Very exciting news. Some of my photos are now published on www.WichitaStory.com! It is titled Hip-Hop Wichita. Over the last couple years I have been going around and documenting hip-hop culture around the town. Click the link below to check out the story!
Something happened last night that I had dreamed of for years and thought would never happen. I can’t tell you how times I was sitting in class or walking to work playing the Wu-Tang Clan on cassette. I was obsessed. I had the clothes I had their music. At one point around 1997 I even had the Wu-Tang Clan symbol shaved on the back of my head. So as I was standing watching the Wu-Tang Clan perform AND doing it in Wichita… I had to keep pinching myself. Got to see some old friends and amazing people. Here are some of the photos I took while I was there. Definitely a night to remember.
Luck is defined as success or failure brought on by chance rather than through ones actions. Not sure I believe in luck all that much anymore. Maybe we put ourselves in positions to win or be more successful. Not too much happens just by chance. I think about that a lot while taking photos. Maybe one or two shots are luck. But consistency is what I try to work toward. And there is no luck in that. It is putting in the work, day in day out. Always trying to get better.
So I have been brainstorming about some fun content ideas to blog about. I always get asked about camera settings and which ones I like to use. So tomorrow I will blog about my favorite camera settings in different environments. Would you like to have more interviews, tutorials or reviews on the site? Feel free to drop a comment below and let me know!
After I shot 3 rolls and sent them off to be processed I quickly figured out that it would be faster and cheaper to process them myself. It took anywhere from one and a half to three weeks to get a roll of film back from development. It also cost around $10 a roll! So I bought everything I needed and decided to start doing it myself. I will post more about the darkroom equipment and chemicals I use in another blog post. Here are photos off the very first roll I ever processed and scan myself. This would have been 4 years ago. Best decision I ever made! It is interesting to see what was on the first roll. Some shots from around the city the renaissance fair and even some at the radio station I work at.
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One film I want to shoot but will never have a chance to is Kodachrome. It is no longer made, and the chemicals too process the film aren’t even around anymore. But, there are still some great slide films out that you can take photos with. In the last five years of shooting film again, I have only processed one roll of slide film. That was a roll of Fuji Velvia 50. I currently have four rolls of slide film ready to send off to be processed. In the next couple of weeks I plan on sending them off. It has been so long ago that I don’t have any idea what photos are on the rolls of film. So whatever I get back will be a fun surprise. Here are some photos from the one roll of slide film I shot a couple years ago. If you ever have a chance to pick up a roll, I would definitely do so!
There is no shortage of American patriotism around Kansas. No matter where you look, you will always see the American flag and the colors of the red, white and blue waving proudly.
I often wonder why there are not more monuments around Wichita. I would think that there would be more, but there isn’t. Come to think of it there really isn’t that many statues. A handful in the downtown area. Outside of that, nothing. Maybe that is what it is. Most of the monuments and statues are in a 1 1/2 miles radius. Maybe to get people out and about and in different parts of the city there should be some put up in places that people don’t normally go to. It might give them a reason to go or at least be a sort of monument treasure hunt for people who come in town. Maybe one day.
So far this year I would have to say out of all the money I have spent that my zoo membership has been the best bang for my buck. For starters if my wife and I go 3 times in one year we have made our money back. I always like going to the zoo but at the price of general admission I didn’t make it but once a year tops. But now with a membership we can go, walk around and enjoy the zoo. If we only want to see the elephants, then we just see the elephants. There isn’t as much of a rush to get everything in at one time to get our moneys worth.
But what I like most is it gives me something to do when there is nothing going on. On a boring Sunday afternoon with nothing going on the zoo will always be there to keep me entertained. Plus the people watching is as interesting as the animal watching. That is the on place in Wichita that I can say that. I do always feel a bit of nostalgia whenever I go. My first job as a teenager was at the zoo. I think about my time working there and all the fun behind the scenes things that most people never see while walking around. So you might see me walking around the zoo a lot more often. Plus they have the best popcorn ever!
When I was younger I remember going to parades on St. Patrick’s Day. They would go down Main Street through the middle of downtown Wichita. It would be one of those events that we would have a field trip for in elementary school. But as I got older the less I heard of it. That is until a couple years ago. Some friends were telling me about a St. Patrick’s Day parade that went through the neighborhood of Delano.
I figured what the hell, I will check it out. When I arrived I noticed quite a few people walking toward the Delano district with green on. I figured it would be a good crowd. But when I got there the numbers for the parade were so much higher than I expected. Easily 5,000 people. Which is a damn good turn out!
Today will mark the fourth year that I will be attending the St. Patrick’s Parade in Delano. It has became a bit of an annual tradition for me now. It is so nice to see people turn out for the St. Patrick’s Day parade again. Just don’t forget to wear your green!
Flying…. It used to be one of my biggest fears. I hated it. Studies have sown that 1 in 3 Americans are either anxious about flying or have a fear of flying. I hated everything about it. Walking in the airport. Waiting in line and going through TSA. Sitting and waiting at the gate. The lines that form and all the craziness while boarding the plane. Taking off, and most of all the turbulence. It got so bad that I used to get panic attacks on the plane! It always started with a shortness of breath. Then sweating and a feeling of being cramp in. Within 5 or 10 minutes I would pass out.
