I was feeling somber today so decided to offset by absorbing myself into these colors. The original photo is of the river during a nice sunset and I really liked the pattern so just went with it. Nothing too fancy or special, but helped me get through a slow Sunday.
Friends gathered: smiles; food; drink; dance. Existence seemed surreal. As if the six months in between previous London residence had never transpired - and as if that life would never again occur...
Deep discussions of the present and future constantly badgered... but seemed to be used as a mask of the known for the clearly unknown. So in the mean time friends gathered: smiles; food; drink; dance.
Growing up I took these moments for granted. But after living here and there and here again over the years I have come to understand. It's nice to have this type of base to always go back to. This is meant literally and figuratively. Yes, I'm lucky to have this place to actually go home to during times of transition and family holidays, but even more so I've been given the ability to go back to this place as an ethos. When life gets heavy or a bit too fast I've always managed to drift into this landscape to regroup, recharge, and remind me of... me. I rarely even know I'm doing it.
I tried to go with the grainy throwback look here; ala the 'Endless Summer' style. I have another 400 photos of sunsets in the archives of which I've edited about 30 of. None of them have any technical excellence. They're just nice... And simple...
A couple days ago during a late night beach fishing session I found myself having an intense conversation about what the Melbourne Beach town mascot would be. Our town is blessed with some amazing wildlife. We scanned the possibilities. Should it be the graceful Bottlenose dolphin, the enduring Loggerhead Sea Turtle, the toxic Portuguese Man o' War, the brute Bull shark, or the terrifying Florida Alligator? We kept that list going for a good 30 minutes experimenting with fighting scenarios such as how a Florida Manatee would be ravaged by even the smallest and weakest of animals like the Florida Scrub Jay. The Manatee often comically gets the short end of the stick during these conversations.
I came to realize that between all of my local friends we have an extremely vast knowledge of our ecology. It's just another aspect of what makes this little piece of paradise so unique. A common activity in our town is staying up late in search of nesting sea turtles on the beach. Every year thousands of turtles nest on our communities beaches supporting the life cycle of 5 different species of sea turtles (See the Sea Turtle Preservation Society). Growing up our school field trips often included hikes along the Indian River Lagoon with the aim of identifying flora and fauna such as Florida mangroves or the Great Blue Heron. Students, residents, and tourists in Melbourne Beach are now able to check out the Barrier Island Sanctuary which is a prime source of information about the incredibly nature in this area.
After numerous conversations, debates, and info session I've finally made up my mind on the Melbourne Beach mascot. While all the incredible wildlife I've mentioned up to now have a significant presence in our town only one sticks out as being an actual resident in the town of Melbourne Beach. A local Osprey family has lived here as long as I can remember.
As a 6th grader attending Gemini Elementary I recall the Osprey family building a comfortable sized nest across the street at Flutie Field at the top of one of the baseball field light polls. Since then the family has moved several times due to hurricane damage and I've lost track of their current address. Fortunately, I've seen our friend quite often lately. The bread winner of the family has chosen our dock as the point of attack for its meals.
Like clockwork, everyday I see this poised raptor contemplating its next meal. These hawks are expert fisherman and have few if no natural enemies. While Bald Eagles express a formal grace in appearance, the Osprey is a smaller and more wily version. It's wings and feathers are less pronounced in color and its actions are more dynamic. If the Bald Eagle is wearing a tuxedo and driving in a limo then the Osprey is wearing a leather jacket and riding a motorcycle. Most of the time it just sits there looking out at the river just waiting to make its move. Most attacks happen around sunset, which makes the show that much more enjoyable.
I'm confident that the debate over the Melbourne Beach mascot will continue for years to come. Again, it's just a piece of what makes our home so unique.
I've been spending a lot of time in my makeshift office at home in Melbourne Beach, FL. The office is on our old patio that was recently closed in. It has about 10 windows and is looking out onto the most beautiful backyard in the world. I'll save another post for a full explanation of our backyard. So I listen to a lot of blues, old vinyl records, practice the guitar, mess around with golf clubs, take photos, watch tv, read books, and everything else you can think of to waste time. In brief, it has turned into my playroom. My random clutter is starting to build up. While pacing back and forth during a brainstorming session I noticed this interesting scene. It had to be captured.
I originally posted the above photo without posting the one below. I felt like the symbols in the photo emphasized the confusion behind the lack of context. And plus, the idea of me knowing the context and no one else knowing kinda attracted me for some reason. Enough is enough though. It's time that I let you in on the !?. Written context follows.
"Only in France"... Or so the mantra went during my short stay there last month. France is a funny place, but a place that can really draw you in. It really does capture all the typical cliches you hear: romantic, passionate, risque, bizarre. But the characteristic of France that really detained me was the discerning and balanced lifestyle of its people. They take 'not taking things seriously', very seriously. Relaxing, eating, drinking, and spending time with friends and family is a very serious affair... But you just aren't aloud to take it too seriously. Confused!?
