Monday, July 28, 2008

T Minus 18 Days and some hours

Last night "60 Minutes" re-ran an interview they did with Bruce Springsteen sometime late last year (I think). How great is this:

"Your job is to make your audience CARE ABOUT YOUR OBSESSIONS."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Swimming upstream with the salmon

Su and I went to Seattle last week for summer vacation... where we got to see salmon swimming upstream. How appropriate was that. And I learned one of the coolest words ever... "smoltification"... the process in which a salmon that is born in freshwater learns to live in saltwater. How improbable is that. The improbability of it all is demonstrated in the bleak statistics... some huge number of eggs lain, a much smaller number that escape being eaten and develop into fry (hence: "small fry"), a much smaller number of those that develop into smolts... and make the treacherous journey up the fish ladder across the dam and into the ocean, a much smaller number that escape the jaws of seagulls and sealions, a much smaller number that live happily in the ocean until they sense it is time to return to freshwater to spawn (and die.) Apart from that last sad reminder of mortality, it got me thinking about all of us and our stories. We have survived (got Gloria Gaynor running through your head yet?) The end is in sight. We can do this. I can do this.

Monday, June 30, 2008

What I Knew, I Learnt Again

Hey, this is really great. We have to keep this going even after all of you graduate! And I'm all for keeping you guys around! What a great resource for you guys after you disperse...

So, I came here to share. In my last post I mentioned going out to shoot with my first photography teacher, Warren Thompson.

On Friday we went on Old Route 66 as much as we could from Algodones to Gallup. We left at 9:30 am and returned at 1:30 am. Long day. Jackson and Warren's wife, Patty, went with us. I have to say, they were both troopers. Gallup is a 6 hour round trip and we took 16 hours to make it. So that's 10 hours of shooting (and eating). That's a lot of photography for a 3 year old and a high school math teacher!

We went to Albuquerque on Saturday. This is the part you guys will like. We found this great sign for the Ponderosa Mobile Home Haven on Central. It was probably made in the 50's and it's one of those classic Route 66 neon signs, complete with an "Adults Only" on the side.

Warren got out to shoot and was gone for a long time. I parked Patty and the sleeping Jackson in the shade and got out to see what he was interested in.

There was some great white cinder block architecture all around the place,

an abandoned pool, and those weird trailer park trees...I think they are junipers but they grow straight up and just don't look normal.

So I got out the "real" camera (you know, with film) and started shooting.
I guess you just never really know what's going to happen when you go out and shoot. What happened next is a classic example of being able to "lose yourself gloriously in the moment of being exactly where you are and being led", (thanks Laurie and Don).

While I was shooting, a guy with a grocery bag asked me what we were taking pictures of. After my introduction of "I teach photography at CSF", I told him we admired the architecture, and the sign. He said he liked it too and that he liked living in a trailer. He told me that the park was in probate and that most of it was unoccupied, but that some people lived in the back of the park and the landlord that they paid rent to gave all the money to Albuquerque Public Schools. We chatted a bit more about how great it is to live in a trailer because you don't have too much stuff, and life is simpler. (I lived in a 26 foot travel when I first moved to NM, so I have a real affinity for trailers and their occupants!)

He went to his trailer and I shot a few more frames. Warren was ready to go and asked if I would drive through the occupied portion because we might see something good. I guess we had already been there over an hour.
As we were driving through the park, we all spotted this great old Thunderbird under a carport. We drove around to it and Warren and Patty were telling me that when they first got married, they almost bought this same kind of car. We pulled up in front of the trailer that belonged to the carport and got out. The owner was the guy I had talked to!

The car was cool, but even cooler was the guy, his wife, and his grandson, Julian, who was playing in the hose. We spent about another hour and a half talking to them. His daughter and son-in-law came back from Wal-Mart with an inflatable pool for Julian. Great photos just unfolded in front of us.

Down the way was a great trailer all decked out for a 1 year-old's birthday party. We asked to photograph it and the people said "yes". Jackson even got a goody bag from the party.

I plan on taking prints back and asking to talk more to the guy and his wife. I'd like to do an interview and some still pics, maybe some video. His trailer is about the size of the one I lived in and I could only do it for a year. It seems like they have been there for a few years.

So, what did I learn? Getting out there is half the battle, and from what I see on this blog, you guys are out there!

Also, I've been inspired to start my own blog http://photomamma63.blogspot. We had a scary thing happen this weekend, so that's my first entry. I would send it to you guys in e-mail, but for some reason when I include the link in an e-mail, it won't send.

i sleep in a drawer

so spending the night in a car wasn't so bad but i certainly wouldn't want to do it everyday. i was reminded that i have it really, really good in life. about 4 other women were parked in the same lot, but i didn't get to meet any of them. the dynamic was interesting. i felt very much like i was intruding. one of the women approached me to tell me that i couldn't park there. after i explained that i had permission, i tried to introduce myself, but she didn't respond and ended up walking away. the scene was very odd. the lot is at the old santa barbara mission...on the top of a hill...overlooking a stunning rose garden and million dollar homes...weird. i actually slept somewhat decently, other than being cold!
today i'm meeting with a woman who is the night manager at a local grocery store and living in an rv. i have to say i'm doubting my ability to put all this together. i know i'm not getting all the footage i need, but at times i find it hard to pick up the camera because it just doesn't feel "right." i'm sure i'll come home with huge gaps in material, but i'll just have to work with what i have. i'm beginning to identify with agee and evans in that somehow video footage just doesn't seem to completely cut it. how do you communicate the intangible? and what the hell am i doing anyway? i'm more confused than ever about what i'm trying to accomplish with all this. grrrrrr...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sunday pm

good day so far...met shaw talley who coordinates the safe parking program here...interviewed a man, guy trevor...53 years old originally from london with two kids...his ex wife has custody...once earned 6 figures and lived in palm springs...after divorce, job loss, etc, was sleeping in his car...just paid $5000 for a 1978 rv...i'll sleep in my car's only 5 pm and i'm already completely exhausted. more later

made it!

no fiery balls of flame falling from the sky so i'm feeling much better...spent the night in oc last going to pick up a rental car and head up the coast!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Leaving for the airport!

ok all. i'm off to the airport. i'm not a big fan of flying, so i've been a little nervous today. i've left strict instructions with micah that if my plane crashes into a fiery ball of flames, he is to turn my journals over to my cousin, who will either destroy them or publish them anonymously. oh, and he has to take care of bud and crash until they enter the spirit world.
i'm sure everything will be fine. it's kind of ridiculous. i spent 4 years in so cal when i was in school, after all, so i don't know what i'm so nervous about.
anyhoo, i feel a bit like george costanza on know how he always pretended to be an architect? that's me...pretending to be some kind of storyteller.
ok, i'll have an in n out burger for each of you and post when i have a chance!
thanks for ALLLLLL your love, support, help, encouragement, etc!