Exploring the Volcanic Tablelands ~ Lifestyle Photography

Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 9:54pm - Personal

 A good friend is visiting for a week who is a brilliant artist, so we´ve been getting out exploring every day.  Yesterday we actually went somewhere I´ve always wanted to check out, some petroglyphs just north of Bishop.  It was a gorgeous day and we had an amazing time exploring.


Connie Petroglyphs : 1 of 7

6876 votes

 

Please Help The Mississippi Delta Arts Alliance

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 10:09am - Personal

 Today I´d like to share a post with you from a dear friend who lives in the Mississippi Delta, Will Jacks.  For those of you not familiar with The Delta, it is home to so much rich art and culture.  For a place I would have never imagined I´d ever visit, after my first visit last summer, I was compelled to return twice more in less than a year. Its a powerful area that gives a vision in to where this country has come from.  Creativity flows from everywhere in the Delta, and is essential to many of the lower income families living there.  Please read Will´s words below, and if you care about making sure that creativity continues to be taught in the schools to our youth, please help in any way you can, even if just going and voting one time.  Every vote counts.  Thank you.

 


DAA : 1 of 13

3862 votes

 

 Hi all --  Will Jacks here.

I need your votes. Not for me, but for an arts non-profit that I am a part of.

The Delta Arts Alliance is a non-profit organization based out of my hometown (Cleveland, MS). This organization has slowly grown from an idea of a handful of folks 12 years ago to the point where we now provide free arts education to nearly 3000 underprivileged children in our region. Our state no longer offers arts education in our public schools. In the Mississippi Delta, we are the group that has taken on the task of insuring those classes have remained in our schools.

We employ 25 artists in residence. We also offer after school programs, field trips, and one-on-one mentoring to children interested in exploring the arts a bit deeper. We are in the final stages of renovating an old theater that was falling down 10 years ago. It houses a gallery and meeting space, a workshop area, and a recently completed outdoor performing area for musicians. Soon it will also have the theater and stage ready for community performances as well as other arts-based events.

We are also very close to establishing a place where working artists can live and practice their craft. It´s a beautiful old home that we hope to transform into studio spaces and living quarters for artists. We are so close to doing this I can taste it. We´ll be able to provide grants so that artists can come to the area and focus solely on their craft. We´ll be able to house artists as they pass through the area. We´ll have the tools needed for them to practice their craft. We´ll help them find ways to support themselves financially from their craft, and give them an outlet to do so.

The problem is, our region is broke. Broke ass broke. And we have been for a long, long time. The median income for the entire region is barely $15k a year. In some of the towns we serve it´s only a hair above $6k. 

There is only so much corporate and private funding we are able to raise. And we need more. So much more. For many of these children, we are the only sign that their lives can be more than the poverty that surrounds them.

We don´t just provide arts education. We provide hope. And opportunity. And friendships. And -- at the risk of sounding a bit Hallmark-ee -- love.

The good news is that the Delta Arts Alliance is a finalist for the Foundation of the Mid-South Do-Gooders award. This is a grant that could provide as much as $50k in operating expenses for us. This would be enough for us to run the organization for two years, whether no other income came in or not. That would be HUGE.

But it´s a damn popularity contest (a debate for another time) -- you vote on the web for the organization you feel is most deserving. And everyone can vote as many times as they wish. You just can´t vote more than once every five minutes. So the potential is there for one person to cast 12 votes in an hour! As much as I hate this structure, it is the one in place, and we have to find a way to succeed within it.

So . . . .

Will you guys help me? We´re currently in second place. The voting ends October 29. I cannot begin to tell you what receiving this grant would mean to our community. To our region. To the artists that live and visit this area.

To me.

We desperately need this grant to insure that our program can continue to grow and touch as many lives as possible.

As humbly as I possibly can do on an internet forum where you guys can´t see the emotion that flows as I type this, I´m begging for your help.  I am hoping my words will appeal to all artists. To all of you who cherish the creative spirit and understand the importance of nourishing it. I am asking you to not only visit the links below to find out a bit more about our tiny but passionate group; to not only vote as much as you possibly can for the Delta Arts Alliance at the Mid-South web site; but to share my plea with as many folks as you can.

All you have to do is click the link below and vote for the Delta Arts Alliance in Cleveland, Mississippi. And you can do it as many times as you´d like  And then, maybe encourage your friends to do so?

http://www.fndmidsouth.org/do-gooder.../?entry_id=633

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and for taking the time to help out.

~wj

I Love San Francisco ~ Travel Photography

Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 7:18pm - Personal

 For the weekend before my birthday, I met a great friend in San Francisco and we had so much fun exploring the city and the coast just to the north. The first night we had an amazing camp site in the Marin Headlands all the way out near Point Bonita, where the San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean.  It was spectacular, and for sunrise the next day we only had to walk 5 -10 minutes to an amazing point.  We then drove up the coast to explore Muir and Stinson Beaches, before heading back over Mt Tamalpais into the city.  We spent the night walking around SF, shooting pictures, eating good food, and checking out whatever we happened upon.  It was so much fun to explore with another photographer, and see the world through her eyes as well.  I can´t wait to go back  :)


I Love SF : 1 of 33

3539 votes

 

Birthday Hike in The Mountains

Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 4:23pm - Personal

 After traveling so much these past few months, it sure feels good to be home.  My first day back was my birthday, and even though I have tons of work to catch up on, two of my best friends (and my new neighbors :) ) and I went out for a little bit up into the mountains.  The fall color is gorgeous, and I hope to get back up there soon to do some more shooting!


