Favorite Photos of 2016

Here are a few photos of some of my favorite things I have photographed in 2016.

This is easily one of my most viewed and favorited photos of 2016. This was taken in St. Louis while I was working for a week filming a conference. Whenever I travel for work I try to take some time and enjoy the city by getting up early. Ideally I can bring my bicycle with me and this is exactly what I did on this particular trip. Got up early and started exploring the city by bicycle. A huge fog rolled in and my path was dictated to where the fog was not. This led me down to the river by the Gateway Arch and where I found these people taking their boats out in the early morning. The photo really doesn't do it justice. The scene was amazing. Knowing that fog burns off quickly I reached into my pocket and pulled out my iPhone and took this photo. Then I reached for my Fuji for a better quality photo but the fog, and these boatmen were gone.

Another photo that I took while out of town in Phoenix, Arizona for work. Knowing that Donald Trump was in town (don't want to get too political but I loathe him) and that there was most likely a protest going on where he was speaking. Sure enough there was a small group of peaceful protestors outside doing just that. This wasn't the first Donald Trump protest I photographed (there was another I cam across in Chicago) and I'm sure it won't be the last. My favorite thing about this scene was the audio from Trump's speech was being broadcast outside and the protestors just turned all their car radios up and drowned out the awful man's words.

One of my two loves is my dog Murray. If you follow me at all anywhere I'm sure you have seen photos of him ad nauseam. He is just so photogenic and I love him so much I just can't help it. This was also one of my first film shots. I started experimenting with film in 2016 and was pretty pleased with the results. But man is it harder to shoot film than digital. I believe this was Fuji Superia 400.

My other love Megan and another film shot from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fort Smith is the home of UnexpectedFS which is a mini street art festival that takes place there. Definitely worth the trip if your interested in things like this. This was one of my first shots with medium format film and as a side note when I got this processed the local lab in Memphis did not process slide film so I had to get it cross-processed. Very pleased with the results.

Hey another film shot! This time in Philadelphia at the wonderful Reading Terminal Market. The market was right across the street from our hotel and we were there pretty much every day. The Iovine Produce Market is one of the first things I saw and was immediately drawn to the people and colors there.

So my main work comes from Freelancing on Film & Television projects here in Memphis, TN. I worked for 3 months on Million Dollar Quartet, a TV show from CMT chronicling the early lives of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. The great thing about working on things like these is every project is different. So I always carry a camera with me and try to take a photo every day. This was actually how I got interested in photography. The great thing about working on this particular show (now called Sun Records) is that it is set in the 50's so you get a lot of cool old cars and extras dressed in that period.  This particular photo was taken while hiding in an alley during a take and watching the extras go by. Again shot on film so I think that combined with the period costumes and cars gives it an interesting look.

Another reason I got interested in photography was through street art and artists. Murals often get painted over or buildings get torn down, so I feel like it is very important to document these things. Once they are gone they are gone for good and I like to have something to document it. This particular shot was shot in Asheville, North Carolina at the Foundation Walls mural project.

Chicago is one of my favorite travel destinations. From Memphis flights are cheap and of course the city is wonderful. Its like a much more chill New York City. I often try to find an observation deck in a city so I can get some good aerial shots of the city. This one is taken from the observation deck of the John Hancock building, one of my favorite buildings in the city. Notably this is the first time I ever saw a rainbow from end to end. This was another instance of having to get an iPhone photo quickly due to the disappearing nature of rainbows. Sure enough when I got out my wide angle camera out of my bag the rainbow was gone.

Speaking of aerials, I bought a drone in 2016. Originally I envisioned using it for mostly video but I quickly realized that it was perfect for photography as well. While quality isn't the best it is more than enough to get good shots and prints in the air. This photo was taken about 200 feet directly above my house. A whole new world of photography awaits where you spend most of your day, you just have to look up.

Lastly this is an iPhone photo I took during sunset in our lovely backyard. We are lucky to have some great trees and lights that make the backyard at golden hour a magical place.