But recently, something has changed. I started to let go. Not worry about the plane crashing or being so high. Not thinking about being cramped in a small space for so long. But the more I started thinking about flying the more I felt better about it. Last year in 2018 the FAA handled over 15,000,000 flights! The FAA oversaw 43,000 flights every day! That is just in the United States! I damn near have better odds and winning a million dollar lottery than getting in a place crash.
I have came to enjoy flying. Or at least enjoy it more than I used to. Whenever I get a window seat I find myself taking photos out the window and enjoying being detached from everything for a couple hours. I still hate TSA though.
Last night I went to check out Metallica play at Intrust Bank Arena. I can say without a doubt that this was the best live show I have ever seen. As I was watching them I started to think about the show, the presentation and technical aspect of it. Also what made it the best show I have seen. Lets start with the music. When you go to a show and hear hit after hit after hit it does something to you. It makes you appreciate the band you are seeing even more. The fact that, not only have they lasted so long and have a huge catalog of music, but also that they are still make hits! Amazing when you really think about it. What stood out to me more than anything was the technical aspect of the show. The stage lighting and pyrotechnics was on point. But the sound was second to none! You can tell they have spent years perfecting how they want to sound. The sound was loud without being drowning. The drums you could feel in your chest but also had a pop and snap to them. The real stand out of the show was when the music stopped. I can see why this band has such a huge following and has sold out shows for 30 years. I sat and watched James Hetfield not just thank but talk to everyone as if he really knew them. Took time to say that he knows how hard everyone works and how hard they make their money. So it was Metallica’s job to put on a show worthy of them spending their hard earned money. I have never heard that at a hip-hop show. And I started thinking, 30 years from now how many hip-hop artists will be in Intrust Bank Arena thanking a sold out crowd of almost 16,000 for spending their hard earned money. Not too many.
I have not shot pool in easily 10 years. But somehow I found myself out and about shooting pool. Got in some photos on an artist I have seen perform around town named Wody. We talked music, Wichita and hip-hop. I had passed by the place we went to hundreds of times. Crazy how you can see something, pass by it and not think twice about it. So it was cool to finally go in. Needless to say I was horrible at playing pool.
I have been going through some of my old photos. Looking at the hip-hop events, shows and people who attended around Wichita. Some are still with us, some aren’t. Feel very blessed to have been at the shows and events. Even more grateful that I was able to document them. So many times we have experiences and I hear people say, “I wish I would have taken a photo.” Well let me tell you, I try to make sure I take photos. You never know who might be there and who you might run into. So make sure and snap a photo or two next time you are out.
At the beginning of the year I had a goal. To average one roll of film every day. That means I am trying to shoot 365 rolls of film this year! So far I am up to about 23 rolls. Which is great, but I am falling behind. The hardest part is during the week. Much of time is spent in a radio studio or production room. So getting out is the hard part. Luckily I got out some over the weekend and was able to shoot some rolls. I will say when it gets warmer I am able to get in a lot more shooting. So for this early in the year I am doing pretty good. Here are some photos I took recently.
Every now and then I come across someone or something that I have to get a photo of. Something so out fo the ordinary that I know I will never see it happen again. That happened two me in 2014. I was walking around downtown Wichita during Riverfest. I turned and saw the Wichita State University mascot Wu Shock. It normally wouldn’t be out of the norm, but what caught me off guard was a guy sitting next to him. He was having a full on conversation with Wu Shock. Only problem is Wu Shock doesn’t talk. The guy was just talking and talking. Asking questions that were yes or no, but questions like, “How is your day going?” “What time did you get here?” Somehow they had a connection. It was pretty awesome to watch.
After hearing so much about Game Of Thrones I finally watched the series. I must admit, the show is amazing. But once the dragons showed up in the series I started thinking. How cool would it be if dragons were real!? Just imagine looking up in the sky and seeing an animal the size of an airplane soaring through the skies. But then so many questions come up. Would they be wild or could you tame them and raise them as pets? Where would they live? Could they last and survive in cold weather climates? Then, I also had to take in consideration the fire breathing. Would it be a good thing to have an animal that could incinerate an entire building in one breath? Probably not. I could see dragons being used in wars and to hurt people. And don’t they hoard gold and riches? So, maybe it is good that dragons aren’t real. I am sure somewhere a scientist is trying to cross a lizard with a bird to create one. Who knows? Maybe someday there will be one.
I’m not sure why, but I have came to the conclusion that the best $15 I have spent in a long time was for a lava lamp. I placed it in the production studio that I spend most, if not all of my time in. I sit and watch it daily. Not sure why watching a more dense liquid floating around inside a less dense liquid is so cool. But it is! If you have a high stress job… get a lava lamp. If you hate your job…. get a lava lamp. If you want to be the cool person at work… get a lava lamp. It puts a smile on my face daily. Might just do the same for you.