Daily Grind Blog

General musings related to nothing in particular.

Wednesday
Dec032014

Super Thrilled to be Featured Today by Your Daily Photograph!

"Trichromat" ~ Merida, Mexico © 2014 Skip HuntBeen getting this company's daily email newsletters for a little over a month now. Decided to throw my hat into the ring and got accepted. Yay! 

Dear Skip, 

Congratulations. We are pleased to announce our curators have chosen your image for inclusion into YourDailyPhotograph.com. We select a very small percentage of photographs submitted. 

We expect your image to post today. 

You’re in good company -- in the recent past images from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Andre Kertesz, Edward Burtynsky and other photography legends have appeared in YDP.


Here's a link to the YDP (Your Daily Photograph) Feature 

Wednesday
Dec032014

Trichromatic Bliss in Merida, Mexico

Back home in Austin, Texas there was a rare, intense winter storm going on that locals were calling a “Snowpocalypse” and everyone seemed to be freaking out. By sheer luck, I’d just happened to have decided at the last minute to catch a flight to the Yucatan area of Mexico where the temperatures were nothing short of delightful. The Great Spirit was definitely smiling on me with that fortunate maneuver.

I’d been to the Yucatan several times in the past, but had always flown into Cancun, caught a few waves on nearby Isla Mujeres for a night or two before setting off through the interior. I’d zig-zag my way up visiting new towns and villages all the way up North until I arrived back home in Texas.

Because I always had a lot of distance to cover, I was always in a bit of a hurry and rarely gave the region the time it deserved. This time, I decided to just stay in the Yucatan for a whole month and pick a couple of my favorite cities to serve as a base while I went out to explore nearby towns for the day or the night.

One of my favorite cities in Mexico is Merida. It’s got pretty much everything you need or want, and the Mexican culture there is vibrant. It’s one of the cities that hasn’t been overrun with Walmart, McDonalds, Home Depot, AutoZone, and Starbucks. The markets there are still real Mexican markets and haven’t changed much in the 20 years or so that I’ve passed through. The architecture is rustic but chock full of texture and color.

The people there are some of the most friendly in all of Mexico. Just love that place. If it wasn’t for the incredible humidity in the Summers, it’d be just about perfect.

And, Merida served as an excellent base to go off and explore towns, cenotes, and Mayan ruins throughout the surrounding region. There are these collectivo taxi vans leaving all the time for just a few pesos that’ll take you pretty much anywhere you want to go, and plenty to get you back to Merida. The beach isn’t that far away either.

So, I’d just arrived by bus and was excited to go track down the old hacienda that’d been converted into a hotel. It’s a little rough around the edges, but some of the old Yucatan charm still permeates the property. And, they have hammock hooks embedded right into the concrete walls in case you’re like me and would rather sleep suspended instead of in a bed.

The trouble was, I took a bus to a bus station on the complete opposite side of the city and was totally lost when I arrived. The area seemed somewhat familiar to I headed off for what turned out to be an 18 block hike that also took me right through the middle of a giant market. Normally, that would be cool, but not so much if you’re lugging all your luggage on your back in the balmy, tropical temps and trying to navigate through narrow passages between the raw chickens and papayas on display.

Eventually, I stopped and got my bearings back and knew exactly where I was. Looked across the street before heading for the hacienda and noticed this red plastic chair positioned perfectly against a minimalistic wall in vibrant primary colors. I thought, “Oh, that’s pretty incredible. I better dig my camera out and get a shot.” But, I was so exhausted from the hike and decided to let it go.

Sell Art Online

I walked a half a block and couldn’t get that image out of my head, “You have to go back and get that shot” “Yeah, I know it was nice, but there isn’t much about it that says Mexico to me. Just the red plastic chair.””That doesn’t matter! It’s an awesome combination that you can’t simply walk away from. Stop being so lazy and go back to get that shot!”

Looked back and saw that there were large groups of local pedestrians coming toward the red chair from both sides and a line of buses as well. In seconds getting that shot would be impossible. It mattered not that my back was about to break from the load, and it my feet already felt like they where broken, I turned back and ran with my pack all the way back to the corner and barely had time to fire off just one shot before the crowds consumed the splendid little primary-colored scene.

Tuesday
Dec022014

She Sells Seashells by the Sea in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

On paper, it seemed like a good idea. I’d take the ferry over from the port in Cancun, Mexico to Isla Mujeres, start off at one end of the island and spend the whole day just meandering the entire shoreline to the opposite end while while making casual images along the way.

