New Photo Books Out Today

I’ve got two new photo books out today.  One from AdoramaPix and one from Blurb.  The AdoramaPix book holds nineteen of my latest photographs culled down from hundreds.  It’s another high quality book from AdoramaPix, 12″ square C-Prints.  I can’t wait to get it in and see it on paper.
Meanwhile, I also created an in depth look at the photography I’ve made over the two years using Blurb Books.  From Lockhart Texas to Paris France, from subway trains to aeroplanes, water fountains to cisterns.  It’s 196 pages of my work.  While it isn’t all of it, it’s a pretty good look at what I’ve been doing.
Check them out and let me know what you think, especially if you pick one up for yourself!

Almost Back

It seems I should have spent my over thirty-six hours of travel writing blog posts about my trip.  Unfortunately I spent most of that time watching inflight movies and reading.  Shameful I know.  Guess I just felt the need to clear my brain for a while.  After traveling, running on empty and going at full speed for nearly a month, a little down time was necessary.

Today and tonight I am dedicating a couple of hours to gather photos and stories from my travels to put on the blog.  I’ve already gotten a lot of stuff uploaded to flickr and hope to soon have a post up.

Meanwhile, here are two panoramas.  The first is a view of Paris from Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and the second from the private beach facility where my parents live in Saudi Arabia.

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The Final Critique

I’ve never enjoyed a course subject as much as those in the photography portion of my degree. I’ve made so many amazing friends through the course, learned so much about photography, improved my skills in ways I cannot even measure and built relationships that I expect to last a life time.

Leah (@tigersluvpepper), Katie, Justin Rodier, the Maggies, Sarah, Kelly, Maggie, Allison, Nick, Paul… These are just a few of the incredible photographers, friends and course mates I’ve enjoyed in this series of classes.

Of course, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for our Professor, Joe Johnson. His elephantine knowledge about photography, philosophic look on life and love for the subject he teaches becomes more and more evident semester after semester.

Rarely do you find a professor who shows as much interests in his students as he does in his own work.

The close of this semester saw the graduation of several of my peers in the class. Some I’ve enjoyed the company of for years, others just a single semester. After our final critique a handful of us headed to Uprise Bakery/Ragtag Cinema Cafe for drinks, conversation and a chance to make our final goodbyes.

It was a brilliant feeling meeting up outside of class. We told stories previously untold, shared our plans for the future and enjoyed what would be the last few hours together for some of us.

While I will miss many of my classmates who have moved on to bigger and better things, I’m just as excited to join up with the rest of the class in January when we start back up.

Thanks for making this such a memorable semester.

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I Won a Photo Contest!

You read that right! I actually won a photo competition, the first one I’ve ever entered since I was a kid.  I guess you could say that I am 1 for 1, undefeated! haha.  The competition I entered was for the blog and podcast, Indecent Exposure, the subject matter was “White” which was curious since my last critique was just about 100% white!

There are actually four more photos not shown in this early picture of the wall.

There are actually four more photos not shown in this early picture of the wall.

The photo I actually entered was the one right in the middle.

Click the photo to see the larger version on my photoblog.

Listen to the commentary on the photo by CNet‘s Senior Editor Lori Grunin and Matt Fitzgerald

[audio:photocontest.mp3|titles=Indecent Exposure|artists=Their Critique of my Photo]

I was literally jumping up and down with excitement.  Even though I’d already read the blog post saying that I won, listening to them say it made it real to me.  I’m not sure what I actually won, I don’t really need to WIN anything tangible, it’s just really cool to be recognized by someone.  That someone being the hosts of a podcast I really enjoy just makes it that much better.

The next photo competition they are hosting is “Night” which will be arguably more difficult.  Seems like pictures of “night” always look amazing.  I suppose I’ll do something like these… But how do I make them stand out?

Click to view full image

Click to view full image

Click photos to view larger versions.

So there you go!  Lemme know if you have any ideas of what I should shoot.  Right now I’m pretty far behind on my photography class work so I might not be able to compete in this one but we shall see!

