It’s Been A Productive While

I just realized I haven’t posted since April which is much longer than I’d prefer, but I’ve been quite busy! With what you ask? Why with Moving!

You see, the wife had gotten a job offer from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and so we packed up all of our art and books, threw everything else in the garbage and drove 1800 miles from Ogden to Huntsville. The drive itself wasn’t much to write about, but we did make a few stops of varying levels of relaxation or stress. One of which was Memphis, TN. I’d had much higher hopes for the city as I’ve heard very good things about the nightlife and downtown. But, having arrived in downtown, on a Friday Night no less, I was saddened to learn not a lot was happening except for a few of the local bars were packed to the brim. We I still 21, that might have had some appeal to me, but given I’m an old fart now, standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of loud and smelly bar people seems like the opposite of a good time.

Instead, I went on the roof of the hotel and took some pictures. Here’s one of the “Famous” Peabody Hotel in downtown:

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You may notice for this post the photos look a little different than my pictures usually do and that’s because I edited them on my phone using PS Express instead of Lightroom. It’s not nearly as good, but for the ability to post a quick shot to IG (which you should follow me on @earthquakephotography) which is all I’ve been doing as of late, it works rather well.

After leaving Memphis, we drove a few more hours where we finally hit our new home state of Alabama:

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I’ll be 100% honest here (so if you work for the State of ‘Bama, take note): This sign is awesome. It’s probably one of the coolest “Welcome to X” signs out there. It’s carved marble with great patina, and has tons of most excellent character. However, it’s not nearly as big as you might be thinking, or all that easy to see. In fact, it’s largely covered by some bushes, behind a typical big-ugly-green-road sign that says “Welcome to Alabama” in the typical shitty ‘road sign’ font. Why would you put up a garbage road sign when you have something or quality and substance nearby? Shame on you Alabama. Shame.

For what it’s worth, the sunsets here are just about as good as they were in Utah. Here’s one from my front porch:

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I’m also quite thrilled to see that Huntsville seems to have an art scene, although upon a quick google search, the hip young people art place is out of business (Boo!). Nonetheless, you can find things like this down the alleyways of downtown Huntsville:

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Hopefully before too long I can get out and do some solid exploring in the area. Until then, hang tight peeps! It’s gonna be a clunky shift …

-D

The Right Place at the Right Time: The Peery Apartments

As part of my mission to get out and shoot more, I took another walk today, this time opting to head eastbound up 24th. Originally, I had wanted to check out one of the churches on the corner, but it was unfortunately all closed up and I was forced to find something else. Luckily, as I mosey’d down the street, I came across a boarded up apartment complex that has been built in 1910. While wandering around the outside looking to see if there was a way in, I happened upon the woman who manages the place! Turns out, they are working to remodel the inside of the building to update it and start renting out the apartments again. In our small talk I mentioned that I was just out shooting photos and was interested in old buildings and architecture. Since she was waiting on a plumber to come by and take a look at a few things, she asked if I’d like to see the inside, to which I jumped at the chance. And boy howdy am I happy I did!

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Not only did I get a full tour of the building, it turns out her mom had lived in the building for 28 years before it got closed down and she was well versed in every nook and cranny of the place. This gave me the opportunity to snap some cool photos from a series of apartments. Mostly, because my awesome tour guide knew which apartments had all the best accouterments like this ornament over one of the fireplaces:

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Or these awesome heaters in the various bedrooms:

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Seeing these types of things always forces me to wonder why we don’t put this kind of effort into anything anymore. It’s also primarily the reason that both my wife and I agree that when we get to the point where we are going to buy a home, we want something old. I want the ornate woodwork on the stairwells, and the embellishments in all the finer details. I mean, just look at the interior stairwells for crying out loud:

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And on top of all of that, one of the cooler parts about these apartments, is that they’re trying to keep as much of the old stuff as they can during the renovation. So things, like these awesome mailboxes:

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Or this sweet vintage call-box system in which you can buzz an apartment from the front door all Seinfeld status:

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Of course, what good is a trip into an old, dirty, run-down building without a few pictures of some grimey stuff or some crunchy textures? Don’t worry dear reader, I’ve got you covered on that front as well:

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All in all, it was an awesome little excursion and the lady who manages the apartments was super sweet. I look forward to them being finished in all their old meets new glory (i.e., they plan to keep the apartments mostly the same and simply add new appliances and some cool modern features). I also hope you’re enjoying these posts as much as I do because with any luck, they won’t be ending anytime soon!

