Era of Mediocrity

In an era of mediocrity, art does not need to apologize, or does it?
Allow me the opportunity to step off my pulpit and rant a while about
different things I have seen/heard in the photography community. Should
photographers apologize for their work? Expanding upon a previous post,
service is our brand, and our brand is our promise to our client. When
a client is not happy, a re-shoot is in order. I am not reinventing the
wheel, and I am sure most photographers would agree with me on that
point. When Mother Nature or uncooperative people cause your shoot to
go misguided and the final product does not meet expectation, who has to
apologize? The photographer. Composition, creativity, overcoming
problems, thinking out side the box and then cutting the box in half and
being even more innovative is our job.

In no way do I expect photographers to be perfect, nor do I expect
perfection from myself every time I click the shutter. I do (getting
back up on my pulpit
) believe, preach, scream that perfection is found
in the process and you must love and respect the entire process. If
that preceding sentence bugs you then get out of the business, except no
money for what you do, walk away from the tri-pod, give up the dream
of becoming the next great whomever you want to be that you are currently not as good as photographer ( that's the rant part).


Notes from a Seminar

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a Steven Covey seminar. Years ago I read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book that Covey wrote. I remembered that I liked the book but not much else. I do recall there was a strong focus on daily practice and constant development of your skills. If you are a reader of this blog then you know that I am a big believer in perfection being found in the process. Covey's focus for the seminar was directed towards corporate life but I couldn't help but notice how much of his talk would serve the artist community. Listed below are my notes that I was taking during this seminar.

  • Service is your brand: brand is your promise to your clients
  • What people want: to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy
  • What people need: air, water, and to be understood (Empathic)
  • Stimulus = Response = Freedom to choose
  • The secret to answering the big is found in answering the small (this is my personal favorite, perfection is found in the process)
  • 8th habit: Finding your voice in body, mind, heart and spirit

Expanding upon the 8th Habit: if you love it and you're good at it then go for it. This is where most artist people fail to exceed their dreams. Too often we believe that our passion and talents are not socially acceptable to be a productive part of society. Personally this has been a demon that I used to struggle with. Fortunately I have found out that following my bliss is productive on a personal, economical, and spiritual level and hopefully it will be the legacy that I will leave.


Free Form Stylization Part 3

The lights go up and the audience gives their applause. I stand still, I breathe, I walk towards the microphone. I speak.

"The guts to stand exposed and achieve your dreams when a story is crying out to be told. A naïve vein keeps a creative flow through you that can help you stand naked in your own awareness of that vacuum of things you need to achieve. The humility of taking notice of your own surroundings: shaken awake to what is right in front of you. There is always a reason not to sit still." 'Act natural', you whisper to yourself. 'Natural...what is that?', you respond to your own thought.

I pause. I look up, reverberating applause, bright lights, smoke, I take a deep breath in, and I sit.

Multicultural City

Standing in line to pay for my lunch today I realized how much Pittsburgh is turning into a multicultural city. The person standing in front of me was speaking Spanish and the person behind me was speaking Chinese. Neither person seemed to know or speak any English: just enough to pay for their lunch. Communication skills are important but if you're able to get around and be a part of your local community then more power to you. Pittsburgh has forever been known to be a melting pot with its diverse cultural districts and love for different ethnic regions. Traditionally the city has been a city of past generations, not a city of new immigration workers. The grand and the great grandparents are the off-the-boat-crowd coming to start a new life. Separating into different parts of the city to create Little Italy, Polish Hill, the Russian District and numerous other cultural parts of town.

I am personally excited to see a new and fresh blend of race, cultures, arts, food, religions, history, and traditions come to my city that has been my hometown all of my life. Having the opportunity to raise my daughter in a mixed and open culture is one of the most important things to my wife and me. (Along with an organic diet ? as much as possible)

Traveling has been a great way to educate myself in all types of different aspects in my life. Especially in photography and music, being able to root myself in the landscape and heritage of the origin of the art is a majestic experience. Unfortunately traveling is not always an affordable occurrence to be had. When a city becomes multicultural, what a better way to have the traditions of the world come to you.



