The Move To A New Site

Well, here we are.

We've moved to the new site. One that should be easier to post to, which means that I'll be updating a lot more often. And just in time!

I've got new hardware to review, new photos to display, and lots of things to discuss.

Check back often.

Knitting is art?

I have to admit, I've never thought of knitting as art. Something to keep the hands busy while you're reading, or fishing. A hobby at best, but Art? With a capital "A"?


That was until I met a friend of mine, Christine.

What she makes is intricate, and interesting. You can spend time looking at the patterns, drawn in to the mathematics of it all. We're talking Mandelbrot. Euclid. The kind of geometry that can give you a headache just trying to wrap your head around it.
Knitting by Christine Gile, and tools of the trade.

Some of these pieces can go for thousands of bucks, and once you really take a look, you can see why.

Of course she does quicker, simpler pieces that didn't require hundreds of dollars of rare materials, and a year of hard work. Some have unicorns rearing up, or colors that change so subtly that it's hard to tell where the new color begins.

I've photographed her work before, but didn't really feel like I did it justice.
A knitted scarf, decorated with trees.

This time I had a few ideas. First of all, go macro. Get in really close and show the actual detail of the patterns. Going out too wide, and trying to capture the whole piece didn't work very well. The other idea was to add a few of the tools, or raw material to the composition.
Macro image, detail of green scarf.

I liked the results better this time, and hopefully they'll be useful as a showcase, and marketing tool for the artist.

Threads: an AAWA event at Elliot Bay Book Store

Tonight I went out for the reading of THREADS, the latest anthology by the members of the African American Writers ' Alliance.
Part writer's workshop, part support group, part community service organization, the group has been around for almost two decades, and this is their fourth anthology.

Author/Poet Brenda Gayle Wright, and local poet, Sonya Thompson

Held at the historic Elliot Bay Book Store in Seattle's Pioneer Square, it was a night of the writers performing pieces from the book, as well as other works.

Who was it that said writer's only write about two things, love and death? Whoever it was, the authors tonight proved him wrong. They told stories of revenge, love, faith, social justice, and overcoming obstacles.

Before the night was over I'd laughed, and was struck silent. I'd felt sad, outraged, and comforted. Basically, I felt everything that a great writer can make us, the reader, feel.

Poet, author, and bad-ass, Monique Franklin

Words are more powerful than any weapon: a point made by Dr Georgia McDade, apparently one of the founding members of the the AAWA, and the organizer of this particular project of theirs.

Other than Dr McDade, several writers I know personally are included in the anthology, and it was a thrill to see them in their natural element.

Santiago Vegas passionate performance brought tears as well as laughter.

Some of the writers I'd met in the past, but hadn't read, or seen them perform- like Santiago Vega, and well known Seattle musician/artist/writer Frenchy Conde Lamont.

Other's I'd already become a fan of, like Monique Franklin, and one of my all time favorite poets, Brenda Gale Wright.

I haven't read the book yet, so this won't turn into a full on review, but I bought my copy of THREADS, and can't wait to discover even more of the amazing talent that Seattle has to offer.

I took my Nikon D200, and mostly used my 50mm prime.
During the performance, I put the camera on ISO 1600, and shot with available light. During a question and answer session, I threw on an sb800 flash, and bounced it off the cieling.

Carl Kennedy, Seattle area actor, and poet

Dead Horse Canyon

Took my 18-55 with my Kenko extension tube down to Dead Horse canyon for some nice filtered sunlight through the canopy of trees that are slowly pulling themselves back into the land of life.

The Kenko 25 N-AF has all the normal Nikon connectors, so it allows auto focus, and all the other camera controls to be passed through to whatever lens you use. Not quite as perfect as a dedicated macro lens, since it takes away a partial stop of light, but I like my results anyway.

A small rock in the creek at Dead Horse Canyon, Seattle

I took a full sized tripod, and my Gorilla-pod, but didn't end up using them.

I looked up to see this dog tag hanging on a tree. I'd love to know the story of that one! I looked up to see this dog tag hanging on a tree. I'd love to know the story of that one!

I got there late afternoon, about 3, hoping to get some cool slanted sun beams through the canopy.
Even as it got closer to 5pm, the sky was still fairly bright, but as you can imagine, lots of mixed light at ground level.