I caught this guy chilling in Toulouse, France during a spotless Saturday afternoon bike ride. I was with two longtime friends. David, a local of Toulouse and Jaye Marie, longtime American friend and year long resident of France. It was indeed, a partnership in crime. The bike ride consisted of several stops at local bars to sip on pastis, a liquorish tasting beverage served on ice and a favorite of the southern French. We took the day to explore the river, the carnival style parks, and the busy street side cafes.
The !? tattoo pretty much summed up my time in France. Somehow taking whatever you do seriously, but in a not so serious kinda way. I'll be back soon, France... Seriously!?
It took a good friends birthday to get me motivated again. Happy birthday, Sara!
I took this photo during a countryside drive through the Basque region of Spain in April of 2009 with my good friend Andy. The day was gloomy and a constant drizzle made it hard to focus on each turn. We let this vibe guide us. While there was little sun there was plenty of strength. It was one of those moods that fostered life. Every part of the landscape, from the grazing sheep, to the lush fields, to the rich culture, indicated a robust authenticity preserved in this part of the world.
Driving up a dirt road and through a small village we glanced out the rain covered window to see this image subtly peer through the trees. With the rain lightly falling and the treas framing the hacienda in the distance, the feeling was surreal - as if transformed back to another era. I took one photo, jumped back in the car and continued onto the next stop of our aimless drive into the brawn of the Basque countryside.
These photos were taken in nowhere Southern China. All the booths you see are actually the front yards of homes that over the years developed into an outdoor fleemarket type of environment. Consumers and everyday life are completely merged. It was an odd feeling. Its like having a yard sale for your entire existence. You would look inside the homes and see dinner being cooked and kids playing as if no one else was around. I remember questioning how often they leave this small area.
I caught this child running through the market. His final destination would probably be the end of this "gated" community. For better or for worse he'll probably never leave the city limits. As I get ready to run to my next adventure I reflect on the scope of the "gated" community that I've had the fortune to live in...
I recently noticed that I haven't posted many photos with people in them. So I started rummaging the library and found this candid shot of my brother and his friends 'hanging out' on the beach. After staring at it for a while I became entranced by the extreme focus... hmm... or rather lack of focus that each had at the moment. In examining the photo, my focus immediately entered a journey to a magical place and without evening knowing it I became inspired by Lear Bunda's short film, 'Gypsy Crepes' and Joe Koubecks theme song for the film, 'Journey to a Magical Place'. I'll strongly assume that's where Jonathan, Tim, Alex and Steph are during this moment.
I can't seem to get this photo where I want it. I have about 5 different versions and for each one the colors seem either too dull or too bright and the animations are either too much or too little. I just can't get it there... Anyway, thank you to Lears inpiration, but I bet he would be able to get this right somehow.
I invite anyone to give recommendations for how to improve or I can send over the .psd and you can have at it yourself. I'll post whatever you do for a comparison, which was the motivation behind the posts title, 'Edit Me!'
Check out the Gypsy Crepes trailor here! You'll see what I mean.
Adventure, Exploration, Discovery: In its purest sense, the unachievable. The true explorer is never satisfied, never satiated. There is and will always be, more to be accomplished. Carpe Diem is the explorers mantra. However, the explorer also understands that there is a means to an end... That without growth, experience, and wisdom, to seize the day is, well, impossible.
The shotty crops and dramatic colors in this photo are intentional. Usually when I edit a photo I try to capture the image in the way I remember it. Sometimes what I remember is based in imagination rather than reality. In the Whitsundays, Australia life felt like a cut/paste world. Everything was surreal and at times animated. In this photo I was wading through waste high water, dodging stingrays and following my good friend David into the unknown.
This photograph was taken on the cliffs of Bondi Beach, Australia back in 2004. The dog is a flat sculpture made of iron and was captured at sunset overlooking the ocean. I put a little post-production time into the color of the sky, but it is very close to the original.
More so than anything this photo helps to remind me that simplicity is often a characteristic of quality representation.
A sapient chair stands at attention in the middle of an open field during a brisk winter morning. The scene is staunch. Further inspection reveals nothing. The moment is captured for unique experiences to decipher its code.
The end of the year is nearing fast and unlike any year before, this New Years actually means something. It means a lot. That's been on my mind lately, however, this post has nothing to do with that. This has more to do with putting heavy thought to the side. Actually, that's too specific. This post has to do with pushing thought out completely. That was the theme of this past weekend when I joined my brother and his childhood friends on their annual camping trip. This group really knows how to capture the moment.
It was the 7th annual St Augustine camping trip and the second time I was in attendance. It's a two hour drive north from home for all of us. The weather is no different, the beach is pretty much the same, and we could easily camp at the national park 15 minutes south of home. But that's not the point! This annual pilgrimage feels light years away. Australia, China, and London... All these places seem closer than this trip. This group makes the extra effort to create an experience outside of 'home' for a reason. Somehow they know how to escape... and their method is simple... more of the same. It's truly amazing. We're in a different world, but with the same people and the exact same environment that we've always known. The difference is that no matter what everyone is doing you force yourself to stop and come together... together as a united front.
