picking up

I'm finally back in the states and almost done with my Nat Geo internship. So, I'll pick up from where I left off, leaving New York, and save some of those frames that would just end up sitting in the depths of my hard drive if they didn't have a home here.


on a jet plane

I'm finally leaving this country for a little while. But I'm not leaving you empty handed. Some of my work will appear on a new blog some friends and I created to motivate each other to keep seeing, producing and sharing stories with our friends, neighbors, allies and strangers in this world.

So please visit us!



moving on

I just finished up my internship at MediaStorm and am working on closing up this chapter and starting the next one in DC for the National Geographic internship. I'm ready to move on, but will definitely miss the relationships I've made here. I learned a lot in these past 5 months, things that have and will continue to inform my shooting and take my storytelling to a new level.

I stumbled upon this time lapse I shot a couple months ago and threw this together on my last day -- A Day in the Life of MediaStorm -- (music by Radiohead - Idioteque (butchered))



when i found the America Box it had a half-eaten piece of fried chicken in it.



I've never been to LA before. POYi hosted the awards ceremony there this year, so I had the opportunity to go. It was a strange place to say the least. Most of the weekend was consumed by the amazing work, but on the last day we made it out to Venice beach.



I don't think I've every shot a photo of lightning...even though I did grow up in Tampa, the supposed lightning capital of the world.


train woes

It's that time of night when everyone is sitting around wondering if the train will ever arrive and take them safely home. But you better stay awake when it does come, because it sucks when you wake up two stops beyond home and have to play the waiting game once again.


This fire hydrant spraying water on a Brooklyn street actually does happen.


On the Road with Danny Wilcox Frazier

After wrapping up Driftless with Danny Wilcox Frazier, we team sat down with him for an interview, which I later produced. Watch it here.



I shot these last month as I was running around Coney Island during the mermaid parade with Bob Sacha's workshop team trying to track down the Furries for their story. I wish I could've spent all day there, but I was at least able to make a few frames in passing.



These are from a burlesque comedy show I went to with a friend a couple weeks ago...kind of weird.


MediaStorm Workshop

The MediaStorm workshop pieces are live. It was an intense and exhausting week but I enjoyed every second of it. Check out the two stories produced here:http://www.mediastorm.org/workshops_0006.htm

I shot and produced the Behind the Scenes piece. It was a challenge to get it done in the week. I followed each team around and did interviews with each person and the MediaStorm staff...11 total.

Check it out:


Coney Island, Pt. 6


I went to LOOK3 photo festival in Virginia this past weekend. Here are some pictures.


The Others

Here are some photos that didn't make the final edit. I like some of these better, but they didn't seem to flow in the original edit.



I just got back to NYC from the shootout. They gave us about 2 and a half days to shoot. The story topic was rituals and the single topics were architecture and cable car. I'll post some more words later when I have time, but I just wanted to get the photos up for all that are interested. I placed 1st with these images. Congrats to Brian Frank and John W. Adkissonn who placed second and third, respectively, and to the other photo finalists Jake Stevens, Brian Anselm and Carl Kiilsgaard.

| Chronicle of Events |
When I found out I was accepted as one of the final six shooters, I made a list of people I knew in San Francisco and also asked friends for their contacts. I did a little research and bought a travel book to get a bit familiar with the city. I have only been there a couple times, once as a child and once pretty recently for a couple days. So my knowledge of the city was limited, but in a way that allowed me to have fresh eyes and perspective and not take common place things for granted.

I arrived to SF Tuesday afternoon, checked in and had the rest of the afternoon to do whatever. So, I walked around a bit, took a nap, and then met the rest for dinner. After dinner we had portfolio reviews with the judges and then received our assignments. I think most of us did a bit of research and brainstorming, got some sleep and woke up pretty early to get started. I struggled a while at first trying to come up with a good story. I called many many people and had a lot of ideas but nothing solid. Since one of the assignments was to shoot a cable car book cover, I hopped on the cable car in between attempts at finding a story. The cable car ended at Fisherman's Wharf, so I decided to check it out. As I entered the Disneylandesque tourist trap with 3 for $10 t-shirts sales on every corner I almost turned back. This is something I usually avoid, but I decided to keep pushing through until I got to the water.

