Tag Archives: Books

Possible Publication…

A little over a week ago, my college English professor called me out of the blue.  A few things went through my mind as to what the purpose of his call could be.  My initial thoughts were way off.

He informed me that he’s working on his second book of local ghost stories and asked me if I could contribute a few photographs to the project.  In spite of not getting paid for it, I jumped at the chance.  I’ll get some good exposure having my work published through his work.  It may even open some doors for me that wouldn’t have been opened otherwise.  So of course I’d be all for it, pro bono or not.  Not to mention it’s great to be able to work with him again.

I was given a list of four locations to shoot, and one just happened to be down the road from my house (which worked out awesome).  I did a little research on the places, found directions to the ones I was unfamiliar with, and planned a time to go.

Now, these photos were meant to have a dark and creepy feel to them.  I mean, obviously,  They’re for a book about ghost stories.  Knowing this, I hoped for overcast even dreary, foggy weather for my shoots.  But what was it like this past Saturday when I woke up and got ready to head out?  Sunny as it could possibly be.

Did I panic?  Please.  I’m a professional.

I rolled with the punches rather well and managed to hit all the locations in a single day (it helped that they were close to one another).  But needless to say, it was quite a long day for me.  From Bucksport to Bar Harbor and back home.  I was hoping I would catch something paranormal in one of my photos at one of these locations but no such luck.

Now I’m in the post-production stage, turning each photo from color to black and white.  It won’t be long now before I can contact my professor and set up a time to meet him and let him look over what I’ve done.

Here’s to hoping I nailed it on the first try…

Wish me luck.

Until next time folks.

Keep on rockin’ on.

[-_-]

~A.M.

Inspiration Station Vol 1

To be honest here, I never really gave much in-depth thought to what inspires me until recently.  If someone asked me “What inspires you?” I would probably have shrugged my shoulders and had to grope blindly in the dark recesses of my mind for an acceptable answer.

Luckily, a recent blog post by an awesome photographer that I admire got me thinking.  I started making a list of everything that I’ve found inspiration in over the years no matter how little.  I actually surprised myself at how much there was.

Obviously I won’t be going into great detail on every little item, but there’s still enough that I think I may have to break this up into more than one post.  You know, wouldn’t want a post so freakishly long that people end up falling asleep in the middle of it!

Now, these are things that inspire me not only in my photography but in my other artistic endeavors as well as life itself.  So I’ll get right down to business here.

#1 – Art

I know, this is an extremely broad topic.  Anything can be considered art these days, and I guess that in and of itself can be, and is, a form of inspiration.  I find a lot of inspiration in the works of others.  Looking at a painting, piece of jewelry, handmade book, piece of digital art, collage, or performance piece gets the wheels turning in my head.  Now, I’m not talking just the work of the masters of each field.  Yeah that’s a great place to start but there are some amazing pieces being created by people who are still unknown to the mainstream.  When I look at a piece of art, whatever it may be, I start to wonder things like “How’d the artist do that?”, “What was going through the artist’s head when they made this?”, “Is the impression I get from this piece the real message the artist is trying to convey to me?”, etc.  I won’t get in-depth into the good vs. the bad, but they both have their merits when it comes to inspiration.  When it comes down to it, like I’ve been told by many an art professor, art is subjective.  I’ve found that it’s through that subjectiveness that each person finds their own inspiration.

#2 – Books

Some people would call me crazy but I can’t stand the thought of living without books.  I’m an avid reader and I can’t even begin to tell people how many books I have in my collection.  Honestly, I don’t think I could tell you if you asked me!  Let’s just say it’s a lot.  And I don’t go for the mobile hand-held readers or the e-books.  While they have their own merits, I prefer a physical hard copy book.  Without even getting into the actual story contained in the pages, I tend to draw inspiration from just the aesthetic of the book.  The cover design, the weight of the book in one’s hand, the sound of a page turning, even the atmosphere and smell of a used book store all spark something for me.  It’s a bit difficult for me to explain but I’m sure the book lovers out there know what I’m saying!  Then there’s the whole world inside the pages.  I’m a Science Fiction / Fantasy reader so when I say “world“, I mean it!  I love being transported from this matrix we call reality into a new, obscure, even dark place.  Reading inspires me in so many things from my art to photography to my own writing.  A few authors I’m digging at the moment (for those that are interested) include: Anne Bishop (“The Black Jewels“ trilogy), David Eddings (“The Elenium“ series and subsequent “The Tamuli“ series), The Maine Master of Horror Stephen King (pretty much everything he‘s written), Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (“The Death Gate Cycle” series), and so many more.

