Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting out of the Mob

With this weeks theme I thought I had the perfect shots already planed in my head.  The idea of a mob and it's vast pieces working and clamoring for the same shared desire seemed to bring one image to my mind.  The MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section) at a University football game. 

I have been member of this rowdy and ruckus group for since 2008.  When the students chant, sing, jump and scream together defines a mob to me. I wanted to try and capture what that was and how it felt.  The task was a little harder than I anticipated.  Not because of the cold and the lights and the angles I had to work around. The actual mob itself was hard to pull away from. 

When I am photographing any event I need to separate myself for the proceedings, to become more of an ignored piece of decoration that moves from one place to another.  I could not separate myself for the mob of the MUSS.  

Singing while the band plays Metallica, chocolate milk to those who know it, or Utah Man fight song . Putting up your hands and doing the U of U Chop.  Jumping and screaming at the top of your lungs during a defensive 3rd down. Even jumping on my visible horse and riding during a specific western song. The atmosphere is intoxicating and pulls me in every time.

So my image is more about not being able to distance yourself from a mob.  Like Al Pachino said "Just When I thought I was out they pull me back in."

Monday, November 7, 2011

UnSeen Beauty

With a vague starting point as beauty starting my weekly photo shoot was difficult.  I started to run the most used cliche though my head. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  To add onto that I had to capture visually the "unseen".  

I came to an idea that the unseen is something that we pass over and ignore in our day to day rushed lives.  The patterns and shapes that make our life beautiful.  Now I know that to some a stairwell might not be the prettiest thing in the world. But in this image that is not what I see.  The repetition of the rails and the stark contrast from the support beams with the negative light coming through is what is beautiful to me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat??

For someone like myself Halloween is a strange holiday.  I grew out of going door to door asking for candy and hot chocolate.  I'm not one to go to dance parties. But I do love to dress up in costumes and scare anyone in my way. Full disclosure as I am writing this I have on loop This is Halloween by the genius of Tim Burton.  I had a lot of ideas and help from the comment threads on what is Halloween.

Halloween is all about the unknown. Walking around in the dark wondering if that noise we hear is just the wind or some blood dripping creature around the corner.  The gamble we take on each door we approach   The one light on wondering if we will get a delicious chocolate coated treat or a box of raisins.

To all of the weirdos out there who want to take the one night where we can be whatever we want. I have one thing to say.  Hail to the Pumpkin Song

Monday, October 24, 2011

Urban Myths

These are the stories that make us jump in the dark of night, may it be alligators in the sewers, repeating a woman's name three times, or bodies coming to life under your bed. Most urban legends have a kernel of truth, that is why we let them get into our minds.

Being the week of Halloween I will be shooting anything scary. Urban legends, haunted buildings, frightening stories that keep you up at night.  Please give me your ideas of what you want to see for Halloween images and always scream in the dark.

Through a Child's Eyes

This weeks theme was interesting and challenging for me on many aspects. For one I don't remember too much of my childhood, so reverting to those feelings and ideas is not my biggest strength.  Yet I do have some thoughts of how kids feel.

Whether it is fearing the heights of the world around you or the maze of obstacle that may stop you in your tracks. Children always seem to find a playground in each situation.

On a side note when photographing on playgrounds make sure that the parents of children know what you are doing.  Otherwise some tend to think you are up to no good.  Especially if you have a beautifully full beard like I do.  Perhaps that is why no one will let me photograph them and their children playing.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Late Night

The whole idea of what can happen late night has been the discussion of various mediums.  I decided that the best way for me to photograph “Late Night” was to actually go out, which is not something I do very much.  But this was a theme to shoot.  I had many ideas of what I wanted but going into a bar that I don’t know and photographing people I don’t know isn’t a practice that I am completely comfortable with just yet.  I went out one night with my friend and we just hung out and I took pictures and a story began to form in minds. 

This image tells this story of the excitement and potential the night can have at the beginning.  Yet as the night goes on there is that guy that has had just five too many for the night.  The city is almost in a dream state for him, stumbling around and ready to nap where ever he falls.

Monday, October 3, 2011


“All we have to fear is fear itself”.  But how terrifying is fear really. Fear can disorient a normally stabilized individual.  All the nightmares I have had are a confusing labyrinth of blurred, barley incomprehensible scenes.

This image represents nightmares and the debilitating fear that can blur our subconscious when we are facing those fears.  

Monday, September 26, 2011


What exactly are we willing to show to the public?  Who is close enough to us that we will share our most personal secrets?  I believe that we put on masks to blend with our current surroundings.

This week I thought about how we use these different “masks” to form our IDENTITY.  Social or dating web sites will ask you what do you do for your job or list the hobbies. As a college student one of the first questions we ask is What is your Major.  We describe ourselves with objects and titles.

For Jess one object that would describe here is a scarf.  Scarves can be a perfect accessory.  A scarf can be versatile and change your appearance to match any event.  You can use a scarf to bring a burst of color and excitement to the day.  A scarf is always useful to keep you warm during a cold winter flurry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Poll

The new poll is up for the coming theme. Identity won out and that is what I am working on now. But what shall I do for next week...

Monday, September 12, 2011

A New Experiment in Community Photography (part 2)

So as I got feed back from my friends and family, I came to the conclusion that I need to edit and explain this weekly experiment a little better. This blog is nothing without you the reader.  Together we will create a community of ideas and I will try my best to bring those Ideas together in a photographic way.  Each week will consist of three parts. This process will take three weeks to go from beginning to end.  First I will do today's post including an image and written piece from which you can comment about and leave your ideas for new themes.  At the week, when I post again, I will take 3-4 comments and place them into a poll question where you can vote on which one you want me to use next.  The poll will be up for a week, at the end I will take the winning theme and use it for the weekly photo shoots. If this is still confusing I will use this weeks post and comments to give a demonstration.

Essence of Salt Lake City (the week's theme)

Salt Lake City is an interesting place to live. When I think about what could be the essence of this place I have to pause and think about the varying identities encompassed within.  I thought about the constant change that takes place. The overwhelming heat of summer and the winter that will stop you in your tracks.  New buildings springing up out of the ground as our city grows and new people come to join us in the desert.  I thought of the history and its constant reminder of where we come from as Utahans.  And of course with that history I can not ignore the LDS church and how this city has grown up around and commingled with their influence.  I think that the essence of Salt Lake City is just that the growth and give and take that the city has with the LDS religion.  Some may say that is what holds back our town from being truly great.  They may have their points but I like to see it in a more positive frame of mind as the LDS church and Salt Lake City grow and change together making the essence of Salt Lake City one of a kind.

It was hard to think what I could photograph to capture all of this. I decided to just walk around the city and photograph what I saw. I came across this scene at Abravanel Hall. I see the reflection of Temple Square and the State Capitol building in this beautiful glass wall where enchanting music is played. They brought together different communities as one. That is what I think SLC is a community of many different backgrounds that create a beautiful place to live.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A New Experiment in Community Photography

Lens life is my attempt to do a weekly photography blog and write about the experience.  I want to be able to express myself in both the graphic and written medium. I want this to be a blog where the readers work with me by suggesting topics and themes that I can photograph.  Each week I will take a suggestion from the comments and use that as my theme for the week.  I will then post one or a series of images on this blog with a written statement about the image and my experiences while working through the process of creating each image.  Thank you for your interest in and your comments about my photography.