My relocation to the Bitwise mural district is nearing the one year mark, I've made new friends and I feel like I have been invited to peek at something truly exciting. From the outside the Bitwise building is labeled as a technology hub, buts its much more than that, its where ideas come to life. When Jake and Matt approached me to move in I felt a little apprehensive moving into a place where I felt as though I might not fit in. But as the days turned to weeks and now the weeks have turned into a year I keep telling myself that this is exactly where I belong. The projects I've been involved in have truly been amazing works of art. As a self proclaimed artist I try to find art and beauty in all things around me and without a doubt the ideas and innovations that the people of Bitwise create are truly inspiring. Technology is the new art. Here are the artist at work.
I absolutely love technology! And when the guys over at Acoustica approached me with this idea I said... Ummm Yes! The project was filmed at the Iron Bird Lofts and we had the AeroMidi team on hand to make sure we had the hand gestures correct. If you want to find out more about the AeroMidi software head on over to AeroMidi.net
Since 1976, the Ploy family has been providing the Fresno/Clovis area with high quality drywall service. Matt began running the business in 2008 from his father Dan. As I got to know Matt through this series I really understood his passion for the craft. The way he and his crew treated the work was mesmerizing and artful to watch. Thanks Matt for letting me see true craftsmen at work. Follow Matt on Twitter and Instagram
The video below was project that is close to me on various levels. I grew up in Orange Cove, a small town southeast of Fresno, CA. Both my parents were immigrants from Mexico whom worked heavily in the farm and agricultural industry in Central California. I couldn't help but wrapped up in the story of our central valley fruit. People tend to forget how laborious field work is and how much effort goes into bringing you fresh fruit and produce to your home. I hope this video shows a bit of that and also conveys the passion that Dayka & Hackett have in bringing that to you. This was a shorter cut of a longer piece that helps tell the companies story in 90 seconds. Take a look.
Everett Verdialez is the owner and artist at Faithful & True Tattoo. My office was located next door to his for over a year and although I don't have any tattoos myself the process has always intrigued me. Below is a series of photos that captures the process. On a side note his wife is expecting their first child, Congrats! And remember kids don't drake and drive! (Drake was a topic of much discussion during this tattoo session lol )
I met Valeri Lopez close to 6 years ago at a house concert in Reedley, CA. She's an awesome singer with a beautiful voice. Recently we had a chance to get together again to work on a music video for her song Sky Light Blue. Although the video won't be done for a few more weeks here are a couple still images taken that day.
This week I started working on a video project for a local fruit exporter/importer in Reedley, CA. I started this project thinking I was going to shoot solely video, but during the first day of filming I found myself reaching for my still camera and capturing some great images of the hard work that goes into the fruit business in the central valley. These are the people who bring the fruit to your table. Take a look. Click to enlarge. (For the pixel peepers out there, these were taken with the Fuji X-Pro1 & available light)
I went in slightly new direction for the promotional video for PublishMe in it we used a combination of narration, talent to viewer interaction and graphical elements. The video was used to both introduce the iPad app as well as give viewers use case scenarios. Take a look and let me know what you think.
For this shot instead of a bounce I used the scrim feature of the 5in1 reflector
This last image was with just the sun no scrim or reflector. It was about 5 min until sundown and the sun wasn't as harsh as it was earlier.
Rebekah's interest in immigration law stems from her family's history: Her grandparents immigrated to the United States from Russia and as a child she grew up understanding the importance of the American dream. Helping and guiding families to realize their dream to live and work in the United States is the part of her job she loves. So often we hear that the American dream is dead, but Rebekah see's hope in her clients' eyes for a better future every day.
Rebekah also see the effects of our broken immigration system. Families are often torn apart and people are treated like criminals when their only offense is an illegal entry. She's hopeful that immigration reform will help ease the pain and struggle most immigrants experience in trying to gain lawful status and for that Rebekah is truly an American.
As a board member of Creative Fresno and the organizer of Pecha Kucha Kiel's passion is for community and the human aspect of architecture. From an education at UC Berkeley and experience with Public Architecture, Design Corps and independent development work he has developed strong skills in community outreach and participatory design. He is emerging as a community leader focusing on the issues of the Creative Cities Movement, homelessness, access to healthy food, and promoting quality design for the San Joaquin Valley’s health and economic vitality.
Ivan was born in Los Angeles from immigrant parents his mother from El Salvador and Father from Mexico. At a young age Ivan's father was deported. His mother was forced to move into an apartment complex and had to obtain two jobs in order to make ends meet. By the age of 12, Ivan began a new journey on the streets, getting in trouble and being arrested. He was absorbed into gang life at 15 and was thrust into a lifestyle of continual gang violence.
