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Hello and welcome to my blog, "The Darkroom."  If you skipped the "About Me" page, I'm a third generation photographer after my grandfather and my uncle, and I'm a stay-at-home dad and part-time photographer.  This blog will encompass a little bit of everything. 

A lot of my posts will run the gamut of tips and tricks, things I did over the past week, people I've learned from as well as whatever happens to be on my mind that particular week.  While I will make the best attempt at keeping the blog pertaining to photography, every once in awhile I will post about things that are non-photography related.  Anyway...I hope you enjoy.

Probably the Last

November 23, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Honestly folks....I don't even know why I'm doing this anymore, or paying for this website.  I haven't updated the blog in 3 years, and I've pretty much given up on society since Trump took office (I realize he's leaving office now, but his supporters, and the people that think just like him are still out there).  

I'm pretty much just done with society, and I can't even remember the last time I took something resembling a professional photography, or updated any of the galleries on this website. 

My Bachelor's Degree in History is useless, I don't have the money to pursue a Masters...and I'm honestly thinking I should've gone into one of the sciences, but again I DON'T have the money to pursue a Bachelors in another field. 

I've been unemployed a solid 8 months now, and quite frankly I don't WANT to work anywhere that I'm actually qualified for, which creates a bit of a conundrum doesn't it? 

As far as photography goes, I pretty much put it aside for the full time job I had because quite frankly this wasn't paying the bills.  For that matter I couldn't even convince my own mother to spread my name around to her other real estate agents to try and get more real estate business.  Guess that says a lot about how crappy my photography is then, doesn't it?  I honestly don't know why I even thought starting a photography business was even a good idea at this point.  Hell, even I've started taking more photos with my cell phone because, why bother with quality?

My wife thought it was a bad idea when I first mentioned the fact I wanted to start doing photography professionally, and I guess I should've just listened to her. 

I'd say maybe it's the Pandemic and the quarantining, but honestly....I gave up on this business a long time ago.  Guess I just didn't have the heart to believe it just yet.  It's a sobering thought really, and I've thought a few times about just converting this website to something else and using the blog for something besides photography, but again....why even bother?  Not like anyone besides my dad actually reads this thing anyway.  I don't even know why I'm typing it out now other than I can't sleep and feel like I need to get it off my chest. 

Anyway.  Happy Holidays.  


- Ian.


Happy Veteran's Day

November 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

It is Veteran's Day Weekend, since Veteran's Day was yesterday and I don't think there's anyone out there that would begrudge us taking the whole weekend...especially since the Marine Corps Birthday was Friday.  As a Marine Corps Veteran these are days that are obviously near and dear to my heart.  And as usual, I ended up working.  

Don't get me wrong, I have no issue working on Veterans Day, I just find it infinitely amusing that my wife and son got off Friday for Veteran's Day and neither of whom have enlisted or are old enough to even do so...along with all the other kids in school who got off and are not yet old enough to even think about enlisting.

What made think to post today though is a post someone made on Facebook in one of the Veteran groups I belong to. The question was essentially, "When did it hit you that you were in boot camp." 

I have to honestly say that it was the Tuesday after Labor Day for me.  I had "Stepped on the yellow footprints" on August 10th, 1998, so as you can imagine I'd been there just under a month at that point.  We were in one of our classrooms and the topic of discussion was physics.  Specifically the physics of a bullet as it travels over time. 

Usually, when I think of physics I think of my buddies in High School, as I did again that day.  There was a Physics Club that they belonged to that every year would go to the local amusement park (Darien Lake way back in the day for those that are familiar with Western New York) and they would drop pennies from the rollercoasters and do the math on how long they would take to hit the ground from the various high points. 

The math I was learning was very similar, only instead of how long will a penny dropped from a 70' rollercoaster take to hit the ground, my math was how long will it take a bullet to travel 500 yards, and given the curve of the bullet how many clicks up do I need to adjust in order to hit my target.  Keep in mind that there was no question about what was meant by "target."  Sure we may have been getting ready to go to the rifle range at some point to shoot at paper targets, but those targets were painted to look like people.  They were painted to look like people because that was the point.  We were learning Physics to learn how to send a bullet 500 yards down range to kill a human being.  

When you're 17, and all of your friends literally just started school that same day and you're in your class setting learning how to kill people, even though you signed up to be a cook (or 3381 - Food Service Specialist), it is indeed a very sobering wake up call.  You have to remember that when they say, "Every Marine a rifleman" they mean it.  Every Marine is trained how to shoot, and to kill, in boot camp.  It doesn't matter what your Primary MOS is, if they need someone on the front line, and they look in your direction, you're going. 

So yes being a Marine means a lot to me, even after 15 years of being out of the service.  Even though I was, "just a cook," and even though I was fortunate enough to never have been in combat.  I knew going in that I could be sent at any time and not come home. 

So for everyone that signed up, and managed to come home I say, "Thank you for your service."  for those that didn't come home, either completely, or mentally, or physically intact, again I say, "Thank you for your service, and thank you for your sacrifice." 

Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life

New Things and Old

October 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This post is basically to let you all know that yes I am still alive.  Things have been very hectic over the last year, and to put it mildly it’s been a roller coaster ride.  There have been plenty of ups, and a few downs over the past year or so, and well, there’s a lot. 

