Friday, November 19, 2010


For those of you that know me, you know I've been a Licensed Mortician for about 11-12 years now. For those of you that don't, well, now you do. I remember directing funerals as a photographer in photojournalist school, thinking about the great shots that were available. At the time, a funeral director with a giant digital SLR wouldn't have been prudent. Then one day a family that used the funeral services of a particular employer I was working for at the time, asked me to shoot their funeral. I was both slightly apprehensive and slightly excited. With my contained excitement I proceded to document the ceremony, the burial rights, and some of the family's reception with the same care as I had in my profession as a Funeral Director, yet the same curiosity for finding careful and calculated shots of opportunity as a pro photographer. The results from melding my professions together became a melody of vision in the midst of adversity. It is both a privilege and a deep sense of accomplishment to be granted the opportunity to document both the beginning and the ending of a family's history.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yosemite and some Flypaper Testing.

It was a Saturday, late morning when we made the decision to go to Yosemite National Park. It's only about five and half hours drive, but it still meant by the time we got all packed up, two cars, two families, we still wouldn't get there 'til late. We arrived at the gates at about 10 pm. Only to find that there was no camping left in the park. We pitched a tent on the pavement in some desolate parking lot in the woods nearby. In the morning we drove into the splendor of which is Yosemite. It takes about an hour to get down into "the valley" but the drive is well worth it. Half Dome is worth the price of admission by far, but seeing it from Glacier Point is just ridiculous. Its seriously as if the hand of a Deity came down and scraped through to the canyon floor a few million years ago. You can actually see the scrapes against the wall on the far left where the glacier made its way down the canyon. In the words of a friend of mine, it kind of looks like the land before time, both literally and figuratively.

From Glacier Point
Ok so back to going into the park, we ended up staying Sunday night, calling into work, and then you guessed it, staying Monday night and calling into work again on Tuesday. The place was just entirely intoxicating. And we didn't even scrape the surface. In my estimation, if you had to go one place this next summer of 2011, this is it. But make sure you get reservations, because space is limited even during the week. Let me both remind and inform you, that like Zion National Park in Utah there are people from all walks of life and from all over the planet that come to Yosemite National Park. So much so, that I'd suffice to say I heard more foreign language speakers, than American English. I'm not even kidding. It baffles me, how we have such a place on the planet and our own American people don't utilize it more. What I really mean is that I don't know that Americans get OUT enough. Meanwhile some 3.7 million people go to the park a year.

The water was so crisp and refreshing to swim in. It was easy to call in sick.

Last but not least I'd like to thank Tony Sweet for recommending the Flypaper Textures. Along with those and a few of my own other Photoshop recipes, they make for some great imagery.