Augusta Maine Report, 093007

Fine Art Journalism: Everyone's doing it. (ex. Stephen Crowley's street portraits in Afghanistan, Sebastiao Salgado, photo news agencies like VII and Magnum) Why are so many people calling themselves 'journalists' leaning more towards 'fine-art' these days? (or was it just always there? are people more conscious of it?)
Writing about daily nothings, cultural somethings, on the reverse side of a working journalist's discarded reporters pad?
Or because they decided to clean the CCD of their camera by blowing spit on it?
A number of any other reasons?
Yes, all of these. Like the writers in 'Fierce Pajamas, An Anthology Of Humor Writing From The New Yorker' (2002(I haven't been able to read my copy until recently b/c a tom cat I used to have urinated on it.), it seems like journalists are trying to entertain themselves, while completing the job of informing others. It happens in a more expressive and less objective way.
Every writer seems to ask and answer his/her own questions. Makes writing interesting. Doesn't it?
Yes, it does.
No, I'm talking to you this time.

To: Reverse direction. Is that the way?

Is This Suppose ta Be Funny?: Did someone think it would be funny to open an animal shelter next to a Chinese restaurant? Or to open a Chinese restaurant next to an animal shelter? Or is this just an occurrence that points to an unfortunate stereotype?

Capitol Reflection: Old use of light for journalism.

Kitchen Window: New use of light for journalism. (At least I've seen it in reconstructive video journalism to signify the 'flashback' or a 'memory.'

Skyline: Sky lines, Augusta, Maine.

Saints': Michael School, Mary church.

To My Surprise: I went out to my storage unit thinking that I had at least three trips left. Not even. Only a single load. Thanks little truck. Now my day off can be a 'real' day off, sorta.


Augusta Maine Report, 092807

1.Development on Western Avenue in Augusta, Maine (Sept. 28, 2007)

2.The leaves are beginning to change to their Fall colors here in the Capital of Maine.

3.Fall foliage coming in across the Kennebec River from the Old Post Office Building in Augusta, Maine.

4.RGB: Walking home from work at night is more colorful than you might think.

5.A man takes a smoke break and reads a manuscript at the corner of Court and Chapel Streets in Augusta, Maine.

6.A collage view of a house on Weston Street, Augusta, Maine, with a spider in the foreground.


Your Call Cannot Be Accepted As Dialed

FINGERS DO THE WALKING?: I broke my phone on the rocks in Rockport, ME., a few days ago. I still haven't got it fix or a new phone. It might be a blessing in disguise. I have probably been calling my old friends too much, due to my, yet, lack of friends up here.
(My blog is a way I can communicate with other people, and I have been for 5 years or so now.) I go to the library to get Internet. Lithgow Library is only about a block from my house. And since I work evenings it is opened virtually all of my off hours. My boss says I should get Internet at home so I know what's going on in the world before I get to work. In a way that feels like I would be taking my work home with me. But when I thought about it again, that's what I would do anyway if I had Internet. Plus, since he is eventually requiring it, it is a definite tax write-off.
Doing 'the wire' news at work over the past couple days has made me feel more connected with the outside world. But living in Maine, feeling away from everything, and even having a broken cell phone seems exciting. However, it's just harder to get stuff done.
I'll probably order a new phone over the Internet today. Until I get one I'll continue practicing telepathy. If you feel me tuning into your head, please accept the charges. (Or make a tin foil hat.)


The Rain in Maine: Spout

SPOUT: Oh, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine. Oooooh, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine. Ohhh, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine, the rain in Maine. Thank You.


