I took this photo of a street performer on my final day in Florence. I had just run out of euro so he was plenty mad I took his photo without paying him for it. If I had the money I would. Sorry, buddy. :-)
Bombay Beach is a welfare town. A tiny neighborhood on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea where if you cut out the peripherals can easily resemble an atomic bomb testing area. Partly buried in putrid water and dead fish, with not much to do and nothing open past 6PM, the residents spend a lot of time indoors with whatever creature comforts they can afford, which probably isn't much with the median household income here only $16,000 per year. These two ladies were out for a stroll down to their buried trailer park ghost town to watch the sunset, but not without a fly swatter. An American Flag covers the bag draped over the back of this woman's scooter and she told us the government flies in canned goods for them to eat once a month. Despite their poor diet and unsavory living conditions, these two were very kind and outgoing and spoke with pride about their little corner of the universe.
I turned down an alley in Florence while searching for things to photograph and found it to be a dead end. When I turned around, I saw this man stopped while reading the paper and loved the image with the graffiti.
Inspired by the beautiful works of Joel Tjintjelaar, this photo was taken between the twin towers of The Grande at Santa Fe Place in downtown San Diego. A friend of mine lives here and while dropping him off one evening I looked up from the middle of these two buildings and had an idea. I have the tools so why not try it out? There are great shadows all over from all the balcony planes along with great reflective surfaces to work with. This shot required 13 stops of neutral density using a BW 10-stop as well as a lee 3-stop in a holder. This shot was taken at around 1 PM and the process of adjusting the shadow and light using masks took about ten hours to complete. I love this technique and will do it again someday. Thankfully Joel is open to teaching his techniques, just like I am.
Beauty is often in the places less-traveled. While the other tourists are scouring The Ponte Vecchio around the corner this little scene awaits in solitary and humble grace in an otherwise uninteresting dead-end alleyway. I have no idea what inspired me to enter this little five meter corridor but when I turned around and saw what could not be seen from outside I was grateful for what I was given. The lonely and seductive light and shade bathing this bicycle and wall, I joking thought, went unnoticed by all but me on this day. While still chuckling at the mere thought of this, I couldn't help but wonder if Italians wonder why we foreigners are so interested in taking photos of their bicycles. Do they think we are silly, or perhaps just bicycle enthusiasts? Then I wondered if they are so used to seeing this type of scene they are immune to it's beauty and charm? This thought was squashed by the pure fact that the owner of this bicycle could not have parked it in a more perfect way to marry it to the rest of the artistry that is this little hidden gem. After all, they created this beauty and only add to it daily.