Friday, December 14, 2012

Flashback Friday #7 - Christmas

Hello faithful readers! With Christmas coming up I figured I would do a write-up about this wonderful Holiday! Also, I might have to skip next week so I wanted to make sure I covered it before too long. What I wanted to talk about are holiday traditions. Every family has them and I love hearing what different ones people have. From the usual - going to church on Christmas Eve and driving around looking at the lights - the funny - going to a casino and playing the slot machines - and the daring - taking the Polar Plunge on New Year's Day. My family traditions have evolved over the years but I will share some of my favorite with you. In recent years on Christmas Eve my family and I will go see an afternoon movie (a tradition I proudly started with The Lord of the Rings), then join our community in setting out candle luminaries along the roads, drive around the neighborhood and look at all the Christmas lights, enjoy a light dinner of rosy seafood chowder, attend a church service in the evening, and then fall asleep to a roaring fire. Then on Christmas morning my sister will come barreling into my room at the crack of dawn and jump on my bed exclaiming "it's Christmas, it's Christmas!" (I have never once beat her in this tradition and she still does it at the age of 26). Our father then makes us wait while he "makes preparations" in the living room. When he finally calls the all clear my sister and I run out and start examining our gifts. As part of this tradition my sister and I always have un-wrapped Santa gifts sitting out on the couch or a chair. After the excitement comes down to a bearable level we eat a light breakfast and enjoy some hot chocolate next to a great fire as we spill the contents of our stockings. Lastly we take turns opening "under the tree" gifts and then fall backwards on the pile of wrapping paper and boxes! That is a pretty standard Christmas in the Painter-Pariani house. Some of the other traditions that have faded over time include playing a game of I-Spy with a hard to find green canoe Christmas ornament (the finder of which wins a special chocolate prize), opening one gift each on Christmas Eve, and traveling to North Carolina for a few days before or after Christmas to stay at the Grove Park Inn. What are your family traditions? Please feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks for reading and Keep it REAL!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flashback Friday #6 - Bridge of Lions

This past week I was fortunate enough to have my great friend Thomas Thomas III (yes, that's his real name) come and visit for the weekend and one of the things we did while he was down here was explore St. Augustine for the day. If you have ever been there you know that seeing the Bridge of Lions is a must on your list because it is one of St. Augustine's most important and famous landmarks (just take a look at those photos!). The existing bridge was first constructed between 1925 and 1927 while the original wooden bridge was built in 1895. At the time it was the only bridge from St. Augustine to Anastasia Island and remains to this day to be the primary form of transport there. It is also a draw bridge that allows tall ships to travel in and out of the bay. In 1999, after 72 years of service, the bridge was deemed structurally unstable and plans for it's then uncertain future were discussed. Fortunately the right people spoke up and the decision was made to restore the bridge to its original glory! On May 26, 2006 the original bridge was closed, a temporary bridge put up, and restoration work begun. Four years and $80 million dollars later the "New" Bridge of Lions was once again open and the Lions restored to their rightful place guarding the bridge on the St. Augustine side. Which reminds me, the Bridge of Lions gets its name for two Carrara marble Lions that are copies of those found in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy. Lions are a symbol of the Spanish royal family, harkening back to St. Augustine's past as a Spanish colony. I love visiting this bridge and I do hope you can see it someday yourself. It is worth the trip, especially since Roads & Bridges magazine named the Bridge of Lions as fourth in the nation’s top 10 bridges for 2010! Anyway, thanks for reading folks and Keep it REAL!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Foods of New York Tours Photo Contest, November

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday my family and I visited my sister in New York. We were there for about a week and one of the things we did was go on another Foods of New York Tour. It was my second tour so far and fourth for both my parents and sister. My first tour was in March of this year and I was lucky enough to win their photo contest and score two free tickets! So, as you can imagine, I was out to win those tickets again, as well as enjoy some good food - that too. After enjoying our tour of Nolita/NoHo with our wonderful guide Anny Finnestad, I went to work editing my photos. I submitted several shots of food, locations, and people and the one they picked (shown here) was taken inside a unique French place called Tartinery. Here we got to taste some French wine and some ratatouille (you know, like that animated movie with the rat who wants to be a chef). We went to many other great places while on the tour and I am eager to attend my next tour with two free tickets in hand! If you like New York and are going there soon you should check out Foods of New York Tours on-line and on facebook! Thanks for reading and as always - Keep it REAL!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Art at Ponte Vedra Beach Public Library

This past Saturday, December 1st, I was able to hang a small new show at my local Public Library in Ponte Vedra Beach. This collection of photo work will be on display for the entire month of December and is completely free to view. It is also the first time I have been able to display my metal print dioramas in an exhibit space and I am very excited about that. So, come on down and see some great photo work and grab a book at your local library. Hope to see you there (PVB Library) and remember to Keep it REAL!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday #5 - Blessed in Bulk

