Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ray LaMontagne - Gossip in The Grain

Music by Ray LaMontagne

I’m listening to music by an artist that I am unfamiliar with. But, I like it. His name is (http://www.myspace.com/raylamontagne) Ray LaMontagne. He is from Lewiston, Maine. The first thing I noticed about him was the way he looked. He reminded me of me in my late 20’s to mid 30’s. Anyway, the music genre, I suppose is soft rock. The first song I heard him play was a live performance in Portland’s (Maine or Oregon, I do not know.) of the John Lennon song, “Imagine”.  Although the acoustics were kind of yucky, something was telling me to listen to more. So, I clicked on his album “Gossip in The Grain”. I like Ray’s music. It is clean, and it is not head banging rock. And, I like his voice. I have no information on the sound tracks, or his backup artist. But, I believe it is him playing acoustic rhythm guitar. It is an easy listening, relaxing voice and music. From the romantic first track, “Let It Be Me”,  thru the bluesy “Trouble” to the haunting final tune, “Empty”, this is a captivating album.

He reminds me of someone from the 1970’s. I think the person I am thinking of used to play with Erick Clapton. Who it is just escapes me for now.

I hope that I am at home if and when he comes to the Oklahoma City area. It will be a concert that I look forward attending. Every time I consider selling my photography equipment (since I am worried about the fact that I appear to be going blind)  and think about once again buying a guitar I know that this is the kind of music I would be playing. A little bluesy in a soft rock fashion with a bit of folksy (Is that a word?) feeling to it. Good music for late evening truckin’. It is what you would want to sing to a lady friend with whom you are getting really serious about.

Thanks Ray LaMontagne

Friday, January 29, 2010

Soulshine - Allman Brothers

Conspiracy Files - Oklahoma City Bombing

April 19, 1995

Yes, I believe that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were involved in the 4/19/1995 bombing. But, I still have a hard time believing that the story ends there. My concern for this stems from the facts surrounding the vehicle T.M. used for his getaway. I wonder “Why would anyone put so much time into plotting this deed, and not have enough brains to make sure his car had a tag on it?” And, I wonder “Why was the tag removed? When was the tag removed? Who removed that tag?”

Reflections, Resilience and Hope

The Oklahoma City National Memorial
by Keith Birmingham

It was 08:45 when I climbed into my truck, eased away from the fuel island and onto the access road. The morning commute was almost over. So, I was hoping for no problems going from the north side of Oklahoma City through downtown and south to Dallas. Clear blue skies, pleasant mid-spring temperatures and no traffic should have made for a perfect day of trucking.



My clock showed 09:02 as I approached the N. E. 10th  street exit. I was reaching up to turn my radio on when I caught a glimpse of black smoke just before the road dipped into a valley. As I headed up the next small hill in front of me an Oklahoma State Trooper blew past me on the left. When I topped the hill I had a longer look at the giant cloud of smoke that seemed to be billowing out of  the north end of downtown Oklahoma City. The black and white state trooper’s car had already disappeared through the I-40/I-35 interchange. I figured he was headed to where the black smoke was coming from. By the time I went through the interchange, hitting I-40 and then splitting off to go south again on I -35 I had been passed by two more police cars. These were Oklahoma City Police vehicles, and they too were headed for the area consumed in black smoke. And, by now, the AM radio was talking about a large explosion, unsure about the cause.

The thought hit me that I should turn around. I figured somebody was going to be needing a lot of help. But, I was driving 80,000 pounds of steel and frozen meat down the highway.  It would be better, I thought, to keep my truck moving, and stay out of the way.



It has been more than 14 years since that nightmare unfolded in Oklahoma City. And, I think about that day, and September 11, 2001 almost every single day. And, yes - I still weep for those who lost their lives, and those who lost their loved ones. And, it often occurs to me that, most likely, somewhere between the truck stop and downtown Oklahoma City, I may have been within a hundred feet of Timothy McVeigh, the man who was convicted of, and the man who died for this crime. As he drove north out of town we may have met on I-35.

I have visited the outdoor part of the (map to get there) Oklahoma City National Memorial half-a-dozen times since it opened. I have been there three times now with camera in hand. All of my visits were short due to time constraints. And, each time I leave I know that I will be returning as soon as possible.


