[sagacious advice]: below

excerpted from movie, movie excerpted from countless other sources:

yet, still – sagacious wisdom. [From “Kung Fu Panda.”] Origin unknown, yet familiar.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.”  – The present.

I feel like sharing tonight.  Perhaps I will be able to inspire someone else.  Perhaps I’m enjoying sharing.  Either way, or both:

I undoubtedly am enjoying my life that I have crafted and manifested up to and including this moment.  I have health, love, and a wealth of creativity and ideas, and am on the path to earning abundant money, so I never have to work again and can feed people that need to be fed, and other things I want to do with these sorts of funds when acquired. I used to be scared/afraid of my own success.  I have been working on this for some time, and am ready to go, ready to rock!  Ready to be productive, and make lots of cash.  Lots of cash that will be doing good things.  Good things like charities, feeding people, and creating  real-world change that’s both positive and quite visible.

I have wonderful health – today is 1 year of being a vegetarian.  I’ve lost 50 pounds since December 2007.  Since June 10th, 2007 – I have not eaten red meat or white meat, or any meat products.  I’ve eaten fish twice.  It wasn’t really all that wonderful, honestly – after that long without.  It was just eh.  It’s there, I wish the ocean was cleaner.  I eat mostly organic food, but if not – the big difference is I cook myself, or eat what April makes, and I am learning new recipes, as well as enjoying proper portion size.

I have wonderful love and support in my life, from my family in Los Angeles [my father, mother and sister.]  My parents have been there for me always, and my sister – in her own special way.  The love of your family- if you have it,  I urge you to open yourself to it.  I truly honor my family, and make memories of the time spent with them.

I have the friendship and love of April [my girlfriend] – hands down the most incredible woman I’ve ever met – and have been getting to know since we’ve met.  There are so many things I’ve re-discovered joy in, that she’s lead my eyes to, and new things I’ve been learning about, both directly with her and indirectly.  She is truly a beacon of light, love, compassion, strength, joy, among a zillion other things.  What an amazing being.  I truly cherish every moment we experience together.  :]

I’ve got a-lot of wonderful ideas, which I am eager to share with you over the appropriate time.  Some of these ideas will eventually change the way we do things, some more immediate. All revealed in proper time.  I’ve got a passion for the world that only grows more embroiled as time goes by, and as I learn how to better integrate into the different parts of it – so as to better explain what I do know – and how I plan on changing things when we go along.

It’s a brave and fascinating world out there, and my heart is filled with both light, and love.  I have a smile on my face, and in my heart – and I urge you to do the same if you haven’t already.  Feel these things.  They’re wonderful.

Okay, I’m done sharing for now.

[selectively rewriting history]: Spike Lee

“He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else.” As for Flags of Our Fathers, he says, yes, there was a small detachment of black troops on Iwo Jima as a part of a munitions company, “but they didn’t raise the flag. The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn’t do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people’d go, ‘This guy’s lost his mind.’ I mean, it’s not accurate.”

That’s a Spike Lee quote, from an article here: full story @ defamer.com Spike Lee is talking about Clint Eastwood. That’s not the scope of my article, just a relevant portion. The staging isn’t mentioned anywhere! Historical inaccuracy bothers me. If Spike Lee really wanted to create a stir, he’d remind everybody that photograph was staged. Read on.

Staged Flag Raising over Iwo Jima for journalistic benefit

The whole thing boils down to a stunt of nationalism. As a photographer, I’ve known for a few years now – that photograph didn’t happen like that. “that photograph.” That photograph was a construction. The embedded journalist knew it’d make an incredible shot, and he was right. They raised the flag a second time, for the photograph that made history as we all know it.

[St. Patrick’s Church]: Built in 1851.

Saint Patrick’s church has been sitting between 4th and 5th streets on Mission St. since 1851. Really now, that’s impressive. While I personally am not Catholic, I visited the church website, St Patrick’s San Francisco and was very happily moved by the Dali Lama quote they’ve got resting on their services page. I’ll reproduce, due to the non-specific nature of it, and the sheer truth that rings in it. Beautiful.