As always, until next time –Thanks for reading!
-D

Jumping the Gun on a New Me: Mid-day Photowalk

For the regular readers, you’ve likely noticed a sharp decline in the posts I’ve been making. After switching roles at work I got into a bit of a funk where I felt wholly unsatisfied with my job and my current state in the world. In turn, it led to me not getting and out and shooting as much and seriously lacking inspiration. Earlier this week, I decided that wasn’t good enough anymore and I needed to shake things up some. I promised myself I would simply “be happier”, I’d work harder, and I’d also push to focus on the things I care about more. One of those obviously being photography. I figured that if nothing else, I could burn up my hour lunch break at work by instead of sitting around on my phone, going out for a walk and snapping some photos of random things. It would of course be mostly downtown Ogden near my office, but for now it would force me to shoot something. Anything really.

Yesterday was day one of the new method and it went exceptionally well as while I was wondering the street behind my work, I caught a few construction workers who were working on the old Keisel Building, which I’ve wanted to explore the inside of for a while, and I asked if I could poke around. They said it was fine but just look out for stray nails and such as it was a construction zone after all.

As it currently stands, the building is mostly done with the demolition side of the long term renovation plans and the interior has been pretty much gutted. However, there are still a number of the more interesting embellishments from the original building which made for some neat photos. Since the Kiesel building was primarily office spaces and home to a number of businesses, one of the cooler features was the mail chute that ran alongside the elevators from the top floor to the bottom:

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Aside from those, the elevator control mechanism on the top floor was open to dig through as well as a huge vault on the first floor:

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Outside of the fun, little things, I got a cool shot of the stairwell, and a fun picture of a busted up window on one of the top floors:

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Finally, I got up to the roof where I got a panorama shot of the clouds rolling in over the mountains now that our first good snow is completed:

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All in all it was a great day. I got some good work done, I got some sweet photos, and my mood was much better than it had been in a while. Even a nasty puddle was looking pretty good:

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So hopefully I will be posting here a little more often, as I get out and shoot more and who knows, maybe I’ll find the inspiration I’ve been wanting (even though I’m not sure what it would even look like at this point).

As always, until next time –thanks for reading!
-D

Jazz at the Station: The Corey Christiansen Trio

Earlier this month, much like the past few, I got called upon to shoot another jazz group in downtown Ogden at the Union Station. This time, unlike the others was much more of what I was expecting when someone tells me there is a jazz gig being played somewhere. Classically trained and exceptionally brilliant on the guitar was a local Utahan whose been travelling the country and becoming a well known name in the jazz world. Corey, who got his start at Utah State University had been pitched to me by one of my buddies as one of the best Jazz guitarists he’s ever heard. He wasn’t kidding. It’s one of those things where you can’t really write about how good something is, you just have to show people. So I suggest you check out his site here or drop him a listen on Spotify as his new album is up there.

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With Corey, was drummer Steven Shindo Lyman who may be one of the best drummer’s I’ve ever heard. Sadly, I can’t find a website for him, but if you ever hear that name or see it on a flyer, be sure to check him out as he’s an absolute beast. So much so I ended up getting a few more pictures of him than I usually do with other drummers. Here’s a couple:

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Last but not least, jumping in on the keyboard was Ryan Conger. I’ve written about him in my last two Jazz at the Station posts, so I won’t go into a lot of that here as you already know about him.

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All in all, the show was killer good, as they played a lot more of what I guess is now considered traditional jazz. I managed to swing some pretty decent shots out of the gig and look forward to whoever will be playing next month, as this is becoming a staple in my monthly calendar.

That’s all for this one, as always, until next time –Thanks for reading!
-D

Lackadaisical Saturays

This wasn’t one of my more productive weeks for photography as even though I had my camera with me I didn’t take it out much as I wasn’t terribly inspired by the things I was seeing. Saturday was a fun and eventful day nonetheless, as I took the kiddo down to Farmington Station on the Railrunner (our local Amtrak). I caught a few photos on the way home that I thought were kind of neat, but otherwise the day was comprised of shopping and walking and just spending some time with the kiddo. Here’s a pair of street shots at the train platform:

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The clouds made for some fun pictures that a lot of my friends took. In hindsight I should have been a little more active on the shutter, but alas it was a carelessly lazy weekend.

Next weekend seems like it should be more exciting as I am dropping the kiddo off with her grandparents for the month of June, as we have the last few years. In doing so, I’ll get to meander around Denver a little where I hope to get some fun street shots and some cool architecture work in. The blog post will likely be a little late as it’s a three day weekend for me and around the time of mine and my wife’s wedding anniversary, so we’ll be puttering around to take advantage of the day off of work.

