First post from Nashville…

Here’s a quick one for you. Things have been hectic, getting into the new job and all that and trying to manage all the new things. But I did get time for a quick portrait. (I shot a wedding last week too, but all in good time). So without further delay, here’s my new landlord, Allen Porter.

Seriously, can you look at this fellow and not think that he’s got some awesome stories to tell?

Allen is 80 years old, but I don’t know if anyone told him. He’s obviously worked really hard to keep our place in tip-top shape, a fact that I’ll have in mind as I try to make sure it stays that way. He’s been super-friendly to Meghan and I too. Heck, he even brought me tomatoes.Allen is a U.S. Army veteran. He served in Korea, and then spent more than 20 years in the reserves after that. I look forward to talking with Allen even more in the days and years to come.

On an unrelated note, I mentioned my coworkers throwing a pizza party and getting me a cake when I left the Advocate-Press. Well, I must be blessed, or just really lucky when it comes to coworkers, because at my first day at The Nashville News, my new coworkers brought in a spread for lunch. Plus, Turtle Bars. Chocolate, caramel and a buttery crust…Yep, blessed.

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Farewell Photos, Part 4

Yep, there’s a lot of these. Starting to worry I shot enough of them that I’m going to disappoint whoever I forgot. Oh well.

My coworkers. Sally Neville, Delivery; Nancy Bible, Ad Sales; Natalie Berry (expecting young baby Berry near Christmas time. Woo-Hoo!), Classifieds, page design and a lot more; and Jennifer Lewis, circulation manager. Not pictured is Mike Linville, our sports editor. It’s not everyone I’ve worked with. There are some memorable folks missing who are no longer with the Advocate, but these ladies have been amazing to work with. I’m glad to call them my friends. They will be missed.

Yep. Pretty awesome coworkers. You want to know what they did for me on this, my last day there? Pizza, drinks, hanging out. Oh, and Jennifer baked this for me:

*Sniff* I’m gonna miss this place.

Chief John Nicholson of the Flora Police. The Chief has been good to the paper, always filling us in on what’s going on, as much as he can and still be doing his job, which I don’t envy. During the time I’ve been here, I’ve seen a full-scale SWAT demonstration, gotten to try a shoot/no-shoot electronic firearms simulator, and have gotten TASERed (willingly). They have given me some of the more fun stories I’ve been involved with. There have also been stories of tragedies that, necessarily, the police have been involved with as well. I may not remember these as fondly, but throughout it all, I’ll remember how Chief Nicholson and his officers conducted themselves: with courtesy and professionalism, qualities not all departments hold in such high esteem.

Marsha and Graham Dewsbury. Marsha and Graham are correspondents that write and shoot photos for our paper. They have been a joy to work with and most of the time, I end up blowing a lot of time chit-chatting with them. They’re really good folks. After one of the first assignments that I had them do, I came to the office to find a pen and a pin they had given me from the Shriners. I tried to give it back to them and they said, “Oh no, that’s for you.” It’s just the kind of folks that they are. Plus, Graham is a retired culinary teacher and gardener, so we always have a lot to talk about, including me showing him photos here on the blog of stuff I made.

Aubrey Eads. You’ve met Aubrey’s son and daughter before, here and here. Here’s there Mom. Aubrey is a single Mom working a full time job, who is trying to build her photo business too. despite all of this, she seems to have a better handle on things than Meghan and I do together, without kids. Well, without human kids anyways. Aubrey started out as “The red-haired chick at the Movie Gallery,” then became “The red-haired chick at the bank.” I actually got to know her when she took my class, and now shes a friend of Meghan’s and mine. She’s shot our wedding photos, and our anniversary photos as well. So basically, Aubrey rocks.

Kyle Shafer. Former Advocate-Press graphic designer, currently video game playing pal of Alex. Shaf’s da man. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this here, because though we’ll be further away, I WILL see Kyle some more. He’s my homeboy. Oh, and you’ve seen his art before too. Here, here, and here.

Here’s a little bonus for you. I sent that picture to Kyle. To show you how far it’s come along, here’s the original:

So I may have done a few things in Lightroom with it. Just auto-levels, really.

I sent him the final above and the original and then, I got this back. Can’t keep an artist down. Here’s Kyle’s “Banksy-ed”  version:

Skull house wants to eat you…

So that’s about it for my farewell pics. I’ve got two more I’m trying to schedule, so I’ll try to get those in. Thank you all for checking them out. Adios!

 

 

 

 

 

Farewell Photos, Part 2

And now, part 2, in case you couldn’t read the title above…

ESDA (Emergency Services Disaster Agency) Director Steve Lewis. Steve’s a good guy. Always willing to take a few minutes to chat, even when he’s busy. And whooo-boy is he busy. In addition to a day job as a 911 operator, Steve directs this all-volunteer agency which despite the name, handles a lot more than weather. ESDA has storm spotters, reserve policemen, first responders, rescue crews and much more. Lewis organizes this stuff, plans exercises, and just kind of keeps tabs on it all.

Librarians of the Flora Public Library. From Left, Angela Garrett, Tina McCormack, Lindsey West, Joyce Denoncour, Donna Corry, and Deirde Klein. I’ve done numerous stories for the library. Every summer I can count on their summer reading program giving me shots of kids enjoying the cool performers and educators that come there. They continually try to do more with Flora’s Library than I think anyone expects in this size of town. That’s the other reason I’ll miss them though. This is my library! They’ve made it great and I love getting books or movies here, or just taking a walk in and browsing. And always friendly, oh yeah. Nashville’s Public Library has some pretty big shoes to fill.

