Strike a pose

...and now for something completely different!

I rarely ever shoot photos of people, rarely convert shots to black & white, and almost always produce HDR photos.  This is a major departure for me!  I shot this last year on the big Thomas Hawk photo walk here in Austin.  This is a local model named Eight (well, ok, her name is probably something else, but that is what she is known by).  Several local photogs do shoots with her, but it ain't my thing.  Anyways, she showed up for that photowalk, and was hitting some poses by the lake while folks snapped away.  I joined the fray.  Why not?

This is Brian

Brian is an interesting dude.  I met him on the beach in Corpus Christi, TX.  I had seen him earlier walking around, the beard swaying in the breeze.  I thought to myself "If I get a chance I would like to take his picture".  I got the chance a little while later.

My first thought when I saw him was "beach bum", which is obviously the sterotypical thing to think, and I don't like to automatically jump to conclusions.  But, I was on the beach, and he has the look...

Brian is from somewhere, but nowhere in particular (I believe that is what he said - he wouldn't really answer that question).  He is just hanging out and is trying to make his way down to South America.  He feels that we are on the cusp of a New World Order, and that South America will be at the center of it.  He hopes to make it there before it all happens.  He also talked a lot about religion and how America is the new Israel, or something like that.  I couldn't really follow his logic, if that's what you call it.  Anyways, he was kind and (seemingly) gentle, and was gracious enough to pose for a few shots.

Good luck, Brian.  I hope you are making progress on your journey.

Here are a few more shots of him:

 

 

A real cowboy

Photography, to me, is a journey.  Most folks I know have started with landscapes and similar subjects, and from there have moved into portrait work.  When we get together and talk about it, I'm just not there yet.  I take some family shots, but doing serious portrait work just hasn't gotten under my skin yet.  That's ok, right?  Well, I'm trying.  Change or die, as they say.  I am all about growing my photographic range - notice I didn't say dynamic range, haha - and in the interest of being more well-rounded I have taken some portraits "on the go", or what I like to call combat portait work.  Just a quick snap of a subject that didn't necessarily know it was a subject.  So, this is a real cowboy, from a real working ranch, from the real West.  I know this because he led me on a horse through a 1000 acre ranch in New Mexico this summer.  I regret to inform you I do not recall his name, and he deserves better than that.  So, I still have work to do.  The learning continues...

Nice hat

I can't say that I have any skills at portrait work, since I have never done any.  But in some cases, you just have to take portraits, even if they aren't staged.  I caught this shot while at a Native American pow-wow in Taos, New Mexico a while back.  All these folks were elaborately dressed and made their way into the event during "The Grand Entrance".  I elbowed in a little to find a decent spot, and took a few "portraits".  This is essentially a straight-out-of-camera shot for me, which as you can probably guess doesn't happen very often!  I remember wanting a headress as a kid - I think this could be the one that I would want! Isn't it awesome?

A noble gentleman

This gentleman was part of the Native American pow-wow that I attended in Taos, New Mexico.  We arrived early and I was lucky to get a good spot to shoot from, because once their Grand Entrance began it was suddenly elbow-to-elbow.  There must have been 200 folks dressed in their tribal gear and it was quite a sight. I highly recommend going to events like this.  It's obviously a great opportunity for photography but more importantly I think it is great to learn about the culture and experience it.  I am not one for the typical portrait shots - for some reason I haven't caught that bug yet.  But I certainly make exceptions when it comes to events like this!

Full regalia

We passed through Taos, spending only about 24 hours there, which is a real shame because I like the town.  We heard there was a Native American Festival going on, so we drove out there and found it.  It was fascinating.  They were prepping for their Grand Entrance, in which they are all dressed up and they march into this large circle, with music playing and lots of dancing going on.  It's pretty cool to see firsthand.  These two gentlemen entered and took their rightful place among the elders.  I thought they looked very noble.

A quiet walk at the Pueblo

While at the Taos Pueblo, we caught a native American celebration which was fascinating to watch.  The costumes were adorned with feathers and bright colors, and they were dancing about and playing lots of music.  At one point during their Grand Entrance, this lady entered and for some reason she was the opposite - quiet, a bit subdued, almost in a state of meditation.  I was happy to be on the sidelines, taking pictures of the event.

Tribal Elder

I came across this noble gentleman while at a Native American pow-wow in Taos.  He was clearly some sort of tribal elder, as he was deferred to by many and given much respect.  Asking around, I learned that he served our country in WWII and was eventually captured by the Japanese.  He is a survivor of the Bataan Death March that occurred in the Philippines in 1942.  Sometimes you can just tell by someone's eyes that they have lived and seen much.