I grew up on the water and seem to gravitate toward it wherever I go. There is always a sense of freedom and adventure that accompanies the water for me. So I figured that fishermen must think of it as a ritualistic escape from terrestrial humans. It's amazing how even though the pier is right next to the large tourist street, the tourists rarely venture out to where the actual fishermen come in and out.

I asked around for a while in an attempt to find some fishermen who were going out the next day and would be willing to take me out on a boat. I had no luck at first. Then I found a man at his large crabbing boat and I talked to him for a bit. He wasn't going out the next day but after 15 minutes he asked me if I had lunch yet and invited me into his cabin for some steamed crab he just caught and a cold beer. This was the first time that day that I calmed down and told myself that it was all going to be alright. Here I was, a mere 10 minute walk from overpriced restaurants on a man's boat who had been fishing all his life eating the fruits of his labor for free. All it took is a little curiosity, an open mind and the willingness to listen.

Finally, a boat pulled up next to his and warmly invited me to go out the next day at 8am. So, I took it easy for the rest of the day and continued to talk to different fishermen coming in and out with hopes of finding a boat that was going out earlier. The next day I showed up early, about 3:30am in hopes that there would be a crew going out earlier. There wasn't, but there was a crew coming in on a huge boat after a three-day trip. I hung with them for a while and shot the unloading process. Then, shortly before the meeting time for the other boat, one of the deck hands sparked one up and told me that smoking was one of his rituals. At that point things started to fall into place.

I spent from about 8am to 1am the next morning with the captain Sean and the crew on the anchovy boat. We made two trips out, one in the day and one at night, with a Hooter's break in between. It was very exhausting, but the energy on the boat and the beauty of the bay kept me rolling. We rode under blue skies in the day and a full moon at night, rubbing up close to huge cargo ships waiting to dock. As we slowly drove back to the pier, a couple of the crew and I went down to the cabin and slept. My body melted into the cushy plank and I finally felt at ease.



I'm heading to San Francisco tomorrow morning for the Hearst shootout. I have plenty of photos I need to post on here, but they'll have to wait until next week. So, please excuse the relative absence of blogidge.


Coney Island, Pt. 5

| Scenes |

The second photo is one of a couple moments after he got down on his knee and proposed. I caught it out of the corner of my eye, but was late for the knee photo.


Coney Island, Pt. 4

Flaca, the man pictured at the beginning and end has been a struggling alcoholic for a while now. He has also been sleeping under the boardwalk at Coney Island. He recently decided to take part in a rehab program for 28 days in Queens starting today. All of his friends are really hoping he makes it through and cleans himself up a bit. Old habits are easy to fall into again. So, I'm hoping once that month passes pictures like the ones at the end of the slideshow won't happen anymore. He's a sensitive guy anyway, but he can't seem to process his issues very well when intoxicated. I wanted to document this so he would be able to see himself at this low point and maybe take it as a reference for how he can improve his life.



Check out Danny Wilcox Frazier's Driftless if you haven't seen it yet. We launched it last Tuesday. I've fallen in love with this piece, so go to a quiet place and watch.


Jason & Danny

Leah & Will

It's amazing how novel open spaces get when you live in the city. Even just to pass through a park is such a refreshing contrast from crammed streets and buildings. I finally made it up to Connecticut to visit an old friend of mine. There were woods, open roads and space.


Costa Rica

From a place and time far away from here. Where the animals thrive, everything is wet and green and the people are calm, collected and happy.


Coney Island, Pt.2

This place fascinates me. It's packed with interesting people from all parts of society. Some live here, some visit, some are homeless, some are filthy rich. I met a group of guys on the pier this past weekend and played some percussion with them for hours. We drank cheap beer and danced. Most of the group is from Cuba and accepted me once they realized I have decent rhythm for a white boy.