If I made good time, I’d loop back all along the other side of the island on a return loop to the ferry port. Have a cold cerveza or three, and catch a late ferry back.

Figured if the sun got too intense, or the promise of an early cerveza got too strong to resist, I could just hitch a ride with one of the dozens of other tourist’s perpetually making the same loop in rented golf carts.

What I hadn’t counted on, was that these other tourists would not be so keen in giving a lift to a stranger in a foreign country, no matter if he was a fellow gringo. I mean, “Really?! That guy looks harmless, with his sandals and camera dangling around is neck… but that could be his disguise! He could be some serial killer hiding out from the law for all we know. No thank you mister!”

So, that’s the way it went. The sun beat me down hard, and there was no ride to be had for this sad ol’ hombre. No one would even make friendly eye contact once they caught a glimpse of my lowly thumb potentially blocking their view of the delightful Caribbean Sea vistas.

I could have hired a taxi, but to them I was obviously a tourist with a giant, fat gringo wallet just leaking out hundreds of dollars everywhere I went. Right.

It was also the end of a month-long trip and I was trying to stretch those last lonely pesos to the brink, and ended up having to put a few more miles on my tired sun and sandal beaten feet.

Photography Prints

There was a shack to my left with some beat up old tables hosting an assortment of seashells for sale. The woman looked bohemian with a lost hippy vibe about her. Hair all matted and basically tied back with twine. She looked a little forlorn from lack of seashell sales, but she also appeared to be utterly relaxed without a single care in the world.

I saw the sort of make shift mobile signage hanging off a piece of driftwood with the turquoise sea providing a perfect backdrop and readied my camera. I looked back at her to see if she minded. She could tell I wasn’t shopping for seashells and she’d watched a half dozen tourists pass me by without even a glance.

She looked out toward the shot I was about to make, smiled, then nodded with approval. I smiled and nodded back before making this shot. Then just stood there watching the sea treasures magically clinking in the warm tropical breeze. All the pain in my abused feet, burned skin, and frustration just melted away.

For this one image, and those few precious minutes communing with the breeze and sea that felt like they could have been a glimpse of eternal bliss, it was all worthwhile.

 

Monday
Dec012014

No Fear Jalopy in Mexico City

This one goes way back. I honestly don’t recall for sure, but I’m thinking close to 20 years ago in Mexico City.

It reminds me of likely one of the first times I was traveling in a country I wasn’t familiar with… where I didn’t speak the language or know much about the culture… sweating like crazy from the heat and fear adrenaline.

I’d been told there were many areas in Mexico City that I really shouldn’t be wondering around as a foreigner, but I couldn’t find out for sure where those areas were. Just went with my gut and started wondering around the areas that had those invisible voices from somewhere other then the hear and now… ghosts perhaps.

There were a couple of burly Mexican dudes who tried to figure out what I was doing in their hood and also trying to get me to go inside one of these dilapidated buildings for a “tour”.

The whole scene was looking grim for me, but at some point something switched in my brain. It was as if I realized I really didn’t have control of this situation at all, nor any situation for that matter… that everything was completely out of my hands for the most part. I could either be afraid and hide out in the safer areas for the rest of my life, or I could accept the fact I have no control over any of the story that plays out before me.

I decided to let my intuition be my guide and that it was too damn hot to be sweating any more from the fear. It was about that moment that the angst likely disappeared from my face and the burly gang leaders could tell. This crazy gringo is no longer afraid.

A couple other street thugs approached me as well, but I didn’t flinch. I looked them all in the eyes with the faith of blind trust. The burly dudes stepped up, and signaled to the newcomers, “Leave this one alone. He’s ok.” And then they all stepped back and let me pass. I believe it was shortly a half block or so from there that I saw this amazing Mexican jalopy, and I no longer had fear.

Art Prints

 

Monday
Dec012014

Dreams of Kids in Guatape Colombia

There’s a gem of a little town just outside of Medellin, Colombia called Guatape. I knew nothing of this place at all, but had heard that the area was a favorite leisure area for the famed cocaine drug-kingpin, Pablo Escobar. Not that I’m into famous Colombian drug kingpins or anything, but I figured if this cat had been responsible for over 80% of the cocaine that entered the U.S. at the time, then he’d likely be able to be “leisurely” wherever he darn well pleased.

