and as in uffish thought he stood,
the buffalo, with eyes of flame,
came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
and burbled as it came!
yes, no camera trickery here. that-there would be a buffalo in our camp and me shooting with my 80mm fixed lens. we were preparing dinner and were suddenly alarmed by a large dark mass moving a tree next to our table…sure enough homeboy was a buffalo.
as you can see i scrambled to grab my camera and steal away a few pics of natures entertainment, but clearly i made sure the kids, family, and i stayed behind very large pieces of furniture (picnic tables and cars.)
he walked in, through, and out of our camp like he owns the place…i’m convinced he does.
we recently went out of town to yellowstone, and coincidentally ran into owners of another golden retriever who accompanied them at old faithful. at first glance i thought their dog had some funky hair disease, but as we approached them (and as it is impossible for my kids to pass a dog without petting it), we soon learned the couple had shaved/trimmed their dog’s heavy coat. the cool thing, it wasn’t just an all over trim but they intentionally left a racer stripe along it’s back. i didn’t know this, but it is quite a common practice for the heavy coat dogs to be trimmed down during the summer heat. this excited me and i was immediately inspired “i am sooo giving my dog a lion’s mane!!!”
we, on the other hand, had left our lovely lulu at home with my cousin. when we picked her up after our trip she was excited to greet us but something didn’t seem quite right, she was so tired and drooling like a raving mad man. my wife looked up on the internet (that information super highway is a mighty thing) and learned that it could very easily be a sign of heat exhaustion. our dog is mostly an indoor dog, but while we were away she was mostly outside in triple digit heat….the lion’s mane soon followed as a result of necessity and not just for my amusement. long live lulu the lionheart!!!
homage to Jonathan Canlas.
FILM IS NOT DEAD (and when it is read in the bathroom mirror DAED TON SI MLIF)
i recently visited with Jon and walked away with this nifty t-shirt as a gift. admittedly i wear it a ton and i can’t believe how many people are intrigued by what it has to say. (people are listening)
i deeply respect Jon, his work, his talent, his reservoir of knowledge that he shares, his voice, and what he is doing to give film a revival in the wedding industry. long live film. 100% film shooters for life!!!…indeed, film is not dead.
to learn more about Jon and his workshops titled “FILM IS NOT DEAD” click here.
if you didn’t get a chance to see Carly and Scott’s gorgeous backyard wedding, you have a chance to learn more of the story behind the wedding and see it on Style Me Pretty!
and if you’d like to see my full posting to the wedding event visit here.
this shoot is round two for april and i. i shot her first portraits about 4 years ago and they were all b&w with a very dark and moody heavy contrast. she approached me for another session and said she wanted to punch it up with some color (i think you’d agree we satisfied the request quite lovely.)
Q: what could be more delicious than a fun loving couple in a footed tub with bubbles and out on the backyard lawn?
A: a fun loving couple (kate and matt) in a footed tub with bubbles out on the lawn…and my camera.
michelle, or as i call her shadrack, has been my sidekick a-fightin and a-sweatin the spring and summer biz as she was interning with me. it has now come time for her turn to be in front of the camera as she will be marrying her handsome rock. yes, his name is rock.
what an incredibly striking couple, makes the photos delicious.
(oh yeah, she shoots with a hassey too!)
it is my hope that if you missed the exhibit that this video can give you some key insight into how the final prints were presented.
this video was shot by friend and fellow photog Matt McDaniel (many thanks Matt!!!)
and if needed, you can visit the original post to my blog that shares the story and 15 images that make up my death portraits here.
sharing a personal story and subject matter of this nature subjected myself to public criticism and my true vulnerable self was fully exposed – but what could i gain by not sharing what i felt in my heart? what benefit would i receive from harboring these experiences and bringing them to my own death bed never to share?
this life we live is meant to be *lived*. it is meant to be experienced. to be embraced. to be shared. to be true, to the fullest. to have no regrets. to open up and express and grow. in truth, i am surprised by the feedback from many that have thanked me for being so open…that they wouldn’t dare to do so. this is what i say to you….do it… you have a story. you have a heart….do it…be real. be honest. be sincere. grow. learn. appreciate. love….just think what would happen to our world and society if we listened to the voice that says “i can” rather than “i can’t”. think of the sitting potential in peoples hands and what could be done with it. think of how much of it is never shared and stays hidden never to receive it’s light. be brave. be honest. be true….be you.
