I really enjoyed photographing different parts of California with my phone stylized in infrared. I had so much fun I decided to share a few more of my favorites here in portrait orientation. Photography is hard work, but we must always remember to make time to enjoy ourselves. Never stop having fun!
Wow!!! 10 years?! This is really hard to believe…
But, 10 years ago today I apprehensively started my journey into blogging. I never would have imagined that time would go by so quickly. I’m the first to admit, I’m not the best blogger in the world, and lately I haven’t been as consistent, but I’m very proud of myself for making it this far. In 10 years time I’ve obviously had my share of ups and downs, and I’ve moved to different parts of the country a few times. During this time I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of very interesting people along the way. Til this very day, one of the most interesting people of all STILL happens to be the person I started this blog with, baby Adayah.
Of course she’s not a baby anymore, but I’m sure her Mom would totally agree that we both wish she still was! She was so full of personality even as a little baby. Her facial expressions were absolutely priceless! So I’d like to send a huge thank you to Natasha McBride for allowing me to not only photograph, but get to know both her and her child, Adayah. They’ve become more like family over the years, and I’m grateful for every single moment that I spent with each of them. Thank you!
I’d also like to thank each and every person that has visited my page, liked my photos, or left me a comment. I greatly appreciate your support! And trust me, your encouragement has really helped me to get through some very difficult times.
Lastly, I’d like to say thank you to WordPress. Without this platform I don’t know where I would’ve ended up trying to share my work and thoughts? So, thank you!
Here’s to 10 years! Time to celebrate this accomplishment!!!
After losing my mother last month I decided to take a break from creating. During my down time I thought a lot about how serious we take ourselves in the pursuit of money and a career. Getting back into the routine of making photos again I wanted to take it easy, and just try to have fun again. Reminding myself that not every photo has to be a “masterpiece” or your “best” work. Sometimes we should do things just for fun. Remember why you chose your line of work in the first place. Not for the sake of having another job, not for awards, or likes and follows, but simply for the enjoyment of taking photos. To create for your own satisfaction. I haven’t even been taking my big, “serious” work cameras out. I’ve just been taking snapshots with my point & shoot, or mostly using my iPhone. Truth is, when it comes to posting on social media, most people don’t even recognize the difference anyway.
I’ve always been in love with Kodak’s Areochrome infrared film. But since it’s been discontinued for some years now, I’ve never had the pleasure of actually using any. Thanks to the advancement of digital technology we are now able to replicate a similar look in our photos. Of course it’s not exactly the same, or better, it’s more like a simplified approximation of the original.
Lately I’ve also been trying to spend as much time as possible in tranquil, peaceful, environments. Trying to employ different methods to lessen my stress at all costs. Enjoying the simple pleasures in life, not taking small blessings for granted. I was born under the water sign, so water has always had a calming effect on my spirit. The cool breeze and crashing waves help to soothe my nerves. Spending time near water has been extremely therapeutic for my healing process. From the very beginning photography has been medicinal, so combining the two has been beneficial to both my life and art. Creating for fun has brought a degree of joy back into my life.
Being an artist that loves experimenting with different techniques made choosing infrared for this series very easy. Although I wish it were the real thing, I am content with the results I’ve been getting digitally. So much so, I’m even considering making a more significant project, using infrared as my primary color grading method. But, that’s a decision to be determined at a later date.
For now, I’m not putting any pressure on myself. There’s no timetable for anything. The goal is to use my art to help me heal, however long that may take? Whatever work is created during that time will be whatever it is. And although I’ll probably share this work publicly, it’s not for the public. It’s for me and me only. I’m not interested in opinions, or commentary, I just want to have fun. What’s the point of spending all this money on equipment and working hard for years if you never get to enjoy yourself? That’s one of the biggest issues currently plaguing the artistic industry. Unfortunately, so much of the joy, fun, and love is totally missing from the different art forms now. Music, movies, photography…it’s truly very sad to witness.
