Thursday, July 04, 2013

Jaws of Life

Road Rash

Here's something I picked up on the side of the road: perspective. For years I didn't notice it, lying there among the bits of windshield and broken chrome. Too lost in youthful stupor, I never appreciated how the shadow I cast on that glittering asphalt had all its limbs attached. It just didn't seem important then. I'd bebop up to a jack-knifed semi, crack wise to anyone who would listen and grow impatient if the trooper didn't make a beeline to my microphone. But an unfunny thing happened on the way to jerkdom. I grew up, one ghastly accident at a time. The sound of a second grader wailing in pain will do that to a fella. So will watching a soccer mom take a helicopter ride moments after she made the last wrong turn of her life. All that chopper-wash won't just chip your lens. It'll ding your soul if you're not paying attention. Next thing you know, you're skulking through your shift with a pockmarked conscious, an unseemly beast who's happiest tapping his foot in the breakdown lane. Don't be that guy (or even that girl). Let the house-cats back in the newsroom high-five over the head-on collision. Your job is to gather the facts, harvest the verve and be a decent human being. Anything less is just bad customer service.   

And we need all the customers we can get.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

It's Not Over...

Daughtry On Stage
Should ever you get the chance, I highly recommend securing a neighborhood rock star. We here in the Piedmont have been blessed with the presence of one Chris Daughtry, who turned a celebrated stint on a certain reality show into a viable career as the modern day Bon Jovi. In fact, I'm thinking of naming him the Official Recording Artist of Viewfinder BLUES. (Hey, no OTHER globally known vocalist stops his sound-check to ask me about my blog. I'm looking at you Jack White!) Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah, the bald guy with the blistering pipes. Shannon Smith and I first met Chris shortly before American Idol made him into a household name. Suddenly, the dude who used to write up service orders at the local Honda dealership was silencing his own idols with weapons-grade swagger and propulsive vocals. Not bad work if you can get it.

These days, Chris doesn't need a news crew to get him some press, but he still throws us locals a bone whenever he can. Such was the case yesterday, when Shannon and I met the band at the Greensboro Coliseum, where rehearsals for a new tour were winding down. That's where we pulled up a couple of equipment cases and got down to the business of interviewing the local boy done very, very good. Shannon did most of the heavy lifting; I just huddled behind the camera and tried not to yell "Freebird!" That became even tougher a few minutes later, when I joined Chris and his crew onstage for a bracing round of 'Let's deafen the cameraman'! That they nearly did, though I'm always up for a little hearing loss whenever the Daughtry gang wants to bring the thunder.


Sorry, my frontal lobe's been spewing out classic rawk standards ever since Daughtry singed my eyebrows with his blowtorch of a throat. And that was before he showed me his six page spread in this month's Muscle and Fitness Magazine. (Dude, put a shirt on!) And while you're at it, Chris, remember what I said about recording a cover of 'Tie Your Mother Down.' Not only would you do Freddy Mercury proud, but you'd turn a new generation onto the early Queen canon...

I even know a guy who'd shoot the video... Cheap!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Suddenly Stew

Viewfinder BLUES Home OfficeIt's not you. It's me. I'm the one who left you here, wondering why the web's wordiest camera nerd suddenly went so silent. Okay, so maybe you weren't wondering, but the fact is my dedication to this once sacred space has withered beyond words. Why? Well, I fell on black days. The details of such don't belong on a blog best known for 'Schmuck Alerts', but I feel strangely compelled to let my few remaining readers in on why I went away. Several months ago, the Missus and I began to experience 'Technical Difficulties' and as a result, I nearly came unplugged. I'm a little better now, but we are far from well. In fact, we no longer share the same address. The rest is, how do you say, none of your business.

Just know that your friendly neighborhood lenslinger has been shaken to the core and, after months of introspection, has decided to stop referring to himself in the third person. So bear with me as I pull myself out of this thickening morass and get back to kicking ass. Once upon a time, sharing my thoughts here felt like a blessing. In the past year, it's turned into a curse. I'm reminded of a moment I shared with best-selling author Jerry Bledsoe many years ago. A local celebrity of sorts, the highly successful crime writer read Greensboro's many blogs and hated most of them. To me, he was more generous. "You're a pretty good writer, Stewart." he said. "Expect it to bring you years of misery." I chuckled nervously at the remark, not really understanding what the old man meant. Truth is, I still don't. But as my life zigs where I thought it would zag, I can't help but remember that day. Whether it brought me misery or bliss, I don't think Jerry would have wanted me to stop writing.

So I'm not. Gonna stop. Writing. To continue doing so would be to further deny my DNA. For better or worse, it's just the way my brain works. And frankly, I'm tired of apologizing for that fact. Thus, I hereby declare this once vibrant site newly open for business. With more than a little effort, I can work up the momentum to deliver on it's original promise: 'Pithy Epistles from the Thinking Man's Photog'. Of that, I'm quite capable - once I pry my head out of the proverbial oven. As for my sucking chest wound, let's just ignore it, shall we? Spare me the marital advice, the Bible verses and the elastic maxims. Do that for me and I'll try to keep the woeful bales to a minimum. After all, that's not what you come here for...

When you come here at all.