The Wire

WHAT WENT WRONG?: A lot of stuff. Give me a break. It was my first night doing 'the wire.' That is, taking photos and stories from world and national news outlets, mainly AP, but we run politics from The Post, hard news from The N.Y. Times, national and entertainment from The L.A. Times, Scripps Howard, and other wire stories.
There is a lot involved in putting a page of the newspaper together. That's why I made some mistakes. I like Whistler's legal defense when he was taken to court for not putting enough time into a commissioned piece of art. When the judge asked him how long it had taken him to complete the painting, he replied something like, "My entire life." Meaning that all of the experiences he ever had, all of the painting, laboring, eating, washing, listening, talking, learning, loving- manifests itself in his work. I like to use that explanation for everything I do.
"That sure was a good peanut butter & jelly sandwich, wasn't it?"
So for the past month or so I have been almost-only proofing, that is looking over other copy editors' pages for mistakes in style, design, whatever, just mistakes. You get to learn better how a page is suppose to look proofing.
I actually got the idea to start doing lead-ins on my blog from the photo caption lead-ins we do in the paper. But I forgot to do lead-ins to a couple photos tonight. A couple more nights and I'll be a lot better. It's a repetitive thing. An old lesson; practice makes perfect. It's how humans learn. Very simple.
It is in academics, mechanics, art.
Chan Chao, a documentary photographer and professor at the The George Washington University and the New York School of Visual Arts, used repetition in his 1991(?) portrait book of Burmese rebels, Burma: Something Went Wrong?
Today, history is repeating itself. Repetition: civil unrest. Until we learn to get along with one another, there will be. Again, today, in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, there is unrest.
We kill each other. That's no way to act. Spread the 'good word;' we should learn to live together. You would think after all of those generations, all that over and over, we would learn.
Say it. Don't Spray It -out of the end of an AK-47!
It doesn't have to come down to 'the wire!'
Chan, thanks for trying!


Morning Impulse Trip: Rockport, Maine

Up and At'em: Today I woke up just before sunrise & headed for the coast. It took me almost 45 minutes. The trip made me realize how nice it is to live on the Kennebec River and in Augusta, 45 minutes from the mountains; 45 minutes to the sea.
I took the two-lane highway, 17. When I got to Rockport, I was racing the sun, yet not breaking the speed limit (by much). I saw the harbor. The boats. I wanted the coast. The rocks.
Ahhh, I spotted it! I stopped my truck with a stall. Quickly grabbed my camera, lenses, cell phone, i-pod, toaster oven ... gotcha. Anyhow, I dashed (you can do that up here, dash, because it's kind of like England only New- hence New England) down to the beach. I put my feet in, Ahhh.
Awesome! Then I walked on the rocks. Whoa! Almost slipped there. Don't want to do that again ... Crash! I first check my lenses to see if they were alright. Ahh, thank God they aren't damaged. I retrieved my sandal and lens cap and kept walking. Only able to think, 'This is so beautiful.'

Then I started thinking it's going to be pretty hard for me to take any pictures here anyone hasn't seen before. All those inferior artists that came here before me mucked up the mix.

I decided to make a phone call and found that my flip phone had split in half when I fell. I made my way back to my truck thinking, 'Maine has such wonderful public lands.' Then some horsebackers trotted past. I thought, 'There's some inspiration.' As I was turning my truck around I saw a couple no trespassing signs and realized I was taking pictures from one of the holes of a fancy golf course. So much for public lands.
I made a pilgrimage to the Center for Maine Contemporary Art to get some inspiration. It was closed and the horses trotted by again. Well I guess horses are as good as it's going to get this trip.

I also stopped by Elan Fine Arts where I met Rusty and Randy who were painting a neighboring house. They even climbed down the ladder to talk to me. I gave them my card and asked if they used the Internet much. Rusty said, "I use it as a tool mostly. It's good to buy stuff." I agreed. And added that it can make anyone competitive, anywhere in the world. Randy agreed. And added they had to get back to work.

I snapped some driving shots on the way back to Augusta.

A kind of Christenberry/Evans/Hockney church. Call it a Corcoran church.

And I stopped at my storage unit. Slow and sure moves the stuff.

Bogata, Columbia Artist Exhibits in Augusta, Maine

Stretching My Legs: I'm not actually stretching these legs, made by the artist Marcela Rodriquez, I'm straightening them out after they have been in my storage unit. I finally have a new place, here in Maine, and I am looking for a piece of wall to stick these red legs on.
Coincidentally, after I rolled these legs out yesterday, Marcela contacted from Bogata, Columbia. And I had been thinking about contacting her too. I am finally beginning to learn that life is full of these coincidences. Some happy. (Some leading to a terrible death by the hand of an deranged clown who fires you from a circus canon and through a screen of titanium mesh leaving the 74 percent of your body that is water on the smiling spectators.)
Oh, yes coincidence ... I should also mention that she gave me these legs in payment for photographing her exhibit at Meat Market Gallery in D.C., towards the end of 2006. These legs are a beautiful piece of art. She is a beautiful artist. Coincidence?


