Posted on March 22, 2020
Must create something.
Anything, here’s a concept piece—
A photo essay on spring break in the time of COVID-19.
Posted on March 20, 2020
Isolation is upon us.
I’m keeping six feet away from my shadow.
Everyone’s asking pennies for everyone’s thoughts.
Although our mental atmosphere is cluttered, beauty can still be found:
An almost-face with two eye-ball clouds hovering over a scene.
Speaking of almost-faces, here’s an iconic one:
We’re all Castaways now.
I found that face at McClellan Ranch when I took my kids there.
I thought it high time to teach my kids crawdad fishing survival skills.
As always, nature spoke in parables:
We are—all of us—entangled.
My kids continued to fish in the Upside Down.
I looked for beauty in small places: periwinkle.
Then I looked for beauty in big places.
No matter where I looked, I saw something beautiful, even when it was dark and deep.
As we walked to the parking lot, I saw a simple scene: Back to basics.
POSTSCRIPT—although this next picture was taken on a different outing, it’s too good not to share. Not an almost-face, nor a found face, but the real deal. Yes.
Posted on February 29, 2020
I have a friend.
Her name is Colleen.
She shared a story with me.
The story goes something like this…
“A few years ago, a tulip bloomed in our backyard; the yard was otherwise covered by ivy. We didn’t plant the tulip; it was likely the work of an enterprising but forgetful squirrel. The best moments are always like this tulip: unexpected and perfect.”
Earlier this week, I had one of those special moments.
I was in San Francisco on a corporate shoot.
My client was unfashionably late.
I stood on Gold Street.
A picturesque alley in the Financial District.
There was no foot traffic.
I was alone.
Then it happened.
A stranger turned the corner.
She strode the lane toward me—
Looking the fashion equivalent of a tulip in bloom.
Finally, I blurted out in mock exasperation.
You’re here at last.
I’ve been waiting for you.
No, no, she said, politely waving her hand.
I’m not your model.
You’re not, I joked?
But she slowed,
Then stopped entire,
And glinted right on frame.
I snapped at 1/200 of a second.
And every time the shutter clicked, she gracefully shifted her pose.
What an unexpected and perfect gift! Thank you.
Posted on February 25, 2020
Meet Jack, Jack Beckwith.
He’s the Founder and Creative Director at The DataFace.
There’s one thing I enjoy most about photographing business pros.
I get to ask them any question I want—and learn just how interesting they are.
Who is your favorite writer?
I’d say Michael Lewis. As a sports nut and aspiring data scientist, Moneyball proved a perfect introduction to his work back in the mid-2000s. But what I admire most about Lewis’s writing is his ability to take a mundane subject and somehow make it captivating for the reader. His latest book, The Fifth Risk, is no exception. It’s about government bureaucracy and somehow I couldn’t put it down.
What’s one of the most beautiful places you’ve ever visited?
Bryce National Park has to be near the top of my list. I’ve been twice — once with my family in eighth grade and again with some college friends during our spring break my senior year. The hoodoos are just magical, especially in the afternoon sun. I have some wonderful memories hiking the trails there with my dad.
By this time next year, what do you want to have achieved?
I’m hoping to run a half marathon at some point in 2020. I’ve been a runner for more than a decade at this point, dating back to the days of high school cross-country. But since I tore my ACL last April, I’ve had a tough time getting back into the habit of running. So I made it a goal to train for a race this year and set a PR. And what better way to set a new PR than to run a distance I’ve never officially raced before?
Posted on February 21, 2020
“A mask tells us more than a face,”
According to Oscar Wilde.
Well, yes and no.
A good mask is a face—
One with legible characters.
Just like this one.
Posted on January 30, 2020
As you descend HWY 84 on the coastal side of Skyline, you’ll pass a dive bar in LaHonda named Apple Jack’s. Don’t day dream, or you’ll zip right by it. Made from original redwood trees in the area, the structure resembles a brooding mushroom. If it’s an overcast rainy day and you’re alone, as I was, the place feels haunted. Perfect, I enjoy haunted places. I’m nostalgic for ghosts, for people who are elsewhere or simply dead, for artifacts that persist without purpose, and for ephemera that remind me of the beauty of life and the finality of death. Enjoy—or not.
HOWL: Nasal Turbinates, Deer Skull
CORDAGE: Once Line, Now Merely Rope
SCALES: Of Light and Dust
THURSTON HOWL II (Yes, you better get the joke)
Last week, I received the nicest compliment on Instagram. “I’m a big fan of your work,” she said. “Whether it’s landscape or portraiture, you have a beautiful gift for capturing the soul of whatever it is you photograph.”
Hopefully I captured the soul of Apple Jack’s.
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Posted on January 14, 2020
The title is misleading. It’s more a retrospective.
Every image except one was shot in 2019. Good lord, it was a damn fine year. I’m lucky to observe people. Bearing witness is powerful stuff. I’m constantly amazed by it.
Lately, I’ve been building portraits around eyes. I really dial the eyes in first. They’re my secret subject. Always.
I pay close attention to irises and pupils. I finesse catch light. Only then do I compose a shot. Eyes first, then everything else follows: Hair, nose, mouth, and hoodie. Toque, tie, vest, or jewelry.
Whatever it may be. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. It’s secondary.
“Eyes so transparent that through them the soul is seen.” —Theophile Gautier
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
“Now I wash the gum from your eyes, / You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life.”
“You have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning.”
“Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.”
“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”
“The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
“Keep your eyes open to your mercies.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson
“A gentleman has eyes on all those present….”
—Lawrence G. Lovasik
“The eyes are more exact witnesses than the ears.”
“Our eyes of flesh only see night.”
“A man’s feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.”
“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.”
“Of my face, I like the eyebrows and eyes.”
“For I dipped into the future, far as the human eye could see, / Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.”
—Alfred Lord Tennyson
“The eye is the jewel of the body.”
—Henry David Thoreau
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