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Thursday, December 21, 2006

One Year Ago...

Last year at this time, I was in India. We traveled to Kolkata to attend a friend's wedding, and also just to vacation and take in the sights. It was an incredible experience, and I'm just itching for a chance to go back in the future. I may post a few more photos from that trip if I have time... although with the holidays coming up, I'm sure I'll have plenty of photos from THIS year to show! Our Hindi friends did set up a little decorated tree and make a Christmas cake for us to make us feel more at home, but I am looking forward to spending the holidays with our families this year.

What can I even say about India? That experience changed me, I think. I've been to Europe, and India by far was more enjoyable for me in all respects. The color... it's everywhere! It's sensory overload. Everything is so different there than here that it's almost easier to list the similarities than it is to list the differences! But that's one of the aspects of this trip that I loved, was the fact that I got to see something so completely different from my own existence. I now have a fresh perspective on my place not only in my own culture, but in the world as well.

Not to mention all the great photo opportunities. You don't even want to know how many photos we took over the course of the two weeks we were there.

Anyway, I already have these and a lot more of my travel photos posted on my main web site under the "Artwork" section in the "Travel" gallery. There, you can see photos from India, as well as places in the United States like NYC, California and Arizona. I don't put up my DC photos there because I didn't travel far to take them. HA! And the photos in the artwork gallery are not typical touristy shots - I try to keep those galleries on my web site limited to photos that I would be proud to hang in a show, even though it's not really the kind of work I typically make unless I am on vacation or visiting another city or culture.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Betty (The Ewok)

The other week, we babysat a 13 year old Yorkie named Betty. Betty was 7 pounds. Compared to our 80 pound Maurice, I thought it would be like not having a dog at all. Boy was I wrong! Betty kept up with our 2 mile, fast paced walks. She didn't like to walk on the leash and pulled quite a bit. I called her "the flea" because she could jump several feet from a sitting position. And I won't even go into the the neon green radioactive poo incident. Dogs, no matter what the size, are a lot of work!

But despite all that, Betty was adorable. She kind of looked like an Ewok, which is uncanny since Maurice looks like Chewbacca. It was so funny to see us walking down the street all together - we got quite a bit of attention :)

Anyway, Betty is back at home now, and Maurice is happy (the spoiled only child!). I guess this post has no other point, if not to say that dogs totally rule!

Betty sleeping on our bed:

Andy holding Betty (see how tiny she is!):

For comparison, Maurice just before being shaved this spring:

Monday, December 04, 2006

AGWPJA - Award Winner!

I just got an e-mail to let me know that the results of the latest AGWPJA (Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association) contest were in, and guess what! I placed 6th in the details category, which means I am now officially a member of the AGWPJA. (Note: As of now, I am only one of four photographers from the state of Maryland to have placed in these contests since the start of the AGWPJA!).

The only way to get into the AGWPJA is to place in the contests, and the only way to get into the contests is to be a WPJA member. To become a WPJA member, you have to shoot weddings in a primarily documentary style.

The image that placed is of bride Aryn, whose wedding I photographed this past October. The image is very close to how I shot it, except I edited out a few bits of tree branch that were in the lower right and pumped up the color slightly. The AGWPJA lets you manipulate photos, but the regular WPJA contest images must be displayed as shot.

The judge's (Joseph Victor Stefanchik, another reason to get excited over placing in this contest!) comments on my photo: "Beautiful blue sky nicely contrasts the bride and her veil."

Also from the e-mail from WPJA and AGWPJA founder David Roberts: "JVS, who judged the contest, expressed that the task was especially challenging for him, because each category was loaded with so many outstanding creative images. It was difficult, he said, to determine the top ten. Yet, he did; and the results are for your review."

See the contest and AGWPJA web site HERE.

Monday, November 27, 2006

GOYA - Holga Work from NYC

Over the holiday weekend, I spent a good deal of time in the darkroom printing my Washington DC Holga work in the hopes of getting a show to display it, and I also had a chance to develop the rolls of film I shot while in New York City at the One Light Workshop and over the rest of that weekend. Some of the photos that resulted from those rolls are here.

Jason Groupp's studio where we held the One Light Workshop:

Zack Arias teaching us his magic during the workshop:

A random fence that I thought looked cool:

And yes, the pocket wizard does indeed work with the Holga!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving With the Turkeys

On Saturday I attended Thanksgiving with the Turkeys at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary for the second year in a row. This is an incredible potluck dinner with hundreds of people participating, but the best part is that it is all vegan... meaning no animal products whatsoever are used to make any of the dishes served. Andy and I have been vegetarian for about 10 years now, and look forward to this dinner ever since our friends Kate and Chris introduced it to us last year (we missed you this year guys... hope you're having a good time in Portland!).

First off, before the humans eat, the turkeys and chickens get their dinner in a ceremony dedicated to them. You can see some of the rescued turkeys in these photos. Turkeys are such cool looking animals... it's fun to watch them get just as excited over their dinner as we did for ours.

One of the larger turkeys runs to the dinner table set out for the birds:

This was what the human dinner looked like. There was too much food to even have a spoonful of everything. I maybe got to taste about a third of what was brought, and it was all delicious.