Living in Maine

Living in Maine is like living in a National Park. No, not like 'the bums in D.C.' type of living in a National Park. The 'living in a national treasure' kind of living in a National Park.
Yeah, there are the downers. Like that guy I met at the Edwards House Inn who was fresh out of prison, for the second time. A Marine Corps vet who said, "... Yeah, so I decided to come to Maine. Because I thought, who's gonna find me here?!"
It had me thinking that maybe a lot of convicts come here and that's the reason the sheriff wants to rent a 'mobile unit' to house the overflow of the over-capacity county jail. The state government is already trying to take over control of the statewide county corrections system in an attempt to save money.
But as I was saying, Maine, in its entirety, is a giant National Park. And I live in the middle of it. (See, that only sounds good to some long-term tourists, like me.)

Sometimes I See Things in Maine

Lately, I've been noticing scenes that I could see might have inspired artists like Walker Evans or Stephen King. The inspiration that Maine gives feels great. And it comes without warning. Today I was on the Kennebec River Rail Trail, twice. First I was running; later on I took a walk to take some pictures. Out of nowhere I felt happiness, and smiled to myself. It makes me think of all the people who have inspired me throughout my life. I wish I could thank them all; I'll just thank Maine instead.

Maine Man

Maine is the United State East Coast's 'Great Northern Territory.' If Maine were a man ... A Maine man. He would, and is, rugged strolling up a path between the mountains and the rocky coast w/ hurricanes flailing at him from one side, and sub-arctic storms blowing at him from the other. Hard weather? But Maine is a Maine man, still strolling with his sleeves rolled up, whistling. If Maine the man had his choice of animal companions, as Paul Bunyan had his great oxen 'Blue,' Maine wouldn't do with just one. He would need a giant moose, a ferocious bear, and some kind of monstrous lobster. If Maine was a man he would be a fine man, way better than Paul Bunyan.


Cultural Details of Maine

1) HIPPIESQUE- It's apples season in Maine. The peak. I bought a bag of Maine apples a few days ago. (I'm still spending a lot of time moving in to my new place, or I would go pick them myself at one of the local orchards.) I thought it was nice that the apples had a coupon on the back for a free round for two at a Maine disc golf course.

2) OBITS- While I was processing obituaries for today's paper I received a call to confirm that I had received an individual's 'obit' and photo. After I confirmed it's receipt the caller told me to "make sure you don't crop the fez!"

3) DXING- I don't have a TV. I sold it to a girl in the Dollar Star store on Mt. Pleasant St. before I left D.C. I do have a shortwave radio that has a switch "local / DX." The DX switch allows me to pick up stations from a greater distance than a normal am/fm radio.


Another Way to Walk

I took Tarcy's, a workmate & writer for the Kennebec Journal's, advice or suggestion to walk home over the hill and past the airport instead of down Western Avenue all the time. I did last night. It was a great walk and I think it's about the same distance. On the top of the hill is the Augusta State Airport (which has a U.S. Air terminal); Camp Keyes, the National Guard base here; and Mount Hope Cemetery (the name of which leads me to believe that the hill might be called Mount Hope). There has been less people in my pictures in Maine and I was thinking that's good for a change.


Walking Home in Maine's Capital

the entire
setting of Augusta
is of an old Northern
Town. It feels
like it might have
an easy time moving
to Canada or Alaska.
Southern Alaska. Semi-
Trucks crawl up
Western Avenue, past
the Capitol and the
Great Northern shopping
plazas in the middle
of night, leaving
no trail of exhaust,
but the smell of fresh
pine. This this this is the
Pine Tree State. This
this is vacationland. This
is The Capital of
Maine, USA.

Two Views of Augusta

Augusta is great. I'm still making mistakes, but doing wicked better. Thanks for asking.

Udder Alternatives

I never drink milk. Unless it's chocolate, or cream in coffee. Or from the bottom of cereal.


New-New Journalism

A grad student at
Georgetown University
is going to interview
me as part of her
Comm. Culture & Tech
thesis project.
I was flattered that
she would want
my opinion (and
that her professor
recommend she inter-
view me)! Her research
focuses on images of
war. In thinking on
this subject recently
I wrote:

New-New American
recognizes that
many times a picture
tells the story better
than words can. A
Story is both visual
and verbal. Imagine
as language itself
was being developed
by man, at one
time language
gestures were
probably more
prominent (than words). In
ancient tales of
battle these
gestures are (and translate into) the
images of war
we see in the
newspapers and
on televisions.

Not sure how profound it is.
But it's cool to think about.


