Meet Charlie.

I had a great Ben Sherman overnight bag, but it just didn't hold up very well.  Where the strap met the bag tore off, the handles frayed, it just looks dingy.  What once started out as a great looking piece didn't age very well.  So I've been on the lookout for a unique bag and I think I found it on Kickstarter.  It's the Charlie by Vinted.  In addition to the overnight bag, they have wallets, iPhone sleeves, backpacks, and brief cases.  If I had $600 to spare I'd order one of each.  For now, it's just the Charlie.

Brazil Sports Expo

As I figure out what I'm going to do with my travel photography, I wanted to share one random frame from the trip.  Keep an eye out for more shots of the country in the future, enjoy this for now.

Sperry's in Norfolk

So, I'm not one to push a product on anyone else.  But, I LOVE my Sperry Topsiders.  Best shoes I've ever owned.  I have a pair of black dress shoes, some gray wool ones, and some tan canvas.  They're all the most comfortable shoes I have.  They're doing a little FB contest so when I was wandering around Norfolk last week before my flight home I popped a couple shots of the shoes and things around town.  Hopefully I win a gift card for another pair of shoes.

Atlanta - Fuji X100 (pt 2)

Yesterday I posted images from Disney, today is Atlanta.  We stopped off on the way home to be godparents to my new cousin's baby.  It was a lot of fun despite the illness that was rolling through.  Plus they have Dog Fish Head 60 minute on tap in their kitchen.  That. Is. Amazing.

Disney World - Fuji X100

So I've been getting familiar with the Fuji x100 and I don't know how I feel about it.  I took it to Disney World on a family vacation.  I love the images and size, but it feels a little bit cheap to me.  However it's a great size, fast lens for night and low light, quality images.  Battery life is a little weak but I've got 3 backups.

Tearsheet: Precision Farming

I had the great fortune to travel to Gallo Winery in Northern California earlier this year and capture some images for a client's Precision Farming magazine.  What's PF?  It's lots of GPS and controller technology to make sure you get the most out of your fields.  REALLY interesting stuff.

Milwaukee

I was up in Milwaukee for a wedding at (the beautiful) art museum they have there. We went up a day early to hang out and catch some of the sites. Had a great time, but it was eerily quiet through out the whole city. Not much traffic and not a ton of people around. I brought my camera just to pop some frames off, not anything amazing but a fun memory of a trip around the city.

St. Kitts & Nevis

Spent some time last month down in the caribbean on the island of St. Kitts. It was VERY relaxing and rejuvenating. I've never been much of a beach person, but it's growing on me.

Travel.

I travel a lot I think. I guess I don't know just how much compared to others, but in my post about last year (read it here) I outline the 10 countries and 52 cities from last year. This year has already been a busy one... Iowa, California, North Dakota, Vegas and last week St. Kitts & Nevis, next weekend Milwaukee. You get the idea. It takes a lot to stay coordinated and ready for whatever issues come up so I thought I'd share my favorite travel apps. Wether it's driving, flying, boats or busses, these are the apps I use to make sure I get their on time.

AutoPilot This is the app I can't live without. It lets you put in all your travel info (flights, hotels, etc) and keeps track of them for you and keeps you updated. It let me know American delayed my flight an hour and a half, and it did it an hour before the people at the gate would admit we were delayed. And it let me know my flight was cancelled before they announced it. I was able to call the 800 number through the app and rebook for the next morning. While 100's of other people waited in the one line to rebook in person I was already in my hotel room watching the Bulls game. It also shows images and weather for the city you're heading to, can't beat it.

Currency When you're traveling abroad it's impossible to try to do the currency conversions in your head. This app is always up to date and you just choose your currency, type in the amount and see it converted into any number of formats on the fly. I've even used it to show vendors they were wrong when they try to give me too little change.

Kayak When you need to rebook, you want to see all your options. I use the app for that more than anything else. I was stuck at MIA, I put in flights to ORD for the next morning and was able to see that Delta still had seats through ATL getting me in at noon. I had American book me on it at their cost versus having to take the next AA flight that didn't get me in until midnight the next day.

