Friday, February 26, 2010

Nothing to say.

I have nothing to say today so here is a picture I took at the fire house.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It Might Get Loud

I like Rock music and when I found this documentary I was very interested in seeing it. Its called "It Might Get Loud". If your a fan of Led Zeppelin, U2 or The White Stripes, you would like this. It is a documentary about the electric guitar and evolution of rock and roll. It stars Jimmy Page, Jack White, and The Edge. There was some great music and jam sessions as well as discussions by the artist about their influences, style and equipment. I'm not a big U2 fan, but that does not mean I dislike them. They are a little more over produced than I like. I like music that is a little more raw. I like Jack White and lets face it, Rock and Roll would be totally different if it were not for Jimmy Page. It was cool to see them all together and hear what they had to say. I can not imagine what it would have been like to be in the same room when they were there having a jam session. If you like Rock and Roll it is worth seeing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Restaurant Review: The Union Milton Ga

We went to The Union for dinner last night and had a great meal. The Union is located neat the intersection of Providence Road and Freemanville Road in Milton Georgia. Milton is next to Roswell and Alpharetta. The Union is owned by Chris Sedgwik of the Sedgwik Restaurant Group. They own and operate several other great places in the area such as, Vinny's on Winward, Theo's Brother's Bakery, and Aspens.

The interior was well decorated, there is a nice bar, open kitchen and an outdoor eating area on the front porch. The menu is nice with lots of choices and a great wine list. I had the Hanger steak with hand cut french fries and my wife had the Pork Milanese with mashed potatoes. We also spit the Wedge salad. It was large enough to split for two. The dressing was a buttermilk blue cheese dressing and man was it good. The Hanger steak was cooked just right and had a great flavor. The french fries were perfect with just the right amount of salt. I tried the Pork and instantly wished I had gotten it too. It was breaded and crispy and very tender. On the side of the pork was a helping of some of the best mashed potatoes I have ever had.

This is a family friendly restaurant, as there were plenty of children there. We had dinner early, but I would think that later it turns to more of an adult crowd. I highly recommend this restaurant. We will be going back and hopefully bringing friends.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friendship and Forgiveness

A few weeks ago, someone that was at one time my best friend and was even the best man in my wedding, called to ask me to forgive him for the wrongs that he had done. It is a long story and some of you know what happened and what the out come has been. We ended up moving because of what happened. He lied to me, with held information, and stole money from the business we had together. Bottom line, do not go into business with a friend. We had not spoken in over a year. My lawyer told me not to contact him and he never tried to call me.

Well, he called me two weeks ago and wanted to apologize and gave me a sob story (I should say sobbing story, because he did cry). He was telling me how sorry he was and that he felt ashamed etc. of himself and said that he could not move on until he apologized and I forgave him. He claimed he had picked up the phone to call me a half dozen times, but chickened out each time. My family and I have moved on in a physical and emotional way. I guess I'm getting soft in my old age, because I really wanted to be an asshole, but I told him that I forgave him. It is what he needed to hear to heal and move on. But, I'm not sure if I have really forgiven him or not. He said that they were going to have a party in the next month or so and wanted my wife and I to come to it and that after that he thought the circle would be complete and he would feel like he could move on. I told him that we would just have to see when the party was, but my schedule was pretty full and work was crazy. As I have thought about this since he called. I did not want to write about this until I had cooled down a little. I'm not sure if I forgive him or not. He claimed he was trying to protect me, but all that did was more damage. I do know that I do not want to see him again. So does that mean that I don't forgive him? I'm not sure how to define forgiveness. Maybe I am just over it and have moved on to a better place. I do know that I do not want him involved in my life in any way in the future. So I will not go to his party, because I don't want to see him and because I'm not sure what I may do or say. I know that no good would come of it. I had put all this behind me and now he has brought it all back. Wish he would have not called.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My new project

I'm starting a new project. The purpose it to record the area I grew up in, before it has totally changed and is gone. I want to be able to show my children where I came from, what I did and who my friends were. This project came to light after visiting my uncle and seeing the state of decay that some of my favorite places were in. It was hard to see my old elementary school with waist high grass, peeling paint and airconditioning units robbed of their copper. The area is rural, but the urban sprawl is encroaching upon it and I want to remember it for what it was and is, not what it will become. I plan on shooting it with film and digital. I may even bring out the Pinhole Camera from Zero Image along with the others that share the same pelican case. Those would be a Dianna (with fish eye), Yashica electro 35 rangefinder, and a Pearl twin lens. I would use my home made 4x5 pinhole, but I can no longer get the Polaroid film for it. I will start in the next few weeks and will shoot at least once, if not twice, per week in the area for about 6 to 8 months. That should get me into the High School Football season and will wrap things up with the Old Campbell County home coming festival. In the end, if I can work it into a show or a self published book, that would be great. Ultimately I want to have a portfolio of images from the area I grew in to share with my children.

