Friday, April 30, 2021

Living the Life,-UGH.


Jackery 240
*****

So far, as expected, it is not what it is supposed to be. It is not fun. After a solid week of living in my van I am still on a learning curve.
Tomorrow I will go back to my storage to get rid of more dead weight and make changes with what I carry and how I pack it. 

Since the last week of February, I have been in and out of van life. At this point, I still do not know if my body will let me do this. That is why I am using my van life break-in period to explore other avenues including getting an apartment or buying an RV. We will have to make some decisions soon. 
My biggest hang-up so far is my physical health. I have suffered immensely from the physical work that I have had to do over the past two months. I will say that the soreness is subsiding and my shoulder seems to be healing. So, I do hope that I will soon start clicking the camera shutter, editing, posting, and playing music again soon. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Daily Updates


Your handsome host, a few years back.
*****

This is just a reminder that since I am now living in my van part-time you can follow my day to day trials and adventures on Facebook (bwmedia702.maddadkeith.birmingham) as I try to work my way into full time van-lifing. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Van-Life Begins

Home Sweet Home

*****

Just a short note to declare that this is the beginning of my adventure into a van-life. In the past week or so I have actually slept in my van 3 times while I was equipping the van and getting things done for personal stuff.

I have stopped to visit a few parks that I do plan to return to and photograph in the near future. Although I took a few photos at each place it may be a while before they are edited and posted.

Still, I will mostly be around Oklahoma City for a few days. On Monday I plan to visit a senior apartment complex to get on their list for an apartment just in case I need one in the future. Also, I have a few things to do of a personal nature in western Oklahoma, and I hope to make my first photo outing soon.

So, this is the true beginning of my adventure. Wish me luck.



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Not The Right Time But Not Giving Up

I have just returned from a 4 week trip to Las Vegas. The trip was to find a place to live until my apartment in Boulder City, (just southeast and out of the Las Vegas Valley) Nevada became available. Not only was the trip a bust but I am sick, sore, and tired from the trip. I have been back in Oklahoma for 4 days, slept in a real bed once, and about to try out a new mattress I put in my van yesterday.

I have not and will not give up on having a van-life but tomorrow I will see my former landlady to see if I can return to the complex where I last lived. If she lets me in now I will take it. If she puts me on a waiting list I will live in my van and travel and photograph Oklahoma to get an idea of whether I can do the van-life.

While my van is purposely currently rigged with portable camping equipment throughout. This is for a reason. Since buying the van I have needed a camper van, a passenger van, and a utility van. But, today I took a look at what is there and how it sits in my van, and I now know what I want to build to put in my van and follow one simple theme I have in mind: Keep it simple, keep it fun, and get it done.


*****

 

Friday, February 12, 2021

DESTINATION LAS VEGAS, NEVADA


Las Vegas is that way.

***** 

No, it is not the casinos, although I occasionally dine in them. No, it is not the cities. I can’t stand the traffic or to be in the same valley as 3 million other people. But, take a drive outside of the Las Vegas Valley, pick a spot to park, get out of your car, and take a deep breath.

Take a look at the landscape. I am always surprised when people say they see nothing but barren mountains. I see life. I see adventure. I see nature at its finest. I see and talk to God.


On the road to Mt. Charleston
*****
When I am truthful with myself, I know that Las Vegas is simply my main camp, a starting point. And, I realize that what is really calling to me is the open road, all of the mountain ranges that are west of Interstate 35, and all of the adventures that are waiting for me.


Pahrump road trip.
*****


Sunday, February 7, 2021

The Countdown Begins


This is my Bucket List Buggy. Her name may change but that is what she actually is.

*****

Better World Media (studio) will soon be going on the road in search of a better world. And, I think I will be happy no matter which direction I take. Right now, I still plan to leave Weatherford, Oklahoma, but I am not sure which option I will take. I feel like a new world is opening up to me. I may stay in Oklahoma or go to Florida or go to Nevada, but I will go. I believe that for the short term, maybe the long term, I will be living in my van, doing my photography, and playing my music.

Right now, I am simply waiting for the weather to break. Spring is almost here. My rent is paid until the end of this month, and the biggest decision I have to make is whether to take my worldly possessions with me or just put them in storage here in Oklahoma.

For the people who think I am crazy for doing this, - well, I might be, but it is the challenge that I need at this point in my life. For all I know, I may quickly find out that a nomadic lifestyle is not for me. Or, I may find that I should have been doing the nomad thing all of my life. Actually, as an over-the-road trucker for most of the 35-years that I was in the trucking industry, I have led a nomadic lifestyle. And, I have always been a minimalist. But, for the first time in my life, I will not worry that I may need to be somewhere else or doing something else for someone else. And, I can hardly wait to get started.