I figured for Pablo Escobar either Guatape was an amazingly wonderful place to enjoy the spoils of his power, or it was great place to hide. Either way, it sounded like a good place to visit.

Turns out, it’s both. A beautifully surreal landscape with this giant, mountain-sized boulder dropped into the middle of these lagoons that are all interconnected with a small town that looks like it was painted by some tripped-out ex-Disney employee. And, it was also an excellent place to hide.

Never figured out what inspired the locals to paint their town with the most dripping saturated colors available in our known visible spectrum, but this town was a color freak like myself’s polychromic wet dream.

If you’re ever in Medellin, Colombia I highly recommend making the trek. Only about two hours one-way by bus, but it’s slow over the mountains and it stops a lot. If you’ve got your own wheels, it’s likely closer to an hour or so.

They also train Olympic caliber Equestrian Dressage horses there. I think that’s what it’s called. It’s almost like the horse is dancing and you can hear an almost musical cadence from their hooves on the cobblestones. Fairytale like stuff.

Anyway, back to the color freak-out polychromic wet dream town.

You couldn’t make an image here without getting your retina’s abused by color. It was everywhere! The biggest problem was trying to figure out what to aim my camera at first.

I focussed mostly on the details of at the architecture and had found one corner that really spoke to me. Particularly due to the dreamy quality the colors had, and that there was even a perfect little lamb painted in the corner. Dynamite! That’s my shot.

Photography Prints

Until, this little boy comes sauntering up, looks at me trying to frame up my shot, and just stops right in the middle of my frame. Seriously? “Come on amigo!, Can’t you just take a rest a little further down the sidewalk? Give a brother a break will ya?”

So, I waited and waited. And he waited and waited right along with me. It became a battle of the wills. He’d pretend to lay his head back and take a nap standing there, but open his eyes every now and then to see if he was still successfully annoying me.

Being a little competitive myself, I decided I was all in and would wait as long as he could.

Until, it finally dawned on me what was written on the pesky little guy’s t-shirt. He was right by the sleepy little lamb with his head leaned back as if asleep in a dreamy colorful backdrop, and his freakin’ t-shirt read, “Dreams of Kids”.

Boom! That was my shot! I just had been too stubborn to see it.

Monday
Dec012014

Getting the Photo by Beating Fear and Pushing Through the Storm in Orchard, Nebraska

There's a personal existential crisis this image reminds me of. It was made just this last Summer in Orchard, Nebraska during a particularly intense stretch of day that whipped the land with baseball-size hail and rare gigantic tornados. One that even split itself into a twisted monstrosity of conjoined twins just the day before.

I often get very lucky with the weather I endure on my motorcycle trips. Mostly because I've constantly got one eye on the cloud movement, how the wind is moving the trees, sensing the changes in temperature. I combine my observations on the ground with weather reports in not only the area I'm riding, but all of the towns in the extended region to get a bigger picture to better track and predict a potential storm's severity. When I get into the zone, I can call it with more accuracy than the best meteorologists.

However, this last Summer was different for some reason. There were just too many components changing radically with the whim of the breeze. I found myself frequently riding right into a severe storm or running for my life away from one. This was one of the several days I got it completely wrong and found myself focussed on the colors of the storm clouds to my left, changing into alien turquoise hues. The clouds and wind were maniacally angered as the temperature snapped down cold and hard in the blink of an eye.

Art Prints

I'd also been watching the rural countryside looking for images along the way when I saw this scene of an old farm house and vintage car for sale. Started looking for a place to pull over to make a shot, but then looked back over to my left. The cloud intensity had intensified even more in just the few seconds I'd looked away, and the colors changed in such as way that launched the following dialogue.

"Why are you stopping? Are you blind? Hit that throttle and keep moving compadre!"

"I know, I know... this is crazy and borderline suicidal. You're right, I better keep moving and focus on beating that storm and finding shelter."

Twisted the throttle full and laid on the gas tank to better cut through the intense wind. I figured if there were any cops around, they'd likely understand and let me slide as I bolted a good three or four miles down the highway. Until the dialogue plagued me once again.

"I'm sorry buddy, I'm going to have to turn back around and get that shot. It's what I do."

"That's just crazy hombre! You're going to risk your life for something as insignificant as a snap shot? What's wrong with you? No one will ever even give that image a second thought and nobody cares. Keep moving!"

