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Black Holes

When giant things move,
we’ve learned, they warp time
and the space around them. 
They push gravity
the way ships push water
away from their sharp bows.
So two black holes that swing
and spin around one another
like figure skaters on black ice,
as these giants stare
into one another’s enormous, dark eyes,
they ripple the past and the future
all around them.

I think of the infinite, infinitesimal galaxies
that are constantly being born
and destroyed in the thin gaps
between my fingernails and fingers,
the solar systems of dust
gathering under my bed.
For the inhabitants that sense
my hulking presence,
aren’t I like those black holes?

As I thump and rumble across rooms,
my sharp nose splitting the air
out in front of me,
aren’t I warping time?
Doesn’t the past and the future
coalesce right in front of my eyes?
If I could simply focus,
wouldn’t I be able to see you again,
walking slowly under the bare branches
of winter oaks, smoking a cigarette?
Shouldn’t I be able to talk to you,
shouldn’t I be able to apologize
for the huge spaces that opened
between us?

Outside and Empty Places with Josh

Josh and I decided to go explore the the woods as well as a small pump house that I remembered. It was funny looking at these after the shoot. I didn't realize how tough work boots make someone look. Not that Josh isn't tough, just seemed like he doesn't project that side of his personality when he is talking with me. Really comes through in these images, but I couldn't see it through the lens. Maybe because we were laughing a lot. Can't wait to shoot him again.

 Best hair ever.

Best hair ever.

Night Skates with Brandon Nguyen.

We've unintentionally been doing a tour of skates spots in San Mateo county. 

It started out in El Granada / Half Moon Bay along Highway 1. After Brandon told me about it, I read an article about the project to put a skate ramp in a dusty squarish piece of ground, right off the highway that probably serves as parking for when Mavericks is running. In some of the shots that I posted earlier, you can see the giant radar "golf ball" that dominates the point, off of which, when a big storm rages in the Pacific, the Mavericks waves are pushed 30, 40, sometimes 60 feet high by the reef below. Kind of a fitting for the wave of half-pipe.

But if I back up a little further, I met Brandon when he set up the skate board I bought last summer? The summer before? I'm not actually sure. He knows Kay, so he gave me a discount on the board which fits in so well with his personality. Really nice even if you barely know him, really patient with stupid questions, really willing to let me fumble around with my camera as he skates the shit out of wherever we are. He lets me know where to be to get the good skate shot, he tells me the names of the tricks which sound like they're spoken in a language that would have been developed  by the lost British boys in Lord of the Flies. Fakie, ollie, 50-50 grind, feeble, kick-flip, backside air.

So, of course, he was gracious enough to indulge me when I had an idea for a cool skate shot. A shot I have yet to get, by the way. I tried that first evening in Half Moon Bay, and failed.

After that I basically asked him to give me a heads up if he's skating in the area and he always does. And those are the photos below. First at the Foster City skatepark, then over at Shoreview.

We also always seem to shoot the shit a lot while we're doing this. Probably because I'm jealous of his life and want to know all the little details of what it's like to be a skater. This sometimes is hindered by the fact that I don't want to sound like a little high school nerd asking the popular cool kid dumb questions. Who wants to look dumb in front of the cool kid?

Anyway, was an awesome pleasure to get to shoot and to hang out with Brandon over the last few months. He's headed to on a trip to go skate the castles of Japan for November. Hopefully we'll get to try and take the shot I want when he gets back. And he's not really skating the castles of Japan, just skating in Japan. Or maybe he is... I have no idea. That would actually be really cool if he was.

And a few nights later, Shoreview Skatepark.

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Sunset Skate with Brandon Nguyen

I was on a quest to get a shot that I thought would be really cool. I failed. But I got some fun shots as consolation prizes.

Brandon Nguyen who, if you don't know, is an amazing local skater, sponsored by Adidas, works at Atlas Skate Shop, world traveler, etc., was cool enough to help me try to get the shot. What I had in mind was him, in flight, against a spiral or star trails. Yes, I could easily make the shot in Photoshop, but where's the challenge of that. I wanted it in camera.

He knew of a decent half-pipe just off Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay, so we met out there right around sunset.

I made a few misjudgments (putting the tripod on the ramp (it moved, duh), not compensating for as much light pollution as there was, and maybe the flashes set at too low power), so I didn't get what I wanted, but still got some shots that I really like. And Brandon was super cool and patient letting me try different things. You should follow him on Instagram as he has one of the coolest handles, @tokyo_school_girls.

We'll try again. I really liked combining the different types of photography I'm into, astrophotography, skate photography, etc. Maybe I'll get him to skate naked next time to combine even more genres. Haha.

 

 Launching above the evening traffic on Highway 1.

Launching above the evening traffic on Highway 1.

 With the Pacific and the Half Moon Bay golf ball in the background.

With the Pacific and the Half Moon Bay golf ball in the background.

 Testing the setup with Kay.

Testing the setup with Kay.

 Lift off.

Lift off.