Black Tap Coffee

Black Tap Coffee

While in Charleston a few weeks back we visited this amazing little coffee shop tucked away in a nondescript building called Black Tap Coffee and could not help but go back at least three times while in town for a couple of days for more. The inside of the space has a beautifully light tone to it causing you to feel right at home and the coffee is, not surprisingly, fantastic. The shop features a namesake black tap that dispenses iced coffee which is honestly one of the best cups of iced coffee I have ever had and is well worth the trip so if you ever find yourself in or around Charleston by all means, stop by and see for yourself.

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Neon Graveyard

Some of you may remember that I spent some time in Vegas recently for a big industry trade show and while I did not have a lot of free time to explore the city we did make time early one morning to see something I have long wanted to check out, The Neon Museum. A humble but fun corner of Vegas where many of the old signage from casinos have gone to spend the rest of their existence as a homage to the rapidly evolving face of the city.

The signs here are from an era that has all but vanished from Vegas which has turned to giant LED displays instead of classic neon and bulbs for obvious reasons. Evolve or be left behind. It’s great knowing there are people committed to preserving these signs in a way we can all enjoy. The thought of them sitting in a dump somewhere is just depressing.

The only way to visit the museum is by guided tour, mostly due to liability I’m sure. It’s a playground full of broken glass and old rusty metal, not exactly a place you want to allow people to run loose in. Especially considering how eager photographers are to crawl around for JUST the right shot. A couple in my group were so over eager and snap happy I swear they must have taken a few thousand photos on the short tour. On that note, the museum is surprisingly stern on photographers and only allow a minimal amount of camera gear on the general tours yet offer photography specific sessions and the ability to rent the space for photo shoots at a higher rate.

I took my usual minimal approach and brought along my X-Pro1 and iPhone though I sure wish I had a wider lens for the Fuji! I managed well enough considering and captured a few detail shots that I thought you guys could enjoy as desktops. The sunlight was unbearably bright (and hot) as we took the tour, a scenario where the iPhone excels by the way. The top two photos on this post were shot and edited with VSCO Cam on my 5s and for anyone interested, here are the full resolution output of those shots (first / second) if you would like to use them as a wallpaper, they are too small to crop for regular use but why not share.

The museum is well worth seeking out if you are in Vegas at any point, the history lesson alone is worth the price of admission and there is a lot more to see than this modest little collection. In the mean time, enjoy the colorful decay of these classic Vegas signs and I will see you guys here again soon! As usual, the images are available through download links at the bottom of the post, in order that they appear below as well as in a big zip file with desktop, iPad, and iPhone versions all in one place.

Blue

Green

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Of

Ote

Yellow

Zen

Elephant

Elephant

At home we have a new miniature garden and I found a great moment to capture it late one afternoon just as dusk was settling in. It was taken on one of those days where my desire to shoot weighed on my mind yet my ability to get out somewhere fresh to capture was limited so I turned to the corners of our apartment and searched for light. The plant photographed here is called an elephant plant. I have had a few desktop requests for this one after posting it to YWO so I thought I would take this slow afternoon and toss this up for everyone, enjoy!

Warning

Warning

A couple years ago I was traveling to San Francisco and took a photograph of a bridge platform control board and always enjoyed the photo, it was candid and from the hip quickly. On a recent trip to Las Vegas I discovered another control panel of a similar make and jumped at the opportunity to get another photo so I dug down into my bag for my camera and snapped this shot just as I was stepping onto the plane. Maybe it’s the warm colors and nice window light that makes it for me but I enjoyed this shot and figured I would share it with everyone as a desktop. Hope to get more new ones up this week so check back soon.

Glass Lake

Glass Lake

Last friday I unexpectedly found myself with a free afternoon and being met with beautiful weather I decided it would be a perfect chance to get out to the lake. YoungDoo, my brother, and I rented a few kayaks and set out for somewhere around five hours on the lake, a much needed respite  after a string of busy weeks. This is the same lake I have been revisiting for years and years and I always manage to find new ways to photograph it. Ive seen it in the snow, the pouring rain and completely empty during a drought yet it never fails to entertain my need for calm.

This shot has an odd focus to it, the camera was touching the water as I held it over the edge of the kayak and focused somewhere just shy of infinity. The water was nearly dead still as we paddled back to the dock giving it a beautiful glass like appearance I won’t soon forget. After a couple of requests to post this as a desktop I found some time today to get this up for you guys, enjoy!

