Blast from the Past

Man, talk about a blast from the past!  I heard it playing softly in the airport as I finished up with security. Putting on my shoes a calm overtook me, not many’s first reaction, but hey, it’s me and the airport stuff doesn’t bother me.  If they want to search my bag, go right ahead… I will just take my time putting on my belt, I had a place to sit where I can put my shoes on, easy.  But that song, it brought me back in time, WOW, it rushed over me and took my breath and emotions for a trip.  That plane ride, those people, that place, man, I want to go back there, back in time? Well, I don’t want to live in the past, so how can I bring the time back now?  Those feelings?  But living in the now, creating new feelings that will grab me like this at some later point in time.  Live “your” life, if you want to go, GO!  Don’t make excuses, that is how time passes you by so quickly and you wake up one morning and think, “What if?”  That sucks.  I don’t want to live like that.  I wish I was back there right know.  Now what am I going to do about it?  Make a plan, I can’t go today, but I can start planing the trip today and make it happen.  I want to take my wife there, I want her to know, to see, to feel the special, the calm, the excitement that is in this place. What song?  What place?  Does it even matter? 

 The Classic view of the town square in Minas, Uruguay.  This photo was taken with my Canon Rebel G shot on Tmax.  Man, that was a life time ago, but you know what? The feelings come rushing back just seeing this photo. What an amazing time I had in a butifle place.

The Classic view of the town square in Minas, Uruguay.  This photo was taken with my Canon Rebel G shot on Tmax.  Man, that was a life time ago, but you know what? The feelings come rushing back just seeing this photo. What an amazing time I had in a butifle place.

So I don’t want to leave you hang’n.  Name, by the Goo Goo Dolls, I listened to this on the plane to Uruguay years ago when I was there for a missions trip with the church I grew up in.  The people, the atmosphere, the energy.  No tourist trap here… Minas, this is a real place, with real people that were happy to tell you about their city, their country and culture.  I even got to go for a ride in a ford model T.  There was a man cleaning this really cool old car. We stopped to admire the car and struck up a conversation with him.  It turned out that the car belonged to his boss and he was taking care of it.  He was so excited to talk to us, to ask about where we lived and to tell us about his city.  We talked for a while and he asked if we wanted to go for a ride in the car. We didn’t want to impose on him, but he insisted and he was excited to show us around the city, his city.  So we hopped in and he showed us around and then even dropped us off at the front door of our hotel, Hotel Verdun.  His name is Rodolfo, he stood in for a photo with my Dad and Gary for a photo in front of the freshly washed car.  That is the kind of thing that you just can’t plan for and you will never experience if you don’t go. So go!  Do anything, Do different, but Do, create, feel, it’s the story, it’s your story.  This is one of mine and I will create many more to come.  What’s yours?  What do you want to remember?

 This is one of those times that you never forget.  On the left: Harry (my Dad), center: Garry, Righ: Rodolfo.

This is one of those times that you never forget.  On the left: Harry (my Dad), center: Garry, Righ: Rodolfo.

Little Moments

So this post is going to be short, time is… well?  I am still trying to figure it out.  Life, family, work, passion, rest, experiences, hobby, they all take time and I feel like I only get moments for each these days.  It seems just as my mind gets into the place where I am at that moment I have to shift gears and change directions, back and forth, never really ever getting to finish a thought. I normally would have completely focused on where I was and what I was doing, fully immersing myself into whatever it was that I was doing, often losing track of time and even forgetting to eat. I just can’t get to that place right now, there are other priorities in my life that need my attention. I am going to figure this out, but right now I am still trying to find a cadence, my rhythm.  Would I change this?  No, I don’t think so. It’s the challenge that keeps me climbing towards a goal.  I am learning so much and experiencing new things…  wait, that’s on my list of things I want to be doing.  It just looks so different that I expected it to, I almost didn’t recognize it.  I am writing this with one hand and holding my squirming son Hawkins in the other.  Another new exp…  -sorry, spit-up break-  ...experience, family, passion, love… it really looks different but I’m starting to see it clearer, even as I write now.  I will figure this out, how use these these moments, how to work with just moments.  Well this moment just came to a soft crash landing.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 A quick selfie of me and Hawk as I write this post.  Please don't mind the quality of this photo, I took it with my phone as I was writing this post, the the image quality is horrible, but the time with my son and the memory this photo represents is awesome.

A quick selfie of me and Hawk as I write this post.  Please don't mind the quality of this photo, I took it with my phone as I was writing this post, the the image quality is horrible, but the time with my son and the memory this photo represents is awesome.

OK, he’s asleep so I have another brief moment.  What does all this have to do with photography?  Well, nothing.  It has to do with who I am, I and how I see the world.  As a photographer who I am shows thru in my vision and my photos.  I want to share who I am so you can understand how I see and share my vision.  I like a challenge and I will find a way to make it happen, I’m up for that.  I appreciate new experiences, value passion and want all of this to be seen thru my work and vision.

The Past is Past!

