Monday, December 20, 2010

Unconditional

My odometer light has gone out in my car. I dont think i'm quite at 200k yet, but very nearly there. After a busy year and especially busy fall, I am very excited to ring in the New Year with new opportunities. Every year I grow as a person and try to live life to the fullest of my ability while having wonderful people right along with me.

I finally finished my last shoot of the year yesterday. I drove home from Indianapolis under a clear sky and blueish appearing snow under a full moon. It just reminded me how lucky we all are to see such a gorgeous site as the vast space backdrop each night. We have evolved from nothing, and we need to treasure our precious lives here. What better time of the year to remind ourselves this?

I know I am... and i'm also lucky this surprise is in my life. I am of the opinion there is no positive emotion felt by humans than unconditional love. He has taught me this;

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jupiter!

I've officially put 6,000 miles on my car in a month, and what a great month it has been. From St Paul to Boston to North Carolina to Rochester.

Headed to The Emerald City (Seattle) and Vancouver next week to see some of my favorite people in the world.

Until then, watch Aidan recite the planets;

Friday, October 8, 2010

Everywhere I Go...

I am amazed at the life, the thinking, the learning, and the laughing. Listening to The Black Keys on repeat for 1/3 of my 12 hour drive back.. set me free.

It only gets better from here.





Mark Haskins August 2010 - The Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Aidan Video

I do not have a video camera but I do have a few videos to share, which would give you a better idea of the character and personality of my little angel.

video

video

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"It's Waves Right There!"

Aidan said his first 4 word sentence i've heard while looking at my phone and the beautiful pictures of Shi Shi. I'm so proud of him. He keeps excelling by leaps and bounds.

I have been looking for philosophy to read lately (as it has been far too long) but sometimes I should look at the simple philosophy in front of me. I could take something from living in the moment with Aidan and apply that to my own personal life and the goals in it. Why focus on 10 years down the road when living in the moment feels so much more amazing and real? It seems that people tend to get too focused on worrying about what they're going to be doing in ten years, or what their life is supposed to be compared to everyone else, which is really society's fault. "Figuring yourself out" is a process of life but to get too focused on it you really lose sight of the important things right in front of you and some have been the entire time...

Marine life;


One of the most brilliant sunsets ive ever witness captured by a crappy phone but I remember it very vividly...


Tide Pools;



Sea stack;


My heaven.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grainy Baby

I am currently sitting in a McDonald's in the middle of nowhere upstate New York waiting on 10:30 shoot. I've had a productive trip. I havent been here before and I noticed a few things, it's huge, it's pretty, and there are a lot of colleges, businesses, and just interesting things here. Corning glass, Cornell, RIT, Kodak... yeah a non existent Kodak. I was shooting with a guy who explained he used to work at Kodak in Rochester and explained he had a 4x5 camera with film just sitting in his fridge. I went down to look at his darkroom and was amazed at how much equipment he had as well as the fact it was organized.. almost too organized...

He then explained he hadnt used it in quite some time and how he bought most of the equipment at yard sales. Including his $3000 enlarger for... $100. Yes One-hundred dollars. My jaw dropped to the floor. We are really transitioning out of this medium and I just cant believe it. Film makes me think. I operate on the fact I really think about the image before I click the shutter. None of my cameras have a "cloudy/sun/people" setting on them. They dont think for me, they force me to think. Not to say everyone uses digital cameras that way and film is better I just prefer the f-stop, shutter speed, and iso setting... and well that's it. It literally forces me to think about my shot after I have the idea or see the image in my head. I create better images this way. It's for me... I can only hope it will last another 50 years but I digress...

I also watched an Annie Leibovitz documentary last night. She grew up a lot like I did and thought the same way I did. The way I saw a picture was through the square image of my dad's window on his 1982 Chevy Silverado due to moving constantly from his welding life. I remember thinking how I wished I had a camera to document our lives....we loved it. My dad had a polariod and I started using that. I acquired a 110 camera from my uncle at age 10. Photographing my sister crying because I wouldnt give her my camera to get her way.

My mother asked; "why did you photograph her like that? She is crying not smiling!" I simply said; "because that is who she is."....

This is probably my favorite portrait of the most important person in my life waking up. He is so beautiful when he wakes up and I am inspired now to document even more than I have;



taken with an Agfa 6x9. Tri X 400.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Intolerance

I had an experience tonight that made me think a lot...

I was in a restaurant tonight with Aidan's father, his friend and her 11 year old daughter. Aidan was very hyper sensitive and I quickly remembered why I didnt take him out in public places due to the reaction of most of the people.

He was swinging the cord on the blinds, jumping up and down flapping his arms in the booth, grabbing the bottle of sauce and making noise with it on the table etc. All I kept focusing on was calming him down. We all understood at the table but no one else did.

These sorts of things make me angry that I have to teach a child who doesnt understand empathy, social behaviors or the repercussions to act like he does as a routine instead of educating the masses of him.

But I digress..

On a happier note an 11 year old understood him more than 99% of the adults in the room. He kissed her of course.



His scribbles to me...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Irony Flower

I had a very emotionally traumatic day yesterday at the funeral. You just realize someone who was a symbol of your belief; "no matter religious belief, being a good person is who you are." My 2nd dad....was gone.

There were many bouquets but the combination of two on the coffin were of his immediate family and people who I feel have taken advantage of him....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Volunteering

Having a conversation with one of my best friends today, and she mentioned volunteering for one additional reason other than the obvious two.

