Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Three. My Succulent Plant

This is the succulent plant that sits on my desk. He was a gift from Natalie. His presence is calming and peaceful, with his muted-green fleshy leaves. He keeps me company while I write in my journal in the morning or work on homework in the evening.

I love my desk. It is the one place in the house that is "mine." Though I love sharing a home with Natalie, it is good for me to have a space that I control. I can keep my desk tidy or let papers pile up. I can leave something and find it in the same place when I return. It is my little oasis. From my desk I can look out the window and see people walking on the sidewalk, on their way to work or school. I can see Natalie ride up on her bike and be there at the door to welcome her.

But life has been busy these past few days and there are little piles accumulating on my desk. Corners of receipts stick our of the checkbook, waiting to be recorded. Little to-do lists lie with boxes left to be checked in. Envelopes of photos and film are piled on my shelves, not yet put away. But the succulent plant still remains, calm and tranquil.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two. Sustainable Ag

Here's something else about myself: I am studying sustainable agriculture at the University of Missouri. This is a little strange considering that I have no background in farming and came to Missouri to study photojournalism. Sometimes I can feel out of place in the ag school, having such a different background than most of the other students in my classes. But learning about agriculture touches something within me. It excites me. I love how I'm gaining a better perspective on how food is made in this country and what we can do to grow food in a more sustainable way. It is incredible that the whole agricultural system can be so easily overlooked. It is incredible that farmers--the people who feed us--are some of the most underpaid workers. And it is incredible how disconnected we have become from our food sources.

I am excited to join the movement of localizing our food production and growing quality over quantity. I am excited to become one of the players in making a small difference in the nature of our agricultural system. Natalie and I don't know exactly what we'll do when we graduate. Right now, the thought is to have a small-scale farm, close to or in a city. We would grow organic vegetables and maybe have chickens and goats. We would sell produce at a farmers' market. Natalie would make jams and preserve vegetables from the farm. For now, these are thought and dreams. We'll see if they become reality.

The photos are from the Martz Farm in Columbia. They raise free-range pasture-fed beef, lamb and chickens. We took a field trip to the farm in my sustainable ag class. It is a beautiful farm on rolling hills with lush, green pasture.

If you're interested in these issues, I would suggest you watch the documentary, "Food, Inc." Natalie and I watched it the other week. It made us a little upset (in a good way).


Monday, October 26, 2009

One. My Wife

Let me introduce you to my wife, Natalie. I think there is no better way for me to begin my blog. She is the inspiration for "24 exposures" and the inspiration for many other things in my life. Natalie inspired me to pick up my old film SLR camera again and exercise that artistic muscle inside me that was in need of a good stretch. Natalie slowly pulled me into the world of blogs and introduced me to all of the beauty that is at our fingertips on the web. At the time, I avoided my computer as much as possible. I wanted to free myself from being tied to this man-made machine. But I have come to see all the potential for good that these machines have brought. I am starting this blog as a way to share with all of you the art I create. For what is the use of good photography if no one sees it?

All of these photos will be from either 35 mm negative or slide film. I will post in sets of three because I love pictures in sets of three. So come along for the journey. I hope you stay tuned in. And enjoy the photos!


p.s. Natalie and I have a blog called him + her. You should check it out.