There were a lot of neat looking trees near the field where we ate, and I took a few photos of them. This is one of those:

After dinner, Andy and I wandered around the sanctuary to visit the various rescued farm animals that make Poplar Spring their home. There were goats, pigs, horses, sheep, ducks, and peacocks all just wandering around.

Andy pets one of the horses:

Some of the various animals we saw:

We came upon this sight in the makeshift parking lot: A peacock had perched on top of an SUV and was having fun checking out the herds of humans passing through his turf. It was really funny and created quite a stir. I'm not certain the owners of the vehicle ever found out that the peacock was up there though...

Then we went home and walked the Sasquatch and laid around - we didn't even eat dinner, we were still so full from the big mid-day meal! Thanksgiving with the Turkeys is always a good time, and we're already looking forward to next year...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Matt's Poem

I was digging through some of my files today and came across this image that I made back in 1999. Back then, it was exhibited in a local Savannah gallery and published in SCAD's yearly photo review and show for "Silverworks." I had used photoshop before, but hadn't really done any projects beyond my basic PS class there, and when working for the news, we didn't alter photos at all! So this was a departure from what I was used to, and I haven't really made any other images like it since. I use photoshop all the time now, and am quite good at the program if I do say so myself, but I generally prefer for my images to have a natural look (even though they may be a far cry from how the scene actually looked in real life!).

This photo was actually shot using film, and then blurred, with the poem scanned in and dropped on top in three layers. Even though I don't usually make work like this, I really like this particular piece. It's the only one of the whole series that I like at all. Sometimes you have to take a chance and try something new because you never know what you might accomplish in the end.

Anyway, I promise I will post some new photos soon. I've been shooting some Holga film, and I won't get to develop and print it for almost two weeks... argh! And I have some other ideas that I want to try if I have a few minutes of free time. Free time... HA!

Monday, November 06, 2006

One Light Workshop / New York City!

I'm back from New York, and it was just an incredible trip. First of all, I have to say that the train ride was amazing. I had never taken the train before, but it beats flying hands down. Seats are bigger, more leg room, no waiting in lines to board the plane, and when all is said and done, it takes about the same amount of time to get from DC to NYC. Plus, you end up in the middle of the city as opposed to out in the middle of nowhere at the airport.

Day one was the Photo Plus Expo. There was really just too much to take in and it was a bit overwhelming, but I did pick up a few samples from my lab and from some other vendors that I plan to check out this week. I also got to meet some photographers who I have known in the world of cyberspace but had never met in person. That's always fun, and so it was a good day :)

Day two was the One Light Workshop given by Zack Arias. I really don't do workshops much because I got two degrees in photography and already have a strong foundation, but this one was really good for all levels. We had a very long day of learning and shooting, and I would highly recommend it. Zack even let me hook up my Holga to the strobe system to see if it would work (I'll post results once they are developed!). You can see a few of the images I took of our model Madison with my more "high tech" camera here:

And Zack taking some sample images to show us:

Day three was just me hanging out with my friends Matt and John, who were wonderful enough to let me crash at their place and then take me all over town to sightsee and hang out. We went to a flea market where we found some interesting things and I got to take some fun photos that you can see here:

Then we walked around Manhattan and went shopping and I got to touch the $5,000 coats and $3,000 sweaters that Matt designed. Normally I would be scared to even set foot in stores like that let alone touch everything, but it's ok if the designer is with you! Then I was more in my element when we stopped into a few pet shops to look at the puppies. I'm all for adopting rescue dogs myself, but I never pass up a chance to pet a puppy!

Then we headed back to the apartment where I was accosted by the cats who are all competing for my attention. It was pretty funny... animals have such personalities. And I thought my dog was bad about needing so much attention!

So that sums up my trip! I had a lot of fun, and hope to visit again soon!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Out of the Office and into NYC!

This is just a quick post to inform current or future clients that I will not be in the office until Monday because I am going to be attending the One Light Workshop in New York City! I'm really looking forward to it, and will definitely be posting some photos from the trip when I am through.

What does this mean for you? I will not be around to answer e-mails or voicemails until next week. Andy and the Sasquatch will be here to hold down the fort, but if Maurice were to respond to your e-mails, it would probably look something like this:
alfjwpohfglsnjglsgtlsjgohwodlsghlsdhglsjglsdhglskhjglgs woof.

So I think I'll just stick to taking care of that myself when I return.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Shiny New Web Site

For a long time, I've been hatching a plan to get my web site to better reflect who I am and the work that I do. And now the day has finally come. Behold, my new web site!

[dr. evil voice] Well, this is actually just a screen grab of my web site, but the real web site looks a lot like like this... yeah. [/dr. evil voice] Go to my main site at Halo Photographic to see the real thing. The link is also at the side of this blog page under "Home Base - Halo Photographic"

There are photos... lots of photos. Photos of my wedding work, my kids' portraits, my artwork... and if you go to the "About Me" page, run the mouse over my photo. Cool things will happen ;)

If you notice anything odd, or that doesn't quite work right, drop me a line, cause I'd like to know about it so I can get it fixed. And if you have positive feedback, I'd love to know that as well. I like comments :)

edited to add: Thank you to Dan Schmidt for designing this site as well as putting the finishing touches on my current logo for me!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Crafty Bastards!

