Monday, April 27, 2009

Bolinas, Ca with the Intrepid Soul

Yesterday I went to a beautiful and apparently little known beach in Bolinas. It was a nice little staycation with my pals Brian and Natalie of the Intrepid Soul and Natalie's friend Laura. It was a great day of laughs, surfing for Brian, lazing about for the rest of us, and working on our sunburns.

We left Lodi around 9 am on our long journey to the coast. Brian was obviously excited to be getting some surfing in.

Nat was quite happy to have her picture taken. Laura not so much.

We had to pull off the road for a bit for some fresh air and a beautiful view of the coast.

This guy ran out in front of us. Luckily we weren't going any faster because he was just a few feet in front of the Jeep.

As soon as we got there Brian was in the water.

This guy took a liking to Nat when she was holding Brian's camera.

This is an old guy with a kite if you couldn't figure that out.

Random fun.

And a giant dog.

The kite guy without his kite. Something must have been interesting on the side of the hill he's looking at.

Me looking all kinds of sexy...kinda.

Our uninvited guest.
I'll be honest. I have no idea what's going on here.

Natalie was gathering pieces for some kind of Frankenstein crab until I destroyed it with a rock.

Hand-slapping fun.

Natalie taking care of her man.



Working on my epic sunburn.

Bizarre wood man thing on the beach.

Natalie doing an impression of the coolest person she knows; me. Her coolness failed in comparison though.

Natalie building a rock monument.

And this is why I'm always behind the camera.

So the trip was tons of fun. Weather was gorgeous. Go read the Intrepid Soul in a few days to see a better written version of the trip.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Week in Photos

If you looked at my schedule this week you'd immediately notice how unexciting it was. But it never ceases to amaze me that good photos can from from seemingly boring events. This is is this week in photos.

This is a 12 year old with a type of lymphoma. His family's winery held a fundraiser for him today out at Vino Piazza. He was having a beanbag war with his brother and a few friends in a corridor. I ducked down behind a shelf to avoid a beanbag pelting and snapped a few shots; one while he rested between battles and one during a lull in the battle. Super high ISO. Very noisy. Heavy shadow on one side and bright highlights from the open end of the corridor on the other. I love the way it turned out though. There's something about shadowed faces with rimlight around the body that always gets me.

He walked a little further down and the light hit him from the front. Great light.

This guy was sorting food for the food giveaways at the Salvation Army. I personally like this one more in b&w because the tones are as good as they get. But apparently people tend to thing b&w is "lying."

And this youngin' is cleaning glass at Washington School for Comcast Cares Day. I cut her torso in half and showed more of the windows to accentuate how small she was and how far she had to reach to get to the windows. And the light is awesome.
It's occurred to me that I like to shoot the right sides of people. Hmmm...

Go visit my friends' blogs!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boring days at work...

...are boring.

They start with high school golf; the most action packed action sport full of action ever...EVER! After this shot this golfer did several backflips, punched the other players in their faces, and then threw his clubs in the water. Sadly, I was briefly distracted by a nearby squirrel and have no proof of it actually happening.

And they end with meetings about how boring meetings are. This is Joe Nobody asking the board of trustees, "wtf am I doing here? This is boring! You're bored too, right?"

Soon. Soon the summer fire season will begin. High school sports will end which makes my days a little less exciting, but at least fields and houses will be on fire.


PS: As always make sure to check out the blogs of my friends and colleagues; The WadeWire and The Intrepid Soul especially.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Candlelight vigil for a Lodi teen

Last night I was asked by my editor and publisher to cover a candlelight vigil for Diego Chavira who was killed last week. I have been to vigils in the past but they were all much smaller than this one. More than 150 people gathered around second base(the position Diego once played for the Lodi High baseball team) at Zupo Field in Lodi.

Whenever I shoot something that involves the death of a person I always worry about intruding. I've never actually run into any problems, but it's always in the back of my mind. Last night though I had none of those feelings. I felt very welcomed. Even when I was knelt just a few feet in front of his grieving mother they never once made it seem like they didn't want me there.

Now, on to the photos.

I know the Chavira family will never see this blog, but I thank them anyway for allowing me to photograph them during such an emotional event.


PS: Make sure to check out The Intrepid Soul by LNS Photo Chief Brian Feulner.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Portraits of Tent City

As I'm sure anyone who reads a newspaper or watches the news in Northern Ca already knows, Sacramento's tent city recently made headlines across the nation and even in countries around the world. When I heard about it I immediately wanted to shoot there. So I one Monday morning I went to tent city for a couple hours and got a handful of shots. I had such a great experience that I went back the following Saturday and planned on staying the whole night. Things didn't work out, but I was still there for several hours. I met a lot of great people with fascinating stories and a few people whom I would not turn my back on.

Many of the residents at tent city were very open about how they ended up there and what it's like for them. Unlike the media would lead you to believe though, most of these people are not new to being homeless nor are they out there because of the economy. Sure, some are new, but most have been there for years. One man, Jeff(I had trouble getting last names from people) has been there for 15 years and every moment of those 15 years show in his face.

Enough with the reading. Now it's time for photos.

Jeff, a resident of Tent City who has been homeless for 15 years, calls over Groucho, one of four kittens he keeps as pets:

Luis is called by many the "Mayor of Tent City:"

William Hopkins sits with Rex, one of many dogs that call Tent City home:

Luis lives in a tent that closely resembles a bachelor's studio apartment. He has the luxuries of a twin-sized bed, a recliner, travel dvd player, a stereo, a propane stove, and even carpet:

Many residents of Tent City share food and drinks with each other that they receive from various churches and donation centers:

Michelle is nuzzled by her dog while she waits for a pan on the fire to heat up to cook lunch:

Two residents leave Tent City during the late morning:

In stark contrast to newer tents and newer residents, 15 years of homelessness can be seen in the face of Jeff and his tent, held together with strands of tape:

Daniel gets light from a friend for his hand-rolled cigarette:

Lady stands guard over the Mayor's house, a small community of several tents interconnected. When I knelt to take Lady's photo she was hunched over and growling at another dog. As soon as I started shooting she stopped barking and sat upright. This dog knows how to have a photo taken:

Michelle sharing her tent with her dog:

Horatio is one of the few first time homeless in Tent City. He came here from a 4-bedroom house in Meadowview:

Mary and Melody. Melody, left, is no longer homeless, but she often visits friends in Tent City and other homeless camps:

Mary holds up a pair of pants to Melody to check the size. Church groups often bring donations to the city:

A beer to end a long day in Tent City:

Drug use is not uncommon in Tent City. While she no longer buys drugs, Gayle still smokes marijuana. She is celebrating news that she will see and speak to her father for the first time in 13 years and she will hopefully have an apartment by the time he gets to California:

Melody does not live in Tent City, but she is homeless. She stays on nearby 12th Street:

Shooting this was eye opening. There was a wide range of people out there. From completely normal people that if you saw them in a store or talked to them you'd have no idea they were homeless to people were in a permanent state of left field. I hope you enjoyed the photos and I'd love some feedback on them.

Have a good one, folks.