Archive for category documentary
i was in flagstaff, AZ shooting some of those purina ads you see a few entries ago when one of the local crew told me there was something cool happening in the sky and that i should shoot it. he mentioned some a circle of light and talked about arcs, the shape of ice crystals in the atmosphere, angles and light, and a whole bunch of other confusing things that i was nodding my head while listening to but was completely lost. i threw a 16-35mm lens on my camera at 16mm and quickly shot a panorama of the sky. it kind of got lost in the mix for a while, but i came across the photos, stitched them together, and emailed it to the flagstaff local who clued me in. he asked me to send it to a website called Atmospheric Optics, and they asked if they could use it in a “picture of the day.”
if you spend a few minutes cruising through the Atmospheric Optics website there are some incredible pictures of skyward phenomenon. makes me want to learn more about arcs, the shape of ice crystals in the atmosphere, and angles of light.
i snuck down to my hometown beach, Topsail (pronounced Tops’l) Beach, where i hung with family for a spell. there was an awesome lightning storm passing through one night and i grabbed my camera to snap a couple frames.
i came back inside and sat for a while and as the storm moved on through i set up a little time lapse. it wasn’t fully thought through. i should have done it from the very beginning, and there are a couple glitches where i had to make some adjustments – but ease up on me, dude – it was late and i was on vacation. gosh.
my little brother is the VP of sales and marketing of Ridge Care Senior Living Communities. the first and most important thing you should know is that the Ridge Care family of facilities are NOT nursing homes, so don’t call them nursing homes – unless you do it just for fun to ruffle my brother’s feathers and watch him start to twitch while he explains that they are NOT nursing homes. my little bro asked me if i’d shoot some photos and videos for ridge care so i drove an SUV chocked-full of equipment back to my motherland of NC and made it happen.
i was really impressed with the whole operation. every facility we shot at was clean and classy. all the staff we interviewed – from the head honcho all the way down the line – felt like they really cared about what they were doing; and all of the residents and residents’ family members we interviewed had nothing but good to say. it was nice to see people who couldn’t or didn’t want to live alone find a dignified place to call home.
one day i was talking to my brother and randomly mentioned that i wanted to interview mallwalkers – just to see what makes them tick. my brother got excited and said, “Well, we can do this! Ridge Care actually sponsors a mall walking group called Hearts and Soles. Do you want me to make some calls and set you up with some people to interview?” when i told him “Heck yes,” he got on the horn and a few minutes later said, “Be at the mall tomorrow at 8am.”
and just like that…
60-some years ago Asghar Ghahraman wanted to live in america but he couldn’t afford the trip – so he did what any other level-headed iranian would do: he joined the iranian navy, waited 9 years to dock in america, jumped ship, and swam to the land of liberty. the next few months took him far south, then far north. being homeless in nyc, he realized the american dream of building something out of nothing. at the time of this interview, mr. ray (he learned spanish to forge a drivers license/new identity as “raymond alvarez”) is 81 and has been running his candy store on avenue A. for 40 years without ever taking a vacation. i love this guy, i love his store, and i love his chocolate milkshakes. this is my tribute to the nicest guy in the east village.
his family records say he’s 99 – his military records say he’s 100. nobody really knows, so next year he’ll celebrate his 100th again just to be sure. you would NEVER KNOW he’s 99 (or maybe 100). his mind is sharp as a tack and his body is in better shape than most americans half his age. in fact the last time we visited abuelo, he was all stove up because he fell while riding his bicycle. all that and the guy plays a mean game of dominos. see you next year at your 100/101 year party, abuelo.
i’ve always been fascinated with the concept of beauty and why people feel attractive or unattractive. one might feel attractive for having a particularly strong facial/bodily features, and another might feel unattractive for having the same features. as styles and fads come and go, the light by which we perceive ourselves is constantly flickering. it’s so wild to think about. in 2007 i decided to post ads on craigslist and some other online classified ad sites searching for people who felt ugly or unattractive who would be willing to let me interview them and take their photo. i interviewed and shot 4 people, but i ran out of free time and the project got buried under the massive pile of everything else in my brain. now, years later, i was digging through the mountain of stuff in my head and found the project. i changed the art direction a little and added video to the mix. now, finally i give you i am unbeautiful.