In 1969, fresh out of college, I got my 1st real job – as a TV producer-director for a new PBS station in Las Vegas. Wanting to make a good impression on my 1st day, I decided to wear my best outfit – a three-piece wool suit. Which would have been totally appropriate had it not been August, the desert and 115 degrees. Sometimes I can still hear the laughter.
The 2nd day, dressed more sensibly, I was cleaning out the prop storage area, when, there, in the dark shadows, I met some of the local wildlife. First, a black widow spider appeared, gave me stink eye, and scurried off, no doubt to gather hundreds of her venomous buddies to come after me.
And then, as if to make sure I had gotten the message, I was suddenly confronted by a herd of one of the ugliest (and I mean no disrespect here), but ugliest creatures on earth! Well, to be totally honest, there was only one of them – But it was a VINEGAROON!!! (Also known as a Whip scorpion).
By the way, they’re called vinegaroons because their defensive spray smells like vinegar. Which raises the question: If you feed them a little canola oil, do they spray salad dressing?
None of us were all that thrilled with these encounters. And while I knew neither the black widow nor the scorpion was likely to kill me, I also knew they each could make me WISH I was dead!
And I had thought Vegas was a fun town. I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.
I needn’t have worried. The next 5 years were an intense whirlwind of professional and personal growth. I created TV programs and films of all kinds, and developed important, close friendships, still strong after 40 years.
And Las Vegas is where I got my 1st “real” still camera, and began to learn the art & craft of making images. It’s where I began to really “see” the world, and to look closely at light. Las Vegas is where I discovered the addictive joy of still photography. It was just the best.
Until it wasn’t.
TV stations with their never-ending airdate deadlines are known as burnout factories for good reason – which explains why, after 5 years, I felt like a used lump of charcoal. But it often takes a hot fire to motivate real change.
So with metaphorical flames beginning to singe my metaphorical butt, I knew I had to make a move. So I packed my bags and headed for San Francisco in search of ..... well, something I’m sure.
(Perhaps a metaphorical fire extinguisher)
But before I left Las Vegas, I donated that old 3 piece wool suit to an animal shelter where it was used to make many little dress suits for homeless spiders and scorpions.
I was not done with Las Vegas however – nor it with me.
Thirty years later, In town for a wedding, I found myself on The Strip one night with a little point & shoot digital camera and a couple hrs to kill. (For those who don’t already know, I have a hand tremor due to Parkinson’s). It was here, amid the multi colored lights, the glitz and the glitter, I first realized I could use the tremor! And that changed everything. (see Movement Disorder).
So began Tremor Enhanced Photography. But it wasn't long before another "aha" came by and smacked me upside the head. This caused a rare moment of clarity - allowing me to see the obvious. My tremor isn't the only kind of motion! Ya think?
I could also shake while I pan, tilt, twist, zoom, truck or tongue (diagonal crane move). I could also shake 'n' shoot while walking, running, crawling or riding in anything you can think of. Oh and the subject? It can move, too. In fact, why not multiple movements?
I'd say this is beyond "Tremor Enhanced". More like “Un-still Photography”.
And where better to go to explore this new direction than the place where change and growth has happened for me twice?
This collection of images is the result.
Enjoy. Comments welcome. No vinegaroons, please.