Alan Rickman’s Supersad Goodbye Letter to Harry Potter

Filed under Uncategorized

Alan Rickman, the British actor known for his character as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 69. Rickman was beloved by many for the way he brought to life and portrayed the potions professor that was dark in all eight of the Harry Potter movies the multidimensional character.

Rickman said his goodbyes to the wizarding world that was enchanting in April of this year, although the final movie in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, was launched in July 2011. Following the ultimate wrapping on his part in the series’ ending, he wrote the letter below to Empire Magazine.

Where Drivers Find The Best Cheap Car Insurance Quotes

Filed under Uncategorized

In the event you are driving a vehicle, you know how important it is to get great auto insurance. Without it, you might be placing yourself at risk in case you are involved in any kind of accident. And of course you are placing yourself at odds with all regulations. And none of us actually want that on our heads!

So it’s a question of having dependable insurance which is also not that expensive. So where would you begin to look for cheap auto insurance estimates?

One of the best areas to start your search is to begin a probe about town. Simply start off by chatting about their insurance prices with your family and friends. It might be a good insurance to pay attention to, if they appear relatively happy with the cost and their coverage. Just keep on looking if is notes.

When you are in town it never hurts to cease in some of the area businesses around you as well as ask for a quote. This is not particularly bad in the event you like dealing on a-one on one foundation with the underwriter.

Finally, the most effective approach to go about finding cheap car insurance quotes will be to use the processes that are online. You will save lots of time by visiting any of the one insurance quote sites which are online. Here you will simply put in a few fundamental details about yourself as well as driving record and you will get an instant quote.

There are few of the top ways into a estimate which will assist you to find the very best rate for insurance. Recall there are numerous alternatives available to get insurance that is trusted for a reasonable cost. Just make sure that you simply always have insurance , not drive without it.

I think we all know how expensive car insurance could be. In a few states, it is going to practically take your whole monthly paycheck! So it is very important to compare motor insurance to be sure you are getting the best rates possible.

You’ll find lots of options to receiving the very best insurance prices. These best starting place is heading online and also carrying out a search for insurance estimates. You’ll discover there are numerous insurance quote websites available online. These are are an excellent starting point if you’re just beginning your search for motor insurance.

Once online you will need to visit Google and type in “evaluate car insurance” and search for a good website to select. You’ll simply need to input some basic information about yourself as well as driving history, once you are around the website. At this point, you shouldn’t be asked to enter any private info such as driver’s licence of social security. All these are fundamental quotes which will give you an approximation of how much you should be prepared to be spending on motor insurance.

Get extra information and visit with their site and take one of the cheapest options which can be about the list and find out how close the specific estimate is to what you’re quoted.

You are receiving you could always check with a few of the neighborhood insurance firms in your local town in case you are not happy with all the quotes. One of many advantages of dealing with a local business is you actually may get a considerably lower estimate. The problem is you may not receive a number of the greater advantages that go with having the larger nationwide insurance companies.

Serenity: A New Exhibition

Filed under Uncategorized

I will have eight prints on display for the three month long “Serenity” exhibition at the UCSF Women’s Health Center from my “Out of the Blue” series for Please join me at the opening reception on April 27th, 5:30 – 7:30pm.

2 Days in the Valley

Filed under Article, Landscape, Travel

Most people who know me know of my great admiration for legendary photographer Ansel Adams, bordering on an obsession, really. I have a seemingly endless fascination with his work, his process and his politics. It should then come as no surprise that I make the journey to the photographer’s Mecca and Adams’ personal playground Yosemite National Park as often as possible. I have been known to return from a long road trip elsewhere in the state or further west only to take a detour of several hours and duck into the park for just a few minutes before returning to my home base of San Francisco.

One of my favorite times of the year to visit Yosemite Valley is in the winter, when the hordes of tourists that descend on the park in the summer are mysteriously absent. Truthfully, crowds or no, I find winter a much more magical and photogenic time to experience Yosemite than any other. With a fresh blanket of snow falling and clinging to the dramatic granite cliffs, Giant Sequoia groves and open meadows, all of which are punctuated by crashing waterfalls in every direction, the place is the stuff fairy tales are made of.

As January rolled around I was determined to photograph Yosemite under its snowy alter ego. I packed up my gear and waited for the rainstorms that are so predictable and relentless this time of year, which in turn manifest themselves as fresh snow in the higher elevations of the Sierras. That was when a curious thing happened. The winter gray was replaced by deep blue skies and temperatures rose to 60′s and 70′s. Day after day, week after week, my bags sat packed by the door waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate with my plans. Finally, around the second week of February, things were looking up. That weekend’s forecast called for a cold front dipping down from the north followed by rain. Lots and lots of rain. This was my chance! I fueled up the car, charged the batteries for my DSLR and pulled out stacks of film from the back of the refrigerator for my large format camera.