#3 – Cameras

Being a photographer, the camera is essential.  Really?  You don’t say!  It’s true I tell you!!  But seriously now, it goes deeper than that.  Like books, I get inspiration from the aesthetic of a camera.  I have always been drawn to cameras.  A little box that can freeze a moment in time was just such an awesome concept to me.  Looking at antique cameras always sets my imagination off like a bullet.  It makes me want to learn more not only about the physical workings of the camera, but also its story.  Where it had been, who had owned it, what kind of pictures it had taken, etc.  Before I knew it, I had a small collection of antique cameras started.  Some I picked up at an antique store, others were given to me by my father which had belonged to my grandfather.  When I see a camera, new or antique, I’m inspired to simply pick it up (This is fair warning to never leave your camera lying within my reach!), not even to take a picture really, though that does tend to follow, but to hold it, get the feel of it, channel its energy (for those of you like myself that believe in that).  It sounds simple.  Holding a camera.  Yeah, it is simple, but sometimes the most simple things can be the most inspiring.  Right?

#4 – Doing research the old-fashioned way…

…Using a library.  This ties in with my love of books.  While yes, the internet is an amazing and terrifically fast resource for researching something, there’s nothing like sitting down at a table in a quiet library with a notebook and several reference books spread out in front of you.  I was one of those strange little kids that never groaned in annoyance when the teacher assigned a paper that required us to utilize the library for research.  I was probably one of the first ones skipping down the hall, and definitely the only one with a slight smile on my face!  Every time I’ve ever been given a topic to research, it always opened the door to something else.  I’d research what I needed but instead of quitting when that was done, like others would, I was inspired to keep going, keep digging, keep learning.  And that mindset has served me well over the years.

#5 – Glass Bottles

Wait.  What?  Glass bottles?  Yeah, I know that sounds a bit out there but like I said earlier, simple things…  There are endless sizes, designs, and colors of glass bottles out there and each one can inspire in different ways.  At least, they can for me!  I have a small collection started and each time I look at them I’m inspired artistically by the different forms, lines, sizes, and colors of them.  Even those that are meant to be identical have differences whether it be a slight difference in color or a flaw or two in the glass.  Sometimes flaws make things more charming.

#6 – Hiking

Ah hiking.  A big inspiration for me.  Not only does it get me out into nature, I get exercise.  And everyone knows that when you find a form of exercise that you don’t despise, you’re inspired to make better, healthier choices in your life.  When I’m out hiking, I’m not thinking about problems, challenges, or anything negative.  My head is clear, and when my head is clear I’m clear.  If that makes sense.  I feel better, happier, motivated.  I get inspired to do things to better not only my own life, but the lives of others as well as our planet.

#7 – Japanese Culture

There are just so many things about the culture and ways of the Japanese people, that I find inspiring.  Their art, language, writing, music, and architecture are just a few things to mention.  I find how the Japanese people make even the smallest things into a ritual very interesting.  They take their time with things and really appreciate what’s around them.  The Japanese have a concept called Wabi-Sabi and what that means is basically finding beauty in the imperfect.  I think a lot of my art and photography would fall into this concept.  I don’t always follow the ‘rules’ when it comes to photography (my bad!), but, though many would disagree, I think sometimes the images are stronger for it.  The Wabi-Sabi concept inspires me on a profound level.  Seeing.  Seeing people, things, places, the world in a whole new way.

#8 – Journals & Journaling

Journals, again, tying in to my love of books.  The physical aesthetic of a journal tends to be the inspiration for the things I fill its pages with.  Poetry, short stories, novels, or more personal rants.  Personal rants meaning journaling.  How many kids keep diaries or journals about what they did at school that day, what their sibling did to tick them off the previous night, or what god awful meal their parent just plopped in front of them at dinner?  Too many to count.  Journaling is a way to unload everything in a healthy way.  For those of you out there that don’t keep a journal, I would highly recommend it.  It’s very freeing to be able to get out everything you’ve been carrying around each day, both the good and the bad.  It helps us keep our mental balance, learn from past experiences and mistakes, as well as inspire us to reexamine things, make changes, take action, etc.  I know of some people who have several journals going at once, dedicating them each to a different topic.  And we’ve seen that journals can become inspiring books.  Just think of The Diary of Anne Frank.

Well folks, I think this might be a good place to call it for this round.  I’ll be back in a while with another collection of things that inspire me.  If I haven’t bored all of you to death with all this, then I hope you’ll join me for Vol 2.  Until then, take care and take a moment to stop and think about what inspires you in life and to do what you do.

Keep on rockin’ on!

[^_^]

~A.M.

Mother’s Day Miracle!

Yes indeedy! It was a mother’s day Miracle!

Rejoice people! I found my books! Woot!

I was so stressed out when I couldn’t find them. Luckily they were right where my brother said they’d be. Well, maybe not exactly where he said they’d be but pretty damn close.

I also found a few other books I had forgotten I even had. Plus!

