Monday, December 31, 2007


between assignments now, noticing a little color through my rearview mirror.

looking forward to the new year


Friday, December 28, 2007

the knot

Hello. Hello. It has been far too long. But alas, I come bearing good news. On Dec. 22, 2007, I gave witness to a spectacular event.

My dearest friend, Skyler Atkinson, was married.

He and his wife, Amber, allowed me the pleasure of photographing them before and after the ceremony. As best man, neither was too keen on me taking pictures of the two of them during the ceremony. I totally regret not convincing them to let me shoot a few pictures though. I don't think it would have made much of a scene. They were standing directly under a fairly strong light and would have made a sharp picture of their first kiss as a married couple. During the whole ceremony though, ahhh I couldn't stop smiling.

After the ceremony and the family pictures, I kept the couple behind for a few more minutes to make pictures, before rushing off to the reception. The first photo in this post is under that light, with the rest of the church's lights turned off.

The obligatory best man toast was a near disaster. A few days before the wedding I give Skyler a call. I ask if they're expecting a speech from me. He says he doesn't think so. I don't really believe him, his involvement in the wedding preparation was minimal. So I plan out some stuff, getting a fairly good idea.. a nice, short speech.

But when his dad called out my name to get up there in front of everyone and say something prophetic, I lost it. Nothing. I manage to build up something of a story before the nerves kick in, but right as I get going I realize I'm standing in front of a big crowd (by my public speaking standards), and my voice goes shaky. I was choking up! Luckily Skyler could smell my fear, or see it smeared across my shaking face, and stepped in and just gave me a toast. Thank God.. back to lurking in the shadows.

So that disaster somewhat averted, Skyler and Amber asked if I could come with them to their honeymoon bed and breakfast suite and make some more elegant pictures.

Monday, December 17, 2007

the ice

Julie Smith was surveying damage Wednesday morning when the tree behind her started to crack. "Something told me to run so I did," Julie Smith said. Seconds later half of the tree came crashing down where she had stood.

Last week, as you've probably heard by now, meant ice for a large part of the Midwest. Lawrence was spared. Just 20 miles north was not. It was a different world, one covered with nearly an inch of ice. Boots crunching through the layer on the ground, shattering individual pieces of grass like little glass figures.

The weight of it all crushed trees and power lines, leaving entire towns without power for days. I made the drive Wednesday afternoon, the day after the freeze set in.

Residents told me about their night. Sitting in their living room by candle light. Listening to what they described as fireworks. First, a loud pop. That was a tree breaking in half. Followed by a showering sound. That was the ice and branches plummeting to the ground.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Full day of shooting yesterday, coupled with a two inches of fresh snow. Avoided any major accidents while sliding around. Any day when I wake up, brush the snow off my Jeep, crank the heater and leave it in four wheel drive all day, is a good, good day. It's so very rewarding not accelerating above 40 miles per hour. Driving from assignment to assignment is such a busy rush most of the time, I really enjoy the way snow makes me slow down. Each activity is a small chore because of it.

Last year at this time in Criag we had had snow on the ground since mid September. I remember waking up that morning and going to my car thinking, no way in hell can I work today. Everything was covered with five inches of powder. That would have shut the world down back in Illinois. But my fire station pager was exploding with accident calls so I learned how to drive in the snow that day.

Yesterday though I caught up with a group of high school students getting crazy on the hills on the KU campus. Wishing I would have worked this particular scene a little longer.

Pageantry. Covered the Miss Kansas USA and Miss Kansas Teen USA contest. Here are a few frames while hanging out backstage prior to the event.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

in the locker room

covered lawrence high school today during a early-season tournament.. one hour drive through deathly snow-packed highways and traffic over to kansas city

the coach decided to let me stay in the locker room after a long pause... hopefully he'll continue letting me hang out

in this frame the team visualizes different scenarios before hitting the court

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pocket Art

Fresh Produce had a pocket art party Saturday. The idea: bring somewhat small (open to interpretation), tradeable art. Swap, give, take, enjoy, play music, be merry, play LightBright.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Trip to the library:

1. "Stay this Moment" Sam Abell
2. "Shooting Blind: Photographs by the Visually Impaired"
3. "The Old Man and the Sea" Ernest Hemmingway

Thumbing through a Robert Capa book, which happened to be past due at said library, prior to the trip. Seems like Capa went everywhere and knew everyone in his day. Two pages in the book contained two pictures of Hemmingway. One, holding a pheasant and gun in a field. Two, the author editing his work at a desk.

