• All About a Boy

    On March 3, 1978, in the only hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I was born into this world kicking and screaming, and my parents often remind me that I haven't changed much since. I choose to take that as a compliment. My kicking and screaming isn't a vulgar retaliation against the injustices of this world that have caused me great suffering and misfortune, for I've lived a truly blessed life. Wonderful parents, wonderful siblings, wonderful friends. I even had a wonderful dog once, but he ran away. And I've had my fair share of wonderful experiences. My kicking and screaming is a celebration of life, a manifestation of the joy I feel for being alive. It's a manic urge to express myself through a number of mediums in loud, bright colors that say "Thank you God for blessing me with so much!" Not to say that I don't paint gloomier themes in darker colors sometimes, as manic urges are just one part of an alternating cycle of highs and lows. I'm sure a graph of my life would alternate erratically back and forth across that central axis that represents "normality", but I can say truthfully that I'm happy the curves of my life have never become lines, especially ones that rest flat on that central axis. I plan to go on kicking and screaming when I can, and when I can't, in those periods of self-reflection and soul-searching that I sometimes desperately crave, I hope to learn how to kick harder and scream louder. Not to lash out, but to be heard. Not to hurt, but to help. To change. And to create.

    That's my deepest desire, my one true driving energy. To create. And a tortuous, sometimes agonizing path it has been to discovering how best to create. It's a path I'll most likely spend my entire life stumbling down, discovering new outlets for my creative urges as I go. I see a lot of Vincent van Gogh in me. Not that I'll ever have his talent (although he'd be the first to argue that talent can be a very subjective thing), or necessarily find that one medium of expression to so faithfully, and painfully, pursue, but I feel that same feverish drive to create at times, and I've seen how it can lead me to both great joy and misery, often simultaneously. And to think I was once an aspiring engineer. Oh, the roads we travel in life. Never knowing the way because we never know the final destination.

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Sesame Street China Launch

Posted on 12/06/2012

Categories: Asia, China, Photography , Tags:

With the Western world inundating China with the best and worst it has to offer these past few decades, it’s no surprise that eventually even Big Bird would make a migrational trip over the Pacific to visit the Middle Kindgom himself.  His inaugural visit was part of a water conservation project sponsored by Thirst, an Australian NGO based in Beijing that has done a series of ‘water dragons’ with school kids around China.  This event also involved making a water dragon with a thousand elementary school kids from Baijiazhuang Elementary School in central Beijing.  To shoot it I had to go up on the roof of the 6-story school building, attach my camera to a 3 meter boom pole (that’s not really made to hold more than a microphone, so I had to improvise), stand on the ledge of the roof, and extend the boom pole out as far as I could without falling off the building (I used Magic Lantern’s timelapse function on my 5D so it would continuously shoot a photo every 3 seconds while extended out from the roof).  Let me tell you, a 5D with a wide angle zoom lens on it is already pretty heavy, but at the end of a 3 meter pole it produces a LOT of torque!  So I would send the camera out for a minute or so at a time, bring it in and check the pictures while my poor arms rested, then send it back out for more pictures.  I repeated this for about 15 minutes, and at the end I’m sure had I ripped my shirt and jacket off (which I never would have done in the subzero temperatures… it was COLD that day!) my normally puny arms would have looked pretty ripped.  Not as ripped as Big Bird of course, and remembering this I quickly forgot about my sore arms and rushed back inside to prepare for Big Bird’s big entrance.

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