Art for arts sake


Just because?

Over the next few posts I’m going to try and publish things that I have been working on over the past whatever time it’s been. I apologize for the randomness but reality is random and I must do my part.

The first shot is actually from my iPhone early one morning before I’d had my coffee trying to psyche myself up to deal with the day

The second shot is in commemoration of the Supreme Courts decision to legalize same sex marriage. I chose the scene because it symbolizes the gradual lift of the fog of ignorance that permeates our society.

Beauty isn’t something you see..


It’s something you feel.

So, I go on photo walks to get some pictures of nature..everyday life. To really appreciate life, you have to look to nature..not the nature of our every day life, but the deep structure of matter. Accepting that life is an emergent property of the structure of the universe is just mindbogglingly beautiful and mysterious. Function arises from structure all the way down to the fabric of space time. You, me, everything between your eyes and these words all are part of the singularity that gave rise to our existence. I think about that every day and it puts things in perspective..

(thanks for visiting..you guys are making me very happy right now!)

The price of lemonade..for a black man


So, yesterday I had this urge for chick peas like really bad, so I decided to shoot by Wegmans to see if they had some ready made salads. Their offering was meager..shoulda went to Whole foods, but I found something. I grabbed a couple of these Hubert’s Lemonades (I’m name dropping because they were rather good) and headed back to my car.

It was a gorgeous day. A bit muggy, but the sky was fabulous. So I decided to find a good vantage point and take a few shots. I pull over into the parking lot and find a spot that was free and clear with the best view. I take a couple of shots, then decided to have a sip of that cool refreshing drink (Eddie Murphy reference..you had to be there). Anyway..maybe 5 mins pass as I’m standing there taking in the moment musing to myself what I should do for the rest of the day when up behind me pulls a patrol car.  Out steps the officer who approached me in a polite manner and asks me “What’s going on?”. I reply, “Nothing, just taking in the view”.  He replies, “Someone called and said you’re making them nervous”.  Pause. At this very moment, that high I felt evaporated and was now replaced with anger and apprehension. “This is how it starts” I said to myself. “Nervous? why? I’m not doing anything to make anyone nervous. It’s a beautiful day don’t you think?” I said, trying to disarm what I could see was now becoming a potentially deadly situation. What frosted me was that I picked that spot specifically to avoid being near anyone so as not to make them uncomfortable about me taking pictures. I wasn’t there 10 mins, how on earth was I a threat, real or imagined to anyone? The lunacy of that statement starting my blood to boil. In my mind I’m calling bullshit. I took a quick scan. Had I parked near someone?? There was no one there. The closest human being was the person in the Zales department store, which was roughly…600 feet from me. “You just bought a camera?”, he asks as he steps closer, one hand on his gun. “No” I replied..what the fuck kinda question was that? I’m thinking to myself.  I realized now we’re in stupidland. Anything I say can be used against me to set him off and find a reason to mess with me..be calm..keep your hands visible..no sudden moves… “Can I see some ID?” he asks. In my head I’m saying “what the fuck for?” I haven’t done a damn thing. I know any attempt to rebut will only be used as “resistance”, so I capitulate. My wallet..where is it?..don’t go in your pockets..pat yourself down..hands visible..It’s not on me..it’s on the center console..I point to it and say “My wallet is right there, do you mind?” He nods ok. I make sure to keep my other hand visible..pick up the wallet..At this point, I know my life could end, but I’m in a no win situation…my heart is pounding. Be calm..be calm..I get my license and hand it to him. He takes it, reads my address and says “E##### Road..you’re from here in Hamilton?”..”Yes” I reply. Inside, I’m raging..yes motherfucker, I pay your salary. He’s eyeing my car..I can see it in his eyes..what’s a black man doing with such a nice car? There’s gotta be something wrong here. He’s calling it in..I’m getting angrier and it’s getting hard to hide it now. I haven’t done anything illegal or even odd…what the fuck….this is some racial bullshit..I’m clean..yeah motherfucker..what now? He comes back with a clipboard, scribbling down my info..I know what this move is..his way of saying, I’m keeping an eye on you..you have been subjugated to my authority. He gives me back my license and walks back to his vehicle. I stand there..I know what he’s expecting..I should run away now..but no..fuck you..I put my wallet inside the car and take another shot..it doesn’t feel the same..its not where I was coming from originally..the beauty is lost..it’s a sign of defiance..I will do what I have a right to do..My mood is ruined..Fuck it, I’m going..but at my own pace and at the time of my choosing…I take a swig of my lemonade..the happy face on the bottle now mocks me..You thought you were just like everyone else?..surprise motherfucker..