"But, if I turn back now, I think I can get the shot and still make up the time. If it's so insignificant documenting the most memorable moments of my life, what is it I'm doing anyway? Should I just follow my passion when it's lovely and I shy away from the ones that induce real fear?"

"Are you even listening to me? Nobody freaking cares champ. This image isn't going to mean anything to anyone except for you. Now get these idiotic thoughts out of your head and focus on the highway."

"That does it. I'm turning around."

"What?!"

"I don't know where this obsession comes from, or if there's any benefit at all down the trail, but if this is't why I'm here and if I'm only doing this for the approval of others, then I should drop all of this and just head back home. This has to be something I do for me, and if I give in when it gets too uncomfortable, then I'm not being true to myself."

Pulled on both the front and rear brakes, hit the throttle full heading back to the farmhouse as the coming storm intensified even more.

Didn't even get off the bike. Found an acceptable spot on the highway and fired off a few shots until I was sure there was something acceptable, and then funneled the adrenaline of fear back onto the throttle. The wind was blowing me so hard that I was leaning with all my weight to the left side, but still being pushed almost all the way over to my right. It was all I could do just to keep the bike on the road as the rain and sleet began to punish my foolish arrogance.

"Now you're in it you imbecile. Happy now?"

"Actually, yes. I am happy now. The shot itself doesn't matter as much, but the fact I met fear and didn't cower, stayed true to my purpose, and am now riding an electrifying wave of focussed adrenaline all the way to beat this storm, makes this all worth the while."

It was right after that last thought that the other voice became silent.

Monday
Dec012014

Cochise Head Mountain Apache Arizona Stronghold

Made this one around 2009 while on a motorcycle journey through the Southwest and ended up stopping at the Pacific before looping back toward Texas. Had seen the Chiricahua Mountains Park on the map and basically decided to camp there because the name sounded cool and I needed a place to rest. Worked out to be an especially beautiful and peaceful area to camp in and was the last stronghold of the famous Apache indian chief Cochise.

In a meadow below the camping areas, are the original settlers homesteads that are preserved and decorated with much of the original furniture, etc. I don't usually go for the guided tour sort of thing, but I wanted to go inside the homestead to see what it looked like and to stimulate my imagination while I explored the area.

The ranger giving the tour went on and on about how difficult it was to finally clean up the area from all the lingering Apache squatters. He spoke about them as if they were some vile pestilence that needed to be exterminated to make room for the white settlers.

I honestly tried to keep my trap shut, after about a half hour of this I couldn't contain myself any longer and held up my hand to ask a question, "Why do you keep referring to the original occupants of this land as if they were no better than rodents?" The ranger explained that these were violent people who wouldn't leave peacefully and hung around under the leadership of that thug Cochise, terrorizing the settlers."

The ranger looked a bit angry with my question, as did many of the others on the tour, but he did a fine job of containing himself. Until, I replied, "Well, would you go peacefully if some foreigners invaded your homeland that you'd lived, loved, and died on for many generations? Wouldn't be at least a little put off by being forced to uproot your people and move to undesirable land on reservations?"

He became visibly angry with this and said "The Apaches lost. We won. They should have gone peacefully. And now let's move on with the rest of the tour. If you have any more questions sir, you can ask me privately later." Judging from the looks on the faces of the others on the tour, it looked like I should zip it before the mob decided to stone me to death.

The landscapes and mountain ranges of the Chiricahua Mountains area are spectacular and some mighty fine curvy roads to cruise on a motorcycle as well.

I had been in such a peaceful place until the dust-up with the ranger giving the tour, that I needed to clear my head with some magnificent vistas. Rode slow taking in all the majesty and trying to feel the spirit of the Apache who once lived and hunted this land. When I got to the top of one mountain overlook, there was a view of Cochise Head mountain.

Made a few landscape images of the mountainous horizon and then sat down on a bench to rest awhile and just be in the that space for awhile, alone and still. As I studied Cochise Head mountain, I wondered why they called it that. It was pretty and all, but wasn't sure why is was special enough to take the name of Cochise. I laid sideways on the bench to rest my tired bones and eyes for a spell.

After a few quiet moments alone, I opened my eyes to the mountain range viewed from my side. And, there he appeared just as plain as a portrait. The profile of the great Apache chief was carved by the wind right into the mountaintop.