That’s all for this time. As always, until next time — Thanks for reading!
-D

#OgdenWide photowalk and My BTS work.

As I mentioned in a previous post I got an offer to go and do some behind the scenes shots for a short film with some great people. While I still can’t post any real shots of the setup (to not give it away) I did manage to get a few HDR shots of the cast on set for the second weekend of shooting. I even managed to bring the kiddo along and put her to work helping to decorate the set:

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“Helping to decorate”
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“HDR Director”
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“Production Crew Shenanigans”
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“Memorizing lines”
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“Directing Extras”
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“The Magic of Friendship”
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“Red Dress”

I gotta say, if you ever get the chance to work on a movie set, it’s one of the most fun (read: exhausting) and rewarding experiences I can think of. Seeing a bunch of seemingly unrelated clips and knowing they’ll come together to make an entire film is out of this world.

Aside from that, yesterday a couple of my friends put together a photo-walk for the photographers of Ogden to meet, hang out and shoot some local scenery. I had a blast hanging out with the people for two big reasons: 1) They are all super talented and fun to be around; and 2) Their passion for photography and art is infectious. Getting to chat with people who want to hear about your cook-y ideas and get excited for you is just phenomenal. Thanks to them, I have not only a fun idea for a photoshoot, but now I have a few more ideas to add in that should make it even better! Unfortunately, that will have to wait until this summer once I’ve upgraded my camera gear, gotten a lighting set-up, and put in the leg work to find models, props, and a location. So since there is still a ton of work to be done there, I’ll show you a couple of the photos I took from yesterdays walk instead to tide you over:

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I’m pretty excited to check back into the area with the rotted out car ports and stuffed animal, even though I didn’t get as good a focus on bear as I would have liked. There is an abandoned apartment complex, that has gone onto my list of places to explore. So hopefully you’ll get to see the inside of it soon as well in a future post.

Well that’s it for this one, as always … Thanks for reading!
-D

Lessons in Shooting Water, or Why TLC Was Wrong About Everything …

Today was moderately productive as far as picture taking goes. I failed to heed the warnings of the mid 90s pop icons and in fact, chased some waterfalls. Granted, these waterfalls weren’t very large, or symbolic of poor life choices, or whatever it was they were getting at. To be fair, at that time I was too busy listening to punk rock and learning to skateboard to be concerned with any sort of life lesson that may benefit me in the future.

Nonetheless, as I mentioned, today I got a chance to do something I’d been working on for a while, which was to pull water into that nice, soft, silky texture without having to buy a hundred dollar ND filter. I’ve always been aware of the process, but lighting conditions have usually prevented me from getting what I wanted as no matter how low I forced the F stop, the light was always such that anything slower than a “one second” shutter speed would white wash the entire thing into oblivion. Well not today folks! Today once I had finished goofing off with the kiddo at the park, the clouds had rolled in and just darkened up the sky enough I could pull 3.5-4 seconds. And because of that I was able to accomplish this:

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Of course, it required getting put into one of my sweet personalized Lightroom presets to get the overall feel I wanted (that slightly warmer, yet still cloudy day feel). But overall, very little processing was necessary and the image wasn’t a sheet of printer paper to start with. So in my best Borat impression I must say … Great Success! Very Nice!

I nabbed one other shot that was salvageable. This one of course, simply uses one of my other standard Landscape presets and isn’t as warm. The focus for this is much more on the cloudy day:

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As for yesterday, if you follow me on any of the various sosh-meeds I mentioned I would be rolling back out to the causeway again. This time of course was more or less just to let my buddy Ben Sant over at BTS Photography get a feel for the sweet landscapes available and hammer out some ideas for a more dystopian styled shoot using the rusted out tugboats from my last post here.

I did manage one shot of the tracks which came out better than the ones I shot last week, and I think I prefer the black and white on it more as well, given how harsh the sun was:

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I was a little bummed as I had planned on giving him a quick run-down on landscapes but the wind was blowing pretty hard across the lake and the cloud cover wasn’t terribly interesting. So that was a bit of a whiff. Of course, the day wasn’t lost as brainstorming was done, and things were learned (at least on my part anyways) as I was able to get a pretty strong primer on lighting. I am actually pretty excited to get out and do a legit model shoot with some of the ideas I have. But that unfortunately for you the reader, will have to wait for another day. As always, Thanks for reading!
-D