The man at the end is homeless and sleeps under the boardwalk. He was drunk when I met him and spilled his guts out to me. "I feel free here," he said about living on Coney Island. He started crying when he began to think about his former loved ones, including his mom that passed away years ago a couple days before his birthday, his twin brother who kicked him out of the house and various others he has met and lost along the way. He was happy to have someone to talk to and I was happy to listen. He told me that was more important than money - honesty, truth and friendship. As we talked he looked up to the sky and said that God has a plan for him.

As it is for many, Coney Island is a welcome escape for me. I grew up on the water and miss it when I'm far. And even though water surrounds this city, it's easy to feel claustrophobic and landlocked when you have so many people, buildings and trains holding you in. I plan to spend some time at this strange and beautiful place, to make photos, hear stories and refresh my senses.



I came upon a congregation of Hasidic Jews worshiping. The windows were cracked so I could see heads bobbing up and down while they prayed. The young ones seemed just as curious about the outside as I was about the inside.




I was sent to the PMA conference in Vegas to produce a video for the convention (I posted a couple galleries a month ago). While scouring the endless booths for something interesting beyond the technology and marketing that occupies most people's minds at a place like this, I found Leo. He is the founder of a small-town camera shop in Klamath Falls, Oregon called Leo's Camera Shop. Leo has been attending the conference on and off for over 50 years. So, I hung out with him and his son for a little while.


Cats + Anarchy = Subway Party

Some anarchists gathered the other night and had a subway party, all with cat masks. It was fun, but I find it somewhat funny that they all payed the fare to get down into the subway to party when many where there to protest the fare hikes. Regardless, it's hard to beat a bit of youthful mayhem underground.



R.I.P Buttercup

My roommate Alan's beloved cat Buttercup was tragically killed the other day in what has been called the "perfect storm." Each school day afternoon, kids flood our street. It's usually busy, and Buttercup has known the routine for many years since he's lived on this street. But this day was especially chaotic. The school children had exceptional glee on this day because of the coming of spring break and a certain sense of freedom that accompanies it. The combination of youthful banter and cars passing on a usually calm road must have pushed his luck to the edge.

It's hard to lose any creature you love, large or small. And for most, it makes you reevaluate the value and delicacy of life. It is fragile and should be appreciated in every moment. As hard as it is to try to avoid preoccupations in everyday life we must try and take a step back, breathe and think about all the beauty that surrounds us.


Coney Island, New York

What a strange place.

New York City, New York

And then there is New York. My final final destination...for now. Danny and Celia took me in when I arrived and made me feel at home. They cooked me food and gave me beer, maps and a futon. Without them I would probably be lost somewhere not far from the airport wishing I was home. Since then it has been a series of random encounters and experiences all of which have been unique and fresh.

I remember thinking of Denver as a huge city when I first rolled in. How naive. Now I have the task of trying to comprehend this overwhelming mass of buildings and people and maybe if I'm lucky I will be able to focus and find a story that needs to be told.


Asheville, NC

My brother-in-law and dear friend. The Sophisticated Chimps


Bike Trip

The first part of the trip actually started on a bike in the opposite direction of the destination. It was to St. Augustine from Gainesville, a 80ish mile bike ride. It wasn't as grueling as it sounds, especially for a unseasoned biker like myself. The trip was mostly along highways but when we finally reached the beach after a 8 hour ride, it was bliss.

Coast to Coast

I set out on a road trip three weeks ago from Florida to the coast of California with Vanessa (pictured below). For a couple weeks I was able to forget about the pressure of responsibility and concentrate on the open road. The end was San Fransisco, where I caught a flight to New York to start an internship at MediaStorm. It's amazing watching the landscape slowly change and morph in ways that are so drastic. I'll post images from throughout in the next week or so.

Saint Augustine, Florida

US-1, California, near Cambria