Wow, do you know just how refreshing that statement is?  Its done, next step, move on, all I have to do is let it go and start new, man that’s for me.  OK, the past is gone, now, it's time to do something about this dream I have of being a photographer.  I am not going to waste the present!  I am now on a path that will lead me to where I want to go.  It's time to act, it's time to push myself and see what I’m really made of.  It's time to hustle and do the real work behind the scenes, the work that really matters.  This is my story and it's time I started writing it, telling it and sharing it.  No longer will I let it be written for me, without my input or ideas.  Last year I started laying some ground work and dipping my toes in the the water, it felt great.  A good friend of mine, Ehren, not only encouraged me to follow my passion and creativity, but he also stepped up and volunteered to be the subject of some really cool photos.  We went into New York City looking for dinner and whatever else we could find.  The photos in this post are from that trip, and man did we had a blast that night.

 Roaming around NY with Ehren looking for the interesting, the different, the adventure.

Roaming around NY with Ehren looking for the interesting, the different, the adventure.

What steps am I taking to do this?  Today I wrote this blog post.  Yesterday, I posted a quick cell phone photo on Instagram to let people know I’m still here, tomorrow I will take a task on my list and tackle it!  Over the next two to three months I plan to do some personal work shooting portraits for my portfolio.  I have a vision in my head that I just have to bring to life and set free into the world.  The excitement builds as I look forward to working with some good people to make some cool photographs and have a wild time making them.

As I continue on this path of excitement, struggle and achievement, I will write about my experiences.  Both my triumphs and my failures.  What I learn from both and how I feel along the way.  People I meet, places I go, the cool, the crazy, the wild…  I'm looking to get out and do this. Now, who wants to be apart of my story?

 The Empire State Building surrounded by all the crazy, the excitement and cool.

The Empire State Building surrounded by all the crazy, the excitement and cool.

In the coming months I will be looking for friends, family, acquaintances and anyone who is interested in being a part of this story.

Oh Baby...

No a baby, a real baby.  Saturday, February 27, 2016.  My world changed forever with the birth of my son Hawkins Alexander.  What an amazing and unknown time for my wife and I.  It’s all so new and different in such a powerful way that I haven’t fully grasped the magnitude of what this all means for me yet, but I will.  He is healthy, beautiful and doing all the things a baby should be doing.  My mind races trying to keep up with all the changes now but I am still way behind.  When do I feed him?  Change him?  How do I get him to sleep?  Do I wake him?  Do I wake her?  Did I do this or that right?  Should I…  Stop, take a breath, one step at a time.  I’ll get the hang of this.  I’m already adjusting to the chaos, well, I sort of like chaos actually.  It keeps me from getting into a routine, for me a routine gets boring.  I don’t like doing the same thing over and over again till I can do it in my sleep.  That would drive me crazy.  I want to be constantly adapting and being challenged, not knowing what I will be getting into next.  This is where I thrive, this is where I need to be and I am running into this new phase of my life at full speed with excitement and confidence.

The Beginning of the New Year, 2016

Man, That went fast!  A lot has happen this year, hit some of my goals, missed others, got distracted, but also refocused.  It a roll-a-coster, but hey, thats what makes things interesting and challenging, and there lies the real, amazing truth of this life we all have.

 Me at my hotel room just playing with my camera.

Me at my hotel room just playing with my camera.

This year I started this blog, one of the goals I hit this year.  I fought off all the inner voices that pushed back, and all the “what if’s”.  I’m so glad I did, I have an outlet to tell my story and to share my goals, my triumphs and even my defeats. I have a voice now.

I had another goal of revamping my portfolio this year, well, I’m still working on that.  So I missed that one, but that’s OK, I have started working on it and I am going to make it happen this year.  Do I regret not getting this done?  Life is to short, I’m not going to strap myself with this burden, it will only drag me down this year as I reach forward.  I will be working hard to create some new images this year.  I will keep you all up to date on my new projects this year as I work to bring my vision to life.

Speaking of life, one amazing change this year!  I am going to be a father, WOW, my head is spinning.  Excited, Thrilled, Scared, Happy, Soon! Really soon, Like the end of February soon!  All these emotions are soaring thru me, what a great year this is going to be. 

This Whole Blog Thing?

I’m not a writer, never did well at school, barely read anything and now I am writing a blog?  How did this happen?  I’m still not sure, but I want to share my experiences with others, with the world, and learn about myself along the way.  Journaling came to mind, but then how can I share this wild and crazy and maybe mundane story I have yet to tell?  So a blog?  Why not?  I have nothing to lose and much more to gain.  I even started reading a bit, it seems like every time I put my self out there and try something new, out of my comfort zone, I enjoy life just that much more, my world gets that much bigger and that child like wonder comes back just a little bit more each time.  So blogging?  Definitely out of my zone, but hey, lets try it, and just maybe my world will keep growing and I will learn who I am, and who I am meant to be, or at least, who I am not?