1. I am a nice person and I love helping people when I can. It makes them feel good as well as myself because of that reason.

2. I gain valuable experience such as; food prep (soup kitchen), resources from knowledgeable people and situations in a direction I want to take my life.

3. It looks good on a resume

The point is experience and doing something good. So I have volunteered for 4 places. 1. Meal prep at a homeless shelter
2. Library assistance to young children
3. Gardening to a local conservatory
4. Offering any time I have to help with the angels of autism network.

This makes me happy and excited.

Who knows where this path will lead but only good things I suspect.





Aidan and I at the park yesterday.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

F-Eleven

I have the privilege of being a part of a small community of very talented photographers. We have made our own collection of our work and published a 2nd volume. This one means a little more to me as the charity is Autism Research. My work in the book is of my son who, as you may or may not know is affected by Fragile X Syndrome and Autism.

This means a lot to me personally so I do hope you will enjoy it;


http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1239715

http://www.blurb.com/books/1239715

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Untitled Happiness

Currently have a severe head cold. I am driving to North Carolina tomorrow and hope this thing is gone soon.

I'm working on a biography for a book i'll be published in, in a couple of weeks. It's very near and dear to my heart.

I'm so close to finding my calling in life... I can almost reach it but it's a little blurry to see yet...


Aidan will not stop talking and that makes me feel like this;



Self portrait 2010.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Traveling Toward Everywhere

I was on a 6 hour flight from Charlotte to San Francisco last night after a 4 hour layover and a 2 hour delay....

During the flight I was reading a book that was given to me by one of my best friends called; Riding Toward Everywhere by Williamt T Vollman. The book is about himself and his companion Steve taking to the rails on freight cars. Questioning anything and everything subjecting both our national romance and our skepticism about hobo life and the reality of what he actually sees.

I read two things in this book that stuck with me. One had to do with an old man and his life on the train. What kept him going was the freedom of it. Upon reflection, it brought him to tears because it is such a sharp contrast to his own current life now which is completely organized. The second, when you travel, whatever mode of transportation you are in, it takes you places you would have never seen otherwise from different views. You then start to analyze; "Where exactly am I going? What am I doing?" Where is "Everywhere?"

In the airport, I heard people bitching left and right... and to be honest I wasnt exactly happy about the scenario but would I trade it for anything else? Absolutely not. It's part of my life I have grown to enjoy and appreciate. Its always different everyday and there's always a story to tell.

Then it hits you... the journey is the real gem here. Everywhere, is getting there.



Taken with my phone in the bathroom stall of an airport

Friday, January 22, 2010

Love

I called a friend of mine while driving to New York and thinking - as per usual. I had this epiphany to what it took for relationships to work. People have a misconception that as long as you are in lust or care about a person it will work... it doesnt work that way.

The Four Loves -4 Greek words that mean love, I had the conversation about three of them. The other is storge (pronounced STORE-gay) which is the Greek word for "natural affection" which is really unconditional love.

Eros - which means passion, fire, physical attraction, romance.

Phileo - which means friendship but also more than friendship. Phileo is the word behind Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love". Phileo is a deep and abiding affection for another person. Phileo means taking delight in being in the presence of the other, as in "I love to be with you". Phileo is like slipping into a favorite set of old clothes that feels very comfortable, except that you are slipping into a very comfortable relationship.

Agape - a long term commitment to another person. Agape says "I will treat you like I love you even when I don't feel like I love you". Agape is what keeps one person loyal to another during the more stressful times in a relationship. Agape treats another person well, even if they aren't treating you well in return.

Ideally, a couple would have all three all of the time. Realistically, eros and phileo can fade from time to time. There are difficult times in which we just don't enjoy being with the other person. Or we are in no mood to be passionate. We don't feel romantic. Agape is the glue that holds a relationship together when eros and/or phileo are at low tide.

A lot of couples who have been together a long time (for decades rather than for years) would say that it is easier to live without eros for a while, than to live without phileo for a while.

All that is all with timing and understand as with anything else....


Hey this is the philosophy of a nude model.. well more like epiphanies that I have and then realize they have already been coined by people smarter than I.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Cure

Not the band...

I was sent an article this morning that made me think, again. http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/24325/

"I think that fragile X-targeted treatments are at the cutting edge of reversing cognitive deficits in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders," says Randi Hagerman, medical director of the M.I.N.D. Institute at the University of California, Davis. Hagerman consults with a number of companies, including Seaside, that are developing treatments for fragile X syndrome. "This could lead to reversing intellectual disabilities and behavioral problems with this disorder," she says. "That is extremely exciting."

The fragile X mutation blocks production of a protein called FMRP (fragile X mental retardation protein), whose normal task is to inhibit molecular activity at the connections between nerve cells. Loss of the protein appears to throws the system out of whack. "It's like driving a car with your foot on the accelerator and no brake," says Randall Carpenter, a physician and cofounder of Seaside. "There is too much activation of that pathway."


I read something on the BBC a year or so ago that scientists had reversed the syndrome in lab mice. I'm reading this and crying. This is a very real possibility. It could be 15-20 years before the drug is marketed and available...

Which means I have a lot of thinking and decision making to do.

A lot.


On another note;
http://f-elevenbooks.com/robertson/bio-robertson.html



It's official, im a published photographer. That makes me feel pretty amazing and pushes me even more to publish a book on Aidan.