Pixelated Past…

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

…in which I talk about some old photos and a very old camera.

So, back when I was a teen living in Connecticut, I always dreamed of being a film maker. While I could never dream of getting a video camera with which to practice such a craft, I often lusted over the Fisher Price PXL2000 which was far more affordable. It was a child’s toy, and not very good, quality, but it would serve the purpose of learning how to film would satisfy my craving for moving pictures.

Against all my begging and pleading, I never did get the so desired PXL2000, and to be honest, it’s probably for the best. The thing takes horrible video, is very picky about lighting, and is nearly impossible to work with. How do I know this? Years later, when I had my own disposable income, I purchased one on eBay and have actually taken some video with it. You can see some samples after the jump.
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I didn’t blog last week…

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 | Cycling | 4 Comments

…in which I talk about stuff, trying to make up for missing a week.

I’ve got three computers installing software on my desk right now, so I’m going to take a moment to just ramble mindlessly. › Continue reading

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The Karate Kid had some Kick-Ass Music…

Thursday, April 17th, 2008 | LiveJournal Archives | No Comments

…in which I talk about kicking some ass at work and failing at life.

So the last couple of days I’ve pulled off some really good moves at work. I finished an experimental projects with the Design Department today and its a roaring success. Yesterday, I was able to recode some web stuff flawlessly and simultaneously purge a particularly nasty virus from a laptop. I’m still not on top of everything here, but I’m knocking some big stuff down. The next big project is an overwhelming one. Next week I get to inventory every computer we have in the school. I usually do that during Spring Break, but with us getting ready for the server migration that didn’t happen, I didn’t have the chance to do it. Now we’re down to the wire, which hasn’t happened in a few years with the inventory and I’m sweating it a little bit. I’m sure it will all come off without a hitch, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still thinking about it.

On the home front, however, guilt has been building a bit since I got the Xbox. Not guilt over buying the Xbox, not at all. I’m totally cool with that. However, my obsessive personality does kind of kick in once in a while and I’ve been playing the Xbox quite a bit lately. I try to be the good husband/father and make sure that everything that needs taking care of around the house has been taken care of, but also, my idea of necessary tasks has always been more relaxed than Heather’s. I actually surprised her on Tuesday by actually doing some laundry and dishes while she was out and I was taking care of Ansel, alone. I think she was mostly surprised because when she came home, I was just sitting in front of the TV, playing Crackdown, drinking a beer. I looked like I must have been there the whole night, but Ansel was fed and asleep and the dishes and diapers were all clean. I have mixed feelings about that, though. I love to surprise her and make her feel loved by doing things around the house for her, but at the same time, she apparently has such low expectations, it doesn’t take much to meet her approval.

As far as photography is concerned, however, I’ve still not gotten any further in doing any actual photo projects. I had some ideas the other day, but I haven’t played with them at all. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to implement my ideas, even though I should just be doing it. My mind is having a hard time wrapping around some of the things I want to photograph, plus I have a permanent paranoia that I’m just going to start doing something that other people have already done and will never find a way to make it “mine.” I know I shouldn’t concern myself with it and should just produce something, but I’ve been so self-loathing yesterday (in every aspect except work, apparently). I’m more concerned about what’s going to happen when I’m expected to actually participate in class again and I have to make up the two incompletes I’ve received as grades during my “relaxed” period. Ugh. I feel like I’m in an educational hole that I no longer even care about.

Originally posted at K. Close III
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Thursday, April 3rd, 2008 | LiveJournal Archives | No Comments

…in which I talk about how friggin tired I’ve been lately.

I feel like for the past two months, my life’s been going a million miles an hour. When the new semester started, I was ready to get back to it and start working on that MFA again after taking a “new baby hiatus.” Unfortunately, the universe has conspired against me and while I was having a hard time finding the opportunity to photograph, things have gotten considerably more difficult to the point that I don’t even have the energy to think about anything other than what I’m doing at that very moment. Pre-planning is a thing of the past and almost everything is suffering from last minute realizations that I’ve forgotten something.

So the first month of the semester went alright. I was attending class, I was thinking about photographing (even if I wasn’t actually doing so). Mid-February, my co-worker had his baby (okay, really his wife had the baby, but he was there) and he went on paternity leave for the next month. This meant that I now had to cover a lot of his duties in addition to mine. This was a level of additional work dedication I had not been thinking about, even though I knew his wife was pregnant. It just didn’t really occur to me until I was doing it. On top of this, we were preparing for a large server migration to occur the week after spring break, in mid-March. As the date for the migration got closer – and I was still doing my job, plus my co-worker’s job, plus the extra work required for the migration – my boss developed a bad case of pneumonia. This left our entire office staffed by myself and our student worker for the better part of three weeks, and we were still trying to get ready for this migration, in which my boss played the most major of roles. To add to this, I had three road trips lined up for late February and March (my trip to Arkansas, then my trip to Houston, and finally my trip to North Carolina).

And while some people will claim that its the oak pollen that’s making everyone so tired, I tend to think I’ve got some extenuating circumstances that are the cause of my overwhelming exhaustion. Did I mention that this year was the first year that the University actually took away our spring break, on top of everything else? So while the students and faculty got the week off in the middle of March, the staff (which include my wife and I) were all still working. So we didn’t even get the vacation in the middle of the semester that we’re used to. I’ve decided I really need a vacation, even if its just a week off at home – or heck, maybe even a four day weekend. I’m going to have to talk to my boss about that, because I’m dying here and I just need a couple days to regain my sanity.

