Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays Everyone

Here's a photo from some of my recent "top secret" work (clandestinely photographing spiffy gatherings of people more important and influential than myself... for now).
Happy Holidays to everyone!
Take care of each other.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween Everybody!

Here are some images of a local zombie invasion that occured. I managed to escape only slightly bitten.... but it itches a little bit.... wait... OH MY GOD! NO!!!! RAWR!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Photos

These photos are concering the National Equality March of October 11th, 2009 in Washington D.C., refer to the post following this one.

National Equality March

Hello out there!

I've just returned from a very busy weekend covering The National Equality March in Washington D.C.

I was unable to shoot as much as I would have preferred thanks to my "trusty" batteries, but rest assured I did come away with some shots worth posting here.

I'd also like to express thanks to the ISO and all the various organizations involved in putting the march and rally together. Amassing a crowd of over a quarter million is no easy feat and I feel grateful to have been included.

Special thanks goes out to Rebecca, Harper, Hannah, and of course Emma.

The post immediately following this one will have the photos in questions.

Thanks again,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hello everyone. It's been a while since I've been able to check in with everyone. I've gone off on a 3 year self assignment to find this elusive thing that some have called a Bachelor's Degree.

Just yesterday I was finally able to get shooting again. I was walking across a park and noticed some people juggling and saw some various festivities underway.
As it turns out it was the 4th annual Rally For Recovery event put on by the Friends of Recovery Vermont organization.
I spent the next few hours shooting their rally as they walked around Burlington and spread some awareness of the recovery options available for those hooked on drugs and alcohol.

You'll find some of the photos at the end of this post.
And now on to a completely different subject. I was in a conversation recently regarding whom I consider to be the 10 Best Photographers/Photojournalists of all time. This prompted me to wander in the wilds of the blogosphere to see what others thought of this subject.

Good thoughts all around (despite one well known shooting putting himself on his own list!)... the following is my list (no particular order) and some brief justification for each.

James Nachtwey- Probably the greatest news and war photographer alive today. Best works are his book INFERNO and his story for National Geographic about the recovery of wounded soldiers upon returning home. Also the subject of the acclaimed Christian Frei documentary War Photographer.
Sebastiao Salgado- A former economist who had never practiced photography until he was nearly 30 years of age. He is now a legend and is known for his exhaustive long term shooting projects (shooting time for each runs between 5-10 YEARS). Books resulting from these projects are Workers, Exodus, Sahel: End of the Road, and is currently working on Genesis.

W. Eugene Smith- The greatest story teller and photo essay man in the history of the craft. Was known for his masterful photo essays and layouts in LIFE magazine (in addition to his absolute refusal to compromise). Notable works are the essays The Country Doctor, Nurse Midwife, Albert Schweitzer - A Man of Mercy, and the book Minamata. I especially recommend Minamata as the pinnacle of his work.

Larry Burrows- As legend has it: when Robert Capa sent his film to London after the invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944 it was processed and nearly destroyed/melted by an excited dark room attendant who was in a hurry to get the images to the LIFE offices for editing. According to the legend it was a very young Larry Burrows who fried the film.
Burrows went on to become a photographer himself and providing some of the most strikingly beautiful, haunting, and heartwrenching images in black & white and color of the Vietnam War. After winning The Robert Capa Gold Medal "for still photography requiring exceptional courage and enterprise" in addition to being named the 1967 Photographer of the Year he was killed in a helicopter crash over Laos (not all that far from where Robert Capa was killed) in 1971. Notable works: The essay One Ride with Yankee Papa 13 and the posthumously published book Larry Burrows: Vietnam.

That's all of my list for now... more to come but I've got some work to attend to. In the meantime, feel free to view the below images from the 4th Annual Rally for Recovery.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Hello All.

Last week marked the first time the work from my upcoming book Will's Store was officially published.

If you're in The Green Mountain State you can find the photos and accompanying article in the "Summer Vacation Issue" of The Herald of Randolph or you can also view it at their website here:

But wait there's more!

As a special treat for you legions (haha) of loyal followers of this blog I'm posting a brief little preview of the imagery from the "frontlines" of Will's Store.

As stated before, I've been working on this project for quite some time. So it brings me great satisfaction to know that the endless 20 hr days are producing good results. Thanks to the usual suspects out there for the support they've given (and continue to give).

