FERTILITY TWO POINT O

What’s up everybody? Have you missed me? I know you have. 😉 My email has absolutely been blowing up asking when I was going to post again. Well, that day has come, my friends. You may have seen this one before on other outlets, but I’ve never put it here on my blog. I just love the interactive metal sculptures that are created for Burning Man. This one is called Star Seed by Kate Raudenbush.

from BM: Rising 40 feet from the desert dust, and made from both organic and galactic forms, the passer-by may pause and reflect upon the scene: is it a giant seed growing up into space, or is it a spaceship landing and putting down roots on Earth? Three sets of curvilinear tree roots loop their way down and offer a pathway of ascent into an astral bower of light, inviting connection around a galactic seed pod in the sky.
“Star Seed” occupies that space where our earth-bound bodies root in the dust, gather together, and rise to meet our higher selves.

I resonate a lot with these words.

I really love this photo. There is so much going on, yet the details remain in tact. One of my favorite parts is the guy with the flashlight. It’s so cool how the beam cuts through the night.

Fertility 2.0

PHONE HOME

This is one of my favorite shots from Burning Man 2013. It was the year that Trey Ratcliff and I brought our families and were next door neighbors in Kidsville. Late one night we dressed my son Seth in this crazy alien costume that I had prepared. Needless to say, many burners were extremely tripped out by his appearance. Or maybe it was the drugs. He got many responses, from fear to being hugged and loved on, but everyone wanted photos. I took this one outside of the Man Base which was shaped like a giant UFO.

Hello, hello? It’s sometimes kind of weird writing these posts not knowing if anyone is reading them. I know my wife or kid doesn’t read it. Nor do my parents or best friends. I guess I think of it as an online diary of sorts. I’m not going to confess any deep dark secrets, but I suppose it is a place I can get some thoughts on ‘paper’. I have a lot of unconventional beliefs that stray away from the norm. Maybe sharing some of those will spark some type of conversation here. Here, I’ll start with this one: Our children our not our own. Parents are simply vehicles for souls to be brought (back) into these human ‘suits’ to have an(other) earth experience. Do you agree, or no?

RELEASE THE KRAKEN

Here’s another photo from this year’s Burning Man. I’m presenting this art not how it appeared on playa. Originally, it was surrounded with a fence of sorts that had cranks to make the mechanical squid move it’s tentacles. It was a pretty time consuming undertaking, but I’m happy with the results. I removed tiny sections at a time in order to keep the realism. The hardest part was recreating the sculpture parts that were hidden.

I’ve been pretty busy the past couple of weeks. This weekend Cher and I did a family photo shoot for some friends of ours. It was really a lot of fun. I have been really reluctant to include families in my photo package offerings, but I may change that note soon. I’ve had several people inquire about it so it might be something to consider as an extra revenue stream.

Thanksgiving is this week in the United States. I really don’t know how I feel about all these holidays anymore. White man (which I am) took this land from the Indians. Then they tried to wipe them out (and did a pretty good job of it) violently and wrongly. I am thankful for what I have, but I’m not proud of how we came about having it.

LAUGHING TWINS

It was a crazy weekend on this existence we call Mother Earth; Paris terrorist attacks, Beirut suicide bombings, a Hurricane in Mexico, earthquake in Japan. I feel like posting a photo is the least significant thing I can do, but I really don’t know what else to do. I took a little camping trip this weekend with my buddy Casey, so I wasn’t connected the entire time, which is probably a good thing. I feel like I suffered real PDST from 911 a few years ago. Not like a soldier would or anything, but it was still a traumatic experience for me. I was never an anxious person until then. I’ve since learned how to deal with the anxiety, but I felt some of those familiar feelings creeping back in with all this madness going on in the past few days. I make a conscious effort to NOT watch the news or read the paper and that helps.

While ignoring CNN, I was getting super freaky on processing some photos the past few days. Normally, this one might not make the cut on it’s own, but with some extreme experimentation, I think it came out pretty interesting so I’ll share.

Ello is getting no more color photos from me. From the very beginning I thought the color of the photos I uploaded was off. This really turned me off from posting there for a while. In fact I had an entire post written about how I was about to thrown in the towel on the entire site. I don’t have much of an audience there, so I thought it wouldn’t be much of a loss. Then I started looking at what was getting the attention and noticed it was really about modern art. I’m a fan of all kinds of art, and am willing to try new things. So I’ve been making some photos specifically for Ello… much edgier, much weirder and all black and white. I’m excited about it now, and look forward to how that gallery will differ from my others as it grows.

