Monday, October 29, 2007

"When the days, they seem to fall through you, well just let them go..."

It's late evening of the 29th. I just realized that I'm in the vicinity of the two year anniversary of my divorce. Looking back over my archives, it was October 19, 2005.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Well, this morning happened. Now it's evening. Has anything really changed? No, not really... only on paper, and her last name, her maiden restored. I'll not go into any detail because, frankly, it was a very personal moment. All I'll say is that it was not a big occasion at all, but rather more internally moving for all present.

What I am thinking about, though, is again wondering what changed? I feel a bit different, but I'm sure that will wear off. Really, did the marriage end this morning? I don't think so. What ended was the government's recognition of our marriage. Ask any gay couple who have been together for years, and will stay together monogamously for the rest of their lives. They'll tell you they're married, despite the government's refusal to acknowledge. And how many people with rings on their fingers will tell you that the relationship with their spouse hasn't been a real marriage for quite a while?

My marriage on paper dissolved this morning, but the real marriage ended long ago. Still, I feel a certain lightness... and more alone than ever before.

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But, after writing that, I decided to walk to Kroger and cash in my pocketful of change, figuring that if I had enough, I would walk over to Avalanche for a beer or two. Turns out I had $3.83. Hmm... what to do? I could go to the Royal Wok next door for some dumplings. I could go and waste it on one single beer. (no thank you) I even thought about buying a pumpkin and carving it. Instead, I bought a 2-litre of Diet Cherry Coke, and walked over to Hollywood Video for a Sundance-y, wonky, chick-flicky, romantic comedy. The other day I rented Me And You And Everyone We Know, and it turned out to be the most off-kilter romantic movie. Aside from a couple of dodgy scenes, I loved it to pieces.

I pick up the mischeviously titled "Amy's O", and walk back home, movie and pop in grocery bag swinging back and forth. So I'm sitting here in my pj's, sipping my pop, and thus far (as I'm taking an intermission to cook something), it's turning out to be a delightful little movie. What a pleasant evening this has become. :-)


I used to be such a poet. What happened?

e-i-e-i-o!

On the way to school today, a radio host made mention of the Sam Houston Institute of Technology. Laughed myself silly until my instructor told me that the S.H.I.T. doesn't really exist, it's just an old joke. Not only was I embarrassed, but also a little disappointed.

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Last night at their farm, Dark Haired Girl's parents had a hayride for their church. She said the congregation would probably appreciate pictures. As coincidence would have it, I happen to own camera.

Her parents' farm is the single most photo-rich environment in the state of Ohio, especially when that golden late afternoon sunlight streams unhindered across the open field to the west. Ended up taking around 200 photos, but here are some of my favorites that don't include children:









The last three images are of Dark Haired Girl's dad. Next spring, our local cultural center is holding a juried photography contest about life in Miami County. Thinking of entering either of the last two images. Not sure how many can be entered. The contest prospectus isn't available yet.

I wonder who's on the jury. All the best photographers I know of around here would most likely rather be shooting the contest than judging it.

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Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" was just on the radio. I always want to sing "Jacques the Monkey", and pretend it's a song about a little monkey running around Paris wearing a beret.

Just thought I'd leave you with that mental image. :-)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Went to give the mug I photographed from a few posts ago back to its rightful owner, and had a pleasant chat with the guy. Their stuff ain't cheap. That mug cost $15. He gave it to me to say thanks for the sample photograph. Not that they aren't positively overflowing with the guy's wife's handmade pottery, but the gesture was greatly appreciated nonetheless.

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Had an idea. The hottest thing since sunburns in photography is the ringflash. It's a circular flash that surrounds the barrel of the lens and gives a nice shadowless glowing light. Very popular in fashion photography. Pulled this off Google's image search for illustration. It's not mine. :-(



Well, I figured why couldn't I achieve a similar effect by just placing my silver reflective umbrella directly behind the camera position rather than at the usual angles from above. I hoped it would give a reasonably similar effect without having to shell out the $400 I don't even come close to having for a ringflash unit. So I set up a makeshift studio in the garage. Invited Angela to come over after work, but she was busy, so you get... me! Greasy hair, unshaven, laundry day t-shirt, and all.



Ok, so in this first one I look like a deer in oncoming headlights. But you can see where I'm trying to go with this... right?



For this one I squatted down and tried a more over-and-under lighting scheme (evidenced by the catch lights in my eyes) with a bounce card down by my chest.