November 2016

November saw a trip to Chicago. So most photos from November 2016 will be from there but I threw in a couple of Memphis ones as well. Clicking on the image will take you to each images respective Flickr page.

Imperial Lanes

Summer Avenue is full of treasures. Imperial Lanes is (for now) one of those. When I heard that it was to be demolished and turned into an LA Fitness I grabbed my camera and went out to get some shots.

On the Big River Crossing

The latest awesome addition to Memphis (there have been so many recently) is the Big River Crossing is finally open. I rode my bike across it last week but wanted to spend a little more time taking photos so Megan, Murray and myself took a walk across. Here are some of my favorite photos from that walk.

Foggy St. Louis Morning

Was in St. Louis last week for work. On my morning ride the fog rolled in and I was lucky to get this shot of some people going out in the boat. A few seconds later they were gone. Full resolution version of this is here.

Nosey and The Two Kings

I love trains and I love the artwork, graffiti, whatever you call it that is also displayed on the sides of trains. To me its a moving art gallery of many different styles. Styles that I will probably never see again. So whenever I see a train come by (often while I am having a beer at Wiseacre) I grab my camera and go see what is coming my way.

So I was in my car going down Broad Avenue when I was stopped by a train. This happens all the time and I actually enjoy when it happens. So instead of like most people trying to find a quick way around the train I happily pull out my camera and see what today's train brings me. There was the usual mix of gang tags, sloppily written curse words and one or two decent characters drawn on some train cars.

It was here I first noticed one of my favorite people Nosey had tagged the railway crossing blocker thingy. Then I noticed Vini's awesome Jerry Lawler sticker right next to it. So I took a shot of those with the train in the back ground with my 135mm lens. Then I thought "well it would be cool if there was something on one of the trains that would make the Jerry Lawler sticker more relevant." Sure enough about 3 boxcars down I saw some lettering that spelled "King" and presto you get the image seen above. Serendipity had struck!

So next time you are at the train tracks take a break and look at some cool artwork going by. Look closer and you might see something you might not have noticed before.

Thoughts on Shooting Film

I don't know if it was due from boredom with my current state of photography or wanting to try something new but for the last few months I've been pretty obsessed with shooting film. I love shooting with rangefinder style digital cameras like my Fuji XPRO2 and Fuji X-E2 so I figured buying that style but in film camera would be a logical first step. So I bought a Canon Canonet QLIII and took it from there. Below are some photos I've recently had developed and scanned. While I am mostly pleased with the results, shooting film is pretty hard (especially on a manual everything 1973 film camera) so I think I can do better in the years to come.

Take a look:

Marc Gasol of Memphis

Last April I was fortunate to be part of the camera crew for Craig Brewer's short film Of Memphis. This video was to promote how awesome our Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is. Also since he is a free agent there is hope that this will help him make up his mind. I had a little time to take some photos behind the scenes.  

The Murals of Deep Ellum

Whenever I go to a new city I always find out where the Mural District is in town. Here in Dallas it is Deep Ellum. I always like these areas not only because of the murals but there are always good places to drink coffee, beer and eat around. And Deep Ellum has plenty. Enjoy!

5 Days in Sacramento

Spent 5 days in Sacramento working, but also taking photos. Here are some of my favorites. Click the photo to see my whole photoset from the trip.

Wiseacre Memphis Wrestling Mural

Wiseacre Brewing already had a very cool mural that I called Southern Devastators up for some time. Now the same artist Nosey42 has put up a new collaboration with Birdcap celebrating the storied history of Memphis wrestling. It features Jerry "The King" Lawler vs Andre The Giant. Andy Kaufman and the Mid-South Coliseum are thrown in as good measure. It is my understanding that these murals will be rotated out once a year or so so you will have plenty of time to come check it out. As always you can check out more Memphis street art at my Memphis Street Art Page on Flickr.