Color My Missives

 
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I designed a baseball cap. And though it can be summed up in five words, the process took about ten months. They’re inspired by some Brooklynites who’ve inspired me: Jackie Robinson and Jean-Michel Basquiat. There’s even a line from a Langston Hughes poem (for whom one of the largest public housing towers in Brooklyn is named) printed on the bias tape underneath the cap. Along with one of the flyest camouflage details you’ve ever seen. (Who has that? Nobody, that’s who!). It’s been some of the most painstaking, detail-oriented work I’ve ever done.

Please buy one, if you wanna look as fresh as me.

And if you don’t wanna look fresh. Well, that’s alright, too.


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Here are a couple pics I shot awhile back with carpet designer Joe Carini. It happens often enough. Either you’re waiting for a specific date when something is published, or approvals, or whatever. And by the time they’re live you forget to tell people anything at all.

Joe has been a great inspiration to me. His work is radical – pushing boundaries everywhere. Many of his carpets are collaborations, many others are inspired by graffiti or the streets. All are expertly crafted, hand-sewn in Nepal. In his office are african masks, a motorcycle, and paintings by famous artists.

We shot this picture in the Gowanus Batcave — location of this music video. Joe saw the video and said, “I have to go there.” So we went. Carrying an incredibly expensive silk rug over barb wire. And made some magic.

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I’ve been searching for an original way to say this, but the basic information is as follows: I’m making a movie! This summer! Help us out! Thanks!

ed note: Thanks to all our many backers for a successful campaign!

The film is called 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story? In it, over the course of one weekend, we see love, love lost, and something gained in its place. It’ll be great. I promise.


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The Sasquatch Festival is a three-day explosion of music and bodies in one of the most picturesque concert venues imaginable, the Gorge Amphitheater in eastern Washington. Five stages of madness during the days, and 50,000+ attendees camping on the attached lands at night. Our team was hired by Skype to shoot it, and I managed to grab these stills in the flow.
 

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My favorite sets were probably Chance the Rapper, Tycho, and Rodriguez, but I missed many more than I saw, and there’s no substitute for seeing creative heroes like Outkast and Major Lazer in full bloom. Rodriguez used a pause between songs to say, “we have to stop violence against women.” His voice was strong throughout the show, and I wondered how it felt to be playing such a large venue just a week after the death of the young filmmaker who’d reintroduced him to the world.

In addition to five days camping in an RV — and waking up to 4am sound checks — there was the sheer exhaustion of shooting for hours on end, carrying more equipment than usual, and interacting with hundreds of less-than-sober people daily.

There were quiet moments too, a few of them anyway. I hope to go back. §


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Amish boys watching the fire department after a car accident in Paradise, PA. I took a couple of “real” pictures of this scene, but it came out so much better on the phone/Instagram.


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I recently worked on a short documentary about Rebuild By Design, an architecture competition created by a Presidential task force in response to Hurricane Sandy.

Visually, we were tasked with making a film about hurricane season during the winter months. Though some warm weather shots did make it into the cut, it was a small coup to see such a strong amount of activity on the ocean and rivers during cold weather.


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It’s no secret that we repeat vantage points around here. It just happens to be a good vantage point. Shooting this, I was reminded of an earlier post:

There’s a point at which the natural light has faded such that artificial light is just as bright. It is a fertile moment for photography.

That post was nearly six years ago (?!?). And I’ve only grown as a writer and photographer since. A heartfelt thanks to anyone who’s stopped by in the intervening time. We’re just getting started.


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- Langston Hughes

Something short to read on the above here.


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The top photo is from my home of nine years, Brooklyn, NY. The bottom one is from my grandparents former home in Lincoln University, PA, on the court where many summers were spent trying and mainly failing to perfect my jump shot. The photos were taken on consecutive days last weekend. If you’re waiting for a pithy statement on the passage of time, so am I. The pictures will have to suffice for now.


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Might’ve been able to get this shot in focus if I’d had a flash. But hey.