I was enjoying my Chi Tea and downtime at Rochester’s Minnesota’s Forager Brewery when I left my seat for a quick bathroom break and tour of the facilities. Most of what I found was a designers wet wet dream. Form the cool architecture, extra nooks and crannies and magazine inspiring design, I was inspired to fire off a few shots from my camera. As I’ve grown to love shadows and contrast, I find myself leaving my flash in the bag, if taking it along at all. As I made my way back to my seat, I noticed these tea cups / lights hanging from the ceiling looking quite artful. As my days as a studio photographer seem to have come to a close, I’ve found solace knowing I’m still inspired to capture and document my surroundings.
After flying into Minneapolis and securing our rental car, we quickly proceeded to our favorite record store Electric Fetus. As we parked the car and headed in, we noticed that the flying germ factories were amassing and hoped our windshield would be spared. After some intense crate digging we returned to ur car only to notice a somewhat ominous scene. It was as if all those birds had gathered on that nearby rooftop to form an unholy alliance and inspire on those unfortunate and defenseless humans below. Lucky for us, we managed to escape with no injuries or poop to eventually banish from our rental car. As for the town and the parking lot, I never checked the news to find out what horror might have descended on the town folk. I was just thankful that we made it out alive.
Every month, my wife’s company chooses someone to be on stand by, just in case something goes wrong, or someone needs help with something. While the assignment doesn’t require the person to show and sit alone in the office waiting for the next big meltdown. It does ask that the appointed worker have internet access if called on. When she got the job this weaken, the strong possibility of rain made it feel as if we weren’t going to miss that much. We agreed to stay somewhat local while making a stop at the downtown Seattle library. After a stop in Rat City for breakfast at Biscuit Bitch (Our first time in over two years and our first in Rat City.)
we headed to the 4th Avenue library in Downtown Seattle. Though I’ve been to the beautiful glass landmark numerous times before. I’ve never really explored much of it’s spacious and beautiful decor. After a trip to the top floor where you can get maximum returns of the 3D view of the city and bay, we headed down to the 8th floor where I spent a couple of hours digging through CD’s. For the first time in a long time. I actually felt like a photo journalist. I couldn’t help but want to go back alone and just explore.
I was only seven years old when I wandered onto my first construction site in Jackson Heights, Queens and just weeks after that I watched a close friend fall to his death at the same site. Though tragic in every way, it never deterred me from hopping a fence or overlooking any signs that bore the words “NO TRESPASSING!” As an adult, I discovered a passion for photography and though that passion consumed me. My love and appreciation for things like construction sites, junk yards, factories and the numerous locations that are often deemed “Off Limits.” Having a camera and a desire to document my surroundings led me to many destinations. A few years ago, I attended a Q&A in downtown NYC where the author of a book whose title escapes me would speak about his experiences shooting his factory themed images for his book. Imagine how disappointed I was when he talked about getting permission and a time frame to capture the images for his project. “What a jip!” I thought. This guy got an all access pass and chose to shoot from the cushy balcony. Where was the rush of adrenaline coming from? Where was the risk? Undaunted, I returned to my passion and that rush that comes from not knowing what will happen next. That feeling you get when the hairs on your neck stand on end and tingle. While I’m too old and too sick to climb fences, outrun police or feel the breath of an angry guard dog on the chase,. I’m still holding out that there’s a gallery exhibit or even a book in the future. And while I’ve begun to gather and post pictures on my social media page, I know I still have a long way to go. Here’s a link to some of the images I’ve come across. Left Behind
When my wife and me first moved to Seattle, I recall an exchange where my wife lamented, “I think we’re going to run out of things to do pretty quickly, here.” Though I thought of things quite differently at the time, I accepted her lament while seeing it as a challenge to find new adventures while exploring the limitless places and things I had never experienced having lived my entire life in one corner of the east cost.
Little did either of us know just what kind of adventure exploring new towns, cities and locations would be. Within time, we found new restaurants and coffee shops where we’d spend enddless amounts of time filling our stomachs and fueling our passions.We found an apartment we loved and visited Portland and Vancouver, BC for the first time. On the days or weekends we decide to saty somewhat local, we are never far from one new adventure or another. Yesterday was a good example of such when following an excellent breakfast at Redwing Cafe and some random clothing shopping. We found ourselves in the somewhat familiar territory of Rat City. (Don’t judge the town by it’s cover.) After some really good ice cream and a few healthy rounds of Gallaga at Full Tilt Ice Cream, we went next door to Pho An’s tasty Vietnamese joint to pick up what would be our dinner. In the end, it doesn’t matter how far you travel. Adventure is what you make it. What matters most is who you do it with and what you make of your time together.
As the Labor Day weekend approached, my wife and me began making plans about where to go and how to take advantage of the three day weekend. By Wednesday of the week we narrowed it down to two concentrated plans of action. Plan 1 involved a three hour drive to the Pacific Ocean for a day at the beach. Plan 2 was a three hour trip to Vancouver, BC for a day of exploring the nooks and crannies of the city’s expansive Chinatown.
However, after a Friday night of my not sleeping ans my wife’s preference to sleep late on Saturday, our plans went through a series of shifts and changes. As much as marriage has become a constant rerun of my wife asking “What do YOU want to do?” I’m rarely prepared to offer any answer beyond “Eat bacon and go record shopping.” I proudly trumpet my attempts to come up with an exciting., detailed plan of action.
Luckily, no significant plans were made and we were able to stay somewhat close to ourhome base. With stops on 4th Ave in SODO as well as the international center, we were able to get our food shopping taken care of while allowing me to stop and take in that giant Ken Griffey Jr. mural. All in all, it was a laid back three day weekend that allowed us to stay close and take advantage of the great things that are close by and within reach.
Thanks to the to the advice and guidance of a friend and gifted artist, I’ve decided to embark on selling prints of some of the many images I’ve shot over the years. Though still very much in the idea stage. I’ve begun to reach back to some old favorites, look into possible places to print and the right website to host my images. I hope to start small with just a few images, ones picked with the customer in mind. (Not necessarily my favorites, but ones that might appeal to a broader audience, while still reflecting my overall style. Below is an image taken back in the early nineties with a Nikon EM film camera and 50 mm lens. Special thanks to Jenn for the inspiration. You can buy her prints here. It Does Art