Needless to say, I think it’s going to be a great show. If you can make it, you should attend.
You can buy tickets here.
From 2010-2011, I published a photoblog on the Chicago Tribune’s blog network ChicagoNow. Entitled ‘Focal Points,’ the purpose of the blog was to showcase the beauty of Chicago by traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood and publishing photo sets of each.
The idea may, at some point, be resurrected and reworked, but for now, you can find a full archive of the blog and its photos here under the Focal Points category.
In 2010 I decided I was going to try to make a point to create and publish something every day. Whether it was a photograph on Flickr or a blog post here or elsewhere, it would be my own, personal accomplishment.
Unfortunately, I didn’t even come close. I could make excuses, but I simply didn’t succeed.
With the advent of Instagram in 2011, it became increasingly easy to do the “one photograph a day” type of project. As much as I’m a fan of digital photography, it takes very little effort to shoot a single image daily on your phone, and that takes all the fire out of it.
So I thought: “Go big or go home.”
At some point, I heard about the work of Jamie Livingston, who took one Polaroid photo a day from 1979 to his death in 1997.
Unfortunately, Polaroid ceased making new instant film in 2008, which seemingly ruled out that idea. At some point, though, I miraculously stumbled onto a group called The Impossible Project. ‘TIP’ is a group of Polaroid enthusiasts who set out to reverse engineer the good old stuff and are now producing new instant film compatible with Polaroid cameras.
Armed with film and a “new” camera, I have set out to shoot and publish one photograph a day using Impossible Project film. With that in mind, I’ve entitled my experiment “The Impossible Year” for a few reasons. The first and most obvious would be in tribute to the company making this possible. Secondly would be sorta tongue in cheek with myself as 2012 is the year the “world is supposed to end” according to the Mayan calendar, which if the world were actually to end, would certainly mean the end of my project. Lastly, it’s a challenge to myself not to fail, saying that my year would be “impossible” states that at some point, I might drop the ball and fail, thus pushing me to prove myself wrong.
So yeah enough BS. I didn’t write anything about this back in January because I wanted to make sure I’d be able to get at least one month under my belt. Now here we are, March is almost over, so it’s safe to say I’m going to keep at it. Please take a moment to look through the photos and feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Thanks!
I am pleased to announce that I now have a photography book on sale for the holidays!
The book is entitled “Standing But Not Operating” and is a compilation of shots of Six Flags New Orleans.
For those unfamiliar: Six Flags New Orleans was flooded under 9 feet of water and destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. The property was subsequently abandoned by Six Flags, who cherry-picked what they could from it and left the rest as a liability for the city.
James and I ventured down there in April. We found our way into the park and were eventually detained for trespassing by the police, who graciously allowed to retain our images.
From the back cover:
“Standing But Not Operating” is a term used for an amusement park ride that is still standing in place but for whatever reason not operating.
Since being ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, the amusement park formerly known as “Six Flags New Orleans” has been standing but not operating after facing abandonment and an uncertain future.
For the few who have visited the park since its closure, it has served as a place frozen in time—a haunting memorial to the devastation and perseverance of New Orleans.
This is a 40 page 10″x8″ softcover book and includes 37 of my favorite shots from that trip, which I am selling for $30. I am also making an iBooks compatible ePub available for $9.99 if you’d rather have that.
To date, this is personally my most beloved photo project. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do, and I appreciate your support.
You can pick up the book here: Standing But Not Operating
Of course, the original photo set will continue to exist on Flickr at a lower resolution. If you’d like a preview of the images, feel free to check them out here: Standing But Not Operating on Flickr.
On Sept 15th, 2011, I began the lifestyle that would define me for the following months; that of a backpacker. My goal was to explore the world, learn about other cultures, and meet new people solely through mobile applications and social networks. Armed with an unlocked iPhone and 7 days worth of clothes, I made my way around based on the recommendations of friends and followers.
On my second day in Paris, I gave up trying to find a constant connection for my devices and decided to knock as much off of my checklist as possible and planned to leave the next day. So I got up early and found my way to the Catacombs. Lis Rock and others were pretty adamant about it too
I had long heard about Paris’ dramatic underground tomb & tunnel system, so I made it a point to get to it on this trip. The cost of entry was 8€ + 3€ for the audio guide. The walkthrough is entirely self-paced through an unguided pathway. Any diversions in the tunnels are gated off to prevent visitors from getting lost. The path has very few modern signs or notes, and very few are in English, making the audio guide well worth it.
The combination of the calm voices of the audio guide and the long walk wound up being a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the Paris streets. Rather odd when you consider that I was surrounded by the remains of thousands.
After walking up the 83 steps back to the street level, I immediately found the gift shop across the street (surprise, surprise). There I picked up some postcards and a bottle of Absinthe. On my way out, I decided to ask the gentleman working there where in the area I could get a sandwich. Immediately after asking I could see the excitement on his face, he let me know that his absolute favorite place in Paris was just three blocks away on a little corner by a roundabout. He quickly jotted down directions and emphasized “best sandwiches in Paris. No tourists.” This was exactly what I wanted to hear.
I took his advice and headed up the block and over to a little place called Le Pain d’Auguste and found there was only one other customer. After she finished ordering, I attempted to ask for a sandwich in the crudest, most gratingly awful French ever spoken. The girl behind the counter laughed and told me, in English, that normally she wouldn’t have time to make a sandwich from scratch, but she would for me since there was no one else around. A few minutes later, I was eating the most delicious ham and cheese ever on the best French bread ever. Well done, Catacombs gift-shop guy. Well done.
After that, I needed to recharge mentally and physically, so I stopped at a Starbucks, got on Wifi for a bit, and caught up with the world and took suggestions for the evening.
From there, I went back to Notre Dame like the day before. This time I quietly explored the area while mass was in session, and I marveled at the amazing stained glass work from the inside. I then relaxed in the plaza for a while and then decided to take the advice of Tim Dreyer on Twitter to check out the Musee de l’Orangerie and see their impressionist collection. With that in mind, I used my map and found it to be on the other side of the Louvre courtyard area, so I headed off that way. However, by the time I arrived, it was closed. I looked at the signs, and it wasn’t supposed to be for another hour. I don’t know why but they had closed early this evening. Damn. Out of luck and unsure what to do next, I headed towards the riverside to watch the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower.
Out of ideas for the evening and more exhausted and hungry again, I took a walk along the riverside. Eventually, I came to the Musee d’Orsay—which was also closed—and I stumbled upon a statue of Thomas Jefferson and a street vendor grilling sausages. I stopped, bought a water and a sausage and just as I went to leave the vendor asked me (in very broken English) if I had been to the Tower. Not wanting to get into semantics about when I was there (two years ago), I told him I had. He then handed me a silly purple souvenir Eiffel Tower keychain. I thanked him for his generosity and headed in for the night to work on photos and relax at the hostel as I was getting up early the next morning to head to Munich.