Skin Deep

Monday, June 7th, 2010

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The story I wrote and shot on The San Jose Tattoo Convention for The U.K.’s Skin Deep Magazine is out in their July issue.

Tattoo Artist Magazine

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

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An article I wrote and shot on photographing tattoos is in the current issue of Tattoo Artist Magazine.

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.

Mex Surf

Monday, January 19th, 2009

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Over the long weekend, a friend and I took a day trip south of the border looking for a surf. We were trying to escape the massive crowds that seem to accompany any swell of merit in Southern California these days. I’ve been a bit apprehensive about traveling in Baja lately, what with all the drug war related violence that’s been occurring in recent months. (there were over 5000 murders in Baja California in 2008) Tensions were definitely high in the border region. Armed federal troops and checkpoints have been ubiquitous in Baja for as long as I can remember. But, this was the first time I’ve seen them in kevlar helmets and body armor, totting heavy machine guns. Add to that the burned out, impoverished, desert landscape of Tijuana, and the whole scene was reminiscent of Iraq footage. We even passed a convoy of Humvees packed with masked soldiers and sporting 50 caliber, belt fed, automatic weapons.
As unnerving as all the militarism was, the ride down Mexico Hwy 1 was a quick reminder of how much I love Baja. Our neighbor to the south is indeed a land of extremes. The religious symbols were bigger,

sun felt hotter, the off shore winds blew harder, and the surf was way heavier.

After a bit of searching and checking spots, we ended up paddling out at K38’s. For one of Northern Baja’s best know surf spots, it was amazingly uncrowned. What little crowd there was in the line up seemed to be made up mostly of locals. A wave of this size and quality back home would easily have 80 to 100 guys on it, but at most, we shared the break with 20 other surfers.

After a morning of solid overhead surf, I was more then ready for a Tecate and some fish tacos. Beer battered, fried fish tacos are quite possibly Baja California’s greatest contribution to modern society. No matter what any San Diego taqueria might have to say about authenticity, there’s no substitute for the real thing; and the propane powered shack overlooking the surf, with it’s homemade tortillas and salsa, did not disappoint.

After lunch, it was back on the 1, headed north to Tijuana and the border. Homeland Security now requires passports to cross from Mexico, but the border wait, which can often top 3 hours on the weekend, was a breeze. 45 minutes after getting in line we were back in the good ole USA, cruzing up the 5 headed home.

Tis’ The Season

Monday, December 29th, 2008

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Not to sound like a total Scrooge or anything, but I cannot stand this time of year. (so much for not sounding like Ebenezer) I don’t really have a reason or excuses for such an anti-holiday stance. I appreciate what I consider to be the general ideas of the Holiday Season, friends, family, reflection. I genuinely enjoy gift giving. However, I’d rather floss my teeth with barbed wire then set foot in a mall after Thanksgiving. The lights, santas, trees, parades, sales, reindeer, tinsel, giant inflatable snow globes, all of it can stay in the attic 12 out of 12 months as far as I’m concerned. I won’t be happy with the world again until at least after my birthday in the beginning of January. (I have a feeling this year my malaise will probably stick around until the 20th) I can take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in my disdain for (let’s face it) the entire month of December. Millions are afflicted by winter-time depression. They even have a name for it, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Even that seems crass and commercial to me. I’m starting to suspect that this whole thing is a conspiracy between Hallmark and Pfizer to sell greeting cards stuffed with red and green light up Zoloft capsules in them. Bring on the new year!

San Jose

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

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I recently spent a week in San Jose. The main reason for the trip was continuing photography on the BloodWork tattoo book with Adrian Lee of Analog Tattoo. The photo shoot was timed to coincide with The San Jose Tattoo Convention. I spent the whole convention locked in a posh loft that we converted into a photo studio. Over the four day convention I shot over forty sleeves for the book. Along with the book shoot, Analog (where I work as the in-house photographer) threw their one year anniversary party. Experimental jazz band, Panthelion, rocked the house. And a good time was had by all. The lion’s share of the photography now complete, the long and complicate post production process begins on the book. The goal is to have the completed tome available by October of next year.