Monday, April 30, 2007


Over the weekend I shot a Roller Derby bout in Springdale. It was kind of a freelance/favor thing. The graphic artist at our paper is a member, and she was looking for a photographer on the cheap. I never know what to price my services, so I bit at the first number she threw out at me. This is why I will never be a successful freelance photographer. "100 bucks? Sure. The loose change in your pocket? I think we can work with that. Some Magic Beans? Let's talk...."

Anyway, it was actually good times and she paid a decent price. I'd do it again.

And I'm sure no one cares but me, but today is my 100th post. Woohoo! Sure, most of my posts were trite and random, but I didn't actually think I'd keep my blog up for this long. Turns out I love my blog so very much. Seems like a great time for a little party music. The first is an bonus track from the import version of Timbaland's "Shock Value" CD. I don't know why he omitted it from the U.S. version, because its great. The second is a mashup between the Killers song "When You Were Young" and Muse's "Starlight." It just wouldn't be a party with out a killer mashup. Enjoy.

Come Around.mp3 By Timbaland, featuring MIA
When You Were A Starlight.mp3 by Team 9, featuring The Killers vs Muse

Friday, April 27, 2007

My New Hero

I finished putting together a slideshow yesterday on this man, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease. It will run in the paper Sunday, but the slideshow is already online.

He can't speak or swallow, his limbs are slowly failing and with no cure "The Monster" ALS will eventually take his life. I asked him a few questions, trying to evoke responses about how hard, frustrating and maybe even hopeless the situation had become. Each time he would type down his response, and an electronic voice would tell me how positive he is, how he gets a kick out of people thinking he's deaf, and how he wishes everyone could be as lucky in life as him. It was so devastatingly inspiring.

I think the slideshow turned out well. I only spent a few hours with the man and his wife. I wish I had more time. But I like to think what I lack in substance I make up for in style.

Click here to view the slideshow.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

In The Heart Of Texas

The best part about my trip to Dallas over the weekend, you ask? It just might be the 7 a.m. run to Whataburger.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Second Chances

This photo, from a dramatic baseball win yesterday, reproduced pretty badly in the paper today. So I'm republishing it here.

And I fully expect this photo, from a Race for the Cure preview event, to reproduce horribly tomorrow. So here it is today.

While I'm handing out second chances, here's a little music from the archives. I went to visit some family over the Easter weekend. While there my younger brother waged a musical shock and awe campaign on me, with Regina Spektor being his weapon of choice. This morning I woke up with flash backs, hearing wandering and nonsensical lyrics spinning through my head. The only thing I could do was listen to the CD, Begin to Hope, over and over again. Although I used to have the album listed along the sidebar, I don't think I've ever shared any of her music. So here it is today.

Apres Moi.mp3 by Regina Spektor
Samson.mp3 by Regina Spektor

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bright Spot

It's cold and rainy outside, but that didn't stop me from getting a bright and flowery photo for tomorrow's newspaper. The flowers are all plastic and the two wall pieces are both made of styrofoam. I thought it was quite crafty.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Unethical Post

If you are a photojournalist, you have likely heard about the altered photo controversy out of Ohio last week. Basically, photographer Allan Detrich removed a pair of legs from the background of a photo, a huge sin in the photojournalism world. He doesn't deny the alteration (at least not anymore), but claims he was doing it for his personal files, and didn't mean for it to end up in the paper. Here is the photo and the correction the Toledo paper ran:

I'm actually pretty upset about the situation. It's not just about the gross lapse in journalistic ethics. It goes beyond that. What really got me going was the reaction some people had to the situation. There were tons of comments on various blogs and message boards condemning Detrich, but there were some that made me think that ethics, at least to the average reader, are already dead.

Here's a comment from, which has blogged heavily on the situation:
"I’m just curious as to why this is such a big deal. He removed a pair of legs from the photo. So what? Is it a big deal just because it was against the paper’s policy?"

But some of the worse were from Detrich's own blog, many from people who claimed to be photographers themselves:
"Your apology is unnecessary, and it is unfortunate that you feel compelled to offer it. You made a beautiful and sensitive picture in the highest tradition of photojournalism. You took out an extraneous and unrelated distraction, a distraction that any observer of that scene would have automatically edited from his memory of the event...The Blade owes you an apology. Please accept mine it its stead."

"Nothing you did to the image in any way altered its intent or meaning, which should IMHO, be the yardstick by which "alterations" to news photos should be judged."

In the highest tradition of photojournalism? The yardstick alterations should be judged? Have our industry's ethical standards become some arbitrary set of guidelines that have no meaning outside of the newsroom? It is just so endlessly discouraging.

So to offset the legs cloned out of Deitrich's photo, I have cloned legs into a photo I shot today, hopefully resetting photojournalism's delicate ethical equilibrium.

Yeah, that's about as ridiculous as some of those comments on Detrich's blog.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Meet The Press

I'm sometimes surprised by people who talk to the media in difficult situations. This girl's brother was just arrested in connection with a double murder. A reporter and I came knocking on her door within hours of the arrest, expecting no one to be home or no one to answer. She was obviously upset, but seemed unphased when I finally had the courage to pull up my camera and talk pictures of her talking to our reporter. Regardless of his guilt or innocence (which is yet to be determined), if I were in her situation I don't know if would be willing to talk to anybody about it, let alone the media.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pressure Suit and Tie

I almost forgot about these.

I was tapped to shoot this guy for a law journal in Missouri last week. The story was about this lawyer representing a group of chicken farmers who are going bankrupt. Above he's standing in one of the empty, and very smelly, chicken houses. I shot it with three off-camera strobes, one just to the left of his face through an umbrella, and other two pointed back to light up and give a little depth to the chicken house.
The other two were shot outside the chicken house on the farm. They really just wanted one portrait, but I sent them a few photos to give them some options. Who knows what will end up running.
Freelance work is a mixed blessing to me. I like doing it, but I always feel the pressure to shoot something great. I guess it's because I'm shooting for someone that really doesn't know my work, and all I have is this one assignment to prove it wasn't a mistake to hire me.

Speaking of things I almost forgot about, who knew Aqualung put out another CD? My sister, apparently, who tipped me off about the release yesterday. But what you really may be wondering is who the hell is Aqualung? Good question.

I didn't know who he was either until about two years ago. My sister and I were heading to the Austin City Limits music festival, so to prepare we thoroughly went through the list of over 100 bands and musical acts. We scanned through their CDs in the store and sampled their music online to see which combination of bands we wanted to hear during the three day event. Aqualung was one of those acts that stood out to me.

Aqualung mastermind Matt Hales writes these sweeping choruses and compositions that are just fantastically desolate and depressingly beautiful. His new CD "Memory Man" is slightly more up beat than his first U.S. release, "Strange and Beautiful," but he's got me hooked all over again.

I'm still not sure what a pressure suit is, though. I wonder if it's anything like a power tie. Next time I see the lawyer I'll ask him.

Pressure Suit.mp3 by Aqualung
The Lake.mp3 by Aqualung