An thanks goes out to those unsung who've supported me without even fully knowing it: Sarah Jo, Steve, Sandy, Damariscotta, The Korens, and Ashley.

Walt Whitman:

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends."


Friday, July 10, 2009

Paying the Bills #3 and thoughts on reaching further

Hello again,

Here's a recent photograph for the local paper. I was looking for an image that embodies summertime.

Dylan Thomas:

"Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace."

And now for something entirely different.

Not much has transpired in the time that has elapsed since my last post. And that the precise subject of this posting.

The shooting for my current project has been going quite well. Recently, a very dear friend of mine has expressed concern that I might be approaching overkill with my coverage.

I don't think so.

True, I'm beginning to encounter more and more situations, lighting conditions, and other common occurences as I spend more and more time onsite... and the flow of pictures might not be matching the initial deluge that always accompanys any project of this nature.

However, I am bound and determined to see this project through and to give the situation at hand due diligence.

I feel like it is a very dangerous state of mind for me to think that I've arrived at a point of zero progress.

It is my belief that truly great photographers, great artists, and any creative soul possesses the essential drive to reach for the previously unattained.

Some artists may be more techincally adept, some may be more prolific, but the ones that we remember, the ones that create those precious works that inevitably become embedded in our collective consciouness; those are the artists who persevere through the dry spells.

Those are the artists who know that the moments where hardly anything is happening are the moments where complete and total concentration and focus are absolutely critical. These are the moments where thresholds are reached, struggled with, and (with great exertion) finally overcome.

Will the overcoming of this threshold yield a breakthrough? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? But that's the fun of it. That's why we're collectively in the game. We hope and yearn and long for the things unexpected, unforseen, and unanticipated.

So, it is not with a heavy heart and weary feet that I rise tomorrow morning and continue photographing my 12th week of shooting... it is with great uncertainty, awareness, and excitement.

You never know what is just around the next bend in the river.

Isaac Newton:

"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why I Work

Hello all.

Below is an excerpt from one of my journals. This isn't the first time I've shared the following entry... but given recent circumstances I thought it relevant to post it here.

As you know I've been working diligently on my book Will's Store for quite some time. I've just completed my 10th week (now approximating over a thousand hours) of shooting.

I've recently begun to think about what drives me to work like this.

We do a lot of work as artists. We ideally have some connection to all the work that we do, but I feel that despite our dedication to our work we rarely become truly connected to in the sense that any and all borders, seams, and boundaries between ourselves and our subjects disappear.

We frequently maintain a healthy distance from our subjects. For less experienced artists this distance is simply due to immaturity, naivete, and perhaps "creative arrogance".

Yet when we become more experienced and more attuned to the nuances of our medium we continue to maintain this distance that separates us from our subjects. It is constantly an "I-you" or "I-it" relationship.

We are constantly building and repairing a fragile facade to guard us against our own creativity.

Why is this?

I think that many artists are simply afraid of letting themselves get so close to their subjects. Once you get close enough to what you are being creative about it becomes difficult to discern where the subject ends and the artist begins.

The relationship becomes one of "
we" and "us".

Many artists are afraid of what they will find if they point such a powerful lens at their own heads and hearts.

However, once we finally arrive at the point where we can no longer discern the art from the artist we become (if we are brave enough to open our eyes) capable of creating work that may be otherwise unachievable.

I think that the lack of an "we" relationship is a major problem in global society. If we can deconstruct the false walls and facades between us and the larger world we'll become more able to see that we are all in fact interconnected and that while we might not all be the same carbon copies of each other; we are in fact ONE. We are in this TOGETHER whether we like it or not.

It is my belief that this work is not born wholly out of a deep inward desire to become a better artist. Granted, I've worked and toiled at great cost to become a better photographer.

However, I feel that no matter how long I read through the multitudes of technical manuals; no matter how diligently I make notes on what I've photographed; and no matter what model of light trapping box I happen to have in my bag of equipment. The discovery of a "we" relationship with my subject is absolutely critical to my work.

My work is not art. My work is not beautiful.

Or at least it isn't art in the traditional sense of the creation of something visually beautiful and interesting. My work is born of deep and burning passion, compassion, and empathy with those whom I share the world with.

I feel that we all need to wake up and take notice of what is going on around. The good and the bad. Amazing and tragic moments take place every single day.

