I’m guessing the challenge with anyone who does something creative is that there are expectations that you are always creating. Whether you are a writer, painter, musician, tagger or photographer…people assume you are in some stage of the creative process. So where does that leave us when we aren’t? Sometimes when I get asked there is a bit of a guilty feeling that I should be creating..or that I at least have something in the planning stages that I will execute over the next few days. The reality with me is that days and even weeks go by where I’m not creating anything. Some of that pressure to create can also come from social media..did I blog this week..should I be more active on Twitter? If you read info from the “experts” the answer is YES.
I don’t think its always a matter of “writers block”…there are creative ideas floating in my head…it may just be a temporary shift in the desire to execute them.
I think Im going to continue to ignore the experts for a bit and not create anything. Which of course you reply “you just blogged..doesnt that count?” I guess it does.
It’s exciting when someone wants to use your work in a book…exciting…but a painfully long process. Hats off to all who have the skill and patience to do what it takes to put one together. Author David Prakel chose to feature one of my second curtain sync shots from the BMX track in his new book Basics Photography 02: Lighting 2nd Edition. I’d say a wise choice! Am I biased? Sure..but the shot does a nice job of capturing 2nd curtain.Details
These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only color photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Color.Details
I’ve been down this road before and yeah I blogged about it. It’s pretty easy to borrow/steal an image online. Right click and save it as yours…and maybe no one will ever know. I got lucky recently when I googled “mountain bike poster” and noticed one of my images. Wasnt a big deal as it was from my Flickr feed. Then I noticed a similar image and another. Yeah they used my image to make some posters. They even used it on some Tshirts and they could of at least sent me one.
So the lesson learned here is..if you are gonna poach one of mine at least rename it so I dont find it in an image search.Details
There was a day years ago when I pedaled my bike past an old water tower..paused for second and knew I needed to make a photo shoot happen there. As the years have gone by I’m sure my friends have blocked out the drone of my voice mumbling about the water tower. I’m sure I mentioned it every time we rode past it over the years. They knew it had been all talk and nothing had been put into action….until…it all came together in 2013.
One of the main reasons it hadn’t happened before was access to the location. It was too many miles behind a locked gate and getting gear back there wasn’t a realistic option. That all changed last year when my friend Travis spoke of another water tower. I’m 99% sure he was letting me know so that we could get this shot done and he wouldn’t have to hear about the tower anymore. Regardless of his motives, he had found a gem of a spot to shoot. It seemed we had the first step taken care of…an accessible location.
With the easy part completed, next came the real work as the location wasn’t exactly shoot ready. We needed to dig…Asking people to dig is about as fun as asking people to help you move. You ask….wait for that pause..then comes the point in time when even your most non creative friends come up with masterful excuses. Unlike helping me move, helping me dig might make you “famous”….assuming you are a rider who can also be a part of the final shot. Also assuming “famous” is getting a few looks on the internet.
The riders in these shots, Travis and Nick are also the two people who put a number of man hours into it with shovels, picks, and rakes. Again I’m guessing here…they were more than willing to dig to help stop that madness that was the water tower conversation. And while I typically show up to a location where the riders have spent hours and hours prepping a spot, only to show up with my fancy camera and shoot…say thanks…and vanish. This time I got dirty for a couple days of digging too. Of course now I think I have some sort of trail digging cred…I know better. I heard the whispers of “wow..he is finally out helping dig”
I was hoping for a sunny day where we could get a sunset shot, but we ended up with clouds. Beyond the clouds, it all went as planned. Two riders willing to guinea pig this new jump, my friend Chris willing to hold a strobe for an hour or so..not complaining as I continually asked..err..demanded he move the light every minute or so..
I’m happy with our results and it could not have happened with out a great group of guys helping me complete my concept. Now I just gotta make them famous..
And a few behind the scenes shots…taken by Nick, Travis and ChrisDetails
On the surface meeting someone on Twitter sounds…well it sounds sorta creepy. I think we mostly hear of strange stories or strange stories made even stranger via Hollywood and the media. My experience so far has been a positive one. I suppose the difference in my story is that I wasn’t doing on line dating or shopping for a wife via Craigslist. My story isn’t exciting or a crime thriller…Nope I’m not typing this from prison either.
I recently had the opportunity to respond to a Tweet where someone I didn’t know but followed on Twitter asked if anyone in the Los Angeles area knew of some local mountain bike trails. Turns out someone was in the area from the East Coast for work and wanted to do some riding. I responded that while I wasn’t in L.A proper..I wasn’t too far away either and yes I knew some local trails. The person in need of some local knowledge turned out to be a fellow photographer who also was a fellow rider. @nickkeating turned out to be the real thing and not an ax murderer or someone out to steal my kidneys..leaving me in a bathtub of ice.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to show Nick our local spots and our time on the bikes allows for us to talk bikes and photography. On our last ride we scoped out a new zone that we both think is prime for both photo and video. Some photos from that days ride are below. While my story of meeting someone on Twitter ends up being a very positive one…I’m not suggesting it is for everyone…plus I feel like Nick keeps eyeing my kidneys.Details
Looks like somewhere I’d like to visit/photograph…
Photograph by Chris Gray
Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was once a small but very rich mining village that is now a popular tourist destination. Driven by the enormous wealth of the first German diamond miners, the residents built the village in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere.
The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. For those wanting to visit, a permit is required to enter the town as it is located within a restricted area of the Namib desert. [Source: Wikipedia]Details
No much here to do with photography, but if you are >30 and used to play real video games this is a great read.
I love the behind the scenes stuff…Just found this series. Looks a bit cold for my SoCal blood.
Further Unplugged takes you behind the scenes of Jeremy Jones’ two-year snowboarding film, Further. Get an inside glimpse of what goes on between the lines as Jones and other top riders including Terje Haakonsen, Xavier De Le Rue and Josh Dirksen travel to exotic locations such as Japan, the Arctic Circle and the Wrangell-St. Elias Wilderness. Challenges arise around every corner as this crew attempts to push their minds and bodies further.
The rest of the series can be found here http://www.tetongravity.com/videos/series/further-unplugged-49.htmDetails