Saturday, November 7, 2009

Battle of the bugs...

First off, I messed up yesterday. I was trying to do this "blog every day during November" thing, but I missed yesterday. I had a long Friday away from the computer, then I had the art show opening to attend, then we got home and put the boys to bed. The oldest boy asked if we could all lay down together, and I did. Next thing I know, I wake up in bed with two snoozing babies and it is 1am. No point in trying to blog for Friday, because I just missed it.

It was worth it, though. I had a busy afternoon, a great art show opening that I attended with my wife and my friend John, and I got to snuggle up with two of my three favorite boys. Anyway, I'm hoping that is the ONLY day I miss. Let's see if I can keep it that way...

To get back on track, I'll probably post some cool pics from a recent client shoot or talk about an upcoming shoot with a new client. But for now, I thought I'd share this odd shot I took on a recent day off:

I was sitting on the back patio watching my boys play in the back yard. I see a wasp or hornet or something nasty fly over my head, towards the back door. Then I see it stop near a spider web. I didn't think he was going to get stuck, but he sure did. Immediately after, a spider comes out and they begin to fight.

Luckily, I had my camera pretty much ready to go, since I had left it set up from a shoot the previous night. I threw on some extension rings and got in close - a little too close for comfort, really. I shot some of the action, and this is what I got.

Now, I am well aware that I'm NOT on the level of a National Geographic nature shooter. This is not the best insect picture around. Heck, I don't even know enough about the specific bugs/insects/whatever to tell you much about them. I am a lifestyle shooter. People hire me to shoot people. I do that well - not creepy, stingy things.

It's more about the fact that I never expected to see a possible fight to the death between a wasp-looking thing and a spider. And the fact that I was brave enough to put on a 50mm and some extension rings to shoot this duel from no more than a couple inches away.

For the camera nerds, it was shot at iso 2500 on my Canon 5DmkII, 1/100th sec, f8, with bounce flash under my patio cover. And, for the PETA fans, I saved the flying insect. The spider retreated after a while, I think in hopes that the stuck insect would tire itself out trying to escape the web. I unstuck it and untangled it using a twig, then set it free. Don't ask me why...


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Come to the Kettle...

Come to the Kettle Art Gallery in Deep Ellum Friday night (from 7pm to 10pm), November 6, 2009. A reception for a juried show will be taking place, and I was one of the jury members. It was exciting, getting a chance to pick the final artwork from all the talented artists that submitted. We chose about 55 pieces to show from a pool of about 400. It was hard work!

This is a short press release regarding the event:

Well the Jury has spoken and there were plenty of entries to choose from. Out of 420 images, 55 were accepted into our first ever show of this kind. This show will be exceptional w/ plenty of new talent and some you already know and love including ;

Willhelmina Adams, David Alpuche, Sabrina Ashee, Julianne Agular, Nathan Beach, Jonathan Brooks, Shari Caldwell, Rita Childress, Dan Colcer, Lauren Darrouzet, Oscar Duran, Jonathan Fontenot, Essie P. Graham, Charles A. Gray, Violeta Gutierrez, Luke Harnden, Michael Haskins, Nary Huval, James Emory Bridges (Jimbeau), Jenice Johnson, Veronique Jonas, Natalia V. Jones, Jeff Kiec, Joseph Lambert, Ray LeBoeuf, Levi Leddy, Tom Leininger, Frank Lopez, Jeane McIntosh, William Messimer, Edward Montes, Carolyn Nelson, Jalon Nichols, Richard Patterson, Ramona and Dennis Placke, Rob Polivka, Pat Ramseur, Guy Reynolds, David Rodriquez, Clint Scism, Tyler Sharp, Diane Sikes, Cara Michelle Smith, Tammy Tholen, Andrew Tolentino, Susana Vasquez and Ross von Rosenberg..

This show runs through Saturday, November 28.

Please Note: the date for this show has been moved to Friday the 6th due to scheduling conflicts. Nomad Arts, have their Art of Skateboarding' exhibit on Saturday the 7th. Many Kettle Crew artists also participate in this annual benefit exhibit for the Scottish Rite Hospital.

Jury: The jury for this exhibit is
Anne Bothwell - Director, KERA's Art & Seek
Jason Janik - Photographer
Sarah Jane Semrad - Executive Director, La Reunion TX and President, Art Conspiracy
Lucia Simek - co-founder of Dallas' arts and culture blog, Renegade Bus
Charles Dee Mitchell - Art Critic

The jury will deem a set of artists as 'Best in Show' and those artists will be acknowledged at the reception on November 6.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vicente, circa 2006...

This is Vicente. He has worked at the State Fair for a LOOOOONG time. It's been a while since I talked to him last, but he is always a welcome smile at the State Fair of Texas crafts building. I took this quick portrait back in 2006, when I was covering the fair for a national publication called American Profile.

I just had a Canon 20D and my 540 flash on me at the time, so it was a pretty simple shoot... nothing fancy or complicated. And it was shot with my 20mm f2.8, camera settings were 1/40 sec and f4.9 according to the data saved with the image file.

I took a lot of pictures that year, including my first portrait of Bill Bragg, the voice of Big Tex. After sending off the images to my editor, I didn't do a thing with the pics. They just sat on a disc, filed away for the last three years.

I've thought about this photo of Vicente for a long time. I don't know why, maybe because he's such a colorful character. I never did anything with it, because I never cared for the glare on his glasses. I've even thought about retaking it every year since then, but never have. I think I will do a proper portrait next State Fair season. Vicente deserves it! For now, you can enjoy him as is. Next year, he'll look even better, sans glare.


Dinosaurs, from a different view...

For those of you who know where this image was taken, you know this is quite a different view from normal. Yup, I was given a cherry picker and raised up a couple stories, so I could get a fun dino shot for my client. It was fun being eye to eye with a T-Rex dinosaur!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Art Con 5...

I am participating in this year's Art Con event:

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Leica, anyone?!?

Seriously, who wouldn't want to try this out?

I'm not sure I could bring myself to spend $23k for a body and $5k per lens, but the camera system seems pretty sweet!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Artistic accident...

Is this my latest work of fine art, depicting my innermost thoughts and feelings, carefully composed to take the viewer on an emotional ride of contrast and color? Nope. I accidentally took a picture while adjusting the camera settings at a photo shoot tonight. I thought it looked pretty cool, though. What an interesting accident!


Bridezillas? No thanks...

I was out at a nightclub shoot and a camera crew was following around this obnoxious couple. I talked to one of the guys and found out they were filming an episode of Bridezillas. I am so glad that I don't have to work for that show. It must be such a beating, being around all that negativity. The people on Bridezillas often seem so annoying, mean, whiny, nasty, etc. I wouldn't want to film that kind of stuff all day. It would be too depressing.

My wife and I used to watch the first season or so, back when they actually documented the real struggles and stress of planning a wedding. However, we stopped watching when it turned into a sort of Jerry Springer fest...

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yet another reason to NOT become a photojournalist...

The newspaper industry doesn't look too hot at the moment:


Mario Lopez...

Someone said November was national Post a Blog a Day Month. Whether that's true or not, I'll try my best to do it. We'll see how far I actually get. To start things out, I'll post a link to my picture of Saved By The Bell actor Mario Lopez:

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