The Streets of DC

I’ve been in DC a couple of times this year.  I love the city.  There’s an intensity there.  The politics, obviously. The young go-getters. The hustle. Even the weather.  But there’s also a calm serenity grounded in the throngs of tourists who slow the pace to their own agenda. Set to a backdrop of intense security, these groups commingle and collide daily among our national treasures.  

Torso - The National Gallery
Standing Guard at the National Gallery
Moving Walkway
The Metro
Zoo
Washington Monument
The National Mall
The White House
Flowers & Roses

Instagram Takeover at Wonderful Machine


I had the pleasure of taking over the Wonderful Machine Instagram account for 3 days last week.  I used the opportunity to feature some of my favorite and lesser known San Diego landmarks.  I ended up posting about 36 images. Below are several of my favorites.  To check out all the images visit the Wonderful Machine Instagram stream. To explore futher follow me on Instagram - @feriiiphoto

 The southwestern most point in the continental United States. The western end of the US Mexico border fence. Great surf that day, BTW...

The southwestern most point in the continental United States. The western end of the US Mexico border fence. Great surf that day, BTW...

 Chicano Park under the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge is one of my favorite under appreciated San Diego locales. This year the city officially recognized it as a skate park too.

Chicano Park under the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge is one of my favorite under appreciated San Diego locales. This year the city officially recognized it as a skate park too.

 Workers prep for the impending Apocalypse - adding mulch to the cliffs at Swami's to reduce erosion. SoCal is in a state of panic as we prepare for the potential of the greatest El Niño in the history of history this winter.

Workers prep for the impending Apocalypse - adding mulch to the cliffs at Swami's to reduce erosion. SoCal is in a state of panic as we prepare for the potential of the greatest El Niño in the history of history this winter.

 Sitting along the coast at the Northern most point of San Diego County just before the sprawl of The OC is the recently decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Current negotiations center on who should pay for the shut down and where the spent fuel rods should be stored. It's an icon on the I-5 drive between San Diego and LA.

Sitting along the coast at the Northern most point of San Diego County just before the sprawl of The OC is the recently decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Current negotiations center on who should pay for the shut down and where the spent fuel rods should be stored. It's an icon on the I-5 drive between San Diego and LA.

 Progress, always progress. In all my years in San Diego construction cranes have always been a fixture of the downtown skyline. The only exception to that was the first few years of the "Great Recession". All those cranes seemed to disappear one night in early 2009. But as the economy has come roaring back, so has the progress….

Progress, always progress. In all my years in San Diego construction cranes have always been a fixture of the downtown skyline. The only exception to that was the first few years of the "Great Recession". All those cranes seemed to disappear one night in early 2009. But as the economy has come roaring back, so has the progress….

 Suburbia

Suburbia

 Desert Bound - Hwy 78

Desert Bound - Hwy 78

 The Mt Soledad cross sits atop the highest point in the posh San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla. The cross itself has undergone 2 "resurrections" and most recently a restoration. There have been 3 different crosses on the location since the original was built I 1909. The current cross is embroiled in constant litigation as it sits on federal land, formerly city owned. Opponents argue for its removal based on the separation of Church and State. A Korean War Memorial was built directly under the cross as a way of appeasement. But numerous courts have ruled for its removal. At last check, the cross still stands…

The Mt Soledad cross sits atop the highest point in the posh San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla. The cross itself has undergone 2 "resurrections" and most recently a restoration. There have been 3 different crosses on the location since the original was built I 1909. The current cross is embroiled in constant litigation as it sits on federal land, formerly city owned. Opponents argue for its removal based on the separation of Church and State. A Korean War Memorial was built directly under the cross as a way of appeasement. But numerous courts have ruled for its removal. At last check, the cross still stands…

 The quintessential late night drive-thru fast food in San Diego is Roberto's or one of his "cousin's" joints. First opened in 1964 in San Ysidro  Roberto's is a culinary icon in SD. Too many imitators to name have spun off all ending in `bertos. Albertos, Alibertos, Filibertos, Aibertos, Gualbertos, Jilbertos, Hilbertos, Adalbertos, Roybertos, Rambertos, Hambertos, Humbertos, Rubertos, and Rolbertos, and my personal fav, Juan Bertos. Open 24 hours - who amongst us hasn't made the late night stop (read drunken) for a wet bean and cheese burrito or 5 rolled tacos w guacamole at least once. This Robertos is in OB, my favorite little beach community.

