21 December 2007

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas

I am starting to get back to an adequate measure of sanity where I can concentrate on my photo work again. Over the last few weeks, I have been able to do a wedding and a wedding reception (of a different couple). I have about 800 photos to go through and edit with about 300 left. I am also happy that I have had a chance to line up a few model prospects. I've done a few interviews that have gone well, but doing anything right now is crazy, so I am delaying shoots til January.

This is the Christmas season and I really hope everyone will be safe and respectful to everyone else. There is no Christmas without Christ, so I wish that those who disagree with that theology would let it go and just accept Christmas the way it is and leave it alone. Its just one day out of 365. I talked to a friend from Malaysia today who has no history of Christmas, but she's not out protesting against calling Christmas, Christmas. Just be respectful of what has been established and enjoy the day off doing something else.
I am REALLY missing my young'uns right now. Other than military deployments, I haven't been this far away from them during this time of year, at least not as I can recall. They are almost all grown up. My son is no longer a teenager and my daughter is just getting out on her own. I wish I was there so much, if for no other reason than to beat her ass for screwing up in her first semester in college. But I still love her. Both of my kids are Godsends and I am sooo thankful that they have turned out so well and have grown into promising semi-adults. I've always said that as long as my Mama loves me and my kids are proud of me, I'm good to go. One of our Christmas traditions is to go see two movies back to back. One year we did the 1st installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was 3 hours. We saw another 3 hour show right afterwards which kind of kicked our butts. A few years after all 3 LOTRs were out, we got the extended versions of each and had LOTR marathons. That was almost 12 hours of DVDing. I did it with my son first since my daughter was unavailable. She got upset that we didn't wait on her, so I did it again the next weekend with her. She couldn't hang.

Anyway, enough on Memory Lane. I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and bid you all a safe New Year's. Unless, something comes up that I really need to share, I am going to take a break from posting and catch you all at the first of they year. I am going to catch up on some of my Rankin/Bass Christmas cartoons. Don't act like you don't remember. We all know Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials..."Rudolph", Santa Claus is Comin' to Town". Who doesn't remember the Burgermeister Meisterburger? I know there's not a soul in existence that doesn't recall Mr. Freeze Miser or Mr. Heat Miser in "The Year without Santa Claus". So, I thank you all for becoming subscribers or regular readers of my blog. Also a special thanks to those of you who have helped me develop this blog, so special thanks to Chris St. James, (BTW, Chris your daughter is gorgeous!), Iris Dassault, and Dave Rudin, along with all those bloggers who put me on their list of blogs of interest and drive traffic to me. I really look forward to this new year for more opportunities to get better and develop my art into something you all can appreciate even more. I thank you all your support, encouragement, and kindness.

Merry Christmas,

14 December 2007

Studios....I need STUDIOS!

Whew...its been 10 days since my last post. Sorry about that. Things got a bit hectic for a while, but big claps to me as I just finished my second Masters degree as of today. I've been in school the last two years doing 2 programs for a MBA and a Masters of Science in Telecommunication Systems Management, along with 4 semesters of photography . The TSM degree is the one I just now completed and am now done with school for a while. Two graduate degrees and I am STILL hunting for a job.

I say that I am done with school for a while, but actually, I am planning to take some more courses in Photoshop, hopefully in January. I could use the added wisdom to help edit my photos, in particular with layers, curves, and histograms. I do not plan to do much in terms of special graphics, but I'd rather, for now learn how to better enhance my photos as they are. I may later explore some work with other types of digital manipulations as I did with alternative darkroom manipulations using film.

Since I am done with school, I am trying to get back to working with models and getting some more shoots lined up. I haven't been able to talk to potential models as much as I normally used to. The challenge is to be able to work with models since its gotten cold here in Vegas. I'll have to do more indoor environmental shoots instead of working with the great outdoors, but I'd still like to use natural lighting as much as possible. I meet with a potential muse early next week to discuss some possibilities. I am kind of excited about this one because I was searching specifically for someone who could be available for me to shoot on an ongoing basis, even on short notices. Ever wake up to a lovely day, with beautiful clouds and just think to yourself that if only you could find someone to take off their clothes and let you photograph them? Well, that's what this interview is for. Sometimes you just get a spontaneous moment and want to shoot and there is no time to hunt for a new model, coordinate schedules for two weeks out, and put together a concept. No, sometimes I do not need a concept...just a naked female with a good attitude. I don't have that here in Vegas and I need to change that. The girl in this photo was one such muse. She is a friend from Kentucky who was ready and willing whenever. I'd like to get to work with her again as well as a few others I left behind...Trish, Jacinda, Chels, Dana, Elizabeth...and the list goes on.

