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.

Read More

A cabin in the bus

I loathed riding the school bus in high school, all the way up until I graduated. Seventeen-year-old me watched everyone in my grade pass me by in their own cars. But the bus Candra and I discovered in the North Carolina foothills is cool from the back to the front. 

Read More

Food politics

Flux Night, 2015, Atlanta. Contestants pay homage to American Gladiator by battling against fast food mascots for a $15 cash prize, a reference to the $15 minimum wage campaign that sparked protests nationwide. 

Flux Night, 2015, Atlanta. Contestants pay homage to American Gladiator by battling against fast food mascots for a $15 cash prize, a reference to the $15 minimum wage campaign that sparked protests nationwide. 

Here's something for Throwback Thursday: Flux is an installation art exhibition, except 2015 was more political than artistic, not that I ever understood the art anyway. I go to photograph the people. Anyway, here are three people dressed up as fast food mascots, sharing a bench with sealed plastic cushions, a scene I find more unsettling than Burger King's King commercials. 

Fireworks and balloons

I spent the Fourth in Joliet, Illinois, with my dad's side of the family, and watched my two young warmongering cousins have a water balloon fight. Well, sort of. Nolan's soaked clothing was a result of self-infliction, and Chase spent most of the time sucking or squeezing the water out of the balloons. War has changed. They've got a self-tying balloon nozzle that connects to the garden hose. I wish it existed when I was a kid. (Hover over images for captions)

Helen

Several months ago my father told me my sister's pregnant.  And now I have a niece who's introduced me to unclehood. How about that? I hope she'll find me to be awesome. Meet Helen and her first-time grandparents. (Hover over images for captions)

The lost exposures

When I was four years old, my mother would bring me to her college photography class.

  1. Develop the prints for a couple of minutes
  2. place them in the stop bath for 30 seconds to stop the development
  3. submerge the prints in the fixer for five minutes so it’s no longer light sensitive
  4. wash them for a half hour with constant running water

The process is drilled into my head. I'd watch her develop photographs in the darkroom, stare at the images as they blossomed, becoming tangible.

Every family vacation, holiday, gathering, mom was taking pictures, documenting moments. I wanted a camera of my own. I wanted to see the world through a viewfinder too and still do. I want people to see what I see.

I received a Nikon N8008 when I was in high school. Most of the photographs I took with it were terrible, but Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

There are a few photographs I like from those years but the negatives are gone. I’ve started a small series on Instagram titled “The Lost Exposures,” because the prints are all that’s left.

From top left, clockwise:  (1)  "Birthday Balloons," photographed sometime in 2007.  (2)  Contact sheet of "Birthday Balloons."  (3)  "Mirror Girl," photographed in 2007. One of my favorite photos from the best roll of film I developed myself.  (4)  A monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, catches me photographing him.

From top left, clockwise: (1) "Birthday Balloons," photographed sometime in 2007. (2) Contact sheet of "Birthday Balloons." (3) "Mirror Girl," photographed in 2007. One of my favorite photos from the best roll of film I developed myself. (4) A monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, catches me photographing him.