I don’t see things in black and white … hashtag black and white challenge

On Facebook, I was challenged to the B&W challenge … the hashtag phenomenon that is the modern equivalent of a chain letter.

Like most photographers, I started with a basic SLR, a 50mm lens and a few rolls of B&W film.

But if I had a choice, I wouldn’t have shot black and white. I don’t care about black and white. I never have. I like when other people do black and white just fine. I guess I don’t love it either.

Sure film and photography got its start in black & white, but nothing compared to color. Sure, people almost fainted the first time they saw a train approaching in the Z axis. And nothing terrorized audiences like King Kong beating his chest in the original.

But it’s Technicolor that ended up being the milkshake that brought all the boys — and girls — to the yard.

Or that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I see a lot of people receive the black and white challenge and they go find some beloved work, convert it to black and white and present it to the world.

Big fucking yawn.

Some people really do see in black and white. Like the folks who photographed the movie Double Indemnity. Those people are artists.

I have friends who love and work well in the medium.

But I’m sorry. I see in color. Or my version of color. And that’s what I like.

Maybe it’s the metaphor of not seeing in black and white. Maybe it’s that the world works in a form of color to me, and it makes me happy to see things “realistically.”

But I’m taking the fucking challenge anyway. And I’m debating  between these two images as my first submission …





Reliving our short 40 hours in Istanbul


As our schedule allows, I’m running back through our trip’s photography to find more that I haven’t posted yet.

I will warn you. I’m posting a lot here.

I can look at street photography all day long, which is why I feel comfortable posting many photos in a row. If it were a photo shoot with a model, I only post one or two finished photos. I could be wrong, but the industry tends to lean toward not over doing it when showing models or portraits.

But everything’s different when looking at the street, especially when it’s foreign to the viewer.

The great pinch in the tuchas when looking at Street photos is that these people and places exist. Every day that you live your life, somewhere else, there are gobs of people carrying on their day to day business. They’re going to school, to work, to church and to play. They eat and shop, all in places and in languages that differ very differently than your day. While you were born in your family, with your friends and your deeply-loved hobbies, ideas, beliefs, politics, there are zillions of people who have astonishingly different views.

Where you are born is a lottery that so many win. And there are contrasts to winning the lottery that boggle my mind with every viewing of a street photo.

What’s left after all this thought is the humbling reminder that despite all our differences, we are all the same. We all want to eat, to sleep, to love, to be healthy, to laugh and to live.

We are all incredibly different while excruciatingly similar.


















































What to say about Robin Williams

Just like most of you, I knew Robin Williams from his long-lived career in motion picture. I didn’t know him personally. But sometimes celebrities are so familiar, you consider them close.

At times, he made me laugh harder than anyone could. At others, he annoyed me. There was a TV show that he starred in over the last few years that didn’t last long. Damn, it was awful.

Tina was a huge fan of Mork and Mindy. I was a big fan of his performances in Dead Poets, Good Will, Aladdin, The Final Cut, Hook, The Fisher King, The Birdcage and (Oh god) Mrs. Doubtfire.

The Birdcage is a movie that I could watch every time it’s on TV. It likely was a large proponent for helping me get over the homophobia engrained in my noggin from youth.

In case you didn’t know, Tina was the influence for Nathan Lane’s performance in Birdcage.

He made local headlines in Asheville when he shot Patch Adams, which was a heart warmer. My college roommate was an extra and shows up in a bus in the opening scene.

I don’t really care about his depression. I know people are talking about that. And I’m not a big fan of associating him so much with his dialogue as the ways he performed.

I’m not a fan of the term Rest in Peace. It seems to me that we’re all hoping his spirit doesn’t come back and haunt us. That’s weird.

I can’t say goodbye to him, because his immortality will live with us for as long as we have his movies and TV appearances. That’s the only way I know the guy anyway. So in a way, he’s not really all that dead except for the fact that we won’t see much new content from him. Although, there will be a huge Academy Award segment devoted to him, I’m sure.

Kottke posted the video on his blog below, and I couldn’t help but repost it here.

Seize today, guys. Seize it.


New hashtag recommendation: #DGB (Did Google Break?)

In case you didn’t know, we live in a connected world with connected devices. If you have a phone that flips out and texting the letter F means tapping the number three three times, pinch yourself. You probably don’t exist.

In conversations, if you can’t remember something, type it in your phone and the question you’re asking will likely auto insert into your browser and you can have an answer within seconds, pending your location and signal strength.

