Over the Rockies

IMG_0492I’m thankful for people who work in airports and airplanes on Thanksgiving.

IMG_0495IMG_0500(These are above Dallas. I tried getting a bunch of natural formations — the Southwest is fascinating from the air — but they didn’t turn out.)

I’m thankful for a job that lets me learn constantly, and lets me find people and look for new ways of explaining and showing where they come from and why they do what they do.  I’m thankful for having a job.


IMG_0519I’m thankful for the people who love me and whom I love, especially the ones far away who stretch their minds and hearts to reach me.



IMG_0527I’m thankful for health and food, warmth and a bed, and for clear sinuses. I’m thankful for titanium wings that don’t snap off in turbulence no matter how many times I’ve pictured it happening.


IMG_0573I’m thankful for mountains and dunes and canyons and temperatures in the 80s in the Southwest. I’m thankful for getting to visit my mom here in Arizona for the first time in a good while.


IMG_0597Thanks for looking!




_C1_4637Today has been a day of protest over a St. Louis grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for shooting the unarmed, black teenager Michael Brown back in August. People nationwide and in other countries, including a diverse bunch here in Fayetteville, gathered to voice their disgust with what they called a justice system stacked against people of color. (You can see Ben Goff‘s official photo gallery for the paper here.)

There’s a ton of passion throughout these events, obviously — in Ferguson last night, rage over the decision turned into violence. The 80 or so people here in Fayetteville stayed peaceful, loudly chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and other slogans and holding signs saying the lives of non-white people still matter.




_C1_4657Four people were arrested after they blocked traffic for a few minutes after noon, but Fayetteville police and everyone else involved were calm during the civil disobedience and handcuffing. It reminded me of the Occupy Lincoln protests I covered back in school. Here, at least, people trusted their police.


_C1_4690I won’t wade any further into the furious disagreement over what happened that August day; you can take a look at all of the evidence that exists here. But I do want to talk about one or two things in all of this.

White men who committed or are accused of terrible crimes — shooting dozens of people in a movie theater, shooting dozens of people at a political rally or allegedly killing a police officer — lived through their arrests. Brown is one of many unarmed black children and men in recent years who didn’t live through theirs.

A lot of people see these as coincidences, biased sets of examples or otherwise justifiable in some way. One fellow came out today with a little sign saying Darren Wilson is a hero.

A lot of other people, including the Fayetteville protesters, disagree. They instead see this situation as a pattern that won’t go away no matter how hard they try. That’s what the protesters were fighting, they said.

As for me, I want people to be and feel safe around cops. I want people happy and safe in their skins. I hope the people working to make these things happen, whoever they are, succeed. I can’t say much more and remain an observer.



_C1_4725I also hope you’re happy and safe. Thanks for looking.


In the Air

_C1_4397You all know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, right?

I’m just teasing, but it’s funny to me that whether it’s in my family’s house or on Fayetteville’s square, the week before Thanksgiving is the time for Christmas lights. Maybe it’s still warm enough to put them up, or maybe it’s that sunsets these days are so early that we need to fill the evenings with some light of our own (I swear every year the sunsets get earlier.). Or it could be that we’re impatient.




_C1_4492Most of this week’s photos are from the first night of the Lights of the Ozarks in the square, an annual event that organizers say includes half a million of those cylindrical bulbs. In true Ozark fashion, the first night resembled a county fair, with stacks of corn dogs and a pony merry-go-round in between glowing trees. Lots of families and lots of selfies, too, of course.







_C1_4264I wonder if there’s any cultural significance to our focus on light during the season of darkening skies and hibernation, the night of a figurative year-long day. Is our light defiance, or just a calm source of comfort and fun for ourselves? I don’t mean to drag it all down, but it’s interesting to think about, at least to me.


_C1_4552This is Razorback Stadium, bathed in red light from the jumbo screen. The pinkish glow of the clouds above was visible for at least a mile. Just for kicks, I suppose.

_C1_4561These guys were having fun spinning their own lights just outside my apartment building. The next morning I went home for an early Thanksgiving. As is tradition, Christmas decorations came out after the big dinner.


IMG_0437My dad’s side of the family gave me an early Thanksgiving because I’m heading to my mom’s in Arizona this week — should be a good time, and some places and people to photograph on the side.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving (or Christmas) or don’t, I hope this time of year brings you comfort and lights and good food. Thanks for looking.



One Year Later

_C1_9831 smallNorth Betty Jo Drive, January

Well, it’s been exactly one year since I moved here, started writing for the Northwest Arkansas Times and began learning about this place through a camera lens. It’s time, of course, for the cheesy look back on what a year here has brought.

_C1_1128Dickson Street Mardi Gras

_C1_1446North College Avenue, March

_C1_3484Fayetteville Square Farmers Market, April

I’ve definitely gotten better as time has gone on; I’ve gone to new places, found better settings, become more comfortable getting close to people, and am more confident about finding an image no matter where I am. The original idea of this blog was to keep improving even while I’m not making a living with this stuff, and I think that’s going all right.

_C1_4513Devil’s Den State Park, April

_C1_4961Washington County Courthouse, May

_C1_5239World Treasures, North Block Street, May

More importantly, plenty has happened here in Fayetteville since then, with Mardi Gras and Pride parades, a brief period of same-sex marriage in this county, holidays and fairs and life in general. Even if I don’t capture them well, the people, lives and places in these images are real and worth respecting and remembering. There’s art everywhere, and I just try to catch it.

_C1_5526Kings River Country Store, May

_C1_5955Jefferson Lines Station, June

_C1_6698Fayetteville Pride, June

_C1_8106Ozark National Forest, July

This year is also the first I’ve thought about selling prints of some of these photos. No pressure, but if you’re interested, I’ve got a mostly up-to-date Redbubble page set up here. They print, frame and ship. I’ll also make the plug that while newspaper writing is my primary career at this point, if you want photos of an event taken with a photojournalist’s eye for emotion and detail, I’d be glad to see what I can do.

_C1_8439Lewis Fields, July

_C1_9735Washington County Fair, August

_C1_0297bwGlam Beauty Bar, August

_C1_0919Razorback Football Stadium, September

It’s been a good year here, with plenty of interesting and good people, plenty to write about at work and plenty to photograph. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but this place is one of my homes now.

_C1_2008Bikes, Blues & BBQ, September

_C1_2455Wilson Park, October

_C1_2691---CopyWinslow, October

_C1_2789---CopyPartial solar eclipse, October

_C1_3125Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, October

As always, thanks for looking.