Friday, May 16, 2014

Defensible Space

We've been under mandatory evacuation since yesterday due to the Cocos Fire in San Marcos. In the past four days, San Diego county has literally had a firestorm consisting of 10 major fires. So far over 20,000 acres have burned and dozens of homes and buildings have been lost.

This is highly unusual for this time of year as our fire season typically doesn't start until the end of summer. However the extreme drought conditions we have had the past couple years has basically set us up for the perfect storm of fire. That's why it's CRITICAL that everyone be prepared.

Having this firestorm in May is very unusual and not a good sign of things to come. We're in severe drought conditions so everyone really needs to maintain defensible space around your homes so that the firefighters have a chance to save it if a wildfire happens in your area.

If your house is in jeopardy and you haven't made it defensible, they WILL move on to the next house. You need to have at least 100 feet of cleared area around your house, make sure no dead leaves are in your gutters or piled up next to your home, make sure your trees don't touch your house, put screens on your attic vents, etc.

Please, please, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the information on Cal Fire's website. It will make the difference between whether your home is saved or not.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

~ On Giving Away The Farm ~

I have been reading Mayhill Fowler's blog post Why I Left The Huffington Post and the attached comments with a mixture of humor, frustration, and anger these past couple days.  Humor in the naivete of the thought that working for free will magically produce a paying job, frustration that despite proof to the contrary people still continue to do it, and anger because those same people who work for free justify doing so.

I finally couldn't hold my tongue any longer and posted the following comment.

(Earlier comment by PJ Orvetti ) “These various early websites and blogs didn’t get me any money, and the freelancing I’m doing now is not enough to live on. (I still have another job.) But my goal in all of these enterprises was to get noticed and hopefully eventually get to a place where I would be a full-time professional political writer. That has not come yet, but these freebie projects have helped greatly.

That said, this sort of “hustling” does hurt the market value for other aspiring writers. If some folks are giving it away free, why should businesspeople pay others?”

(My response) PJ Orvetti – According to your comment, you have been toiling for 22 years and still can not making a living wage as a journalist. You will never be a full time professional writer (for a paycheck anyway), because not only have your actions contributed to the work-for-free problem, but you’ve proven by your own admission that you will work for free indefinitely.
There is value in providing very limited work for reduced or no pay, but to do it for 22 years and then wonder why you are not yet a “full-time professional political writer” completely boggles my mind. In the photography world, we call people like you GWC, which stands for “Guy With a Camera”. It describes all the fans who trade free images for access and by consequence, take food off the tables of working photographers. Being referred to as a GWC is probably one of the biggest insults a working photographer can throw at someone else. I don’t know if print journalists have a similar term for writers who give away the farm, but if they do, you would definitely fit the description.
At what point will any of you aspiring writers, photographers, graphic artists, or (fill in the blank), realize that except for the very rare few who catch a lucky break, working for free is not and will never be a viable business model or the first step in making a living wage in any industry? It’s time to be big boys and girls, educate each other about not seeing the forest for the trees, and stop giving away the farm.


It will be interesting to see if I scored any points and made someone think or if I am, once again, tilting at windmills when it comes to the working for free issue. 

Thoughts anyone?

~ Jody ~

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why I Make Pictures

Here are some thoughts and feelings I have about shooting. Some of them are mine, some of them are bits of wisdom I've learned from others. All of them together describe a minuscule fraction of how much making pictures means to me and how those pictures nourish my soul.

When I am shooting, I am centered and all is right in my world. The clutter and white noise of the world disappears into the background and I become one with whatever I see through my lens.

I have a story to tell. I want to share with you what happened, what I saw, and how I felt the moment I pressed the shutter.

My job is not just to take pictures, but to impart information. The longer I can captivate you and make you think about what you are seeing, the better chance I have that you will understand what I am trying to say.

I can see beauty in the midst of tragic events and I want you to see it too.

Shooting gives me an opportunity to grab a moment of history and preserve it for the future. To show you something you might not have a chance to see yourself, whether you are thousands of miles away or just down the street.

Every situation impacts me. Sometimes it brings me joy, sometimes it breaks my heart. But the cumulative effect of what I shoot makes me a better person than I was before.

It's important that I not allow myself to be molded  by shooting the way someone else wants me to. If I want to be great, I have to make my own pictures by shooting from my heart.

Whenever I photograph a person, I imagine that they sharing a part of themselves with me that they have never shared with anyone else.

I want to make something special out of the ordinary.

I need to share my humanity.

~ Jody ~