This is it. This is the one. I’ve found the one! Actually, the one found me! The Samsung NX1. If you’ve been holding out on investing in the mirrorless market because of your trepidations as far as performance as compared to traditional DSLRs, now’s the time to let go. It’s been exactly a year since Samsung invited me into their Imagelogger program, and in that short year, everything changed. I mean everything.Read More
As another year comes to a close and we prepare to spend quality time with the family and friends, I wanted to take a quick short and sweet few seconds to thank every one of you for the support, the warmth, the encouragement, the inspiration, and the all around positive energy you’ve brought into my life over the past 365 days. It’s been truly humbling and everything that has kept me going, encouraging me to get out and make another picture, write another post, keep doing the thing. I can only hope that I’m able to reciprocate even a small part of that. Happy holidays all you beautiful people. Click "read more" to find a couple of my favorites from the past 12 months. They’re high-enough-resolution versions for your desktops and mobile thingies and whatnots.Read More
My first cover came from my 1st first! Huh? So I wrote a bit about my image Pole Position taking 1st in this year’s challenge category in the National Park Service ‘Spirit of the Mountains’ photo contest. Well, apparently they’ve decided to use that image for the cover of the new Winter edition of “Outdoors” magazine, the National Park Service’s quarterly publication covering events and hikes and news for Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains.Read More
So this is a quick one, but wanted to post an update to the National Park Service's annual "Spirit Of The Mountains" photo contest I threw a couple entries into last month. Well, on November 2, they announced the winners. There were 4 categories, and my image "Pole Position" tied for 1st place in this year's challenge category, "Variations On Light." It was quite thrilling to see that ribbon and hear renowned photographer Tom Gamache's positive critiques. Thank you to all who showed up and all those who supported me in this thing. I can't express how happy I was to get my first 1st place ribbon in a photo contest. (And special thanks to my Arcanum cohort forRead More
I can’t believe it’s been a full year since the last one. That photo contest that I was honored to place 2nd and 3rd in last year, the National Park Service sponsored “Spirit Of The Mountain” photo contest? Well, it’s back. I just submitted my two entries, the two you see above, "Family Time" and "Pole Position,” two images taken within the past 12 months in the Santa Monica Mountain Range.Read More
So this Samsung Imagelogger journey has been an extremely unexpected ray of light that just keeps shining brighter as the months go on. In addition to the cameras and gear (as if that wasn't enough), another huge benefit of this thing is the ridiculous exposure and opportunities we get. Some of us got to go to Photokina on Samsung’s behalf, some of us gave away free NX30s in Times Square a few months ago, some of us had our images used in promotional material and ads, some of us ended up on a safari. Well, this week, some of us had the humble pleasure of taking over a full special issue of Rangefinder Magazine, a pretty influential magazine in the photography industry.Read More
"Everything You Can Imagine Is Real." -Pablo Picasso * Mmmhmm - This Week's Motivational Kick In The Yahoo! * Design!
This is sweet!! There's a new company that just launched called Angeleno Artistry, who focus on showcasing 5 artists from the Los Angeles area each month, and they offer limited edition prints of a piece of work that we've created for them. Well, I am humbled to be one of September's five showcased artists, as a matter of fact, one of their first 5 artists ever, alongside the crazy talent of Marilee Spencer, Stephen Paul, KFiSH, and JD Higham. If you want 1 of 100 limited edition 36" x 24" prints of my piece 'Pole Position,’ and any of these other artists’ work, check it…they’re selling at AngelenoArtistry.com. They make GREAT gifts (yeah...that's coming...). They're only $40 bucks each. Pass it on…
So this one is not a big story or intricate post, just a quick and simple one with an image I thought was pretty neat. A friend and fellow photographer was over this weekend and we figured to take a little drive through the hills above Pacific Coast Highway in the late afternoon to see what we might find. I've lived in and explored these mountains for half a decade, yet, somehow, have never run across this vantage point. This is overlooking a small portion of PCH just south of Point Dume State Beach, California. We got there just in time for dusk and managed to snap a few images. The above image is a 30 second exposures taken on my now trusty Samsung NX30. I likey. I hope you likey. Bye.
