Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another sign of life in the "dying City" or beware theres bikers downtown

Just another addition to the list of things to do on a Sunday afternoon. In a dying city with nothing for anyone to do. The Rosetta Stone Cafe In downtown Youngstown held its first "bike night" today and I was lucky to hear about it and went down to check it out. Held from 3 till 9pm and Mind you I left at 5pm and more and more bikers were finding their way onto Federal plaza. A great setting. ample parking for bikes, they had the plaza closed off at both ends for a couple blocks with bike only entrances at both ends. A DJ filling the plaza with good music, tables set up right on the street, sun shining Just a great setting and a good location for bikers from all the surrounding areas to find there way to. The YO. IT HAPPENS HERE! my new slogan for the area. Best of luck to everyone at the Rosetta Stone, I think your timing was right on for this!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

First visit to BUDD'S Auto & Truck or I Found a piece of auto salvage Heaven on Route 14 in Deerfield,OH

I got a tip from a friend a few weeks ago about this place, this auto salvage place, over in nearby Deerfield,OH. So on Saturday I was on my way to Cleveland on rt.76 to check out a new art gallery in Lakewood, OH and hit a traffic mess at 11:15am just past the Niles rt. 46 exit heading north. Needless to say I finally scrambled off the highway at 12: 45 onto rt.534 near Lake Milton. The Cleveland trip scrapped I was pissed and was thinking of a way to not let this beautiful day be a photographic waste, what to do, dont head home, turn north on 224 and head to BUDD'S AUTO AND TRUCK. A true slice of car freak heaven, ratrods waiting to be born. I wandered in to the lot drooling over a row of ten or more old pickup trucks just begging to be photographed. With some help from a nice girl who was busy painting a small wooden building, I met John Budd the owner/operator of this nirvana of rust and ratrod dreams. A nice guy who let me wander around werever I pleased and I must say I was a bit overwhelmed.

My eyes where roaming all around just trying to get a feel for the place and find a place to begin photographing. Where do you start when everything around you is well, too cool? The place was definitly organized and things seemed to have their place but my finger on the shutter had a mind of its own, shoot everything. Cars from the 20's 30's 40's 50's 60's some of the most beautiful colors of rust and paint my eyes have ever seen. After talking with John a bit I learned that a lot of theses cars are from out west from Montana to the Dakota's, I saw Minnesota plates. A truck from Yellowstone park. I kept thinking if only these cars and trucks could talk, the places they've been and seen, a true American history. I could go on and on but just look at a few images and I'll be back to BUDDS I am sure. Get ready "pinup" models I see a trip to Deerfield in our future!

Owner:John Budd

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A stroll down W. Federal St. 5/22/09

We have all heard it, read it and maybe even witnessed a part of it. But to define the YO. a "dying city" is a bit short sighted. My wife, daughter and I were in Downtown Youngstown on Friday, a bit of business at the Oakland and then I saw some rather interesting things. First being a car freak, I saw this old Ford parked in front of Turning Technologies. I had to stop and photograph. Some see an old car, I saw the PAST LOOKING FORWARD. A historic relic (car/Youngstown) sitting in front of an active part of the future of the YO. A dying city huh, I turned around and we walked a block or two to see some construction going on all around me, and a bit of live music right in the center of town(thanks Khaled) A dying City? Looks to me like a living breathing, happening city. It is what WE make it! There are many in this City who are pushing this "dying City" into a brighter future day by day, as those people "link" together that push gets bigger and bigger and A city grows anew!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

something personal

We often here the quote "can't imagine life before I had children", or something to that affect. A cliche' perhaps,but a true statement if there ever was one. My children are everything, they have brought so much to my life I could write for days and not scratch the surface of what those two little people mean to me. Funny how they can get you to do things that on your own you may not even consider. To say they make life full, complete, etc. is not enough. Yeah, they can drive you crazy to, and teach you patience and what unconditional love is as well.
Part of why I photograph is to tell the story of our lives, of my life, and how I view this world we live in so that someday far off in the future my children might learn something of who the big smelly guy with the camera was.

