While feet are often looked down upon (No pun intended), they bear more significance than we realize. Our feet play a large role in defining who we are. The feet carry the weight of an entire being. They are the means of transportation. Each foot is the lens of a binocular, the means of exploration. We learn so much about the world and about ourselves by taking walks. We rely on them to take us away from danger. When stress accumulates, our feet are ready to join us in a walk through the forests. In those moments that curiosity overflows like a sparkling beverage outside of the goblet of our very existence, our feet carry us as our imagination directs them.



I was driving down State Street earlier today, and in front of the Granada I saw a vintage car, as well as a huge green screen. In front of the screen were a slew of men dressed in 1920's attire. Within minutes, I had parked and arrived on the scene with my camera in hand. It turns out, they were filming the introduction video for the SB Film Festival. So I stuck around for over an hour shooting photographs. 

It turns out that the classic automobile I had spotted while driving by was a Mercedes from 1920's. The proud owner was quick to shed some light on the significance of his car. The manufacturer of the car was Mercedes. Not Mercedes-Benz, just Mercedes. It turns out that Benz once was an entirely separate automobile company. In about 1926, a couple years after this car was made, the two manufacturers merged forces and created the luxurious cars that we all know and love. I also found interesting the fact that the symbol for Mercedes was a three-pointed star (See photograph), while the Benz logo was wreath-shaped. The emblems combined to form the current Mercedes-Benz symbol. 


Complacent Blindness

Lately I have been dissatisfied with the quality of the photographs I produce. While looking at the work of other photographers of the same age, I felt as if their abilities outweigh mine. I began questioning myself, wondering if I could really obtain a successful career as a photographer. Do I have what it takes? How will I ever be able to support myself, or a family of my own? Such questions painfully resided in my mind.

     As I mull this over in my head, I am starting to see some positive results of my current state. I am not truly disappointed with my own work, rather I long to further improve and cultivate the skills that I currently posses. I now see that I have been complacent with my photographic work, and such a state of mind will not take me very far. I am happy to say that now I am grateful for this occurrence that freed me from the blindness that spews forth from a complacent man. How will I ever get better if I am not pushing myself to try new techniques?

Conversation Catalysts

The very act of preparing and serving tea encourages conversation. 
The little spaces in time created by teatime rituals call out to be filled with conversation. Even the tea itself–warm and comforting-inspires a feeling of relaxation and trust that fosters shared confidences.

Emilie Barnes, If Teacups Could Talk


What It Means to be Human

 An often overlooked flaw that many artists - deceased and living - have in common is to go through their life creating art just for the fun of it. While there is no inherent harm in enjoying the process of art, I feel that if one is going to dedicate his/her life to producing art, then (s)he will have more purposeful endeavors if (s)he has a penultimate and overarching goal. Whether that goal is a question, idea, belief, or any other type of message is totally dependent on the artist's preference.
 I am currently in the middle of the tedious process of college applications, an activity that causes one to reflect on their past, present, and future life. A midst this weighty task, I have been scavenging the depths of my mind to really ask myself what I am trying to accomplish through my photographic endeavors. As foolish as it may seem, I honestly have never just sat down and asked myself that dreaded question, until now. As I was going through some of my favorite images, I began to see an underlying theme: There was a person in the majority of my most prized photographs. And that's when it struck me; I really enjoy taking pictures of people! Shortly after I realized my favorite subject to photograph, I began to ponder how I could incorporate people into the question that I will try to answer through my photography. And then the idea struck me: I will answer the question of: "What does it mean to be human?" through my photography. While I do not yet have a response to said question, I am striving to answer that inquiry- one photo at a time. By documenting the entire emotional hue of humanity - from the darkest moments, to the brightest triumphs - I will start to piece together and elucidate the answer to my question.



Portraiture: Capture the Essence

     When I take a portrait of somebody, my goal is to portray their traits through my images. I want the viewer of my images to feel acquainted with the person in the photograph. To create such a direct connection between the viewer of the photo with the subject of the photo is quite rare, but that is what I strive for when I am taking portraits. 