So I don't have too much to say about this one, really just wanted to share. This was one of the properties I was assigned to shoot yesterday for Airbnb.com. It was a chunk of land on a bluff off Pacific Coast Highway that housed an old vintage Airstream trailer that rested on a ledge in what seemed to be the most idyllic, picture-perfect mini-canyon on the California coast.Read More
So I know you've probably already seen enough of this set of images, but, well, too bad! Ha! An image from this series keeps getting around one way or another - this time absolutely humbling me by showing up on the homepage for Photofocus.com as this week's 'Featured Image.' This is Scott Bourne, Richard Harrington, Melissa Niu and company! It's madness!Read More
When you feel something, your mind and body are trying to tell you something. Listen. Don’t ignore. Today was just another reminder of that basic instinct that we so often and easily seem to lose touch with in our hyper-‘connected’ day and age. There were a few things going on that were weighing heavy a bit on my mind, and something just kept tugging at me saying, forget everything you're doing right now and just go. Doesn't matter where or what, just go. Get out of here.
But I had work to do, and I was on the clock, and so I kept pushing back..."No, no, you can't just go. What are you thinking?”
That practical, responsible nonsense went on for about an hour before I was too exhausted to fight it anymore and just gave in, figuring, if anything, at least it would shut my brain up for a minute. So I grabbed the new NX300 that Samsung put in my hands, jumped in my car, and headed the 12 miles through the canyon down to the coast.
I pulled off to the side of the road at Topanga Beach, stepped outside, and sat by the ocean for a while, watching an older couple try their luck with their fishing lines. My brain tried telling me I’m supposed to be making pictures, but, well, I wasn't feeling it. I know I could have forced it, especially as one of them caught a fish and they were taking iPhone pictures of their prize together, but still, I just figured right now, I'm better off just marinating in this moment with no purpose other than to take it in and enjoy it. And that was that.
After about 15 minutes, I figured the sun's about to set in an hour, I should find a nice place to sit down and soak it in, so I headed up Pacific Coast Highway away from the city, and just as the sun began making it's decent over the horizon, I found myself in front of Pepperdine University, which, if you've ever seen it, sits right on a gorgeous grassy knoll overlooking the Pacific. As I was pulling up, a group of cars started to slow down and the first thought I had (and if you’re from LA you’ll immediately understand) was “Damnit, of course. Traffic!” So I looked up to see how far ahead of me it stretched, and, well, I didn’t find traffic. What I found caused me to pull over, throw park, grab my camera, and jump out of my car.
If I kept working, I would have never caught this. If I stayed and forced shots with the fisherman and woman, I would have never caught this. If I didn’t decide to give in to that tug at the gut, I would have never caught this. I simply just let go and succumbed to my feelings, and 15 miles up the coast, this is what they led me to - some of my favorite images from the past couple of months.
All images were shot on the Samsung NX300.
So I threw a couple entries into this year's "Spirit of the Mountain" photo contest, a contest sponsored by the National Park Service for images taken within the Santa Monica Mountains. Being as how I live in Topanga Canyon, right in the middle of that mountain range, I spend a lot of time exploring and making images around these hills and peaks and valleys. Anyhow, this past weekend was the opening exhibit so I headed out there with a couple of friends and to my surprise and elation, I walked up to see both of my images placed. One of them, "A Set Path," placed 2nd in the competition's challenge category 'Shadows & Highlights,' and the other, "Century Lake - A Portrait," came in 3rd in the 'Scenic' category.Read More
This is just a quickie...so I entered a couple photos into a contest sponsored by the National Park Service. The opening exhibition is tomorrow, November 2 at 1pm and it will be open through November 24 for viewing and voting. You should go vote for my images. It's nice out there. Grab some wine, a sandwich, and some Oreos. Have a picnic. These below aren't the ones I entered but were taken within a half mile of the place just a few days ago. Voting and the exhibit are at the Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center located at King Gillette Ranch at 26876 Mulholland Highway, in Calabasas, California, 91302
Some of you know I shoot for Airbnb.com every now and then. There are a lot of nice places in the area that I'm fortunate to check out, but the ones that truly stand out are the quirky funky unique ones…the one-of-a-kinds. Those are my absolute favorite. I don't write about a lot of these shoots, but sometimes one comes along that I just feel begs for a few words. I wrote about the charming yurt on the organic farm in Malibu a few months back, and today I ran across another gem that compelled me to share: a caboose…on Mulholland…in the hills of Agoura.Read More
In a strange sense, I feel like I'm preparing for something. I spend a lot of time alone, very little social interaction - isolated from the constant deluge of stimulation and media saturation. I'm left alone in my thoughts, in my being.
