Mexico

Instead of freezing in Minneapolis as usual, I was able to travel in Mexico during the Christmas/New Years holiday this year, visiting Huatulco, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. It was amazing to see so much culture compressed and layered, getting glimpses of ancient to modern, urban to rural and all the colors in between. As with every trip, especially the ones with good food a comfortable exchange rate, I wish I had been able to stay longer. But we packed in lots of stops and sights and I tried to make the most of the photo ops I came across along the way.

IMG_8682-blog

IMG_8253-blog

IMG_8776-blog

IMG_7121-blog

IMG_9233-blog

IMG_7326-blog

 

IMG_0306-blog

IMG_7635-blog

IMG_0633-blog

IMG_7398-blog

IMG_8331-edit

IMG_0662-edit-blog-2

IMG_8212-blog

IMG_6522-blog

IMG_8190-blog

IMG_7738-blog-2

IMG_7996-blog

IMG_6670-blog

IMG_9063-blog

IMG_9974-blog

IMG_6482-blog

IMG_6315-blog
IMG_8561-blog

IMG_9148-blog

IMG_8624-blog

IMG_8704-blog

IMG_0560-blog

 

Through a New Lens

I took a trip to attend a wedding in Vermont a few weeks ago and didn’t know what camera to bring. When I am hired to shoot weddings I bring my fancy DSLR with several lenses and flashes. But as a guest that setup it isn’t good for casual shooting and general portability. (Plus I always worry about people spilling drinks on it when I set it down to dance.) I considered one of my film cameras but, frankly, I’m rusty and I didn’t want end up wasting a bunch of film for no good reason. I shoot a lot with my iPhone but I’ve noticed that when one person has a phone out, other people take theirs out as a reflex which ruins the mood. So I decided to try out my new(ish) Holga Digital. It totally sucks and I would never recommend buying one but it was definitely the right choice for this trip.

To start with, it looks like a miniature version of the classic Holga. It is made of durable plastic and weighs next to nothing. There are two switches, one to select color or black-and-white and another to select f8.0 or f2.8. It has no screen to preview or review photos. The shutter speed is handled by some simple software; the metadata showed a range from 1/35 to 1/8000. There is some shutter delay that I don’t quite understand. The image quality is super low and it tends to put itself to sleep more othen than I’d like. That said, I ended up with some neat shots and some happy accidents. I lost a lot of shots I had hoped would turn out but I also discovered a number of keepers that I don’t even remember taking. I also loved that it was very non-intrusive. We like to review photos immediately (“Let me see that one!!”) which tends to lead to more photos (“Wait, take another one like this!!”) and/or a discussion about appearances (“No, delete that, I look terrible!!”). The Holga Digital left all of that up to chance and it left me free to actually experience my trip.

vt-trip_009

vt-trip_002

vt-trip_003

vt-trip_004

vt-trip_005

vt-trip_006

vt-trip_007

vt-trip_014

vt-trip_008

vt-trip_010

vt-trip_011

vt-trip_012

vt-trip_013

vt-trip_015

600 Miles Later

The video is done! I wanted to hold off on this post until the video was finished so I could share the whole story all together. As this video hopefully shows, every day on the Appalachian Trail had its struggles and its rewards. The towns, people, and views we encountered all added to the experience. I could never capture or share all the memorable moments we had along the way but I tried to cut together a collection of scenes that give a feel for life on the trail.

Some of my favorite stills from the journey.

DSC00062-edit

DSC00878-edit

DSC00950-edit

DSC00230-edit2-apad

IMG_2833

DSC00068-edit

IMG_3081

IMG_2356

DSC00988-edit

DSC02750

DSC00838-edit2

DSC00831-edit

DSC00737-edit

DSC00641-edit

DSC00163-edit

DSC00238-edit

DSC00536-edit

DSC00181-edit

DSC00395-edit

DSC00283-edit

DSC01078-edit

DSC01124-edit

O Christmas Tree

I can’t help but agree with comedian Jim Gaffigan a little bit: “The Christmas tree…where did that tradition come from? It sounds like the behavior of a drunk man. I can picture it now: ‘Honey, why is there a… a pine tree in our living room?’ ‘I like it. We’re gonna… we’re gonna decorate it… for Jesus. Then I’m gonna hang my socks over the fireplace.'”



Brown Thursday

I don’t support this new trend but I had to cover it anyway. Brown Thursday, as it has been called, is a clear violation of America’s favorite holiday in terms of food. Going out at 7 or 8 pm and waiting in line until midnight is just crazy enough to be fun. Having stores open at 5 and 6 pm ruins all that. They don’t even pass out stuffing or cranberry sauce while you are in line.