Friday, August 29, 2008

Yer City's A Sucker Photo Challenge


Let me explain.
THE GOAL: Spark a network of photographers, young and old, rookies and veterans, amateurs and professionals, to go outside, experience the joy of their favorite places, document their experiences photographically, and state their case (via photographs) for the "greatest place in the world."  Get out there, take pictures, and show off the amazing places all across the country and all across the globe.  Then argue about it with others by challenging their photos with photos of your own.  Obviously, I think Kansas City is the greatest place in the world, but that's where the challenge comes in.  Prove me wrong.  Join in with photographers from all across the nation (maybe even the globe).
1.  I am kicking this off by posting the above picture of The Scout Monument in Kansas City's Penn Valley Park.  
2.  In order to challenge my picture, the challenger must comment on my blog post.
3.  In your comment, talk a little trash (no vulgar language please) and give a link (or just type the URL) to your blog where you have posted a photograph to challenge mine.
4.  Your post as a challenger must include these things: 
  • a) a photo, taken by you (not by someone else) of a place you really like, the photo can be one that you took a long time ago, as long as it was you who took the picture
  • b) the name, location, and/or brief description of the place in the photo 
  • c) a link back to The Bait Shop (this blog and I explain why this is important below) 
  • d) a link to the post which you are challenging (I'll explain this further as well) 
  • e) something in your post that says this picture is part of the "Yer City's A Sucker Photo Challenge"
5. Post a picture on your blog that is captures an even greater place than the photo you are challenging.
6. Then other people can challenge the challengers and so on and so on until people all over the country are heading outside to take pictures (or resurrecting old pictures) of their favorite places and challenging each other.  

*Quick Note: Once this thing gets going, there will hopefully be a lot of people on a lot of different blogs posting photos of their favorite places.  Thus, eventually the photos you will be challenging will be on other blogs, maybe even taken by people you've never met

To kick this thing off, I'm sending emails to three photographers I know and one photography class.  They are as follows:
Cassie Edmondson: photography teacher at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.  She started a cool photo blog with her class.  She's way cooler than me and has a knack for wearing things 6 months before other people.  I guess you call that a trend setter. 
Allison V. Smith: a Dallas-based, freelance photographer.  She's my favorite photographer of all time and is super trill.  Here's her blog and her website and buy her zine.
Bobby Neptune: a friend of mine from the University of Arkansas.  He's got big plans for using photography to serve people across the globe.  Check out his gallery and his organization, Echolite Media.
Booker T. Washington Photography Class: they're running a pretty trill blog.  Plus, my hope is that this challenge will be a fun way to kick off their school year.

What if I don't have a blog?
1. Post on Flickr and in the description of the photo put all the information that you would be putting in a blog post (see above).  In your challenge, just put a link to your Flickr photostream.
2. On Flickr, I've created a Group Photo Pool here.  Add your photos to the pool.  While your at it, become one of my contacts on Flickr.  Here's my page.  I've already added to photo above to the group pool on Flickr.

1. No it's not an shameless attempt at self-promotion.  My goal is to promote Booker T., Allison Smith, and Bobby Neptune.  The more people who read the post, the more people who will check out their work.
2. This is the only place where "the rules" for the challenge are consolidated.  It helps people have an idea of what is going on.

1. TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS.  The more people we get involved, the more fun it will be to look at other people's pictures, to have our own pictures looked at, and to challenge one another.  Maybe you could even mention it in your status on Facebook.
2. POST LOTS OF PICTURES.  Post pictures from lots of places.  You don't have to choose just one.  And look at other people's pictures.
3. Direct people back to this blog post so they know what is going on.
4. Be creative.  Have fun.  There really are no rules.
5. Rep your city as hard as you can.  You'd better believe I'll be repping KC harder than anyone.

So that's it.  Make a case for your favorite place using your camera.  You don't even have to have fancy cameras.  All I have is a cheap Holga and a point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot.

- Joel

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Walkmen

Here's a video for a track off of The Walkmen's new album. The song is called "In the New Year." I'm not a big fan of the video but I love the song. The new album is one of my favorites this year.

- Joel

P.S. Daniel is telling me the future is pants rolled to the ankles with no socks. Interesting.

Allison V. Smith

Allison V. Smith is officially my favorite photographer. I know I have already mentioned her a few times on here recently, but I will mention her again. I just bought her photo zine, full of pictures taken with her Lomo. As a extremely raw photographer just learning how to point and shoot, I've been taking lots of pictures on film with my Holga. Smith's Lomo and my Holga are similar cameras. If you're interested, you can purchase her limited edition photo zine from her blog here. The picture above is from the zine.

Allison is from Dallas and is actually going to help out at an event we're having at work next week. I think the reason I love her photography is because she makes it seem so simple to take beautiful pictures. Trust me, it's not very simple. I've learned that quickly. But there's something in her photography that makes you think, "I want to go out and try that."

- Joel

Matt & Nat

I got back from Las Vegas for Project early this morning and am spending the day trying to make up the time lost during the flight. Project always gives me a new excitement about what's going on in contemporary men's fashion, but that's a totally different post.

I've been itching for a new bag recently but have had a difficult time finding one. A lot of factors have to be taken into account when a man is buying a bag:
1. Price- I could find a thousand bags I love, but would have to pay an equally large amount of money.
2. Style- Classic is the way to go with touches of modern design. Nothing too business looking either.
3. Masculinity- I want a bag for work, not a purse.
4. Adulthood- I'm not delivering messages and I don't like having a strap across my body especially when wearing a suit jacket, so it's a no for messenger bags.