I'm really inspired by this project and have put several others on hold for this. It has a more immediate need to be completed. I'm sure I will be blogging about it as I go and maybe posting some images on occasion.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Full Burn

I know. "He's a fireman and this book must be about firefighters." you say. Well, your wrong. Its about being set on fire.

The Full Burn by Kevin Conley is a great read. It's full of action because that's what it is about. The action packed life of stuntmen and stunt women. It has it all, from car chases to crashes, explosions, jumps, falls, you name the stunt and someone in this book has done it. The author gets in with their clique and learns the ins and outs of the job. He reports from the sets of many top movies and treats the stunt team as the real star of the show. He has an interesting writes about the changes to the stunt world that happened with the extensive use of computer graphics in so many movies. The stunts have to be better now and with the use of new technology, the stunt teams can provide many of the same visuals on screen that the CG can provide, but at a much lower cost. CG is really expensive. This book was a fast read for me and I did not want to put it down, I really did not want to finish it, because it was so exciting. It is gritty and cool. It made me want to be a stuntman, until I remembered how many broken bones, scars, plates and screws I already have. May be I should do CG instead. There is better pay and less pain.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Serenbe Photography Center

This week I went to visit my uncle and loan him my Nikon F5 for his trip to Africa. (He is not digital yet, but I'm working on it.) He needed something smaller and faster to use than his big Pentax 67. He lives out where I grew up, which is Palmetto Ga. He has become involved in the Serenbe Photography Center, where he will be teaching some workshops and has some work hanging in the instructors show which opened last week.

The Serenbe Photography Center will be host a great deal of workshops and other events with some well known photographers. Some of the instructors will be Kathryn Kolb, Peter Essick, Greg Newington, Donna Rosser, Judith Pishnery, and Steve Brownlee (uncle Steve). Most workshops will be at Serenbe, but there are several that will be at other locations in the state. Also, in addition to workshops they have a great dark room set up for color as well as black and white printing as well as a digital darkroom with two epson 9600 large format printers. You can rent time there to do you own printing. This is called The Photographers Print Studio, which was previously located in Decatur. They will also be offering other special events. Check out their website at or call 770-463-9098.

The instructors show was interesting with a great mix of styles and techniques showcased. Some of my favorite work was from Kathryn Kolb, Peter Essick, and Steve Brownlee. I really like Kathryn Kolb's new book. Essick, who has had many assignments with National Geographic, had some great work hanging there. Steve Brownlee, my uncle, (I am a little bias)had a great selection of his Black and White work hanging. Uncle Steve taught me how to print in a traditional darkroom and will be teaching a zone system class at the center. I highly recommend his class. You will come away a much better printer and a better understand of how to expose your image for better printing latter. His attention to detail and ability to make incredible prints is impressive. I look forward to taking some workshops with some of these instructors.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wed. #2

Copyright Clint Brownlee

Saturday, February 6, 2010

War on Stupid

My wife and I went to the Laughing Skull Lounge last night to see some comedians do an act called the "War on Stupid". It was pretty good and featured Marshall Chiles, another comedian, and guy with a PhD. in Theology. Nothing was off limits. They poked fun at religion, the government, the Federal Reserve, and a host of other subjects. We really liked the show, but I think some people did not know what they were in for and less than half way through about 10 had taken their leave. I thought that was rude! I would really like to sit down with the PhD. and pick his brain. He spent 25 years preaching in a church and now he makes fun of the stupid things in religion. I would like to hear what was the catalyst for his decision to leave the church.

I really like the Laughing Skull Lounge. It is a small intimate venue with only 74 seats. They have 10 two top tables up by the stage and the remainder of the seating is general admission. You are so close to the comedians that it is more like a conversation than a show.