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And I decided to add my logo watermark. I feel all official now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tonight as I was doing my second job, I got to the westward-facing two-story-tall glass-fronted lobby, (oh, the hyphenation!) and my jaw hit the floor when I saw this absolutely apocalyptic sunset. Knowing how fleeting these things are, I dashed out of the lobby and through the office hallways to get to the janitor's closet where my car keys were. Then I ran through the machine shop (OSHA? What's OSHA?) to get to the side entrance where I parked, and had luckily thought to bring my camera. I actually de-saturated the color on a couple of these just to bring them down and make them believable:






And I had to sneak in a self portrait. I was the only soul around, and that light was just too gorgeous to waste. Yeah, the coif is finally getting pretty long again. (yaaay!) Last night I went over to Dark Haired Girl's, and she was playing with my hair and managed to put a couple of braids in it.



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There's also a great post from earlier today below this one if you haven't already seen it.

... and we'll all be glad when Johnny comes marching home.

After class this morning I decided to head over to the art museum to bum around for a while. As I got to the parking lot, a small crowd was slowly dispersing across the street. Earlier, there had been a homecoming ceremony welcoming back a military unit. Got to chatting with a family whose car I parked next to (that's my Mirth-mobile behind them), and whose son returned home from Iraq. Offered to take a family photo and email it to them:



It felt good to take a picture with some actual meaning. Nothing big or staged or produced or posed. No clever technical trickery. No studio lighting or backdrops. It's not for any personal credit, and most importantly, it's not for any project at school. It's just a quick snapshot in passing that spent all of two minutes in Photoshop.

...but it's a grave and wonderful moment in this random family's history preserved, and has helped restore and solidify my sense of what it means to be a photographer.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And I can't make it on my own / Because my heart is in Ohio.

I was making random doodles in my notebook during class the other day, made up mostly of geometric shapes guided by the lines on the paper. I came up with the following idea, and thought it would make a great logo for Andrew Hutchinson Photography. One version is flat, and the other is more 3-D. I think both have their merits. I'm kind of on the fence, being a firm believer in the KISS principle:




I dunno. I think I'm leaning toward the first as just a nice letterhead logo. For any other applications, such as web, maybe then I can elaborate with more complexity and variation from there. What do you think?

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Micah from the band Hawthorne Heights came by the drive through yesterday. (me, name drop? nahhhh!) The band is back home taking a break between tours. It was good to see him again. Asked him how his dad was doing, and told him about the divorce and being inches away from graduating from OIP&T. He said they're about to begin recording their third album. Wished him luck on that.

I'm really happy that they have such staying power. I'd feared initially that the industry would try to make them into some flavor-of-the-month teenybopper band. Very very pleased that's not the case.

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Man, that would be a sweet gig... shooting for a rock band. * sigh *

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Drove past the tree sculptor on my way home from class today, so I burnt his pics onto a CD and walked down the street to give them to him. Said he may want to hire me for some formal portraits of his completed works.

Little by little....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The devil went down to Georgia, he was lookin for a soul to steal.

So I hear about this super-bacteria that's antibiotic-resistant, and has tragically killed a high school student and infected another. I turn on the Fox News channel and catch the story, and then another "Fox News Alert!" pops up concerning the impending Congressional vote to restrict illegal wiretapping.

The camera cuts from the bespectacled black-suited anchor to this gigantic cartoon character of a man with more white facial hair than Santa Claus. He's wearing a ten-gallon hat of laughable size that looks like it's made of foam and belongs more on the head of some Texas football mascot than a real human being. This guy is then interviewed by the anchor with questions concerning the role of wiretapping in national security, and the inevitable consequences of limiting it. The cartoon guy begins regurgitating all the same clich├ęs that every other conservative mouthpiece drivels. The anchor listens with intense concern, and the occasional "So what you're saying is...", only to repeat exactly what the cartoon guy said.

The homeland security expert is country music star Charlie Daniels.



How does he have the authority to deliver an informed opinion, or even have a jack shit clue about the intelligence concerning the condition of our national security? WHAT THE FUCK??

I thought it was a joke at first, like maybe they were riffing on the Colbert Report or something.

I mean, honestly... why Charlie Daniels? Why not Michael Jackson or Vanilla Ice or Gary Coleman or the "O face" guy from the movie Office Space? I'd say they're all about equally as qualified to be on a national cable news network discussing the ramifications of congressional legislation on homeland security vulnerability.

You'll notice I'm not weighing in an opinion on the matter of wiretapping... because I don't have a jack shit clue about what's really going on out there. For all we know, there may have been a dozen more 9/11 attacks foiled because of it... or perhaps the administration is abusing it to spy on political enemies. Seems plausible now that election races are heating up.