I usually enter the memorial from the west side, which faces Harvey Avenue. Harvey is a one way street going north. Along this street is a tribute fence, where visitors have placed mementos, letters, photographs, hand written prayers, and other tributes to those who died that day. Sixth Street runs east and west on the north end of the memorial complex. Fourth Street runs east and west on the south end of the memorial. Robinson Avenue is a one way street running south on the east side of the complex. The new federal building in on 6th Street, and on the west side of Harvey Avenue, facing south.  On the southeast corner of 5th and Harvey there is a statue of a “Weeping Jesus”.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum occupies the west end of the former Journal Records Building. The museum houses a memorial selling special gifts and keepsakes. The museum gives you a self-guided tour of the story behind April 19, 1995, giving you a background on terrorism in America, an audio of the actual explosion, the chaos that followed the aftermath of the explosion, and more.


Visiting this memorial helps me sort things out, and puts life into perspective for me. It is where I go to renew promises to myself of living a life of meaning. I am 61 years old, and a veteran of the Vietnam War. I believe that if the events of April 19 and September 11 had not happened I would have gone to my grave not knowing the value of the time I am spending here. I can now look back on my life and honestly say I have been blessed to have a good one. But, each time I leave OCNM I leave with the belief that I can do better. I think of this quote that has been said in many ways: “Your life will come down to this: you can wait for things to happen. You can wonder what/why things happened or did not happen. Or, you can make things happen!” And, I resolve to make things happen.
*****
My name is Keith Birmingham. I am an Oklahoma/Nevada based photographer, writer and webmaster with a growing catalog of industrial, lifestyle and nature photography. HKB Photo is the online portfolio I use to attract professional photo buyers. HKB Photo Studio is my on-line "event photography" studio. If you use articles written by me, Keith Birmingham, for any kind of publication you must include this resource box with the article. For details please contact Keith Birmingham. See my web sites for contact addresses or a phone number.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial

Reflections and Hope
By Keith Birmingham

It was 08:45 when I climbed into my truck, eased away from the fuel island and onto the access road. The morning commute was almost over. So, I was hoping for no problems going from the north side of Oklahoma City through downtown and south to Dallas. Clear blue skies, pleasant mid-spring temperatures and no traffic should have made for a perfect day of trucking.

My clock showed 09:02 as I approached the N. E. 10th  street exit. I was reaching up to turn my radio on when I caught a glimpse of black smoke just before the road dipped into a valley. As I headed up the next small hill in front of me an Oklahoma State Trooper blew past me on the left. When I topped the hill I had a longer look at the giant cloud of smoke that seemed to be billowing out of  the north end of downtown Oklahoma City. The black and white state trooper’s car had already disappeared through the I-40/I-35 interchange. I figured he was headed to where the black smoke was coming from. By the time I went through the interchange, hitting I-40 and then splitting off to go south again on I -35 I had been passed by two more police cars. These were Oklahoma City Police vehicles, and they too were headed for the area consumed in black smoke. And, by now, the AM radio was talking about a large explosion, unsure about the cause.

The thought hit me that I should turn around. I figured somebody was going to be needing a lot of help. But, I was driving 80,000 pounds of steel and frozen meat down the highway.  It would be better, I thought, to keep my truck moving, and stay out of the way.

It has been more than 14 years since that nightmare unfolded in Oklahoma City. And, I think about that day, and September 11, 2001 almost every single day. And, yes - I still weep for those who lost their lives, and those who lost their loved ones. And, it often occurs to me that, most likely, somewhere between the truck stop and downtown Oklahoma City, I may have been within a hundred feet of Timothy McVeigh, the man who was convicted of, and the man who died for this crime. As he drove north out of town we may have met on I-35.

I have visited the outdoor part of the (map to get there) Oklahoma City National Memorial half-a-dozen times since it opened. I have been there three times now with camera in hand. All of my visits were short due to time constraints. And, each time I leave I know that I will be returning as soon as possible.

