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April 30th, 2009

80 Years & 3 Days

San Antonio Gun Club | April 21, 1929 & April 24, 2009

Eighty years and three days after this image was made, I shot my first ever perfect round of skeet at the San Antonio Gun Club, just where that image so long ago was made, everyone in it trying to do what I had just accomplished in the exact same spot. I did this after my worst day in a competition ever just twenty-four hours earlier and just before beginning the main event at the World English Sporting Clays Championship elsewhere in San Antonio. I also got to shoot two days at the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center, an official United States Olympic Training facility in Kerrville, TX. I was in Texas 8 days, shot 6 of those days, shot 3 competitions at the World’s and attempted to shoot exactly 900 targets by the time it was all over. I met many different people from all walks of life and beliefs from all over the country… and of course, the world – all trying to do just what I was.

touch the shells below to play 1m 30s video from Worlds:

April 30th, 2009

San Marcos, TX

April 15th, 2009

for CR on April 13, 2009

I hadn’t been to this area of Brooklyn in years. I was on a walk with JB when I realized I had been here before, this very corner in fact. My friend CR lives here too and I had just never approached this corner from this angle before. I haven’t seen or spoken with CR in months for various reasons I am not sure I understand although CR has been in and out of my life for 18 years now. Last I heard from CR, she was pregnant and quite shy about it, she is due any day now… or about now from what little details I know.

Once I realized this, the gravity of this walk changed. I was worried, I was excited, I was curious, I was jealous. So I made her 25 photographs on this walk on April 13, 2009… A print of each one is in the mail soon CR, this much I promise.

To see the above 64 second video bigger in better quality, touch here.

April 14th, 2009

I Am A Webby Honoree

I got an email today at 4:32pm letting me know this site, I Like To Tell Stories, was one of 12 Honorees in The Webby Awards – BLOG-Culture/Personal Category. Among my fellow 12 Honorees: Anderson Cooper, NPR, Top Chef and Cute Overload. I am among greatness and it really feels wonderful. The 5 nominated sites are quite amazing as well, I just explored and added several to my RSS, you should too.

This was not just a photo competition or even a photography only category, it was open to all blogs of a cultural or personal nature. I am truly humbled to have my images and stories included in such a wide open category among so many diverse websites, it really is an amazing thing to realize.

I called my father, emailed a few friends and 2h later, haven’t stopped smiling.

I’d like to thank the Academy (yes, it’s an academy) and everyone along the way that let me photograph them or otherwise let me share my part of their life……

– – –
The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web’s infancy, the Webbys are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities.

The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, R/GA Founder and Chairman Robert Greenberg, Virgin Atlantic Chairman and Founder Richard Branson, and The Weinstein Company Co-Founder Harvey Weinstein. Members also include writers and editors from publications such as The New York Times, Wired, Details, Fast Company, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, Vibe, and WallPaper.

The 12th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states and generated over 750 million media impressions worldwide.

April 10th, 2009

Alligator Al-Qaeda

(touch to play video)

You Say Alligator, I Hear Al-Qaeda

Audio by John
Images by Jonathan

April 9th, 2009

As Real As Cheez Doodles

(touch to play video)

Images by Jonathan
Words by John

April 7th, 2009

#1RN | Denis D

Denis D | #1RN – Without You #72 | 4/3/09

Knowing Denis will make you a better photographer. Denis is a professor where I went to school and simply showing up to a class at this school or any other school will not teach you anything, I know this as I have seen it happen. I say Denis will make you better because he will put in what you do, then more and then push back appropriately.

I never had a single class with Denis, not even one. I did however go to his critiques – often instead of even showing up to my own classes. I got to know Denis more as a friend as Denis, Dan and I were usually the only ones still printing at 1AM, 2AM or Sunday when everyone else was off wasting time doing whatever, we were locked in F Series around the color print processor, printing and talking pictures… Find people like you or like you wish you were and make prints around each other stopping sometimes to tell each other stories. Better yet, introduce yourself to Denis.

April 6th, 2009

#1RN | Cadence T

Cadence T | #1RN | Without You #71 | 4/2/09

(one minute video)

April 2 is Cadence’s birthday. I didn’t know Cadence until this day and I didn’t know the 2nd was her birthday until she was here and until I was already in the middle of taking her portrait. This made it more important somehow, to both of us, although likely for different reasons that don’t actually matter, the mood shifted and this was a good thing.