Week 5 and going strong! - This week we flashback to some time well spent, or well wasted (you decide) at your local blessed in bulk store! In the case of this example we will be talking about Costco. Living in suburbia for pretty much all my life I have witnessed the evolution of America's fascination with shopping in bulk. It is probably safe to say that in recent years this fascination has reached its peak, but bulk shopping will most likely never fully disappear. There are several benefits to shopping in bulk such as lower prices, larger selection, and of course greater quantities, which comes in handy for big families. At a store like Costco, which gives new meaning to the term Big-Box store because it is quite literally a HUGE BOX, one can find several different items like food, cameras, TVs, toys, wine, clothes, candy, pizza, car tires, eye glasses, books, DVDs, you get the picture. But since it is a bulk store when you find the item you want you find about 50 more right next to it (as demonstrated in the photos above). At regular stores you might be lucky if you find just 2 or 3 of the same item out on display, which makes bulk shopping that much more fascinating and overwhelming. I bring this up now because I know all of you are getting ready to go out and buy a bunch of Christmas presents for the holidays. Be sure to shop smart this season and remember that sometimes the best present is hand-made and not store-bought. Keep it REAL!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Flashback Friday #4 - Thanksgiving

It's Friday again and since yesterday was Thanksgiving I thought I would do a flashback themed around that. This year my family and I spent Thanksgiving in New York City with my sister who lives in Manhattan. It was one of the first times we have spent the Turkey holiday in a place other than "home." But, as the old saying goes, 'Home is where the heart is' so we did not feel far from it. The above photos are from years past showing all the fixings and the classic pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. For several years we hosted our family at our house in Florida, but recently we have traveled to Atlanta for Thanksgiving. My family has also spent a Thanksgiving in Italy when my sister was there on a study abroad trip back in 2007. That was a most interesting Thanksgiving because we had to celebrate a purely American holiday in another country and when we went to buy Turkey we had a hard time finding enough! We certainly could not find a whole bird, but after some very interesting conversations with some butchers (they seemed very confused as to why we wanted so much turkey!) we were able to get quite a few pieces of cut turkey. It was like going to a grocery store and buying up all the brussel sprouts, but we had what we needed and were able to celebrate in style. I hope you and your family had a most enjoyable and tasty Turkey Day! Until next time readers - Keep it REAL!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday #3 - Holi in NYC

Hello readers! It's Friday again and you know what that means - Flashback Friday! Today we are going back to NYC again. You may be asking yourself 'Mark, you talk about New York quite a lot. Whats up with that?' Well, I travel there a lot (almost twice a year for the past 4), my sister lives there and I may be moving there myself, and on top of all that it is just an awesome place! Plus, I will be going there next week so this serves as precursor to that trip. Today we get to look back on a special event I got to experience on one of my trips to the Empire State - Holi, the Hindu festival of colors. This celebration normally lasts several days during the month of March and officially ushers in spring, the celebrated season of love. The significance of the holiday and respective festivities lies deep in Hindu scripture and belief. The story starts with a great King of Demons named Hiranyakashipu. This Demon King had a son named Prahlada who prayed to the God Vishnu instead of his own father. In classic ancient God style Prahlada's father ordered him to be burnt alive for his insubordination and being without fear Prahlada followed his father's orders, but prayed to Lord Vishnu for protection. Vishnu heard his prayers and kept him safe while allowing Hiranyakashipu's demon sister Holika (Prahlada's Demon Aunt I guess) to burn alive instead. The salvation of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. The festivities include the burning of bonfires on the eve of the holiday as well as the throwing of colored powders and scented perfumes at one another. This you can see in the photos above and as you can imagine it was quite a 'colorful' time had by all! Perhaps one day I will get to celebrate again, but for now I will enjoy the memories. Thanks for reading and Keep it REAL!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Four Families

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing my friends' band in concert at Jack Rabbits in San Marco. They recently changed their name from Robin Rütenberg & Friends (see previous post) to Four Families and have been enjoying quite a lot of publicity as well as different venues while on their recent tour. While their name may be different, they still have the same great music! Which is very important because they were in a Battle of the Bands last night and they did it up right. Looking good and sounding good is hard to do, but Four Families made it look easy and they are currently ranked 2nd out of 40 bands in the battle! (see battle standings here). You should check them out on-line and support live music by seeing them in concert. But whatever you do, remember the name (Four Families) and continue to Keep it REAL!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashback Friday #2 - Georgia Aquarium