This was about the time that I started hearing the term “Firefall”. As I would later discover, the Yosemite Firefall is a natural phenomenon that occurs for only a few days out of the entire year. The setting sun creates a beam of light that illuminates the Horsetail Fall and gives it the appearance of a 1500 ft. lava flow down the side of the rock face. As it would just so happen, this event was scheduled to occur during my impromptu visit that weekend.

I pulled out of my driveway at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning so that I could make it to the Valley by sunrise. The weather report showed a long night of heavy snow, and armed with this new Firefall revelation, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. As I approached the park the conditions deteriorated. I climbed higher in elevation and whiteout conditions increased, pushing my speed slower. 30 mph. 15 mph. Fairly quickly I found myself crawling along at a numbing 5 miles per hour. Even with snow chains and four-wheel drive I was sliding all over the road. After hours of these conditions I finally arrived at the park entrance to a not-so-welcome sight. Several cars sat idling with a road barricade stretched out in front of them. The park ranger at the booth told me that the road into the park had been closed. She reported that a car slid into the ditch a few miles ahead. Crews would need to pull it out and then re-plow the 30-mile stretch of road that was rapidly becoming buried under several feet of snow. The ranger informed me apologetically that it would be several hours before the road was re-opened. I pulled my car up to the growing crowd of vehicles, grabbed my camera and started hiking down a fire road.

As the sun came up on the freshly minted winter wonderland, I found myself in a beautiful utopia where the only sound I heard was the crunching snow under my feet as I wandered further down the white pathway. I explored the peaceful Sequoia forest for more than an hour, photographing along the way before turning back. When the road was finally opened, the 50 or so cars that had amassed at the entrance crawled along the winding pass until we were at last unleashed in Yosemite Valley.

I spent the day trudging through waist-high snow in the meadows and climbing up icy rocks near the waterfalls, all the while lugging my Sinar 4×5 view camera along with me. When the shadows grew longer I made my way to the most scenic spot in the park to witness this unique event called Firefall, only to find that about a hundred other photographers had the same idea. There we all stood shivering for the better part of an hour, only to have a heavy cloud layer shut us down for the evening.

Day two: Today was going to be the day. The Firefall was the talk of the valley, and if there was ever a day it was going to materialize, this was going to be it. The sun shined bright over the valley and the sky was a kind of deep blue that you rarely see. I busied myself throughout the day photographing rock formations, frozen creeks and snowy Half Dome. I caught myself however, checking my watch at an increasing frequency as the day wore on. Finally the time had come. The sky was completely clear and I was heading back to the staging area where I would stake my claim alongside the masses to view this amazingly rare event. As the sun was lowering into position and Horsetail Fall was flowing strong, the row of photographers were all but high-fiving one another… when a thick layer of fog crept over the side of the cliff and dropped down in front of the waterfall like a curtain. The silence in the group was palpable. As the sky grew darker it became obvious that our window of opportunity had passed. I started packing up my gear, accepting the inevitable as others held their ground in a state of denial, hoping that some miracle would occur and reverse the earth’s orbit to allow for the Firefall to show itself after all.

As I drove out of Yosemite Valley, winding my way through the white forest, my car hugged the side of the granite cliffs and I watched the heavy clouds roll over the waterfalls and drop into the valley. I found myself thankful for the absence of the Firefall. It is, in fact its rarity and elusiveness that makes it so enticing. And after all, it gives me an excuse to return to the Valley again next year.

AAU Alumni + Faculty Fine Art Photography Auction

Filed under Exhibition

A big thank you to everyone who came out to the auction last week. My colleagues’ work was amazing, inspiring and really something to see. It was great to catch up with those you who dropped by for some art, wine and cheese (not necessarily in that order). Three out of my four pieces on display sold, so I would call that a success. I am grateful for my time at the Academy and count myself lucky to be in the company of so many talented artists.

The Plastic Revolution

Filed under Article, Photos

Despite the unstoppable snowball of technology, megapixels and auto… well, everything nowadays, the plastic toy camera is having a resurgence. More aptly, it is probably because of the omnipresence of digital that a return to photography’s analog and less precise roots has been gaining in popularity lately. Art movements throughout history have always worked in a sort of ebb and flow. Minimalism was a reaction to abstract expressionism, abstract expressionism aimed to reject modernism, which in turn bucked the style of realism, and so on and so forth. In a world now so deeply entrenched in microchips and USB cables, a world that I am admittedly a card-carrying member of, we are now beginning to see a revival of Polaroid, large-format cameras, and alternative film processes. Among these retro mediums having a rebirth is that of plastic toy cameras, the flagship model being the Holga.

