Eric G. Rose – Where It's At

Archive for January, 2012

I hate my job!

by on Jan.30, 2012, under Cameras, Digital, Location, Travel

turkey_seedseller - photo by Eric Rose

Istanbul Seed Merchant

I don’t know about you but I can honestly say I have had some jobs that just stunk.  Sometimes they start off great but go downhill really fast after the novelty wears off.  Being a bit of an old fart I was brought up in the age of commitment.  If you said you were going to do something you darn well did it.  None of this job jumping you see these days.  Actually I don’t blame the younger folk these days.  Employers have no compunction about sucking you dry and then spitting you out on the street so they can boost the numbers for the quarter.  Gotta keep those Wall Street fat cats happy!  So why should an employee feel some sort of commitment or allegiance to their employer when none if given.

What does this rant have to do with the lady above?  Well nothing really and everything.  Women like her have probably been selling bird seed in this very spot for at least 100 years.  Why do they still do it?  Because they feel a dedication to their Mosque, or maybe her family.  This is the same dedication I used to see here at home.  We use to call it the “Protestant work ethic”.  Since religiosity generally in North America is on the decline it seems the work ethic that went along with it is also on the decline.  That’s not to say there weren’t lots of non religious people who were very hard workers.

Now take the woman in the photo.  There are numerous narratives a reasonably creative mind could come up with.  Is she unhappy with her job?  Maybe the kids running around the square are getting on her nerves.  Maybe she has not made enough money to buy the food necessary for tonight’s dinner.  Could be she is tired of photographers!

Now a bit on the back story.  This photograph was made in a square near a very large Mosque in Istanbul.  There must have been several hundred pigeons squawking for their dinner and an almost equal number of children pestering their parents to buy one of the small plates of seeds.  At the moment I made this image a very large flock of pigeons had been scared into flight.  Being under a tarp was a definite plus.  My wife got a beautiful photograph of a child peeking through just such a pigeon lift off.  Please check out her website.

What intrigues me about the above image is the subject’s body language.  Even though she is Turkish it is not hard to read where her mind is.  She is doing her duty, raising money for the Mosque, and not enjoying one minute of it.  She is well organized and has settled in for the long afternoon ahead.  The countdown is on.  She is poised for a quick exit.

The tension she exhibits is very subtle in the photograph.  The legs running away in the background can be seen as a counterpoint to her captivity.  The bright red adds to the feeling of tension.

I loved Istanbul and found the people to be so warm and friendly.  Well except when they are selling seeds.

The equipment I used for this image is Nikon D700 with Nikkor 28-70mm 3.5-4.5.

Leave a Comment more...

The End of the Line – One Last Ride

by on Jan.23, 2012, under Rodeo

Each week I will showcase a different image.  Something that means something to me and has a story behind it.  It may not be the best image I have ever created but rest assured there will be a story.

Getting psyched for the Last Ride

The cowboy in this image had entered the Bowden Rodeo in Alberta last August.  There are probably somewhere between 6 to 8 different rodeo circuits in Alberta.  Rodeos are a very big deal here.  A successful bronc rider or steer roper can make a pile of money and also become a legend.

For every successful rodeo cowboy there are hundreds of beat up, wounded, lonely and broke ones.  They spend their entire summer living out of their pickup truck.  If they are lucky they might have a “buckle bunny” latch on to them,  rodeo’s version of a groupie.  For the most part however they live a very solitary life.  Even when they are with their fellow cowboys words are sparse.  Cowboys are not into idle chit chat.  If you have something to say, well just say it.  Taciturn is a word that comes to mind.

The cowboy in this image recognized his day had come and gone.  At one time he was sponsored by the likes of car manufacturers and beer companies.  Things were glorious and the money, fame and chicks were rolling in.  Unfortunately like many rodeo participants he suffered some major injuries.  At first he tried to ride through them just like any extreme athlete would.  A little extra “chew”, a set jaw and another 8 seconds of torture.  The injuries caught up with him.  The wins were becoming fewer and fewer.  The sponsors a distant memory.  The handwriting was not just on the wall, it was deeply etched into the constant pain he suffered.  It was time to pack it in.  To retire.

A cowboy never just quits.  They have that one last ride, pack up the truck and disappear into the dust as they head out of town.

This was my subject’s last ride.  We sat and chatted awhile.  He relived some of his glory days with me and his eyes shone with the excitement.  It was nice to see him perk up as it was very obvious he was depressed about how things turned out for him.  His dreams as a young child were dashed.  His identity was taken away from him.  Well not for one last ride anyway.  This was going to be the best one this year he told me and he wanted to make sure I had a great vantage point to watch the action.

Deep down I knew he thought it was a long shot that he would stay on for the entire 8 seconds.  I noticed he had packed away all his gear prior to his ride.  Most of the cowboys left their gear in the common area used for getting geared up prior to a ride.  This area is sacred.  Only those with permission are allowed in.  If anyone gets a bad vibe from you, you’re out.  It’s the cowboy’s form of a sanctuary.