We are back! Flashback Friday two weeks in a row! Lets keep it rolling. This week is a loaded one about the Georgia Aquarium. Earlier today I received news that the Aquarium has controversial plans to obtain more Beluga Whales for its exhibits. The full details as of right now include importing 18 Beluga Whales from Russia and spreading them over 6 different aquariums here in America. If it goes through it would be one of the largest such imports in the past 2 decades. The controversy lies with the ethical treatment of the animals and the length of the journey they must take in order to get to the United States. On the other hand, if the whales do arrive, they would lend valuable resources to both scientists and the average American population in the way of research and environmental awareness. 
I do not have a concrete opinion on the matter yet, but what I can say is that I love the Georgia Aquarium! As you can see from the pictures above it is a most inspiring place to be in. I have had the pleasure of visiting there a few times over the past few years and after each time I have left wondering when my next visit would be. One of my favorite spaces is shown in the middle photo. It is a tunnel that goes right down the middle of the largest tank in the aquarium called the Ocean Voyager. There is a moving walkway on one side to keep traffic flowing, but you can stop and stare if you like as well, which is what I like to do. Once you get across you take a journey through some exhibition spaces that tell you about the Whale Sharks (shown in the first and third photos) and how they got to the aquarium. Who do you call when you want the world's largest fish delivered on time?...well UPS of course! I'm not lying. They flew them over by UPS and the whole exhibit reads as one big advertisement for them, but if you look through that you can see some really great human ingenuity. Beyond the UPS Ad....cough cough....I mean will reach a giant viewing window (third photo). I mean giant too! It's more of a viewing theater than a viewing window. You could sit there for hours just staring at all the different fish and several people do just that. It is a most wonderful place and I hope you can travel there some day. If you would like to read the story about the Beluga Whales please click here - and, as always, keep it REAL!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Flashback Friday #1 - NYC

Hello readers! For a long time now I have been toying with different ideas of how to make my blog more interesting and more consistent. Several of the blogs that I follow have weekly postings which make them more relevant and current for their readers. I have tried to do this on my blog but I have been unsuccessful. If you look back through the archives you can find whole months that have only one or two posts! That is not a very consistent streak I have going. But that is all going to change. As of today I am starting a new series called 'Flashback Fridays.' Every Friday I propose to make a new post using a photo (or photos) I have pulled from my vast personal photo archive. I will be going through many genres of photos such as portraits, architecture, concerts, automotive, candid, street, travel, and much more. I hope you will join me each Friday for a new photo and story!
Today's photo and story takes place in New York. I have traveled to New York several times over the past few years and I will be heading there again later this month. While I was there in March of 2011 I ran across some Japanese locals who were tap dancing in Union Square to help raise money for Japan which was suffering in the wake of a huge earthquake and tsunami. New York is a very amazing place when at one moment you can be eating pizza in a place were everyone is talking Italian with corresponding hand gestures, and the next moment you can be in a public square watching Japanese people tap dancing. Have you ever seen a Japanese person tap dancing....? Thats right, I thought so. But they were and they were really good too. The photo in the middle was taken in Brooklyn and I liked how it paired up with the other two photos because of the shoes and it also reminded me of some photos I have seen recently of New York in the wake of hurricane Sandy. New York is one tough place and I have no doubt that they will be able to handle the clean-up. It will be interesting to see what has changed when I am there in a few weeks. Until then readers...Keep it REAL!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Letter to Peter Jackson

Today was a grand day! Started off with a 3D screening of The Amazing Spider-Man at the Trustees Theater in Savannah (first 3D movie to be shown in that theater), followed by a Q&A session with Stan 'The Man' Lee, had lunch at one of my favorite Japanese places in Savannah with some of my best friends, then watched a documentary on Stan Lee, had a meeting with my career adviser at SCAD, drove home to Jacksonville, and found this waiting for me after dinner! This is a response e-mail from WingNut Films saying they received my research paper on The Hobbit (see Concerning Hobbit Morals) and have looked it over and passed it on to Peter Jackson! I did not expect any response at all, or if I did, I was sure it was going to be one of those pre-written responses that they probably have to send out to hundreds of people per week. This is not. There are some things mentioned that are proof they read my letter (such as the part about enjoying the movie over Christmas since I will be seeing The Hobbit on Christmas Eve) and I am very excited to have received this. Just another Halloween treat to add to everything else that happened today! Thanks for reading and remember - Keep it REAL!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Friendly Halloween Spider-Man!