On Sunday I attended the Crafty Bastards! arts and crafts fair in Adams Morgan. It was really great to be able to go, since I am usually photographing a wedding on the same day(s) that these events happen in the spring and autumn. It was a bit overwhelming, actually, and I saw a lot of cool wares for sale, but I will list a few of my favorites.

This will officially be the "If I had more than $20 in my pocket, I would have bought everything in their booth" list.

1. Rebound Designs - Artist Caitlin Phillips (craftpunk on ArtDC.org) takes old books and makes bags out of them. I soooo wanted one, and someday may get one. There were quite a few that I really liked, but I couldn't make a decision. Fortunately, she has a website, so I can decide that one at a later date! To make matters even more difficult for someone as indecisive as I am, you can also ask her to customize a book bag for you, with the book of your choice. You can catch her at Eastern Market in DC if you want to see the goods in person.

2. Lindsay Bishop - Lindsay had some really incredible jewelry at her booth. I mean, really, REALLY cool. I could have walked out with all of it and been happy. Some of it was so unusual that it bordered on not being functional... in a cool way, of course. I see so much jewelry at these types of events that it all tends to blend together to me, but this work really stood out. There are no photos on her blog, unfortunately, so you'll have to take my word for how cool her jewelry really is. You trust me, right? There's some info in her bio section though that's quite entertaining...

3. Damned Dollies - Dana De Kuyper makes some really awesome t-shirts. Very cute, kind of twisted, and very much my style. I pondered quite a bit about buying one, and am now regretting that I didn't. But there's always online ordering... She also apparently has some of these tees for sale at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, among other places around North America if you want to see them in person.

4. Sticky Fingers Bakery - Owners Doron and Kirsten have a wonderful vegan bakery that produces edibles that are both animal friendly and extremely tasty. They make special order sweets including wedding cakes (for all those brides who might be reading this!). I plan to check them out when they move to their new store in November and to redeem my free cookie - fair-goers got a coupon for a free cookie for visiting their new location! Mmmmmm.... cookie.

5. GoshDarnKnit - Artist Rania Hassan has some really cool fiber and mixed media pieces that range from "connected" paintings of women knitting across time (literally connected by their knitting), to colorful hand knitted catnip toys, to gocco printed illustrations, journals, ornaments, etc...., to lots of other little odds and ends that are all just beautiful. She shows a lot of the work that was at the fair on her blog, so check it out!

6. Rob Ullman - This is probably the most amazing story of my fair visit. Rob and I attended Kent State University at the same time in the 90's, and he drew a daily comic for the Daily Kent Stater that was entitled "My Noise". It was one of my two favorite strips of my entire Kent career. I still have a few that I cut out and pasted on numerous college dorm walls before they finally came down and ended up in my journal (see images to the right). I know several other KSU students who clipped Rob's comic as well. Schmidt, you out there? I know we clipped a few of the same ones! So I knew I recognized his name from somewhere, I walked around a bit, and then it hit me who he was. I had never met Rob at Kent, so I asked if he was the same guy who created "My Noise," confirming that I had the right person. We talked a while about Kent, comics, and other stuff, and I bought one of Rob's newer comic books (Lunch Hour Comix), and hope to have it read soon... but the best part of all was that he signed it for me!

There was just so much to see at Crafty Bastards that I'm sure I'm missing some great vendors. But these were the ones that stood out to me, and therefore, the ones that make my blog!

And then, to top off this day, I was given a gift by my great friend Devlan who accompanied me to the fair. What was it? This:

My very own garden gnome! And before anyone asks, that's a Finnish flag he's holding. Why? It's a really long story...
(Oh, and Devlan, you totally rule!)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

East Meets West

This is something a little different for me, but I decided to try a mixed media piece with a focus on watercolor. The drawings are based on photos I took while in India, and that's a torn up Indian newspaper in the background. I just can't figure out if I should add more black paint or not... I'll have to keep looking at it for a little while and see if any ideas come to me. It's really easy to overdo a piece, and I don't want that to happen!

I've been working on a few mixed media pieces lately, though none are finished yet. I'm still deciding whether I want to exhibit mixed media or holga work for Artomatic this year. Why do I have to make so many decisions? Don't they have robots for that sort of thing?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yawn of the Sasquatch

When 5 PM rolled around today, this was what I found in my office: Both of my boys, strewn out across the floor so that I could barely move. Maurice gets his dinner at 5 PM, and once that's done, he's ready for another nap. So I figured I'd take a few photos because they were so cute. Except Maurice doesn't like to have his photo taken, so he got up and was ready to leave, and just started yawning uncontrollably. I don't know if these photos are quite blurry enough to sell to Weekly World News, but I think it's kind of funny...

Yes, Maurice's teeth need to be cleaned pretty badly...

About Me

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I am a sculptor, photographer, and mixed media artist based in the Washington, DC metro area. I sculpt with steel and glass, and enjoy people and holga / alternative processes photography best, although I experiment with many different subjects and media where I find them.

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