1200 block of 3rd Street North

The New York Times photography blog Lens offered up an awesome concept via its “A Moment in Time” project on Sunday, May 2. Photographers of all levels and skills were invited to capture an image at 15:00 U.T.C., which was 10 a.m. in Fargo, N.D. Photographers were then asked to submit their selected image as soon as possible [but no later than Friday, May 7].

“We are asking participants to think about where they want to be and what they will focus on. Consider how to represent yourself and your community, with one image.”

My original plan was to photograph little M., my 4-year-old son, at our home. However, an overnight stay at his grandparents house in nearby Moorhead, Minn., meant my intended subject would be absent at the appointed time

Enter the backup plan. I decided to walk around our block to see what I could find. The above image — shot a few seconds past 15:00 U.T.C. and submitted to the project on Sunday — wasn’t my favorite from the outing. However, it best fit the assignment’s time criteria. I also found the contrast between the curb-side garbage and well-kept homes interesting. The refuse on the boulevard is thanks to Fargo’s annual Cleanup Week endeavor, which allows residents to deposit most anything on the boulevard and it will be picked up for free disposal.

The two images below were shot a few minutes past the assigned time. While I like both of them as photographs, I wanted to submit something that was identifiable to an actual place and not something that could have been shot anywhere in the world. Plus, I figured the editors would get an abundance of feet photos.

Sunday Morning

Toys

Opera House

Thanks to a recent assignment with Minnesota Public Radio, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in Ellendale, North Dakota, on Wednesday evening. It’s fair to say Ellendale is a bit off the beaten path. The town of 1,500 or so sits along U.S. Highway 281 near the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The downtown [or “just plain town” as described by a server at the community’s lone restaurant] is visually dynamic. The Opera House [pictured above] speaks for itself as does the sunshine yellow interior of Young’s Coin Laundry [pictured below].

Coin Laundry

Washing Machines

Prairie Winds

Close To Home

Making PicturesApril 23rd, 2010

Neighborhood Scenes

One of the wonderful benefits of being on staff with a newspaper is the perpetual supply of assignments and related deadlines. That constant demand to produce content is omnipresent. It’s like a beast whose appetite is never truely satisfied. That mandate to produce images with such regularity is something I’ve missed for the past 14 months or so.

Enter the online journal. (Note: I’m intentionally avoiding the b-word because I find it clunky and awkward.) This journal provides a platform for images and related creative explorations. It’s a place to share freelance assignments and work through the process of establishing a sustainable venture. It’s a reason to set aside time to walk around my neighborhood and really look for photographs. It’s a reason to set aside perfectionism and embrace an imperfect world.

Photographs and stories exist everywhere and all around us. But, it’s up to the photographer to be watchful and vigilant.