Daily Grind Blog

General musings related to nothing in particular.

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

 

Wednesday
Aug082012

The Fine Colombian is Now LIVE!

After 6 weeks of wandering around Colombia and a few more weeks of pain-staking editing & culling, I'm happy to announce that the photo book of fine black and white images is now LIVE! 

You can preview & order the photo book HERE

(Print purchase includes FREE digital download version)

Also check out the colorful vibrant Colombia 2012 from this same trip HERE

This is beautifully printed by MagCloud on great paper stock and perfect bound. 

Disfruta!

~ Skip Hunt

The Fine Colombian

By Skip Hunt

56 pages, published 8/8/2012

On 5/9/12 Skip Hunt boarded a plane from Austin, Texas bound for Bogota, Colombia.The only plan was going into the unknown and letting the unfamiliar move and inspire. No map or plan to speak of. Just 6-weeks to wander and make images. This photo book contains the 56 images representing the finest black & whites during the journey.© 2012 Skip Hunt Fine Art Prints from this collection HERECheck out Colombia 2012 (color) HERE
Friday
Aug032012

THE DEEP END: Colombia 2012 Photo Book is LIVE!

After 6 weeks of wandering around Colombia and a few more weeks of pain-staking culling, I'm happy to announce that the photo book is now live! 

You can preview & order the photo book HERE

(Print purchase includes FREE digital download version)

UPDATE: Black & white images from this trip: "The Fine Colombian" now available HERE

This is beautifully printed by MagCloud on great paper stock and perfect bound. 

Disfruta!

~ Skip Hunt

Colombia + Summer 2012

By Skip Hunt

80 pages, published 8/3/2012

On 5/9/12 Skip Hunt boarded a plane from Austin, Texas bound for Bogota, Colombia.The only plan was going into the unknown and letting the unfamiliar move and inspire. No map or plan to speak of. Just 6-weeks to wander and make images. This photo book contains the 80 colorful and vibrant photographic results.© 2012 Skip Hunt Fine Art Prints from this collection HERE
Sunday
Apr152012

The Deep End: Colombia 2012

The Adventure Continues!

Once again, I will be tearing away from the familiar and immersing myself in a country and culture I know very little about, Colombia. The only plan is to enter the country and follow intuition for 6 weeks of exploration and adventure. A photobook and fine art prints will be produced during this trip, as well as "from the road" travel blogging.

UPDATE: Trip Concluded. Book announcement coming soon!

Thursday
Mar292012

Gorman Falls & Catfish Fin

LithoFusion Experiment with Video

Just got back from a little motorcycle touring and camping trip to Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, Texas. 

So peaceful and beautiful out there and the only drama was an armadillo I startled at night with my flashlight. My hammock was hung in a tree that grew out at an angle creating sort of a natural gazebo. There was soft grass below and so I thought it'd be a perfect spot. Evidently, it was also a favored spot by the local wildlife as well. 

One night, after hearing some stirring in the tall grass,

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar082012

LithoFusion the Book Just Went Live

Beautifully Printed at MagCloud and Available Now

"To Serve and Protect" ~ New York City © 2012Very happy to announce the new LithoFusion collection is now available as a beautifully printed, perfect bound photo book.

This collection began as an experiment to see if constraining the process with self-imposed guidelines would both stimulate creativity and result in a subtle cohesion.

Have a look at the preview!

"Enhance and intensify one's vision of that synthesis of truth and beauty which is the highest and deepest reality." ~ Ovid


Digital eBook download available HERE 

Printed book available HERE

LithoFusion

LithoFusion

A new collection of image compositions based on complex blends I call "LithoFusion". An experiment to see if a subtle cohesion could be achieved by using certain self-imposed parameters and guidelines.

Find out more on MagCloud

 

Tuesday
Feb142012

Awesome Cruiserworks Motorcycle Boots Giveaway!

UPDATE: Promotion Over + Book Available!

Cruiserworks has donated a pair of motorcycle boots valued at $325 to give away to one lucky rider! Purchase of the eBook Skip Hunt Go West required.

(eBook must be purchased from this site to be included in the drawing) 

Click HERE to read eBook description, reviews & buy your copy digital download copy of Skip Hunt Go West for $7.99

Enter Today!

Buy by March 6th 2012 to have your name included in the drawing. Each book purchase gets another drawing entry. This contest is open to everyone and one winner will get their choice of one pair of Cruiserworks motorcycle boots.
(International shipping included)

Back in 2010 I just took off on my motorcycle toward the West without a plan. Just took off on an adventure with no particular schedule or expectation. After I announced the trip,Cruiserworks motorcycle boots loved the spirit of the trip and wanted to support me with a pair of motorcycle boots. They turned out to be the best pair of motorcycle boots I've ever owned!

The trip started from my home in Austin, Texas and took me through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California coast, Arizona and back to Texas. It was an amazing adventure that yielded some of the best photographs I've made to date! There were some very bizarre characters met along the way and I can highly recommend the "no plan" approach.

 

Buy to Enter Cruiserworks Contest!Fine art photographer Skip Hunt of Austin, Texas traveled Westward via motorcycle in search of the exotic within the mundane. He found so much more! This issue contains the entire set of chronicles from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California and Arizona. What began as a curious wandering with no particular path or direction, became a powerful life-changing adventure. Sometimes we must become lost before we can truly find our way.

Contest is open internationally. Cruiserworks exclusively carries men's motorcycle boots.


Go West Photos & thoughts on Cruiserworks boots

 

This post sponsored by: Murphy & Prachthauser Personal Injury Lawyers

Friday
Feb032012

Now on Glossom!

LithoFusion Collection Now on the Glossom Platform

Recently discovered them via an emailing. Rarely get excited about something like this, but they really did the art platform right. Great interface & the collections there are beautiful. Everything just works well with clean design. 

Thought they were some site for an actual gallery & were just getting into the app game. Realized they were completely open for all artists, photographers, designers, etc. & quickly put together a collection of the LithoFusion stuff published here @G+ too. Check'm out. They've done a stellar job with the interface and their free universal iPhone & iPad app is very elegantly produced. Click graphic to view!