Art Prints

Friday
Nov282014

Saint Bernard Enlightenment in Madisonville, Louisiana

When I made this one, I was on a motorcycle trip in Louisiana. I told a friend that I wanted to explore a little of Northeast, Texas, then wander around Mississippi, and into Louisiana.

I told him that my “vision quest” was firmly focussed on locating the real-deal, dirty, authentic backwoods Cajun food.

What I hadn’t counted on was that the fact this fellow was completely averse to eating anything involving pork, shellfish, and a bunch of other tasty stuff prohibited in the Old Testament. Honestly thought there’d be more options for him regardless of where we went.

We discovered that if you’re trying to follow the culinary advice within the Bible, Louisiana backwoods, Cajun cafes, deli’s, and roadside haunts are not your best bet.

The Cajun food arguments quickly devolved into rather nasty religious disputes and criticisms. Before you knew it, we were verbally at each other’s throats. Funny how all that spicy Cajun goodness can bring out the devil in you.

One morning, camped alongside some Madisonville, Louisiana bayou across lake Pontchartrain, I couldn’t sleep and got up early to go for a pre-dawn walk to clear my head.

My friend felt that because I wasn’t following Old Testament to the letter of the law, I wouldn’t be favored in the creator’s eyes.

Thought about this as the sun began to come up and stream across the steamy bayou and through the Spanish moss. I figured, if our given collective skills or gifts are in fact “God given”, and I was using those gifts to show other’s the beauty of creation, then of course was doing exactly what I was born to do.

Made this image as I stood there with this thought as I watched the hanging Spanish moss of Saint Bernhard park trees come alive in the first light of a new day, and watched what looked like steamy mystic spirits dancing atop the water’s calm surface.

Art Prints

 

Friday
Nov282014

Ganga Dream - Hindu Pilgrim Meditating on the Ganges River in Varanasi, India

Made this one in 2001. It was just after the attacks on the U.S. and a very strange time to be traveling. The tickets had already been purchased and I’d dreamed of this India trip for years. I was going an there was no way something as insignificant like global terrorism was going to keep me from it. India was wild. Not what I expected at all, and it took awhile to adapt. In backpacker circles, they had always said that for real adventure, India was Mecca. Travel there, and you can travel anywhere.

Photography Prints

I could go on, and will add more later, but I’ll just focus on this image for the moment. It’s been said that dawn on the Ganges river is the most mystical time and place you can experience on this planet. The Ganges river itself is considered a god itself for Hindus and in this city, Varanasi (also known as Banares) it’s considered the most sacred and revered by it’s deity name “Ganga”. It’s even believed that if you can manage to die here, you can end the life/birth cycle and head straight to Nirvana/Heaven.

Because of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. and the following retaliation from the U.S. on Afghanistan, it was a rough time to be traveling internationally for sure.

One thing I wanted to make sure I accomplished in this oldest living city on the planet, was a rowboat ride on the Ganges at sunrise. It was rough dealing with all the canoe rowers, but finally found one that looked like it might not sink, and the rower’s eyes looked very serene. A deal was made and we were off. He wanted to know where I wanted to go, and I told him I didn’t care. I just wanted to be right in the middle of Ganga as the sun rose. Before I knew it, we were rowing by the ghats at top speed. Ghats are areas off to the edge of the Ganges where Hindu pilgrims meditate, give massages, do yoga, bath, celebrate life, and burn the dead.

It was so surreal that I could barely form any logical thought. I was completely in the moment and fixed on this one Hindu pilgrim meditating. Something inside tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Uh, you think you might want to make at least one photo of this, at least for the ol’ memory banks?” I answered, “Yeah! Hang on, I’m not prepared. Gotta turn this thing on and make sure I’ve got a setting that will work.”

The boat was moving so swiftly that I barely had time to turn on the camera. Before I knew it, we were about to pass out of range and I wasn’t going tot get the shot. I aimed, shot, and put the camera away. Later, I realized the one blind image made actually worked out. And this is it.

When I got back to the U.S., I learned that George Harrison of the Beatles had passed away. The article said that just before his passing, George had made one last trip to Varanasi to tour Hindu temples. Most that view this image either are sure the pilgrim is either female or male. For me, the pilgrim is male and most likely, Mr. Harrison himself.

