where all the cars are left abandoned along a silent highway. I began to look at the clock and think “We’re never going to make it on time.” “And if we do, we’ll never find parking anywhere near the event.” I thought for a second about jumping from the vehicle and walking the rest of the way. But somehow the thought of leaving the security of our vehicle, being eaten or leaving my wife to be devoured by the zombie apocalypse kept my seatbelt firmly in place. Within a matter of minutes the wheels of the cars in front of us began to move and the end of the world was upon us.
As we hit the boardwalk I quickly realized two things. 1. I’d probably have to wait a few hours before the sun began to set and diffuse some of the harsh light that was shining down on the boardwalk. 2. I wasn’t going to get many worthwhile shots if I wasn’t willing to personally connect with the undead I wanted images of. Luckily I was able to slip through the growing crowd rather seamlessly while stopping to interact with the ones who really caught my eye. During the day we came across some amazingly imaginative takes on zombie culture. I managed to stop a wide variety of individuals, groups and families to get lively images. While most were very cooperative and friendly, I often had to remind them that “This ain’t Disney Land.” “It’s the god damned Zombie Apocalypse.” In all 9,592 Zombies walked Asbury parks boardwalk and beach. Enough to set the Guinness Book of World Records previously held by Minneapolis. We had a really fun day that completely took us out of out element. We promised that if Zombie Walk comes back to our area in 2014, We will be in full blown character for the event. I’m looking forward to the experience.