Here are some portraits that I have taken over the past couple months. 


Amidst the Heat

"[Fire's] real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences.  A problem gets too burdensome, then into the furnace with it.  Now, Montag, you're a burden.  And fire will lift you off my shoulders, clean, quick, sure; nothing to rot later." -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451.


The Subconscious & Civilization

     "It is a profoundly erroneous truism that we should cultivate the habit of thinking what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them." - Alfred Whitehead

     This idea of our subconscious controlling our actions has magnanimous implications, especially for the art world. Often we hear artists describe their process of creating an art piece as such: "I didn't even know what I was doing!" or "I had no end goal; I just watched the canvas, and eventually there was something beautiful upon it."

     Similarly, this concept emerges as we look back through history at some scientific discoveries that were found by accident(In other words, the scientist didn't originally intend to invent what he invented.) Examples include: penicillin, Viagra, dynamite, and many others.


Veil of Separation

A man confronts the veil of separation between the kid's world and the adult world. In the former, a pungent array of hues soaks the canvas of life. In the world of grown-ups, monochromatic drear envelopes every last pigment.


Light Painting with Friends

Slack-Lining Culture: Ripples

I view myself as a visual anthropologist. With that in mind, my job is to visually document and record the progression of humanity. If ripples are forming in the wave of a sub-culture, then the Visual Anthropologist must prepare for the wave to break and document its coming and going. I believe that the ripples of the slack-lining culture are forming in SoCal.

Slack-Lining at Its Finest.

Shot at 18mm, ISO 200, 1/1000sec. @ f/6.3

Carpinteria State Beach. We spent many summer mornings balancing on these slack-lines. One must reach a mental state somewhat similar to nirvana to become skillful at this activity. A distraction-free climate like the beach -with waves gently caressing the seashore - cultivates the concentration one needs in order to master the art of slack-lining.


Aura of Composition

     The environment in which an artist composes his work is essential to the final product. This means that whatever the composer may be hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling, or seeing at the moment he is creating art will affect the outcome of his efforts.

     Now apply this concept to the act of editing photographs (Whether that may take place in the darkroom or on the computer is not important right now). Does the music a photo-editor listens to while doing his job affect the outcome of the photo? Absolutely. Although the musical intonations may not be directly translated into the mood of the photograph, I firmly believe that whatever is inputted into an artist amidst the process of creating art (Or in the artist's past) will affect what he is outputting.

     Consider this rather blunt example. A boy who lost a number of loved ones at a young age eventually becomes an artist. What are the chances that he will adopt a more melancholy style of art? Quite high. In this scenario, the history of an artist (The input) impacted the art he created (The output).


Jack and Jill

In the book, Love's Labour's Lost, Shakespeare concludes that "Jack hath not Jill." (5.2.390) Interestingly, Shakespeare also says in A Midsummer Night's Dream, "Jack shall have Jill." (3.2.461). Perhaps Shakespeare was addressing the multi-faceted nature of true love through his writing.

The Rough Course of Love

Shakespeare poetically summarized a quite simple fact that is oft forgotten: "The course of true love never did run smooth." What does this mean? It means that true love isn't really as perfect as Hollywood makes it seem. People often picture themselves as one of the lovers in a romantic movie, and when that person steps back into the real world and experiences true love, they are shocked that it isn't as smooth as the movies make it out to be.

So why is it so hard for two people of the opposite sex to connect and fall in love, and why does it so often end up in an unideal way? Same reason people argue and dispute. As humans go through their day to day lives, they are welding together the infrastructure of their very beings. Each person has a unique and dramatically different view on life and on relationships than the next. Thus, for two people to understand where the other is coming from, to see each other in the light of authenticity, and to get out there and radiate their essence takes a lot of time and communication. If you're the type of person who has a 'To-Do' list, the task of spending time with your special someone should be cemented into your list.


Sweet Disillusionment

“If anyone is going to start finding his way in the world, he has to admit that he doesn’t know where the hell he is.” -Stellan Skarsgard, playing Dr. Erik Selvig in the film Thor.

