What it’s all about

You put your left foot in
You take your left foot out
You put your left foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about


I really have no idea what this guy was doing.  I’m guessing he was stretching because he had been on his feet to long and his legs were sore.  It’s hard to know for certain but the fam and I were coming down the stairs from the contemporary exhibits at LACMA on the floor above, when he started doing his awkward little dance.  


I had just shot out a roll on the Mamiya so it was empty and the M7 was in my bag.  Actually it’s my wife’s bag but she’s letting me use it.  It’s this gorgeous black ONA with the red dot on the front and red interior that she bought at Samy’s.  I love it, although but I’m not aloud to call it mine because she might take it back from me one day.  The issue of bag ownership is neither here nor there but, it is so choice.  If you have the means I highly recommend picking one up.


So the guy is hokey pokey’ing on his right foot–it’s already been sufficiently shaken all around and he returns it to it’s regular position astride his left foot in what I would call a normal, two-legged guard-stance.  I haven’t faired as well though, the Mamiya is out of my hands now and in the bag but I’m only just managing to get the M7 out when he commences to putting his left foot in.    My pace quickens and I switch on the Leica.  I look down at see that I’m already at f2 so I set the shutter at 1/30 and take the last last two steps with a large and really ungraceful half-lunge/half-fall.  I frame and shoot and I swear to you here and now, dear reader, I thought I missed it.  In fact I was pretty sure that if I got anything at all it would have been motion-blurred to shit since there was no way that neither he nor I were still when I made the image. 


In my mind all I could think was, that’s what it’s all about. 


Shot on the Leica M7, 35mm cron with an amber filter on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 800 at the Icon.    


This is my girl

No need for a long diatribe tonight.  This is my girl, Anna Maria.  I made this picture a couple weeks ago when we went to the beach right around sunset.  She was running around like she’s want to do, taking pictures of all things beach.  For just a second she was standing still, like she was just taking it all in—the sunset and the kids and the huge waves—all of it.  She was rim lit by the sinking sun and I couldn’t help but think of how beautiful she looked standing there, in her new hat and her cut off shorts searching calmly for her last image in those final seconds of the day.  AM looked liked she was meant to be there—like she had been doing it her whole life so that I could be there to see it just at that moment.  I could feel my chest swell for some reason.  I could even feel my heart hurt a little.    


I moved in closer, bent my knees to come down ever so slightly and made this image.  Shot on the my Leica M7 with the amber filter on a Summicron 35.  I used Kodak Tri-X 400 film pushed to 800 at the Icon.  


One by one

The story behind this image is more anecdotal than anything but at the same time a testament to how sheep-like we humans can be at times–or at least how sheep like I can be at times.  


I had just walked out of the LA/LA exhibit at LACMA in a pretty good mood.  The exhibit was superb and I was fairly certain some lovely images (by yours truly) would be waiting for me once I processed my rolls.  I don’t really know what I was thinking about as I moseyed around, in fact I would say that I let my mind wander as I sashayed.  Maybe I was considering the pictures, perhaps the art, or possibly whatever, but at some point after exiting the exhibit I totally spaced-out  and queued up for something.    


Now, when I realize that I’m in a queue, I also realize that I don’t actually remember why I’m queueing.  I also realize that I have no idea where the queue leads or how long I’ve been standing in it.  I figure it can’t have been long.  I briefly look around and neither my wife nor my children are waiting in this queue.  They are all standing across the hall looking at me waiting in a queue looking at them.  I wave and they wave back, a bit confused but I’m guessing that I look like I know what I’m doing.  


But what the fuck am I doing?  Now it’s getting more than a bit ridiculous.  I look around at my comrades in the queue.  They seem to be in control of their mental faculties, fully comprehend what they’re doing and are generally looking forward to some amazing thing as every few moments they shuffle slightly forward in anticipation.  I can feel excitement from them and I hope they can’t sense my bewilderment.  I strain to look over the top of everyone and as far as I can tell we are queueing up in front of a large white wall with some writing on it, which is sadly very little to go on. 


As silly as it sounds I’m kind of stressed out.  I’m not going to ask anyone why I’m queuing because the time for that question passed five minutes ago.  Nor do I want to cut the queue to find out what I’m queuing for just to jump back in line because that’s equally stupid.  I could bail but what if it’s something I want to see, like a small door to a hidden world where everything is small and colorful and made out of papier mâché.   


In the end I opt to bail.  Chances are it wasn’t a small door leading to a colorful hidden world where everything is made of papier mâché so what’s the point, but my curiosity gets the best of me anyway and I go towards the front of the line to see what I have missed.  The wall says something about a “Tale of two Persian rugs,” followed by a fair bit of writing on the wall and a small picture.  


People were pointing and waiting and excited for this?  Jesus.  I was more excited about all of their silhouettes, one by one, against the white wall so I made this image.


Shot on my Leica M7, amber filter on a 35mm Summicron.  Film was Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed +1 at the Icon.

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