For years I’d casually tell my friends and family: “I’m moving out west someday, probably to Phoenix…”
This summer I finally did it 🙂
It rains a lot in Baltimore, a lot. It’s also very mild during the summer. Too mild. It was time to go…
As I told you before I deleted my Twitter and Facebook. To make this move work I didn’t need or want random peanut gallery comments and observations from “friends”. I went zero dark thirty on this one…besides Instagram. I soft posted my move on there….
The trip was in three phases:
Phase one was early June. I flew out to Phoenix with plans to maybe visit Vegas and LA if I didn’t LOVE Phoenix the way I thought I would. I stayed 4 days in hotels. Needless to say I loved Phoenix…
Phase 2 was mid-July. I drove the newer of my 2 cars to Phoenix and rented a condo within 72 hours of my arrival.
Phase 3 was in mid-August. After working and buying furniture for maybe 3 weeks I flew back to dreary-ass Baltimore and collected the rest of my tech, as well as my older car and my beloved Harley-Davidson, which I towed.
Both cross country drives took me roughly 3 days and I did 2 of them in one month. Tough guy status.
Now I’m all settled and stuff and looking forward to spending the balance of my years in sunny, dry, hot-ass Phoenix.
I hope you guys had a good summer, even though I’m sure you didn’t get busy like I did. I was on a mission!
This summer, for some reason that goes beyond me being an old shut-in, has been boring.
I’ve ridden my motorcycle as much as makes sense given the Seattle-like climate that seems to hang over the mid-Atlantic region each summer. Still, there is no place to ride. Nothing is happening. I can’t ride to go shopping. I need a trunk for that. Shopping isn’t really fun unless you’re rich or maniacal anyhow….
I have an advertising shoot with a young Puerto-Rican model for my line of T-Shirts coming up next weekend. I’ll keep you posted on that. Still, even though I love taking photos, it’s work. It’s not guilty, ignorant fun. I want THAT. The ignorant shit.
I’m getting old. My romantic engine is showing it’s age and struggles to get started most days. My sufferance of fools and friends is at an all time low. Despite this, my overall temperament feels jovial. I’m not brooding.
I need activities. I’ve taken some pretty neat photos this summer. A handful of winners maybe, but thats all that can be expected. My X100F remains a solid choice of mine. It’s the greatest street photography camera of all time perhaps.
As I’m trying to transition into being a full-time photographer and do it MY WAY, I find myself treading water most months financially. A monetary breakthrough would be nice. With my checkered past, age, and tendency to be self reliant we shall see….
I was born in May. If that were not the case, if somehow I were born in March, then I’d hate May. I mean, at least on the east coast of the United States, May is pathetic.
Rain Rain go away and all that bullshit. Sure, shooting street photography in the rain ☔️ can be fun sometimes, but only as a novelty. I’m a sun baby. That’s probably why I long to move to Phoenix. I could live there, sunbathing (baking) in 100 degree heat all year round, happily shooting photos and smoking California weed all day.
Also, I can’t ride my motorcycle as often as I’d like when it rains so much. It just sucks all around, May does. May isn’t as bad as April though, where pollen and allergies force me to contemplate suicide annually. May is just a wet, trashy mess and I just happen to have been born in May so unfortunately I can’t hate it.
Oh well. I’ll snap photos of what interests me in this mucky weather until summer arrives, if it ever does. Day after day of incessant rain and one can’t be sure anymore. If you find yourself bored on a rainy day you can check out my book Tiny Daggers in my Heart, which was published in 2011 and is available in very limited quantities on Amazon here.
I ride a Harley Davidson. I love riding and I try to get out there and rip it up every chance I get. Since I became a biker I have also become something of a weatherman. I often look weeks in advance at weather projections and forecasts, sorting out which days look good to plan a ride and which days may be a long shot at best. Projected sunny days make me giddy days in advance of riding. Looking ahead, I plan all sorts of riding scenarios. Normally though, the riding scenarios consist of me taking my camera gear with me when I shoot sports. When the day arrives I race from one game to the next, splitting traffic and gunning it hard as I go. It’s exhilarating. On the other hand, a day where it is projected to rain is a non-starter for riding. No riding will happen that day. Steady rain, no matter how lightly it falls, is not the ideal condition in which you want to operate your bike. This doesn’t mean that on rainy days I sit around trolling the internet and bemoaning not living in my dream city of San Diego or the always sunny Phoenix however. I have a car as well as a Harley and on rainy days, even though I can’t ride, I get to pursue street photography.
I don’t have kids or friends who like to ride shotgun in my car, so my normal riding buddy is my 5d Mark III with a 50mm 1.2 lens on the front. My street gear and I usually hit my favorite street photography spots in town, as well as run my usual errands. I don’t exactly get as excited as I do for riding my Harley, but I do get pretty excited to go and shoot the streets, especially when it rains.
The reasons I like shooting in the rain is firstly because the photos just look dope. Rain adds another element to record on your sensor. If you use a higher ISO and higher shutter speed, you can actually freeze the rain and see individual drops falling, if that’s your thing. For me, rain adds additional texture to a shot. I also like the look of wet rocks and streets.
Secondly, besides the overall look of the photos, I like the fact that people are either using umbrellas when it rains, which always looks good, or they are bare-headed and that can look even better. Also, people are less likely to see your camera when it’s raining. I can raise my camera to my eye and compose a photograph how I wish and a subject probably wont notice me doing so. Of course, having a weather sealed camera body and lens is a big help. If you don’t have a weatherproof setup then you can use an umbrella, even though it might mess with your speed when composing and taking photographs. I wouldn’t recommend putting a plastic bag over your camera and attempting to shoot the streets however. You may accomplish keeping your gear dry but you will also accomplish looking like a complete douchebag.
I love sunny days. I get to ride my bike and shoot lacrosse or field hockey under the warm spring or late summer sun. When it rains however, this is when the sun shines on street photography. To me, street photography is second best when it rains. The only time the rain is bested, element wise, is when street photography is shot during a blizzard. Nothing beats snow shooting in the streets, but you’ll have to wait for winter to read that blog post. For now, when rain is in the forecast plan on grabbing that damn camera you paid all that money for and actually using it. Pull your hood over your head and get the hell out of your car. Always remember, when you’re out there in the pouring wetness, stay low and keep shooting.
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