Halloween is in a few days, and even though I don't dress up anymore and run around my neighborhood with a pillow-case asking complete strangers for candy, I still like to decorate. Especially when I get to carve a pumpkin! This is the first time I have been home for Halloween in the last 5 years so I wanted to at least do a little something special for the front porch. In years past I used to go all out with the fake cob-webs, multiple carved pumpkins, lights, black-lights, lanterns, spooky eyes, window hangings, and scary music. But since we live in a secluded part of our neighborhood we hardly get any kids coming to the front door with their heavy laden pillow cases. Yes, very sad, I know. Yet I did put out a few lanterns and our friendly skeleton sitting to welcome those few well dressed kids who might come knocking. And yes, I did carve a pumpkin as well. I decided to carve a Spider-Man themed one this year because on Wednesday morning (Halloween) I will be in Savannah seeing The Amazing Spider-Man at the Trustees Theater followed by a Q&A by Stan 'The Man' Lee himself (co-creator of Spider-Man)! I am very excited for that Halloween treat! Keep it REAL!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back In Action

I was able to pick up both my camera and wide angle lens from the camera shop today. Everything is in working order and back in action. I am very excited to get out there and tear it up with my tuned-up photo equipment! New stories, new adventures, and new photos will be coming soon. Keep checking back for more content faithful readers! And, as always, - Keep it REAL!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Concerning Hobbit Morals

I have a small confession to make - I am a huge Tolkien fan! So huge in fact that in 10th grade I wrote a research paper on The Hobbit. Since the movie adaptation is coming to the big screen later this year I wanted to celebrate by resurrecting my paper and up-dating it. When I started doing this I had the idea to mail a copy to director Peter Jackson. Sure it's kind of a silly thought and probably nothing will come of it, but if something does, if I actually get a response from someone like Peter Jackson, then that will certainly be one of the coolest things to ever happen to me! So, with that in mind I prepared my paper to mail and I sent out three copies of it this week. One to Mr. Jackson himself, one to Wingnut Films (both in New Zealand), and one to Warner Brothers Studios (in California). I'm sure they get lots of fan mail so I tried my hardest to make mine as professional as possible with professional quality printing and formal cover letters for each packet so they at least should stand out from the standard mailings they get. Keep your fingers crossed for me that something cool will happen later, and if nothing happens at least I can say I was able to make my paper better and share it with all of you - so if you are in the reading mood today hop on over to issuu and give Concerning Hobbit Morals a read. And don't forget to keep it REAL!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In the Shop

So for the first time in the past 5 years I am without my trusty digital camera. I dropped it off today at my local camera repair store and should have it back in about a week or so. While in the shop (or camera garage) they will be cleaning the sensor of dust (saving me hours of photoshop work), running camera function tests, and replacing the shutter adjustment toggle switch (which is half-way broken). I'd say after 5 years of constant shooting it has held up pretty well if that is all that's wrong with it. I have also sent off my wide angle lens (see previous post) to get fixed, so in a few weeks I should have everything working again and in tip-top shape. Watch out for more great photos headed your way. In the mean time - keep it REAL!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wide Angle Up-Date

A quick up-date on photo stuff. My wide angle lens has been out of commission for some time now. This is the lens that delivered some of my best shots like the ones to the left, but while I was in school I was always too busy to research how to get it fixed. Well, I finally have had time to do that and I will be sending it in this week to get it fixed. I also found out what the problem was, the diaphragm (the part that controls the aperture opening) is not working properly. Good thing my lens is still under warranty so I should be able to get fixed no problem. Keep your fingers crossed for me and if all goes well you will certainly see more photos taken with this lens. Keep it REAL!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Art at Marywood

So I finally got to see my artwork hanging up at Marywood Retreat and Conference Center today. These pieces were hung up back in August by my good friend Kimberly David who did a lot of work for the Center over the summer. Her work is actually still hanging up in the halls as well. Marywood is doing a lot of renovation and reformatting right now and one of the things they are trying to promote is featured art, an idea that Kimberly greatly influenced while she was there. I am very happy I was able to be one of the first of what I'm sure will be many artists to grace the walls of Marywood. If you would like to learn more about Marywood follow the link and drop by for a visit if you can. It is located in the Fruit Cove area of St. Johns, Florida. Keep it REAL!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's My Birthday!

