Art Deco

6:40am. 75 degrees cool. The sun was just beginning to reach the horizon. I parked my car in a neighborhood known as SoFi, which refers to it’s exact location—south of Fifth Ave on the Beach. I used to live in this area when I was living and working in Miami over the summer months. It was a comfortable hello after my (at the time, I thought) final goodbye. The beach is alluring, no one can deny it. Crystal beaches with blue hues that stretch far beyond any color spectrum. Perfectly groomed palm trees.  Color palettes of warm pastels highlighted by neon trim lights. Once illuminated the city literally glows in technicolor.  Aesthetic paradise. 

The Art Deco district is primarily concentrated in about 20 blocks on the Beach.  Although, it’s prominent vernacular motifs and artistic colorings are seen in almost every neighborhood in Miami, and even the entire state of Florida I’ve found.  Anyway, I pack my camera backpack with every camera tool I have, stuff a lightweight tripod in there somehow, jump on my bike and start cruising down Ocean Ave.  I travel lightly when I know I have lots of ground to cover. And usually I am the only human within several blocks when I shoot cities at sunrise.  I was pleasantly shocked to see how vibrant the movement was that early.  And I don’t know why I expected anything less.  To see the sun rise slowly between hundreds of palm trees as they cast lengthy cool shadows over the facades of the City’s most famed hotels and attractions is a scene from a romantic dream. 76 degrees with soft sun and a gentle misty atmosphere blowing against my skin gave me goosebumps on the back of my neck. I was smitten for the unconstrained romance the city gives me. It was actually… perfect.  It was actually unreal.   I live and breathe for those moments.  It becomes a matter of racing against the Earth.  Light is a tool, utilize it to the best of your ability.  Even if it calls for early wake-up times and ungodly amounts of caffeine. The dedication to becoming a particular person who approaches life creatively isn’t easy & it takes patience.  A virtue artists share mutually. 

" We’re all waiting for the earth to turn. "

The body of work is one I’m overjoyed to share with those who follow my work closely.  It’s been one that has taken almost a year to produce.  And the whole body has been shot over 4 days.  The familiar smell of the streets, whose sidewalks are even painted pastel colors, to the apologetic shade from palms on the hot high-light afternoons have treated me well.  I’ll walk away from this city for the last time, perhaps not, with a sense of accomplishment.  For once I have received in return what I’ve given to a city—admiration and a landscape perfectly fit for the looker in me.  Until next time, Miami.

There is something alluring about the city when all light from the sun is shut out from the earth’s turning. We’re just waiting for the earth to turn. Lights, one by one, in each modular window of a skyscraper, fades in and glows warm against the deepening black sky. The city transcends into a night town, a different place completely.
I sat on top of a 10 story tall parking deck in the heart of Atlanta watching this unfold in front of my eyes and all around me. Just me, my camera, my eyes, my solitude, my thoughts. I could live this life every day if it means I could witness the shift in hues and luminosities in the sky and in the streets above and beyond any and every major city in the world. Damn.

What inspires you the most?

I live in the crevasses between beats and float inside harmonies.  I become enthralled with visual fantasies when I listen to music.  It becomes my most reliable bank for inspiration. 

Follow my Soundcloud for a brief listen to what’s living inside of my head.

FEB. 8TH - SMOKE SIGNALS

Waking to the light tapping of rain droplets on the window next to my head, it was a day of all days & nothing different.  Routine.  Habits.  It began as melancholic as the days before.  Reluctantly to pry myself from my bed, I started my day.  The day started gray.

It wasn’t until I got into my car that the day began to escalate.  Driving down the main drag, I noticed an alluring blackness to the sky.  Instinctively, my heart dropped.  My eyes started scanning.  My mind running faster and faster.  My adrenaline pumping.  My hands shaking.  My foot hit the gas and I raced towards it. 

Luckily for me I was well equipped with all of my camera gear in the back of my car.  I remembered that the night before I decided to not shoot what two slots of 4x5 film I had left.  I had two shots to make of what I embarked upon, and I had to make it count.  My adrenaline was pumping more and more.  Pressure was high.  Right place at the right time.

I parked my car as close (and by close, I mean walking distance from the closest road, which was directly next to the fire) and started running.  Tripod, camera bag, view camera, and a crazy woman sprinting towards fire and smoke.  As witnesses would describe, I was drunk off madness.

The tall billowing clouds resembled an exploding volcano, an eruption of energy, a beautiful disaster, a tower of terror.  It was alive and growing exponentially.  Arriving to the scene the roads were still filled with passing cars and trucks.  People were walking up the nearest road to view the carnage from overhead.  I was one of those people until I was pushed back.  No time to look, only time to shoot.  I set up my view camera in record time and snapped the two shots that could make me the artist I want to become.

This lasted the entire day.  Meeting up with close friend and fellow photographer, Parker, we ventured off to impulsively record the day in our creative fleets. 

The Flames were fueled by a plethora of rubber tires that were ignited by a propane explosion.  As one would assume, rubber burns and burns and burns some more.  The smoke is extremely thick and toxic.  The fire lasted for several hours leaving the factory melted like a wax candle.  Flattened and charred black. 

Around sunset, Parker and I sat on a rooftop watching what was left of the expulsion of smoke while the sun was setting.  It was romantically heartbreaking.  The end of a destruction.  The beginning of new creation.  And a sight of tragic beauty. 

"Destruction is a form of creation."