The quintessential late night drive-thru fast food in San Diego is Roberto's or one of his "cousin's" joints. First opened in 1964 in San Ysidro  Roberto's is a culinary icon in SD. Too many imitators to name have spun off all ending in `bertos. Albertos, Alibertos, Filibertos, Aibertos, Gualbertos, Jilbertos, Hilbertos, Adalbertos, Roybertos, Rambertos, Hambertos, Humbertos, Rubertos, and Rolbertos, and my personal fav, Juan Bertos. Open 24 hours - who amongst us hasn't made the late night stop (read drunken) for a wet bean and cheese burrito or 5 rolled tacos w guacamole at least once. This Robertos is in OB, my favorite little beach community.

Screening Day / Filmmaker Award Show

Saturday afternoon was the first screening of Gone Doggy Gone in San Diego.  The turnout was light, but the crowd was warm and enthusiastic.  Cinematographer Garrett O'Brien, Shaina Vorspan (who played Jill), Edward Winters (who played Devon), all joined Kasi and Brandon (and of course Laila) at the screening. The film looked great - sound was fantastic. I had only previewed it on my IPad so it was great to see it with a live audience on the big screen.  Nothing beats the experience of watching a movie in a theater.  It was nice to see it a second time in it's entirety.  I picked up on a number of things I hadn't notice the first go around.  I was starting to feel like an insider....Kate Conner (who played Kat) joined them after the screening.  She was planning to be at the Q&A after the film, but Los Angeles to San Diego traffic is brutal on Saturdays.  After a little down time in the VIP lounge and a quick dinner it was off to the Filmmakers Awards Show at the US Grant Hotel.  The event is typical with various honors and awards to the best films of the festival.  The US Grant's basement ballroom and the scripted format made for a much better show than in years past.  There was a nice rhythm to the night that had been missing poolside at the Palomar.  Even so, it was a big disappointment for the Gone Doggy Gone group. They were not included in any of the awards or recognitions. I think that ultimately surprised them.  I'm sure the fact that they had a photographer following them around for 3 days had set them up for something big.  I regret I may have contributed to their higher expectations.  I too was disappointment they didn't win, but not surprised.  I loved the film and thought it deserved recognition, but there were other filmmakers that seemed to be the darlings of the show.  Still, Kasi and Brandon made a number of connections while they were at the festival.  And they made a fantastic feature comedy, which is no small task. 

 The Star

The Star

 Edward (Devon) and his fiancee in the Gaslamp

Edward (Devon) and his fiancee in the Gaslamp

 Cast & Crew hanging out in the Gaslamp Quarter

Cast & Crew hanging out in the Gaslamp Quarter

 Laila making friends

Laila making friends

 Photo Op - Kasi and Brandon and their biggest fan

Photo Op - Kasi and Brandon and their biggest fan

 Movie Poster - Gone Doggy Gone

Movie Poster - Gone Doggy Gone

 Kasi and Brandon beginning the Q & A after the screening

Kasi and Brandon beginning the Q & A after the screening

 Cast & crew Q & A (L-R) Edward Winters, Kasi Brown, Brandon Walter, Garrett O'Brien, Shaina Vorspan and the moderator

Cast & crew Q & A (L-R) Edward Winters, Kasi Brown, Brandon Walter, Garrett O'Brien, Shaina Vorspan and the moderator

 Brandon hikes to the VIP Lounge

Brandon hikes to the VIP Lounge

 Post Screening in the VIP lounge

Post Screening in the VIP lounge

 Cast & Crew strolling down 5th Avenue under the Reading Theater marquee

Cast & Crew strolling down 5th Avenue under the Reading Theater marquee

 Shaina and the gang at the Filmmakers Awards

Shaina and the gang at the Filmmakers Awards

 Tired feet

Tired feet

 Taking it all in at the Filmmakers Award Show

Taking it all in at the Filmmakers Award Show

 A Toast....

A Toast....

Gone Doggy Gone / Friday at the San Diego Film Festival

Friday was pretty chill.  Lots of down time. Brandon and Kasi dealt with the nagging issue of syncing up their movie with the theater's projection system.   They had been less than successful getting that done on Thursday. They finally got with the projectionist at the Reading and were able to sort it out.  It was also party night!  Almost Famous party at the Tin Roof - mostly drinking, schmoozing, and playing life size Jenga....sorry, Tumbling Towers

 Missing Dog Posters

Missing Dog Posters

 Meeting development exec Mark Cartier

Meeting development exec Mark Cartier

 Something about a plane.....

Something about a plane.....

 Final transfer of the film to the theater

Final transfer of the film to the theater

 Brandon,  Edward Winters  and his fiance gather in the lobby of the Palomar

Brandon, Edward Winters and his fiance gather in the lobby of the Palomar

 On our way to the Almost Famous Party

On our way to the Almost Famous Party

 Strutting under the marquee lights of the Reading Gaslamp

Strutting under the marquee lights of the Reading Gaslamp

 Dos Corona

Dos Corona

 Kasi choosing carefully

Kasi choosing carefully

 I Heart Boobies!

