Thursday, April 28, 2011
Post-cruise, we all piled back into the bus to head back from Louisiana to Michigan. This ride, as one may imagine, was a little calmer than the way down to New Orleans. I think we even watched Dancing with the Stars, which was weird considering our motley crew.
Monday, April 25, 2011
New York Times reporter CJ Chivers, wearing muddy hiking boots and a plaid shirt, acted as plainspoken MC and promised, as an Irishman, to celebrate the men’s life. The British and American special envoys to the opposition government, in suit and tie, made remarks honouring Hondros and Hetherington’s work.
Two cameras, like riderless horses, sat back-to-back on the table at the front. A large chalkboard served as backdrop. The hotel’s general manager and his ever-present son watched from the side. New York Times photographer Brian Denton read from Plato, and US envoy Christoper Stevens was handed a reading from the Book of Isaiah. Dusty, dirty photographers and reporters just off the same boat that carried the men’s bodies sat holding lighted candles. Even then, some continued to do their job, snapping images of the ceremony.
A reporter from the AFP news agency stepped forward to read from Gustave Mahler’s 9th Symphony, a selection for Hondros, who was known for his love of classical music.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
There are way too many emails from the past four years that I would like to share. However, as much as I want everyone to know the way this man thought about everything - good, bad or wacky - I've decided that the email below from Afghanistan will have been enough to give you guys a sense of the Hondros brain. A little string of thoughts from a dude with a camera in a desert.*
You gotta come to Afghanistan sometime, baby: first of all you could BE Afghan, for it's a land of Alli-ish women, all olive-skinned and green-eyed with just a hint of ethnic ambiguousness. You could easily stroll down the street in Kabul with an air of purpose in your step in some loose pants and a little headscarf and no one would be the wiser. (The camera, though--that fucks it up, as I've seen myself many times in my own attempted blending-in sessions around the world.)
Ah yes. There's definitely something alive about being here though; it makes me reflective and philosophical; been doing a lot of thinking. Not to mention my birthday, too. So I've been pondering the big issues: Love, Timing, Sex, even Death. I don't know if I've come to any grand conclusions, save some fairly obvious ones that still are important to remind oneself of periodically: Love is important. And Timing is important for love. And having a heart open to others is important, and that's part of both Love and Timing. And by the way, that Sex thing, is marvelous. (See all these original ideas and concepts I've reasoned my way to in the desert?) Seriously, something I've thought a lot about lately is how much better sensuous things are now than when I was 20ish: food, wine, sex, all that. Everyone likes sex of course but I think most 20ish people like it in a sort of rote or instictive way, and actually a lot of younger people I know seem to be able to go without for while if the circumstances call for it--I think it's because they don't truly appreciate it yet. I was like that back in the day, in retrospect. But the real thirst for it, the real sublime mental/physical pleasure and appreciation and true lust--that only gets stronger and better with time. It's beautiful and fascinating what the body can do, it's capacity for pleasure--nature and the conscious mind combining with functions of the body to create a real art. Lots of parallels with food in that too; I think that's why food can be so sensuous.
Anyway, so what's up back in the city? You still the belle of MSG? I have to photograph the chief-of-mission here (General McChrystal) tommorrow here in Kabul, and after that I'm a bit adrift; trying to put in for another Army embed but they're saying it might be April 1 until they can place me anywhere, in which case I'd probably just head home early. Though me being my usual brilliant self I scheduled those subletters I told you about until March 31, so I don't even know where I'd stay if I did come home--probably hang with friends a day or two and go see my mother down in NC, something like that.
Whenever it is, drinks when I get back, right? Come out to Dumbo again and we'll really do the hood right--we'll drink and be foolish and talk about life and all things important.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The world lost two great photojournalists in Libya yesterday. One of them was very dear to me. Whilst I figure out how to eloquently write about Mr. Hondros, please take time to view some of his life and work:
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
When I got back onto the ship, I proceeded to have the solo dance party of my life out on the balcony of the room. Aaron was already back to work prepping for the next KR show and I was drunk, alone and had plenty of newly acquired Bon Jovi on my Blackberry. After all, I had five hours until the show!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Jessica Wagner, long-time back-up vocalist for Kid Rock and lead singer of Envy, a NY-based band, is one of the most outrageously magnetic subjects I've photographed in a long time.
The weather was kind to New York yesterday, so following brunch with some of humanity's finest, I decided to walk home from 29th and 3rd. When it's nice out, my preferred method of travel is by foot, so I was excited to embark on my first nice walk of spring.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
As you can imagine, it was a pretty awesome 18 hours spent in a tour bus, even though there were 14 of us on a bus that sleeps 12. I hadn't met any of KR's band (or their lovely wives) prior to this trip, but there's no better place to get to know people quickly.
To make a long story short, a production friend of mine whom I met last summer on the Kid Rock leg of the Bon Jovi tour gave me a ring at the end of March asking if I'd be available to join him as his guest on (ready for this?) Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most cruise to Cozumel at the beginning of April. He said, "Rock is taking care of everything, all you have to do is get to Detroit to meet the bus so we can all go down to New Orleans."
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
On our last day in Austin, Roger and I headed to South Congress again for a late pancake breakfast at Magnolia Cafe. Cornmeal and pecan for me, chocolate chip for Roger. If you haven't picked up on it already, I was a big fan of the area.
Roger and I ended our location-scouting excursion amidst the peacocks to go grab some grub with Greg. Unbeknownst to me, Mr. Kyle Dean Reinford was also still in a post-SXSW relaxation state within Austin's city limits. Another one of our fellow New York music photographers, Kyle was with an mish-mosh of people who were just hanging and drinking at a neat little joint called Spider House, so we decided to join the group - make some new friends, see some old friends.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
I have no idea who these people are. I just know that these two had a great day and found the cornhole board at the Rachel Ray party (our next stop, chosen for food selection and the company of friend and awesome New York music photog, Jen Maler) to be a suitable bed. Security did not feel the same way.
After the RS show, Greg and I still had a few beers left in our six-pack, so we decided to park it in front of one of the food trucks along South Congress as we headed back toward Roger. While we did have beer, we did not have an opener. Greg, being a smoker (thank goodness), saved the day by having his lighter handy.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Monday, April 04, 2011
After Greg picked me up, we headed back to his house to reassess our game plan for the day. Remember, this was Saturday - basically the last real day of SXSW, so all things had to be planned accordingly.