Dec 28, 2009

Boom Boom Boom = Merry Christmas!

We did gift exchange on Christmas Eve this year leaving Christmas day free for target shooting. We collected empty bottles, filled them with water and drove out to Jacob's auto shop out in Oshtemo township.

My younger brother John Daniel.

A 30-30 Marlin, the classic cowboy. A handsome rifle. This is my favorite of the lot. Easy to shoot and reload. I think the chamber took 10 bullets...a pretty good run if you feel like taking it.

I like this rifle because it's accurate. Dan advises to aim low.

Nails it.

Dan atomizes a Tide bottle full of water. The bottle was empty when we filled it with water, but we could smell the detergent from 30 yards back when he shot it.

The 410. Also a Marlin, I think. This rifle is nice. It's not the .30-30, but It doesn't knock me around like a 12 gauge would. The .22 even hurts. But, the 410's shells' spray quickly so it wasn't a good fit for me target shooting unless someone was throwing 12 water balloons in the air.

 "Every day, in some way, I think of you."

My hands are cold and, if I remember correctly, the break lever is sticking a bit here. 

I would have liked to have the 80-200 mm lens out here. Would've been nice to have some continuous shutter shots of different water bottles exploding to see how different ammunition effects the targets.

My brother loads a clip for a Tech 9 my Dad bought back in the mid-nineties when the senate passed a bill to make these illegal to own. The bill has since expired and they are completely legal, but not that fun to shoot. Most importantly, there is no way to tell where the bullets are going. It's hella expensive. You can go through a clip (I think this one held 35 9mm slugs) in less than 20 seconds. In fact, I'm a little ashamed to have shot this firearm after realizing there is only one reason someone has this thing other that to show off and that's to spray a moving target no matter how fast it's moving as long as it's pointed in it's general direction. I think you can take the pin out of this firearm to make it fully automatic, or you can bump fire which we did not try for fear of loosing a belt loop or a thumb. Better to do with a piece of wood or board as a brace.


Hope you got a chance to blow off some steam like we did! 

Dec 21, 2009

Come out Come out, Wherever You Are

Somewhere between Seelye Lake and Flathead Lake, Montana.

I ran into an old friend the other night at The Burlington. We flew through the small talk and got straight to best practices for tracking someone who doesn't want to be found. Since he's from Montana and his dad is a bailbondsman there, I thought he might have some advice. He told a couple stories about tagging along with his Dad and gave me some ideas. Thanks Buddy. I'm on to something.

Wolfgang and Gertrude

I love my place. Its a steal. It would have to be to put up with my stanky pit, grouchity ole prickle pen of a landlord, Wolfgang Buhler. The day I moved in, he took down my wind chimes and just said "noise pollution." He also called me 'thunderfoot' in a behind-my-back-in-front-of my-face kind of way claiming I sounded like a "herd of cattle," going up and down the steps. You name it, I did it, and he complained about it. I left the gate open and dropped "unmentionables" on the stairs coming up from doing laundry in the basement. I left my back porch lights on all night and put a lot of trash out the day after garbage day. One day, I locked myself out of the house and he let me sit up there for 15 minutes like he wasn't gonna help me because I was so stupid for doing that. He had just replaced my back window because I locked myself out and threw a brick through my back door.
But.... eventually we shoveled sidewalks together, dug each others cars out of the snow, split girl scout cookie orders and reminded each other about street cleaning and snow plowing. Wolfgang even offered to move my car when I traveled because sometimes you get a ticket when your car stays in one place too long. If there's one thing Wolfgang hated more than me, it was the Man. When I rolled my bike out this spring, he replaced both my tubes and filled them with air. This summer, I brought him heirloom transplants from my Dad's garden. In return, he showed me a perfectly restored 35 mm Leica that his brother used in WWII as a journalist. I was so impressed. Then, he asked if I wanted a beer. I am voting this my best beer of the year.