I usually enter the memorial from the west side, which faces Harvey Avenue. Harvey is a one way street going north. Along this street is a tribute fence, where visitors have placed mementos, letters, photographs, hand written prayers, and other tributes to those who died that day. Sixth Street runs east and west on the north end of the memorial complex. Fourth Street runs east and west on the south end of the memorial. Robinson Avenue is a one way street running south on the east side of the complex. The new federal building in on 6th Street, and on the west side of Harvey Avenue, facing south.  On the southeast corner of 5th and Harvey there is a statue of a “Weeping Jesus”.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum occupies the west end of the former Journal Records Building. The museum houses a memorial selling special gifts and keepsakes. The museum gives you a self-guided tour of the story behind April 19, 1995, giving you a background on terrorism in America, an audio of the actual explosion, the chaos that followed the aftermath of the explosion,


Visiting this memorial helps me sort things out, and puts life into perspective for me. It is where I go to renew promises to myself of living a life of meaning. I am 61 years old, and a veteran of the Vietnam War. I believe that if the events of April 19 and September 11 had not happened I would have gone to my grave not knowing the value of the time I am spending here. I can now look back on my life and honestly say I have been blessed to have a good one. But, each time I leave OCNM I leave with the belief that I can do better. I think of this quote that has been said in many ways: “Your life will come down to this: you can wait for things to happen. You can wonder what/why things happened or did not happen. Or, you can make things happen!” And, I resolve to make things happen.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Subjects I Want To Shoot http://ping.fm/FWpyB

The List Will Grow

d.015714.small.jpg
*****
Subjects I want to photograph: Planet Earth from a UFO: )(I had to get that in there), entertainer and model portfolios, all motor sports, baseball, football, basketball, golf, rodeo, track and field, marathons, volleyball, horse racing, people at work, people at play, children being children, pets, nature, wildlife, plants, scenic, landmarks, extreme sports, classic vehicles, farm life, ranch life, women, senior citizens, yachts, boats, ships, planes, trains, military, war, riots, disasters, severe weather, crimes in progress, crime scenes, musicians, concerts, energy production, community activities,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making a New Fine Art Gallery


Just posting to let people know I am still alive. Very busy with my doc, and a family member is bad sick. Also, I am preparing new stuff for my fine art gallery. Be back soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Content For Bloggers

Do you need content for your blog?

I may be able to help you. Although I am new at advertising for my own clients I do have 2 blogs of my own that I have created almost all of the content for. I am getting more into writing these days and would like to have a couple of clients to produce “articles and photos” for on a “weekly or monthly” basis. I have to be careful here, because I am near capacity on my photography work. That is my main source of income, and I must create for HKB Photo.

If you have a blog specializing in the following areas; trucking, photography, health and fitness. I will begin by working cheap (I am a newbie), earn your trust, and then you can pay me what I will show you I am worth. I can see starting at 200 to 300 word count for $10, 300 to 500 word count for $20. 500 to 800 word count for $30, 800 up to 2000 word count from $40. This prices would be with minimal to no research work. Research work would require a fee depending on the amount and how complicated the subject is.

Contact me, Keith Birmingham at hkbphoto@yahoo.com.

Confusion Gone at HKB Photo

It was confusing to me. So, I know it had to be confusing to my clients. But, the cure for confusion is on the way. I am now in the process of re-organizing my on-line operation. My portfolio at HKB Photo is the only site that will remain the same. That is because I have simplified it as much as I possibly can at this time. Now, the only photos that will be posted to HKB Photo Studio will be people and (some) travel photography. My industrial work will be posted on Flickr. I will be getting a Flickr pro account very soon. And, my nature, symbolism and other fine  photography work will be posted on imagekind.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Specializing in Serving You



My photographic work is based on the lifestyle that I strive to live. Although I am currently exhausted from 35 years of constant travel I have no plans to stop traveling. When I want to stay at home, my “event and portfolio” photography will allow me this luxury. However, my specialties in travel, and the health and fitness lifestyle” will allow me to travel when, where and how I prefer to travel.

I am currently equipped to work in my specialties in 35mm digital format. I am currently making arrangements that will enable me to replace or rent any special equipment that I will need or do not own.

My photography is split between two markets - the personal use and publication use markets. My “personal use” work consist of “event” and “portfolio” photography. I cover events in an editorial/documentary style. My portfolio photography consist of studio and location photography for comps, headshots and book prints for speakers, athletes, models and entertainers from all segments of media. My “publication use” work consist of editorial style photography serving editorial and commercial clients in travel, and the health and fitness lifestyle. These are the specialties that will allow me to keep traveling.

