16 August 2008
Last "Calvin and Hobbes" Comic Strip by Bill Watterson
That's how long its been since my last post. I've been handling a few life changes lately that have been exhaustive to say the least. My works schedule has recently changed to a night shift and its definitely taking some getting used to. Rest doesn't come easy while trying to sleep in the mornings. However the most significant change has to deal with my recent relocation. Oh, I still reside in Vegas and actually not too far from my former residence. I won't go into details but suffice to say, a move was necessary. I was invited to stay with art model groupie, Jeff who has attended quite a few of my workshops and we've done a few excursions and scout trips together. Its still taking somewhat of an adjustment to get used to all this. I have yet to really call any place a home since selling my house and leaving Tennessee. Since then, I've lived out of boxes. The two years I was in Murray, KY while attending grad school, I moved twice. Even here in Vegas, I never really unpacked with the exception of essentials. I miss having a home. Where will I next call home, I wonder...
I've been experiencing certain freedoms, most notably with Felix. I plan to expand that notion even more. I had a birthday on 08-08-08 which my Mom says means "New Beginnings, as she wrote in my birthday card. The above Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was one of the first things I saw hanging up in Jeff's living room. There were other confirmation signs that seemed to pop up with the same theme. Its time for a new beginning then.
Needless to say, I'm no spring chicken, although I still kick ass hanging with kids half my age. I need to get into better shape if for no better reason than to continue rehabbing my knee injured on a military training accident. Still, in terms of strength, speed, and stamina, I've been surprised to find that I can still hold my own with these youngsters. Just ask my son! But I digress, I want to set a goal of camping at least once a month for a year. Can I do it?...Is it practical?...Don't know. The point of the matter is that I'm interested in experiencing life. I'm done with drama. I'm done with wasting time. I'm done with killing myself for a job, creditors, and people who don't contribute back. I want to lead a healthier life with a different lifestyle that suits me better than what I've been doing and I plan to surround myself with like-minded people. Travel is on the agenda. Exploration is the whole reason I've come out West.
Felix and Summer are like that. In fact, I've recommended that Summer start blogging along with Felix's photography much in the same fashion that Lin Bang does over there on Fluffytek with hubby Richard. He's the shooter. She's the writer, (as well as his muse). It was kind of interesting because when I brought up the idea to Felix, he and Summer had just been discussing the idea of doing just that. So henceforth has come The Monkey Chronicles, authored by Summer detailing their excursions and adventures in the pursuit of life documented in photographs. You get the mind of Felix from his images. Summer's are illustrated in her words. Isn't that a great complimentary combination. As a matter of fact, the last discovery of this magnitude was back in 1928 when Harry Burnett Reese first combined chocolate and peanut butter. Who knew?
It was interesting that my website has recently doubled in traffic this month. I haven't really explored why that is or from where the traffic stems. I can see the rankings of my images and statistical information. I've had a few people inquire as to top images, top models, and such. So I give you the top 5. I've mentioned before that the top model continues to be Trisha whom I'd like an opportunity to do again. She's obviously a bit more "open" than most of my models and can tend to push the boundaries of comfort zones for some people who might suggest she had other motives. She had desire to see herself the way men are perceived to look at and desire her. This is, in a way, her method of stepping out of herself and then looking back on herself in the same fashion that a guy might view her. It was an interesting project and I admire her boldness to do it, her brilliance for the concept, and I appreciate her willingness to let me share our work. Her eagerness to shoot again is another reason I need to travel more. And understand, I was hesitant to put these particular images up. They are not part of the original series I posted. She was still the rankingest model on my site even before this more explicit series went up. She's got two images in the top 5 and then 3 more for the top 10.
Next is the lovely Lessa, who posed in my LVAMG a few months back. Her images haven't been up long enough to rank higher over the last year, but for this month, her's is the next in hits. She also has the highest view images for purchase considerations. There's also Elizabeth, whom I did an excellent series on. She comes in as number 4. (Another one of Trisha's images was 3). And rounding out the top 5 is Laura who was the first model I shot after moving here last year. She's also got the number one image for the year in terms of hits. However her images have a full 6 month head start on the newer set of Trisha's images. The one spread-eagle shot is gaining ground very quickly. And that was expected. Va-JayJay shots are always going to get the most views and its remained a topic of discussion since forever. Some models have a stipulation of "No Pink" showing or no spread leg shots. I continue to respect a model's personal boundaries as well as working with those who are open to more latitude. I'd like to think that these images are getting hits for their artistic aesthetics, but I don't kid myself. I just keep shooting whats exposed to my lens.