Blue Planet II Inspiration

I’ve been in love with the Planet Earth and Blue Planet series for what seems like forever, and I’m not kidding when I say I’ve watched all the episodes about a hundred and eleventy times. The stunning images combined with David Attenborough’s sly narration – “He’s had an enjoyable lunch, but now it’s time to find a MATE!” will rivet me to the couch for hours. Really, David Attenborough could do the narration for someone breaking down the transmission on a 1997 Honda Element, and I would sit through the whole thing, completely enrapt.

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So in celebration of Blue Planet II being finally released in the U.S. – you lucky Brits got it months ago – I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken of our watery world.

One of my goals this year is to improve my underwater photography, so hopefully by Blue Planet III I’ll have some images taken from beneath the surface.

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Until then, I’ll just continue to peer into ocean from the surface.

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Photos: Electric

Decatur has a new series of street art (I hope it’s officially sanctioned so these pieces stay up and don’t get painted over) that turns the dull green electrical boxes on every corner into whimsical street art:

The top two are by an artist with the intials LEC and the bottom I don’t think has a signature, so if you know either of them please let me know so I can give them proper credit and maybe link to some of their other art!

Also wanted to share this one which I put on my instagram a while back. Unbelievably, this piece was painted over just days after it was completed – it was a commissioned piece but then the building was sold and the new owners painted it out. Such a shame. It’s by popular Atlanta artist Catlanta and you can check his other work out here

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And please check out my instagram as well. More street art, travel stuff, and general nattering.

 

 

Windows & Doors

 

Today’s windows and doors are brought to you by the lovely town of Oaxaca, Mexico, where I spent a week admiring the graceful colonial architecture and shimmering colors, and showcasing my inability to take a photograph with a level horizon.

Some fun links for your Thursday….

Over the holidays I went to Florida to visit family, and for the second year in a row I was able to go snorkeling with the manatees at the Homasassa River. I went with these fine folks, who are very knowledgeable and also very careful of the manatee’s safety and wellbeing; I highly recommend them. I also highly recommend this Cressi dive mask; I snorkel whenever possible and I am always being driven crazy by leaky masks. Is my face a weird shape? Am I Max Headroom? Who knows. But this mask is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t leak on me and I think it was only about 50 bucks.

On the subject of safely snorkeling with manatees, and manta rays, and alligators – well, maybe those you just observe from a distance – my amazing friends Claire and Jeremiah have the first episode of their kick-ass webseries, Kickass Animal Encounters, up and running, and you should totally check it out, because it is – wait for it – kickass. You can also see more coolness on their blog! Go! Right now!

(And at the risk of blowing my own horn, if you watch the “Update” video, the huge map that Claire is pointing to is totally MY map, on the wall of MY den, so I feel I should get at least 12% of the credit for the awesomeness of that segment.)

(Although an argument could be made for 15)

If you need to chill out this chilly Thursday, I recommend Watership Song by User’s Atmosphere, which you’ll sadly have to listen to only on youtube because I can’t find a purchase link to it anywhere; or Clubbed to Death by Rob Dougan, which IS available on Amazon, and is the best thing about the third Blade movie, besides Ryan Reynolds’ abs.

If you’re into movies check out the Reel Snobs podcast! Sassy Chicks discussing Flicks. I love it. Reel Snob Kalena even got on CNN this week!

Finally, a quick shout out to my favorite instagrams of the week: @egzgiozcan, who I think is Turkish and fills her instagram with her quirky illustrations, which I love, and @javie.33, one of my favorite underwater/wildlife photographers on insta. His boat photo from yesterday is particularly gorgeous.

Enjoy! And have a great, safe weekend of adventures…

Oh, good grief, I almost forgot – I’ve written an ebook! As many of you know I work in film and television, and I wrote an ebook on How To Be A Movie Location, for anyone who’s interested in renting out their home/office/property to a film production. Money! Excitement! Craft Services! It’s all in there and it’s only $1.99 as a download so check it out!

 

 

Wild-out Wednesdays: Windows and Doors

I have an odd affinity for pictures of windows and doorways.

doorway with bougainvillia, Tangier, Morocco
doorway with bougainvillia, Tangier, Morocco

I have huge collection of them – in fact I once did an entire photo project on doorways, and how they symbolize that spot where you shift from your “home” self, to your more reserved, protected “public” self. It’s sort an odd reversal of what with think doors are for – to keep the outside world out – and what they actually do, which is allow us back in.

I think I have doorways on my mind because I’ve been chained to my desk doing paperwork for a week, after a week of being outside and at the beach in Puerto Rico, and I am really chafing at the bit. Sometimes you can get a little too locked in your own head and forget what the real goals are – in my case, photography and storytelling – and you need to nudge yourself back onto the proper path. Is that too woo-woo mystical? Maybe. Maybe I just need a kick in the pants to get me out the door and outside.

