12.24.2008

at home

with my brother and dad on the beach in december. made up tunes and the open gulf...

graduation

I'm finally done and was able to sqeeze off a few with my left hand as I shook Berine's hand.

the woods



it's been some time since i've been able to just sit, turn my communication devices off and enjoy being still, listening to the echoes of animals and people around me.

r and r

no classes and old friends...

11.19.2008

cpoy

Congrats to everyone who placed in CPOY this year. There was a solid showing from many talented photographers. Some of my personal favorites were in the multimedia project category, so check those out if you haven't. See the winning entries here.

11.11.2008

EAW Pt. 1

Part of my assignment at the workshop was to cover a local boxer with high hopes. He's 18 and trying to make it big in a small town. We had two days to shoot, about 4 hours a day.


11.03.2008

Democracy Later


story by noah hussin

The scent of sterility eats at my nostrils as I saunter into the white trailer with "Royal Restrooms" streaked across the side, a posh private porto-potty where the press unloads their shit and piss during Joe Biden's big show. Factory stamped drawings of seashells cling to the walls above the bleached toilet, framed by the cheapest materials from the poorest countries. Wash my hands, step outside, my notepad collects rain as photographers cover their cameras with subway sandwich bags and compare gear, jobs, and associates. Suddenly I'm not hungry anymore. Just as well, the gates of the press grazing field are heavily guarded by seasoned Obama troopers, fully aware of the hazards that an escapee would present.


"I'm going out, I can't get anything good here." Tim boldly approaches the boundary, only to be quickly stopped by anxious urgency wearing an Obama logo.

"The press has to stay in here! If you leave, you can't come back." Like trying to reason with a sign.

"Fine!" the impatient renegade sheds his prObamaganda-laden press pass and jumps into the fray, deprived of the plastic cocaine that keeps the rest inside. Elevated views, bottled water, networking opportunities, that sense of entitlement that comes along with having a little piece of paper with the word "press" pinned to your shirt. That oh-so-perfect shot of a former army general as he leads the lawn in the pledge to the red white and blue, the massive "Change" sign filling out the background.


Point. Click. Shoot. Upload. Cash you paycheck and get on with your life.

The real story's in here, I ponder as disgusted Tim hops the barrier in search of some authenticity.


I make my way back to the flock, now comfortably posed on an elevated platform directly across from the podium. Painted behind are bleachers filled with supporters hand-picked by the campaign. Proportioned black and white and young and old and man and woman and no transvestites. No protesters. No dissent. Just enthusiastic, smiling Obamaphiles projecting the optimism and hope that's been so neatly packaged by the Obama brand.




The segregated sea of 300 or so between the press and the politicians is nothing accidental; only the so-called V.I.P populate the zone buffering the press from the rest. The very important, naturally, are the people who work for the campaign. They can bring their family and friends, and together provide a surging floor of passion for the spectacle. Propaganda is less suspicious when it's sold through the press. People buy more press when it sells propaganda. Each pretends they're not dependent, but such is love.

Sharing a fence with only the buffer zone, a TV network crew eagerly hops onto interviewing a couple of archetypes. Jolly southern black man with grey hair and 1950s getup. Overweight concerned middle-aged white mom in a T-shirt. The crew didn't even have to look for them and it turns out they both love Obama! Damn, our job just keeps getting easier.

Ask fluff questions. Nod Head. Transmit Video. Go home and watch sitcoms with the kids.

Like a studious school of catfish, the flock points their instruments at whatever nip is given to them, oblivious to the orchestrating hand of the giver, filling in the outline sketched by the campaign from the beginning and SHHHHH the event is starting.


Preceded by an adoring senator and his loving wife Jill, Joe takes the stage under a Florida Gators hat and enthusiastically hammers his finger toward a ghost friend in the crowd, the sun shining into the cameras off his blinding bleached smile, radiating the kind of confidence and familiarity that buys victory.

"I'm a proud University of Delaware alum. We won the national championship in our division a couple of years ago, but I tell ya what, I watched y'all Saturday." He pauses to let out an intimidated chuckle, and while signing the cross confesses, "Thank God we don't play The Gators!" The crowd explodes into applause and gator chomping.


The teleprompters had been painstakingly positioned to create the illusion of crowd interaction, and as the Senator continues to read them, an Obama soldier pushes past me. A puzzle piece is missing! Passing out tiny plastic American flags to the crowd to compliment their Obama signs, it looks like everything is in place and the advertisement will go off without a hitch, the only ones able to rescue us with the first amendment mesmerized by sellable sound bytes and consumed by convenience.

Apparently, the press still plays by the politicians' rules even when they're unmasked. In a typical spurt of volatile Bidenesque honesty, he blurts out, "I want the press to know, McCain has 'drill baby drill', but I have 'Jill baby Jill'!"

Scribble down. Type up. Email. Brew some coffee and work on that novel.

After the speech comes to a resounding end with smitten supporters gawking into cameras, Joe and Jill start shaking hands with the painting behind them, cameras scurrying over to get as close to the catnip as possible.