On the upswing my wife and I did move into our own house.  Its funny how you never really realize how much stuff you have until it’s piled up in boxes in your living room.  My son has started second grade, my wife is teaching a class that she loves (So far, it’s still early in the school year, but she’s been far less stressed than she normally is this point in the year), and I am back serving as Receptionist at the Carolina Renaissance Festival, which as you all know is a place that I love with all my heart.

On the down side, things have gotten very political for us over the past year, and while I try to avoid talk of politics and religion, it’s rather difficult in this day and age.  As a veteran and a teacher we are very concerned about the our futures, and as a father, I see a LOT of hate in the world today, and I find myself trying to explain things to my son.  Even today I woke up to a mass shooting in Las Vegas, and I am at a loss for words. 

Where we moved we feel fairly safe.  The neighbors are friendly, my son has made friends with a little boy across the street, and I go to bed feeling mostly secure.  I still make sure all my doors are locked, but I don’t feel like I HAVE to sleep with a weapon within reach.

Right now I have a few irons in the fire and I’m hoping to work them into something spectacular, but that’s all I can really say about those for now.

I'm Back...ish

January 27, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Hey folks!  Long time no see.  I apologize for that as I sit here and realize that it's been almost a year to the day since I last posted anything.  For those of you that kept up with me, despite the lack of update, believe me I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This one is going to be an update rather than photography based (just like old times, right?), but I feel it's important. 

I don't know how often I'll be able to update this thing going forward.  I have been very busy, and I have been fluctuating between being so busy that I've barely been home and sitting in my house smacking myself in the head trying to think of ideas. 

The past year has been...important.  I ended up with a POS car, that at least still gets me from point A to point B.  My wife, son, and I have more than healed from the accident.  We were lucky to begin with.  No major injuries just very, very sore, for about a month or so.  (They never show that part in the movies and tv shows do they?  Bruce Willis crashes his car and he doesn't even flinch.  I couldn't close my hand flat for a month.  Trying to click the shutter hurt like a wicked...b....witch, and my wife's ribs were sore most of the Spring. 

I'm in the process of redoing my portfolio, and I found seasonal employment with a national company that has kept me VERY busy over the fall.  As in 60 hour weeks during the September.  Which is great.  You all know I love to work, it just meant that I wasn't available to do things like update the blog.  As much as I would love to post some of the photos from those shoots, I was just the trigger, they belong to the other company. 

For those that think I'm being evasive not mentioning what company it is...it's in an attempt to separate the various sections of my life.  As this is my blog, and I'm apt to say what's on my mind, I figure keeping the two worlds separate.  Let's just say I absolutely love working for this company, and after having dealt with some of their competition...I'm very glad I made the right choice in applying with the company I did.

My wife is starting to come around to my photography after a half dozen years.  We've been looking to buying a house in the not too distant future, and after looking at some of the photos my wife turned to me and sang my praises.  It was a good feeling.  Same thing after our little guy got his first school photos back.  Again, I won't name companies out of respect, but it was nice for my wife to turn to me and go..."I really should've had you do them...but they were his first school photos and..."

Anyway.  I'm going to try and update more often.  I know that has been difficult in the past, and I suspect that trend will continue as the shooting season starts to warm up and get heavier. 

Other than that, I hope everyone has been having fun so far in this brand new 2016.  And I look forward to seeing everyone over the course of the year.

The Last Entry?

February 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

For those of you that follow me, you've probably noticed that I've been exceptionally quiet the last month or so.  I really don't know if this is the proper forum for this or not, but I figure it's my website, and I just need to get it out there.  Last month my family and I got into a car accident.  We're all okay, but the car is totaled.  As it is I'm waiting on the check from the insurance company to come in before I can get a new car.  Couple that with the fact that I have not been steadily employed since November, and I've learned something about myself.  In the past month I've barely left the house.  I haven't had a car, and even on the weekends my wife has practically had to drag me out of the house.  As it is I haven't even picked up my camera since the accident and it dawned on me. 

I'm depressed. 

I didn't think I was.  I have been very depressed before and compared to that, I've just been kind of bummed, or at least that's what I thought, but all the warning signs are there.  I have almost no interest in anything right now.  Don't get me wrong, I love my family, I love spending time with them, but aside from that I've been sitting on the couch looking for a job and watching Netflix.  I'm not scared to drive, although my wife will tell you that I'm still jumpy and paranoid, I just...don't want to go out.  It's just really feeling like being kicked in the gut when you're already down.  jobless for almost two months, and then the car getting totaled on top of it just...sucks.

With all that in mind, I'm debating shutting down the website.  It's not that I don't love it, or sharing my art with everyone, I'm just...tired.  Don't worry, I'm not suicidal or anything, but I do recognize the signs an symptoms, even if some are more subtle than others, and will be talking to my PCP about it in the very near future. 

I don't mention all of this for pity.  In fact I debated posting it at all, because I'm not normally one to just put it all out there, but like I said I just needed to get it off my chest. 

In good news after 3 months of being unemployed I did get called up to do some sub work, and once my background check clears I should be starting next week after orientation.  With any luck it'll be enough days during the week to help me get back on my feet.