9/11 Memorial at Tempe Town Lake

I am trying to shoot a photograph every day and post them online so today I decided to visit the 9/11 memorial at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Ariz. I shot using only available light, which meant a high ISO and slow shutter speeds. I think I’ll likely attend the takedown ceremony on Sunday at 6 a.m. as well.
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Playing in the Rain

Yesterday all of Phoenix, Ariz. was hit by record rain, more than the previous 1933 record. The state needs all the rain it can get, and it’s refreshing to see the valley come to life following the massive water deluge. The city received more than 3 inches of rain, which is more characteristic of the total rainfall for July, August and September. I found a variety of people trying to make their way out of Vista del Cerro Drive in Tempe, Ariz. where a car stalled and students played in the rain after their school was cancelled.

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Fight for $15 Protest

I shot some images of the Fight for $15 protest in Phoenix, Ariz. earlier this week. the movement focuses on securing $15 per hour for fast food employees across the nation, making it a living wage for employees. Four members of the group were arrested for protesting on 24th Street and as you can see in some photos, there were nearly equal numbers of officers to protesters which did create a feeling of over enforcement in what was a largely peaceful protest. It’s interesting to hear all the differing views as people in the neighborhood walked up to order their lunch from the McDonalds restaurant. Most everyone agreed $15 was a good living wage, though many were doubtful that the movement could achieve their goal.

Bocafloja in the Borderlands

I attended the Bocafloja concert in Phoenix, Ariz. last Thursday. The Mexico City artist narrates the experience of the body of the oppressed as a vehicle of transgression to hegemonic structures in his most recent album Patologías del Invisible Incómodo, released in 2012. Thank you wikipedia for condensing something so complex into one sentence. The concert was held at the Herberger Theater and put on by the ASU borderlands initiative which is putting on some of the most unique shows you could see in the greater Phoenix area.

Chandler Fashion Center for a day

I spent Saturday shooting an event for Haute photography at the Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, Ariz. There is something really fun about the eagerness of all these kids who patiently sat in line for hours to see Stefanie Scott from the t.v. show Ant Farm. I think malls are such an original American experience and this Saturday definitely reminded me of that.

Nintendo!

I had a chance this weekend to photograph the Play Nintendo Tour at Arrowhead Towne Center this weekend. Several games, most of which I never played, were out for kids and adults to try out. I think I’ve spent less than a day playing video games in my lifetime so it was a fun experience to see how many young and old fans came out. From toadstool babies to grown Zelda fans.

ASTRA toy convention

I recently shot at the ASTRA toy convention where attendees were able to go and put together toy kits from various different companies. So much fun for an adult to put together kits! Some of these were great exercises in creativity while learning how to follow directions.

Comicon is the Best Thing

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It’s a bit late, but I wanted to post some photographs from this years Phoenix Comicon in Downtown Phoenix. I found that Wiki had an interesting history and background on the San Diego Comicon which first convened in 1970. I have to say this was my first visit, but I loved it. The creativity and freedom of expression through creating your individual costumes or dressing up as your favorite characters was such a wonderful change of pace. Doubled with the intense Arizona heat and bright light, it was just such visual fun. I hope in the future to shoot again and spend more time shooting.

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A trip to the Navajo Reservation at Monument Valley

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We got the chance to travel with Humphrey Fellows from Arizona State University to visit the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona/Utah. During the trip we were given a tour of monument valley, including different rock formations and mountains before dinner and some traditional dancing and ending the night in a traditional hogan. I was able to shoot some photographs of the fellows enjoying their trip and tour, I wish I had more images, but there are too many to share. I shot some night images before the moon rose and some of the cloud streaks are jet streams that continued throughout the night. We finished up the visit with a group portrait which turned out okay given the ridiculous nature of the Arizona sun.

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Arizona Literature

I am considering myself lucky this week. Yesterday I attended a talk/reading held by Alberto Rios, Arizona’s first poet laureate, at the Phoenix Public Library. Rios joins the “Peacemaker,” palo verde and the bolo-tie as things so purely Arizonan they are actually recognized as unique representations of the Arizona experience. Some examples of Rio’s work can be found here.  He spoke to the role in language and the relativity of experience growing up in a mixed culture.

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And today I drove down to Tucson to see Junot Diaz speak, a MacArthur Genius grant recipient, who is a writer that speaks to the immigrant experience (though that is a very quick and superficial description of his work). His social thought and perception of larger issues of masculinity, relationships and love in our larger American (immigrant) culture are prominent in his writing but weaves itself fluidly into his writing.

I read his books while living in my village in Samuteba, Zambia during my Peace Corps service. I found myself consuming, figuratively but borderline literally, a book a day. I stumbled on  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which spoke to me differently than Crime and Punishment, Lolita or the multitude of other books.

I managed to find Drown and bought This is How You Lose Her in Nairobi and spent $25 on the book, an 1/8 of my monthly stipend. I could continue writing about what a great author he is, but reading the book is best.

 

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