Friday
Nov282014

The Silver Thread - A True Story of Life After Death

THE SILVER THREAD

25 years ago, Skip Hunt died in an mud Indian hut in the Oaxaca, Mexico mountains. This is his story.

The Silver Thread begins with a train heading South through Copper Canyon, traveling free with no destination as you're transported deep within Mexican interior and high up into the mountains of Oaxaca.

After a few strange twists of fate, the author finds himself collapsing in a thatch hut while participating in an ancient Mazatecan indian mushroom ceremony. As the indigenous hosts try to get his heart beating again, experience a most incredible and transcendent journey beyond. (Based on a true story)

FILE INFO:

Kind - MPEG-4 Audio File Size - 40.6MB Duration - 55:52

SENSITIVE SUBJECT MATTER DISCUSSED. PARENTAL GUIDANCE IS SUGGESTED. © 2014 SKIP HUNT :: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

An Audio Book

Friday
Nov282014

Nephilim in Salento, Colombia

Made this image a couple of years ago in Colombia. This spot is actually on a fairly long hike outside of Selento in the rich coffee growing region. You ride in the back of a small truck with others like a rustic taxi. They let you off in this other little village area that's got loads of military in cammo with machine guns, but who are all really friendly. One even posed for an instagram photo for me with big smile and a very impressive machine gun.

Art Prints

Then, you're off into the moist but muddy valley's to explore. The trip getting there is surreal enough, but when you get to some of these vistas... all by yourself... and just stand there wondering if you already died and luckily went to heaven. Such a beautiful region. If you ever go there, I can highly recommend a nice long hike. 

Friday
Nov282014

Cat Feed in Porto, Portugal

Ok, this one is definitely one of my personal, all-time favorite memories. And to be honest, the image has more to do with dumb luck than anything else.

Art Prints

I was in Porto, Portugal at the time. As some know, I enjoy a little vino sometimes, and at this time I was all about that Port wine. I'd taken the train out of Porto, Portugal early in the morning into the wine country. Got back by mid-afternoon and decided to walk along the port river there, tasting some of the finest port wine available for no more than 5-7 euros a glass I think. And there, they don't serve the port in those BS tiny little port glasses like they do in the U.S. They use a proper wine glass. And brother/sister, that's some fine liquid I'm here to tell you. So divine. I'm not sure how many glasses I'd had as this point, but it was certainly bordering on the outskirts of a few too many as I recall. The city's architecture is beautiful and I was leaving for Santiago del Compostela, in Spain the next morning... so I simply had to get out and make some images before I lost light.

Trouble was, I could barely still walk, let alone work a camera. But I persevered and gave it the ol' college try even though the buildings were now blocking the last of the light.

At the time, I was still a cigarette smoker (but now 6 years finished!) and because I was bummed I'd let the afternoon pass by without getting any decent images of this lovely city, decided to find a nice spot to have a smoke.

Ambled down some dark alleyway and out to a small patio area. The last bit of sun was streaming between two other buildings and since my eyes has already adjusted to the shade, I was temporarily blinded as I fumbled around in my pockets to find my Zippo lighter.

Got my smoke lit and was trying to adjust my eyes and regain some of the focus lost to the delightful last glass of fine port wine I'd just consumed. I kept hearing this strange sound that was like sand landing on a piece of metal. I looked over to my right and tried to figure out where the sound was coming from. Below I could see some cats on a tin roof scrambling for something falling from above and a large bird surveying the gang of feral gangster kittens below. I looked up and saw an old woman tossing out food for the gang below, and became fascinated by the little line of multi-colored clothespins just below her. I took a drag off my smoke and thought, "Dang, I bet that would make a nice image." The sun was quickly slipping away, so I raised the camera up, didn't even look at my settings, and then the woman went back inside. The sun direction changed so that that last light was gone, and the cats moved on. I got one shot only and I was nearly blind when I made it. You can even see some of the food debris she was tossing below caught in mid-air.

At first glance it just looks like a nice architectural image. But if you give it a little time, it reveals so much more.

You should pick this one up if you're so inclined... then when you later realize what's so awesome about it, you can thank me later.

Friday
Nov282014

The Birds in New Orleans, Louisiana 

This one "The Birds" was actually displayed in the Smithsonian castle in Washington, D.C. for several months and now part of their archives. :)

Photography Prints

 

They requested I write something about the image, and this is what I sent them:

I was photographing the beautiful architecture around the French Quarter of New Orleans near sunset when I spotted this particular scene. As I composed the shot, a flock of birds ascended in mass and startled me to the point that I hesitated and didn't get the shot. The light was falling fast and there wasn't much time left before it was too late to get any more images of this delightful city, but I decided to wait a bit longer and take my chances.