At age 18 Ivan was arrested and sentenced to 8 years in prison for gang violence. During his time in prison something began calling to him and wasn't quite sure what it was, but he felt he had to educate himself. Though dropping out of school at age 12 he now began to educate himself in the prison starting from an elementary level education to a college level during the course of his 5 year stay in prison. Upon being released he began attending community college but with lack of money and finding it difficult to find a job due to his criminal history he became discouraged and desperate. In order to attend school and pay bills he was contemplating returning to a life of crime. As amazing as this sounds he was blessed with a mysterious gift. To this day Ivan does not know where this mystery gift came from but it was a check made out to the college to pay for his education. This mystery check arrived 2 more times throughout his college career and Ivan graduated from Fresno Pacific University. Ivan now works for Fresno Institute For Urban Leadership ( fiful.org) and runs a program called The Pink House. This is a program that brings college people from different walks of life to live together in one of the poorest areas of Fresno to become quality urban leaders by engaging transformation in the innercity context.
At 8 years old Jasmin recalls watching Rocío Durcal sing on PBS with her family. She would kick her dress around and lift her arms above her head. she was mesmerized. She told her mother "I want to be like that!" and within weeks she was learning how to dance Flamenco. She continued studying and eventually discovered modern dance. Her parents were supportive and would take her to different parts of California for workshops and special classes. Upon graduating college with a degree in dance. She found it frustrating that Fresno's professional dance scene was limited. As she began looking for work as a dancer and as a teacher she noticed that most of the schools in Fresno catered to young children. She also noticed that there were few shows by Fresno choreographers and Fresno-based companies.
She them came to a crossroads she realized that she had a choice. She could leave Fresno and make her life in a place with a professional dance scene like San Francisco or she could stay and help create one here. With the support of her family, Jasmin opened the Carís School of Dance and began offering classes to serious students ages 12 and up. She also started her own dance company and gave Fresno choreographers the chance to create new work with professional dancers. Her first production was in February of 2012 and she had four sold-out shows! Since then, she has relocated her studio downtown. In December 2012 , Jasmin invited Manuel Gutierrez from France to perform and the show sold-out a week before the event. She's encouraged by the support Fresno is showing for independent, professional dance. It truly is the only art form where humans use their actual bodies as the art. More than that, she is proud to offer a home for people like her who want and need dance in their lives and who want to make Fresno rise even higher!
At age 13 and unbeknownst to his parents John snuck off to his first punk show at a small place called the CBA. That show would go on to shape his views forever, He learned that no one had to fit a certain mold to create change. It's was ultimately up to you as in individual to form your ideas and be your own boss.
Fast forward a few years later and now John is booking his own shows under the name Religious Appeal. He never imagined that it would grow into something bigger with regular events held at the CYC and the last large event The Catacomb Party. He feels as though he didn't start anything important but merely helped create a platform that brings attention to the culture and youthful spirit that is created around him and his team of collaborators.
In the end John hopes that Religious Appeal events inspire people the way it inspired him during his first punk show.
Sergio Cortes is involved in the fight against slumlords in Fresno. Sergio and his wife currently live under a slumlord who is actively oppressing its tenants. He is working with neighbors and other community leaders to improve the living conditions of tenants and to change the way the city of Fresno handles slumlords. Sergio has been already been threaten to get evicted for their community activism but that has not stopped him. Sergio's Christian faith plays a big role in his life and the battle against the slumlords.
Follow the link here to read or listen to his story.
Rebecca gives a voice to the people of the central valley
Rebecca realized early in her journalism career that as a fluent Spanish speaker she could use her language skills to help give a voice to people we do not often hear from. That conviction brought her from the Washington, D.C. area to Fresno, to work for the Fresno Bee's bilingual newspaper, Vida en el Valle. At Vida, she made it her goal to shine a light on the personal and environmental health challenges facing the Central Valley's overlooked communities.
Today, she a reporter for Valley Public Radio, the NPR affiliate in Central California. She can now, literally, give a voice to the residents of the Central Valley.
At age 6 Ryan moved to Indonesia with his family and while visiting villages in the area he noticed that the people of the village would wash their clothes, use the bathroom, and cook all from the same water source. Needless to say disease and illness ran rampant in the area. That experience prompted him to be an advocate for people that otherwise would not have a voice. He is a member of the organization ONE.org where he along with millions of others are standing as one to make a difference for people all over the world. He is currently a pastor at Northpark Community Church
I am currently working on a project that involved me getting on top of this roof and while I was there I snapped a few images and stitched together a panorama of the Lowell neighborhood. For a higher resolution click on the image below.