Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dodging a bullet

It looks like the worldwide financial system has dodged a bullet and will not meltdown. And in even bigger news it looks like I will get a pardon and will not face the gallows for my part in Fishgate. It seems the jury is not available as a result an outbreak of "exploding diarrhea." Another happy ending!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Laid Low

The stomach flu has been running wild here at Broening Manor and wiped out half the team. I am feeling better and we are just waiting for the rest of the fam to take their turn. Not pretty.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Making a living

I have been shooting a bunch of editorial this week.

I was supposed to have 15 minutes to shoot the head of a local bank but was told at the last minute he would give me 4. 4 minutes to do two set ups on 4x5. Yikes. I was looking forward to chatting with him and helping him "process" all that was going on but we never got that far.

I had not shot a frame when the PR flack called out , "two minutes!!!" WTF. I haven't even started yet.

The other shoot was a lot better. I got to shoot 810 portrait of a couple of guys who invented what looked like a giant Mylar balloon -like the kind you see at kids birthday parties. The interesting thing about this balloon was that if you got too close to it you would catch on fire. They actually demonstrated it by setting a piece of wood aflame. I think it also had some solar power application but I liked its fire starting capability.

Big hike tomorrow and need to attend to those fish in the freezer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Goldfish Tribunal: Part 2: The Defense

So now ,a day later, all the neighborhood kids who were not present at Fishgate plus the ones who were, have banded together against me. They are all appalled and repulsed and are out for blood.

I want to tell them that death is part of life and what I did was no better or worse than the bacon they had for breakfast or the leather shoes on their feet. I want to tell them about my friend who grew up on a farm in Indiana. I want to tell them that before he could sit down and watch Gilligan's Island he had to do his chores which included feeding the cows, changing the hay in the stall and drowning the extra kittens in the pond. But of course I don't say any of this.

A neighborhood trial is set for this weekend. Barrows Rd V. Thomas Broening. I am trying to enlist some of the fathers to come to my defense but it appears I will have to stand alone. Again.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Goldfish Tribunal: Part 1: The Indictment

My kids caught me putting two live goldfish in the freezer yesterday. I needed to cut a goldfish in half for an upcoming shoot and figured the best way to do this was to freeze the fish first. They were appalled and begged me for a stay of execution. I would have none of it.

15 minutes later while walking through the kitchen I noticed the container I had put the fish in laying empty on the counter. My kids had liberated the fish and put them in some water in their room. I put the fish back in the freezer while my children howled.

There will be a reckoning.

The Archibald Chronicles:Part One :Holding hands at In N Out Burger

My three kids and I met Archibald at In 'N Out Burger near his house. We all squeezed into a booth while we waited for our food. He grabbed my hand and one of my kid's hands and said, "Let's Pray.

Archibald is a hardcore Unitarian and his wife holds a position at the church similar to Monsignor. They are members at the First Unitarian Church of Kensington (F.U.C.K...I kid you not.)

At their church in the Berkeley Hills(where Kensington is) they are working to ban heterosexual marriage and adding the cockroach to the endangered species act. Berkeley is a special and unique place. There is an organic grocery story there called Berkeley Bowl where the patrons are the most angry and aggressive people I have known. I feel much safer at the taco truck in the 'hood than at the Bowl. I was with my four children making our way slowly through the parking lot when a 70 year old woman in Prius covered with bumper stickers stuck her head out of the car window and called me a cocksucker for taking so long. Inside among rows of bulger wheat and 25 kinds of kale the peace loving patrons seem intent on reenacting scenes from Roller Ball with their chopping carts.

My kids were a little confused. Archibald usually only says grace when he comes for thanksgiving but they were good sports.

The Archibalds have been having Thanksgiving with us for as long as I can remember. Invariably some time during the day we ask him to tell the story of the Toferky. We all gather around and he tells this tale.

The Archibalds had two sets of friends: One set were hardcore vegans the other meat eaters. The vegans wanted a toferky and meat eaters a real turkey. They were at an impasse. Like any good diplomat Archibald performed shuttle diplomacy between the two factions. The meat eater was fine with the having a tofurkey as long as there was a real bird as well. The vegans would not come in the house with the dead animal. Then they relented a bit. A settlement was reached. The vegans would come but the turkey would have to be carved in a different room and could only be brought into the dining room in sliced form. And under no circumstances could any jokes be made at the late turkeys expense.

We ended up meeting the vegans a few months later at a party. I overheard them complaining that they had to bribe the guy at the service station so there SUV would pass smog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Contests and Easy Money

It seems like a day does not go by without an invitation to enter a photography contest. I have entered a ton of them and got accepted by a few though I am not sure it has ever done me any good.

In college I got a photograph accepted in a contest sponsored by Kodak. The prize was 20 rolls of any kind of film they made. My first thought was to get something like Kodachrome because we all coveted it and it was expensive. I was browsing though the film catalogue and came across aerial film. It came in huge 500 ft rolls and was a couple grand each. I requested 20 rolls of it and expected somebody in Rochester would figure it out and just send me Tri-X.

Months later I got a call to come down to the loading dock at the Kenosha News where I was working as an intern.

When I got there I saw a palette full of 20 boxes about the size of a giant UTZ potato chip can. I had won the lottery! I was rich! I just had to find somebody who shot aeriel photography to buy this and I was set. I asked the shipping guys if I could keep the boxes there while I found a buyer.

Not to sound like an old timer but this was long before the internet and ebay. I made dozens of calls but could not find anyone who would buy this let alone knew how to use it.

My boss at the time had a habit of dropping his pants in the the middle of a conversation to tuck in his shirt. He was in this position across the room when he said.

" You know. You are going to have to pay taxes on that."
Him:"The IRS is going to see that as income and will look upon the prize as incomeYou are going to be on the hook for declaring 40 large. "
ME"Oh shit"

I was making $12/hour and had not even started filing taxes yet.

I ended up having to spend $300 to ship back all the film to Rochester from where it came. I never heard back from Kodak.

Three Archive Options: Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse

I have to pick one of these three spreads for Archive.

The Art Student would say,"Fuck'm. You got to show something cool. Show the blurry head."
The rep/consultant would say,"You must show images that look like advertising. Something they can relate to. Show the family image"
Archibald/Other photographers say, "The family shot is too commercial and I am not feeling the blurry head. The woman in the jungle looks beautiful. Show that. "