Travel

After the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain earlier this year, I’ve found myself returning to his shows and writing. One of my favorite episodes of “Parts Unknown” is his visit to Hanoi, Vietnam. Watching him gleefully bend his tall frame onto plastic stools to enjoy roadside meals was a lesson in the value in immersing yourself in the world around you. The most famous part of that episode, of course, is his meal with President Barack Obama. As they talked about the importance of experiencing other cultures, Bourdain, as he did so often, distilled the point down to a very simple, yet obvious, sentence.

“The extent to which you can see how other people live seems useful at worst and incredibly pleasurable and interesting at best.”

 Doing my best "Bourdain" in Kobe, Japan at Okonomiyaki Mai - where the incredibly welcoming owner grilled up the savory pancakes to order.

Doing my best "Bourdain" in Kobe, Japan at Okonomiyaki Mai - where the incredibly welcoming owner grilled up the savory pancakes to order.

 

I can honestly say that Sarah and I are forever changed by this extended period of observing how so many other people live. What’s more, if you ask either of us, I think we’d both tell you we wish we could have visited even more places. By no means are we finished exploring, though. I hope we’ll be traveling and experiencing the commonality of the human experience for the rest of our lives.

 Mingling in Milan at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Mingling in Milan at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

In the meantime, we’re both excited to reacquaint ourselves with the diversity and culture of Southern California.

Also, tacos.

50 Days

Sorry for the radio silence everyone. Been working on a lot of preps and things here at BCP and blogging has taken a back seat. But now it’s time to get back… and we start with the Big News. After three years in Europe, we’re taking this show back home! Today marks exactly 50 days until we move back to Southern California.

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The next 50 days seem like a good time to take stock of the last three years living abroad and how things have changed both in the UK and back home.  

I’ll also be going back through three years of images from our travels around Europe and sharing my favorites here and on Instagram.

I’ll also be revamping the website, with a brand new logo (by my favorite graphic designer) and showing off some new images I’ve been working on.  

It’s all very exciting. Looking forward to sharing all of it!

-B

Tangible Things

Merry Christmas everybody!  

I've spent the last couple days with my beloved Canon Pixma Pro-10.  For those of you who have come across one of these photo printers, you likely know two things about it: 1) it makes amazing prints, and 2) it's roughly the size of coffee table.  Unfortunately, its sheer mass doesn't jibe well with London apartment living... so my visits with the printer have been few and far between.  But man, oh man... the times we do spend together!

The concept of "tangible things" has been on my mind for a couple weeks now.  My wife took me to the London Design Museum to see the entries from this year's Beazley Designs of the Year.  The exhibit had a wide and interestingly diverse group of design nominees.  What stuck with me, though, was the video at the end of the exhibit about previous winners and the selection process.  A portion of the video was dedicated the concept of internet design, and how some of the greatest design innovations these days aren't physical things at all.  Instead they're applications and ways of using the web that impact the design of how we live our lives.  

That reality is inescapable.  Technology is changing so many things around us on a daily basis... and really, that's great.  But sometimes, I wonder if there's a necessary beauty in physical things too.  The needle on a record as it spins at 33 and a third.  A film negative.  A physical print rather than pixels on a screen.  I'd imagine that like most things - it's all about balancing the old with the new.

In the past year, I've spent countless hours on my computer - editing photos in Lightroom and Photoshop, and sharing them to various places on the web... including this very website.  For me, it was really nice to balance that out spending a couple days making prints that I can pick up and look at in the light of day.  It was a creative salve for a tech-busy life.

Of course, then again, I've just spent the last 10 minutes on my computer blogging about it, so I'm not exactly unshackled from the virtual world either, am I?

Giving Thanks

I had the wonderful (and emotionally necessary) opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with family in San Diego, California. This last year has seen endless news cycles of anger, hostility and cynicism... so it was nice to spend a week unplugged from the world, laughing with family and focused on making photographs in one of the most beautiful areas in the world.

  Wandered around Black Mountain park with a couple packs of new Polaroid Originals instant film.

Wandered around Black Mountain park with a couple packs of new Polaroid Originals instant film.

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Most of the landscape photos are still out with Indie Film Lab in Alabama.  I'm looking forward to getting those scans back.

In addition, my amazing wife (who orchestrated the ballet of feeding 10 family members on Thanksgiving) also requested a family photo to commemorate the occasion. On the flight over, she and I discussed what the photo might look like - she envisioned a "Vanity Fair" style group setup, rather than a traditional setup. As usual, her idea was fantastic.  

  Our serious expressions led to a few jokes about us starring in an upcoming Netflix drama, but I'll take that as a compliment about the quality of the final image.

Our serious expressions led to a few jokes about us starring in an upcoming Netflix drama, but I'll take that as a compliment about the quality of the final image.

Conveniently, Photo District News had posted an article by Chris Patey on how he lights and composes group shots very similar to what Sarah and I were envisioning. The article was great for helping me nail down a couple ideas for lighting. It's well worth a read.

I'll have another couple posts coming up about some of the individual portraits I was fortunate enough to make on Thanksgiving (for a sneak peek - head over to the Portraits section)

Hope your Turkey Day was great, too!

-B

Texas

A week in the Lone Star State.  I've only started spending real time here in recent years... and I admit, it's an interesting place.  Big.  Big trucks rumbling about, big buildings and shopping centers.  Great big wide open spaces.  

 

 

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A Trip Home

I know it's been a while since my last blog post...  I could never wrap my head around what the blog needed to be - so I needed to go away from it for a while.   

With Sarah and I on our first trip back to the US since 2015 - and with so many things having happened in the interim - it seemed like a good time to blog.

 The Texas girl enjoying some Texas sun. 

The Texas girl enjoying some Texas sun. 

 

This version will be less long rambling musings and hopefully more images and more of a "feel"  of the world around me.

-B