Soon, there was a slight flutter and then another flock took to the sky a second time. I had the shot I was looking for. This image is important to me because I was at first worried that because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the city I'd visited many years ago would no longer have the mystique that'd once captivated me many years ago.

I wanted to remember her the way she was, but at the same time wanted to spend a few tourist dollars helping her recover. It was so uplifting to learn that my beloved New Orleans could not be so easily crushed and was indeed alive and well, just as rich as I remembered her welcoming, colorful mystique.

This image reminds me of the absolute resilience of American spirit to faithfully persevere through any storm.

Tuesday
Oct142014

Touching Base

I haven't posted much here in awhile, I'm still using this site though and thought I'd drop of few updates:

Also blogging, posting at http://skiphuntphoto.com

Reworked my Chupacabra screenplay and renamed it to "What We Leave Behind". I'm not sure if I'll do anything more with it, but there's more info HERE

Have done more motorcycle touring as well, but mostly Instagramming from the road lately.

I spent some time out at Big Bend National Park, and then El Paso, Texas taking location shots for another project I'd like to find a way to develop. 

Also adding new images available in print at the usual places. More later!

  

Tuesday
May132014

And then there were 250 Yucatan 2014 images

Finally managed to get the 486 images I posted while traveling in the Yucatan of Mexico during Jan/Feb of 2014, culled down to 250 images (gallery here). The goal is to get them cut down to 100, but I'll let this collection stand for awhile. Gets easy to cull images with more time. 

Over the course of about a month, I wandered around the Yucatan of Mexico. Started by flying into Cancun, then a bus to Isla Holbox, then Valladolid (visited Dzitnup and the Mayan ruins of Ek Balam near there), then to the city of Izamal, then to Merida where I based for most of the time with short trips to Campeche, Champoton, the ruins of Edzna, Sisal, the cenotes of Cuzama, Tekax, Oxkutzcab, and Muna. 

On the route back for my return flight to Austin, Texas from Cancun, I stopped back in Valladolid to see a couple more cenotes, including the one right in Valladolid called Zaci, then back to Cancun to check out Puerto Moreles or Isla Mujeres on day trips. 

I made many more images than what you see below, but these represent the images I transferred from my camera to my iPhone for a quick location edit and upload to my Facebook Page and Instagram Feed

Each day I'll carve a few more out. From the final images, I'll select the best to do high resolution edits for prints and possibly a book. 

Check back to this page often if you'd like to either see how it gets culled down, or if you'd like to leave a comment regarding an image you think I should definitely keep in the final cut. 

All Content © 2014 Skip Hunt


Also, edited a video of motion clips I made around the Yucatan while testing a new camera. This video is mostly just to see how the camera performed in various "run-n-gun" shooting situations, but I cobbled some of the shots into a video and added some music, etc.

Thursday
Jul042013

Moto-Southwest 2013

Just returned from another motorcycle adventure into the American Southwest. I did a similar trip back in 2010 and visited some of the most popular sites like Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Arches, etc. but this time I went on a new Honda nc700x motorcycle and visited some of the places I missed the first time.

I blogged the entire trip on my skiphuntphoto.com blog complete with fresh photography and videos. 

Here's a condensed experience video from the trip:

Here's one of the images from the trip:

"First Contact" ~ White Sands, New Mexico © 2013 Skip Hunt

 

Thursday
Jul042013

Riding the Chupacabra

Just finished tweaking the screenplay and changed the title from "Chupacabra" to "Riding the Chupacabra". Updated the teaser trailer with new title and tightened it a bit.

Had to change some names and it completely made the formatting go haywire. Was up past 3AM removing extra spaces and such. Ouch!

For those who have the password to read the online version, I just uploaded a brand new version that's much tighter and more lean. If you wanted to read it but didn't get around to it... should be a good read now.

At this point, I'm going to call this latest revision the last... unless I end up actually producing this. It started as a rough guide of something I might shoot on my own at some point, and evolved into something a bit more solid. 

The version on the private page has been updated and also has some location stills as well as the updated teaser trailer. Just refresh the screen.