(the featured image is that last shot)

The year that was


2014 was as year that re-shaped and reignited my desire to be creative. To delve deeper into who I am. Peeling back layers of changes I’ve gone through over the years trying to please others or focus on someone else’s agenda. That’s the kind of person I was in relationships and over the years I kinda lost myself. I realize even more so now that you should never shut down who you are and anyone that insists on it is not for you.

These are a few shots I want to share from this past year that I thought came out pretty good. I think the measure of a good photo is that it should pull the viewer into the moment. That is what I tried to do. I used different processing methods for added effect. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did attempting to reach that goal.

A Lesson Learned


So, yesterday I went to South River Walk Park, one of my favorite places, to do some shooting. It was a particularly cloudy which can make for awesome sunsets. I took a few shots of my surroundings, as I always do, and proceeded to get in the car. I was approached by this young Hispanic kid. He was tapping on the window, so I rolled it down a bit to see what he wanted. He asked me what I was filming and why was I taking pictures of him. So I told him I wasn’t, just taking landscape shots and that I never take pictures of peoples faces unless I ask. He was insistent that I had taken his picture. As we talked, his friend came over. I didn’t feel particularly threatened but cautious. This kid didn’t look like he could take a punch and seemed to be obsessed over having his photo taken. He walked to the front and started taking pictures of my plates saying he was gonna call the cops. So I got annoyed and got out of the car to show him the pictures, which I did. He wasn’t satisfied that I hadn’t switched cards and at this point I was done being nice. I realized that I had turned my back on the other guy and I turned around to see where he was. He was nowhere to be seen. So I get in the car and I realized that my phone was gone. I corned the other guy with the car and asked him where his friend was. He of course claimed he didn’t know anything. At this point I sized up the situation. I don’t know where his friend is..I could beat him to a pulp but he doesn’t have anything. I could grab him but I had no phone to call for help, so I went to the next corner and flagged down a guy to use his phone. Mind you, on the way there, I passed 3 patrol vans right around the corner, so says I, they shouldn’t take long to get here. WRONG. I stood there for another 30 mins then it started raining, so I get in the car. A police van, went right past me so I tried flashing them but they kept going. So, I left.

This park is in Trenton at the edge of a cemetery and a few modern condos BUT up the block, the neighborhood changes character. It’s the hood. Very dilapidated..lot’s of poverty and crime, so you can’t just Sally around. And here I am driving the jag as the sun sets like come take it. So my plan was to go home, switch cars, get my iPad to locate it and take my equalizer with me..along with a hammer. During all this, I made phone calls to ATT and a buddy of mine, by accident actually, but it was a good thing. He talked me down. I went this morning to the last known location and sitting there made me realize that this was an act of futility. I went to the police station to file a claim (tried that last night but they never called back).

So what did I learn?
The police are pathetic. When I was at the station the desk officer didn’t even have a form to file the complaint. She tore a sheet of paper to get my info. Let that soak in..a piece of ripped paper.

That part of Trenton is wow. If I didn’t grow up in the hood, there’s no way I would even get out of my car around there.

It’s not worth it. I could have killed either of them, or been killed over a phone.

A hammer is the weapon of choice for people that go after phone thieves. (I discovered this in my Google search of these incidents)

I’ve gotten better with my temper.

Trying to use a Blackberry as a navigator is not the move if you’re driving through really bad neighborhoods

Get insurance..(I thought I had but no)

Photography can be hazardous