Why I really moved to Austin.
Thee Oh Sees on the McGarrah Jessee rooftop.
Thee Oh Sees on the McGarrah Jessee rooftop. People kept shaking up beers and spraying them everywhere, which was annoying.
Enjoying a somewhat more laid-back Tuesday before starting the all-out crazyface music-overload that will be the next four days.
A couple of months ago I visited a dear friend in Oklahoma City. On the way back I stopped by a little spot ten miles west of nowhere near Edmond, Oklahoma…to see a tree. Supposedly this was no ordinary tree; I’d seen pictures of it, heard stories about people driving out of their way to see it — needless to say, I had to experience it for myself.
Except it turns out it was 1) after ten p.m. by the time I made it out there and 2) so, so cold. I tried to take a long exposure photo but the whole thing turned out to be completely out of focus and looked pretty awful.
A loss, right? Not really. As I stood there sipping my hot cocoa, chilled to the bone, looking at this little tree (a dogwood, maybe?) I felt this weird feeling of…well…of standing out in the middle of nowhere by myself but feeling anything but. There’s something to be said about sharing a spot with a whole bunch of people across space and time (some of whom you’ve never met, some of whom you have). Sharing space. It’s something we do every day, but I suspect we rarely think about. It got me thinking so much I’m devoting episode two of my podcast to it — but more on that later.
In the meantime, if you want to see some photos of the tree that don’t suck, check out geotagged photos on Flickr.
I made the illustration above because I was sad I didn’t get a good photo of the tree.
Undertaking a project to document the place where I grew up. This one’s from last April.
April has proven to be a month of change for me, but despite the constant push forward it’s important to stop and pay attention to the details sometimes.
In this case, the light on the quilt-covered bed in the pink bedroom you slept in for a week.
I spent a good part of the last half of 2011 traveling. It was amazing for all the reasons that wandering is always so, but I sadly returned into a world so hectic that I’ve barely had the chance to process it all. In the coming weeks I intend to sort through the photos, journals and video I shot while galavanting around the country (and even, for a brief time, outside it). I’ll likely condense it into a few posts, but consider this a teaser and a proof of concept. It’s coming.
For a few months last year I rented studio space downtown. It didn’t end up being cost-effective for me, being that I’m a sort of anti-commercial photographer*, but it did give me the chance to coerce more of my favorite people in front of the camera.
I swear, these people make my job way too easy.
I have beautiful friends. Pictured: Katie Cunningham and Jillian Summar at Loose Leaf Co. Fall 2011, Grace Grothaus in her Tulsa studio, Summer 2011.
*not entirely true. I just tend to offset the paid photography I do with expensive stuff like “still shooting film” and “buying more old cameras”.
From the beginnings of my aspirations to be a “photographer”, I always considered low-light and night photography to be sort of my go-to genre. The very first photograph I took that I really felt was “good”, the first one that made me feel like maybe I was getting a hang of what I was doing, was a long-exposure shot I took in Arkansas outside my tent in the middle of the night (it’s on flickr here, if you’re interested). Though I’ve branched out a lot since then, available-light photography is still very near and dear to my heart. So recently as I’ve been thinking a lot about the “professional” or “commercial” work I do it starts to occur to me that I do very little photography these days just for the sheer enjoyment of it, which is a real shame. So I decided to get back to my roots and head out after dark with my friend Matt, a camera and a tripod. Here are some of the results.
Abandoned drive-in movie theater on old Route 66 west of Sapulpa, Oklahoma.
Abandoned building, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
That last one came out looking like something from a horror movie or something, which was totally unintentional, but I like it.
I was inspired to write one blog entry every day in February by my friend Erin — you should check out her blog (and amazing photography) here.