I'm excited to report that I'm hard at work on a new album!
This project is a new foray of sorts. For the first time I'll be making an album comprised solely of original songs, drawing on my own experiences over the last half-decade.
In that regard, I consider it to be a true original writing project -- both from a lyrical standpoint, as well as from a songwriting perspective. A return to form for me.
In late 2016, I began writing lyrics for what I thought could be new songs. At the time, I was finishing a different album, The Invisible Santa But Still Oceans Remain. Given the subject matter of this new material, I didn't think it would be right for that album.
But it did mark the beginning of a new series of stories I would write. Stories focused on the people I've met since I moved to San Francisco, the relationships I've had, and the places I've been.
The stories are the basis, and foundation, of these new songs. Without them, there would be no new music.
These stories, and their songs, I hope, will blossom into visual pictures of their own.
Last month I visited Joshua Tree National Park, and I was blown away by its contrasts. It's a calming, peaceful place. And a dry, dusty place that will eat you alive if you're not prepared for the heat.
It's a place full of whimsical, human-like trees that conjure a fantastical Dr. Seuss story. And yet it's also the California desert, offering sunsets that remind you that you're still just due east of LA.
It's a place for artists seeking to escape the rat race. And yet it's still a hard place to make it all work.
But I think it's important not to get caught up in these contrasts. Above all Joshua Tree is elemental. It's the land, it's the road, it's the rocks, it's the trees, it's the plants, it's the sunsets.
I wanted to try to capture those simple forms with these photographs.
If you like what you see, please head to the store! The 8x10 handmade darkroom prints below I'm selling there. All are limited edition, so get yours before they run out! Enjoy and thanks for looking.
A month or so ago I rented a zipcar and took a drive up to Point Reyes. I had never been there before, it was a beautiful Saturday, and I wanted to spend some time just exploring, walking around and making photos. These are a few of the pictures I developed.
Even if you feel settled, and you think you know an area, it's very important to venture out just a little bit, and explore. Often times you don't even have to go that far. It might just be the next neighborhood over, or a few towns above you, or an hour's drive away.
Whatever it is, there are whole other worlds out there to explore and see new things. You don't have to pay hundreds of dollars and get on a plane and travel to another country just to experience something new.
That's the perspective I have, when I feel like exploring. Point Reyes is only a couple hours from San Francisco, and yet it feels like an entirely different world. There's a calming peacefulness to it. And a sense of it being untouched. It's glowing country.
I took this photo on my way cycling into work one morning. From a realism standpoint, it's kind of a failure. For some reason I decided to shoot directly toward the sun, which was bad enough, and I don't remember exactly why. It also doesn't help that I shot it with my Olympus XA, which has a maximum shutter speed of only 1/500th. And, I probably had the aperture set too wide.
Nonetheless, I tried to salvage it in post-processing, by readjusting the shadows, contrast and brightness. I think it amounts to an interesting abstract.