Either way, nobody really knows. I'm just calling bullshit on the people who think they do.

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"Devil Went Down to Georgia" is a piece of pure musical ass-kickery for sure. I'll never question that.

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Did some headshots for an aspiring model yesterday. Liz (who specializes in fashion/glamour photography) said they were excellent, and I dearly wish I could show you, but he's 17 and I don't have a model release.

So after the model shoot, I got stopped by a shop owner whom I'd met when I was shooting Heather, and we got to talking. He gave me a piece of his wife's hand-made pottery and I told him I'd deliver some sample shots the next day. So I set up a table-top makeshift commercial studio in the garage and emailed him these this afternoon:




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[Andy] said, Devil just come on back
If you ever wanna try again
I done told you once you son of a bitch
I'm the best there's ever been


Oh yeah!

Monday, October 15, 2007

You know what? People that use the word 'zeitgeist' annoy me.
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Came upon a wood sculptor today down the street from my house. Thought I'd try to take some photos to strengthen the editorial aspect of my portfolio:










Of course now I'm covered in sawdust, as is the inside of my camera bag.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I don't want to work. I just want to bang on the drum all day.

One of the newer Nine Inch Nails songs is playing now. Poor Trent. He thinks he used to have a porpoise.


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I have witnessed tonight an anomalous quirk in the cosmic fabric of life, the universe, and everything: I bought a bag of pretzel rods and not a single one was broken. Every last one was intact.

I'm buying a couple of lottery tickets tomorrow...

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I'm getting really sick of getting up at 5am to pass coffee and bagels through a hole in the wall. It's just plain unnatural to wake up that early.

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Decided to head out with the camera and walk around by the dam a bit. Nothing spectacular or Pulitzer prize-winning. Just stress relief.







ok, so maybe the second one down is pretty cool. [pats self on back]

Friday, October 12, 2007

You've seen the IBM commercials, right? The ones themed on "Stop talking. Start doing." I've been talking quite a clip about the things I want to do, but so far it's been just that: talking. Trigger finger is getting a bit itchy, you know what I mean?

I've got the gear. I've got the know-how. What I lack is facility. All dressed up and nowhere to go, dammit.

Fear not, little ones. The owner of a local tattoo shop here in town, A & A Ink, wants to do some photos. Let's see how and where that goes...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You know, I go to school with a guy who doesn't say much about his situation, other than that he did a show which garnered him tremendous attention and demand. He's been presented photographic opportunities so huge that they've left him reeling for a week. He has a chance to rocket to success. He has so much work he has to turn down jobs that would make everybody elses' heads spin.

And then I'm out there cold calling, offering my services for absolutely free, and am barely getting a nibble. See, I know I'm good. I know I'm damn good at what I do. That's not where my insecurities lie. It isn't a matter of whether I'm good or not. No, the self-doubt creeps in when I start questioning whether I'm good enough.

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I refuse to believe that I'm not.

A few short months ago, I'd have tried to drown the issue in alcohol, only to have it just fester and decay from self doubt into a certain shame and loathing until I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. Sober, it has nothing to stick to. It's like a spider caught in the bathtub, trying desperately to climb up the smooth sides but getting nowhere.

To this very moment, beer still doesn't appeal to me at all, but I'm dying for a nice whiskey and coke right now. One of these days, maybe, but under circumstances like this I can just about guarantee I'd take it to a dark place.

No, thanks.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pyromania is hot right now

Well, the best case scenario I could think of has happened: Dark Haired Girl and I hit the proverbial "reset button", and have gone back to where we were before I tried to solidify a relationship... only now we say 'I love you.' a lot. It's a good setup. :-)

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My final quarter at school begins tomorrow. I can't believe I'm saying that... final quarter. Has it been nearly two years? Good God.

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I was watching a show on prophecies on National Geographic channel, and they mentioned some mythical British lady named Mother Shipton from a couple of centuries ago, of whose existence there is no direct proof. Her prophecies were made famous by a failing writer named Richard Head.

I repeat: Richard Head

You just can't make this stuff up.

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And now, to borrow a phrase from Jon Stewart's Daily Show, I leave you with this moment of Zen... a photo I took last night. Note what the tattoo on his hand spells out:

Monday, October 01, 2007

This isn't what it looks like....

So I'm enjoying a day off around the house. I'd been watching the TLC show, "Little People Big World" downstairs, and left the TV on when I came upstairs to work on photos on my computer.

About an hour later I hear the car pull up, so I go downstairs just as Chuck walks in, and some fabulously gay guy is critiquing a lady's wardrobe on the TV. I quickly change the channel.

There's no talking my way out of that one.