I've been a homeowner for about 15 years now and it's taken a decade for me to forget why I decided to have a garden. Sure I can tell everybody about why my tomatoes taste so much better than those from Costco. Yeah.... that's great and all. Having just a few plants has provided a bounty of vegetables that has made me feel like a farmer, much closer to mother earth. But, I say to hell with all that noise. If I have to spend all this time with soil and fertilizer and pruning just to see a few Tomato Hornworms eat the shit out of everything when my back was turned, what's the point? The only good that has come from it all is a great opportunity to shoot some macro shots of these beautiful creatures of destruction. I swear to God, my wife and I thought we had rats eating the tomatoes because the bite marks looked like what we expected a rat would do (plus we saw them in the backyard eating bird seed). Turns out we had about 4-5 of these worms eating everything in sight before I brought them inside for photo shot. Anyway.... here you go.
I forgot to post this (published in February), but a really nice writeup of National Geographic's YourShot community.
And it's not great because I'm interviewed, but that certainly didn't hurt, IMHO. :)
Zsa Zsa Gabor...I get you.
Leona Helmsley...I understand completely, girlfriend.
Thanks to the arrival of a 10 week old English bulldog puppy, I now understand why rich old ladies carry around tiny dogs. Because (at least with my puppy) they're awesome and they can.
Am I completely glossing over the fact that when Reuben is in his spazzy, puppy play mode he's like a mini Tiger shark on a blood-soaked rampage of teeth and fur? Yes. Or when I was changing the bed sheets and he ran over and pissed on the comforter? Yes. Or the fact that his tiny bladder has him getting up every 2-3 hours to go out in the middle of the night? Uh huh. Or when I was watching him like a hawk, blinked my eyes and he was gone, but a tootsie roll was deposited on my carpet right in front of me? Youbetcha.
Despite all those things, our home now has the funniest, most personality-packed creature to date, even counting those Sea Monkeys I ordered from a comic book (That's saying a lot, because I'm such a sucker for brine shrimp!). I'm trying my best not to post a million images of him, but I'm failing miserably and don't even care. I have unabashedly set up an Instagram account, @Reubenthebulldog, just to have a place to put some of these pics. Somehow, I'm able to delude myself that because it's my dog, it's different. No WAY I've become one of those douchebags. Wait...maybe I have, but... DID YOU SEE WHAT HE JUST DID? He was playing and rolled off the mat and flipped over. How cute is that?
Anyway, he's been a reasonably good model so far and I need to get these shots now while he's cute and doesn't have that 3 inch underbite which I'm sure is coming. Bear with me people as I pass through this really adorable phase.
A good run of news continues with the publication of one of my favorite images of the kids. For the 'Built To Walk' assignment, Deputy Editorial Director of International Editions, Darren Smith, asked for photos to be printed/made real and incorporated into a new image. It highlighted the fact that the physicality of actually making a print feels like a long lost art. What percentage of our pictures do we actually print? Less that 1% for sure with me.
Anyway... this image was a pain in the ass to set up because after printing and hanging the individual pics, I had to wait a day to come back and shoot because they continued to twist on the string and find a point to settle at, most often facing away from where I wanted them. Even with a matte finish, the shine from the lights was an issue as well, washing out parts of the pictures.
My thanks to Darren and the rest of the YourShot community who submitted to this assignment because it definitely took more effort and creativity than the typical assignment. I applaud the YourShot team for including this occasional creative side to their assignments.
You can view the complete story here.
Great and most surprising news this afternoon of the inclusion of one of my photos in the "Built To Walk" assignment on YourShot! It was unexpected since it seemed quite different from the documentarian nature of the other photos and was not a recent image. In fact, the age seemed to work against me somewhat based on the comments of Foreign Correspondent and National Geographic Fellow, Paul Salopek:
Almost too old a photo for a journalistic assignment. But the willingness to go macro, and turn the literalness of Built to Walk's tittle into pure abstraction, makes this a powerful entry.
Being selected as one of 30 images out of 10,000+ is an honor and to be recognized by yet another guest editor is a wonderful thing.
Have I mentioned how much I love the people at YS? :)
You can view the story here.