Sunday, August 31, 2008


Even though I'm a little late with this post I'm still putting it as I wrote it last Thursday. I'm at the RNC in Minneapolis now and will try to stay up to date.

My grandfather is 90 years old. He has told me how he remembers when as a black man he could not vote in this country. Since he's 90 I take his call even when I am super busy. He of course decided to call a few minutes before Obama accepted the nomination and ecstatic is hardly doing justice to how good he sounded. He sounded so proud. Not just for Obama but for me. "Boy that must be something else. I never thought I would live to see the day. I sure wish I could be there." I felt guilty after making sure that he and my grandmother were okay and telling him I would call him the next day(I'll do it tomorrow. Really). To which he responded: "I won't keep you. I just wanted to be sure you were there."

He sounded proud just for the fact I had made the journey to Denver. Almost as if I was making a pilgrimage. Like the candidate, I get to be one of those that stands on the shoulders of those that struggled during the civil rights movement. And while he never marched, he is one of those people who worked long hours doing jobs I could never imagine or endured abuses that I would never tolerate just to be sure my parents and by extension I got better opportunities. My grandfather never finished high school but is the smartest person I know. Because of him and my grandmother I get to take what I do for granted. I get to take how I live, where I live, where I go, and the fact that I can vote for granted. We've come a long way as a nation. From maginalizing a people to nominating the first African-American candidate for president.

Looking out on the crowd and seeing the number of people overwhelmed by emotion, laughing, dancing, and crying was stunning.The Last time I checked in here I said that the environment here is infectious. I was trying to fight off the infection and be the good objective journalist I'm supposed to be, but with my grandfather's words ringing in my ears I find I'm still dizzy in the mile high city.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Last time I talked about creativity vs. making a living and about how lately I get paying work at times I had scheduled for personal work. Blah, blah, blah. I came to a pretty quick realization that this is a cop out. I think I am in the club of photographers that cries the blues when it's slow and work is at a premium, but I am also one that belly aches about "not being able to pursue my creative vision man!" or "there aren't enough hours in the day" when I do get work. I also realize that I spend a little too much time in bars, on instant messenger, or watching Law & Order. So to prove a point for I shut off the TV, I skipped drinks with friends and shut down my computer(at least for a few hours). Instead I packed up the 4x5 and headed off to Coney Island with my good friend and fellow traveller Lucian Read to find the people that make Coney Island, well Coney Island. It's nice having a best friend do what you do and one who has a similar idea in mind. It gives you a support system and you get to play assistant for each other. He was also the person that got me out of my funk. By making me feel guilty and lazy with a polite "whatever man" when I said I did not have the time he managed to push me out the door and into a summer time project at the beach that I am really enjoying. I always say we are in this together but rarely do I act like I am in it for myself. Instead I give the advise I never take. I am finally listening my own advise by taking the helping hand of a friend when I needed an extra push to make me do more for myself. Besides the the days with that great summer light are getting shorter and shorter and I can find Law & Order pretty much anytime.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


This week I am short on the rambling. I spent a little time the other day feature hunting for the Times as they needed a day floater to fill a little space. Later in the week I got to cover the All Points West concert. It's still slow and I am trying not to die of boredom or forget how to use my cameras. I am really fighting to get over the hump of this painfully slow period. Ironically I have wanted to go back to Coney Island and shoot more with my 4x5 but every time I make plans to head out there I find myself with a paying job. Money vs. creativity. Ahhh, the age old conflict.

New York's Skyline. Why else would I go to Jersey?
Radiohead at it's whiney best.
Stiltwalkers try to grove to Underworld

Monday, August 04, 2008


On the boardwalk

Summertime in the city tends to slow for we photojournalist. Government stops, everyone goes on vacation and it seems that news all around has headed off to the Hamptons for a dip in Diddy's pool. After a few days of archiving and catching up on Law & Order re-runs I really needed to get out of the house.

Despite my current hermit lifestyle I am trying to get out and make pictures where ever I go. I try to take a camera everywhere. A party here, a bar hop there, and finally an assignment. I went to Coney Island to shoot features on the Boardwalk for the Times. Ahhh NYT, just when I think you don't love me no more. I get paid to shoot pretty pics on a great day at the beach? Tell me that's not love.