When I actually leave it will look something like this. The bedding will change.

*****

I will be starting out with the bare minimum of possessions. I will have my clothes with me. I will have my camera, computer and music gear. I will have my heating and cooling systems and the power sources to run all of my equipment. And, I will carry some tools. To start with, I will have a minimum of kitchen supplies, and there is a reason for that. I hate to cook, I hate to clean, and I hate a dirty kitchen.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Myriad Botanical Gardens, OKC.

Every citizen living in Oklahoma City lives within 6 blocks of a community maintained park and/or trail. The city has over 90 miles of trails for your enjoyment.

*****

If I do not change my mind by this coming Thursday I will give my landlady a 30-day notice to vacate my apartment. I am still considering my options on what to do and where to go. Many things will control my final choice. My #1 choice is back to NV. I may have a place to stay when I get there, but I'm sure I can find a place if I choose to look. But, I may throw my belongings in storage and live in my van for a while. Or, if it looks like the economy is going south I may decide to just put my stuff in storage in OKC and boon-dock out of Oklahoma.

I was in OKC earlier today visiting my son. I was debating on whether to spend money on boondocking gear today, but I am trying to talk myself into waiting to see what happens. That gear will always be available, but I may need that money for something else before that. Either way, by mid-March I should be fine with or without the gear.

 If I stay in Oklahoma much of my time will be spent in Oklahoma City shooting local parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums there, but I will also travel around the state, and maybe Texas, to do my work. But, I already have 4 years of work wrapped up in Las Vegas. For that reason, I think I should try to base myself out of Las Vegas at least long enough to finish that job.

*****

Monday, January 11, 2021

Shooting Stock - A Bit of What to Expect

Putting your photography work on stock agency sites will probably never become your primary source of income. But, it should be considered a viable source for creating "some" income. And, you will have more chance of creating that income as long as you keep adding photos to your stock agency. But, you still need to conduct your business in a way that gets those who lease or purchase your photos to come back for more. Like almost all businesses, photography is a business that needs repeat clients to survive. 

I know that I will need to add a few thousand more photos to start showing a useful income from my stock photography. I currently have around 800 photos on my Adobe Stock site. Most of these are photos of community parks in the Las Vegas Valley. My target market for these is rather small, and I am surprised every time I sign on and another purchase of my work has been made. I plan to use them to help me create a "stay local" market using another specialty.

Currently, I hope to spend a couple of years traveling to photograph parks, preserves, trails, memorials, monuments, and museums all over America. This is my bucket list work. But, I know that someday I will want to do far less traveling.m my work. I also have around 100 photo nature photos on my Alamy Stock site. And, yes, I know that both sites are going to need several thousand more photos on each site to really start showing an income. However, like most people, I like to eat. So, I need to produce an income. That is why I am preparing to go "old school" with my marketing program. It is my opinion that although the internet is a great tool for marketing your work it does lack the feeling that personal contact can give your business.


One more piece of info for those who may be thinking of adding their work to stock agency sites. The amount of time you spend doing this will be your biggest challenge. It is why most photographers give up shooting stock.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Cornerstone Park, Henderson, NV.


*****

Cornerstone Park, - take your pick. Lots of available activities. Run or walk around the lake. Cornerstone Park has walking trails that include connections to the Pittman Wash Trail and Union Pacific Railroad trails. Slow down and photograph the abundant wildlife. A great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of The Strip, Fremont Street, and city life. Have a picnic.

Cornerstone Park has been a popular destination for Henderson residents since 2012. Funded by the Bureau of Land Management. Abundant part time resident wildlife includes the following birds: American avocets, great egret, black-necked stilt, long-billed curlew, ring-billed gull. Resident bird species include: pied-billed grebe, double-crested cormorant, Canada geese, snow geese, mallard, American coot, great blue heron, green heron, killdeer, Anna’s humming bird, Costa’s hummingbird, black phoebe, Say’s phoebe, cliff swallow, yellow-headed blackbird, and great-tailed grackle.

Amenities: pavilions, warming kitchens, restrooms, 100 acres, lighted volleyball courts, corporate plaza area, open grass areas, covered picnic areas, picnic tables, lighted basketball courts, 31-acre lake, covered picnic areas, walking trails, exercise stairs,