Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Post From New York

Okay, I know I should be updating this and everything, seeing as I'm in NYC, taking photos, etc, but I really just don't have much time. That said, I feel that at least one post is necessary. Even if it is just four photos. More are coming soon, I promise. With more interesting stores/writing too, as right now I'm so tired I can barely type.

Brooklyn Bridge Rainbow

I was out with friends at the South Street Seaport when I caught this rainbow at sunset. I'm pretty sure everyone with a camera near the East River had it out taking photos of this.

The rest of the photos are from the pier at Coney Island. I've been there about three times now, and every time I like it even more. It's one of those places that seems to attract almost every type of person, no matter the background. Even though it may not be the place it was in the '50s and '60s, it still has the allure of the American golden age.

Coney Island 2

Coney Island 3

Coney Island 4

Later this week, I'll be posting a photoshoot I did with Caitlin involving a NATO gasmask. Get excited.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On Postmodernism

This semester, I've been taking an art photography class in the MU Art Department. In the class, we have to answer questions on readings, usually involving movements in photography. The last reading (which we did this week) is about postmodernism. For those of you don't know me, I shoot a lot of film, use a bunch of old cameras and try to do often-stupid things with prints in the darkroom. Most people would probably consider me pretty 'artsy'. But one thing that has always bothered me about art photography is how defeatist it is. This is sort of my opinion on that way of thinking. Sorry that there aren't any photos here. I just felt that this kind of needed to be said.

Postmodernism is suggesting that all original photographs have been produced, and even if they haven’t, the culture we live in predicts the way we would create it. Postmodernists seek to establish the idea that the image is dead, and that we should move towards representations of this idea over the representation of a scene in and of itself.
Personally, I feel that this argument is self-defeating. Postmodernist photographers are erecting an artificial wall for themselves, and then proudly deconstructing it for everyone to sit and marvel at their ingenuity. It’s easy to say that there are no original images left to create when the dominant movement in the world of art photography discourages trying to create them; the biggest sin we can commit as photographers is agreeing with that statement and simply giving up on finding any semblance of the real to represent. Saying that our cultural conceptions color our perspective on the world is like saying we need water to survive. Of course they do, and that is simply the way it has always been and always will be. This is neither a bad thing, nor is it a good thing. It doesn’t mean originality doesn’t exist, it means we have to connect with our own reality in order to demonstrate anything original.
Now, the postmodernist’s argument would be that what we know as real is simply a construction of symbols and images, that we have no way of knowing what the real is. However, I feel that to deny that we can experience reality is a rejection of faith in humanity as a whole. For me, as an artist and photographer, the central tenets of postmodernism mean close to nothing. As long as there are stories to tell, as long as we are still human beings, I will continue to have some kind of faith in the image.

Thank god for photo-j.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tulsa, I Love You

A few days ago, I found a collection of two years worth of negatives that I thought I lost. Going through the photos, I came upon a bunch of images that I had either forgotten about, or just not looked at in years. I used to go out to downtown Tulsa and shoot street photos whenever I got the chance, back when I was first getting into photography. Many of these photos come from that phase, and I really am just now realizing how much I miss that. Columbia isn't exactly the best place to shoot street, but I'm considering heading out with my Leica this weekend, just from remembering how much I used to love to take those kinds of photos.

Tulsa, I Love You
(Bus station)

Washing Windows

(Blue Dome district)

(Mayo motor inn)

Lovers and Children
(City courthouse)

Parked Bike
(Inside parking garage)

(Bus station)

Most of these photos were taken two years ago, when I was first getting into photography. Which means I really didn't do the best job with archival washing these... so forgive the dust and scratches.

Shovel Ready

Admittedly, this is not photography related. But as a journalism and computer nerd, I had to make a post about this. Over the last week/week-and-a-half, I have been working on a project at The Maneater to show exactly what projects Columbia is asking for funding for in the federal stimulus bill, and how much said projects would cost.
Finally, after one failed, overly-ambitious attempt, I ended up with the graphic that was published online today. As this is only my third project in Flash so far, it's not the absolute greatest thing in the world. But, it is the first interactive Flash graphic the 'eater has had and I don't think it looks too bad.
You can check it out at (and I recommend you do, the article is really great), and I've posted the graphic here. Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Polar Bear Plunge

Today, Missouri Special Olympics hosted a polar bear plunge. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it means a bunch of people with more guts or less sense than me decide to jump into freezing cold water. In this case, it was for a noble cause, raising money for the aforementioned Missouri Special Olympics. From the crowd, they did quite well. There were somewhere around 285 jumpers. Now, the water was 33 degrees (Fahrenheit, not Celsius), so this was pretty impressive. Here are some of the photos I took:

Shiny New Suit
Jason Vega of team CPD-Antlers parades his costume around the beach. For the event, teams dressed up in everything from sheets to suits.

Intensely Cold
Members of team "Cold as Sheet" jump into the water of Stephens Lake.

Courtney Hindman of the team "Hooters Girls" loses a balloon from her costume after jumping into the almost-freezing water.

Robin Fenical of team "Chilly Dogs" gathers a string toy fish from the lake after diving in. Awards were given to the most creative way to enter the water.

Scott Drochelman holds onto fiancé Cassie Shields as they plunge backwards into the lake. The couple plans to get married in June.

Members of team CPD-Antlers rush into the water near the end of the event.

Hope you enjoyed the post! There should be another one coming later this week.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas with Caitlin

Clearly, my girlfriend knows me well.

Leica IIIc-1

Leica IIIc-2

Leica IIIc (1946-47ish). Expect to see some photos from it soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008