This is 42

I’m 42. I don’t feel 42. But just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean “it” isn’t happening, whatever “it'“ is. Last month I’ve been adulting real hard. Getting a home remodel kicked off and affairs in order like life insurance in case I kick the bucket my son will be taken care of. After a two year hiatus from going to the doctor, I finally went for my annual, ah scratch that, semi-annual check up. These need to be annual or my wife will kill me and these check ups would be all for not.

My father has had three bouts with cancer, dude has nine lives. While he’s still around it’s been touch and go. My grandfather died of prostate cancer. This could’ve been treated but he didn’t want to go to the doctor, this is problematic among black men. Don’t be stupid, go to the doctor, get checked out and handle your business.

For me, all systems are go.

Nothing like looking at your son in the face to realize your legacy.

This is 42.

Swedish Medical Center before I dropped trousers…

Swedish Medical Center before I dropped trousers…

Hope & Change

It seems like I’ve written some iteration of this post here over the years. I guess I’m still trying to figure it out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my photography, or shall I say photography in general. Specifically how and where to share my photos. I’m all for social media, I met some of the coolest people whom I call dear friends over a decade ago on Flickr.

Honestly, I think the last presidential election really turned me off from social media. Photos of my family along with the vitriol found in many of these spaces seemed out of place.

These days Instagram isn’t doing it for me. By no means am I striving to be instafamous or infamous I just don’t find the platform satisfying at all. Twitter is well Twitter. Facebook seems to be bungling privacy everyday and Russian bots, can’t forget about the Russian bots.

All this to say I’m changing my posting habits and hope to be using this space…my space (dad joke) a whole lot more.

To hope and change. Peace.

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Chase The Light 2019

This year I’ve submitted images to a few local galleries and contests simply for the experience. If selected to show my work that’s the cherry on top. This is the first year I’ve contributed to the Photographic Center Northwest’s fundraiser Chase the Light, formerly known as Long Shot. Chase the Light is a 48 hour photo shoot taking place over June 8th - 9th to raise money for the Photographic Center Northwest. I’ve taken a few classes at the center and it’s sort of become my second home and my photographic community, find your tribe right?

These images were made on a round trip ferry sailing from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. What’s really cool is that one of these images will be selected to be shown at the Chase the Light exhibit taking place on June 15th. I’ll keep you posted.

Focus on the Story 2019

Every year I try to attend a workshop or dedicate a few consecutive days exclusively to photography. Last week, I was in Washington, DC where I attended Focus on the Story . All I can say is wow. I left the conference inspired just wanting to make stories with my camera, especially around my family.

Ruddy Roye onstage dropping knowledge with Ibarionex Perello.

Ruddy Roye onstage dropping knowledge with Ibarionex Perello.

What I really enjoyed about this conference was just like it’s name “Focus on the Story” did just that…focused on the story. There was no talk of gear, f-stops or megapixels, just photo makers talking about storytelling. What attracted me to this conference was the diversity of speakers, check ‘em out. If you’d let history tell it, only middle aged white dudes picked up the camera. It was so refreshing to hear diverse perspectives on what motivated these photographers to chose what stories to tell and how.

Patrick Brown discussing his project “No Place on Earth,” documenting the plight of the Rohingya.

Patrick Brown discussing his project “No Place on Earth,” documenting the plight of the Rohingya.

The highlights for me were Ruddy Roye and Gulnara Samoilova both sharing deeply personal stories about how the camera became a companion rather then just a tool. As a fairly new father myself they really resonated with me because Ruddy spoke about the importance of being a father to his two boys and Gulnara talked about how she suffered a miscarriage days after 9/11 when she fell after running from the towers as they were coming down…camera in hand. Both were deeply moving talks where my eyes welled up more than once as their photos were projected on screen and the passion of their voices offering a narrative as if they were in a confessional. Thank you Ruddy and Gulnara for sharing. These two talks alone were worth the price of admission in my book.

Lucian Perkins formerly of the Washington Post discussing his favorite photo series over the years and how technology is changing visual story

Lucian Perkins formerly of the Washington Post discussing his favorite photo series over the years and how technology is changing visual story

It was surreal to see Ibarionex Perello moderating panels and sitting in the audience. I’ve been listening to his podcast The Candid Frame forever. I love his thoughtful analysis on photography and he really has a passion for education.

Ibarionex Perello moderates a panel on Mental Health - Behind and in front of the camera. Panelist included Ruddy Roye, Sheila Pree Bright and Michael McCoy.

Ibarionex Perello moderates a panel on Mental Health - Behind and in front of the camera. Panelist included Ruddy Roye, Sheila Pree Bright and Michael McCoy.

Will I be attending Focus on the Story next year? Ya’ damn right, it’s already on my calendar.

Stay shootin’

Three days worth of notes for a lifetime of inspiration.

Three days worth of notes for a lifetime of inspiration.







Rolleiflexin'

A few sacred frames from the Rolleiflex. I say sacred not because of the subject matter but because of the time. Rarely these days do I go out just for the sake of making images. When I exposed these frames that was one of those days. I took the Rollleiflex over the Leica that day because I wanted to slow down and take my sweet ass time. Note to self, make time for the sole purpose of shooting this summer. Oh and these were shot on old faithful Kodak Tri-X 400, forgive the puns I’m a dad now and they just come so easy.

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tracy_clayton.jpg
tracy_clayton.jpg

Why Do We Shoot Film?

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Why do we shoot film? ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ How can you really explain the answer to that question when it involves so many emotions that are best experienced rather than explained? When your reasons are mixed up with wanting a camera you can own for decades, adventure with, grow old with, accumulate scars and stories with. Or involve owning a camera that stops people on the streets, or the trails, or even next to you on airplanes to remark upon the mystery or curiosity of why you are carrying that weird/interesting/cool/antiquated device with you. Reasons that include having your repair tech look askance at you because your camera is so heavily worn, so full of detritus and debris from trips through forests, up mountains and to the edge of dry land... so well used... that they think you should just replace it. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ But you don't.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Because you know that unless they have stood on a sun-drenched beach watching the world through the viewfinder of your camera, as you have done on countless other occasions, feeling the comfortable and familiar weight in your hands, relishing that connection of a camera who is also an old friend, that they will not quite get it. It is no fault of theirs. As said, this is something that one has to experience to understand. But when you do, then you realize nuances of the answer to that question. Love cannot really be explained, after all, not so simply.⠀⠀

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Well said Blue Moon Camera.

Self Publishing

What up folks? I haven’t posted in a while, but I have been creating. I’ve self published three zines of various projects and I’m hooked. The first zine Cabin Life was a simple test using Blurb. The photos in Cabin Life document a trip to the mountains this winter with my family and close friends. Litrato is an ode to the picture magazines of my youth like Time, Life, National Geographic . Litrato in my native tongue Tagalog means photograph or picture. This will be a serial magazine I hope to publish every 3 months or so. The last zine titled Los Angeles Times is made up of street photography from a trip to Los Angeles with some good friends of mine from D.C. whom I met back in the day on Flickr, yeah we old school. Every year we take a trip called the Brotographers Retreat with the goal of reconnecting and making images.

Shooting with intent has changed my photography and allowed me to focus (pun intended) on what truly matters...what’s in front of my camera. I want to move on and evolve from the single image to a narrative, telling stories. We’ll see how this goes.  

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