     When a person looks at life through the lens of complacency, with the self-appointed crown of penultimate understanding and knowledge, he is blindfolding himself. If one desires to begin scraping at the surface of the permafrost called life, he cannot successfully break through ice without first opening his eyes. If man is to learn, he must realize his place in the whole scheme of history and of eternity. If humans are to grow, they must start asking the right questions. Humans are pupils, apprentices of Time. As Einstein once said, “Time is the greatest teacher, but unfortunately it kills all of its students.” Cultivate a garden of apprenticeship in your mind; learn to be a life-long learner.

Smile, Your'e on Camera

     There is a lot of psychology behind the fact that when someone is being observed or when there is a camera nearby, their behavior changes. The majority of stores are well aware of this fact, so they put up a sign that says "Smile, You're on Camera". Whether there is actually a video camera in the store or not, the possibility is presented, thus lessening the likelihood that customers will steal.

     In times of yore, when a film photographer would take pictures of a person, he implemented the same psychological concept as mentioned above. At the beginning of the photo-shoot, he would start taking pictures of the person with no film in the camera. The subject was totally unaware. After about five minutes, the hope was that the person's unnatural and fake facial expressions would vanish as they became more comfortable in front of the camera. Once this veil of artificiality melted, the photographer would load film into his camera and start taking pictures that would actually reflect the subject's personality. Although this unique method of portraiture was not too common, it speaks volumes against the common belief that a 'Say Cheese' snapshot is acceptable.


Video: On the Streets


My friend Austin Harris and I made this video over the summer. In Santa Barbara, there is a large homeless population, and we got face to face with a nice homeless man named George, who shared with us a little about his life. Please enjoy the video!


The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

"The shadow proves the sunshine." -Jon Foreman of Switchfoot.

     When I found this vantage point, I knew that I was about to take some good photos. If I had taken these pictures at almost any other time in the day, your eye wouldn't have been drawn to the elongated shadows cast by the anonymous citizens. In photography, viewing the subject in a different light can lead to wonderful images. Similarly, in life, viewing a person or situation in a fresh, exquisite light can help change your attitude towards that person or situation. Attitude spawns from the choice of an individual, and is not directly derived from the situations which that individual has been subjected to.

Light vs. Dark

How does light differ from dark?

Light exposes, darkness envelopes.
Light reveals, darkness conceals.
Light wakes us up, darkness puts us to sleep.
Light causes ones guard to go down, darkness makes one aware.
Light inspires, darkness terrifies.
Light is the enemy of imagination, darkness encourages it.
In light we are prideful, in darkness we are humbled.


Starry Night

To create this shot, I opened the moon-roof of my Lexus, and placed my tripod-mounted Canon 7D on the roof. Then I fired off an exposure of 1209 seconds. By-passing cars provided the fill-light for the foliage in the photo.



    I believe that everyone who has discovered their passion should intentionally use their gift to benefit society.  Whether "society" means to this person a surrounding neighborhood or a chess club that they are involved in,    it is his responsibility to get out there and bring his gift into the light.

     The talent that God has bestowed upon me is the craft of photography. I love the whole experience. I am blessed to have this gift, which is why I started a non-profit business, called Photographers for Non-Profits.


Embellished Essence

Turkish goods are often embellished with extravagant designs, whether on plates or on rugs. When I saw this scene, I felt that it captured the essence of Turkish markets. 

Outside the Box

When we think of the definition of a camera, most people would picture their point-and-shoot that they bring on their vacations to Hawaii.

Simply put, a camera is a device that records a moment of time. With that in mind, a number of alternative devices fit this definition. A roll of film in a box with a pinhole is a camera. A scanner, therefore, is also a camera. This idea, inspired by David Hockney, is a skill that I have adopted into my own repertoire.

Taken with a HP psc 2400 Series scanner.


The Shoe Polisher

The light was exquisite. His glare, assertive. When I asked if I could take his photo, a subtle nod was his reply. His emotions were as cold as the cobblestone beneath his feet.