New Colonial Living

My new colonial
apartment is located
in the second floor
of this awesome
Maine-esque Apartment
Home. I think there
is less space wasted
in northern homes.
I am used to the 9 -
10 foot ceilings of D.C.
(Which was probably better
for the climate, the sweltering
summer humidity and all.
It could also be where all
the extra rent money goes.)
Here the ceilings on
buildings are lower
which I imagine is
more comfortable,
even cozier when
it comes to Winter
weather. (Also, more
affordable to heat. If
you're renting an
apartment in Maine,
chances are your
landlord is paying
the heating bill.)
I'll probably
regret saying this
but, I can't wait
for the seasons
here! We are on
the verge of the
picturesque Fall
New Colonial, New
World, New England
-remember shower curtain
-get a spoon
-used rifle, 30.06?

Trucks Doing Good

this when I stopped to
take a picture of the
Maine State Capitol on
my way to my storage
unit. Notice the
sweet Lobster plates.

New Colonial Communication

I got my SLR out of the
Capital Area Storage unit
a couple days ago. It
brings back memories
of my old, worry-free
D2X days.

Tribute to Development

This is a tribute to my friend Andrew Bain. He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia. His family lived there for like 500 years. They have watched the landscape change over generations, literally. Andrew Bain takes fine art photography on the waves edge of mass-development that is swarming agriculture and wildlife with apartment buildings and strip malls. It's happening all over America. I'm noticing it more than ever here in Augusta, Maine. But I remember proof-reading an article in the Kennebec Journal that said Maine has a pioneer plan it is testing to lessen the detrimental effects of development.
An early photo that points at this issue in a slightly different way is Stieglitz "The Steerage." Because the line between development and wildlife/agriculture is somewhat of a class issue.
To see other photos that try to draw attention to land development check out Kim Kirkpatrick's photos. He was an instructor to Andrew Bain at the Corcoran College of Art. I also took a color photo class with Kim Kirkpatrick.

New Colonial Project

This is The Pine Tree State
Running on CentralMaine
And this is Augusta.
A new American
suburban colony

From: Augusta To: Augusta

I have moved out of the Edwards House Inn. I have started moving into a house on Weston Street.


Tribute to Marcel Duchamp

I sometimes get out of work earlier on weekends than during weekday because I arrive earlier to process obituaries. Sunday night I got out at 11:30 p.m. I bought a 6-pack of beer (Geary's pale ale made in Portland, Maine) and made a tribute to Marcel Duchamp with yesterday's (now yester-yesterday's) newspaper. (I wish more girls had mustaches.) Good thing I said that parenthetically! (skye.) (syke-syke.) (wtf?)


Bored in Augusta, Maine

It was bound to happen. It's happened everywhere I've ever lived or visited. Now I am in Augusta, bored. It's a lot more beautiful here than in many of those other places. But I'm here by myself. In an empty city. Bored.


Problemfall KSK - Deutschlands Eliteeinheit in Verruf

The German television news show "Monitor" used some of my 2001 - 2002 Kandahar, Afghanistan images in a report they did recently on a prisoner who was in the detention facility during that time.
I have linked the above images to the Web TV report. They used 6 of my pictures. I'm glad those pictures are still telling a story!


Augusta Non-Comic Strips

I was thinking this might be funny, wrong.
The first comic refers to an article in the Kennebec Journal's Opinion Page last week saying that native Mainers are less interested in the conservation of Maine than non-natives. Which is true most of the time, in most places.
2.) No ATVs in the Kennebec Highlands! The crazy people up here were trying to pass a law that would allow four-wheelers on the same trails as hikers.
The third comic refers to Rob, the psycho kid that lives on the third floor of the Edwards House Inn. He went to the mental hospital for attacking his mom, his dad is a state attorney. Now he spends his free time roaming the halls of the Edwards House Inn trying to bum money and beer and crapping in the second floor bathtub.
Forth, The Arby's up here has free wi-fi, wooooo! Roast beef and Web surfing!
5.) Lobsters!
Family Circus) the low-level crimes people get put in jail for around here, and the insane crimes they seem to go free on. The jails are so crowded the state is trying to take over the county jails to save money.
7.) There are actually an abundance of mentally ill folks up here. AMHI refers to The Augusta Mental Health Institute, now defunct. But they let everyone out, and apparently they're still here. Just hanging around the libraries and whatnot. They call them AMHI Alumni. Good for writing material, bad for shower hygiene.