So now I have my Death Gate Cycle and my copy of Dune back on my shelf and everything is at peace.

Let’s see, what else have I to tell you on this fine day…

I went down to visit my brother and his girlfriend this weekend. That was decent. We got to meet Megan’s cats, Momma, Bela, and Lugosi. Man is Bela an attention whore! Whew. They were cute though. Lugosi was a little chicken (though he did rub against my hand at one point much later in the evening).

But anyway, we all took a trip to Augusta. We stopped in a Cosmic Charlie’s. My mom had been wanting to check it out for a while now since we hear the commercials for the place on the radio constantly. To be honest, yes, they did have some cool stuff here and there, but I wasn’t all that impressed by the place. Especially the downstairs “rabbit hole.” I mean, come on! They’re selling pot paraphernalia and calling it tobacco pipes! Please. No one smokes tobacco from a bong people!

But anyway, after we came back from Augusta we went to the movies. Why is this such a big deal, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I haven’t been to the movies in quite some time. Over…I think…two years. It felt kind of weird actually. Why, I can’t really say. But it did.

We saw “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

Now, I thought the movie was very decent. I loved the fact they included Remy LeBeau (Gambit for you non-fanatics that may not know who Remy is). But I could launch into a whole spiel about what they did wrong concerning the story. Like Deadpool. They completely screwed his character up at the end. Though Ryan Reynolds did perfectly as the character in the beginning. I won’t go into it though. I’d be here all night pointing out the little things that didn’t quite jive with the comic and other things that were completely made up for the sake of the film. I think X-Men was one of the few comics I actually tried to follow as a kid (so I like to think I know what I‘m talking about). Mostly because I thought Wolverine was cool and Gambit was hot…… What? Don’t look at me like that. Yeah I said it. I meant it too. I thought (and still do) that Gambit was hot. I could care less if he’s a comic book character who’s the product of someone’s imagination. That means little to me.

Ok. That rant’s complete.

Carry on with your lives, mortals. Carry on.

Now….Anything else….hmm…

Oh, I played procrastinator again this weekend, hardcore. I left my poor camera sitting in the bag all weekend, begging to be let out. My bad. It’s official.…I fail at photography.

But I do believe that is all I have to report for now. More to come…hopefully.

Keep on rockin’ on!

[^_^]

~A.M.

P.S.
If you haven’t already, go give your mom a hug! It’s her day damnit!

Temporarily Distracted By A Shiny Object…

Wow, I haven’t updated in a while. I figured it was about time so, Ta Da! Here I am again! I’m sure you’re excited. I can feel your enthusiasm through my keyboard. Damn, that’s some hardcore enthusiasm you’ve got going on there. Whew.

But anyway, this is just to update people on what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been taking photos here and there. Yes, rejoice! I’m beginning to break out of my non-creative slump! Woot!

The big thing in the last few days though was a cookout at my brother’s and his girlfriend’s place. The only people I really knew there was my brother and his girlfriend, oh and my mom too. [^_^] But people introduced themselves, which I’m not used to, and things got kicked off. Then the best part, the crazy ferret lady showed up with her babies (by babies I mean the ferrets obviously)! Oh man they were adorable. Zohan VonOtter and Thumper VonOtter. Those little guys were hilarious! I got to hold Zohan! He kept trying to crawl into my shirt for some reason. I’m telling myself he liked the smell of my deodorant but I’m thinking he just wanted a peek at the chi chis. Either’s possible I guess.

Now, I’ve wanted a ferret for like…ever. But I have cats. Not only would they be mean to one if I brought it home, they’d hate me for it.

Speaking of cats, mine just sneezed all over me and my computer. Nice. Thanks Tig. I appreciate it. Ek!

But anyway, getting back to my story here, I got a few cute pictures of the crazy little ferrets. Man those things move fast! Holy crap! Every time I started to press the shutter button, bam! They moved. Oi. I managed to catch them a few times.

And speaking of catching, Thumper caught me at one point. It was so cute. He was hopping along behind me and when I stopped and looked down he just kept right on going and pretty much head butted my ankle. Silly little thing. Silly.

So, all in all it was a decent day. The weather was nice, the company was decent (until people started to get drunk. That’s when I remove myself from the area), and there was plenty of food for everyone. I think everyone had a good time.

Let’s see, what else, what else…? Um…

Oh! I may have a lead on where my missing books are! Woot! I asked my brother at the cookout if he had seen them, cause I thought maybe I had leant them to him and forgot, though I know he wouldn’t have wanted to borrow the Death Gate Cycle, but possibly the copy of Dune. He said he didn’t have them and told me that while he was at dad’s going through stuff he had stored in the shed there he came across a tote with books in it and he says he thought he saw the books I was looking for in there. Now, I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I’m thrilled I might find my books and on the other I’m wondering why I would have ever put them in a tote out in the freakin’ shed of all places! I guess I’ll find out the next time I’m down at dad’s.