The United Front. While I didn't have the same peers as this crew growing up I do have a very significant commonality.... Home. This entire crew grew up in the same environment that I did. We had the same teachers, experienced the same weather patterns, drove the same speed down Oak St. and as a result we seem to be on the same page with most everything. Things clicks. Everything escapes your mind easily. Life just is. Just like when living home. Life just IS. There's laughing, drinking, relaxing, and mostly just living. We're all in love, infatuated... with home... with simplicity... with friends... and with life.
'Windy Point' was taken with my iPhone and edited on iPhoto. Never thought I'd see the day, but I felt a responsibility to mention the trip I had with my brother in Colorado in July of 2008.
The obligation? To attend a friends wedding in Breckenridge, Colorado. So what was the plan for the other 3 days? Ha, plan! You should know me better. Adventure was our compass. After getting into Denver on a late summer evening we rented a car and headed to Breckenridge...
We're here with 3 days to kill and no place to stay. Now what? Let's climb! After all, we're in the heart of the Rockies. Being from Florida we rarely get to explore in the vertical sense of direction. So we drove... up. And 20 minutes into it we were on a dirt road and still going... up. It didn't matter where we were or where we were going (and that we were in a shitty 2 wheel drive Dodge Caliber). Neither of us had any important obligations and it was clear that both tomorrow and yesterday didn't matter at that moment. The trees were green, the air was thinning, and our mobile service was nil.
Before sunset we created a comfortable camp site, chilled our local microbrew in the nearby stream and built a campfire. We were somewhere in the 2.3 million acre White River National Forest and if you asked us to find the spot again we'd probably both agree that the experience just couldn't be replicated.
On a very typical London afternoon a friend and I take the tube (scratch that; tube is down as usual), a bright red double-decker bus towards central London in hopes of a quality bite to 'fill the gap' in our, well yeah, bellies. A typical London afternoon you ask? Well, most of you know where I'm going with this, but for those who are wondering let me attempt to draw out the cliche´. The air is most definitely moist and the sky is filled with this sorta stubborn attitude. London's stubbornness tends to spit down consistent bits of rain on a yearly basis. If it doesn't rain today, there is a good chance it'll rain tomorrow. In the winter, this attitude is coupled with the lack of available sunlight since it's normally known to set by around 4pm (that's at least what we're told since the clouds usually cover any evidence of a setting sun). Some words that I've heard used to describe London's weather are, 'dreary', 'bleak', 'balmy', 'depressing', 'gloomy', 'melancholy', 'somber'... Okay, so I'll stop there, but if you like the sun, London is not the place for you.
However, the optimist in me forces me to take a reflective step back. I mean, over 7 million people do live here and I'd hope that some of them are happy with their meteorological situation. For one, I guess it is a great talking point and most people take advantage of that commonality on a daily basis. It's actually kinda fun to get some aggression out on the weather. "Oh, this bloody weather is really a pain in the nickers!" Hmm. That still doesn't make it worth it for me.
I'll jump to my forced justification. Sometimes you have to look past the drizzle to find the color spectrum. It's always somewhere. And no matter what, it can't rain forever. Even during the worst spells, the sun does come out and when it shines, it shines. You even find yourself stopping in your tracks to fully appreciate and absorb the brief moments.
As we passed Trafalgar Square I quickly started snapping shots from the 2nd floor of the double-decker. This vision formed as we passed the famous London landmark. The rest of the day was very bleak, dark, wet... and promising.
A small girl sits alone on a developing street in a South China. She's scratched, bruised and dirty. She observes the non-observing passerbyers with a confidence full of experience that most Westerners can only see in nightmares. She's tiny, frail, vulnerable and with no apparent defense. Still, I can't help wondering if she would be able to take me.
This hypnotic tyle pattern decorates the famous White Dagoba that rests at the top of the Jade Flowery Isle at the center of Beihai Park in Beijing. The White Dagoba is a large white structure that can be seen from all corners of the park and closely resembles an an upside-down spinning top. In traditional Tibetan fashion, the Dagoba was originally built by the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Emporor Shunzhi, in 1651 to show his belief in Buddhism.
Summer time in St. Petersburg is reason for constant celebration. After being confined to ones home by intense cold and lack of sunlight during the winter period the citizens of St. Petersburg have developed many traditions to ensure that everyday and every minute of the summer is spent to its fullest.
On any given day during the summer months the streets are constantly filled with brides and grooms. They traditionally hit up all of the scenic areas of the city typically starting with Saint Isaacs, moving onto the Strelka and at some point crossing paths with The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, the subject of the photo shown here.
This unique Russian style church that resembles a scene out of the board game candyland was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881.