Now I am officially no longer a regular part of the Barnes and Noble staff. I feel really sad in some way. I have loved the people and the company.
My first store was the old North Arlington store, which houses some weird electronics store now. We had a party on one of the last days there, and celebrated our manager, Janey, who was one of the best managers I can ever remember having. We had an amazing crew, and she should get the credit.
We presented her with some gifts that we had all pitched in for. One of them was a framed picture of the store that I had taken. It is an HDR image (for High Dynamic Range).
The way a camera works, it can only capture a much narrower spectrum of light than the human eye can. That is why when you take a picture of your friends in front of a beautiful sunset they are either completely black shadows, or the sunset appears overly bright and less colorful. Photographers try to get around this is by using a flash, but that never reproduces the image the way the human eye sees it. The flash washes color out, or colors the image unnaturally.
An HDR image fixes this. In order to create one, you have to take multiple shots at different shutter speeds. I believe this one had somewhere between 8 and 10. Then you merge them into one image, making the areas that would be too dark just right, and the areas that would be too bright darker. The image that results is a little surreal at times, but is much more accurate than a single photo ever could produce.
I don’t believe that this is a perfect HDR shot, or even a really great one, but it is good work for me, and it is an image of something that I have a real emotional tie to. This image means a lot to me.
I haven’t talked a lot about the painful events recently involving my family lamb, Sam. Over the last few months Sam has grown increasingly private. We used to sit and talk about the events of our respective days, but that somehow changed. Those who know have asked the same question we’ve all asked in the face of this, “Why?” Right now, I have no answer for this.
I guess in the end, all I can do right now is remember the fun times I had with Sam the Lamb.
*Yes, I know that someone is bound to be offended by this–and actually, I am not really intending to make light of a serious subject that has affected many people. This photo shoot started far more innocuously than anyone could imagine, then turned dark. The statement (if there must be one) is two-fold: First, it is an exploration of two juxtaposed things that are very opposite in extreme ways. Second, it is also addressing something that should not be ignored in a less grotesque way than could normally be done. It is walking a line, I agree. But perhaps it is a line that should be walked. Is it better to not show this (an idea I entertained) and avoid controversy, or show it and open a dialogue on this issue? I am still not sure–but I have made my decision. I hope it is the right one.
I got this idea recently for a photography project. I can’t really say how this idea came about, or even where it is going, but I thought it would be fun, and explore and area of the art that I haven’t yet explored. I truly don’t know what this will develop into, but here is set #1. Let me know what you think.
I took this picture of the moon from outside my house on the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival night. Since the Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, most of their holidays are during full moons. Part of the tradition surrounding the Mid-Autumn Festival is to look up at the moon during that night.
These pictures were taken in May of 2009, during the Vineyard National Conference, about 8 months after Ike. A lot of these pictures were taken through my car windows as I drove. The quality isn’t great, but it shows just some of the devastation.