But all things considered I found a great bag, The Kahn by Matt & Nat for their fall 2008 men's line. Matt & Nat bags are Vegan (so no leather, everything is PVC including the lining), but have an amazing leather look and feel, the lining is softer than suede. The bag retails for $285 so I didn't have to sell my car to buy it and it is a great finishing touch for an outfit dressy or casual.

Until we next meet,


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back like U.S.A. Basketball

I write this post as I stay up waiting for the Gold Medal basketball game between Spain and our United States of America.  Tip-off is set for 1:30am which means I still have another hour to go.  Chances are I won't be making it to church tomorrow (thus the picture above which I took tonight in downtown Dallas).  What better way to kill some time before the official resurrection of our nation's basketball team by the Redeem Team than post on the blog.  Here are a few thoughts:

1.  It's nice to see Daniel rejoining the blog.  It was getting lonely without him.  
2.  Daniel and I decided that "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis can officially be crowned Song of the Year.  It just doesn't get old.  Since I got my new MacBook, it has held the top spot on my iTunes' Top 25 Songs Played.
3. The new Walkmen album is really really good.  When I bought Bows + Arrows back in 2004, I didn't like it for a long time.  It took me awhile to get used to Hamilton Leithauser's voice, so I can understand the hesitation from first time Walkmen listeners.  However, I absolutely love their new album You & Me.  It's a bit more subdued than previous albums but not to its detriment.  Definitely worth checking out.
4.  I've been reading a book called Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.  Sedaris is hilarious.  I love the way he pulls humor out of otherwise mundane circumstances.  You get the idea that everyone he spends time with has one or more eccentric personality traits, but I think he just has the knack for finding eccentricity in everyday life.  From what I hear, everything by David Sedaris is great.

- Joel

P.S.  Get ready for the Tender Culture Project.  More details later.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back like Jordan wearing the 45 (And a Ksubi leather jacket that I love)

I've been absent lately but I'm back. Here's what I've been doing lately:
1. Working
2. Being married
3. Working

The end.

It took something great to resurrect my blogging life, and something great I received. I know I was going to finally get a leather jacket this fall, the past two years I haven't and regretted it. I began saving and searching, but it found me.

Last month I was looking through GQ and saw it, a shrunken leather jacket by Ksubi (formerly known as Tsubi). Since we carry Ksubi I special ordered it through our Ksubi rep and yesterday I got it.

Unbelievable! It's fitted, soft, and thin. Amazing and perfect! I love it! I'm using a lot of exclamation points!

Check out Ksubi online, their an Australian clothing brand that is quirky to say the least. They became prominent a few years ago for making great skinny denim.

In the mean time I'm rocking my leather jacket in 80 degree weather.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Holga Pictures

I got my first roll of film back today. I tried to scan some of the decent shots here at work, but most of them are coming through too fuzzy. I'll have to figure out a different plan. Here are two pictures that were decent and also scanned well.

By the way, Daniel told me about a great website today: . Check it out. I've also added it to our links on the side.

- Joel

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Photo Excursion

Today I went on a mini photo excursion with my friend Cassie. We went to the Dallas Arboretum and to an antique store in Plano. Here are a few pictures.

- Joel

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happenings Lately

I got a new camera today - actually two new cameras. One is digital - a Canon PowerShot SX100IS - and the other a Holga. I have yet to learn how to load the film in the Holga, but I did go take a few pictures this evening after work. I'm putting a few up here on the blog to document my progress as I learn how to use my camera and learn about photography in general. These certainly are nothing spectacular.

In other news, here are the books (and short stories) I've read lately as well as the music I've bought.

Death By A Meeting by Patrick Lencioni - great leadership book on how to approach and facilitate meetings
Short Stories by Flannery O'Connor - I've read Good Country People, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Geranium, and Everything That Rises Must Converge

Something For All of Us by Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning
Hercules and Love Affair by Hercules and Love Affair
Re-Up Gang by Clipse Presents Re-Up Gang

Also, I've been addicted to the band Spoon lately. Each of their last three albums (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Gimme Fiction, and Kill The Moonlight) are all worth listening to.

- Joel

Friday, August 1, 2008


I just bought a Holga 120CFN camera. Now that digital photography is the industry standard, photos captured on film are increasingly nostalgic. To me, the Holga's appeal is rebellion against the industry. It's a return to simplicity, when the world didn't move quite so fast and our lives weren't dictated by 1's and 0's. This is the essence of a photographic movement called lomography. Lomography is a rejection of traditional rules of photography. It emphasizes capturing life in the moment and a photographic freedom unhindered by common notions of aesthetics. Lomography is perfect for someone just learning to work a camera (that's me), because it embraces beauty found in spontaneity and trial and error. Here are the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography as set out by the Lomographic Society (

1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
2. Use it any time - day and night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
4. Try the shot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don't think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don't have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
9. Afterwards either.
10. Don't worry about any rules.

You could say that lomography is a rediscovery of the joy of photography. It's finding fulfillment in the experience of taking pictures by freeing yourself from the outcome/idea of the perfect shot. Below are some pictures taken on a Holga. We'll see if mine turn out as well.
- Joel