Thursday, June 20, 2013

"We are all Trayvon Martin": Scenes from Sanford, Fla. during George Zimmerman's jury selection | Florida Photojournalist

Last week the New York Times sent me to Sanford to make a couple of portraits to accompany an article about their new police chief, Cecil Smith: Police Chief in Florida Tries to Ease Old Tensions. I hadn't been down there since last Spring, when there were huge protests calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman. 

Back then, I saw a lot of t-shirts and signs that said, "We are all Trayvon". For people in Sanford, that's not just a slogan. His story struck a cord with a lot of people on a very personal level. The woman in the second picture told me her teenage son stays with his dad sometimes, who lives in the same condo complex where Trayvon Martin was killed. She said it could have just as easily been her son walking home from the gas station. The man wearing the red shirt told me he has a 16-year-old nephew named Trayvon. When he first heard the story on the news, he thought it was his nephew who had been killed.

These pictures (except for the 2nd- and 3rd-to-last) were taken in Goldsboro, a historic black neighborhood in Sanford. I tried to capture the mood of the place, where I didn't pass a single television set tuned to anything other than jury selection for Zimmerman's trial. Sanford is a weird little town. The closest words I can think of to describe the mood are hot, impatient, and cautiously optimistic. Hopefully I do a better job with pictures: 


Monday, June 17, 2013

Making Progress: 48-Hour Film Project | Jacksonville, Florida

Last weekend, the 48-Hour Film Project came to Jacksonville. I collaborated with Not Not The One on a dark comedy called Progress. They let me get as creative as I wanted, and I even used my new 8mm fisheye lens a couple of times. It was such a pleasure to film for fun and leave the writing, editing, rendering and agony to someone else.

Anyway, I snagged this production still of my buddy Brad, who wrote much of the script and played the main character. It's shot through a fan, the prop we were required to use. I've only seen about 30 seconds of the final edit, and I can't wait to see the whole thing at our screening on Thursday night at the Florida Theatre. You should come, too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taksim Square bubble cannon (2010)

In a weird way, the images of water cannons dispersing crowds in Taksim Square yesterday reminded me of these pictures that didn't make the cut for my Tales of Tourism piece at Foundry. An enterprising gentleman was trying to sell bubble guns to passersby on Istiklal Caddesi, a main shopping street that ends in Taksim Square.

Seeing all of the powerful images come out of Istanbul's Taksim Square brought back memories of the summer I spent in Istanbul 3 years ago. I lived there for a month and I still couldn't quite wrap my head around it. It's such a complicated city in such a complicated country. There's so much beauty and life in that confusion, though.