Dec 14, 2009

Just The Way You Are

I got commissioned to shoot the last of my Polaroid film, a project inspired by my good friend Tony. Although most of original ingredients in the Polaroid emulsion can no longer be found, the impossible project is underway, hoping to keep instant in our lives minus digital. There are already some adorable products on the market like the Fuji Instax = so fun. The Polaroids posted here are peel-aparts shot on a 2 1/4 format camera. True to magic, they don't have to beg for acceptance no matter how they turn out including chemical streaks, light leaks, faulty peels, thumbprints, dust, and temperature variations. At first, I didn't like that the exposure on the 2 1/4 format left a black strip along the side. I once bought a couple of dark slides on ebay hoping to have a friend custom cut an aperture out of the slide and force the negative to expose in an even all around square. But, once the slide was cut, it was too flimsy to insert into the back of the camera. We tossed them. My ambitious attempt to control the outcome failed and I was back having to accept things as they are. Ultimately a good exercise for too-fast-for-love never-satisfied me. Instead, I shoot where the light spills in through a large window for 10 feet before fading to black, making the otherwise black strip invisible.

Dec 8, 2009

Will Post Soon

Car blew up on the highway, wallet stolen, home improvement and a job that won't quit. I miss you. Will post soon.

Nov 23, 2009

Foolish things to Confound the wise

I go to dinner last night and talk about how much I miss God and how this is like the longest breakup ever and maybe once you love something with all your heart it takes the rest of your life to let it go. As I walk back to my car, I see a woman kneeling at the alter of a Hispanic storefront church. She’s weeping and praying. I think this is so beautiful. She is squeezing her hands, praying really hard, as if the harder she squeezes, the harder God might listen. The harder he might save her. The harder he might forgive her. The harder he might make things better for her family. A man opens the door and I say "no thank you," three times before I go in and sit down. Plastic chairs, plastic flowers, weird everything, and speakers taller than me. It was like being inside a really loud life size Hispanic Jesus diorama.

A middle aged, pregnant woman walks in after me and asks me what verse we are on. I don’t know because the whole thing is in Spanish. Plus it’s hard to hear her because the music is so loud and people are playing tambourines and maracas. Her bible is in English so she says we can share. She has very big hoop earrings and smells good, like lotion. She hands me her bible and says “I Corrinthians 1:26.” I flip to it instantly and hand it back to her. She traces the words for me with her very long pinky nail. There is another woman in the crowd who keeps shouting “Santos.” It reminds me of a teenage boy I met in the Dominican Republic filming in a Haitian batey on the edge of an abandoned sugar can field. There are emerald mine landslides on the horizon and it’s pouring rain. He calls himself Johnny b. Goode. The village idolizes him. He is from this slum but learned to speak English and 6 other languages. He now works at a resort as a translator and sends money home to his Mother and brothers. He goes into a 10 x 12 cinder block house, where his family lives, and gets an electric guitar. He starts to play “hurt” by Johnny Cash but can’t remember the words so he sings a hymn that repeats the word "Santos...," but I don't know what it means. I tapped the woman on the shoulder who was sitting beside me at this church and ask"what is Santos?” “Saint," she said.

Johnny b Goode's song:

Nov 18, 2009

Pre Pro Ohio

This weekend was a recon mission in Ohio for a personal doc project that's in the uh, pre-production phase. It was also my birthday weekend which I spent doing what I love. So, I couldn't ask for more. My buddy Tony just so happened to move back out to his Grandma's farm in Williston, Ohio, which is about an hour from where some of the shooting for this doc will take place. Go figure. The farm house is in the middle of nowhere and half gutted but has electricity and running water, a perfect HQ. Plus so many things that a Miriam likes. Barns and bats and honey bees and old wallpaper and weird old things to wonder about.

Uncle Jay fed and bathed us. Thanks Uncle Jay.

If you're looking at this, you're smiling.

David ordains himself at Goodwill off Route 20, much like the main character of this documentary. He buys a golden jacket to authenticate the ordination. We took the back roads home which took an extra 4 hours but I love to do this. I also love to thrift shop xept I don't like to do it in the city. I like St. Augustine's trash n' treasure and places that don't know what they've got yet unlike Chicago trying to sell a fur coat at Salvation Army for $300. This was David's bday prez to me. I get to stop wherever and whenever I want - no complainin'. David, you are the best.
All of these frames were stills shot in live mode with the 5D MII. I can't show most of the video I shot in Ohio yet, but here's a clip from the breakfast joint we frequented that was also a bar.