For the 24th time in my life it is my birthday! Let the celebration commence! I prepared this little b-day banner a while back in anticipation for my 24th birthday. It is from the book Scott Pilgrim (Gets it Together) Vol. 4. In the story the main character turns 24 and has a very funny scene at his birthday party, so funny in fact that I laughed out loud for a good minute the first time I read it. That scene is recreated here in the banner with some added flair for good measure. Plus, I photoshopped my name in where Scott Pilgrim's name was. I know I have a lot of friends who are also Scott Pilgrim fans so I might be using this poster over again in the near future to help them celebrate their birthdays. Well, I better get going but I will be in touch soon. Keep it REAL!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

PhotoMuse: Preserving Photography Through Architecture

I finally finished and posted my architectural thesis project entitled PhotoMuse: Preserving Photography Through Architecture! I am very proud of this project and I believe it looks way better in book format, which I have up-loaded to issuu so check it out. I mean its not like I have been working on this project for over a year or anything like that! ha! But, seriously, I would really appreciate it if you took the time to take a look. I know a lot of the material in the beginning is mainly text so if you don't have the time to read the whole thing at least skip to the end and look at the final images of my design. They are worth it for sure. I really hope you like it and if you know anyone with 3 million bucks to burn give me a call because the proposed building for my PhotoMuse project is on the market! Who knows! haha - Keep it REAL! - PhotoMuse

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Lens

I am now the proud owner of a brand new Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens! Now that might look like a bunch of technical jargon to most people, but in the photography world it means a very sharp, easy to use, light weight lens with an amazing 1.8 aperture and excellent color rendering. The aperture is what allows a camera to take photos that have one area in focus while the rest of the composition becomes unfocused. I have demonstrated this above with the first few images I have taken with my new lens. I am very excited to have a new creative device to play with and I look forward to sharing more work soon. In the mean time, keep it REAL!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Artist Journal

Along with my portfolio (posted below) I also published my artist journal. This was created as part of a photography class I took back in 2011 and it is one of the most significant collection of thoughts and inspirational sources that I have ever put together. I have to thank my professor, Jaclyn Cori Norman for making everyone in the class make one because I have often found myself referring back to it for inspiration. So, if you ever wanted to know about my influences, here they are in full! Read on and keep it REAL!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Portfolio Published on issuu

I just made my first publication on the website issuu, a leading digital publishing platform. I had learned about them a few months ago but never looked further until recently when a good friend of mine published his architecture thesis book. I published my architecture, design, and photography portfolio for now, and my thesis book will come soon after. If you would like to take a look follow the link and also be sure to check out my friend's book as well. Benjamen Buglovsky and his architecture thesis Farm Follows Function. It is worth a look, trust me. Keep it REAL readers!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I am now on twitter! Just recently started my profile on there and I thought I would promote it a bit on here. If you are a twitter fan yourself follow the link to my profile. I hope to see you in the twittersphere! Keep it REAL!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mars Rover - Curiosity

Curiosity Has Landed! For those of you who don't know (and seriously, if you don't know, where have you been for the last two weeks?) we successfully landed the latest, greatest, and largest Mars rover on the unforgiving surface of the Red Planet. Curiosity was launched on Nov. 26th 2011 and landed on Aug. 6th 2012 after traveling over 300 million miles! The rover is about the size of a (get this) Mini Cooper! You gotta love it now! It's mission is to explore the surface and see if it can find proof that Mars is, or was, in fact inhabitable. I could go on and on about how cool this thing is but I will now turn it over to the experts and let them keep you up-dated on this landmark achievement in human and universal history. Go to the mission website for more info and videos explaining all the details of the mission. And, for the Rover Lover in you, follow this link to a size comparison photo of all the Mars Rovers. In the mean time enjoy my Mars Meme above! These guys are some the smartest people on earth so they deserve to be a little over the top when celebrating don't ya think? Keep it REAL!


Hello folks! I have been doing a lot of up-dating of my web presence lately (maybe you have noticed changes to my blog and behance portfolio page...??). So, with that being said you should check out my facebook photo and art page called MP-Productions. If you are on facebook, and you like what you see, then like the page! Follow the link and keep it REAL!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Owl in the Backyard

Today I discovered a Barred Owl who has recently taken up post in my backyard. In the past we have had Great Horned Owls come and go, leaving their famous 'Whoo ooh' as a parting gift. This guy was very quiet and elegant as he took up perch in the yard and was kind enough to let me photograph him. I can only hope he hunts down some pesky mice that seem to be in abundance lately. Hunt away Mr. Owl, hunt away!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Night Blooming Cereus

My parents have always had an affinity for the outdoors. This passion has been expressed over the years through camping trips, canoeing expeditions, hiking, and, on a more daily basis, gardening. Their most recent display of green thumb came in the form of this night-blooming cereus, which bloomed last night, August 11th, between 9pm and 10pm. This amazing flower, often referred to as 'princess of the night,' blooms on average only once a year and always at night. We were lucky enough to experience it's beautiful transformation last night and are eagerly awaiting it's next bloom.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

ELM Studio Transition Animation

Here is another quick post for you. Today was a busy day for me in the studio. Besides just getting one of my photos hung up in the lobby, I also experimented with making a studio before and after transition animation. It went over very well with the architects and they said they would like to use it on their website so my next step is to figure out the best way to incorporate it into their site. Here is the link to the Animation so you can take a look for now. Hopefully soon I will be able to say it made it to their site, which you can also look at Here! Keep it REAL! Also, just to give credit where it is due, I did not take the two photos, I just made the animation. The before photo was taken by an employee of the firm and the after was done by a marketing team.

