Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 7 from Out on Buford Highway

I'm not an expert, but people I trust tell me that the Havana Restaurant is one of, if not THE best Cuban place in the Atlanta area. It's in the Crossroads Village Shopping Center at the corner of Buford Highway and Clairmont. I DO know that I loved their fried plantains. And that the staff is extremely friendly and welcoming.
Nikon D600 w/20-35mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/320 @ f/6.3

Dora Corena, Pentax K-5IIs, 16-50mm, ISO 1600, 1/125 @ f/2.8

Miriam, Rosa, & Miguel Amaya, Pentax K-5IIs, 16-50mm, ISO 1600, 1/40 @ f/2.8

Pentax K-5IIs, 16-50mm, ISO 1600, 1/60 @ f/2.8

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Return

From 2004 until 2007, I worked on a project called At the Edge. It involved photographing wildlife killed by cars and trucks- roadkill. At that time I commuted to my studio through a large public park outside of Rochester, New York that had the unpleasant distinction of having the highest incidence of car/deer collisions in the state. I was lucky enough to never hit a deer, but I saw them in, beside, and in the brush near the road often.

In Fall 2004 I purchased a digital point and shoot camera. I had gone digital in my business two years before, but it took a while for me to make the shift in my personal work. I immediately started carrying it with me all the time. I enjoyed the immediacy and instant feedback it offered. One morning on my way to work I saw a deer hit by a pickup truck right in front of me. I stopped with the truck driver. After we realized he and his truck were OK and that the deer was dead, he left. I stayed, examining the body of the animal. I had never had a chance to look so closely at a deer before and I was stricken by how beautiful it was. The pictures I took that morning were the first of a series that I worked on for the next three or four years. They've been shown all over the US and six are in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House.

After I finished shooting At the Edge, I was never really tempted to stop for roadkill again- until last week. I was in Bozeman, Montana and I had a free afternoon, so I went for a drive up into the mountains. After taking a hike at the top a a pass, I decided to take the long way back to my hotel. I was on a very long, flat stretch of road when I saw the body of a large bird along the center line. I stopped and saw this heron, no blood or other signs of the trauma that killed it, just lying in this awkward pose of death. Graceful, sad, and beautiful.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 6 from Out on Buford Highway

El Taco Veloz at 5084 Buford Highway is a great little place. Their chicken burrito is a thing of beauty with a creamy sauce and lots of cilantro. It doesn't have a dining room, but there are picnic tables enclosed in a tent-like structure, so if the weather is bad you can sit with a roof over your head and there are heaters if it gets cold. Their neon signage is wonderful, so I'll be going back to shoot exteriors at night.

Employee Eva Kaya was kind enough to sit for a portrait.

Pentax K-5 IIs w/ 16-50mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/200 @ f/4

Nikon D600 w/ 20-35mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 100, 1/640 @ f/5.6

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 5 from Out on Buford Highway

Fiesta Farmers Market is at 4166 Buford Highway. It has primarily Asian food, but lots of other international fare as well. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, dried and packaged beans, rices, and pastas. And it's huge! It's definitely worth the trip if your looking for otherwise hard to find ingredients and products.

So, what's not to love about giant pictures of food?

Fuji X-E1. ISO 200, 18mm f/2 lens. 1/900 @ f/8

Friday, September 6, 2013

Week 4 from Out on Buford Highway

Of course, the restaurants on Buford Highway have some remarkable food. It's often interesting, authentic, and usually reasonably priced. But I'm a photographer not a food critic.

I've gone out there a number of times when many of the places weren't open. Very early in the day. Late in the day. I drive up and down and look to see how the light is hitting the buildings. I watch how they're lit up at night. A lot of them are extraordinarily banal. Anonymous storefronts in anonymous strip malls. Anywhere USA. But there are some that stand out. Odd architecture. Explosions of color. Strange signage. So I'll be showing some of those, too.

China Bucks sits by itself at 5412 Buford Highway. I've never eaten there. Inside it looks more like a cafeteria than a restaurant, but I love the building. It reminds me of a cross between an alien fortress and a 1960's world fair pavilion. I thought the brilliant blue sky played nicely against the red and white structure.

Shot with the Nikon D600 and 20-35mm f/2.8. ISO 100, 1/320 at f/5.6. Gitzo tripod

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 3 from Out on Buford Highway

It was early on a Tuesday and I was driving around hoping for the sun to peek out from under the clouds. I drove a few blocks east of Buford Highway to a Cuban bakery I knew about, The Pan American. As I was photographing, the proprietor of the business next door, La Chiquita Cafe, arrived and was tidying up before he opened and customers began arriving. Jose Lopez and I spent a few minutes talking as I thanked him for letting me take his picture. I love the fact that his window lets you know that he has products from Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico as well as accepting EBT (food stamps). By 10:00AM the regulars are at tables inside and out, drinking coffee and playing dominoes and cards. La Chiquita is at 3669 Clairmont Rd.

This picture was shot with the Nikon D600, 60mm f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/60 @ F/5.6, Gitzo tripod