Archive for November, 2010

Creeper Photo: Eye Contact

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Many people when they see my creeper photos either think it is totally strange or very interesting. One of the questions I get most often is what if they see you taking the picture? For most people, I take every possible precaution to make sure they don’t see. If they do see me there is a special tactic I imploy to sooth their suspicion.

  1. If you notice you have been spotted, don’t run away in fear of being called out. Most people will not call you out, so keep it cool and they will just give you a weird look then walk away. People are not very confrontational and if you keep it cool nothing will happen. Most people assume they are being paranoid and don’t do anything about it.
  2. Occassionally though, they will call you out. So if a person seems a little peeved here is my strategy. Still, do not run away. Stay put and then put your camera up again like you are going to take another photo and wait till the are out of the frame and take a new photo. Make a real spectacle of what you are doing and make it as apparent as possible that your intent for that picture was not the person. Once they see you do this, they will not do anything about it because they assume that you were taking a picture of what is behind them and they just happen to be in the shot. They never think they they are the shot.

So, disaster averted and the world does not end. If those don’t work…. then run. However, with children I let them see that I am taking their picture. Like this little girl, children make some of the most amazing eye contact with strangers and in that moment of eye contact is a connection  like you are peering into their life. Their eyes, like this little girls beautiful blue eyes, become a window into who they are. Even though I will never know who these kids become, for just a single moment it feels like I do know.

Kids often seem to enjoy it and smile or just stare. This little girl waved to me and I waved back then just smiled and walked away. Sometimes I fancy what the parents reactions are if later the kid tells them that some stranger took a picture of them. I wonder how this makes parents feel, how vulnerable must they be in that moment. Not knowing me, or knowing my intentions of taking these photos. I just want to give my hearts out to these people that I take pictures of, by letting me have their picture they are helping me better understand humanity one person at a time. My intentions are pure and often I feel people don’t understand that. Yes, this idea may be strange or creepy to people, but to me it is about uncovering mystery from thousands of perspectives. Taking pictures not of the people themselves but the stories that build up that person’s image.

So to all of my creeper photo subjects, thank you.

0

The Unsuspected Place

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

This picture is at Pictured Rocks National Park in Northern Michigan. In a place of such pristine beauty, were the sandstone rock walls stand like monoliths looming over Lake Superior, there is wonder in everything. Most people would expect a picture of these cliffs, but my favorite shot when I was there, was not of the towering monoliths or the emerald green waters, but of the forest hidden behind it all. People will tell you where to find the most beautiful sights in places like this, but the real beauty is found in the unspoken places. Down the little untreaded paths were no ranger or tour guide will lead you. It is up to you to discover it and keep the little wonder a secret in your heart. Find your own beauty, mine lies in the forest. Where the trees are white as snow and the ground is red with fallen leaves and pines. This is were I find beauty, in the unsuspected place.

0

Tulip Tears

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Crossing names out of address books
After showers patter on a closed coffin
Just a passing moment gone
Putting down the pencil
To look at the rain as it shifts
Dancing in front of the window
As the drops send ripples outward
Pirouetting hand in hand with the grass
as each petal bends slightly under the weight
The water pulling its face down like a tear drop
The face turned upward catches the rain
Between the lines in your face
Catching in the corner of your lips
As a smile sneaks its way to your face
The rain brushes your face
With the tenderness of a lovers embrace
Sliding down cheeks so the tears don’t show
You face the sky alone
With forgotten names rolling off of you
Falling into muddied puddles
Never to be recovered, never to be remembered
Sifting into the soil, becoming part of the earth
Like seeds weaving into the ground
Returning home from life
To the warm embrace of the world’s womb
Wrapped in a veil of the earth’s tears
From the earth but not of the earth
Not yet, for now you rest among the tulips
A shimmering rain drop
Sending ripples into dreams
Into the minds of those who never knew you
Dancing with the grass
I still miss you
I will find you in the tulips in the earths embrace
There your name will be written again
Not in a book but in stone

0

Paint Balling

Friday, November 12th, 2010

For my friends seventeenth birthday we went paint balling at a paintball course oer the hill. I had never done this before but it was loads of fun. It had been pouring so the course was totally muddy and I was slipping everywhere as we were running around trying not to get shot. We were on the Jeep course which had a bunch of playground pieces and a Jeep in the center of the course. We were divided up into teams and had to get ready for the fight.

Clara was my main paintball buddy, we stuck together the entire time. Back to back dominating the paintball field. There were basically three groups of people on our course,

  1. our group, composed of four girls who had never paint balled before. In other terms, Noobs
  2. the child’s birthday group, a pack of young boys and their dad who have played many times before and know the entire course
  3. the hard-core group, four adult guys who own at paint balling and kill everyone else on the course.

The teams wound up being half of our group plus the children’s group against the other half of our group with the hardcore group.