Photography is not a miracle.

Photography is the feeble attempt at perceiving, understanding, and illustrating that which is occuring inside of these delicate and crystallizing moments. It is a exclaimation of "Hello out there! Good things and bad things are happening outside our windows! Let's celebrate these things we know to be good and work to overcome these things that we've come to endure in times of hardship."

This I know to be true. We're all human, we're all compassionate, and we're all alive on this earth at the same time.

I feel that even in the darkest moments of my darkest photographs that there exists a sense of hope and resilience in the face of difficulty and uncertainty. A sense of better days on the horizon.

These photographs are a celebration of the determination and unbreakability of the human spirit. This is what I strive to photograph and this is what I feel I must photograph. A lofty goal to be sure... but one not so out of reach as one might think.

So, while my work might not fit the classical definition of art. I feel it does correlate with the broader purpose of art: communication.

Art is the communication of emotion and spirit through ink, paint, plaster, or pigment.

Perhaps in my journey to become better at communicating what I see and feel I might somehow on the road brush fleetingly past the beauty and truth that I've been attempting to photograph.

This is why I do what I do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Presentation prespirations..

Yesterday evening I had the big presentation that I'd been putting together for the past few weeks.

Everything went really well and I managed to avoid putting my foot in my mouth.

However, what excited and pleased me the most is what I witnessed both immediately before and after the show: everybody was talking with each other.

In this day and age of Myspace, Facebook, and the ever looming blogosphere (cough); I was very pleased and comforted to see that people are still able to divorce themselves from the box of lights and wires, come together as a community, and just communicate with one another.

While I already knew many of the people who attended the show, many of those in attendance were unaquainted with whomever they were sitting next to.

This did little to stop the talking.

Within just a few minutes of sitting down most people were fully engaged with their neighbor in a conversation about local economics, the school system, or what new flavors of ice cream might be available at the local general store (a matter of CRITICAL importance).

A recent study showed that the more postive interactions an individual has with others per day, the more likely to be in a state of happiness.

While it is intriguing to see that scientists are studying the field of emotional wellness and "social capital"... upon reading the study I was compelled to shout "HELLO!!!!!" at the glossy magazine pages that had gleaned such information.

So, on that note I humbly invite my multitudes of loyal readers (all 3 of you at the time of this writing) to divorce yourself entirely from an electronically based social life for 1 day.

Rather than texting, e-mail, or messaging somebody you wish to communicate with (for whatever reason), I want you to call or (even better) meet with them in person.


Despite the tremendous difficulties (and there will be difficulties) regarding this endeavor, I place my faith in you accomplish this task and to accomplish it with zeal.

Bob Dylan:

"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be yours."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paying the Bills #2

I've gotten some a few assignments on a freelance basis. Today I photographed the local Sheriff and Ambulance director.

Not the best assignment in the world... not the greatest pictures ever... no Pulitzer invite just yet. But even those who've achieved their dreams and beyond had to start somewhere.

Bertrand Russell:

"Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day."

Good luck to all those out there who endeavor to follow their dreams and are followed by a cloud of convictions.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Paying the bills #1 Part 2

Screw it. I'm not busy with anything else at this particular moment in time.

Here are some photos.

Paying the bills #1

Hello all,

Just giving everyone a heads up that my recent photographs of the Chelsea High School Lacrosse victory over Burr & Burton. The images were picked up by The Journal Opinion and The Herald of Randolph.

Not the greatest photographs in the world... but it was nice to do something light and fun considering the nature of most of my projects. Look for some imagery to appear on this blog within a day or two.

Also, I'd like to give special thanks to John Parker and the whole CHS Lacrosse team for tolerating me all day long.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is the sky falling?

I've given in to the pressures from Smarth and others and finally started my own blog. If anyone ends up reading any of this I'll be happy... if not... I won't be devastated.

I've no idea what particular shape this blog will take. I imagine the various posts will be somewhat sporadic (depending on my various activities, explorations, and expeditions)... but it'll always be here for the truly nerdy or painfully devoted.

First order of business:
I'm giving a presentation at Altus Healing Arts in Chelsea, VT on June 25th at 7:30pm. More to come on this between now and then, but expect to see imagery from my work on heart disease (Intermission), New Orleans, and (primarily) from my ongoing project Will's Store.

Hope to see you then... all two or three of you that happen to read this.