In the library I had already secured the two photography books under my arm and was making my way back through the rows of books. Nothing particular in my mind other than I knew I wanted to pick up something, as I'm closing in the finish of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I chose an aisle and entered, thinking to myself this next book, as books often do, could change my life... totally at random... I'm going down this aisle.

I read the Old Man and the Sea when I was 10 or 11 maybe. Having déjá vu about this moment and the library and where I'm about to go study.

4. "Amadeus" on DVD.

Spent the greater part of the day meandering through the house, changing beat, 99 cent records on my, new to me, record player. Sinatra, Willie, Moody Blues. I have a roll of 120 I'm anxious to develop containing frames of Whitney as a hobo and snaps from the Fresh Produce Pocket Art party from Saturday.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

clouded visions roll into my head. they meet one another with animosity, snarl and retreat and i'm left where i started.

seems like pictures are not coming to fruition these days... i spent over an hour, maybe it was two hours, shooting feature pictures today of a window cleaner at city hall. it's been a long time since i've worked a situation that hard.. and while i'm not happy with the immediate results, this picture stood out as a visage of my mind..

jumbled, cluttered, chaotic, cliche


So if you've been following college football or the Jayhawks much.. you probably know the outcome of the KU vs. Mizzou game from last week. Missouri pretty much man-handled KU the first half. I spent this time combing the stands at Arrowhead Stadium, shooting feature pictures.. dejection pictures.. jubilation pictures.. to send back on deadline..

But those pictures pretty much fell through the cracks as the second half warmed up.

The crowd at Arrowhead was split 50-50. Right down the 50 yard line.. on one side, black-clad Mizzou fans threw chants from the stands at their rivals.. the blue-clad Jayhawkers... booming back from the opposing side of the field.

It was thunderous.

Eighty-thousand fans booing, jeering.. and bemoaning...

It was a blow to the Jayhawks.. their untainted 11-0 record, a first ever in school history was no longer unblemished... by none other than Missouri. That dream season brought crashing down by the most hated of hated in KU land. Mizzou.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

meeting of sorts

Sitting at Yuri's house, catching up with friends at an art collective meeting.. something I haven't been very active with in awhile. Discussions spiraled from theories on time travel, to gallery spaces and back to cloning humans to support habits of laziness. And back to artists using sensory deprivation to reach moments of clarity.. or insanity as Betsy chimed in from across the table. This chamber, as Yuri described it, consists of filling a bathtub with 98.6 degree saltwater in a 98.6 degree room, floating in it with earplugs and a blindfold. Entirely appetizing prospect for some reason.

We have two shows coming up. One, a pocket art party. Make small stuff and plan on exchanging it for someone else's small stuff. Two, a Lumps of Coal holiday show at Tellers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

dream season

That's what people keep referring to the Jayhawks' now 11-0 season. Just saying "dream season" out loud kinda makes me feel funny and like I've done something wrong. I'd like to think of it as a sweet season, or badass season, or wonderful season... or maybe they have a 'rocking record'? Anyway, tonight the hawks put down Iowa State 45-7 in their systematic ritual of destruction.

A week from today it's Mizzou in Kansas City. I might shoot it. See you there, maybe.