(On a somewhat related note, I took a bunch of iPhone 5s video clips that afternoon and in a moment of downtime yesterday I used iMovie on the phone to make a “trailer” for the desktop, you can see that here if your interested)

High Tide

High Tide

“I wonder if I can catch these pelicans in flight,” was the only thing that crossed my mind as I saw them gliding by, camera aimed straight up into the sky. At first glance it was a shot I figured I would later ignore because of the odd, chaotic composition but upon realizing it would work well as a black and white photo that focused on the shapes and colliding lines rather than the blue of the sky it came to life as a casual yet nostalgic viewpoint that many of us have witnessed before.

While this moment is stuck here in time I imagine this scene reoccurs every day around the same time on this shoreline with or without a camera or anyone to notice or care. These cycles repeat regardless of how many times we check our RSS feeds in a day, regardless of the amount of frustration that builds when someone cuts us off in traffic, regardless of how many words we may or may not have written in that novel were chipping away at.

If you start to imagine photographs not just as fractions of light caught or frozen and more as time itself callously repeating itself despite what has happened in the mean time they can start taking on a life of their own. The moments before and after a photograph are often more interesting or informing than what is seen recorded in an image. Photographs that lead you to wonder what is just outside of the frame are some of my favorites. The kind that can honestly be worth a thousand words if it leaves your imagination to fill in the gaps beyond the confines of the frame.

So, I took a chance and tried to capture this one obscure, fleeting moment as I stood with YoungDoo on a windy beach one afternoon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the time and space surrounding it.

Botany Bay v3

Botany Bay

We had a nice short trip down to Charleston, SC last weekend and found a few fun places to explore while we were down there. Among them was a beautiful plantation called Botany Bay. It is an active farm and wildlife preserve which was opened to the public about five years ago with a modest driving tour and a beautiful rough beach full of dead trees being battered by the ocean.

While there is not a lot of information available online about this spot it was easy enough to find down an unassuming dirt road at the end of which you sign in at an entrance so they know who is on the grounds and off you go to explore as you please. From what we were told there are all manner of wildlife living naturally in the area including alligators so you have to watch your step while you explore. While the only wildlife we came across was a couple of wild turkeys we have no doubts that there is plenty other wildlife wandering these woods.

Our favorite part of our time there was the beach, we arrived right around high tide so more or less all visitors were on their way out. After a 1/4 mile walk to the shore we were greeted with dozens of old weathered collapsed trees, the slowly rising waters of the ocean, and hundreds of seashells small and large which they have a strict policy against taking any home. It would be fun to explore again at low tide when the waves weren’t constantly threatening to drench our cameras in saltwater but we did snap a few photos while we climbed around among the surf and trees. I figured a good place to start sharing would be these simple shots of shells collected by visitors and left along the shore.

Botany Bay Botany Bay v2

Forgotten Ties

Forgotten Ties

Last but not least and a little late I have the 5th post in a week of desktops, this time around I have a set of images from a quick visit to a nearby train yard on a day off. We only had a few minutes to shoot because it started raining right when we wandered in but I managed to snap a few nice shots in the short visit. It would be a great place for portraits but I’m sure we would get run off in an instant if we drew too much attention to ourselves though it has a lot of potential for future exploring.

I always feel I don’t do enough portrait work, I really love to do it but my introvert self is not always up for finding people to shoot. I have been longing to get out with my Hasselblad and shoot some black and white film to develop and make prints again at home and my more frequent usage of black and white post processing is my attempt at curbing that desire a bit until I have the chance to do so. For now though, enjoy these moody shots and I will see you again soon!

Forgotten Ties v2Forgotten Ties v3Forgotten Ties v4Forgotten Ties v5

Because Spring, Also

Because Spring, Also

While spring is more or less winding down around here I thought I would collect a few more shots taken from the last few weeks and share them as wallpapers to compliment my other spring post. I’ve been loving the cool night air lately and hope it lasts a while longer before things start to heat up. I did my best to choose a well rounded selection to choose from, so hopefully everyone finds one they enjoy.

In other news, next weekend YoungDoo and I are planning on spending a few nights down around Charleston, SC so if anyone is in the area feel free to hit me up and maybe we can grab a drink somewhere. I have one more set of images for you guys in my make up week of desktops, its another five image pack so check back soon for more!

Because Spring, Also v2 Because Spring, Also v3 Because Spring, Also v4 Because Spring, Also v5

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