So I have to do my best to bring the fun back for myself. I can only hope that others will routinely re-examine themselves and follow in my footsteps. It’s very easy to lose your happiness, thereby becoming lost in the serious business of work. Sometimes questioning your purpose, and even falling into deep depressions. But we all have to remain protective of our joy. It is sacred. The undeniable fact is, we don’t have to create to impress others, or to be the greatest ever…but we must remember to constantly try to have fun. That will ALWAYS be an important aspect of our lives!
Please remind yourself to actively enjoy the process of creativity.
Black & white photos taken a few months ago while out and about.
A small collection of various color photos taken a few months ago while out and about.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma was far reaching, extending into parts of Georgia in the form of a tropical storm. Although the damage was far less than expected in the Columbus city area, strong winds toppled large tress, and power lines. The winds also scattered debris across the city’s streets causing some roads to be blocked off. There was also some minor flooding, power outages, as well as school and work closings. On the worst day of the storm I spent most of my time out walking the streets trying to document the damage. Below are a few samples of just some of the things that I saw.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
I remember the day you were born. That day was my very first lesson in learning how to let you go. Having to leave you at the hospital to go to work that night was hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to stay with you, to hold you, look at you, let you become familiar with me. My first child. But I had to let you go…
When you finally came home, each night that I left for work I would be so sad driving away, because I didn’t want to let you go.
When we put you in daycare, it was the first time that I had to leave you alone with strangers, and everyday that I walked out of that door I had to let you go. I would stand in the window and watch you until I didn’t have any time left to give.
Your first day of school, I was so happy for you, but so nervous. When the bus came to pick you up and carry you off I cried like a baby. I stood in the street and watched as the bus became smaller and smaller, until it eventually disappeared. There was nothing I could do, I knew I had to let you go.
Since then, there have been so many moments, so many times where the only thing that I could do was stand by and let you go. It never gets any easier.
Now here we are already, senior prom! Look at you. You’re so beautiful! You look just like your mother…
Once again I have to see you off and let you go. I’m so proud, but so hurt.
I know soon you’ll go off to school, or move out on your own and I’ll have to set you free.
Eventually you’ll meet someone, fall in love, get married, and that’s when I’ll lose you. That’s when my heart will truly break…that’s when I’ll really have to let you go.
I always knew these days would come, yet I’m still not prepared.
I love you so much!!!
You will always be my baby, sometimes I wish you could stay that way.
Why do I have to let you go?…
I never want to let you go!
But I know I must…
Today’s photos are a continuation of my previous post on shooting on the street with an 85mm. Although this isn’t a lens review, I will speak on the aspects of the lens that I enjoyed. The lens that I was testing was the Zeiss 85mm. At the end of the day I chose the whitewater rafters to test the autofocus speed on fast moving subjects. The focus was accurate and fast. The image quality was also excellent. The details in these shots are amazing! I wish that I could post the photos at their full resolution so that you could see all of the fine droplets of water the way I see them on my computer. I also enjoyed the build quality, color rendition, as well as the bokeh. Purchasing this lens is an absolute no-brainer! I highly recommend this lens specifically for portrait photographers, but as you can see it is versatile enough for other applications if necessary.
(Please Click On The Photos For Larger View)
Wishing my one and only son a very Happy 16th Birthday today! I love you Prince!!!
I know it’s been a little while since my last post. I never really imagined a time when I would constantly fall behind in my blog posts. The truth is, I’ve been traveling so much more lately. I’ve been trying hard to just enjoy my life, explore, overcome my fear of flying and shoot as much as possible. In fact, I’ve been shooting so much that now I’ve become totally overloaded with images! I have so many new photos now that I spend most of my time struggling to edit, as well as organize these massive catalogues. I’m not complaining at all because, I know this means that I’m finally doing the things I’ve always wanted to do.
