It's Spring Break. Go somewhere fun. Do something fun. Really.

Man.  These are the biggest files I've loaded to the blog.  Click on em and see how big they get.  And that's the output from an Olympus EP-2.  Amazing to me.  But that's not what this is all about.

These are images I took last April when I did a fun roadtrip to west Texas.  These were done in Marathon at a funky, fun hotel in the middle of town in the middle of nowhere.

I didn't know what I expected to find but as usual I didn't find it I found something else.  And that's fine. That's the experience of trying something new.  You really don't know what you're going to end up finding.  So a  whole year has passed and it's time to go somewhere again.

When you are in a precarious job like photography there's always a temptation to make your vacation into something that can be monetized.  I started thinking up workshops so I could make the big bucks like Joe and David, without having to go thru the process of selling anything tangible to the ad agencies or the companies I work for.

I thought about a week long workshop for 10 people in Marfa, Texas.  We'd stay at the Paisano Hotel, have all kinds of desolate adventures and share war stories over great bottles of wine and rare steaks.  But then I remembered that the two deficits Marfa seemed to have last time I was there were good wine and supermodels.  And what's a workshop without good wine?

I've been doing a lot of video and I have something like twenty five years of experience doing TV commercials and stuff so I thought maybe I could throw together some sort of cool multi-media workshop teaching people how to make movies with their DSLR's.  But God, that's so time consuming and I'd come back from vacation with no finished work for me.

Then I decided to bag all the monetizing possibilities and challenge myself to shoot fun stuff for a week and plaster it all over this blog.  To do something for me.  To shoot stuff I liked instead of stuff I thought someone else might like and it all made sense to me.  I should just have fun.

Then I thought about all you guys out there and what I wanted to say to you.  Well, here it is:  "Life is short.  If you love to do art then get out of the office and out of the house and do some damn art that you like.  Don't follow a leader.  Don't take a workshop.  Fill the tank and ride.  Find your muse and squeeze it for every last drop.  Fall in love.  Take a different road.  Meet strangers and photograph them.  Share secrets with someone.  Sleep under the stars.  Eat something you've grilled over a campfire.  Stay one night in a five star hotel.  Drag your camera everywhere.  Write a poem.  Write a love letter.  Be silly.  Dive into Balmorhea Springs.  Listen to new music.  Stay up all night.  Kiss someone with passion.  Eat great food.  See the ocean.  But do something fun and new for Spring Break.  Life is random.  Take the prize while you are still alive."

And those are my thoughts about a good Spring Break vacation.  Do I have a metric to measure the success for any of this?  You gotta be kidding.


Anonymous said...

Kirk, great post. Just so you know, you have ruined me with the digital pens. Have been shooting about 90% of the time with an epl-1, lens adapter, canon 24 2.8, canon 50 1.8, and a lensbaby muse (and I'm lovin' life like that). Like you, this spring break is all about the fun. Road trip, only the gear mentioned above, and a heck of a good time. Thanks for all you do.

John Krumm said...

Good advice, but we took our spring break trip two weeks early. My wife really wanted to rent a "vintage" VW campervan, and she knew I liked road trips, so she found some guy that rented them in California and we spent a week in a green 76 camper. It was great for photographs, but cold as hell (even coming from Alaska). Two days in Fresno with a broken fuel line, but lots of good sights and memories. Now spring break is about to hit and we can put our feet up and relax and not feel guilty we aren't doing something more productive, like traveling...

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Kirk> "...the two deficits were good wine and supermodels. And what's a workshop without good wine?"

LOL - that was a good one!

Skip Hunt said...



Poagao said...


Anonymous said...

Great ideas Kirk. I hope and wish people will read, listen and just DO IT!

Jim said...

I like the way you think.

Timothy Gray said...

Kirk, thanks so much for posting these. The color rendition is, in a word...spectacular. At this size, I have a clearer picture of what the little Oly can resolve. Imagine the prints are equally impressive.

Anonymous said...

Kirk, after a two week visit to the hospital and another month of recuperation(still working on it) I have to say I can't agree more. Life IS short, take time to enjoy it. Take lots of photographs, you might have to work at having fun until you get the hang of it. While you're at it, tell the people you care about how much they mean to you. And yeh, I'm writing poetry, too. Something I made up I call "Lo Ku", a less formal form of hai ku.
New friends are a gift
But old friends
Are precious.
Enjoy your life.

Dave Jenkins said...

Luscious color.

gnaztee said...

Well, Marfa DOES have a Prada...there should be supermodels SOMEWHERE, right?

Great message, as always!

Anonymous said...

I like the way you think, the way you write, and your ideas for spring break. Even if you don't leave Austin, you can have extreme fun capturing images of all the people and events during SXSW.

Debbi_in_California said...

Lighting for texture.... How about a blog about it. You have me seeing in a different way
How would you light for texture on a portrait?
Gobs and feathering are my Bain

Anonymous said...

Kirk, workshops are for people with too much time on their hands. Seems like you stay busy and focused on your own work. That's probably better for you in the short run and the long run.

Debbi_in_California said...

Nots gobs, I meant gobos

Anonymous said...

Great post. Did it on carnival 4 day vacations.
Had lots of stuff to do on the : work related, training related, home improvement related.

I completely forgot all of it during four days to:
. had a lot of fun being a full time parent,
. saw the ocean,
. food was nice,
. stayed up almost all night to sort and fix photos for an aunt,
. and took lots of pictures and made my workshop: spent 4+ hours taking pictures of the colorful carnival parade with one lens only.

And ended up convinced that I made better pictures than one "official" photographer. At least I had a lot more fun (and explored different angles).


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