Bill Atwood. He owns North Wayne Insurance Agency, but more importantly to me, he’s the President of the Flora Academic Foundation, which is a non-profit that gets things for the schools (to grossly oversimplify). Bill is a pretty patriotic fellow, and when I thought of these pictures, Bill’s had to be by the American Flag he puts out in front of his business everyday. Putting it out is, “The first thing we do here every morning,” he says. Bill is a great talker. I don’t mean that as an insult. I generally think of myself as a talker. I can always call him up about something having to do with the FAF and get an eloquent quote that feels more like something someone would think about and write, rather than just blurt out.

Deena Mosbarger. Deena is a project coordinator (I believe) with the Clay County Health Department. She is the one I’m talking to if I need a comment, and come flu season, when I start hearing superstitious nonsense about vaccines causing elephantitis or whatever, she’s the one I call to help me debunk it. Deena has always been a joy to talk to and to be around. Even when it’s not for a story, she lends me a hand, like sending me in the direction of the Hot Biscuit. Thanks Deena!

Oh yeah, there’s a part 3 too. Coming soon…

 

 

Of Ferris Wheels and Seagulls

We went to Navy Pier when we in Chicago over the weekend. Fun was had, plus some pictures were taken. Candid People Pics to follow…

It takes a lot to know a photographer….part 2

So more of the gracious friends and family that were harassed into getting their portraits taken. So starting in the family, we are getting to the younger family members. In my immediate family, this means my brothers, Willy and Tyler.

It's my brother Willy, the middle child of the family (I'm the oldest, the youngest is coming). He's posing by a fence with grafitti on it near the Burger Baron on Grand Ave. on the near west side of Chicago

It's my brother Willy, the middle child of the family (I'm the oldest, the youngest is coming). He's posing by a fence with grafitti on it near the Burger Baron on Grand Ave. on the near west side of Chicago

Willy and I don’t always get along (especially when we travel together), but he has always been one of the most encouraging people around when it comes to my photography. I believe this was shot with my old Nikon F100 and a 28-105 f2.8 Tamron lens. Exposure was (and I’m guessing again here) about 1/250 of a second at f4 on iso 400 fujicolor Press 35mm film. Of course, there’s another brother too. His name is Tyler.

I really like what Tyler is doing in this picture, but it was years ago and now I don't actually remember what it was that he was doing. Looks good though.

I really like what Tyler is doing in this picture, but it was years ago and now I don't actually remember what it was that he was doing. Looks good though.

Tyler here was shot on the Hasselblad again, f 2.8, iso 400, Hp5 film. All available light. On an interesting side note, both of my brothers got interested in China during their school days. Now they both live there, in Shanghai. It’s hard to admit, but I do miss them. Our mother now refers to me as her “resident son,” which sucks, because even though I’m the closest, I’m still a four hour drive away.

Family members aren’t the only people college photographers take photos of though. I went to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, which is about six hours south of the familial home in Oak Park. So local subjects were a must. Some times these were just the poor saps that happened to be around. Like say, a roommate:

My old college roomate, Tony, being a relatively good sport, given that this was probably the hundreth time I took his picture.

My old college roomate, Tony, being a relatively good sport, given that this was probably the hundreth time I took his picture.

I’m guessing this one was about 1/60 of a second, f5.6 at iso 100 on the Hassleblad. Shot, in all likelihood, on Provia 100F.

Other people were just coworkers, like these two newspaper guys:

Daudi, doing a fashion shot for me on top of railroad tracks outside of Cairo (the impoverish Illinois town, not the impoverished Egyptian city).

Daudi, doing a fashion shot for me on top of railroad tracks outside of Cairo (the impoverish Illinois town, not the impoverished Egyptian city).

Dave or Daudi as he’s known now, was a graphic designer at the time, but he’s done a lot of photo work of his own since then. This was shot with a Canon Eos A2 with a 300mm f4 lens and a 1.4X teleconverter at around 1/250 of a second at f 5.6. Lighting is a radioslaved Nikon Sb 28 on a lightstand bouncing into an umbrella. Then there’s Geoff.

Geoff also being a very good sport and even smiling during his portrait session.

Geoff also being a very good sport and even smiling during his portrait session.

Geoff’s picture was taken on a 4X5 with a 150mm lens. Exposure around who-cares-there’s-a-strobe at f22. This was shot on Kodak Vericolor film. It was a 160 iso film, but I would shoot it with two extra stops of exposure and then cross process it into a chrome. I cannot for the life of me remember how I lit this. As I said before, there were strobes involved, and it was in the studio, so it was probably Speedotrons, with perhaps…a softbox. I’m really just guessing.

Even the neighbor gets his picture taken:

Justin, or Ed as I knew him, in the house he was renting when he was my neighbor, a geodistic dome built in Carbondale by the world-famous Bucky Fuller

Justin, or Ed as I knew him, in the house he was renting when he was my neighbor, a geodesic dome built in Carbondale by the world-famous Bucky Fuller

The house Tony, my other roommates and my self rented in Carbondale was across the street from the Bucky dome, a geodesic dome built by Buckminster Fuller, or the Fool on the Hill, as the Beatles referred to him. Ed was the guy who rented that dome when we moved in and we became friends with him. Shot on the Hasselblad, exposure unknown, diffused umbrella on Ed, grid spot on the dome behind him, both are 750 w/s Travelites.

Continued in Part 3: If a photographer shoots a photo of another photographer, does anyone care?