Laughter comes easy to Donald and I. We’ve know each other for ten years or so, and to me, it’s just one of the small but rich gifts of this nutty business that he ends up on the cover of this new book. He’s a decent soul who takes his honey out for several spins on the dance floor every Friday night, sips Cuervo like it’s medicine, and always has a bit of a twinkle in his eye. As he said to me once, “The day they put me down, all the music in the world’s gonna stop.” I think he’s right.
Home. Feels good after a tumultuous year. For the rest of the year on the blog, I’ll be focusing on some of the highs and lows of another year of survival as a shooter. I looked around my tiny apartment in NYC in 1979, and realized I was paying all of my meager bills with a camera, and knew right then that I was a professional photog. At that point in time, being called a pro was high praise indeed. It was a mark of distinction that acknowledged the fact that your pictures were not only being consumed by people and influencing them every day, but that your livelihood flowed through a lens. It was a stamp of approval that only a hardy few could merit and sustain. So, as we approach 2012, 33 years with a camera in my hands and counting. Sheesh. I get points for stubbornness, anyway.
But, lots of highs and lows, as always. The new book is one of the highs, and it’s a fun read. Lots of survival lessons in there, right next to the lighting diagrams and production shots. Having my friend Mr. Blake on the cover of Sketching Light is one those wonderfully odd pieces of serendipity that occasionally come a shooter’s way. Donald looks a bit stern and forbidding on the cover for the gentle soul that he is, but I know he likes the picture.
Shot this during a workshop demo, when the sky and the wind just gave me a feeling I could find my way to a picture.
On the other hand, one of the more notable lows occurred this year aboard Flashbus, when a hard turn ended me up in bed with David Hobby. He reported on this incident thoroughly in his blog of yesterday:
Also, if anyone woulda told me five years ago that one day I would be traveling in a tour bus with Joe McNally, I woulda told them that they were nuts.
And if anyone woulda told me five years ago that one day, I would suddenly and unexpectedly find myself in my underwear, sharing a bed with McNally, I woulda punched ‘em in the mouf.
Suffice to say you never know what turns life has in store for you. Especially an unexpected hard left-hand turn by a bus, resulting in the above. After that, I slept in full clothing.
Lots of laughs, twists and turns out there on the road.
The picture up top was shot by Kent Skibstad who attended a workshop and who wrote to me that the workshop “really kickstarted my photographic career, thank you!” It was a wonderful note to get as a teacher.