Much of my “publication use” work will be done on a local, at home basis - especially my health and fitness projects. One of the benefits of this specialty is that it should encourage me to improve my health.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Writing for the Masses

My business URL for writing: http://ping.fm/rcfCq

Recession Special

Within 20 miles from studio:
Outdoor or Location (you choose) Portfolio and Environmental Portraits
Photographer fee: $65.00 = first hour. $50.00/ hour after first hour.
$25.00/ hour for non-handheld equipment other than basic strobes.
Must be within 20 miles of studio, or travel cost will be added.
Assitants fee: (if needed) $12.00/hour.

Disk and "limited one-time use" copyright release provided.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting Started With a Writing Career


Self-Portrait.test shot

While my schedule is not quiet figured out yet, and I have really not decided how or where I am going to enter the marketplace as a professional photographer/writer, I am getting closer to making decisions on my new career choice. In photography I am now working in six main categories of the marketplace. And, all of those markets can be broken down into several specialty niches. But, I have set to paper a self-analysis of where I now stand, and what my photographic strengths are. I am now contemplating them, and hope to make some firm decisions within the next day or so on the direction I will take. My next blog will be about the decisions I make, and why I make those decisions.

I am now on a "self-inflicted" weight loss program. At least I am beign wise by starting out very slowly. The photograph above was shot on April 7, 2009, and shows me at around 267 pounds - the most I have ever weighed as far as I can remember. I have been retired from my previous occupation since November 7, 2009, and about three weeks ago I weighed 253 on the same scale. I have not weight since then, but have tightened up another notch on my belt. My major problem right now is that I can only walk "just less than a mile" in about 20 to 25 minutes. But, I am getting around better every day, and will be increasing my walking workout about every second or third time out. Another side benefit from all of this health stuff is that I hope to get involved with other people doing the same thing I am. This will hopefully lead to more photography and writing opportunities.

Self Analysis


Working on my strengths.
**********
I am spending a lot of time the past few days trying to decide where I am going with my photography. The following is a self-analysis that I hope will help me narrow down my subject focus, my market.

A. What “categories” do you now work in with your photography?

    1) People
    2) Industrial
    3) Nature
    4) Event
    5) Travel
    6) Symbolism

B. Now, name them in the order of most work done “to” least work done.

Industrial, travel, nature, event, people, symbolism.

C. Now, name them in the order you like working in the most.

Travel, people, event, nature, industrial, smybolism.

D. Name your strongest point in each category.

    Travel = I like to travel and explore new surroundings.
    Nature = I like to be in nature if the weather is not too cold.
    Industrial = 35 years in the transportation industry.
    Event = When working with people I am best at doing editorial type “lifestyle” shots.
    People = I like to do lifestyle and portfolio work with entertainers and models.
    Symbolism = I would have what I need to work at home with very little except for props/people.

E. Name your weakest point in each category.

    Travel = Very tired of going all of the time. Would like to slow down.
    Nature = Not physically fit enough for hard stuff.
    Industrial = Not inspired enough to work in transportation industry.
    Event = No connections. No money to attend.
    People = Previous occupation kept me away from any kind of social life. Need experience.
    Symbolism = New category for me.

F. What other skills do you have to help you in photography?

Writing skill that should be good for travel articles, editorial, story, and opinion work.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Stock Photography: http://ping.fm/BumIV
My New Year's Resolution: http://ping.fm/tMyFB

My New Year's Resolution

Ahh! New Year's Day! Resolution Day! And, it's time to get started.

When I retired from trucking on November 6, 2009 I wanted (I'm usually in a hurry) to immediatley start an exercise program. But, I could barely even walk, because of exhaustion and poor health. Well, I have been resting well for the past few weeks. My health is a long way from being something to smile about. But, I feel confident that if I start out slow, and build up slow, I can now beging and maintain an exercise program. To begin with this program will consist mostly of walking and some arm exercise. I still maintain that I have a long way to go, but I am ready to begin the journey to better health. And, as an added benefit, I will try to network with other health nuts to photograph them for portraits, portfolios, articles and stock.