Reaching up toward the light

Water proof hiking boots ended up being my most useful tool of the day, as I waded through the little brook that flows through the park to get up close and personal with the rocks and fallen trees.

Not a lot of leaves on the trees yet (It's still officially winter after all!), but lots of moss everywhere.


iPhone camera

Quick update, a few photos from the iPhone. More to say after I take more pics...

By the way, these pics are unedited, straight from the camera.
If I were to put them into Photoshop, I would need to boost the contrast, and saturation, I think.

First post, First paycheck

Second Post, First paycheck

It’s fitting that today is my very first post, on the very first day that this blog goes live. I also received my very first check, for photos I sold to KOMO news.

waiting for paramedics Shooting victim waits for paramedics to arrive

I’ve been paid for my photography before this; but somehow this feels different. I actually received a check in the mail from a real live corporation. Not that it was even a large amount of money. Not what you’d get from shooting a wedding, for example.

But, I don’t want to sound too celebratory because the photos in question are definitely not from a happy event. Back in May, at the Seattle Folk Life festival there was a shooting incident. When the shots went off I was probably 5-10 yards away, facing the other direction. I looked around to see what the noise was and saw a few dozen people running right for me! Like any self respecting shutter-bug, I immediately started walking toward the action. In the few seconds it took me to get to “ground zero” a group of burly cops ran right past me. My first shots of the scene are those cops piling on top of the shooter.

It turns out one of those peace loving “folks” was also licensed to carry a concealed weapon. When some of the other young hippies saw the gun poking out of his ankle holster they tried to take it from him, yelling at him for bringing a weapon to this type of event.

Before the dust settled, two people had been shot, and at least one person was on his way to jail.

Later it was revealed that the young man had some type of mental illness. I guess I would’ve thought that’d be one thing to keep you from qualifying for a gun permit.

Apparently a young man was shot in the neck, and a young lady in the leg.

I'm in!

Saturday, the day after Independance Day, I went to the Seattle Care's mentor recruiting event, here in Seattle.

I didn't know what to expect other than Susan Taylor, the long time editor of Essence magazine would be there. For those of you who don't know Essence magazine, think Oprah. What Oprah Winfrey's show has become over the years, Essence magazine has been doing since the '70s.

So, when I get there things were just getting started, really. No big crowd, no celebrities, even my friend Sonya who told me about the event wasn't there yet.

But that didn't last long. As I was talking to a rep from Seattle Public schools about opportunities to volunteer teaching computer classes, the crowd started picking up.

I move on to the 4C's booth. An organization that provides mentors to kids from the juvenile courts. The idea is that they meet with their mentor on a regular basis in leiu of getting locked up. It turns out they're the host of the event, and have pastors, judges, and other influential Seattle folks who volunteer.

a friend enjoying the Seattle Cares rallySusan Taylor arrives, and the excitement level goes up. I snap a few shots of her milling about, greeting the crowd.

A councilman, a judge, several religeous leaders, and community members speak. A couple of groups sing. A group of kids tap dance, and are suprisingly entertaining. There's a gospel rap group that perform with a singer and are really good. Susan Taylor wants to introduce them to some of her music industry contacts.

At this point Susan Taylor has taken the stage and the push is on. No surprises with the tone of the speech. if you're a black person in America you have easy access to Essence magazine. Every black woman you've known... or will ever meet, has a few issues on the coffee table.

From her editorial pieces I knew I'd hear a melange of new age spirituality, and traditional Southern values. Unbridled capitalism with a strong dose of personal responsibilty.

It's easy to pick up on her world view from her writing, but it was really interesting to see her speak in person. In all of her diva-licious glory. She talked about how she began her career as a fashion editor, and it shows. We're not talking the out of control, phone-throwing, Devil Wears Prada school of Divadom. But if you can save the world and look fabulous at the same time, why not?

There's absolutely no doubt that she's a true believer. Her passion for reaching out and shaping the world into something better is infectious. When someone has a 30 year history of practicing what they preach, you know you can trust their motives.

The thing I liked about this event in general, is there was no talk about what organizations, or government ought to be doing from above, and no condemnation or finger pointing at the parts of our communities that need improvement. The consensus was that if we want our communities to improve let's jut roll up our sleeves, pool our resources and get to work.

The rallying cry, if not the official motto, of the national Cares movement is "I'm In" Before the day was over, there were quite  a few of us who are.