My new friend happened to draw a very good horse.  This was going to be a tough ride no doubt about it.  His horse began bucking even before the gate was opened.  This is a very dangerous position for the cowboy and the handlers to be in as anything could happen.  One ton of very pissed off horse crashing and thrashing in a very tiny enclosed space.  They were finally able to get the horse settled down enough and the gate was thrown open.

My friend had a great ride and stayed on for the entire 8 seconds!  He jumped off the horse once the outriders got there and started to walk back to the stalls.  Then it happened.  The announcer said he had been disqualified for some bullshit infraction that could have been called on just about any rider that day.  You see this cowboy happens to be First Nations.  They knew it was going to be his last ride and they weren’t going to give him the satisfaction of walking proud.  Maybe he had pissed off some people in his heyday.   Maybe his ego was just a tad too big and they figured he needed to be cut down.  Or maybe they were just rednecks.

My friend turned never coming back to the staging area.  I think he knew something like that was going to happen and that is why he had prepacked his stuff.

All I saw of his departure was the cloud of dust his pickup kicked up as he traveled down that long straight road to cowboy hell.  That place  none of them want to talk about.  The place where there are no sponsors, no buckle bunnies and no 8 seconds of terror.

5 Comments :, , , more...

Life is Good

by on Jan.16, 2012, under Cameras, Digital, Life is Good, Location, Photographers, Uncategorized, Vision

When I look at the news these days it reaffirms my belief that for me at least life is good.  Is this why so many people have become news junkies, they need to see someone suffering so they can feel better about themselves?

I think we all know the person who spends all their available time glued to CNN or some equally intelligence numbing news porn pusher. I firmly believe our local CTV news department here in Calgary has a quota of blood and mayhem they have to meet for every evening newscast.  If nothing is gory enough locally they dredge up something from some backwater hillbilly county in the US.  While it may be tragic for the people closely associated with the shooting, stabbing, car wreck or beating it has absolutely nothing to do with my life. There is nothing I can do beyond feel bad for them while at the same time thinking, geez my life is so much better than theirs.  Thank goodness I watched the news, I never would have known how good I have it.

What does this have to do with photography you ask?  Good question.  My life is good, and I don’t need anyone external to tell me so. Yes I could be making more money, I could be 40 pounds skinnier, maybe I should be able to run 10 miles.  Right now, today, I feel great with who I am and where I am.  Well maybe Brooks Jensen from Lenswork magazine could call me up and say he loves my photography and wants to publish some of my stuff in his excellent magazine.  That would make me a tab bit happier.

For 2012 my goal with this blog is to publish one image a week that makes me happy.  It could make me happy because it records a joyful occasion, creates some visual magic like Bruce Barnbaum‘s slot canyons and cathedrals or represents something spiritual.

Along with the image I will outline the all important W5’s.  Maybe even some photo geeky stuff too.

Below is the first image.  Anyone from my generation (baby boomer) can relate to this scene.  Instantly you have memories of going with your parents to the local hamburger drive-in;  the smell of the car’s interior, the AM radio playing anything but what you wanted to hear, pretty car-hops in short skirts, and REAL hamburgers with the condiments oozing out into the foil wrapper.  Maybe you went with your friends in a souped up Chevy or Ford.  A hot car of this era just had to have Thrush mufflers and a jacked up rear end.

Every payday my dad would take my mom and me to the local A&W.  I can remember the day when I was finally old enough to order a Teen Burger and my very own order of French fries!  During those days the family car was a very powerful Plymouth Fury with a new one in the driveway ever year until they got rid of the fins in the early 60’s.  Then it was on to a string of Oldsmobiles.  Why Olds?  Because they had a 455cu, 375hp engine and a nice factory AC installation; horsepower for the old man and AC for my mom.  From Olds the old man went on to Buick Wildcat’s.  That is until they detuned them in 72.  He stuck with his 455cu, 375hp Wildcat until the day he died.  They might have to pry a gun from Charlton Heston’s dead hands, but for my dad it was the keys to his monster Buick with it’s 10mpg.

This picture was taken at a street festival here in Calgary.  I was feeling lazy that day and decided to leave the D700 at home instead pocketing my beater Canon A640.  I figured it would be a generally lousy day for photography but was instead presented with a very target rich environment.  Live and learn.  I did the best I could given the lighting, proximity of Mosquitoes (people in my way) and the limited space between the vehicles.  While the car was an integral part of the photograph, for me it represented mainly a time stamp. The food, now that was what caught my attention.  Did I mention I am just a tad overweight?

Since my digital days are rather recent compared with over 40 years of shooting film I only took one photograph of this subject.  Mind you it took me some time with lots of ducking and weaving to get just the right angle before I pulled the trigger.  I hope you enjoy this image and it brings a knowing smile to your face.  If you were too young to have enjoyed the drive-in experience rent a copy of “American Graffiti” to get a flavor of what I am talking about.  Say hi to the Wolfman for me.

55 Merc Memories - Eric Rose Fine Art Photography Blog

55 Merc Memories

2 Comments :, , , more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!