RADICAL MADNESS

This year’s burn was absolutely incredible. I took thousands of pictures and I’m having a blast really getting into them. This is one of my favorites so far. I was caught in a late night white out that came out of nowhere. I loved it. I would ride blindly into the abyss until arriving upon an incredible work of art. There were no distractions and I was so in the moment photographing the art. Suddenly this guy appeared from the dust, ripping it back and forth on his board… looking so fucking radical, I had to pose him up for this photo. The dude’s name was Steve Axe. Unforgettable.

UBER STRANGE

I often like to find double meanings in my photos and titles. This photo to me is so odd. If you didn’t know the location was Burning Man, you’d probably be wondering what the heck is going on here. This was during one of the massive mid-week dust storms. While lots of people go for cover, I like to head out in these conditions for photos. I like the way people naturally pose when they are battling the elements. Usually they are so busy with self preservation, they rarely notice the dreadlocked guy with his giant lens pointed at them. This way, they don’t stiffen up or pose the way they think they should. It all happens with a nice flow.

I like the way the guys in the background are sharing a bike. Hence the title of ‘uber’. I personally haven’t tried an Uber service, but it’s an alternative to using Taxi’s to get around town. It’s an app that connects riders with drivers and I think it’s pretty cool.

POD OF PROTECTION

I’m still blown away by the art at Burning Man. I also can’t believe it’s been 5 years in a row now. It’s still just as exciting getting tickets and the whole preparation process. This years Temple of Promise was really a challenge to shoot. Some were calling it the Cornucopia because of it’s shape. Others said it looked to them like a serpent. It had a gigantic copper cowling at the opening. It then tapered down into a single sized doorway which opened up into a strange tree-filled courtyard.

The Temple has an effect on me really like no other place. I can feel a real heaviness as I enter. Something is placed heavy on my heart. I begin to read some of the messages and the tears begin to flow. So many tales of lives cut short and loved ones expressing their losses and grief. It gives me an opportunity to send love to each one I read, though. I can see how it heals those who choose to let it.

REVOLUTION NOON

This is Marco Cochrane’s third and final installation of his Bliss project called R-Evoution. It continues the theme of a woman expressing her humanity. I’m always amazed at the engineering that goes into these projects. This one is 48 feet tall and actually breathes!

My campmates Edin and Jaci are in this photo. They had a really interesting week, but it all come together in the end for some good times and photo opportunities. They are both really passionate photographers out of Miami. Edin runs a great blog called ShutYourAperture that’s full of photo tips and inspiration. You never really know what is going to happen at Burning Man, but it’s usually pretty intense. They say not to bring anything to the playa that you aren’t prepared to lose… including relationships.

DIGITAL FLOW

I just love the lightpainting opportunities that Black Rock City provides. All the flow folks come out with their blinky toys and fire gear. I’ve tried to do some of the flow things, but my flow is really with the camera. This girl was rocking this amazing hoop in front of White Ocean. It would change colors and patterns in hundreds of different ways. Every photo I took was really different from the next. This one turned out to be one of my favorites because of its’ cleanliness and the shape that the hoop created. I imagine my burn is very different from a typical burn. I can be found out very late, not looking for a party, but looking for crazy lights or a composition that was unseen during the daytime.

A VISIT TO GALATEA

Mono Lake is one of my favorite places that I’ve visited in my short photography career. It’s what I imagine a landscape on another planet would be like. It’s a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. These salts also make the lake water alkaline.

This desert lake has an unusually productive ecosystem based on brine shrimp that thrive in its waters, and provides critical nesting habitat for two million annual migratory birds that feed on the shrimp and blackflies (that also feed on the shrimp).

Mono Lake is best known for its’ unique ‘tuftas’ that rise up out of the water. These make incredible subjects for photography and is visited by thousands of landscape photographers each year, as well as other tourists. During this time while I was there, the sky erupted into a colorful show, and completed what was already an exciting composition. I was running around like a madman trying to get as many different compositions as possible.

For this shot I used the Nikon 14-24mm wide angle lens and got down really low. I love that thing. It’s bulbous nature really lets in mega light while keeping it sharp around the edges. This lens does give me a little chromatic abberations on the edges sometimes, but it’s never anything a single click in ACR can’t fix.