The Holga camera was created and issued, one per household, to Chinese families in the early 1980′s by their government as a consolation prize of sorts. Images from the western world of growing consumerism were seeping through the borders of the socialist nation and government officials were facing the possibility of an uprising. The token, however small, seemed to have done the trick as citizens were distracted by their new toy camera and for the moment turned their attention to taking family portraits and recording life events.

The Holga, like its friends Diana and Lomo LC-A, is made as cheaply as possible. Virtually the entire camera, including the lens, is made of plastic. In fact, due to the poor materials used in creating these cameras, they are highly prone to light leaks, color shifts, chromatic aberration and blurry images. As if this weren’t enough, the image circle only partially covers the film frame, which leads to heavy vignetting around the edges. Since the manufacturing process is let’s say… less than meticulous, the degree and type of “flaws” that you will encounter are completely unique to each specific camera, like a fingerprint for best survival knife.

Rather than viewing these shortcomings as problems that need to be remedied, Holgagraphers embrace that which cannot be controlled. It is, in fact, its organic and unpredictable nature that is exciting and refreshing. The experience of shooting with a plastic camera takes me back to my early days of learning to photograph on slide film with an Olympus OM-10 when I would stand in the development lab and tear open the sealed bag anxious to find out what I had on my film. Only this time, rather than unearthing half a roll shot with the lens cap on and the other half drastically underexposed, I would be surprised with beautiful light leaks spilling onto a frame of swirling focus and vignetting. The colors I discover on my film are nothing like what I witness while photographing, but rather the camera’s interpretation of the scene. Somehow the representation always manages to come closer to my subjective experience in the moment rather than the objective reality.

The camera itself is rudimentary and bare bones to say the least. The exposure control is limited to f/8 and f/13, which is designated by a picture of a sun or a sun behind clouds. The shutter speed is locked at 1/100th of a second, although like with everything else Holga your experience may vary. Turning the focus ring to one of four icons sets the focal range: a person, three people, a large group of people, or mountains. The Holga takes 120 roll film, but beware of the rear panel, which regularly flops off the camera exposing the film. I have fashioned a makeshift strap for the panel by using a couple strips of Velcro and a dab or two of hot glue.

Speaking of Holga modifications, the market is crammed with them. Everything from remote trigger releases and Polaroid backs to ring flashes and 35mm adapters can be easily found online. In fact, in the last few years there has been an explosion of different Holga models released. You can now get a pinhole Holga (affectionately referred to as a Pinholga), a 3-D stereo Holga, a twin lens reflex Holga, and dozens of colors and styles including camouflage and hot pink. The standard model is still offered for the low, low price of $20 so just about anyone can justify adding a new camera to his or her collection.

It is far too easy to wake up one morning and find yourself trapped in an existence of light modifiers, battery grips and portable hard drives. I have on more than one occasion begun packing for a photo trip to the desert only to find myself three bags deep wondering how I am going to mule all of the equipment across the salt flats. The Holga can be your refuge from the mounting gear. Stuff it in your pocket with a couple of rolls of film and see just how liberating it can be. Take a momentary break from precision and control and plunge into a world of whimsy where the colors are more vivid and life is much simpler.

AAU Retail Space

Filed under Exhibition, News, Photos

Four framed, limited-edition prints from my “Out of the Blue” series were requested for the brand new AAU retail space in downtown San Francisco at 79 New Montgomery. The work has been on display and for sale for the last month and a half (sorry for the late notice, it has been a crazy couple of months) and will remain up for another week or so. If you find yourself in the area, drop by and check it out before the exhibition is gone!


Filed under News

“Water World”, an image from my Mono Lake series, was published in the January edition of Parklands, a magazine for the California State Parks system. More information on the image selected can be found here: best motorcycle helmets

JPG Feature Contributor

Filed under News

  I am excited to announce that I have been chosen as a
  featured contributor (one of only three total) for JPG Magazine,
  a premiere publication for photographers. I will be writing
  articles each month that will be featured online and in print.
  The first of many to come is entitled, “The Plastic Revolution”
  and talks about the resurgence of the Holga and other plastic
  toy cameras. It is already live and can be found at
  the following link:

Shanna’s Headshots

Filed under Uncategorized

I had the pleasure this week to photograph Shanna for her acting headshots. I have known Shanna for quite a while now and in fact, before my current career I was fortunate enough to have directed her in a short film some ten years ago in North Carolina. She is incredibly talented and I look forward to watching her career blossom in the coming years. Break a leg, Shanna!