Friends ( personally I do not know anybody, but my Facebook says I do) lol :-P

Photographed this sunset while walking the dog on January 1, 2014. 10,000th photo shot on my Canon 6D

Photographed this sunset while walking the dog on January 1, 2014. 10,000th photo shot on my Canon 6D

So for many years now I have had a personal Facebook page and I have had friends come and go from my friends list. I watched as the list grew to twenty then fifty, seventy and it seemed to hang around seventy for some time. I never felt compelled to make it go higher. I have seen teenage girls and others who have over a thousand friends listed. I asked one this one girl if she really knew all the people on her friends list and she replied very fast “sure I do.” At the moment when I asked her that question we were out at a restaurant with other friends. So I asked her to come over and sit at my side of the table. Using my phone we sat together and started inspecting here friends list and I would ask her “how do you know this person and that person.” I would mostly pick the older males on the list and of the older males we started to see that she knew very few of them. Her mother asking “yeah just how do you know all these men?” She soon admitted that she was guilty of accepting pretty much every friend request that came her way for about 3 years. Reason being “that it looked cool” to have a high amount of friends on your page. Now she is 19 and in college, so I pointed out that it just doesn’t look to cool from another angle. I mean to each “his/her own” I always say, but I always regarded the “Friend” list on Facebook as people I actually personally know. I may not have met them in person, however we do live in an age where we are able to reach around the world and have a personal interaction with someone via webcam, file sharing and chat. After all many of you who know me personally, know I met my wife as a 100% cold contact via Skype and see was 8000 miles away. So each person on my Friends list (currently 233) I have personally interacted with in one way or another at one time in my life and it meant enough to me to add them to my list. Some are people who I may not have known at all and were sent my way by a current friend because they wanted to see photos and that is fine. But then I will soon interact with them commenting on their posts and soon enoughI have a reason to keep them on my list because I find they are interesting in some way. I was just chatting with a photographer friend last night about camera flashes. I have never met him in person but he is a very interesting photographer and posts very nice work. I belong to a private Facebook photo group in Thailand and many of those members are also on my friends list .

So again I never felt I had to go out and find Facebook friends but it just seemed to happen. Will I find 1000 of them? I seriously doubt it, because I don’t want that. So as my photography has evolved and hopefully improved I started up a website, soon followed by this blog page on the website and now comes the next step, the “Reckless Pixel” Facebook page. I have a plan to be a better photographer and a better known photographer, so I have to promote and use more than one cyber avenue. Most of the entire Reckless Pixel page will give me a place to post my photography and let people comment as they always have in the past, only now they do not have to be on my friends list. This keeps my personal Facebook page more personal while letting everybody see my photography.

In closing I would like to thank all the people around the world who read this blog, I am amazed every time I look at the WordPress statistic page and see all the different countries that click on my blog. Same goes for my pages at Adobe’s Behance site and my Twitter. So thanks for looking… and I know there are many viewers out there that never hit the “Like” and never leave a comment, but still enjoy viewing my photography. I know because when I do meet people in-person they will make a comment about a photo they have seen. They didn’t hit “Like” and they never left a comment but I know they seen it. So here we go with something new for 2014 the Reckless Pixel Facebook page.

Happy New Year everybody.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

In my last post I mentioned “living a dream” and I would like to continue in that vain in this post.

While living for 15 days in the small village of Bhan Kamin in November 2012 I came up with this fun little idea on the spur of the moment. Maybe it has been done before, but I really did think of this on my own. Each morning I would awake about 5:00am and lazily come out of the house. My wife’s house is a very small one room house located very close to to the temple and the temple is the center of the village. So let me set the scene here. It is November, the rice harvest is in full swing. As I would come out each morning and walk next door to my brother-in-law’s house where I would sit and drink my morning coffee, there would be this flurry of activity in the village center. As the sun pushed through the morning haze of light fog and lingering thin layers of smoke from tiny rubbish piles that are being burnt at the street side and the smell of the smoke lightly tickling my nose. The smoke would soon give way to the smell of sticky rice steaming and coffee brewing.

People going to & fro, high schoolers on their way by motorbike, farmers with their two wheel tractors, workers on foot, ladies heading to the local market, the village beggar. It was all there to see and moving rather quickly, for as the morning moves on so do the people and village gets very quiet about 10:00am. Then all you hear is the occasional baby cry in the distance, roosters crowing and the ever so occasional pickup truck drive by. So… that is the scene. And on this particular day my driver was going to be late and I had some free time to get into the mix of all the activity. What can I shoot? I had no plan. I hate that. Each day I had a plan as to what & where to shoot so I could make the most of my trip. But here I am and I’m thinking what to shoot?

So given the flurry of activity at the street I had my 70-200mm mounted and I walked to the street. And again I had one of those moments where I stopped and just looked around and started to take it all in. Take in the fact that I was a long, long way from home, standing in the center of a small village that just made it onto Google maps about a year ago. Watching daily life of these hard working people and capturing these little moments for me to remember and share with others. Then I got this crazy little idea that I will just stand here and take a photograph of anything within 100 feet of where I’m standing in the middle of the street. So I would move up the street 50 feet, down the street 50 feet and side to side. So all the photos you see in this post were all shot from 7:43am to 8:19am on the morning of November 23, 2012. I wanted to shoot the faces mostly so that’s why the 70-200mm was used.

Nothing really spectacular just the faces I seen that morning all within a 100 foot circle. And the whole time I was having a blast and loving it, for I had found a plan for those times when you have no plan.

And as far as living the dream… at that time that was my dream. To travel to a foreign land, off the beaten path of tourists, and just see daily life. I didn’t want to see it on the Discovery Network, I didn’t want to read about it in Nat Geo, I wanted to see it and touch it and be part of it. To see the high school girls who kept riding by over & over so I could take their photo and hear them laugh and say “folung take my photo” was hysterical. To see the village beggar crawling along the side of the street. To see the look on the little boy’s face as he sees a caucasian man up close for maybe the first time in his life. To have someone offer fresh papaya to eat for breakfast, these were just part of what was going on while I was standing in the street for this short amount of time. To me it was flat out amazing. You did not have to be a photographer to do something like this. But how then would you capture these moments?

Harlan Illustration-3Still tweaking it. Sometimes I sleep on what I’ve done and re-visit the next day and have a new thought or idea. To me this is a little too much contrast and color, but I think it fits right in with motocross. In motocross like most Motorsports colors of the machines as well as the apparel and helmets have bright colors with a lot of contrast.