Urban Homesteading

Some of you may know that I enjoy growing my own vegetables and that one day, I hope to have a big enough property to keep a few chickens and maybe a cow or two. To have an urban homestead, living in the city, but providing my own sustenance is something that makes me feel whole and human.

Apart from having fresh eggs, your own fruit and veggies, and maybe even milk, there’s another side to urban homesteading that often isn’t thought of: bee keeping.

I found this beautifully filmed piece on a Beekeeper in Brooklyn. I love the use of light and the  slow, simplistic way it was filmed.

Made by Hand / No 3 The Beekeeper from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

Great Behind The Scene With Mary Ellen Mark.

My classmate and friend, Richard, posted this on his blog. I loved this quick video on Mary Ellen Mark, a documentary photographer.

Two things stood out to me in this:

1. Mark suggests completely turning off the back of your digital camera when shooting. Don’t look until you’re ready to edit.
2. Mark has a wonderful perspective on observing vs. participating when it comes to shooting

Go on, take a look. It’s great stuff!

wingovervisuals

This is a nice look at Mary Ellen Mark and her thoughts on photography and other arts. Check it out!

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A nod to the past: silent films and the everglades

From an early age, I learned to shake my shoes for scorpions, run zig-zag in case of a pursuit from an alligator and to perform the sting-ray shuffle when searching for sand dollars and shells in the Gulf of Mexico. While kids up north had snow days, Floridian children learned how to survive hurricanes. We were born to the wild. We were raised among palm fronds and mutant insects as large as our hands. We were children of the Everglades.

In high school, I couldn’t wait to escape the humidity so thick in the air, you felt like you had to swim from the front door to the car just to go anywhere. Love bug season was an unspoken fear among those who’ve experienced far too many love-bug massacres upon their cars.

But something changed in college. I think it had to do with taking the back roads home on weekends. Those old roads echoed the old Florida, threatening to spill over into the lanes, lush and green, moss and vines creeping over the yellow paint on the asphalt.

And now, I miss the egrets calling me out of bed in the morning, bob cats at the gas station, a family of Sandhill cranes, graceful and poised, stopping rush hour traffic as they cross the road.

When I found this silent film, capturing the life and landscape of the Everglades in the 1920’s, I didn’t need sound to hear it. I wonder then, how important sound really is when watching something so familiar, yet so distant from your lifetime. After all, it was instilled in me, despite the skylines growing higher and higher, the roads getting louder and louder, or the subdivisions reaching wider and wider. Even though this wasn’t my time, I can watch this and call it home.

This is just a clip of the full-length film, which can be found here. The clip shows Seminole Indians playing baseball, a bear climbing a tree, canoes on the river, and the thick, tangled landscape of my childhood.

video self portraits

I’ve been thinking more and more how to take themes so common to photography and apply them to video. Take self-portraits for example. The life of a photographer is often left undocumented as they’re busy documenting everyone and everything around them. At least, that’s how it is in my house. 🙂 I try to take a self-portrait every now and then, but it got me wondering: how do people take self-videos?

Here’s what I found:

Thought Space – A Self Portrait from JD on Vimeo.

Self-Portrait from Matthew Kern on Vimeo.

Inspiration of the week: moving poetry

How To Be Alone

I first saw this about a year ago. It’s moving and beautiful and well, I have a soft spot for poetry and visual art combined. It’s for all people – single people, married people, loud or quiet people. I hope this video meets you where you are and reminds you of where you want to be.

Dear fellow classmates, I’ve been inspired. Does anyone want to make a visual poem with me?