I Heart Boobies!

 Kasi with the final pull.  Kasi and Brandon were honestly 2 of the best Jenga (tumbling towers) players I've ever seen!

Kasi with the final pull.  Kasi and Brandon were honestly 2 of the best Jenga (tumbling towers) players I've ever seen!

Follow the Filmmakers Thursday - 2014 San Diego Film Festival

For the last few years I've gone Behind the Scenes at the San Diego Film Festival.  This year, in order to keep it fresh, I decided to follow one of the filmmakers during their time at the festival.  Festival producer Stephanie Inscoe gave me a couple of movies to screen ahead of time so I could see who might make for an interesting follow.  I watched several films and wasn't too inspired until I saw Gone Doggy Gone.  It's a small indie film by Kasi Brown and Brandon Walter.  The premise is simple.  A childless couple with a dog they love "too much" and what happens when that dog disappears.  It's not an epic tale like the other films I watched tried to be.  It's just a well crafted comedy written, directed, and starring Brown and Walter

I knew through Stephanie that the 2 filmmakers would be in town for the festival.  She also said many of the cast and crew would be in attendance.  It sounded like a perfect fit.  My first contact with the Gone Doggy Gone folks was a couple of hours prior to the Night of the Stars event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.  So at the last minute I grabbed my cameras and met Kasi, Brandon and Laila (Kasi's real dog and co-star in the movie) at their hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter.  From there we headed out to La Jolla for their  debut at the festival. 

While they were not officially on the list of celebrities in attendance for the Red Carpet they made the most of it.  After all that's what an adorable Yorkshire terrier is for, right.  After a brief stint on the carpet they lined up with the rest of the VIPs and waited to enter the theater.  And waited....

 Kasi and Laila on our way to the Night of the Stars in La Jolla

Kasi and Laila on our way to the Night of the Stars in La Jolla

 On the road and a little FaceTime back home

On the road and a little FaceTime back home

 We've arrived at the Museum of Contemporary Art

We've arrived at the Museum of Contemporary Art

 Final check before the Red Carpet

Final check before the Red Carpet

 Laila waiting her turn for the Red Carpet

Laila waiting her turn for the Red Carpet

 Kasi, Brandon and Laila on the Red Carpet

Kasi, Brandon and Laila on the Red Carpet

 Dog Paparazzo

Dog Paparazzo

 In the theater, finally...!

In the theater, finally...!

Dominique's Story

Here's a recent portrait I did for the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons of a very courageous woman with an incredible story. Here's an excerpt:

One evening in San Diego, February 2011, a throng of guests walked out of a nightclub and into the balmy night. The next moment, screaming and carnage - as a taxi inexplicably veered off the street and onto the sidewalk, raking through the disbelieving crowd.

One young mother - Dominique Gambale - sustained the most serious injury. This is her story, and how an orthopaedic surgeon who had served in Iraq called on his wartime experience to make sure Dominique's leg would get another chance.

You can read the rest of Dominique's story in her own words here:

http://orthoinfo.org/dominique/index.html

Early Influences

Been looking at some of the photographers that influenced me when I first started out - Robert Frank, Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Walker Evans, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Ralph Gibson, Clarence John Laughlin.  Frank, Klein, and Evans still resonate for me.  Gibson, not so much anymore.  Meatyard, Laughlin & Cartier-Bresson are great, just not as influential any more. Who were your influences?

Which early influences still resonate for you?

William Klein - Candy Store, Amsterdam Avenue, New York, 1954-55

Robert Frank - Trolley—New Orleans, 1955 from The Americans

Walker Evans -   Fish Market Near Birmingham, Ala., 1936

Henri Cartier-Bresson - Behind the Gare St. Lazare, 1932

Ralph Gibson - The Somnambulist, 1970

Clarence John Laughlin - The Masks Grow to Us 1947

Ralph Eugene Meatyard - Occasion for Diriment, 1962

Plastic Fantastic

I'm honored to have had all 4 of my entries selected for APA/SD's Plastic Fantastic Exhibition and Benefit Auction.  Juror Joseph Bellows of Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla selected 30 images that will be hung in a one night ONLY show at Subtext Gallery on Friday Sept. 3rd, 6-10PM.  All images will be sold to the highest bidder with an auction that night to benefit the AJA Project, a San Diego based non-profit that utilizes photography-based educational programs to transform the lives of displaced youth.  Come on by and check out some killer prints made from plastic cameras and an ancient plastic based material called film.  Who knows, maybe you'll leave with a great print.  And it's all for a good cause...Here's one of the images that was selected for the exhibition.  You'll have to come to the show next Friday to see my other 3 and the 29 other prints.  See you there!