Lovely day/evening camping. Leah and I went on a last minute camping trip to Jersey. Weather this time of year for camping is pretty tremendous.
That time of year again. The fall festivals and apple picking activities that are rampant in the north east are in full swing. Leah and I went out for the morning and joined the madness
Stages and Stereos are on tour again. They got some rest on the floors and couches of my spot again. It made me think that this could be one of the last times if not THE last time I host a band. Not because I'm tired of it but just because I'm getting older and the bands that I'm friends with either don't tour anymore or have gone to bigger or better things.
I'm really lucky to have known bands like Stages and Stereos and other FLA bands of my day like Select Start, Vega Under Fire, and Jacob's Ladder. It was great to see friends be able to travel around the country and perform. It was even more enlightening to realize all those presumptions of musicians melt away after spending time with on the road. The image that my elders painted was that of uncultured, misguided, drug abusing lost kids that need a good lashing and some time in jail. The reality is quite the opposite of that seen through the dramatized eyes of MTV, VH1 and the 80's hair metal days of my youth. This "kids" miss their homes, their significant others, and are just looking for a chance to keep playing and a place to sleep.
Several of the members of the group had their ladies meet them on the road.
It was great to catch up and check them out again. Hope to keep seeing you guys soon!
On the heels of going to El Salvador and recently spending some time with a few of my Salvadorian cousins in Philadelphia I went to Bolivia to shoot a short documentary for an organization called Fey y Alegria.
My initial few days back from Bolivia were that of excitement to see family and friends. However, I was also more sensitive to what people were saying when I heard phrases like "I need..." or "I want..." What people want and need are astounding when you see people walking thirty miles to school with a smile on their face or washing their cloths in a bucket with their feet like their mashing grapes for wine.
I imagine it's how a homeless person, a real homeless person, looks up at people with successful careers or just new ANYTHING. When I heard those phrase of "I need..." and "I want..." I immediately thought "no you don't" or "you can wait". I'd like to hold on to that idea and constantly have that sense of contentment and knowledge that what we really need is extremely minimal.
I'm firmly in the middle class and am often in front of new technology and am "in the market" for all the new anythings out there but when I get in a culture like that of Bolivia, I think of how easily we get caught up in that and how easy I think it would be for me to give it all up again and live an easier life. My father, however, states "there's more to life than just "EXISTING"". I suppose he's right.
Coming back from a trip like this it's hard not to feel somewhat guilty, like I didn't earn what I have, that I just want to give it all to them, however, like a few of the members mentioned to me, "it's what we do with our gifts after this experience" that will define how we truely can help others in need. Just sitting back and saying "yeah that sucks for them" isn't enough. It's not even a cohearant thought! It's rude honestly! They are some of the proudest and strong people I've met. You try to do anything at 15,000 feet, do it! You won't!
Here are some photos of the trip and please check out Fey y Alegria and get inspired
Alright, well an obvious DUH is in order to my initial reaction to what I thought of the camera. However, that being said, I had no idea the depth that's created when jumping into this new "cinematic" world.
Everything has increased the time of anything I shoot now. No more are the run and gun tricks going to work with this guy. Just trying to do the two simple tests I've done alone on my own are a challenge. The weight's significantly heavier and in turn has made the shots a little smoother. The lenses too have been quite an impact with added pop, depth, and smoother controls of the iris and focus you get with the Zeiss CPs.
The workflow is now reminiscent of my late high school/early college days with hours of rendering and lagging computer hardware struggling to keep up with a 5K workflow. At work we've compensated for it and the footage plays flawlessly in real time which is a god send, however, at home, my 2 quadro 4000s with 4GB of DDR5 ram doesn't do any good without what I assume are faster hard drive speeds. That's next.
Hopefully by the end of the summer I'll have the hard drive speeds to be able to handle this workflow much better. Til then, then tests will keep coming...
Stages and Stereos, a band from Tallahassee, FL, recently finished the Glamour Kills Tour with tour mates Man Overboard, Cartel, and Mayday Parade. I was able to join them for a few days in the northeast and get some shots. It was a blast and such a comfortable vibe the entire time I was there. The crowds were great, the bands and crew were more than welcoming and left me with that post tour hangover, kinda like when you were young and spun around your chair for a few minutes and got off too quickly. In short, good fun. Here are three short vids highlighting some of the songs from Stages and Stereos new EP.
I've been waiting a while to get to the point that I shot the way I really want to shoot and with almost zero limitations. I'm beyond lucky to be working at SJU and for them to have the confidence in me to be able to invest in something like a RED camera.
These are just a few test shots after I opened it up. I couldn't wait, I had to shoot SOMETHING with it. This is the art majors senior thesis projects. I didn't get to have every senior artist's work in this clip but I'm happy to see that the art kids are putting out some damn good work in what otherwise is primarily not known for its art.
So for the last several years I've had this idea for a documentary. The idea was to get a handful of different artist and discuss the business and connection between the artistic mind and the outside facing public. So many times I've seen brilliant artist with zero sense of business. I don't think that they should necessarily have one per say which is my original interest in this subject. The idea that the artist should also be this extremely savvy business person is a little ridiculous.
Artist's minds tend to have a much different workflow in their heads than minds like mathematicians, scientists, and business. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just the way that their minds are wired. Unfortunately, however, the world, because of technology and accessibility to information, has forced us all to be somewhat business literate.
How much does that take away from our artistic endeavors? How much does that get in the way of the creative process? Does it at all? These are things that I'm fascinated with because I think it does affect the way that the overall product looks and feels to a certain extent, for better or worse.
So fast forward to six months ago. I decided to split up the project into a much more manageable web series. I tend to do a lot of projects all on my own so I wanted to make it as simple as possible. Enter the New York Times. I saw on of their Youtube web series on different actors and actresses. I found it fascinating because of the simplicity of it. The jump cuts were part of the simplicity. No fancy editing techniques No quick cut away edits, just a camera pointing directing at the subject in black and white.
So I'm going to slow things down pretty dramatically with this project. One person each month, highlighted in several different formats. Those formats will be video, audio, and photo. I'm going to cover all different kinds of artists and people. The initial thought in my mind is musicians, sculptures, painters, film makers, and so on. The ideas are still coming in and this is a work in progress, but I'm excited to see where it takes me. So let's hang out. Let's really learn how these people think and how they get from the ideas in their heads to the visuals that we see and the music that we hear. It changes our lives and influences who we are and our everyday moods, for better or worse.