Current Reading: The Possibility of an Island By Michel Houellebecq ( I was turn on to this writer from reading Paul's Blog over at ZAADZ.
Music: Sting: Songs from the Labyrinth (If you are a fan of the Bach cello suite you will like this CD)
Mood:Questioning my present state of being (is that philosophical or shallow?)
Sounds:Typing fingers and humming heaters
Sights:New photos from this past weekend. Check out this or the updated gallery page.
Temperature: Just right
Thoughts:No moment of re-awakening is greater than the one before it. Only the experience of the single moment of now-ness is the spark of all holiness. So why do I fear the approach?



Red Wine Photography

Nature photography is nothing more than a reoccurring motif: a balance of contrast of color with the relationship to the light.

Currently I have been struggling to find time to work on my latest project do to reoccurring health problems, but as of today I am feeling much better and its looks like I will be able to get some photography in tomorrow morning (weather permitting). This autumn has been a glorious one here in Pittsburgh, the colors are bright and crisp and the leaves are just starting to fall of the trees and the refection off the water is just shy of mystifying.

With me on the side lines for the bulk of this season I have been able to really think about the emotions and the interiors of my recent project. Too often photographers can get lost in only thinking about the external and the exteriors of there projects. As kismet would have it my sidelining has given me the opportunity to replay and re-shot this project over and over again (the easiest editing I have ever done). I have been thinking about how I would like the viewer to feel when looking at this work. Atmospheric, emotional, story telling, lost in thought, feeling of red wine. Red wine photography, I like that phrase that is what I am going for.



-Do you think you are right? Most people I know think that they are right and that their point of view or perspective is the only and correct way to think. At best they say something like "that may work for others but not for people like us". Us? When did we become an "us"? Who are the collective "us" that can someday become the communal "we" with a singular viewpoint of the entire integrated world. Here is an example: ask somebody their point of view on anything. The we/us love to spill our thoughts on anything: but notice if your view or perspective is asked of? "Why?!", I scream quietly to myself, is there not a shift in perception? Is everybody right? Constantly? Are all the Monday morning quarterbacks, political-wanna-be pundits, mothers-in-law, person sitting next to you right now: all RIGHT? Where are the births of new ideas to shut all of these people up? Do you not agree with me? I must be right.



Is your identity tied more to what you consume or to what you produce?



The definition of is Organic - noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.

See this & this for the reality of what we put into our body.


If you want your photography to stand the test of time you must first consult nature. Man is never separated from the light that we digest. Our environment is the preliminary point for understating of light. Light is the compositions.




Library - 7571.jpg

Great autumn photography has about a 3 seconded window for success. It will rain the next three day here in Pittsburgh, this upcoming Saturday morning will either be glorious for nature photography or barren trees tops with grey skies.


Reading List Update

- Recently completed some books that people are alway asking me about: Here is the update

I’ve been meaning to read? (People are always asking me if I read these two books. I haven’t? I will soon- promise!) (Done)
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by Robert Pirsiq ( Hated it)
The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams (Loved it)
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (I enjoyed this novel very much but I have not idea why it is such a classic?)


Medicated Meditation & Truths

For the past 12 days I have not touched a camera, guitar nor have I barley touch this keyboard. As for the camera and guitar part it’s has been a 20 plus year quandary that a hiatus has been taken as such. My days have been filled with long meditation practice, PBS documentaries, a couple of different novels that I have been meaning to get to (some good, some not so good) vicadin and steroids (and, no not the get buff kind)

The following is a list of what I learned through this experience:
1) There is no there. I went there and check, there was nobody there. Don’t even think of looking there. (There - is the pursuit of perfection, so there)
2) Talent is liquid trouble.
3) To be happy with the light is when you have touched somebody eye.
4) A great photograph is when you walk away from the viewing of the print and the image haunts your peripheral vision.

There it is 12 day of highly medicated/meditation truths. Peace 2 u….


I'm Back (slowly)

I have just spent the last week in the hospitable, I am slowly rehabbing. All is good and I am very thankful for all the great care that I have been given. Thank you/everbody for the all the prayers, e-mails and phone call that have been sent my way. Deep bows of gratitude to all of you.

Lesson learn form this experience is that long term meditation practice is one of the best cross-partners to go along with modern medicine. I have spent 3+ hours a day in my meditation practice in conjunction with music therapy CD.

Regular blogging should start back up this Monday.

(-Peace 2 U-) My wife just saw this on a license plate, way to curve road rage.