Friday, November 16, 2007

dog trials

Thursday, November 8, 2007


by myself. feet propped on a chair, leaning back into the black leather sofa that is the taproom, blanketed in red light. my brew sits to my right, lemon floating at the top. there is a pressure in my head, originating from a cold that is working its way out of my system, or maybe it's a new virus infecting me again. either way my throat is raw and i've been in this basement a million times. i'm leaning though, elbow supported by my camera. it feels solid under my weight.

i lean back. inhale, and take in the chaos.

the jazz filters through me in waves. the dischord a welcome vacation. the music starts to melt together into a vibration, pulsing through the red air.

another breath.

and i can feel my contacts sticking. the jazz contains no form. three musicians explode at different tempos, rates.. at his own pace. it drives others away. it drowns them out. it puts them to bed and i laugh. go and hide i say.

the hood on my jacket becomes a pillow on the leather, i'm melting with the beats now. tingling as i watch, feel, listen, become. am. dischord becomes symphony and my dreams drift away.

i'm relaxed

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


going through the motions. daily assignments filing them and punch the clock. take a drag and hit the sack. punch clock click sack punch clock click sack

Sunday, November 4, 2007


One of the perks of being a photojournalist. Being there. Recording history. That one moment that changed a life, the world or the game.

KU football is 9-0, something that hasn't happened in 100 years. And on Saturday, they stomped Nebraska so hard, 76-39. Records were broken ad nauseum. Touchdowns scored against Nebraska. TD passes in a game. TD passes in a season... How many touchdowns can you stomach? I was reeling after the first quarter. Can't imagine how the Cornhusker defense felt...

Here, the KU defense intercepts a pass, surely on their way to score another touchdown.

Today I sat on the hardwood floor. A familiar feeling in November. One that will last through March. The pain in my back and butt a living proof. Much different than the pain that radiates through the knees after shooting four quarters of football. This is different.

It's basketball season.

And I shot my first game in Allen Fieldhouse, the home, the birthplace of the sport. Now I'm not much of a basketball fan. Especially shooting it. I think that feeling comes from sitting in dank high school gyms. Learning to shoot it in horrid middle school gyms as a student.

But don't get me wrong. I love me some college basketball. Ask me trivia about a team other than the Salukis or the Jayhawks and I'm likely to change the subject. But this kind of competition.. this is different. Competition like this draws in even the most naive.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the real reason

i went to photograph behind the scenes at the emu theatre production is that kate told me when she gets into zombie character she drools..

for 40 minutes she stumbles through the halls outside the set, banging into doors, spilling her blood stained spit down her lips, dotting the floor in this concoction...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm beginning to wonder

whether I'm going to have anything to photograph once Halloween is over...

Hung out backstage last night during the Emu Theater's production of Horrorshow. A series of one act plays... with zombies. Just chilling in the hallway and stairwell while people got into character and goofed off.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I didn't get to be a zombie. But at least I was there taking pictures.

Zombies who break character suck.

If you're going to be a zombie, don't break character!

And this is just straight up gross.

I love it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The wetlands

I went for that walk, but not up any hills. I went down to the bottoms.

The Wakarusa Wetlands.

These wetlands boarder the southern edge of town. On one side of 31st street are the skirts of town, light industrial parks. On the other is this.

This ecosystem is home to many things. Amphibians, birds, rare grasses and plants. But it is also home to a debate. For the last 30 years there has been talk about building a trafficway through the bottoms to connect two major roads, providing an alternate route around Lawrence from Topeka to Kansas City. I've been sitting on this story for a couple months now and am finally starting to make contacts. More to come on the history of this later.

No pictures of frogs, sorry. They kept jumping away from me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall Festivities

I spied this father pulling his six-year-old daughter around in this red wagon today in Baldwin City. It looked fun, unexpecting, being dragged around between all these people. Stuck down at a different height than everyone else.

Back and forth back and forth.

It was the Maple Leaf Festival. Its 50th anniversary, and it was fall. Fall in the Midwest, best time of the year. Perfect perfect perfect day to be working. Driving all over Douglas County. Another thing I spied. Some super nice hills out in the country. Think it's time I took a walk.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Snuff Jazz

The Taproom.

Wee style. That's right. Small instruments.

There's a picture to be made in this bar. This isn't it... I'm working on it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fashion Monsters Fashion Show

A few frames from Kate's fashion show to benefit the Social Service League.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Renaissance Festival Part Deux

Man and snake.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Renaissance Festival

Faewyn the Elf.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rock Chalk...

So I think I'm becoming a KU fan.

