Panamint Valley

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

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Legalize It?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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This one’s a collaboration Between John and myself. We shot this yesterday (4/20) at his studio. This November, Californians will vote (Ok, realistically, it’ll be about half the Californians that go to the trouble to actually vote) on a ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana. If it passes, I’m buying stock in Twinkies.

San Jose Wrap up

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

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What a week! This past weekend, along with being Halloween, was the San Jose Convention of Tattoo Arts. That meant it was also the opening exhibition and book release of Bloodwork:Sleeves. (a little tattoo book I photographed). So, let’s rewind to last Monday. Nate Banuelos and I got on the road early. The plan was to drive up the coast looking for surf and get to San Jose Wednesday to help Adrian Lee hang the art show. We made it to Morro Bay by early afternoon. After a friendly reminder, in the parking lot, that this was the realm of the men in grey suits,

we caught a session at the aptly named Hazards. The next morning after a quick session at the Cayucos Pier we were on our way up the 1 towards Santa Cruz. A through check (Manresa to Waddell Creek) showed nothing worth suiting up for, so it was over the hill to San Jose.

Wednesday and early Thursday was spent hanging the show and getting A.D. Gallery all ready to go. Thursday night, it was on. The exhibition went great (with the small exception of the purse snatching knucklehead.) The turn-out was heavy. Minds were blown. Good Karma provided munchies. Analog also had their 2 year anniversary party immediately afterwards where Ugly Winner and Panthelion rocked the crowd.

The Convention was a great experience. I’ve been to quite a few tattoo conventions over the years but Taki and Roman really take it to the next level. Along with gathering together a collection of the worlds preeminent working tattoo artists, they had on hand masters from bygone generations like Thom Devita, Goodtime Charlie, and Shanghai Kate. These are some of the folks who made tattooing what it is today. It was fascinating to get to meet these icons in person and hear their perspectives on the state of the industry. Mike Giant was also on hand doing live painting. We got to talking and he mentioned that he thought Bloodwork was the best tattoo photography he had ever seen. Coming from an artist I have so much respect and admiration for, that one comment alone could have made the entire project worthwhile.

Monday morning, after a great dinner the previous evening with an amazing group of people, Nate and I headed back over the hill to Santa Cruz. This time the surf was on. We scored peaky head high waves at Waddell which made the following 8 hour drive much more bearable. All in all it was a great trip. I learned a lot, meet some great new people, saw old friends I hadn’t seen in some time, got good waves, and made cool photos. A big thank you to everyone involved. I can’t wait until next year.

Sign of the Times

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

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I haven’t shot film in a while. Superficially, I can’t say as I miss it all that much. The quality of modern digital cameras is truly amazing. And, the ability to change ISO settings (the camera’s sensitivity to light) on the fly has changed the way reportage is shot. I do however miss going to the lab. I miss the camaraderie with the people behind the counter and other shooters picking up and dropping off their film. I miss the anticipation and satisfaction of getting my transparencies back and stooping over the light table, with a loupe to my eye, finally getting to see my work. I transitioned to shooting professionally just as the digital wave was breaking across the photographic industry. While I have been paid for published images I shot on film, when making pictures became a job for me, it was with a digital camera in hand. Maybe it is because of this that I feel photography lost a little bit of it’s innocence to the digital revolution. There’s a reason the vast majority of fine art photographers still shoot film. Digital photography has allowed more people to make better pictures. It has allowed me to make a living doing what I love. But the soul of photography still lives in the emulsion.

Mt. Whitney

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

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I climbed Mount Whitney a few weeks ago. The trek was hands down the most physically demanding hike I have ever undertaken. Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states with a summit reaching 14565 feet into the clouds. Our group of 11 started the excursion at Whitney Portal, elevation 8000 feet, in the blackness of 3am. After about 3 hours of hiking by moonlight, we were treated to sunrise at Trail Camp around 12,000 feet with the summit in view. The climb gets exponentially more difficult the higher you go. At this point, 1 member of our group had already turned back. The thin air is only half the challenge as the trail gets significantly steeper and more covered with snow and ice. The next 2500 feet demanded 6 hours of climbing a steep slippery, switched-back trail through a treeless, lunar landscape. At times, precipices of many hundreds of feet abutted the trail. Our team had splintered into groups of 2 or 3, each moving at their own pace. Nearing the summit, each step became a trial in endurance. My head throbbed from lack of oxygen. 9 hours after beginning the climb we reached the peak. While the excitement and sense of accomplishment were quite rewarding, and the views spectacular, the knowledge that I had 11 miles of hiking before I was done dampened the thrill a bit. The thin air plays tricks on the mind. I misspelled my own name trying to sign the summit log. After a subdued celebration, it was time to start the long climb down. Having gravity on your side makes the hiking go faster, but the lengthening shadows turned much of the snow covering the upper portion of the trail know as “99 switch backs” to hard, slick ice. A fall at this point could have easily been fatal, so the going was slow. At 7:30 pm, our endeavor ended as it had started, in the dark. We had hiked 22 miles in 17 ½ hours covering 15000 feet in elevation change. 8 of our original 11 made the trip to the summit and back. After dinner and a beer, I slept the whole drive home. The next day, I was off to San Jose to continue photography on the Blood Work tattoo book project.