These two windows are from a trip to Spain a couple of years ago, where I spent a day wandering the famous Alhambra palace, which is seriously eye-popping as a whole, but also filled with small vingnettes of such intricate detail that I could have – and did – spend hours falling into elaborate patterns of carved plaster and interlocking tile. The gardens around the palace were lush and green, and the reflected light filled the rooms with a soft, verdant illumination, like aquarium light, or the light you see when you look up towards the sky when you are below the surface whlle swimming. Odd to be in such a desert-like place, and yet be so enveloped by the coolness of water.

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In a further attempt to get out of my own head, I think I’m going to start to post once a week or so about stuff that’s come across my radar that I happen to like – other photographers, music, books, whatever. Prepare for randomness.

Music I’m listening to: This Song by Gotan Project has been one of my faves for, like, ever. I even had it on one of my phones as the ringtone, so I could feel sultry and tango-ish whenever the phone rang. Listen to it while chilling, or while strutting about with a rose in your teeth. Queremos Paz by Gotan Project

On the other hand, I just heard this song at a trivia game last night (we lost. AGAIN) and it cracked me up. Apparently it’s what all the kids are listening to, now that the Ne Ne has had it’s moment. I could swear this is a Sly and the Family Stone hook that they’re sampling, but I can’t quite place it… I love Myself by Kendrick Lamar

Instagram awesomeness: I am probably biased because of my recent trip, but check out @backpackpr on instagram for amazing pictures of an island I’ve come to love. Especially if all you know of Puerto Rico is San Juan, and maybe Rincon if you’re a surfer, this stream will show you a whole other side of the island – literally, in some cases, as it tends to focus on the Island’s wilder south coast and mountainous interior. https://instagram.com/backpackingpr/

Fave filmmaker: Everyone loves Andy Brandy Casagrande, but for my money Kina Scollay is the wild man to watch on Shark week, if only for his calm, wise face and crazy head o’ dreads. Follow his Instagram, or check out Big Blue Backyard, which was a New Zealand nature program that he provided a lot of the imagery for (only avail on Youtube, if you’re not in NZ, for some reason), or just go by his heart-stoppingly awesome website. Please, god, let me be as cool as Kina when I grow up…

Current reading: I realize I am totally late to the party with this, but I came into Born to Run, the great epic of UltraRunning by Christopher McDougall, thru the back door; I read his newest book, Natural Born Heroes, first, and then went looking for everything else I could find by him. Both are in heavy rotation on the nightstand as my “a-few-pages-before-bed-to-get-inspired” reading. I read these and came away convinced anyone could become a superhero.

Ummm…think that’s it for now, everyone have a good Wednesday….

At the Edge Of The Sea… Shane

Continuing the edit for my film At the Edge of The Sea this week. I am so close to being done I can… well, maybe not taste it, but catch of whiff of it here and there. We have so much spectactular footage I want the film to be nine hours long so I can show it all off.

One of our huge helpers, interviewees, and all around awesome people in the film is Shane, from North Island Surf & Kayak. If you’re in the Tybee/Savannah area you should totally check them out! Kayak and SUP rentals, tours, and all kinds of crunchy outdoor goodness.

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“My Dad always told me there are two types of people as pertains to the ocean – there are those who can take it or leave it, or those that can never leave it.” – Shane 

New Projects: The Palette Series, and Compact

I’ve just started a new photo project (because I don’t have enough half-finished projects laying around, including my documentary At The Edge Of The Sea, which is half-way thru post and may put me in my grave before it’s done). I did a shoot last week that involved photographing an art class doing oil paintings, and my friend Phillip (the actual photographer on this job) mentioned how cool the mixing pallets for each of the students were.

And BANG, just like that I’m obsessed and have a new project:

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I love them because they are sort of textural and abstract at the same time. And the colors! Meow.

In the interest of my sanity, I am going to abandon (har) my “Abandonded Buildings” project, largely because I can’t compete with the incredible stuff that’s being done in that area – really, go hit up Instagram and look up @abandoned_world and some of the other photographers doing stuff in that vein, it’ll blow your mind – and replace it with this new Palette series.

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Also on the new (sob) project front, I’m planning to start a web series called “Compact” which is all about small-space living – tiny houses (I’m obsessed with tiny houses), living on boats, RV living, cool studio conversions, you name it. I think it’ll be really fun. I’m constantly trying to downsize/simplify my own life so this gives me an outlet for that particular obsession.

Projects! I just listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast where he talked to musician/artist/all around cool babe Amanda Palmer, and at one point she talked about constantly having like 97 projects going at once, and I swear my reaction was, thank god it’s not just me. Hopefully you’ll enjoy some of my nonsense as it gets out there…