Internship at ELM, Jacksonville

I just recently started an internship at ELM studio in Jacksonville, FL. I have only been there for 2 weeks, but I am very excited to be able to work with them and gain valuable experience within both of my fields. My somewhat official title is 'legacy documentation and design intern,' and what that means is that I am in charge of photographing their past and current projects and help document, file, and organize their marketing / legacy portfolio. I have had a lot of fun there so far and am looking forward to working on more interesting projects. Also, as of today, I officially have a photo hanging up in their studio! It's that one, over there, the one I posted. It's hanging in the lobby of their studio downtown. The photo was taken at RiverTown, St. Johns, FL inside the clubhouse. They did a great job on the interior design and that is what I wanted to capture in this photo. Let me know what you think and remember to keep it REAL! Later.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Dark Knight Will RISE

Today is a sad day for sure with the horrible shooting in Colorado. One that will certainly go in the history books. I for one am deeply saddened by the events and my heart goes out to the people in Colorado. But just as the title of the movie that this case evolves around says, we will RISE above and do our best to bond together and carry on. Today I made this custom movie poster to honor both the people who were affected and the movie trilogy that teaches us how to pick ourselves up after we fall. The poster was made from a collage of comic book pages and a fan made poster that combines all three movies that I found on the internet and modified. Then I airbrushed over the collage with black and white ink. I hope you enjoy this poster and be sure to see The Dark Knight Rises when you can. I already have my ticket to see it in IMAX next weekend. And be sure to send your thoughts and prayers to the good people in Colorado. They need them more than ever.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Photo Publications

I wanted to take a second to give a quick up-date on my photography exploits so far this year. It has been a very exciting year for sure seeing as how I was fortunate enough to make it into 3 photo publications. From left to right they are Photographer's Forum 32nd Annual Best of College & High School Photography 2012, SCAD Silver & Ink 2012, and Ellipsis - SCAD Photogroup's 1st Annual Publication. The photos that were published are Urban Theater - Venice Italy - Triangulation - Miami, FL - and - Empire - New York. So, thank you dear readers for your continued support and I promise more work will be coming soon. Keep it REAL!

National Geographic Photo Contest

It seems like I just can't enter enough photo contests. Here is another one themed around travel photography, which is what I mainly shoot so I just had to jump on it. Plus it is hosted by National Geographic so that already made me look twice. I decided to enter a photo I took on my latest trip to New York. I know National Geo is known for their impressive sweeping landscapes, but personally I like looking at architecture more and this photo of the Empire State Building shining out in the gloom on an overcast night will always stick with me. You can see my entry page on the National Geographic website here. Until next time - keep it REAL!

Friday, June 8, 2012

(Academic) Year in Review 2011-2012

WOW! - What a year! Hello faithful readers, got a long one in store for you. I just recently completed my graduate year at SCAD and earned my Master of Architecture degree. I wanted to take some time to reflect on all the wonderful things that happened this past academic year - both the bad and the good - (mainly the good). This past year I attended 4 straight quarters at SCAD and completed 10 classes in order to finish up my undergraduate work in architecture and photography as well as start and finish my graduate work in architecture. I earned two degrees including a M.Arch degree (Master of Architecture). I took extremely fun courses such as Experimental Inkjet Printing, extremely challenging classes such as Structures: Lateral Forces, and extremely important classes such as Architecture Thesis Studio I & II. I photographed a wedding in both D.C. and New Jersey (same wedding, kind of a long story). I had a professional level photography gallery at my high school and got to reconnect with my past teachers there. I traveled to places such as New York and Orlando to visit interesting areas such as the Bronx Zoo and Islands of Adventure, even got to go to Hogwarts (twice!). Had a classic suburban American Thanksgiving, with Costco runs aplenty. Dropped by the brand new LEGOLAND Florida and re-lived my childhood. Attended concerts, seminars, formal events, gallery openings, dramatic plays, parties, and lectures that inspired as well as challenged my thoughts. Survived a devastating car wreck and still attended class the next day. Explored abandoned and vacant buildings, which offered great photographic moments. Helped in the filming of some student films and enjoyed the mayhem that ensued. Witnessed the ground breaking and completion of the brand new SCAD Museum of Art and indulged in it's well designed facilities. Participated in the Side Walk Arts Festival and was even visited by SCAD President, Paula Wallace! Was featured in 3 photographic publications including SCAD Silver & Ink - also had my photo hung up in Bergen Hall, the Photo building. Continued to attend RUF at SCAD and finished my 3 year run as co-leader of the music team. Finally had a living situation with not only good roommates but good friends as well. Had some honorary roommates as well, who were always welcome. In the end it was a most eventful year and I would not change a thing because all of it has made me who I am today. I would like to thank all of the people who helped make this past year possible (you know who you are and most of you are featured in the photo montage above). But most of all I would like to thank both of my families. My real family in Florida and New York (Sister), and my SCAD family via my roommates and honorary roommates. Without you guys this past year would have been a lot harder and not nearly as much fun so thank you for being you! Until next time readers - keep it REAL!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Graduate Architecture Thesis Exhibition

