Cross country road trips to see as many national parks, monuments, and places that a normal family would see over 20 years of vacationing in seven days isn't crazy, it's insane. I had the absolute pleasure, however, of doing this type of road trip with my closest friends in the world, on three seperate occasions. Seven days, ten gallons of coffee, two cartons of cigarettes, and the lives of 100,000 dead bugs on the bumper later, our experiences would never be forgotten. This picture was taken on one of those trips while we were in Death Valley. Hell may be a few degrees cooler than Death Valley in the summer. It's not a good sign when you walk from your car to the souvenir shop to buy a shot glass, and burst into flames. This photo is also a bit 'old school' and was taken with a camera that used film. Please look it up on Wikipedia if you've never heard of it.
So as a photographer, I don't think I could do portraits or too much in the way of landscape. Both of these, although a true art form, are just not my style. Weddings? Forget it - I'm too nervous I would ruin someone's special day if I wasn't paying attention to the right shot at the right time. That takes a lot of courage, almost as much as being a surgeon. But, when a good friend asks for some artsy, tasteful, and even possibly half nude photos, why not? Although I haven't done much in the way of shooting these types of photographs with 'modeling' as subject matter, I had so much fun with this shoot. But no, I will not take close up pictures of anyone's junk, or anything creepy and pornographic.... So don't even ask. Perverts. :)
The subject matter I find most intersting in photography is items or objects that are naturally 'out of place'. This picture was taken behind an abandoned farmhouse, so old that it was actually slanted a bit on its foundation.The area around the house was well landscaped, groomed, and organized. Among the treasures around the building was this boat. Sitting on piles of hay, in between the barn and house itself. Although it seemed it had no business being there, it was perfectly at home. Makes you wonder who used to take it out and how many summer days it filled with joy for some family. People would probably ask, why not scrap the thing, why leave it out in the middle of a farm ? I think its beautiful, what it represents. Maybe someone just wanted to make sure they were reminded of what it meant to them, or how it made them feel. Objects hold that power, and even though someday this boat will be so rusted, and far gone it will need to be hauled away, it now stands as a monument to someone's memories - even if there is a rabid raccoon calling it home for now.
Creepy, old and abandoned houses are any homeowner's nightmare. They lower the value of people's property, wild animals or wandering gypsies can take up residence, and typically they are just an eye sore. However, they are wonderful subjects for photography. This place was so broken down, windows gone, everything just fallen apart - it was pretty damn amazing. This shot was taken from an open window on the side of the house peeking through the darkest room to the window on the other side. I never really noticed there was something odd about this pic. If you look on the top left side, there appears to be something almost standing there. Probably just part of the ceiling caving in, but makes you wonder if it was the boogey man, or possibly some axe wielding maniac hoping I would come inside to get some pictures. I don't think you could have paid me enough to step foot in that house. It took some bravery to get that close to the window in the first place - and a lie to the neighbor that I was an art student taking pictures for a university photography magazine so he wouldn't call the police. I'm going to go with my friend Joe's idea on this - and use this as my "Name this Picture" blog entry. Winner gets a high five, and a print of one of the pictures I have posted on the site so far :) Email me your ideas, or post them here on the blog.
Route 173 in Illinois is one of those typical far north roads that doesn't really excite anyone that has to drive across it from one town to the next. It's one of those plain, empty vast spaces that really only connects town to town. But if you ever take this route from one end to the other, you may be suprised if you pay attention to the details. Not only will you see cool, delapitated Americana, but you'll find the town called Chemung. Yes, Chemung. At first 'hear', it does indeed sound like some sort of genital ailment or disease, but this little treasure in between Antioch and Rockford used to house on this scenice drive, a location called, Chemung Tech. A bizzarre little outpost of art and carvings that would nearly get you into a car accident as you passed by it because you were to busy wondering what exactly it was, and who the madman was that put such a wonderful distraction next to a busy highway. It's gone now, and has become a little woodworking shop. So when road tripping to take pictures, I purchased a new bird house there. Not because I wanted one, but in order to avoid being shot by the new owner while seemingly trespassing on private property. On this particular road trip,with fellow photo nerds Andy and Ania Lorenc, we got to experience more than just Chemung. The blog pic of the day was taken that same day, of a tank parked right out in front of a United Methodist Church in Capron, IL. It's a rusty, beat up old thing - but an honorable monument none the less. And almost poetic as it sits - in front of a building dedicated to peace and love. Just a reminder that those luxuries aren't a free commodity, and there is always a price to pay for them.
This photograph, also the main picture on this site, was taken in December of 2010. In sub zero temperatures, my poor friend Jennifer, stood on my porch - holding a cow's heart we had purchased earlier that day at a butcher shop. Tank top, the freezing breeze, and an hour later - and we nailed it! Although the image has been tucked away for the past year, I wanted to share it as my first blog item, and as my feature picture on this website. It represents not only the bond of friendship, and what true friends are willing to endure while freezing their asses off, and holding smelly raw cow hearts, but also the blood, sweat, and tears of a project. I'm proud of this picture, and even though it wasn't meant to be for its intended project, it represents a lot to me.