“May I become at all times both now and forever. A protector for those without protection; A guide for those who have lost their way; A ship for those with oceans to cross; A bridge for those with rivers to cross; A sanctuary for those in danger; A lamp for those without light; A place of rugs for those who lack shelter; And a servant to all in need. – The Dalai Lama”

I find it incredible to reflect on history and note all the historical events that have occurred under the auspices of said old building, as well as amazing to reflect on the history leading up to it. For example, this building has stood through the entire past 100 years, and then some.

This building was completed in 1851, and I think designed by John Sullivan. The church rested on new land for the United States. Just a few years earlier, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified – Mar 10, 1848. This treaty reflected an agreement, an agreement brought on by war. The Mexican-American war. The spoils of this conflict brought us California and New Mexico. Five years later, for a sum of ten million, we purchased what we know now as Arizona. This was widely viewed as a gesture of recompense to Mexico. Remember, in 1853 – 10 million is equivalent to roughly 246.5 million today.

Here’s a fascinating article on churches and cathedrals in San Francisco, focusing on St. Mary’s – which was given to the Paulists in 1984. Interestingly, it was the first church in the WORLD to be called Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception… Pope Pius IX had just defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception seventeen days earlier. It was also the first church built in California as a Cathedral. Haydn’s Mass #3 Played during the dedication, Christmas Eve 1854…and people literally hung from the rafters of the nearly finished place of worship for service. It was the tallest building West of the Mississippi, and the stones for it were cut and quarried in China. The cornerstone was laid in 1853, @ the corner of present day Grant Ave [formerly DuPont Street], and California Streets. It’s still there, 155 years later.

I am amazed and delighted by all the wonderful historical photographs this blog author has placed into their work. St. Mary’s Cathedral is a 5 minute walk around the corner for me, so it’s relevant to learn about ones neighborhood and surrounding areas I feel…

credits:
CathedralsOfCalifornia.com
wiki-answers
photo: me [Omar Amer] – via iPhone.

[1701 Haight Mosaic]: still art, 40+ yrs later…

This is the inlaid mosaic work that rests in front of the shop that’s located at 1701 Haight Street. It’s a fun, cute little store selling clothing and essential oils, among a few other neat items. I believe it’s right at Cole St. =] This is also an iPhone capture.

[found tattoo]: yay area

I thought it was a terribly unique tattoo, so I asked if I may photograph it, and we spent a moment getting it right. Although I only had my iPhone on me at the time, I’d say it turned out fairly well after it went through Aperture. Still, I only do things that one could really do in the darkroom. :]

[Geoff Rickley]: Warped Tour 2002

Geoff Rickley, lead singer of the band Thursday, croons.

This image was shot by me back in 2002, with my Canon EOS 3 film camera. I have the PB-E2 power booster attachment on the camera as well, which makes it truthfully unstoppable. Truly a rugged camera, and *almost* as good as the 1V. Not nearly as waterproof, or as sturdy though, but well.. have you ever held an EOS 3 with the booster ? It easily weighs 8 pounds. ;] If I recall correctly, this was shot on Fuji Acros 100. Make that NeoPan Acros 100. Enjoy the photograph.

[rhyolite, nv #1]: broken down house

broken down house in rhoylite ghost town. rhyolite, nevada

This was photographed in a ghost town, that falls just a few miles outside of the California/Nevada border.  The town begins after Death Valley National Park ends, essentially 3 miles into Nevada.  After another mile or two – one finds themselves in the cute, but rather coarse [vs a big city] – town of Beatty, Nevada.  Beatty is home to about 3,000 people, and if you’ve been there, chime in.  I’d love to see your coverage of the area.  Most of mine is lost, however this old file was located the other day, so I’m overjoyed to post it.   I resized this from the 16 megabyte tiff I had created 3 years ago, and uploaded.  Levels are adjusted to what I’d be able to do in the darkroom.