Building off my last post about finishing up my 5 year Master of Architecture degree, here is a post about exhibiting some of the work that earned me that degree. Next Friday, June 1st, SCAD will be hosting the Graduate Architecture Thesis Exhibition in Eichberg Hall. It will be in the Main Building, Second Floor, from 11am to 2pm. All the Thesis students will be showing their work from the past year so you won't want to miss it. Each project is unique and shows off the talent, dedication, and passion of each student. Plus there will be food so what more of a reason do you need! Also, I helped design the invitation you see above. The concept behind it was to have each student design an icon that describes their thesis project. Mine is the 4th one in on the bottom row - my aperture logo over red.

SCAD Master of Architecture Class of 2012

In just about a week from now I will be graduating with my Master of Architecture Degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. It has been a whirlwind of an adventure the last 5 years and I am very excited to be completing my work and setting out on the real world. Although I would be lying if I did not say I was a little scared as well, but that is to be expected I guess. Nevertheless I am still very proud of the work I was able to accomplish at SCAD and I will always cherish my memories of this place, my professors, and most of all, my fellow students. This photo is the class photo for 2012 - all the students that will be graduating with a Master of Architecture or a Master of Urban Design. As a lasting legacy for the school this photo will be framed at 24 x 36 with signatures from all the students and displayed in Eichberg Hall. It will serve as a reminder of all our hard work and will be very fun to see whenever we visit SCAD in the future. My Thesis professor, Arpad Ronaszegi, took this photo. Follow the link to his photo site.

New Contact Cards

Hello there, been working hard lately and I just wanted to take a second to share my new sticker label and business card designs with you. The first image is the sticker label and the second is the back of my business / contact card. The front of my card is the same as the sticker label minus the type at the bottom. I have already ordered copies of each of these and in the future I might adjust the design a bit and order more. If you are planning on making business cards or contact cards soon yourself, you might want to check out this awesome site called It is a printing service site and I think they are very creative and well priced. In the mean time let me know what you think of my new contact cards! Later!

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Behance Account

I just recently got an account on Behance. SCAD was able to partner with them and I thought I would go ahead and make my own profile. Behance is an on-line tool that allows you to make a portfolio that you can then share with friends, family, and potential employers. My account is still in the early stages so it does not have much content, but check it out if you have a second. This is also a good opportunity for you to see my architecture work since I don't have it posted anywhere else. Link!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Robert Garvin - Sound Designer

This past Tuesday I had a photo shoot with my friend Robert. He was looking for a photo he could send out with his graduation invitations and he wanted the photo to convey some part about Savannah and the fact that he (Robert) is a sound design major. This is one of the better photos from the shoot and as you can see it gets the whole message across without being too in your face about it I believe. We also had a bit of fun with Robert's sound equipment while on the photo shoot. We staged some photos were he is setting up to "record" sound on location and some of them turned out pretty well. I also was able to put together a few short photo animations of Robert "setting" up. You can check those out here - Robert 1 - Robert 2 - Robert 3. These short photo animations are of Robert throwing out his sound cables and I highlighted the cable so you can see it better. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SCAD Silver & Ink 2012 Write-Up

The SCAD Silver & Ink show was a great success this year! There was a huge turn out of students, professors, and honored guests and the student work was very professional. The show will be up till June 10th so if you are in the Savannah area you should stop by and see the gallery. It is worth it, believe me. In the mean time you can read about the show in the school paper. Here is the link to the article, it even mentions me!

