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Vera

(Vera wouldn’t mind if you clicked on the image to see it bigger)

My reliable, two-door, sporty, 1999 Toyota Solara is now a thing of the past.  It served its purpose, but in reality…there were only so many dirt roads it could get me down. And with the upcoming monsoon season just over three months away…it was time to make a change.

Enter Vera, my “new” 1994 4Runner with over 190,000 miles on it. And the thing is beautiful. Yes…I had some work done on it after I bought it, but the guys that looked at it said the thing is in great shape. Plus you know these 4Runners and Land Cruisers…they go on forever and ever.

I’ve been driving it around the last few weeks I’ve had it and it’s been a blast. I’m dying to take it down a few trails this summer (or maybe even before that).

Two things you must know about Vera: First, her name was inspired by Jayne’s gun on Firefly, so before anyone gives me crap about it, this is the gun:

Secondly…for someone to waste a pretty epic Arizona sunrise photographing their truck instead of something that might make a sellable print…well, that’s love baby.

Looking forward to where Vera takes me the rest of the year. I think this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

(canon eos 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, f/10, iso 100)

Almost Famous

The Duce Bus Downtown Phoenix

(Hat tip to the wife for picking the name for this one…she always comes through)

Another edition of Movie Title Wednesday finds us back in the 1970’s, riding along with Stillwater, the band that is the focus of the fantastic film, Almost Famous.

I remember loving this movie, and perhaps even getting choked up at the end. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but it’s one of those films that comes along once in awhile that just hangs with you for years after seeing it. A young man tries to get an article written for Rolling Stones Magazine by joining the band Stillwater on their tour bus as they go around the country. Great cast…Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Jason Lee.

One of the best moments of the film that still kind of resonates with me was when they all join in to sing Tiny Dancer while heading down the highway. Amazing scene.

If you haven’t seen it…check it out, definitely can’t go wrong if you love music, bands, a little comedy, a little drama and awesome writing.

The bus in the photo belongs to The Duce, an eclectic, unique place in downtown Phoenix. I shot this back in late December whilst on our first photowalk of the city. My buddy Ken and I both got shots of it, still haven’t seen what he did with it.

I processed this photo awhile ago…probably within a week of taking it, but was waiting to dump it on a Wednesday. This was one of the first times I used Focal Point from onOne Software and I absolutely loved how it isolated the front of the bus. I knew right away I’d make it black and white, because I find it really helps get rid of any distraction when it comes to background colors.

Speed

Downtown Phoenix Freeway Interstate 10

Oh how I longed to live closer to the downtown area so I could explore taking shots like this one. Long exposures over freeways with loads of vehicles. Although, I realized when I look at this that it could basically have been taken on any ol’ freeway with a pedestrian overpass! But I love it because it’s downtown Phoenix!

I also love the movie Speed, which is the name of the film for my weekly Movie Title Wednesday entry. I don’t care how much people hate Keanu Reeves and his acting (or lack of) style…I usually find him entertaining. If I remember correctly, this movie kind of re-birthed Reeves as an action star after being a total dweeb time-traveler in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Speed was such a fun movie, lots of action, intensity, Dennis Hopper and not to mention Sandra Bullock.

“Shoot the hostage!”

Now, this photo has an extra special quality about it because it’s ALSO being used to help advertise the “gallery” I’ll be displaying my prints in for First Friday on November 5th and for the rest of that month. You can see it being used on the frontpage of DayTwelve.org and displayed on the official flyer for the event (click here to see it!).

If you live in the area, I hope you can make the event and check out my work PLUS the other five awesome photographers there, including my buddies Dee Nichols and Rick Young.