Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Space

Moving away from the open spaces of New England has changed me. I noticed it first when I was home in the Northwest waiting for a table at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. Standing four feet from the door, I chatted with my brother about the day's activities.

"Excuse me."

Turning in disbelief, I looked into the face of an early forties, Teva and sock wearing woman. With a pleasant yet affirming grin she motioned to the door.

Obliging, I stepped towards my brother and continued our conversation. To the suburban Oregonian, sharing this mere six foot opening with strangers after a fajita and local micro brew probably felt like an overzealous yellow lab attempting to follow a fleeing cat through a cat door. However, with my new found perspective as a four month resident of New York, I looked at this ample gap as a rare luxury.

This change in environment has affected not only my perception of space but also my aesthetic taste. Adapting less by choice and more by my insatiable curiosity about my surroundings, I look for colors and details in the interiors around me.

A bookshelf in the West Village.

Decorations courtesy of David Coggins at his Manhattan Apartment.

Chairs in Philadelphia.

Sunday morning light in the West Village.

Peppers from a rooftop garden.

Old wood floors near the Corner Bistro.

More of David's decorations.


An adjustable fan.
I am glad to adjust my perspective of space and experience tight places for a while. This change of context and appreciation of different places makes my time away from the city that much more enjoyable.

Here are some more links,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Different with Film

Digital images always feel different from film. Regardless of the quality of a digital set up or post editing technique, the end result varies from that of an equivalent film rig. It's not a bad thing or a good thing.

This inherent difference sparked my curiosity. A few months ago I started taking a Polaroid Image Pro along with me on my excursions. Stockpiling film from eBay and Craigslist, I took photos much more intentionally than I would with my 5d Mark II. Instead of firing away like Stallone in the latest installment of Rambo, I took my time composing my shots and waited for the light. Here are some of my favorite shots from the last few months.

A Houston Astros tattoo in Williamsburg.

Clouds rolling in on Mt. Hood, Oregon.

A mouse trap in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Tim daydreaming on a hike.

Ripping open a pack of film and gingerly putting it into your camera can not be replicated by stuffing a 16 gig flash card into a port of a DSLR.

Vans in Wiliamsburg.

A view of Mt. Hood from Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort.
Different towers on the Williamsburg waterfront.

A 1953 Willys Jeep in Mosier, Oregon.

A farm trailer in Vermont.

Patrick in the Upper West Side.

A bull in Washougal, Washington.

Edge in Chelsea.

The first pumpkins of fall in New Hampshire.

An ode to my friend Mikael, Passport To Trespass; My 5d Mark II, Filson x Levi's Jacket, and some Spectra film on Mt Hood, Oregon.

Desert in the West Village.

Train tracks near Hanover, New Hampshire.

I am not picking favorites between digital and film, just enjoying both. Staying curious, all the while enjoying the process of photography.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

In the mornings, the first hint of autumn creeps through open windows. Dusk comes earlier each evening. Even the bold trade in their t-shirts for long sleeves during the brisk nights. As if attempting to stake its claim on the day, summer warms the lazy afternoons. These days are few, but important.

Like the bottom of a cold beer, I treasure the last few weeks of summer. I enjoy the last breaths of summer and search for the first hints of fall. Torn between bidding farewell to the warm comfort of summer and the excitement of change, I cherish both in the dog days of summer.

The first apples of the autumn.

Lazy drives with meandering destinations.

Hikes above tree line on Mt. Hood.

Rides on dirt roads in a 1952 Willys Jeep.

My dad and brother watching a glider circle the 11,000-foot peak.

The last blueberries of the season.
Wind torn trees on a ridge on Mt. Hood.

The first bites of a ripe pear.

Lazy Sundays in fields.
Recently, I enjoyed one such Sunday in early September near Mt. Hood in the Columbia River Gorge. I hope you enjoy yours.

Here are some more links,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Home in the Sticks

"Seriously, the biggest pain was getting to fucking Newark. I took two trains, a light rail and had to deal with dudes with M-16s at security," I explained while pulling a blackberry vine out of the thigh of my chinos. "The plane ride was no problem."

"Gotta love New Jersey... The trail starts in a little bit," Tim (my little brother) said between yawns as he pushed the chest high bushes aside. Ever vigilant for the sharp barbs of a blackberry vine he distractedly asked, "What time is it?"
"7:13 AM"

"Damn." Tim sighed, attempting to act annoyed at his early arousal but telegraphing his affection and excitement to share the attention of empty-nested parents.

Craving the starry nights, fresh fruit, company of my family and the feel of the outdoors, I left my office in Manhattan some twelve hours earlier and set off for the northwest for the first time in 10 months.

Waking up with a jolt as the plane made its initial approach to the Portland International Airport, I jammed my face against the window. Looking for familiar fixtures, I quickly made out the hills where I went to high school and the highways where I drove to and from Mt. Hood. With a smile, I grabbed my Alder Springs backpack from under the seat in front of me and eagerly charged by the friendly Continental staff.

The following morning, I woke early. Energized by the morning's light and the excitement of my nostalgic surroundings, I scrambled up the stairs to bother my brother in the method known only to older siblings.

"Rise and Shine it's butt whipping time!" I bellowed as I barged through the door, grabbing his Pendleton blanket and ripping it off in one motion.
"The light's beautiful. Lets go for a walk," I half suggested, half mandated.

Tim found this elk skull while in a field near Mt. Helens. The flowers maybe fake, but the story isn't.

My dad and brother on the Columbia River.

Many of the things I resented as a middle schooler slowly have grown in importance and affection in my memory. As a kid I avoided spending time at our family's second home in the Columbia River Gorge, opting to stay some 40 miles to the west in Portland. Now, as a full fledged young-urban-professional, I yearn for the seclusion and inherent beauty like a trustafarian for a chance to give George Dubayah and Mr. Rumsfeld a piece of their enlightened mind.

"Damn it feels good to be home on the range," I grinned.

"Home on the range? We are not in Montana. This is Washington, we are home in the sticks."

"The Sticks?"

"Yea, it's a Chinook saying for the woods."

"Home in the sticks," I acknowledged.

Here are some more links,
Home in the Sticks (Picasa).