The arena drains out and as I approach the barrier, I'm accosted with the same old ultimatum. Yes, I know I am leaving the press area. I'm aware I can't come back. No, I don't care. Yes, I will have a good day. Finally out of the pen, I struggle against a tide of blue O's to find Tim.

Looks like the flock has mostly gone to relay the message. No time for reflection and criticism in the 24-minute news cycle. And it's just as well, I'm sure there's a softball game somewhere that needs covering.

The spectacle was a complete success. The Obama campaign secured a free front-page color advertisement in tomorrow's papers, a propaganda spot in the evening news, and all in the name of objective journalism. These guys are good. No wonder they're winning.

10.21.2008

Oh, New York

My soul is torn apart a bit more each day I don't post on this blog...it's pretty torn up right now, on it's last legs. So, even though I in no way have gone through all the photos I shot in New York, I will get the story telling started with some pre-workshop photos--shot inside the heart of American consumerism. I thought I wouldn't survive on many occasions during the trip. But between the lack of sleep and man-eating M&Ms, I finally pushed through with an ample amount of coffee and bagels. More to come.


10.09.2008

Waiting for New York

Sitting here. Waiting for an early morning flight to New York for EAW. I've never been to New York. Is it as big as I imagine? Probably.

9.18.2008

Anarachy at the DNC

Here is a multimedia piece I just put together from all the footage and photos I shot at the DNC.











9.15.2008

Lotion and anarchy



I teetered between way too much sun screen and way too little at the DNC. Photo courtesy of Melissa Lyttle.

It's been a while. I'm finally back in Gainesville trying to finish up school and process this past eight months. Working on getting all my work together, updating/recoding my Web site and "studying." Slow but steady.

8.30.2008

Blog reaches 80,000 views

The Fear and Loathing blog by Noah and I has reached 80,000 views. It was linked by a couple sites, including Sportsshooter.com, digg.com and aphotoaday.org. I'm not sure where else it's come up.

Our coverage will continue in Minneapolis with Danny Ghitis and Christian Hansen

8.19.2008

out west

peopleless and beautiful

8.18.2008

light

...at a prep school in Denver for low-income Hispanic kids.

8.13.2008

Bob Barr

I went to a libertarian party last Sunday. Bob Barr, their presidential candidate, was in town and made an appearance. These guys know how to party, hats and all (can you find the hat?--Waldo style). The host was also selling his home brew--a Honey Orange Hefe for $1000 a bottle. It was good, but not that good, but maybe it would be if I was a loaded libertarian.

8.10.2008

fresh air

Every so often, I need to dump all this crap out of my head. I've spent so much time learning and assimilating so much into the way I shoot that I just need to forget. To let go of everything and just shoot the way I want. To not have to worry about deadlines and expectations. Standards and content. The pictures might be worthless, but at least it instills some new sense of freedom and rekindles that passion that I sometimes lose when photography starts to become work.

8.09.2008

bored

at a triathon

8.07.2008

Wildfire

There was a pretty big grass fire near the city on Monday. It seemed tame at first, but then it spread rapidly, pushing its way to the edge of many neighborhoods. I ended up abandoning my car and running around the neighborhood following the fire.


7.30.2008

waiting for the straight talk express

Sitting in an airport for 3 hours before a candidate's arrival can make your mind wander...

7.29.2008

pink

Elizabeth Wang is 8 and she has broken 80 on the women's tees. I don't know much about golf, but that's supposedly very good. She's won numerous tournaments, so I headed out there at 6:30am to meet her last week.





7.21.2008

stabbing

Charles and Berkie's son, Jesse, 22, was stabbed to death last Thursday night by a bartender that is "well known and has a bad temper." They were torn up but tried to keep composure around me. Although Berkie was initially apprehensive about the press, I think she found some sort of refuge and clarity in talking to someone her son's age and eventually opened up to me.

Mile High Music Festival

Here's my take from the Mile High Music Festival the past two days. It was exhausting but fun.



Here's the video I slapped together the morning before Day 2.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/videos/detail/mile-high-music-fest---day-1/

7.17.2008

Pikeville, KY Dips

Catching Up -- This is the series of diptychs I shot during the American Diversity Project. The idea was to show a contrast between the wealth in Pikeville and the poverty in the surrounding areas, but it ended up branching out to a more general theme. The Web site has been up for a while now, but check it out if you haven't yet.

The multimedia is pretty impressive.

Emote

Xcel energy announced today that 47,000 customers would have their power turned off if they didn't act fast. This happens every year, but due to the dipping economy this year it was 140% above the amount cut off last year. Theresa and Cherise got the notices a couple days ago, but were able to contact an organization that helps low income families in situations like this. So, even though they both recently lost their jobs and had to recover from debt, they were still in good spirits.



Sans Pick Axes

Tonight, in the penthouse suite of an old folks home, the city held a town hall meeting between two young leftists and a whole room full of middle-aged concerned citizens. The two stood up in front of them in the stuffy room and pleaded their cause to set up a Tent City called Tent State University in the downtown City Park in non-violent protest during the DNC.