I wanted to share some images I made back in August. I was testing a new lens that I was considering purchasing so I decided to take it for a spin in the downtown area. Normally I would never use an 85mm focal length on the street, but I really didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of scheduling any portrait sessions. Fortunately I chose a beautiful day to go out! The sun was shining, there was a great breeze and people were everywhere. I took my time, walked slowly, and engaged with random people as I created images in a much more relaxed fashion than I normally would. It was an awesome feeling to just slow down and think about what I wanted to capture, rather than running around frantic as I typically would.
At the end of the day I loaded the photos to my laptop, and to my surprise the lens performed brilliantly. I was very skeptical that I wouldn’t get any usable images considering the lens is so tightly cropped on the subjects. I had to stand further away than I normally would and it was a learning curve for me since I like to get closer to my subjects by moving my feet. It almost felt as though I was cheating! But needless to say, the test was a huge success. I knew that I would be making a new purchase and adding a new lens to my arsenal. Now that the 85 is in my bag I never actually use it on the street, unless my mission for the day is to specifically capture head-shots. If I accumulate enough good portraits with the 85 I will definitely post them. I just have to remember to use it more often!
For now I hope you enjoy these test images. I will probably post a follow-up set of images later this week.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
“Youth is fleeting, before life begins…innocence blows away, like whispers in the wind.”
-Robert N. Jones
The lovely fall colors help accentuate the many colors of this stylish dashiki worn by the beautiful Latrice.
Model: Latrice Hicks
Makeup: Nichele Hardge
Happy New Year to everyone!
My very first post of the new year is a beautiful southwestern sunset captured a few days ago and shot with my iPhone 6 Plus. I know that I haven’t been posting as much, but I have been doing a ton of shooting lately and I have many new exciting images to share in the coming weeks/months. Stay tuned.
I’ve been having some very trying times lately, so I wanted to post something positive and show a little love to my favorite time of year. To my surprise there has been more colors in my area than it’s been in years, making it feel much more like a real a autumn season. These colors have lasted much longer than I anticipated, but it appears that they’re rapidly disappearing. I hope to get out and capture one more round of fall colors before they’re all gone. Until then, I hope you enjoy!
(Please click on each photo for a higher resolution view)
The sun rises early upon another fall morning. I am thankful to witness it’s natural glory.
-Robert N. Jones
Two months of unintentional silence?
This is the longest break I’ve ever taken in my blog’s 5 year existence. Many factors are responsible, and every creative individual goes through it. I’ll describe my absence as the photographic equivalent to what’s commonly known as “writer’s block”. One of the main reasons for my hiatus has been the writing aspect. I use to really love writing when I was a kid. I wrote stories, poems, song lyrics, anything. Now as an adult I have a love/hate relationship with it. Sometimes I want to write a book, and sometimes I don’t even want to write a sentence! Maybe a part of my reluctance stems from all of the writing we’re forced into doing now on our smart devices and social media? The struggle has been trying to find a reasonable balance. There are so many thoughts and words constantly floating around in my head on a daily basis that it becomes difficult to express them all interestingly before they fade away. Also, if I don’t write things down I tend to forget them, and new ideas will quickly replace the old ones.
Since my last post in September I’ve accumulated a large collection of images that I’d love to share, but honestly I’ve been having a hard time trying to separate and organize them into something cohesive. This type of thing can happen when you shoot more than you blog, eventually you’ll fall behind.
So here I am now looking through hard drive after hard drive, memory card after memory card, and folder after folder of thousands of images trying to make some sense of it all. I guess I have to start somewhere? I’ll let today be the first day on the road back to consistency. I’ll try to do better and prevent this from happening again. I must remind myself that this forum is another creative outlet, which is why I created this blog in the first place. Try not to stress over it too much. It’s like the positive affirmation on the shirt below says, “It’s all good in the hood!” Now carry on…
Like me, my kids have never owned a pet. The other day they heard a kitten crying from inside the sewer near our house. I went outside to see if I could locate the sound. I did my best cat impression for a few minutes and soon after the kitten emerged from underground. It was immediately clear that she was bruised, tired and hungry. I told my kids the story of how my grandmother, uncles, and I use to rescue and take care of strays when I was a child. Naturally she was very apprehensive at first, but eventually we were able to get close enough to feed her and give her milk. Shortly after she decided to show her appreciation by rubbing up against my leg and purring, which I explained is what cats tend to do for affection. My daughter thought it was one of the most adorable things she’s ever seen! She said, “Everyone loves you daddy!” “Even animals!”
