unconnected, connected.

The blog's been pretty bleak lately. Unlike the ironic comparison to my life which has been a roller coaster ride. And a rough one at that. The only sanity and calm I can find is in my photographs, and at times even that has been tough. I'm thankful though, to finally know what to do when my life feels chaotic and unconnected. Before SI I would take a long drive with my windows down, a hot shower, play my music really loud, cook, go for a run, or write. And although these things still work, I find solace in the idea that my camera alone can provide the same effect, if not be even more rewarding. And that's so comforting, especially right now.

Before you go thinking I'm vain, just know the next two pictures were purely for fun, and a challenge at that. This has unintentionally been a week of a lot of self portraits for me. My good friend Kimber is extremely photogenic, so i was excited when she agreed to do this. We had a blast in "open studio" taking these beauty shots together. After finding fans that weren't broken, barricading ourselves with reflectors, taping up our strapless clothes so the "girls" stayed in place, and working to angle our bodies just the right way to hide our horrific tan lines... we finally managed to get some good shots. I think we should turn them into Dove. What do you think? : )

Ok, so now we go from "so fresh and so clean", to "so dirty and discusting."
Oh, but so fun.

Me and two other guys in my group, Hal and Howie, were assigned to do a photojournalism assignment together. The topic was completely up to us. It was assigned way over a month ago but with our slide show and a million other projects all being due first, we put it to the wayside for quite a while. Hal lives in Missoula and after we all threw around a bunch of ideas, he suggested we cover a local taxidermy business he had used a year ago when he took up hunting. The twist? The "Beetle Guy" who runs the business, Big Sky Beetleworks, uses beetles to eat away flesh and meat and leave noting but the bone. It obviously wasn't my cup of tea, but the unsureness and oddity of the story kept intriguing me to do it. In the end it was a lot of fun, and truly challenged me to do something I wouldn't have done on my own choosing. I really like how it turned out. Pictured here are just three shots, from the hundreds I took. I kept you all in mind and left the grossest shots out. But, I encourage you to give the story a look, captions and all. It's on Hal's website:


Just click on portfolios and then the tab that says Photo J. If you run your mouse over the "Title Info" at the bottom of each image, it will allow you to see the captions. Keep in mind we all three took the pictures. Most of the closeups are mine. I was using a macro lens for half of the visit.

Ok, I've been forced to actually use my external flash lately. I say forced because I feel very uncomfortable with such a new piece of equipment and we've had a couple of assignments. As storm clouds rolled in last night, our class went outside to practice using multiple flashes on each other. Casey, my beautiful model, was perfect for it. Thanks Case. :)

And, of course my final. How could I not mention it? It's been the heaviest on my mind lately. I've been working on it slowly but surely and I'm happy with it so far, but have a lot of work to do during this long weekend. The good part is I feel very connected to what I'm doing. And I think that's important.

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