Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's resolution

I have never been one to make New Year's resolutions as I see them as ridiculous. If you are going to do something then just do it. Back in 1987, I decided to finally quit smoking. Did it cold turkey and have not smoked since. Decided in 1998 (along with my wife) to quit my fulltime engineering position and make a go of it as a photographer (did well for 10 years before the recession hit and I had to return to engineering). Wife & I decided in 2012 to leave the beach and return to Georgia after I was laid off for the first time in my adult life.
Now I feel the need to have a purpose in my photography again. When I was working as a news photographer, I shot a lot (I mean weekly) of series images to tell a story on the front page of each section of the little weekly newspaper I supported. I shot everything from businesses to sports to people for the reporters at the paper including my wife (she did everything from education to business to features to hard news).
After being laid off, I tried for over 18 months to get back to shooting for a newspaper but no one was willing to give someone in their sixties a chance. In the end, I gave up, sold all my pro Nikon gear, and went light weight with the Fuji X-System gear. The cameras are great but my images are greatly lacking any emotional or storytelling content. I kept telling myself in 2013 I needed to get off my a$$ and find some stories to shoot even if I only show them online initially. So, with that in mind, for 2014, I am making a couple of New Year's resolutions to accomplish this year.
First, I have long wanted to do a photo book of jazz images from shooting the Seabreeze Jazz Festival. I was at the first festival in 1999 and shot every year up to and including 2012. I recently settled on the look I wanted to the images and have been making progress in getting the images selected and processed before making the final cuts. I have asked the event sponsor/organizers, Mark & Renee Carter of Seabreeze 106.3FM Radio, if they would be willing to do an introduction. I also plan on donating a portion of the proceeds to the local schools to further music education.
The second resolution I am making is to get out into my community and find some stories to tell photographically. As I said, initially they will be something that I publish online (maybe even in this blog) but I hope to do some prints for display in various venues around the area.
I will finish the photo book first as the winter months drag on and, when spring awakens the area, get started on looking for stories in the area.
In the meantime, here is another image from the archives from when I was shooting for the newspaper. This is the type of work I want to apply myself toward - images that depict the ordinary that we see everyday but, quite often, fail to really "see" them.
This was taken back in 2002 during Spring Break in Panama City Beach, FL. The paper was invited to send a reporter and a photographer along with law enforcement personnel during Spring Break. My wife (the reporter) & I were assigned to the story. We thought we may be out there for 2-3 hours and were hoping that the story would be worth it.
Instead, we started with the briefing at around 3:30PM and stuck around for the whole shift. Some 12 hours later, we were sitting having an early breakfast in a Waffle House diner discussing the night.
Not only did the story run front page but several images were used from the night that told the story of what the law enforcement personnel went through.

As always, make a comment!! Let me know what you think! Until next time, keep on shooting.....

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