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Shot from the Photoblog

For those who don’t know, haven’t visited or forgot about my photoblog… fix that. 😀  I though I’d go ahead and post a picture (click to visit the site) from my latest batch of uploads.  It’s a photo taken from a national military museum from the photoshoot I did there for their next calendar.  Not sure if it will be in the calendar, but if so, you saw it first at !

And I always appreciate your comments here on my posts and there on my photography.  People commenting on my photography is the only way I can really know that I’m doing a good job, or how I should shift my style.  Thanks everyone!

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The Last Airbender

M. Night Shyamalan lost my respect several films ago. The Sixth Sense was awesome but it seemed every film after that was a little bit more horrendous than the one before it.

But maybe that’s changing.  I know it doesn’t really show all that much, and the first half of the trailer looks like it’s going to be some National Lampoons  ninja spoof, but it looks pretty interesting.

Lady Gaga, Savior

As an artist, I hate the idea of someone spreading my work around the world before it’s ready to be seen by the masses.  And I totally feel for Lady Gaga for having her latest music video, Paparazzi, leaked out onto the internet earlier than she had hoped.

In the end, though, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing.  Thousands of people are twittering about the video and from what I can tell, they all seem to love it.

I feel like I came to the Lady Gaga scene a little bit later than some of my friends who were seeing her in clubs in Washington DC and New York City years ago, but it wasn’t long after I heard her music, especially her live, a cappella performances, that I realized she was the real deal.

We’ve seen so many new artists come out of the woodwork with little skill beyond one particular dance move they do over and over again, some sexy look they have or whatever magic audio engineers are able to pull off with the amazing abilities provided by the autotune.

Lady Gaga is a classically trained singer, dancer and pianist.  I know Chase will give me shit for a week for liking her.  The name alone, “Lady Gaga”, is pretty silly and her fashion sense is, to put it kindly, extreme.  But it all comes together into this beautiful package.

Gaga breaches the established gender and sexual lines; she is what many, and I can’t believe I’m going to type this, gay guys need right now.

Madonna is getting old; seriously, she is starting to, ghasp, look her age.  Plus, what kind of beacon of inspiration can she be?  Leaving her husband for another man who is also married while in the midst of adopting another foreign baby?  Madonna, your acts in the 1980s, 1990s were cute, rebellious and fun.  But now you’ve got a family to think of. Come on Madge, go back to who you were just three years ago. Ok? Thanks.

Brittany is, while not nearly as crazy as she was in the last few years, definitely not a singer or performer.  Her music is catchy and great to dance to and sometimes even has substance but please, lord help us all, do not let her go out and sing and dance live.  Holy shit.

Is that all we’ve got?  Nah, we’ve got Beyonce but she’s getting too big for her Cartier.  Pink? Nah, she’s cool but doesn’t pump out the dance hits or diva ballads like she used to.  She’s our political girl for sure.  Christina? Sing? Yes. Dance? Yes. Beauty? Yes. Style… Well… It’s definitely better than it was in the early 2000s!

So really, who do the gay guys in the world have?

Lady Gaga.  She’s new, fresh, clean, fun, has style galore, sings like most pop singers after they are autotuned (herself without the need for autotuning), can dance and… well you get the picture.

All that being said… I can’t believe how much I like her music, her style and her… je ne sais que

Here’s her latest music video, yeah that leaked one.  It’s one of the biggest singles off her debut album.

[flv:Lady_Gaga-Paparazzi.flv 500 378]

The video every bit as fantastic as I had heard around the internet.  It’s like an old Michael Jackson music video mixed with a little Gwen Stefani and a whole lot of high fashion.  Pop music gold.

I don’t feel nearly so bad about posting this video, the audio is off by a second or two which makes it a totally different experience as when it will be officially launched.  It’s good enough as is that I’ll be buying it from iTunes the moment it is put into the iTunes Music Store.  Also, at least it is given a nice home here right?  Centered, a nice intro image… (see how I’m trying to convince myself of something?!)

Cheers, g’night all!

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