It is pretty exciting when you realize you got someone out. At one point I was having a little war with someone on the other team. They were hiding behind a stack of tires on one side of the field and I was hiding behind a different structure. They kept popping up and shooting at me. After a long time of nothing I finally hit them on the top of the head with an explosion of yellow paint all over their hair. I noticed that they had blonde hair and I wanted to see who I had hit when the round was over. AS I was leaving the field and searching for the mysterious blonde who I had defeated I realized it was my friend’s mom who had taken us here. I felt so bad for hitting her on the head and eventually told her it was me but it all turned out ok. I had to watch my butt though because I feared her vengeance for the rest of the day xD

Between running and hiding behind various structures and shooting at the other team I got shot three times in total. Once in the arm, one in the chest, and once on the back of my leg. I got surprised by an ambush attack and got the hits to my arm and chest which I still have a welt from today. It is more shocking than painful when you get hit.

The last shot I got was during the very ast round. The hardcore group decided that they could take the rest  of the people playing. So new teams of everybody versus the hardcore group. Somehow they actually won the round. Clara and I were one of the last ones out of the game. Finally they snuck up behind me and yelled surrender. Before I could even turn around he shot me at close range right on the back of my thigh. It hurt a lot and I was really pissed because when you yell surrender you are supposed to not shoot them because you are so close. Later when talking to Clara we realized that when he yelled surrender she shot at him so instead of shooting her he decided to shoot me.

It was really fun, even though I was shot several times I really enjoyed the experience. It is really thrilling to run around shooting people without having to worry about really hurting someone. I hope to do it again sometime.

1

Bobbing for Apples

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Bobbing for apples is one of the funniest games to watch ever. Watching people vainly dunk their heads in water and try to scrounge out an apple is pretty entertaining. That being so, this games is really only entertaining when you can stand back and watch the people getting soaked and frustrated. When it is your turn, it is no longer a laughing matter. The duality of bobbing for apples, fun to watch and torture the people doing it, annoying and frustrating when you are being watched and tortured as you try to bob for an apple.

There are several phases of bobbing for apples that the bobbers go through in the process.

  1. Disgust: It is all fun and games until it is your turn. When you get up to the bucket and you are staring down into that gross pail of water filled with a few measly apples you can’t help but think, God please give me an excuse right now to bail out of this game. Of course you don’t get one, and as you kneel down right next to the water you realize something disgusting. That water you are about to shove your face in, mouth wide open, has been the home to several other people’s mouths searching for apples as well. Yes, you are about to dunk your face into a cess-pool of germs to pick out an apple.
  2. Embarrassment: The embarrassment comes in right as you first dunk your head. Then you lift your head out of the water soaking wet and totally embarrassed that first, you don’t have an apple, and second you just ruined your hair, outfit, makeup or any other thing you put on your face that morning. Yes, you are embarrassed to lift your head out of the water, appleless to face your friends who are now dying of laughter because you look like a drowned rat.                                                                     
  3. Frustration: At this point you have gotten past the initial embarrassment and disgust. Because you have already gotten totally soaked, you are now committed and become an unstoppable force of trying desperately to get that apple. You have to get the apple, and fast so you can get out of here. So very quickly your embarrassment at not getting an apple turns into frustration. After time and time again of not getting and apple you are at the point of gnashing violently at the water in a desperate attempt to grab an apple. All sort of tactics to get an apple fly away from your mind, you are a single-minded apple grabbing machine. 
  4. Victory: The final and best phase of bobbing for apples is victory. And the surge of over exuberant energy where you just start smack talking the apple and its mother. At this point your friends look at you like you are crazy and are thinking, geez you were just bobbing for apples. To this I respond. I was bobbing for my life, you wouldn’t understand but that apple had back talked me for the last time!

A little over the top? Maybe, but it is all justified due to that stage of frustration, when you are frustrated any overreaction is justified, even if it ends with yelling at inanimate objects…. which I definitely don’t do. Bobbing for apples is not a simple game, it is actually quite difficult and takes some amount of strategy, which I am not going to share so next time I see you at a party I can watch you fail at bobbing for apples and then when you finally get one and overreact, you will know the truth. The truth that bobbing for apples is a cruel game meant only for the pleasure of those watching, kind of like gladiators.Yeah it is just like that -.-

P.S. Bobbing for apples makes for awesome photos

1

Shout Out: Philomena

Monday, November 1st, 2010

This post has been a long time coming, my shout out of the day today is Philomena! She is one of the coolest people in the world, she even has her own talk show at school called Phridays with Phil. Yes, she is that cool. She sticks with me even in my strangest of times, and loves Rocky Horror as much as me, which is quite a feat, believe me. She has sat with me in spanish for about the past three years and has gotten me through the full IB years and many golf sessions. Yes, Philomena child, you are a wonderful person and I love you!! See you in spanish :)

0