She had called me up a day or two before and asked if I would be interested in taking her portrait to which I replied, “Yes, I would be very interested, but only if you are doing this for you and for me and not because of any odd ill intentioned reasoning or to hurt my friend ______.” While I had not met her before or spoken to her before, she and a friend of mine were once in love with each other and now were no longer. This much I did know. He had talked about me and introduced her to my stories, which she now follows even though they haven’t been together for some time now. She assured me it was for her and for me, so obviously I was fascinated to photograph her once this was now out of the way. It seems while she knew the following, I did not… The first time I met our mutual friend, was also April 2nd, the same day I first took his portrait here in #1RN one year ago to the day.

I cannot make this stuff up, this is why I like to tell stories. One of many reasons anyway… as it turns out my connections to my new friend Cadence did not stop here.

About 48h after leaving #1RN, I get another interesting story from Cadence in an email. It turns out she was once photographed by my friend Joshua 13 years ago long before Joshua was even known to me and long since they had forgotten about each other. Only did meeting me and seeing that Joshua was now my friend did this memory spark for her. At some point in 1996, Joshua photographed Cadence in an elevator here in NYC. Although their meeting was brief, Joshua had it in his heart to mail her a print. As is his way still today, he spent hours composing the text on the mailing labels and the text on the included letter on his typewriter… even going on to apologize for the lack of color correction in the print.

This is why I tell stories, this is why I love my friends.

April 6th, 2009

Madoff is Still Out There

History Channel & a beach in Tahiti – my Madoff image.

April 3rd, 2009

I Want to be Like Mike

Mike was interviewed for a magazine. This magazine wanted to run a photograph with the article. When no existing photographs of Mike were found that were suitable, the magazine informed Mike at 11:38 AM that they did not have the budget to include a photograph of him. At 11:42 AM, just 4 minutes after hearing the budget for the shoot, Mike said he would cover the cost. It should be noted that Mike has nothing to gain from being in this article or this magazine. It should also be noted Mike is already considered one of the best in his field here in New York City, so if you are involved in any accounting irregularities in the securities and financial reporting world, you better hope you never meet Mike.

Mike was more dapper, gentlemanly, enjoyable and well put together then most men who wear suits on television playing the type of man Mike actually is… I want to be like Mike and so should you.

April 1st, 2009

Behind the Glass | Part I

Saturday | March 28, 2009

In the past 24h, everything beautiful has been behind glass. So fragile a barrier, yet quite effective. Earn the treasure this glass protects, simply breaking it will not do… The treasure of images at one show, the works of firepower displayed at another or the words exchanged back and forth on my computer screen with someone now very far away. So much treasure and joy, all so close, all out of reach, all protected by something so invisible.

April 1st, 2009

Behind the Glass | Part II

Saturday | March 28, 2009

Anthony’s trophy case(s) – which now include 2 photographs by Jonathan.

I awoke about 2AM after passing out at 7PM after being awake some 36h portfolio/book building and spending about 5h at AIPAD the day before. At AIPAD I managed to accidentally spit water on friends, make awkward small talk with those that I assume would of rather I left them alone and receive a scornful glance from a photographer whose images reduced to me to tears once in high school, now peddle his book booth by booth, looking for some kind of help or love.

I awoke, turned on my computer, read one email I now wish had never come and decided it was time to leave, if only briefly, and focus on something joyfully absurd. I had originally planned to shoot at the NJ State Championships this weekend but after realizing non-residents weren’t going to receive trophies, the economy and other random excuses, I had pulled out of this plan. Well, I figured this would be the perfect place to go on a rainy Saturday after all, spend money I shouldn’t and shoot the preliminary events. They were cheaper, faster and due to a poor camera placement, gave me the chance to show off my butt, which you can see about half way through the video below, just click on the speedometer.

100 Target Prelim – 1st Place – 82/100
50 Target Prelim – 1st Place – 42/50
5 Stand 50 Target – 3rd Place – 32/50

All results B Class, now 3/4 of the way to A Class.