Originally posted at K. Close III
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There and Back Again…

Thursday, March 13th, 2008 | LiveJournal Archives | No Comments

…in which I talk about my amazing adventures in Houston and surrounding areas. (its gonna be a long one)

FotoFest. Yes, FotoFest. A two month, biannual festival dedicated to photography that takes over the entire city of Houston. As a burgeoning photographer, and MFA student in the same subject, I am highly encouraged to go every two years to this event. This time around, we were given an opportunity that sounded, and as you will read later truly was, incredible. At FotoFest, there is a portfolio review session available to have professionals in the photography and art world look at your work and offer you guidance, suggestion, and once in a while, a show or other commercially successful opportunities. The chance to attend this review, known as The Meeting Place, is accompanied by a $750 price tag. Between the unwieldy cost, and the fact that I do not yet feel like my work is ready to show, I have not taken advantage of The Meeting Place, but this year, our faculty were able to set up an incredible opportunity. This opportunity was both a blessing and a curse, however, to my Houston adventure.

I am a man with sorely little free time, and after my trip last weekend, I was already in dire need for a little time off. However, a month ago, we were told that we would have the chance to actually sit with one of the reviewers during a full day of portfolio reviews. Essentially, it was the chance to observe fourteen portfolio reviews from an objective standpoint. How awesome is that! What this meant, however, was that if I was going to go to FotoFest and participate in this portfolio review, I had to go on this one particular weekend. A weekend which happened to be, not only in the middle of a very stressful time at work, but also the weekend immediately following the weekend where we went up to Memphis. That’s two weekends in a row where I’m away from home, separated by a super stressful week at work and followed by an even more stressful week. But stress and hectics be damned, I was going to go!

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Originally posted at K. Close III
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Who Am I…

Monday, February 18th, 2008 | LiveJournal Archives | 6 Comments

…in which I speak about myself as an artist, a craftsman, and an individual.

I’ve reached the same frustrating plateau that I did with my last photography project, that point where it’s “really close;” that point where I just need to push it a little further and make it stand out. Its that point where the only solution is to shoot more and “play” more. It is that place where I finally got so frustrated and so “photo-blocked” that I couldn’t produce anything, and I’m afraid I’m hitting the same place again. Its the place where I begin to suspect that I am a craftsman more than an artist. I can take a damned fine photograph if I do say so myself, but I can’t seem to dig in and find the creative spark to go from a fine photograph to fine art. If I really wanted to, I could take perfect calendar photos (which make up the majority of the “best photographs” on flickr), but I can’t seem to push it to a place where it would catch a gallerist’s interest. I also don’t have much interest in making calendar photos.

This is the same place where I start to wonder if I really am cut out to be an artist. The one thing I always question, the one thing that always comes to mind at this point, is a quote I read not too long ago that says “An artist makes art because he must.” I’ve never, necessarily felt this way. I don’t know if its because I’m not an artist, or if its because I grew up to believe that there was nothing I “must do.” That I could do anything I wanted. I am not career oriented, I don’t have a driving desire to make a name for myself or to be implicitly successful. My only driving goal is to be happy, and my happiness comes quite simply. I would like a little bit more money, I would like a little bit more free time, but I don’t need a big house, or a convertible, or airline mies. Health, happiness, security; these are the things I need. So I ask myself again, am I an artist or a craftsman, and if I am the latter, do I have the dedication and desire to become more than just a craftsman.

Part of the problem is time and time management. Between Sleeping from I’m awake, on average, from 7am to 11pm each day, and on five of those days, I’m either getting ready for work, at work, or coming home from work from the time that I wake up until nearly 6pm. During that time after 6pm, Ansel is awake for only and hour or two, which puts me as being “busy” from 7am to 8pm. That leaves three hours between Ansel going to bed and my going to bed. Thats three hours of “me” time; or more importantly, “us” time for Heather and I. I am loathe to shed any of that away. I hate leaving the house after I’ve gotten home, and I hate to do any “work” after having already worked for the greatest majority of my day. Its so much easier just to say “I’ll work on Photo later,” but then I end up with a crit in 3 days and nothing prepared (which is a rapidly approaching inevitability, once again).

I love Photo, and I don’t want to quit, but my main goal in starting my MFA was to shake up my life. I was in a stagnant place. I hadn’t picked up a camera in years, I hadn’t done anything but work since I had graduated in ’99, and the idea of me doing anything academic had pretty much left me completely behind. Starting my MFA required me to rebuild my life. To once again become more creative, to think academically, to open myself up to new experiences, and to get out of the rut that had become a trench. Since then, however, I’ve started my photo of the day project (and as you know, am now on my second), I never go anywhere with out a camera, I am reading much more, I am trying to write more, and I am more critical of the things I do. And then, on top of all that, I now have my baby Ansel to shake everything up like a polaroid picture (yeah, that turn of phrase is about to die).

I just don’t know what I’m doing right now or where I’m going. All I know is I have stress and I can’t seem to shuffle it off like I used to. I need to push myself, but I don’t know if I’ll bend or break.

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2005 | LiveJournal Archives | No Comments

Thought you all might want a quick sample of what I’ve been working on this past semester in my Grad Photo Studio. This is just one of 600+ photos I’ve taken, and really 1 of 20 or so worth even looking at. I may post more of a sampling at the end of the semester.


Sunday, September 25th, 2005 | LiveJournal Archives | 2 Comments

ah, the last print…

too bad I’m not overly happy with the quality of some of these. fortunately, this is just the first crit, I think I can aford to have slightly sub-par quality.

ah, and of course now I find the print head alignment control. I’m curious to see if it would have made a difference (the onscreen images were pretty darn clear and the prints at home were really nice) but I’m too damn tired to care too much at this point.


Sunday, September 25th, 2005 | LiveJournal Archives | No Comments

Still Printing.


Saturday, September 24th, 2005 | LiveJournal Archives | No Comments

Ah the smell of inkjet ink, not quite as intoxicating as developer chemicals, but still something to be appreciated by the late night artist.



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