Photography critic Vicki Goldberg puts it best
"In this ballet of humans and animals, gesture and inattention, we are reminded that the dance is awkward and unpredictable, and photography its perfect audience."

This image was originally shot on Federal st. in Downtown Youngstown, OH, some of you will know the spot. I just inserted my own images into some of the spaces behind her. This portrait of my wife Shannon is an attempt to put into a single image what makes her who she is to me. more than a companion, a lover, a mother to my children, a bookeeper, an assitant, a model, a friend, a critic, a teacher and . . .

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Previous works

This Mosaic below was done for a car builder/racecar driver (Tom Richards) from upstate NY. He was very gracious to allow an unknown grad student from RIT into his garage and photograph and get to know him. Another example of the fine people you meet in the motorsport community. He is "the modernday Marlboro man"

6FT.X 8FT. fibreglass statue
Completed in 07 as part of a public art project for the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull
County, OHIO
a blast to work on, long days when you only have a month to complete it.
There were 30 or more statues placed throughout the county and auctioned off later.
The statue is the hood ornament from a Packard car which is dear to the people myself included from Trumbull county, Warren, Ohio is the birthplace of the Packard Automobile and home
now to the Packard Museum. A fantastic place!

The "Fred Perry Run" is a huge motorcycle run/party in Austintown,OH a benefit ride to raise money for children. This piece was completed with images I shot and then framed in bike chain and sprockets with the help of a good friend and fabricator who probably won't want his name mentioned here sorry Greg, Webber that is, Could'nt do it with out people like him.

Finding the Groove

As I have previously stated I am one of those car/motorcycle freaks. One of my goals from the beginning was just to photograph racing period. Perhaps living 10 minutes from Indianapolis Motorspeedway as a kid had a bit to do with that. One of my earliest memories of racing was going to the Indiana State Fairgrounds and watching midget cars and flat track motorcycles race. Funny how some things get into your psyche and stick.
On to other things, These images here are a few of my personal favorites. The Pryatt&Miller Corvette C5R draped in the American flag at Mid-Ohio just says alot to me. American pride to the extreme.
The other images here are mosaics created from images of motorsports that were cut up and put into a previously drawn design. Nothing too fancy just a joyful way for my to use the imagery in an alternate form other than just single prints framed. In my work I am always trying to push the imagery and its use in the piece to or beyond the edge. I equate this to a race car, pure function, only here for one purpose, to go fast. Let me try to be clear as possible I compare the two in this way, a single image like a passenger street legal car just begs ro be altered, tweeked, pushed to that form of pure function(racecar)personalized to the max so to speak. In my work with photography thats how I see the raw material, the original photos, just begging to be pushed to a new place, into the realm of pure function (fine art).
These pieces are available as 20x30 Giclee' prints ($75.00) for availability please contact me by email.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Racecar spelled backwards spells Racecar!

It was auto racing that brought me to photography and is still a big part of my creative work and personal enjoyment,fast, loud, smelly stuff aaahhh . . . These three images give a brief example of one of my working processes. Go out and photograph the subject, play with the imagery in photoshop and lastly throw the images on some canvas and start slingin paint! As much as I use digital technology I still have an attraction to art that is made by hand. The touch and gesture of the hand is something you cant get from a keyboard and monitor. Plus I love getting crazy with paint and getting it everywhere, on the table on yourself, in a way you are more a part of the work when you apply your hands to it, maybe its just me.

hot dogs,sun rises and political rallies

I have so much to show you! Too much. From lunch date with my daughter to a steel worker rally in D.C. To photograph is to create a record of a life lived, a record of being here at this time. At its most basic this blog is about photography. We can talk techy stuff, you want help with image issues just ask and I will help all I can. As for subject matter, you name it I probably have photographs dealing with it. If there is one lesson I have learned from my time here its that life is short and fragile and its a game you can only play once! What does that mean, well It means cherish life and those you share it with.