BE KIND

Photography

Beirut Gathers for Wissam al-Hassan

Posted on October 23, 2012

After the brutal bombing that killed several and wounded many on Friday afternoon, thousands gathered in Downtown Beirut near the Martyr’s Square statue for the funeral ceremony of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces brigadier general Wissam al-Hassan. Rebecca and I visited the square on Saturday night–we just missed the rally called by the 14 March coalition–and we attended al-Hassan’s funeral service on Sunday. Here are a few photos from both times we went down there:

Beirut Graffiti

Posted on September 14, 2012

Back in my office cleaning days, it was always interesting to see how different people decorated their offices. You can tell a lot about a person by observing the slogans and images they surround themselves with.

Here is a collection of graffiti I found while exploring the streets within a few-mile radius of the American University of Beirut. Perhaps these images and slogans reveal some things about the young people and street artists of Beirut?

 

Beirut for Beginners

Posted on September 11, 2012

Rebecca and I landed in Beirut on August 31st. Rebecca will be studying at the American University of Beirut, and I will study at the Arab Baptist Seminary while working a communications job. We will probably live outside Beirut in Mansourieh, from which these photos are taken. The view looks out over Beirut all the way to the Mediterranean sea! Hopefully we’ll get time to write some things about our first days here in the near future.

 

The Garage Portraits

Posted on August 8, 2012

So, just for fun, I had wanted to do a set of portraits juxtaposing a Roman Centurion with a red-plumed galea helmet against a modern punk rock warrior with a full-scalp mohawk. I envisioned the battle scene taking place on a rocky ridge cutting across an open field, with a dramatic, blood-red sunset in the background. Although a bit anachronistic, I decided to arm the Centurion with a battleaxe to create a metaphorical counterpart for the punk rocker’s guitar–the modern battleaxe. Now, it is worth mentioning that the metaphor isn’t all that deep. Unlike the punk rock vision of fighting the “system” with their guitars, the Roman military machine was, in fact, the “system” of their time. So, in reality, the scene would really juxtapose a modern rebel against the ancient “man.”

Unfortunately, not only were we unable to come up with a galea, but on the evening I borrowed two flashes for the shoot (a 580ex II and a 430ex, both Canon speedlites) from Life Story Photography, an unexpected storm rolled into the area. By the time the storm dissipated, it was dark. So, we ended up shooting a bunch of silly portraits inside the Okamoto’s garage. Thankfully, the white garage door provided a nice ceiling for bounce flash. We had to use the space creatively, but we ended up with a handful of good portraits–I especially like the one’s showing off Stevo’s Japanese tattoos with him holding his samurai sword.

 

 

 

 

 

After the storm, we did end up trying the original shoot idea on the driveway. The wet pavement created a kind-of-cool effect. Certainly it wasn’t my original vision, but it was a fun shoot nonetheless.
 


 

Special thanks to Life Story Photography, the Okamotos, Stevo Okamoto in particular, Jesse Stratton, Daryl Gochnauer, and Nick Kienzle.

 

 

 

 

 

The Dreaded Portraits (with Justin Hennighan)

Posted on August 6, 2012

My dear friends Justin and Julia Hennighan are moving to South Korea on Tuesday where Julia has landed a position as a teacher. I am going to miss them dearly. Justin said he is going to cut off his dreads in South Korea, so I wanted to do a photo shoot to remember them by (and I wanted to try out my new flash).

Needless to say, poor Justin got soaked in this shoot. We were in the back of OnFire. It was pitch black. I would count down, Justin would whip his dreads, the girls would throw extra water, the flash would blind all of us, and then we would chuckle. Repeat about 70 times. 🙂

 

 

 

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