*crosses fingers* Please let them be there and be in decent shape. Please, please, please.

And one last tidbit I guess I could share, I found my NYIP (New York Institute of Photography) student advisor on twitter! Yay! I added him and he added me (though I don‘t know if he knows I‘m an advisee. I told him today though so he should!). This should be interesting.

Speaking of my photography course and school, etc. I should probably get busy on that. I have all the lessons read and tests done, now I just have to finish the photo projects and send them in. Woot! If I can crack down and do some serious work, I could probably have everything sent in by the end of the month. Yeah. That’s my short term goal. Finish my projects and get them sent in by the end of the month. You people hold me to this ok? Keep me on task so I don’t slack off.

Ok, I guess that’s enough for now.

Keep on rockin’ on!

[^_^] ~A.M.

Why Are Construction Crew’s Sign Turners Such Morons?!

Honestly. Why?

I don’t get it. They get paid good money to just stand there and turn a freaking sign but they all have this pissed off attitude and treat people like crap. Then they wonder why people yell obscenities or flip them the bird all the time.

For example. Yesterday. My mother and I were on the road. We came upon some construction (obviously) and the old guy they had manning the sign had the “slow” side facing us. Just as we got within twenty or so feet from him he quickly flipped the sign to “stop.” What the hell? We could see to the other end of the construction and there were no cars waiting. In fact, the only car that was coming hadn’t even reached that end’s sign turner. So why were we made to stop? I have no idea. But then, the guy just had to make things even more stupid. We came to a stop about ten feet away from him. A little closer than people should normally stop when confronted with a sign turner on a road construction crew but still a decent distance away. For some reason the fool kept pointing his little walkie-talkie at the pavement in front of him, motioning for us to get closer. Why? Again, I have no idea. But we complied. After which he gave us one of the dirtiest looks. I wanted so badly to flip him the bird but then he’d probably have taken down our license plate number and fabricated a huge story about how we endangered him by getting too close or something stupid.

Then….Oh yes, there’s more. Then, a few miles down the road we came to an intersection. Now let me set this up for you. This intersection was shaped like a “T.” The arms of the T made up one road and the trunk of the T was another. We were at the stop sign of the intersection (the trunk of the T). Follow me? Now, from our point of view, there was a bridge to our left (in fact that was the direction we were headed in. The construction was being done on said bridge and there was of course a sign turner posted at the intersection. This guy (another old guy) had his sign on the “slow” side. He let a few trucks go by and flipped his sign to “stop.” “Yeah? So?” you ask? Well, the thing was, his sign was pointed at the people on the road coming from our right, not at us. So we thought, ok, he’s letting us go too. So mom started to go but he looked at us and yelled, shaking his head no. So, we stopped. Then seconds later, he waved us on. What the hell? Make up your fucking mind dude! And next time make sure you either have your sign positioned in a way that everyone at the intersection who needs to stop can see it, or let the people who can’t see it know by holding up your hand. How hard would either of those be, really? Again, I wanted to yell an obscenity or flip the bird, but I behaved myself.

So yeah, why do all construction crew’s sign turners have to be such freaking morons? I’ll never understand it. I mean, do they not train these people? Do they just hand them a walkie-talkie and a sign and say “go for it”? You’d think they’d teach these people how to handle different situations, like say, people at an intersection? Come on, if you have construction near an intersection you should really have more than one sign turner. You know? One for each way. But that’s just common sense I guess. And we all know how rare common sense is these days.

And as far as the construction itself? Really, if you can slap up a temporary bridge that can weather the onslaught of heavy traffic use in only a few hours, then why the hell does it take so freaking long to repair/rebuild the actual bridge? Really now? Why does it take so long for construction crews to do anything? In fact, I think both sections of the construction we went through were in the same stages they were the last time we went through. And that was almost a month or so ago!

Next time you go through some construction take a look around and I can almost guarantee what you’ll see. Anywhere from two to six guys wearing white hats standing around/talking to each other, one or two people with yellow hats in/on/around machinery, and maybe one or two other yellow hat people. And those two other yellow hat people are the only one’s doing work.

Ah. I just answered my own question there. That’s why it takes construction crews so long, because only one or two people are actually working at any given time.

There. That’s my rant about construction crew’s and their sign turners.

Let’s see, what else do I have to tell you people?

Um, well, I still can’t find my books. In fact, another has been added to the MIA list. My copy of Frank Herbert’s “Dune.”

So, the running total of missing books is up to 8 now. That makes me sad.

I guess that’s all for now.

Keep on rockin’ on!

[^_^]

~A.M.