Below are a few test images, shot with my new, yet not completely working, Mamiya c22. After having most of my equipment stolen while in Ohio, I have finally found a new medium format camera to use. I wandered out for the July 4th fireworks celebration in downtown St. petersburg. Spending a few hours with the camera, and my trusty little argus, I was amazed to find that people on the streets were randomly asking that I take their photo. They were attracted to the camera I guess. Enjoy.
After a long conversation with a customer, who hails from Detroit before the 1970’s, regarding the rich history of the industrial revolution and american culture, i found myself becoming deeply homesick. home to me, or what home has been regionally, is that little corner of Lake Erie, stretching from the Detroit metro area down to toledo ohio. its graciously known as the upper end of the rust belt, formerly a manufacturing powerhouse. its not where i grew up, but where i lived most of my adult life. I attended school in Bowling Green, Ohio, while living just south of Toledo. Upon graduation, I immediately left for Detroit proper. I spent a lot of my time in college running between concerts, galleries, and eventually working in freelance street and event photography in the great motor city. sadly, I departed the city with my average wage sitting at a rough $8,000 a year. I ventured back to ohio, my home area of Cincinnati and Dayton for a reboot of both my art and my finances. While achieving these has helped greatly. I feel my heart still belongs to that region of the country.
Tonight on PBS, I watched Detropia, a documentary of the current state of Detroit by film makers, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing at Loki Films. Needless to say, it has been one of the most emotional films I’ve seen in quite some time. I am often asked how or why I left, headed south, and am now living in Florida. Its tough to explain, though the visuals in this film show what I often attempt to lay out in words. It is extremely tough to tell someone who hasn’t lived there that we do in fact have these third world environments inside the United States. It’s harder to have people fully grasp this and not just bully it into a crutch, a talking point for political conversations of who is right or wrong and doing what. My answer for leaving a place i love and still call home, though i haven’t been back in four years, is simple, I along with 300,000 people in the last decade, could not survive in that environment. I do keep a small bit of hope alive for a good job or situation which could make it possible to return. The option of returning to such a culturally rich, though dying place and rebuilding is something to keep alive. its a sense of hope that if that town place can survive and possibly flourish again, that any problem our country faces internally can be overcome.
This Image, best illustrates where i used to work, downtown. Still taken from the film.
I’ve been in camera mode since arriving. Took yesterday off from shooting on the streets and plopped into editing mode. There may have been a few drinks out on the Artwalk, downtown, last night. It was nice to see a few friends while in town. Denver is known for some of those delicious micro brews, as well. Today, I’m presenting a small pictorial tour of my last two nights.
First time in a plane in 19 years, second trip by plane ever, and I got an entire row to myself on a sold out flight. But, the fucking window was stuck shut. So no view of anything.
TPA is a great little airport to fly out of. I’m pretty sure I now know exactly what “tsa approved” is and how to make it function for carry on stuff. I seam to have had a far better experience than anyone else I’ve met who travels with a full camera kit. It’s 8:13 pm Tampa time, though I’m only 200 miles out of den according to the pilot. My largest problem is that i cannot sit in one spot this long, even if I technically have three spots (abc in row 21).
After the argument with the cabby trying to pull one over on someone who refers to Detroit as the last place I’ve felt to be home, I bartered a $40/ 29 mile ride to the downtown Denver mall to snap some shots of the Halloween bar crowd and grab a bite to eat at the 6th Starbucks in 24 hours. Finally meeting up with Mak, the night ends. For me it’s 2:30am. Still at half past midnight I am shivering and editing a few fun snapshots from the trip out.