Just last night, a friend was over and she’s beating her brains out over the minutiae of some actors name in a movie. She can’t move on with her goddamn story until she remembers that goddamn name … ugh, it’s on the tip of my tongue!

In the middle of cooking burgers, corn and rushing around the kitchen, I type in the title of the movie and say, “Mark Ruffalo!”

She pointed at me and said, “Yes! Gosh. I was about to die trying to remember.”

Did Google Break?



Hashtag. DEE GEE BEE.

Write it. Learn it. Use it.

Last night, I met Bill up at the bar. We were talking to a 20-something female friend of ours and the topic of kinky sex came up. “What have you done?” “Well, what have you done? That’s when I learned, from the 20-something, the term “Pegging.” I can’t unlearn that. And Googling it brought me to a wiki page for it, and now I really can’t unlearn it.

Not only is it a true term, Google wasn’t broke and I can’t find a reason to not talk about it more often from here on out at every party I go to.

Hashtag, IWGB = #Iwishgooglebroke.

This morning, I received a message from a friend. She did some nicey nice and then asked, “So I need your expertise. I want to do a movie night outside on the cheap. What projector should I buy to do this? Is this one good enough?”



Did Google fucking break?

I mean for fuck’s sake. I’m not an expert. Nobody’s an expert anymore. All you need for almost every question in the universe right now is a computer or smart phone, a browser, and a finger to tap your questions.

Wondering about what camera to buy. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

Wondering about a topic to write about. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

Wondering about a religious question. Google’s not broken. Type it in.

How about cars? #DGB

No! Google’s not broken.

Wondering about that red dot on your stomach that just appeared …

You better hope your Google’s broken, because in two minutes, you’re going to self diagnose yourself with cancer.


George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me

Published on Jul 4, 2014

When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security” measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.

Explaining away ghosts and gods is easy, unless you’re somehow unable to do so

Me? I don’t believe in ghosts, goblins, gods or anything supernatural.

I just don’t.

I read this article recently in The Raw Story titled: Our ancient caveman instincts may explain our belief in gods or ghosts.

The article’s author, Steve Kelly, writes essentially that we believe in ghosts because we survived human history by giving supernatural rationale for a rustling of leaves or a volcano. Science hasn’t yet infiltrated the evolution of the human mind enough to make a dent in the irrationality of pervading religious thoughts.

Kelly writes:

Notions of gods arise in all human societies, from all powerful and all-knowing deities to simple forest spirits. A recent method of examining religious thought and behaviour links their ubiquity and the similarity of our beliefs to the ways in which human mental processes were adapted for survival in prehistoric times.

It rests on a couple of observations about human psychology. First, when an event happens, we tend to assume that a living thing caused it. In other words, we assume agency behind that event. If you think of the sorts of events that might have happened in prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why a bias towards agency would be useful. A rustling of a bush or the snapping of a twig could be due to wind. But far better to assume it’s a lion and run away.

Oddly enough, the information wasn’t that big of a mystery revealed. It’s a late arrival to a party that’s already been packed up.

Ain’t nobody who’s religious going to read that article and think, “Man, this has convinced me that my religion is based on a weakness generated by evolution …”


Because evolution itself is a pejorative evoking negative thoughts immediately.

An article like this is only good for the kids who subscribe to the idea that there aren’t ghosts and goblins.

In Louis C.K.’s SNL opening monologue a couple weeks ago, he talked about religion and God saying:

I’m not religious. I don’t know if there’s a God. That’s all I can say, honestly, is “I don’t know.” Some people think that they know that there isn’t. That’s a weird thing to think you can know. “Yeah, there’s no God.” Are you sure? “Yeah, no, there’s no God.” How do you know? “Cause I didn’t see Him.” There’s a vast universe! You can see for about 100 yards — when there’s not a building in the way. How could you possibly… Did you look everywhere? Did you look in the downstairs bathroom? Where did you look so far? “No, I didn’t see Him yet.” I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet; it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m just waiting until it comes on cable.

And, no, I have not looked under the stairs, either. Nor have I looked behind every planet or star.

A god, gods, ghosts or goblins do an amazing job at hiding, though. They do it so well that there’s absolutely no, not one shred of evidence to indicate that the bump in the night is anything other than something natural with natural causes.

The evidence points to science, and when something seems unnatural, it’s likely something that is explanative and you didn’t wait for the explanation and made up your own conclusion or the explanation hasn’t been conceived yet.

In sum, I don’t know there’s nothing else as Louis C.K. so boldly pointed out. But I don’t know there is either. And that difference makes me happy to have a natural understanding of natural worldly events.

Thank goodness.