the following are personal emails that i have received from others, and with their permission i am sharing their comments with you. **i do not share these comments for my own glory box, but rather it is shared in hopes that it becomes a source of shared encouragement and inspiration for you.**
“This morning I completely understood the touch, sight, and hollowness of words expressed only through pain, of the death you described in the publication you provided about your late mother. Last night/this morning I woke to a frantic call form my mother telling me my best friend and youngest brother of which I have done my best to protect from the evils of society of which I have experienced in the past to my fullest, that he went to sleep and never woke up… I rushed to the hospital.
———–defining emotion is near to impossible right now——
With loving touch, I stroked his skin. Caressed his beautiful face, kissed his cold forehead, and forced myself to say goodbye. MY GOD!
After wiping the tears from everything, the simple word “love you” excreted from my lips.
All the questions of should I’ve done more, or should I’ve done less, Have been con-jumbled into one big ball of knotted yarn that will take years to unravel, if ever unraveled at all.
Tonight I remembered your art show. Resolve holds no merit when avoidance guides your vessel.
Who knows…. At this point it’s all a big balled up knot of yarn.”
“Duston, the exhibit was amazing.. very thought provoking indeed. It touched my soul, thank you….”
“at first when I heard about the title of your project I was a bit disturbed. After reading your blog however, I was emotionally touched. The tragedy and horror of your experience in the hospital left a dark hole in your life at such a young age. The photos are beautiful and I think your mother would be proud of the artist you are, the man that you have become and for the bravery you exhibited in doing this project. ”
“words cannot express the awe I felt as I read your story and looked through your art. Breathtaking. I had no idea about your mother. I am so sorry for that. You write very beautifully. Your pictures are more than words can say. I feel bad I couldn’t make it that night. Thank you for sending the pictures and story. Beautiful.”
“The exhibit was amazing, I love what you captured. I think it was a very profound experience for you to go through and perhaps learned a few things along the way. As with any personal project, I guess we are always looking to learn more about ourselves in our quest. Right? As always you inspire me to conquer my own personal projects, thanks Duston!!”
“I just wanted to send you a note on how much I appreciate that there are photographers like you out there. I am about to go into my second year of studying photography, and when I see work like yours it makes so much sense.
Coming from a background in design, I always felt it too impersonal. Your exhibition has inspired me to keep on going with my photography, pursue some topics that I didn’t have a clue how to tackle and allow myself to make beautiful photographs that go beyond what is expected. I am so glad you posted it on your blog and had the generosity to share such a personal project….
Congratulations Mr. Todd, much respect to you and your beautiful, meaningful, inspiring work. ”
“Thank you so much for posting to your blog. I read the story behind your project and just had my breath taken away. Every person deals with death so differently and to hear how honest and raw your reaction was and how you shared that with everyone took such guts. I really admire the reason you pushed yourself so outside the box for this personal project. I hope there was some healing, forgiveness and closure through your creation of such wonderful and haunting art.
My baby boy died almost 7 years ago and I held him as we took him off life support. I shoot for a group called NILMDTS (now i lay me down to sleep). It’s an infant/child bereavement photography service, maybe you have heard of it? Anyway….. at the time of his birth and death I didn’t want any photos of my son and thankfully a nurse talked me into taking a few. I started shooting for friends/family that knew someone who had lost a baby just because my experience and talent were unique. Then I stumbled upon the NILMDTS website. Long story short, shooting these sessions of babies that have already died, are on life support or knowingly going to die soon is my ‘personal project’. I just wanted to share with you that I loved your project and it hit home just because of the death theme, plus, your story moved me. Thank you for having the courage to share your reaction to your mom’s death.”
i sincerely thank those that have opened their heart and have expressed what you have…i have grown because of you and i now understand better the purpose of this journey.
this is what art is all about.
and now it is your turn.