Driving Apps Trapster is great for known speed traps. GasBag lets me know where the best gas prices can be found. And should my Garmin go down, and my in dash GPS backup go down, I have CoPilot to get me where I need to go.

Those are the apps that dominate my travel life. For keeping entertained while traveling that's a whole different story.

4,000 miles...

So I haven't been updating here nearly as much as I would like to because I've been SUPER busy on projects. Yesterday I flew to Vegas in the morning and back home on the red eye to do a shoot out there. I was in Northern California the week before, North Dakota 2 weeks before that, Iowa 2 weeks before that, I'm out of town next weekend, home for a couple and then off to St. Kitts. It's been BUSY. But I have some new images to share from last week's shoot for a client at the Gallo winery. Check them out...

What. A. Year.

I'm not one to post about years gone by or reflect back about things or whatever, but this past year was probably the most insane year of my life. I decided it was worth revisiting the good times, the changes, and the sad times in a little month by month breakdown. More so I can remember what happened than anything else. It was a busy one. 10 countries & 52 cities later here we are. January :: rung in the new year doing a shoot for Beck's with Mark Ronson February :: went to the winter Olympics in Vancouver March :: annual pilgrimage to Austin, TX April :: got engaged to a wonderful lady, Easter in Michigan, vegas trip with my friends May :: took a breather this month, no travel or big events June :: another month without much big news July :: Orlando for a project and Disney by myself, great week in Door County, first year back to Warped tour in Milwaukee August :: Found out I was leaving for tour 2 days before tour started which would inevitably change everything, went to... Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Bristow, Hartford, Hershey, Newark, Holmdel, Queens, Islip, Wantagh, Boston, Camden, Atlantic City, Virginia Beach, Cleveland September :: Also visited... Detroit, Toronto, Daytona Beach, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Tampa, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Chula Vista, LA, Wheatland, San Jose, Mountain View, and Irvine October :: Gudalajara, Mexico City, San José Costa Rica, Bogotá Columbia, Lima Peru November :: Quito Ecuador, Santiago Chile, São Paulo Brazil, Rio de Janiero Brazil, Porto Alegre Brazil, Buenos Aires Argentina, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emarites December :: I quit my job, my future brother & sister in law got married, and my grand father died

Clearly one of the busiest years of my life. I did a lot of amazing things, made some tough decisions, and hopefully set myself up for more success this year. Can't wait to see what 2011 brings.

Halloween...

We had a great party in Ecuador this past Halloween. Tons of great food and great people.

Bogota

I've had some preconceived notions about Bogotá and they were all wrong.  We went down to the old town part of the city and went to a gold museum.  I wish I could sculpt because what they created was amazing.  Then we walked around town for a bit taking in the city.  Stopped at a random bar where we got 80 cent beers.  Went back and changed and then went to an amazing dinner at Andrés Carne de Res.  We randomly ended up getting wristbands to this whiskey launch party.  Free (amazing) food and drinks.  Then met up with some friends and had cigars.  When we were leaving we saw some more friends (this place is 5 stories) and hung out until 4am.  It was a great time in a great city.

Costa Rica

What a beautiful country Costa Rica is.  We weren't by the water, but it didn't matter.  A couple of us got together and went zip lining and on a nature walk which was amazing (pics below).  It was a last minute thing I jumped in on and was a little nervous about as I have a small fear of heights but it was insane.  We ate termites, went zip lining, had a great local meal and saw wild monkeys in the transitional forest we were walking through.  It was fantastic.

Mexico...

Up until this trip I'd only ever been to Juaréz Mexico to help build an orphanage (go check it out... TapestriesOfLife.org) so I was excited to go to some other cities.  Guadalajara was fun.  Mexico City was crazy.  The crowd outside the hotel got rowdy after the boys came out to say hello and it was one of the most adrenaline pumping situations I've ever been in.  The venue was cool and had a great backstage hang out area so I got some great shots.  I've also been shooting from the barricade on this leg of the tour as the crowd is a little too intense for me to feel save and able to get the photos I need.  It's cool because it's a different view of the show.  I didn't have any time to shoot for fun in those 2 cities so there's no pics in this post, but there will be a ton coming up.

