Dauphin Island and South Mississippi, Fuji Color

October 4, 2016 at 12:41 am

From space where the soil is sand.

Photo Exploration: Brick from Katrina, August 2015.

August 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Ten years. In my com­ing-on-ear­ly-mid-life­time, I’ve expe­ri­enced a few ten year anniver­saries. Ten years after the space­ship Chal­lenger. Ten years after high school grad­u­a­tion. Ten years after 9/11. And now, ten years after Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na dec­i­mat­ed the gulf coast across three states.

There are many, many, many remem­brances and notes and sto­ries and tes­ti­monies that will be shared today. I don’t have much of a tragedy to share — all my fam­i­ly sur­vived, near­ly all our homes were intact, and although I was with­out pow­er for three weeks, it was a small price in the larg­er pat­tern of destruc­tion. I don’t car­ry much in the way of per­son­al sor­row or loss.

What I do car­ry with me is a brick. One brick I’ve kept from the mil­lions and mil­lions that once formed thou­sands and thou­sands of homes that were dam­aged or lost in the storm.

The facts have been known for so long and the analy­sis of the fail­ures so detailed that it’s almost rote at this point to dis­cuss the day. I do have my own mem­o­ries and emo­tions from the day and what hap­pened after­wards for sure. But I think that a bet­ter sto­ry is one of a sin­gle piece of mason­ry that was in a home for year and years, then ripped away from its place and left in the mud by nature being.…well, nature. We can’t be mad at nature and we can’t fault storms for grow­ing into mon­sters, but what we can do is exam­ine at a piece of what remained to see if we have bet­ter pre­pared our­selves for the next time cli­mate comes knock­ing at our door.

Hibiscus, Ocean Springs. December 2014.

December 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm

One a recent short-notice trip to the Mis­sis­sip­pi Gulf Coast I was with­out any cam­era but my cell phone (LG G2). There was one last bloom on my fam­i­ly’s back­yard hibis­cus, a bril­liant pink with orange and yel­low pollen. But the chance to explore the black and white capa­bil­i­ties of the tool du jour called so strong­ly, and I’m tak­en with the results.

Tak­en with the default Cam­era appli­ca­tion, and mod­i­fied in the Android Pho­to­shop app, but just crop­ping and lev­els. Amaz­ing what portable elec­tron­ics can do these days.

Visit to Mississippi School for Math and Science, August 2014

August 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

A vis­it to my high school board­ing school, with some of the dri­ve between Nashville and Columbus.

All the Square Books, Oxford MS. April 2014

May 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Photo Exploration: Empty Cabinet

March 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

Mis­sis­sip­pi is a bit of home. There isn’t any­where I’ve spent as much time, and very few places I’ve done as much pho­tog­ra­phy. I tend to tread care­ful­ly with that imagery how­ev­er. It’s a loaded space to pho­to­graph — near­ly every­one I’ve known has his­to­ry there, and not all of it pleasant. 

How do you go from broad­ly paint­ed strokes to per­son­al­ly vivid, nar­row­ly focused work? Where is a start­ing point, maybe a touch­stone for focus­ing in on a sin­gle moment? If that can be found, then we can work back­wards and build a nar­ra­tive that involves the his­to­ry and the pres­ence of the area. Instead of a few vague thoughts, we will have cre­at­ed a sol­id con­struct to han­dle all the infor­ma­tion and emo­tion from engag­ing such an over­pow­er­ing entity.

I had the excep­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ty to pho­to­graph in two dear places in late Feb­ru­ary. One, the town of Natchez, was where I was born and spent a great major­i­ty of my ear­ly life. Walk­ing around down­town and vis­it­ing my grand­par­en­t’s old home and church, tak­ing pho­tographs of places I’d been pho­tograph­ing since near­ly my first roll of film. It was remark­able in the qui­et and noth­ing­ness of a sun­ny Tues­day after­noon. The oth­er loca­tion was around my in-law’s fam­i­ly farm house. My wife’s great-aunt passed away in the late 1990’s and the house had been untouched in many ways since. Although the prop­er­ty is occu­pied with equip­ment and hors­es, the house itself has been devoid of per­ma­nent res­i­dence in over a decade. Being grant­ed per­mis­sion to pho­to­graph the rooms as I found them was a lux­u­ry — the insight into what is still a very accu­rate por­trait of life there was amazing.

Using those two loca­tions as the gen­er­al map for track­ing a path across Mis­sis­sip­pi, I gath­ered mate­r­i­al for a series ten­ta­tive­ly titled “Where the Dust Set­tles.” Below is one of the pho­tographs from that series. All film, either Ektar 100 (120) or Ilford HP5+ (35mm).

Empty Cabinet

The sim­plic­i­ty of a bath­room — a heater, a cab­i­net. Left ajar for a dozen or more years. To be hon­est, I don’t even know if the cab­i­net is emp­ty. There could very well be med­i­cine, band-aids, old mag­a­zines and Maalox wait­ing for a bit of light to shine in. But it was not my turn to dis­turb the scene. I set up, metered/focused and exposed the film. 

Ava’s Mailbox, Wallpaper

January 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm

It’s a new year, we made it to 2013, anoth­er arbi­trar­i­ly marked trip around the sun (with a few course cor­rec­tions along the way)! OK, I’m not real­ly that cyn­i­cal and I’m cer­tain­ly glad to be here. And with that in mind, and keep­ing in mind that I haven’t always kept up my promis­es for reg­u­lar updates, I’m going to try and add a new fea­ture here with this blog.

Week­ly wall­pa­per sets. But not just any wall­pa­per sets, oh no. These will be cre­at­ed from a pho­to tak­en in the last week. So it’ll be hot and fresh and as heart warm­ing as baked bread. Unless you are gluten free, then it will be as heart warm­ing as fresh GF banana muffins.

With the intro­duc­tion out the way, here is one from a vis­it to Mis­sis­sip­pi last week­end (pho­to from Sat­ur­day, so still in the last week but bare­ly). It is (one of) the mail­box­es from an old fam­i­ly home in Mis­sis­sip­pi. It is actu­al­ly my in-law’s fam­i­ly house, and I am grate­ful for their shar­ing some time explor­ing the property.

Ava Mailbox

Click here for the Wall­pa­per as a .zip file. It includes files in a vari­ety of aspect ratios and a small Readme.