Strawberry Jam

My girlfriend Candra and I went strawberry picking off Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Georgia, last Saturday. I brought my camera with me. It felt foreign in my hands, been awhile since I've used anything but a phone. Candra said I've got my photography blocks—that I can get stuck in a rut for periods of time—my own kind of jam. Maybe this process will help me get out of mine.

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The Blacksmith

For the past year, Tedwood Strong has been sharing pictures of bottle openers, spoons, forks and knives, things that he's been forging in his garage. He said, "I've only been doing this for a very short period of time, but I know that I'll be doing it for the rest of my life." And he's gotten good at it. In my micro documentary, I ask Tedwood why he picked up blacksmithing as a skill and why he loves it so much.

Two months, two minutes: The Blacksmith micro doc

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About two months ago, I started filming my first micro documentary. Now I'm just about finished editing all two minutes of it (that's a long time for me), making tweaks here and there until I'm satisfied. Mixing the audio and video may be the best part, because that's when the story comes together. I've got the clips spread out before me, scrubbing through them and trimming the fat, like meat on a cutting board.

My plate of General Tso if there was any doubt. Photo taken by  Candra Umunna

My plate of General Tso if there was any doubt. Photo taken by Candra Umunna

I made General Tso chicken last weekend for the first time. I don't do much cooking, but it is very similar to editing a film. It's all about knowing how much is enough. My girlfriend and I added a lot of spices to the chicken. We coughed, sniffled, gasped for air. I thought it may been ruined, but it tasted really good. Cooking is a little more forgiving than editing; we all have to eat. And if it's pizza, you're golden because even bad pizza is still good.

So I guess I'm saying I hope the documentary turns out just as well as the chicken. Or at least pizza.  

The Blacksmith: filming my first short doc

For the past year, Tedwood has been sharing pictures of bottle openers, spoons, forks and knives, things that he's been forging in his garage. He said, "I've only been doing this for a very short period of time, but I know that I'll be doing it for the rest of my life." And he's gotten good at it. It's an interesting hobby. I don't know anyone else who does it and I was curious to learn why someone would want to.

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