Since the kitten was starting to warm up to us I decided they could keep her under the condition they’d have to care for her. I assigned my daughter the first order of business which was to give her a name. She quickly settled on “Ginger”. We all agreed on Ginger and the kitten seemed to actually respond to it. Next, we made her a bed with a warm comfy blanket inside and found a nice spot near our back door in order to monitor her. We then added a fresh bowl of milk, and some chopped turkey to ensure that she would quickly regain her strength. We planned on giving her a bath and taking her to the vet, but unfortunately the next morning she was long gone.
We’ve searched for her for the past few days, but still no luck! We all hope for the best, but like I explained to my kids, that’s how it goes sometimes with strays…My daughter seems to be the most saddened by the departure but we haven’t given up hope just yet. We’ll continue our search for Ginger, but if we can’t find her we’ll remember our very brief encounter with her. I sincerely hope someone finds her and takes good care of her. I am happy that my kids were able to at least learn a quick lesson on responsibility and what it’s like to care for a life other their own.
(Please click on each photo for a larger view)
A stray cat followed me home…
It’s been a little while since my last full post so I wanted to sit down and share a series of portraits I shot last year while in Las Vegas. Not only was it my first time visiting Las Vegas, but it was also my very first time visiting Madame Tussaud’s world famous exhibition. There was a long line of people waiting to get in and I was eager to finally see what all the fuss was about. Once inside I was extremely impressed with how life-like and realistic each figure was. Everyone for the most part completely resembled their real life counterpart, so it was almost like meeting the actual person. Of course everyone was taking photos, so it would have been very easy for me to simply take tourist photos with my phone like the majority of people. I wanted to do something a little different, something to make my experience more memorable. So instead I decided to dig my pro camera out of the bag, get real close, and shoot a series of head-shots. After I finished I realized that each Madame Tussaud’s location has a totally different lineup of celebrities, so I think it would be totally interesting to visit each exhibition all over the world to capture the entire collection.
I ended up shooting so many images I had to divide the photos into separate posts. Below is part #1
(Click on each photo for a larger view)
A simple black & white portrait of my daughter from yesterday as we stood outside enjoying a slight breeze and discussing our favorite foods.
“Dad, why is there always someone in front of our house doing something crazy?!”
Stuck in traffic under the unforgiving summer sun, forced to crank up my AC, I realized something. As I ride around this city lately I’m noticing an increasing amount of construction everywhere. Access to streets and entire areas of the city are always blocked off effectively inconveniencing everyone, yet I hardly ever see any improvement once they’re FINALLY done! They also seem to perform their work on the weekdays during the absolute busiest times of the day. Here is a perfect example of what I mean. Unfortunately I’ve accumulated quite the collection of these types of photos over time, but a large amount of them are from just this year alone! I’ll certainly be happy once they finish so I can go about my way without the constant detours and alternates routes.
(Click on the image for a larger view)
I’d like to share a few photos that I captured last weekend. Due to the excessive heat I only ventured out for a little while, and the city was basically a ghost town anyway. The few people that were out were all near the water trying to cool off. I wasn’t able to shoot very much for very long before I could no longer stand the heat, but below are a couple of shots that I thought were cool. Better luck next time I guess? This is the time of year when shooting can be tricky due to the amount of heat and humidity, especially in the areas of this country that are prone to higher temperatures such as the south. You really have to pick and choose when to come outside. More often than not when the sun starts to go down, effectively giving you much less time for actual shooting. It truly makes me look forward to fall and winter! That tends to be the time of year when I shoot at a much higher volume.
Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
(Click on each image for a larger view)
Featuring Alize Muhammad