This girl is:

KU: 30
KSU: 24

This was the first time KU had beaten K-state on the road in 18 years. I could smell K-State's disgust. It smelled sweet. That means I'm becoming a Jayhawk fan, right?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Junior high

Showed up to my Friday Night Lights game early to cruise for pictures. High fived the ticket guy for me coming and covering his team. Stopped in the stone hallway under the stands, looked back and forth. Went to the closest field entrance and passed through it.

Now I'm standing between purple walls and the dirty setting sun is fading fast.

A young man is leaning against the wall nearest to me. Watching the stadium fill. He's quiet. Modest.

Friends trickle in and gather around him. Livens up. And the girl teasing starts almost instantly. Guess it doesn't matter if you're in junior high in 1880, 1968 or 2007. Some things never change.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I'm not one to photograph signs, but these three sorta just happened. Tonight, walking the downtown.

Getting weird...

Oct. 19, 2007

This post could use some context.

I've been banging my head against the wall. I walk outside to photograph. Wander around, see something. Think to myself, that could make a picture. Then get this vomit reaction in my stomach for even thinking that. Hating that I'm recognizing things as pictures. The premeditation of it all was dragging me down.

So one night Max and I are chatting, and he ends up telling me to get off my ass and go shoot. Which is not uncommon for us to harp on one another like that.

So I do. Grab my camera and hit the sidewalk. There's a jazz show going on this night, and it's my destination in a round about way, but I went out on a mission to photograph as well.

And this is what I came back with. Three frames of signs. Not cognitively thinking about what the signs said at the time. I walked up to them and clicked. Warming up my fingers right.

Well I get back that night. And all this talk about inspiration... hard work... pushing... the next level... Anyway, the series of words spelled out struck me as odd.

I guess you had to be there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

hiding. i wonder if i'm hiding sometimes. behind the f stops and the shutter and not living. not out there doing it. being it. living it. rather, framing it, composing it and clicking it.

i can't be too caught up in that. because this box, its with me all the time. i can't put it down. constantly strapped across my chest. the strap says nikon or canon or sometimes its a little thin strap connected to a black toy camera. but it's there just like i'm there.

visceral is not the right word, but it's the first word that comes to mind. (See: Choke, Also: Chuck Palahniuk) is there a point when life stops becoming visceral because it's constantly being filtered through this box?

these thoughts resurface after a front porch conversation last night as the first few hours of october were passing. i hadn't taken many pictures and was asked why. i dunno, i just don't feeeel like it.

well, all this is just silly anyway right? or is it

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Making pictures

Home now. Supposed to be trading beer for a haircut tonight. Last night was Erin and Pinot and all these bands she hasn't heard but I kept playing them for that reason. Then it's Weezer and we both know the lyrics and we're happy.

This morning it was family guy. A vacation from thinking. Sorry I'm gone on vacation guys, don't know when I'm coming back. But then it's work and I'm editing audio and ever more anal and precise about that than my pictures lately.

Tomorrow it's the Replay and I've been asked to photograph my friend's band and I jokingly rub my fingers together insinuating money.

Two nights ago it was Steve McQueen and his Mustang and a stack of dvds by my side. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sits on the floor next to my bed. I need to pick it up, finish it, but this issue of Quality has gotten us all down lately.

With this picture it was yesterday and we were waiting for a team to show, girls were warming up their game and I wandered around making frames.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Denver in digital

Museum of Natural Science and History.

Chris and I were playing with prisms and a light gun set out on display in the space exhibit. There was also a pair of glasses that produced vision something like this when looking through them. They also had a glass case containing four meteorites. Staring at those rocks, hunks of various metals, thinking about how far they've traveled to get to this place, I was stunned.

The Arcade Fire. Red Rocks.

You climb out the chimney
and meet me in the middle,
the middle of the town.
And since there's no one else around,
we let our hair grow long
and forget all we used to know,
then our skin gets thicker
from living out in the snow.

Rocky Mountain National Park:
Chris photographs a moose and it's baby from her car.

This couple toured the mountains on matching motorcycles. After seeing several cars stopped on the side of the road, they parked their bikes, getting a closer look. They also had matching Cannons.

Driving back to the airport.