I was out for a stroll in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas Texas while I was enjoying the Tap N Run Race that started and finished at the Sandbar Cantina that is a popular venue for live band’s and DJ’s, Professional and Amateur Volleyball Tournaments, Corporate Parties, Fundraisers and more. The DeSoto, which is beautiful antique vehicle made between 1928 and 1961 by Chrysler, was parked on a lawn so I had to capture it to remind me how great cars used to look as opposed to today’s rather sterile looks unless you are willing to spend some really big bucks.
I recently found an article I wrote back in 2004 while I was going through some old folders saved in my computer. It is about a trip I took at the Noatak Wilderness in Alaska that I wrote for another site, but may be of interest here. I could not find an image from that adventure so the image below is from a subsequent trip I took with my friend Jim to the same area.
Caribou 2004: Noatak Wilderness Preserve in Northwest Alaska
I recently returned from another adventured-filled float hunt in the Alaskan Wilderness. My hunting partner was John from Clayton, GA. He and I began our adventure complete strangers. While I was ready to abandon him on the river on the third day of our trip, we soon became friends who look forward to hunting together once again someday.
The planning for this trip began a few months after I returned from my 2003 float hunt where I harvested a respectable bull moose in Game Management Unit 21A with the help of my hunting guide Chet Benson. While I was planning the trip, I was also trying to coerce and cajole a few of my friends to come along with me. My friends Steve from Duncanville, TX and Dan from Dallas were both daring enough to answer the call to hunt caribou in the upper regions of Alaska.
“There is no place like New York” is a comment I often hear from those who live in the Big Apple. In fact, I often wonder if the phrase was a twist on Dorothy’s “There’s No Place Like Home” incantation in the Wizard of Oz. While I need a bit more elbow room and feel more comfortable in the woods, I do on occasion visit the city for work or play. Regardless of the reason for the visit, I do enjoy walking the city with a camera hanging at waist level and releasing the shutter to see what I can come up with though once in a while I do lift the viewfinder up to eye level.
Most of the images I captured were taken in and around Times Square, which always reminds me of one big advertisement. It wasn’t quite as crowded as previous visits, but just as interesting. I stumbled upon the Good Morning America studio where the weather guy, whose name I think is Sam Champion, was outside mingling with fans. I wanted to get up close to get his photo but the police informed me that I was blocking too much pedestrian traffic because of my very large backpack. Surprisingly, a policeman asked if I wanted to set my backpack down next to the mailbox so I could get closer for a shot. The second surprise was when he offered to watch my bag. His offer to help was very nice and worrisome at the same time given we are living in a post-9/11 world. Maybe I did not fit the profile of a terrorist.
My favorite was seeing Elmo out and about greeting pedestrians and tourists as well as a gentleman walking in a kilt. There was a photo I captured that would be a proud addition to the people of Wal-Mart site but I decided to spare everyone the image. The Naked Cowboy who is not really nude to my disappointment was nowhere to be found. I have yet to capture his image. If I do not get one in the next year or so, maybe I will don my favorite Stetson hat and Lucchese boots as well as my biggest camera so I can play the role of the naked photojournalist. Or maybe not though one of these days I will visit this wonderful city for the sole purpose of doing some great street photography as opposed to just snapping my way to and from another destination.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about how an image may be worth more than a thousand words in the context of a documentary. There are just certain milestones in our lives that we want to record for future generations to enjoy whether it be our family or others. In addition to a more historical perspective, there are also financial motivations for using high quality images in other applications such as real estate, which was highlighted in an article provide by the Wall Street Journal
The article highlights research conducted by a Seattle-based brokerage firm using data on homes listed in the Boston and Long Island markets by measuring the difference between the asking price and the closing price of homes. I do not need to regurgitate the information in the article, but they did find a correlation between high quality images with a better closing price. What I disagree with though is they attribute high quality image with an SLR. That is a very simplistic view of the world in my opinion. Photography is painting with light. Professional photographers utilize many different types of cameras, not just SLRs. In fact, many architectural photographers use a view camera as opposed to as an SLR. Others prefer to use a rangefinder. My point is, it’s not the equipment but the operator who knows about lighting and composition. The two should not be confused with one another. I have seen a lot of over/underexposed and out of focus images taken with an SLR.
So if you are in the process of selling your home in this tough economic environment and need all the help you can get to differentiate your dwelling from all the other real estate in your neighborhood with for sale signs, then have a professional photograph the interior and exterior of your home. House For Sale or Home for Sale is no longer enough.
The image above was taken by my friend Eugene Parciasepe Jr., who is also a wonderful photographer that shoots on a regular basis for 201 Magazine. It is now very difficult to get create an image like that. Not only because it takes a lof of scenic and landscape photography skill, but also because of the new perception the public has about photographers. It has gotten bad enough that one blogger actually had to write about how to avoid encounters with the law in part because of what happened to him but also because of this TSA circular depicting a photographer just outside an airport.
The Strobist recently posted an article about how to avoid police encounters while taking photographs in public. He begins the article by describing an encounter with the police one evening while doing some time-lapse photography of trees in autumn. It is a well written article about steps you can take prior to your photography project. One of the first lessons the photographer learned was to not act like a comedian when approached by a law enforcement officer.
I’m not sure why he took this approach first. He was shooting in the middle of the night and the officer arrived on the scene with her emergency lights activated. The policeman may be overreacting, but the lights, in my opinion, is a signal that the officer was taking the situation seriously and her stress level was elevated. It is absolutely the wrong time to be joking about anything. I’m surprised he was not cuffed and tossed in a cell to stew while everything was sorted out. I have met many law enforcement officers in casual situations and most tell me that their stress level is always high on any call even a simple traffic stop. Anything you do to reduce that stress level will make the experience much more acceptable to all involved. For example, if you are asked to pull over especially at night, regardless of the weather, you should roll down ALL your windows and turn on your interior lights as well as keep your hands someplace very visible.
After his experience with the law enforcement officer, the Strobist blogger came up with the following steps to minimize the possibility of a police encounter.
1. Check in with the local police department by simply calling the “non-emergency” number and inform them of your intentions.
2. Notify the neighborhood through fliers of what they should expect to see
These are common courtesy action items and definitely worth noting. However, photographers have to be aware that you can no longer photograph bridges, historical monuments and transportation facilities without someone out there assuming you are doing it for nefarious reasons. To some degree, I believe the terrorists have already won since 9/11. I wish that were not true but you can’t even use a tripod with your camera in New York City anymore without obtaining a permit and we are reminded of that every time we board a commercial airplane.