* the camera roll *

little snaps from my iphone, among other things

my buddy cary

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Photo by Cary Conover

here is a blog posting by my old friend cary conover about his 9/11 experience:


cary is a dear and old friend of mine who i luckily met back when we were scrub college kids participating in the finals of the hearst journalism awards back in the mid 90s.  he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and one of the most amazing street photographers i’ve ever seen.

the photo above is of the crew of guys that cary ran with back in his nyc days.  at center opening the bottle while standing next to the 1990s boom box is jamal wilson, behind him with the cup is andy cutraro, the guy with the glasses sitting to andy’s left is aris economopoulos, and the guy with the mutton chops at far right is patrick witty.  the rest of the guys look familiar, but i’m not too sure who they are.


Written by John

September 12, 2011 at 6:52 am

life imitating art

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saw the newsweek cover, and immediately considered the similarities.

Written by John

August 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

start fresh

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sorry it’s been a while since i’ve posted last.  the ole missus and i spent the past month moving to a new place, so we’ve been in a world of boxes and trips to lowes.  but we’re starting to resurface, and all is settling nicely now.

which brings me to this post.  my most recent cookbook collaboration with tyler florence was released today.  “start fresh” is a cookbook geared towards cooking for babies and toddlers.

we shot this book here and there over the span of about two months, starting in mid december and finishing early february.  timing couldn’t have been better for me, because at the time we started shooting, my kiddo had just rounded the corner past his first birthday, so i was a bit at a loss for what to cook for him.  until my son came along, i had no idea what one fed a baby.  for all i knew, babies ate bland mush and dried protein pellets until they turned 3.

so spending a couple of weeks in the kitchen with tyler and food stylist kevin crafts, watching them make for babies/toddlers things like roast broccoli, fish chowder and lasagna kinda blew my mind.  some of what they did would invariably make it into my kitchen at home.  lo and behold, my kid would actually eat this!  real food!  i would roast a big batch of broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then pulse it down in a food processor with some grated parmesan, and watch my kid take bite after bite.  roast broccoli has actually become a bit of a regular dinner staple for us (in fact, we ate that tonight).

shooting this book was decidedly different than shooting tyler’s last book “family meal”.  with “family meal”, it was this big 5-week production with 8 people working in and around the kitchen, with me frenetically shooting everything that moved.  i took more of a “shotgun” approach to cookbook photography, where i would just shoot as much as possible and labor thru the editing afterwards to piece together a coherent package.

but with “start fresh”, it was just tyler, kevin and i at his house, coffee cups in hand, just leisurely cooking and shooting away while listening to tyler’s ipod mixes.  i slowed down and focused a lot more on the composed finished plates and heroes.

below are some pages from the book:

Written by John

June 7, 2011 at 8:14 pm

happy easter

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Written by John

April 24, 2011 at 4:53 am

Posted in iphone 4, pictures

chris hondros

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feeling pretty damn melancholy, in light of the news about chris hondros.

hondros and i met back during the weeks right after 9/11, when for some odd reason i found myself covering the brouhaha in peshawar, pakistan, for the chicago tribune.  i think he was there as a getty stringer.  not quite sure how i met him, might have been over breakfast at the pearl continental hotel in peshawar, or maybe in the one discreet speakeasy on the roof of the hotel.  either way, we became shooting buddies during our month-long stay in peshawar.  we would go shoot protests together, and would keep a watch out for each other when things would get hairy.  we would bum computer equipment off of each other and edit each other’s work.  we swapped medicine — i gave him some cipro and he gave me some malaria pills.  go to his website HERE and click on the “pakistan” gallery.  many of these pics were from this trip.

we had talked about sneaking into afghanistan once the story shifted away from pakistan.  he had hired this driver with this old yellow car that had said would drive us thru the khyber pass once the taliban fell.  well, hondros eventually went into afghanistan, while i for some reason stayed in the pakistan side.  i can blame my editors for keeping me in pakistan to cover the islamic fervor there, but deep down inside i kinda wanted to stay back because in the end, i was too chicken for conflict photography.  hondros, on the other hand, was much braver than me and had a much stronger sense of mission with his photography.

so tonight i’ve been digging thru my old hard drives for my pics from that pakistan trip.  i know i have a bunch of pics in cds filed away somewhere.   all i can seem to find are these two pics of hondros:

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN - OCT 8, 2001: Chris Hondros during a protest in Peshawar.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - OCT 27, 2001: Chris Hondros and I in an elevator at a hotel in Islamabad.

i haven’t seen hondros in about 8 or 9 years.  the last time i saw him, he crashed on my couch back in chicago because he was stuck in o’hare and figured to give me a call.  i guess it was either the o’hare floor or my couch.  i think we went drinking that night.

i’ve always managed to keep up with what he was doing.  the photojournalism world is tiny, with no more than two degrees of separation from pretty much the entire profession.  hondros’ boss at getty (pancho bernasconi) was my old sports photo editor at the chicago tribune.  and my buddy here in san francisco justin sullivan is a fellow getty photog and friend of hondros’.  so i had always managed to hear some tidbits about what he was doing.  i had also heard about these legendary parties he would throw back in nyc.  it didn’t surprise me that hondros had a ton of friends.  he just seemed to have a knack for making friends.  and not air-kiss cocktail party friends, but friends who haven’t seen him in almost a decade yet are completely crushed at the news of his death.

here is a really great page in tribute to him.

so as i was digging around for some pics of hondros tonight, i remembered that he once gave me a couple copies of this little booklet that he made from his kosovo project.  it’s called “the darkest days of spring; photographs from the kosovo refugee crisis for the u.s. agency for international development”.  i’m not sure when he made these.  based off of chronology that i’ve been able to piece together, this was his first big international project.  below are some pages from it.  if anyone is interested in high res versions of the entire book, just send me a note.

Written by John

April 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

i am smitten by this story

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and just think, john maloof has barely scratched the surface.  here’s a link to his blog about her and his project.

Written by John

March 25, 2011 at 10:37 pm

odds and ends

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sorry, it’s been a while since i last posted.  some more randoms.

cal academy of science

cal academy of science / blanton museum of art

blanton museum of art / le montrose suites

le montrose suites / salt lick

salt lick



mas malo / el rio

whisky a go-go

apex / gigi's

cal academy of science / zilker park

union square / noe valley

Written by John

March 21, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Posted in iphone 4, pictures