On the road again...

We got back on Sunday from a show in Puerto Rico and a show in Dominican Republic.  Both were great, the energy was intense and the driver got lost on the way to the Dominican venue so we got to see a little bit of the town.  Something I wish we got to do a little bit more often.  There was little security on the floor in DR so I had to stand on chairs and shoot from the front which was different.  I also had 2 people want to take my picture.  Pretty sure they don't really know that I'm the lowly photographer who just hangs out with people they'd want photos of. I'm going to try to keep this a little bit more up to date this time around as we'll actually have a minute or two of down time in which to do that.  Tomorrow we leave for the big leg of the South American tour.  Hitting some cities I've always wanted to go to but never thought I could actually see.  I couldn't be more excited and I'm just hoping that we have some down time to hang out.  Here's the list of where we're heading, after that I'm not sure...

10.23.10 Guadalajara , MX Estadio 3 de Marzo more info
10.24.10 Mexico City , MX Foro Sol more info
10.26.10 San José , CR Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá more info
10.28.10 Bogotá , CO Parque Simón Bolívar more info
10.30.10 Lima , PE Estadio Monumental more info
11.1.10 Quito, Ecuador Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa more info
11.1.10 Quito, Ecuador Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa more info
11.4.10 Santiago , CL Estadio Monumental more info
11.6.10 São Paulo , BR Associação Portuguesa de Desportos more info
11.7.10 Rio de Janiero , BR Est. Celio de Barros (Maracana Complex) more info
11.10.10 Porto Alegre , BR Ginásio Gigantinho more info
11.13.10 Buenos Aires, Argentina Estadio River Plate more info

Emarosa @ Warped Tour

Finally got around to editing my photos from hanging with Carl Ryan & Emarosa at Warped Tour Milwaukee.  Favorites are below, full gallery here... http://bit.ly/aLQMNn You should check out Emarosa, they're good ( http://www.myspace.com/emarosa )

Mister Brainwash

Our first off day of the North American tour happened to be in a city who's modern art museum was hosting a Shepard Fairey exhibit.  I went and scoped it out and felt strongly about it, wrote a blog post over and over again in my head, but never got the fingers to the keyboard to post it.  I just finished watching "Exit Through The Gift Shop" and now I feel like I should post something about it.

So first, "Exit Through The Gift Shop" is FANTASTIC and I hope to host some watch parties some point before I leave for South America.  One of my favorite things when I went to Paris for the first time was Invader's artwork around the city.  Exit does a great job of highlighting street art and how one man's quest to document things lead to his own creation of those same pieces of art.  How being so entrenched in that environment caused his personal creativity to flow to a point that he put everything on the line for success and people bought into it.  Is it really that good, or were people actually brainwashed?  In my personal opinion it's the latter, but that's the great thing about this style of art.  Even if it's not your favorite thing to stop and look at, it adds something to the urban environment all around you in a subtle way that you don't even consciously realize.  But in some way it adds a little bit of culture to an otherwise mundane commute, walk, train ride, or whatever you might be doing.

Now to the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the Cincinnati contemporary art museum.  That just sucked.  MBW might have tricked people into thinking what he was doing was actually art, but at least he did it in a compelling way.  I've been a fan of Shepard's since before people even knew what Obey Giant was, but this was a bowing down to the traditional gallery way with artwork that has been revolutionary in its un-traditional display.  Who needs to see Shepard's posters nicely framed and matted and on display on clean white walls, in rooms where nobody speaks and where I had to sneak photographs.  That's not what street art is ment to be and that's now how it should be displayed.  Whomever put together the Fairey exhibit should have taken a leap.  Create a street scene.  Give everyone a poster or a sticker when they pay to get in and give no instruction.  Some people will keep it as a momento of the day.  Others will stick it all around the exhibit.  Creating a live piece of art that's constantly changing and is a real testament to what this street art is intended to be.