For any readers in the Las Vegas area, I need a venue to hold figure drawing sessions for my Las Vegas Art Model's Group. Specifically, I am seeking a drawing studio complete with hot lights, easels, benches, and a model platform. I'd like to be able to use this facility at least once a week to hold figure drawing sessions. I could use the same thing with a photo studio, but right now, the biggest focus is on drawing. (Volutneered is the operative implication here.) I want to begin this mid January. I want to hold a few photo workshops as well and will be looking for guest instructors to come and impart some knowledge on fellow photogs. So when we get a studio for it, I'll be interested doing this as soon as possible. So I am putting out the call: I need models, particularly female...we have plenty of guys. I need a drawing and photo studio. And finally I need artists and volunteer instructors to help participate and grow these functions. Thats my Christmas wish list, so to speak. So unless you are getting me photo equipment, stick to this list.

On another special note, I was very please to get to see my friend, photog extraordinaire, Dave Rudin from Brooklyn again. Dave and I got together and checked out the Crazy Horse topless cabaret show at the MGM Grand. I had seen the show once before about 6 years ago, but we got front row seats which made for quite a different experience. Those girls were GOOD. They possessed the unique ability to show you everything without letting you see anything. I tell you that took the skill of a magician.... Now you see it...NO YOU DIDN'T!

*** Note to MOM: Ignore the aforementioned list....stick to the photo equipment.

04 December 2007

Tribute to Umit

Its December now and its starting to get cold here in Vegas. Although today was nice, sunny, and perfect to play some football, the temp drops in a desert like you would not believe. One of the top 3 or 4 coldest places I have ever been in was in a desert. Getting to shoot a nude model out here is going to be left only to the brave who have a smidgen of antifreeze in their blood. (Any takers?) Needless to say I'm gonna have to move indoors for a while.

At any rate, I am going to do tributes every now and again and this one is going to be for my friend, Umit (oo-mit), from Istanbul, Turkey. I got to meet Umit while doing my MBA at Murray State University in Kentucky. I got to meet and interact with many different cultures while in the Army and I have always been intrigued by observing and learning how other people in the world go about their daily lives different from my own. I grew up in Texas... in Terrell, Texas actually. I was not named for the place nor do I own it. I just lived there. Anyway, I didn't travel too much, but I always loved reading about the history and traditions of other cultures. So when I joined the Army and was sent to places all over the world, I got everything I could from the experience.

Therefore I came to relate to Umit very well. Since I was curious about his country and customs, I was glad that he was willing to indulge me in my questions about where he lived. I thought I might have gotten on his nerves to some degree, but I was able to often return the favor in his quest to learn more about the U.S. Sometimes we had challenges with the language. Umit spoke English very well. Every now and then a word might understandably stump him and we could spend 15 minutes just to figure out what he was trying to say. On one such occasion we discussed job opportunities. I thought he was trying to tell me he wanted to be a carrier builder, so I am making associations to either naval ships or HVAC units. When it finally dawned on me that he was interested in finding a job on Careerbuilder.com, we were both too mentally exhausted to continue the conversation.

The closer it got to the end of the final semester, the more we hung out. We went to a party that was in his honor where I got to meet even more international students. My daughter called me while at this party explaining how proud she was of her command of the french language. I put her on the phone with some of Umit's french speaking buddies and she quickly realized there is a big difference between learning french in school and speaking to someone from France. I recall good memories with my friend, Umit. I regret that he has called me 5 times since I have been in Vegas and I have missed each call! I do not hope for Umit's next visit to the states. Rather I hope to visit him in Istanbul sometime and let me be the foreigner for a change. I know I could not do what he did by coming to a foreign land and get an MBA. I got a 3.5 GPA and he did better than I did!

So this is for my man, UMIT! I look forward to visiting you sometime and I hope that Kentucky MBA serves you well. I wish you all the best my friend.