How I plan to approach this blog has already changed and I have just started, but that’s the cool thing, there’s no wrong way to do it, is there?  Doing it right:  Check.  Well, what I had planned to do was have several months already written and ready to go, so that I could just post them at the “proper” time.  Wait a moment, let me back up just a bit.  

I have toyed with the idea of writing this blog for almost a year, planning and trying to do everything just right, to the point it has become an excuse to not even start.  I was so scared to fail by not posting after the first few posts, or just fall victim to the nay sayers and critics who always see the negative in starting something new or different.  Well thats self defeating before I even get started, and thats not going to fly any more, I would rather fail… big time… in front of everyone… bad!..  And prove them all right.  Then not start at all out of fear.  So this week I started, and it will be what it is, and if I fail, then come with me for the ride, and if, by some stroke of luck, I do well, then come along for the ride of our lives and lets live it. Now is now, and tomorrow is about to come, and the time is now, don’t waste it.  

 Photo of my Dad playing his guitar, one of his favorite things to do.  2015

Photo of my Dad playing his guitar, one of his favorite things to do.  2015

Now, back to what I was saying, I can write months of inspired posts and if I let them sit on the shelf for weeks or months, they will get stale and will not reflect where I am right now. Time moves so fast, then its gone and what was once inspired is now just a ember going out.  I now understand my Dad just a little bit more today.  He is a baptist pastor and for 40 plus years he has written sermon after sermon, and today when he preaches, he still prepares a new sermon, even if he has preached on the same topic may times be for.  There is alway new insight, something to learn, even if its just for him, but that drives him, and thats where the passion is, and it shows as he’s preaching.  So I am not going to write many posts in advance and have them sitting on the shelf waiting for the “right time” and post them.  Just another lesson I have learned from watching my Dad, he may not even know I picked up on it.  I will start out trying to post a new, fresh thought once a month, and maybe I will fail, and maybe I will change my mind, but that part of the journey I’ve started, and feel free to come along with me and see where it leads.

My Day Job...

…and how photography has crept in and become part of what I do for the company, not only my boss, my client too.

I am sitting here on a plane waiting to take off, they just announced that there is a maintenance delay, it may be an hour, maybe more?  Thats fine, it gives me time to reflect on the job I just finished.  I shot high speed video of a paper product coming off the rollers of the machine that makes it.  The paper goes by so fast and we needed to shoot very fine detail images for making measurements.  So I had two high speed camera set up with macro lenses set up right under this machine.  I had done some tests in our lab before the trip to make sure it would work.  Got great test images, man thats cool, I’m all set.  Then I get there, it was hot, humid, and so dusty that I had to not only clean the lens off just before each sequence of images, I had to clear the dust off the lights too.  I didn’t even notice the conditions being that bad, my coworker and our contacts commented on how hard my part of the work was.  It is? I said that I hadn’t even noticed, I was having so fun fighting the conditions trying to get the best images I could, I was loving it.  Wow, I thought, its like I’m not even working at all.  Its not to say the work wasn’t hard, I struggled to get the focus dead on, get enough light for a shutter speed low enough to keep the detail that I knew was there and was critical to the success of this job.  All morning I was so focused on getting the right combination that I didn’t even know it was lunch time, I was pushing the limit of the cameras and lights that I had with me and was still not happy with what I had, but I knew I could do it.  And when we started back up, I hit it and got the images that I knew we needed.  OK, now the pressure was off, now the customer was excited about the images, really excited.  I was still wanting more, but at least it was in the bag now, but as I pushed more and more through the afternoon the images just kept getting better and better, by the time I was done I was happy with the results and felt a calmness, what a satisfying trip this was, it wasn’t easy, but that’s what makes it so amazing when you pull it off.

 

But wait a minute, how did I get here?  Am I a professional photographer?  No, not yet, well maybe, that line is starting to blur.  See, I love photography, making images and telling a story with photos.  But I didn’t know how to do it full time, still don’t, but I still need to make a living.  That’s ok, I can still enjoy photography as a hobby and maybe I will one day find a way to incorporate in to my live more and more as I grow, will I ever be a full time photographer?  Only time will tell.  I am working for a mechanical engineering company now, and its really a great place to work.  I like the work, the people and how the company is setup, but it’s not a place where a photographer could find a place to shine, or is it?  The owner of the company is Bill, and he has seen the passion I have for photography and found a place where he can use my talents and allow me the opportunity to develop my interests in a professional setting thru the use of high speed video.  Then recently he came to me and wanted to get a portrait taken for a more professional look when he has to submit a photo to various places.  This is getting interesting. Now I am bringing photography in to my day job, and now it’s on my terms, the kind of photography that I want to do, it’s amazing.  Shortly after his portrait, I got the opportunity to do portraits for the rest of the company.  I still do many other thing for the company, but from time to time, I get to do what I really love, and on those days, I am a professional photographer and its not like work at all, its exciting and now I want it even more.  It has be a long journey to this point, and I still feel like I am just now at the being of this wild ride, that is about to take off and I its time to just hold on and really start working hard to realize my dreams, they don’t have to be just dreams, and I now know that.