We also had dinner at the Vortex. Which is nice since the Laughing Skull Lounge is attached to the Vortex in Midtown. They have a great beer selection of which I had three different one. The first was from Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta and was called the "Happy Ending". I just had to have it, mostly because I wanted to tell the waitress that I wanted a Happy Ending. To my surprise, my wife asked for a Happy Ending too. Oh, and trust me the Happy Ending was a really good beer. The next beer was a Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale. It was good and is a high gravity beer (read more alcohol). It did not have a smooth of a finish as the Happy Ending. The last beer I had was the Samuel Adams Imperial Double Bock. It is high gravity too. It was better than the Brown Ale, but not as good as the Happy Ending. These were all dark beers. I had the Black and Blue Burger for dinner and as always at the Vortex it was yummy.

I recommend the Vortex and the Laughing Skull Lounge and I highly recommend a Happy Ending for everyone over the age of 21.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Horse Soldiers and the Lone Survivor

When I read a history book it is usually about early American History or about World War II, but recently I have picked up some books that are about recent U.S. history or you may even call it current events. Here are two books that I highly recommend. We may not all agree on what is going on over there and what or level of involvement should be, but these books are not political in nature and display amazing feats of heroism during the heat of battle.

Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton
This is about the Special Forces teams that were the first to put "boot on the ground" in Afghanistan. There was even a modern day Calvary charge. I could not believe how ill equipment the teams were. They had such old equipment that they were given credit cards with no limit to go purchase what ever they needed from civilian retailers. That's why they all had on North Face fleece jackets. Their GPS was too large and bulky, so they bought the small handheld units that civilians use. This book really takes you into the mindset of the these soldiers and the way they integrate themselves into the communities where they are operating. They are doing things they have never done before, but the keep going. Their medic may as well be a doctor, but does not always have the proper tools for the job. No bone saw, no problem I got a Leatherman. The action is intense and it all really happened. Easy to read and I could hardly put it down. Highly recommend this book.

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
Wow. This mans account of being the "Lone Survivor" from his team is nothing short of a miracle. It is simply an amazing story. The decisions that get made when the stumble across some Afghan tribesman will set the wheels in motions for this amazing tale. He would not have survived if it was not for the hospitality of some locals that found him. I would put this book in my top 5 books I have read. I do not highly recommend this book, but I highly insist that you read it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #1

I'm going to borrow some other bloggers idea of "Wordless Wednesday", but will put my own spin on it by posting a color image and then a black and white version of the same image. I hope this inspires more people to take black and white images. Not that there is anything wrong with color, but I think a lot of folks forget they can do black and white. If you shoot mostly color and are in a creative slump, make a point of shooting just black and white for a day or two and it will surely help.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Where Men Win Glory

I have a friend that went to the Sundance Film Festival this past week and while she was there she made a facebook update about seeing a movie on Pat Tillman. For those that don't know, Pat Tillman was a Pro Football player, who after Sept. 11th, decided to join the Army. Her comments about the movie have prompted me to review the book about Pat Tillman. "Where Men Win Glory" "The Odyssey of Pat Tillman" by Jon Krakauer.

The book is basically a biography of Tillman's life. It is well written and so thoroughly researched that Krakauer even went to Afghanistan. He obviously conducted extensive interviews with Tillman's friends, family, and brothers in arms. Krakauers writing exposed Pat Tillman's true patriotism, and passion to do what he thought was right. Pat had an unfaltering drive to be the best at every thing that he did. He also had such a tight bond with his brother, that they joined the Army together and both became Rangers. They were later assigned to the same unit and were both involved in the firefight that resulted in Pat Tillman's death via friendly fire. Krakauer details the events as they occur with the best possible detail. This was surely difficult due to the Army's attempts to keep the information from the public eye. Krakauer goes on to discuss the difficulties that Tillman's family has faced trying to get solid answers out of the various government entities involved. Krakauer also discusses the challenges that Tillman faced, by being a Pro Football player in the Army, from constantly having to prove himself to other soldiers to the Bush administration using him as sort of a poster boy to help improve the "look" of the war. All in all, this is a fantastic read, well written in Krakauer's usual style with highly detailed and thorough research. It truly shows the kind of person Pat Tillman was. I highly recommend this book as well as Krakauer's other books that I have read. "Into Thin Air" and "Into the Wild" are both great reads.