Walking the High Line

Here is another photo animation that I threw together. I took this series of photos on the High Line in New York City back in March. I wanted to make this animation because the photos by themselves are kinda boring, but when viewed in sequence they become very interesting and energetic. To see the short animation just follow the link! High Line Animation.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pantheon in Chalk

Here is the square I did for the 2012 Sidewalk Arts Festival. I was so busy all week with my thesis project that I had no time to think about what I was going to draw for the festival so in order to get some last second inspiration I started looking through some old photos of mine and I ran across this photo of the Pantheon ceiling I took back in the summer of 2010 while on the SCAD study abroad trip. When I looked at it I said "That's it!" Luckily I had an extra print of it so I grabbed it and went. Plus, just the day before I had my 3rd Thesis Defense presentation and it went very well so I felt that I needed to extend the good architecture vibes. I got a lot of good comments during the festival while I was drawing it out and most people picked up on what it was very quickly. A few others saw vastly different things, which was quite interesting. One of the most different things by far was that someone thought it was the The Large Hadron Collider at CERN. I don't see that one as much but oh well. The best part was that the co-founder and president of SCAD, Paula Wallace, stopped by my square and talked to me about it. She seemed to really like it and I was very humbled by that unexpected honor. I hope you enjoy it too! Thanks for reading.

Pancakes for Yeti

During the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival this past weekend my friend Phillip Jacobson did a square to help promote his new web-comic called "Pancakes for Yeti." It's about a simple guy named Chuck who is roommates with a Yeti and all the hi-jinks that they get into. Not only did the square turn out really nice, but the comic itself is really funny and worth a read! You should check it out and feel free to leave him comments about how the story is progressing and what you enjoy about it. To get to the comic follow the link!

SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival 2012

This past weekend at SCAD was family weekend and as a part of this annual weekend SCAD hosts the Sidewalk Arts Festival in Forsyth Park. I have done it for the past 4 years and it is always a lot of fun. The entire park gets transformed into a venue for art and celebration. Sidewalk squares get reserved for current students, graduate students, alumni, and prospective students to chalk up and turn into unique pieces of art. I was able to get a square in the graduate student section this year next to 3 of my friends and we had a great time drawing and enjoying the nice spring weather. I really hope that next year I will be able to come back and do an alumni square. That would be a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy the photo. My square will be posted in another post so keep reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SCAD Permanent Collection

Hello people! I have exciting news for you! Just yesterday, Wednesday the 25th of April, I found out from a friend that SCAD put up my photo in Bergen Hall, the photography building. Most SCAD buildings have student work hanging that is part of the permanent collection but Bergen Hall - until yesterday - was not among those buildings. Kind of strange since its a building that houses a fine art program. It is probably because it simply does not have much useable exhibition space, but they found a place and its in the lobby! If I am not mistaken it might even be the very first photo (or piece of art from the SCAD collection) to ever be hung in Bergen! Now that is pretty awesome. Also, over the summer they put this new window wrap on the glass wall behind the security desk that uses the same aperture logo I use on my business card. Very funny since now they have my photo hanging up too! To read the original story of this photo follow this link!

Monday, April 23, 2012

SCAD Silver & Ink 2012

This coming Saturday (April 28th) is the opening reception of SCAD's largest annual photography exhibition - Silver & Ink! I was fortunate enough this year to make it in the show and several of my talented friends and fellow photo students made it in the show as well. If you are in the area you should come on by. I only have one image in the show, but there will so much professional work there that the show as a whole will be something you certainly won't want to miss! Saturday, April 28th 5:30-8pm at the Gutstein Gallery across from the Trustees Theater. - Also, on a side note, the original post for this photo can be found here!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

GWO - Recap

What a great weekend we had! Shoot things, eat things, sleep things, eat more things, shoot more things, and enjoy in some fellowship things. So many things and so little time. I will greatly miss this next year since this is my last year of school for the foreseeable future, but it will not be the last time I see these guys and I am very thankful that I can share these memories with them. You guys rock! And before you leave, please enjoy this - Running Photo Animation

GWO - Guys Weekend Out 2012

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to go on a weekend retreat with my campus ministry at SCAD. It was the second annual RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) GWO - Guys Weekend Out! Just like last year we journeyed out to Hollywood Farms & Quail Plantation in Macon, GA and shot a lot of guns. We had a great time hanging out together and bonding over guns, ammo, and food. It was all overseen by Chuck Duggan who owns and runs the Plantation. He offered us professional gun training and expert advice to maximize both our safety and fun! To see the above photos animated just click on these three links! - Chuck - Eric - Hampton - It's Photo Magic!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy One Year Anniversary!

Hey folks! Guess what? It has been one full year since I started this blog! I just wanted to Mark (yes, pun fully intended) the occasion with a quick post and say thank you to those of you who have stuck with me for an entire year. And for those of you just joining us I welcome you to PHOTO REAL - a blog for photos and everyday observations. The door is always open for comments and conversations so please read on and feel free to share stories of your own. I look forward to continuing this blog for years to come and I am glad that I have an outlet to share my art and thoughts. I hope you continue to come back as I will continue to make more compelling and dynamic photographs and provide stories along with them. In the mean time - Keep it REAL!