Birthday Fall Color : 1 of 5

1953 votes

 

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Early Morning in San Francisco ~ Travel Photography

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 at 4:42pm - Personal

I´m visiting a friend in San Francisco, and this morning I got up early and went out walking before dawn.  I love doing this in new places.  It was really magical to watch the city slowly come to life, and for darkness to make way to light.  I´m gonna be around for a few more days and am excited to keep exploring.  Do you have any favorites of the images below?


SF Morning : 1 of 9

3164 votes

 

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Astro Climbing Photography

Sunday, August 15th, 2010 at 2:04pm - Personal

 Last night my good friend Jason Lakey came out with me to the Buttermilks to climb while I did some astro photography.  I really wanted to capture a climber amongst the stars, and Jason was game, so we shot a couple different boulder problems.  Its really fun to be exploring the possibilities with night time photography.  Hope you enjoy.


Jason Star Climbing : 1 of 6

1008 votes

 

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Feature Cover Story in Adventure Monkey Magazine!!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at 11:47am - Personal

Recently I had an incredible honor when I got a call from a new adventure magazine called Adventure Monkey.  They wanted to feature a cover story from me for their second issue.  Now typically when I get these requests, its to do a story on someone else, or just shoot the photos; but they wanted this to be written and shot by, and about me! 

I was totally floored and excited, but nervous to.  "How am I going to write a story about myself and make it interesting without sounding narcissistic" I thought to myself.  Originally they asked me to just write "My Story", but that seemed too similar to the last article that came about me in Rangefinder

So I thought I would try to get creative and actually write a more narrative style story from one of my favorite adventures, and then use that to try and tie in aspects of how and why I live my life the way I do.  It was a tremendous challenge for me, but I´m really stoked how it all turned out.  And to now see it printed in a full 14 page article is beyond exciting.  You can download the PDF of the magazine or order hard copies here (its issue 2).  Hope you enjoy!!


Adventure Monkey : 1 of 9

637 votes

 

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Coastal Teaser

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 5:33pm - Personal

I just got back from an amazing trip up near and on the Northern California Coast.  I shot a beautiful wedding on the Russian River, and got to explore some redwoods and spectacular coast close to there as well.  I hadn´t been to the ocean in a few years to the best of my memory, so this trip was particularly inspiring.  Thought I´d share a quick fun shot while I´m going through all the images with several blog posts to be coming over the next week.

In other news I was recently featured as The Photographer of the Week on Digital Photo Buzz, which is such an honor.  You can check out the interview here.  Hope you´re having an amazing day and be sure to check back soon for lots of new photos from the Northern California Coast 


Coastal Teaser : 1 of 1

505 votes

 

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Rebirth Retreat Recap

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 at 10:00pm - Personal

Last week was a life changing week for me. 

I attended the Rebirth Retreat in Clarksdale, MS; hosted and organized by my very good friends Will Jacks, Chris Williams, Sarah Hodzic, and Laura Beth Lott.  We had an incredible collection of people come together to the Mississippi Delta to foster creativity, share in community, and challenge everyone to continually better ourselves. 

I found the blend of structure versus free time to be perfect for my needs, finding it both challenging to accomplish certain exercises (more to come on this… ), and yet I still had time to really visit with dear friends and meet and appreciate new ones.  Honestly, I wish it was a day or 2 longer. 

There were exercises that helped us see that in our art, there´s always a piece of ourself, and that by stepping outside our comfort zones, we help and allow ourselves to grow.  I´ve always felt this way, and it was cool to see this through a  unique group sharing exercise that brought some very interesting insights.

Music also played a big part of the experience for me.  One night we went out to Ground Zero, a blues club partially owned by Morgan Freeman and heard some incredible Mississippi blues (more coming....  ), and the next night we had a local singer songwriter play live where we staying (more to come on this as well… ).  It was a magical time with so many artists exploring and sharing and has inspired me beyond measure.

I´ll be sharing images from the retreat over the next few days, but I wanted to start today with a recap of images from throughout the whole experience. 
 


Rebirth Recap : 1 of 25

105 votes

 

Here´s a few teasers of whats to come next….


Rebirth Blues Teaser : 1 of 4

29 votes

 

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Red Rocks with Friends

Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 11:47am - Personal

Well I´m still recovering from my week down in Vegas last week for WPPI.  It was an absolutely incredible trip with so many wonderful highlights, one of which was getting my dear friends Will Jacks and Chris Williams out into some nature.  We went out to Red Rocks and spent an entire afternoon into the evening hiking, scrambling, creating images, and just having a blast.  There´s nothing I enjoy more than spending time in nature with great friends.  I hope you enjoy some images from our adventures.


Red Rocks WPPI 2010 Landsacpe : 1 of 11

66 votes

 

While we were rambling around, Chris caught some images of me climbing with my camera that I´m super psyched on!!  I´ve never had my picture taken by a professional before : )  I also had fun capturing some images of the the two of them wandering around.


Red Rocks WPPI 2010 Friends : 1 of 18

105 votes

 

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