A View of Iraq – On the Road to Al Asad in January 2004

May 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

School, as in post-secondary education, is an incredible undertaking.  And it takes a lot of your time.  Especially when you have so many other things to do outside of it.  Well, this is one of the things I really like doing though there is little time to do it: My photography blog.  Another thing I really love doing is making pictures.  Here are a few that I took when I was in the Army in Iraq back in 2004.  This was done while moving, mind you – and before any formal education regarding photography.  The post production I did a week ago though.  But as a side bar, we are having an art and music festival at that very same school this coming Friday and I’ll be showing off prints that you might not otherwise see.  For details, click here.

We were on the road to recover one of my platoon’s teams that was supporting an armored cavalry regiment (I forget which one) at Rifle Base.  We were bringing a relief team from the 3rd Signal Brigade.  We being the escort we were providing for the 3rd’s TACSAT team that would relieve our TACSAT team.  This was day one of a five day mission – first stop, Al Asad.  My lieutenant (the platoon leader) and a few other soldiers were in the lead vehicle and we, (me being the platoon sergeant) I with three other soldiers, were in the trail vehicle.  I drove and snapped “no look” pictures (yes, like a no look pass in basketball) as we provided rear security.  If they look like I was composing these shots while looking through the view finder it is only because I had been taking pictures like this for almost a year by this time.  I had gotten pretty good with no look drive by photography.  There are a bunch of other details that I am sure you do not need to know in order to look at the photos so I will spare you.  Otherwise, this is a small piece of what Iraq looked like in January 2004.  Enjoy.

American Photo on Campus, February 2013

March 26, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This is a reprint from American Photo on Campus, February 2013.  I did it because I feel it is very important to understand what Ms. Leuchter is saying.

Editor’s Note
“Reluctantly, Some Advice”

            We don’t usually offer much advice in American Photo on Campus, hoping to teach more by example than by prescription.  But I couldn’t resist asking three of the photographers profiled in this issue to share their suggestions for students looking to launch a career in photography.
Matt Eich, who fuels his photojournalism and fine-art projects with commercial assignments (see “Triple Threat,” page 38), turned pro just a few years ago while still an undergrad at Ohio University.  “It is strange to start working while you’re still a student,” he told me when I asked about what that was like.  “I feel like ‘school’ really only began after I graduated – I was still in a bit of a bubble until then.  The best thing I did when I was in school was to pursue personal work and put it out into the world in its best possible form, then to go back and keep improving it.  That is how I first started getting work and exposure.”
And that personal work should be truly personal, says Marc Asnin, who started his seminal project Uncle Charlie when he was at the School of Visual Arts in the 1980s.  “Whatever you go to produce, it has to be something you really believe in – don’t let the marketplace affect your own vision,” he told writer Lori Fredrickson for her story “Document of the Lifetime” (page 16).
That’s not to say that the work you get hired to do isn’t important.  In fact, it will do more for you than just help pay the bills.  Asnin urges students to think of every job not as a stepping stone to something bigger but as an opportunity to lean.  His own internship at the Village Voice toughened him up for future work: “Getting thrown down a set of stairs the night of a state election and being chased down the street by a member of the Genovese crime family taught me to be fearless.”
Artist, teacher, and writer Tema Stauffer emphasizes the importance of participation in the community of photographers both in person and online.  As an emerging pro, she wrote to artists and writers whose work she admired, in the process developing lasting relationships with many of them.  We asked her to record a conversation with one of these mentors, Victoria Sambunaris, which you can read in “On the Road,” page 8.
One last piece of advice from the trenches: “The sooner you can start treating photography as a business, the better,” says Eich.  “Don’t rely on one client; diversify your sources of income.  It’s not enough to be talented or creative – you also have to be creative with how you manage your business.”  Echoing a mentor of his own, he adds, “As one of my college professors, Julie Elman, would always say, ‘Dare to suck.’”

Miriam Leuchter, Editor-in-Chief
February 2013

The entire issue is interesting and informative so you should check it out if you can.  And this is a photograph I liked that I took last year.  It has nothing to do with the above article outside of being a photograph.

Identity, dot, dot, dot

March 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Here is the flyer for an upcoming show at California State University, San Bernardino.  And I have a few prints in the show too.  Nice…

National Orange Show’s Wine and Food Under the Stars, 2011

January 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.”
-- Aristophanes

Another project from that documentary class was doing some coverage for the 24th Annual Wine and Food Under the Stars fundraiser event at the National Orange Show grounds in San Bernardino.  Of course, this was back in Oct 2011 when I was in that class so these photographs are a bit dated but I’m catching up.  And I liked these.  I liked a lot more of the 200 or so photos I took but this is a good sample of the better ones.  And if you ever go to this event, it is a lot of fun and the food is great.  Not to mention the wine (and beer).  Enjoy.

National Orange Show Quarter Midget Racing

January 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

“The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day.”
-- M. Grundler

Here is a sample another sample of my work done in my documentary photography class.  We had to document this event at the National Orange Show grounds in San Bernardino.  This event was Quarter Midget Racing.  That’s kids racing in cars around a track – like little league for NASCAR.  This was awesome (I even thought about doing it with my kids).  I shot it with my handy Canon PowerShot S5 IS and my Ricoh KR-5 superII 35mm film cameras.  This time the film was loaded correctly (see previous post for explanation).  I’m only showing the digital shots here though as I have yet to scan my film.  These kids were great.  Enjoy.

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