That brings me to an important point for me, I don’t do anything I couldn’t do on film. with film. Generally.  It makes working harder, but I feel my work is much stronger for that.  I’ve always held this opinion.  Ocasionally I play with digital manipulation, however my work in what one might argue to be “simple black and white,”  I still find completely stunning and fantastic.  There’s nothing like it.  I try to stay true to form.

For example, I don’t even use layers.  You heard it directly from me.  Yes, I’m serious.

[gardening update #2]: the cat ate more plants.

As of several days ago, (this is late breaking news) – Francesca had succeeded in eating off the tops of all the plants, and eating them all to the soil level.  She also, for some reason – showed a marked proclivity towards eating soil, or at least playing around with it.  I wonder if she needs more wet food in her diet, or if it’s simply playful feline behaviour.  In any event, the plants have been removed from the general livingroom area, as their growth was a bit of a non-event insofar as growing any larger.  The cat doesn’t seem to mind the absence, she is content laying under the artificial sunlamp.

One of the pots that had surfeited a considerable amount of Francesca damage, had suprisingly regrown, after being left in the closet for 1 week, and having been not watered, and been in essentially complete darkness.  It had regrown and then stopped, and appeared to be stunted.  I discovered this plant today while cleaning a closet.  It’s since been re-constituted with water twice, and as of this moment, I’m going to say that I believe the sproutlings of which are about an inch tall, will probably make it !  How lovely.  More on these little ones later.  They’re all that’s growing over here at the moment, I’ve not re-planted and hidden from Francesca’s playful reach just yet.  I’ll do so soon though.

[targeted info]: a fresh beginning, some words on film.

I prefer to shoot film, however the past few years of photography for me have been spent mastering the digital work-flow. I’ve been shooting digitally since 2002, however mixing film shooting in as well. I prefer black and white above all as a working medium, doesn’t matter if it’s film or digital. I enjoy working in the tonalities of grey vs color, it’s simply easier for me to highlight the things I want to share with the viewer. I do also shoot a smaller volume of color work, and quite enjoy doing so.

After shooting around 100,000 images in the year 2005, and a substantial break, I’ve recently – for all intents and purposes, began fresh. Due to massive catastrophic data loss, the aforementioned volume of photographic work has been “lost to the digital ether.”

Noticing how frustrating this was, I’ve decided that developing mostly film would be indeed prudent. Digital photography has many uses for me though, and don’t get me wrong – you’ll see many digital photographs here. I typically use digital to “capture ideas, and thoughts,” a way to bookmark concepts for later, and for sharing and response metrics.  I’ve redesigned my in-house data structure thought for storage, and I should be on the way to a much better system when I get to fully implement and integrate it.

[euchronia]: @ burningman 2006.

euchronia @ burningman 2006

This was Euchronia, set entirely ablaze.  The one month long grueling construction schedule, the twenty or so Belgian’s loaded to the gills with construction equipment who flew over to California and drove out to the site of The Burningman Festival in the Nevada Desert… The 60,000 + 2×4 style beams, and all of the nails that held it together, went up in a truly magical and frenetic geometric-patterning-en-fuego the night of August 3rd, 2006. That Sunday night will forever haunt my mind, it was –

beautiful.

There was some controversy after the burn – when the artist’s work ended up in a Lexus commercial.  The ruckus was over wether or not the artist had a previously standing agreement/contract with Lexus/Toyota to build a test model at Burningman, leveraging the artwork a clever marketing tool.

I do not recall the outcome of the aforementioned snafu, however that’s not what my memory prefers to rest on -  Euchronia was a truly gorgeous art project, utilized by many fire spinners, dancers, and happy people while it rested on the playa for all of one month, mostly used one week, however we were lucky enough to see it for almost two.  Euchronia, and artist – hats off, what a wonderful project.

Photograph taken with Canon Powershot A530 – [no-longer-in-possession].  I gifted this camera to my sister 6 months ago.  It’s getting thousands of %’s more use with her.  I prefer to shoot other camera systems I’ve got over here, naturally.  =]