Branching out

Adding a new category to the “where I’ve been published” list are two author photos in books published in 2008. The first to come out was Outlaw Journalist: The life and times of Hunter S. Thompson, by William McKeen, a former professor and chair of the journalism department at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Reviews have called it the “seminal biography” of Thompson. The second, Life along the Illinois River, is coming out on the 31st of October. The book is a collection of beautiful photographs taken by former colleague David Zalaznik, who has seen countless sunrises over the past few years in his successful effort to bring to light the natural beauty of the River in hopes of aiding its preservation. Clicking on either photo will take you to each book’s site on Amazon.

Jake Wins!

I just got the most excellent news that Jake Grys and family are getting the home of their dreams courtesy of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I did a story on Jake, who has a rare form of osteogenesis imperfecta, that ran in the Peoria Journal Star last year. They’ve been waiting for years to find out if this was actually going to happen and it finally came through. I can’t think of a family that deserves this more than they do. The new article is here. My old slideshow documenting Jake’s life as he underwent one of numerous surgeries to straighten his bones is here. Congrats Grys’s!

Sunday

I went for a nice long bike ride along the beach from Marina Del Rey to the north end of Santa Monica and grabbed a couple frames along the way. There’s a great bike path up and down the coast here. Gets a bit crowded on the weekends, but it beats dodging traffic. Although many of the main roads have bike paths too, which is nice.

Top: A flock of pigeons lift off around Richard Noe, who was feeding them pieces of white bread on Venice Beach Sunday evening. Noe hitchhiked to Los Angeles from New York in 1967 and is homeless in Venice. Asked if the birds will return, he replied “They know where to find me.”

Bottom: Chris Filkins swings from ring to ring while exercising at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, Calif. on Sunday. The outdoor workout area, complete with a tightrope walking area, rings and parallel bars is popular among gymnasts and acrobats. Filkins, who was once a gymnast, now works as a programmer and says he comes to the area just to work out.

Go Red

My internet was down Tuesday, so I went around the corner to the Cow’s End, an excellent coffee shop and deli that has a good vibe, plenty of seating and outlets and, most importantly, free wi-fi. After working for about an hour or my attention was diverted by the sounds of a marching band walking down Washington Blvd. I decided I was done working, packed up and headed out to see what this was all about. The band, many members donning colorful wigs, capes and various other Halloween costumes, stopped where the street dead ends into the beach and put on a 5 minute show for myself and a crowd of 50 or so like me who’d been drawn out from nearby stores. After they stopped they continued up the boardwalk toward Santa Monica. I followed for a bit and found out they were from Stanford and were staging a public pep-rally for the next day’s football game against UCLA. Top two images are from that and the third is from the coffee shop.

I took a photo!

 

 

Actually, 2 photos!

It’s been a slow start since moving here a month ago, but things are starting to look up as I get my affairs in order. I haven’t been shooting very much, opting to spend more of my time networking and working on promotional material that I hope will bring me more work in the near future. But today I just couldn’t stand it anymore, so I took an evening stroll along Venice Beach. There I found a guy by the name of Justin King-Hall doing some yoga stretches as he watched the sun go down. Behind him, I believe, are the Malibu Hills.

The second image is of a friend, Tiffany Elle, whom you may recognize from various nationally-run television commercials, who was kind enough to pose for me as I try to put together a portfolio of head shots, which I hope will become a small component of my business.

Haiti

This post has been a long time coming. In July, following my departure from the Journal Star, I had the opportunity to visit Haiti. During the 16-day trip I travelled to three different Voodou festivals and also did a story on the popularity of rap kreyol, Haiti’s own brand of hip-hop, in Port-au-Prince. As I’ve already taken the time to post the majority of the images taken there on my Photoshelter page, I’ll only put up this one image for now. This was taken during the third and final Voodou festival I attended at Bord de Mer de Limonade on the island nation’s north coast. The rest of the images are available here.