And I do it to myselfRead More
So it was one of those days, the thought process just goes into overdrive and begins to cloud any reasoning and logic. The past comes up, the future comes up, all of the baggage surrounding both start to rear their nosy and intrusive little lizard heads. Sometimes this would last for hours, then days, then weeks, but more and more you begin to see that there's a way out…well, at least temporarily.
You recognize it.
You realize it.Read More
So had a house I had to shoot this week for Airbnb. It was actually the second of two units on a property I shot before, but I hadn't seen the second unit as it was occupied that first time. Anyway, not important…so after I was done shooting the interior, I figured, no one was here, I was going to take advantage of the moment and just kind of chill for a minute. When you're standing on a deck with nothing in front of you but a gorgeous canyon that opens up to the Pacific Ocean (see image at bottom of this post), it's hard not to force yourself to take a break and soak it in. So as I sat down and took a few gulps of my warm ice tea that had been sitting the car since I showed up, I saw this ridiculously quaint and charming little candle holder with a pile of little rocks alongside it, being draped PERFECTLY by a grapevine. And when I mean, perfectly, it's as if it was staged. For some reason, my imagination took me to the Mediterranean coast, perhaps Spain, maybe Italy, I don't know, but my wanderlust got the best of me and I started snapping a few shots of it as if I was actually on that coast. So when I got home and started processing, I began doing what I normally do…Lightroom…Develop pane…etc…and I just wasn't feeling it. None of it. To top it all off, my favorite shot as far as composition wasn't exactly exposed too well. But I figured, let's see what we can do with it anyway…let's hit the 'reset' button.
First step..grab a glass of scotch and a chunk of smoked gruyere cheese (hot damn, if you haven't had smoked gruyere cheese…you haven't had cheese!).
Second step…lean back a bit and let's look at this from a different set of eyes.
Third step…NO! Not a different set of eyes…let's look at it exactly with the eyes that I was looking at it with when I snapped the shot…my imagination.
Fourth step…refill scotch.
Fifth step…get crazy.
And what you see up above here is what came of the madness.
Yeah, it has a lot of filters, yeah, it's super processed, and yeah, I added a flame! But I had to remind myself that it's okay!
So my favorite composition of the thing was one of the poorer exposed shots. So I felt the need to do something to 'cover up' what otherwise would have been a throwaway. But that's only one way of looking at it...
The other way is that, if I processed it the way I normally do with my normal workflow, then perhaps it wouldn't have worked, and if it did, I would have had a decent image, but not the image that was in my mind as I was taking that picture. It took me having to find a way to 'cover up' a poorly exposed photograph to tap into the creative side of me and find a way to get closer to that visual I was envisioning as I was shooting it.
I guess my lesson here is to not be afraid and not really give a mouse fart about what anyone might think or what any purist might criticize. I get so wrapped up in what's 'right' and what's 'proper,' I often forget that, well, there's really no such thing in art.
I suppose certain things do happen for certain reasons. This time something happened to remind me not to take things too seriously and to do what got me so passionate about photography to begin with…have fun.
And c'mon...you have to admit, that final version of the image above is kinda Mediterraneany...
Just another small reminder that patience, adaptation, and going-with-the-flow can pay off. Finished a gig yesterday and turned to get on the freeway to get home. It was packed. Nothing but an endless sea of red brake lights. My only other option was to add an extra 15 miles to my trip by driving through the hills on a side road that runs parallel to the freeway. So I said screw it…that's what I'm doing. Would rather look at the hills than a million other cars on the 101. Not only that, but the sun was getting ready to drop behind the mountains…and that's enough to turn on any photographer.
So there I go, drove past the freeway entrance and into the hills. As soon as I was out of sight of the freeway madness, the initial frustration of adding time and distance to my drive home melted away…immediately! And when I say immediately, I mean IMMEDIATELY - I went from frustrated and tense, to calm and relaxed in significantly less than an instant. Told myself that I had to somehow document the day and moment with an image to remind me of that mental transformation and how powerful a simple trigger can be to the mind.
So with that...this is what I found just as the sun was getting ready to drop behind the hill. I know it's nothing special, and hell, I don't know what Fox Creek Farms even does, but the lighting, the fence, and the situation made it seductively charming to me. And taking that picture made me smile. And standing outside in that sunlight made me smile. And quite honestly, that's what this photography thing is to me - a reliable impetus to get in a good headspace, no matter what's going on outside that viewfinder. Sometimes it's the process, and not the image, that's important.
Plus, sure as hell beats sitting in traffic.