A photo I took on the opening night of Total Fest X made it into the Missoula Independent this week. It’s a shot of Dane Hansen, aka Bad Naked, making a huge mess of the Top Hat’s floor and himself. The text beneath the photo is a Pro/Con type discussion about Bad Naked’s “art.”
Near the beginning of his performance (or rather … “performance”) he tore into the paper mache whale he had on stage. I think ballons and candy were involved. Then, out came the fruit. Yep, wet, messy, sticky, gross, doesn’t-belong-in-a-bar fruit. Some revelers were giddy with smiles thinking how cool it was. Others, like the people that work really, really hard to organize the event and the volunteers that had to clean up after him weren’t so smily.
Personally, I thought the spectacle was barely more than that … a spectacle, and I’m really glad my camera didn’t get banana’d. Also, the music sucked.
And so it begins…
For the past umpteen months, I have been working, ahem … “working” on a project with a big, loud, weird friend of mine named Lance. He goes by Lando. He’s a character to say the least. We decided to capture and present to the world many different looks of Lando and package them up, calendar style. With many, many nights and weekends spent shooting photos of things that make certain people cringe, kick ass help from our web developing friend and lots of eye rolling from others, we have officially launched Lando406.com, and have pulled the trigger on ordering the first run of Lando 2013 calendars. 12 months of half-baked photos of a big dude doing big things: mountain biking on an exercise bike, loving cats, and getting whooped at tennis.
If you are in or near Missoula on November 2, 2012 we will be having a First Friday-type opening and sales event of the calendar at Stockman’s Bar on Front street.
I love having a personal photography project going on. There are many identifiable stages of the process, and right now, being at or near the completion stage, is always a good feeling and an even better reminder of why its important to keep at it. Laughter, happiness, accomplishment and all around good feelings are the reason to keep pressing on. We’ll see how “successful” this project is in terms of being a money maker. But even if it falls flat, I’ve created something, and at this point it can”t be undone. It’s out there and can’t be taken back. Onward.
I love those moments when you know – without hesitation – that there is no place else you would rather be and nothing else you would rather be doing. This is how Saturday was for me. Spent the day at the Treasure Bowl skating, shooting photos, connecting with old and new friends, and watching some rather notable visitors tear it up. Lance Mountain, Jeff Grosso, Steve Olson, Duane Peters, Arto Saari and a host of others were here to mark the 10th anniversary of the bowl … and maybe party a little. Here’s some photos:
It totally came, totally kicked some arse, and is now totally in the books. Talkin’ about Total Fest of course. And in case you’re unaware, Total Fest is a Missoula-based rock fest geared toward lesser known, independent bands. Another way to say it is that TF is a living, breathing, performing laboratory in which scientists study how humans interact when subjected to three days of noise, youth covered in jean shorts and tank tops, former youth who speak of the “good ol days,” while being subjected to a lot of other people’s body odor. Funny thing is, the whole shebang is damn enjoyable.
This was the fourth consecutive year I have photographed the fest. Each year has its own unique vibe, and this year was no different. Hard to describe, but I liked it. I liked that the first band I photographed was more or less a country band. A little bit later, it was a surf rock band. Enjoyed a dose of stoner rock. And to cap things off, some face-melting hard rawk. (it’s spelled like that to emphasize how rocky the rock really was. got it?)
The weekend was also a great time to hang out and float with some good friends who were in town, float a river, drink a few beers and recreate scenes from “What About Bob.” It’s how all good weekends go, right?
Here’s some photos:
With the mercury topping out around 95 degrees in most of western Montana lately, it is obvious that summer is here fo’ real. While that’s hot, it’s laughable by the rest of the country’s standards. Nonetheless, I’ll take it … gladly! The hot conditions lately are responsible for me having a great birthday with family, attempting to do some river surfing on the 4th of July, shooting photos around town (between dips in the river), and generally enjoying some amazing evenings sitting around the fire pit (which is actually a wheelbarrow). Here are a few images from the last week or so.
A couple weeks back I was asked by good friend and 1/3 of the genius that is Dead Hipster, Chris Baumann if I’d be willing to spend a Thursday night photographing them in action at one of their Thursday night Dead Hipster dance parties. This is kind of like asking a kid if they would like to stick their face in a bag of sugar. Obviously, I didn’t need much time to think about it.
Here are a few shots from an insanely fun Thursday night shooting at the Badlander. I can’t thank Chris, Mike and Abi enough for allowing me to a part of the fun. If you ever happen to be in Missoula on a Thursday night and want to max out your fun-o-meter, go to Dead Hipster.
You might remember from this post here that I shot aerial silk performer and athlete Bethany Stanbery hanging from a silk in the Bitterroots. Since then, we have been planning more shoots and brainstorming more locations. About a week ago, we conquered location number two. Made possible by Levi Parchen, who rigged up the whole shebang, the Missoula Police Department and the City of Missoula Engineering Division, this shoot turned out better than I imagined it was going to, given the challenges we faced. Once again, schedules, cold weather, rain, wind and some snow caused us to reschedule the shoot a few times. And then on the night that we had a green light, the college basketball team was playing in a championship game a short walk away which meant the possibility of too many people coming and going through the shot. But, in the end it all worked out and was totally worth it. And, just like our first shoot down the Bitterroots, the images created during this shoot had me reeling with excitement or a few days. Hell, i’m still reeling with how they turned out. I am very excited about this ongoing project and am excited to see where it leads.
In fact, throughout this project, I have been reminded why I love photography so much. Everything I look at I try to figure out how we could rig a silk to it, where I would shoot from, what I would use for lighting, etc. It’s projects like these that force you to look at your surroundings a bit different (and crawl around underneath a bridge like a crazy person) trying to previsualize a shot. A bridge becomes a great location, as does a tree or a building, and then the mind is off to the races. In so many ways, it is exactly like another lifelong passion of mine, skateboarding. Having looked at curbs, loading docks, handrails and transitions for decades wondering how I can ride them, this project feels familiar.
Bit late to the ol blog party here, but better late than never, eh? Last weekend was a whirlwind of awesomeness, starting with the Atari show at the brink, digging the banked slalom course at the Bowl on Saturday, catching the Bacon & Egg CD release show at the Palace and capping it off with a sunny race day back at the Bowl. The kind of weekend that makes other weekends jealous.
Here are a grip of images at the Bacon & Egg show, with a few shots of Mike & Rick, Total Combined Weight and Spirit Hole thrown in for good measure. They’re all untouched, uncut, unedited, un-anythinged. Just nice and raw.
I’ve been getting pretty ancy lately to get up above the valley to shoot some photos of Missoula since all the autumn colors are goin’ off. I finally got the chance tonight, and can’t believe how incredible it is right now. I am so glad I got some photos since after living here for 35 years, I know all too well that the leaves will be on the streets in a few days and then they’ll be covered in snow for months. Perhaps displays like this one are Mother Nature’s way of easing us into the grey season…or maybe it’s a cruel joke. Either way, Missoula kicks ass right now.