It seems the name "Chupacabra" was implying more of a monster movie, when the monster in this psychedelic, travel suspense drama is more the internal variety. 

Wanted to keep the Chupacabra name in the title and since most of the travel is by bus, so I went with "Riding the Chupacabra". There's a phrase "Riding the Dog" which refers to Greyhound cross-country bus travel. I was never 100% happy with the title, but I think this new one is perfect. 

For more information on this project, visit the Chupacabra Project thread HERE

I'll enter a couple competitions. Whether I do anything beyond that... Quien Sabe :)

Soon I'll be on the road with my motorcycle again!

 

Friday
Nov162012

Back in One Piece from CHUPACABRA TOUR 2012

And, what a long strange trip it was!

It was a rough trip, but overall... extremely productive. The whole focus on the Chupacabra story as really a last minute idea to work on, but became the main driving force of the entire trip. Got some sweet images and have almost completed the screenplay version!​

The trip was mostly chronicled on Storify HERE for more details.​

Also got some video clips that I will use in the iBook version and possibly a pre-production movie trailer to hopefully raise funds. Check it out!​

Chupacabra Audiobook
$2.99

 

And, I've also got the first 3 chapters available via iTunes podcast for free HERE​

Back to finishing the screenplay... more coming!

 

 

 

Friday
Sep072012

Wandering Back To Mexico & Calling it The CHUPACABRA TOUR!

​In just 3 days I'm flying to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico as an entry point... will hang out for a few days before climbing aboard a bus for who knows where?!
 

"Quemado" ~ Mexico © 2012 Skip HuntI really didn't have a reason or plan at all for this trip (and don't generally) but I'd just returned from traveling in Colombia where I made some fairly satisfying black and white images​ and captured some the most delicious Colombian color and landscapes I've seen in my travels to date. So why be in such a hurry to ramble yet again so soon? Quien sabe.

After finally recording​ some audio tracks into chapters so that I could at least get through the story with minimal editing and offer it as an audio book, the idea of maybe trying to push this true story forward to shoot as a movie started to materialize.

I figure that I'm going to be in the same general locations that the story took place, and since I've never seriously considered making a movie out of it... well, it seemed high time that I revisit the story over a decade later to see if maybe it has legs. 

Am I just procrastinating? Perhaps. I've been to these places many times before and have already made many Mexico images on previous trips. I'm hoping to accomplish a tighter focus and being able to "see" this as a movie in my mind's eye... with making ​new images specifically related to my CHUPACABRA | A True Story I'm hoping to get a similar level of obsession that almost cost me my life over 13 years ago.

The audio book project was initially intended to save the story for myself. Then, it's purpose became to see if other's were intrigued enough to buy the audio book. Now, it's evolved into a purpose for this trip. Where it will go from there I can't say, but with some encouragement from friends, and that strange tingle you can get sometimes that implies "now is the time"... I'll soon see if CHUPACABRA | A True Story will live beyond a recorded story. 

CHUPACABRA | A True Story + Audio Book 01:45:32I'm going to listen to the story while traveling and grab extra images that could serve as companion pieces specifically for this story, and possibly useful cinematic location shots. If this story intrigues you at least the $3 worth :) And you want to listen to what will be guiding me on my next journey, I've made it available for purchase & download HERE​ 

 

Listen to sample from CHUPACABRA audio book below

​There's won't be a project site with this so that I can focus solely on getting intimate with my own story once again. I'll be posting stuff along the way when possible as thoughts, images and sounds relate to this story. Should be an interesting trip if the Great Spirit see my intentions as earnest and worthy. Wish me suerte (luck)!

Skip Hunt​ 
Austin, Texas

Friday
Sep072012

"Strange Bird" from the LithoFusion Collection selected for the Saatchi Gallery 100 Curators 100 Days Project!

Khaled Ramadan (Helsinki art curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art) selected my "Strange Bird" piece for the: 

"Strange Bird" ~ LithoFusion Collection © 2012 Skip HuntSaatchi Gallery 100 Curators 100 Days project!

The LithoFusion Collection based on a set of rules and parameters I'd set for myself as an experiment to see if it helps maintain a subtle cohesive quality throughout the collection. 

Each composition was based on images from one of 4 trips, and each composition's images are unique to a specific location with no cropping or cutting and pasting done at all. All source images are kept framed as they were shot.

Book available HERE
Fine Art Prints available HERE