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I have driven past this crazy roadside stop about a million times without stopping and decided it was high time to check it out. When you pull in the driveway it rings a bell and the proprietor followed me in to open up the shop and bathroom. She warned me about the mannequin in the bathroom, which is probably a good thing because yes, it probably would have spooked me. Actually it did anyway — I asked her if she was familiar with the movie “Tourist Trap,” which she was.
That 1979 movie featured Chuck Connors as a nut who has this tourist stop full of mannequins that have a nasty habit of moving by themselves and a car load of teenagers start ending up dead. It sounds silly, but it has some really creepy moments. And as I started thinking about the fact this lady knew the film and some of the decor was reminiscent of it, I started hoping she wasn’t a serial killer.
Anyway, I shot these on the monochrome setting so I could see the results in black and white, and using a red “filter.” The red filter darkens the sky and increases contrast, but also increases noise, so even though it’s ISO 200, noise reduction in Photoshop was generously applied. The monochrome filter can be removed in your RAW processing software so you aren’t giving up the color option if you change your mind later. Which I rarely do when it comes to black and white.
I’m now being represented by Music Pictures.com, based in Germany. You can click Fergilicious and her bandmates above to check it out, although I still have a lot of uploading to do. There’s also a permanent link to the site in the right sidebar, so you can browse for all kinds of music photography and live concert photography.
I’m officially branching out into the tourism industry with my debut article for USA Today Travel.com. Hanging out in Timbuktu Colorado paid off in having some firsthand info on this topic. Unfortunately, I can’t use my own photos but have to use the stock photos available, which weren’t too thrilling to pick from. It isn’t the sexiest thing I’ve ever written, but a huge writing credit to add to my list. Check it out here.
I haven’t shot bands regularly for a while now, but I still have archives of RAW images that have never been gone through, like this set from Mad Sin. Here are just a few I found on a quick scan of the RAW files. I really need to work on editing these psychobilly bands down for a big project I’m working on.
For those aspiring to be music photographers, or those just curious, when you get the chance to shoot promos of the bigger bands passing through, you generally get about 15 minutes of the band’s time to get the job done. Mind you, to the lay person, that may sound like a long time for a couple of “snapshots,” but remember you are trying to wrangle a group of strangers into one shot where they all look good. Or at least interesting.
Fortunately, the guys in The Devil Wears Prada are old pros at this, so when I said, “Hi, I’m Diana, line up here and go crazy,” they did. And we did a few serious ones too, but as soon as I saw this first one (frame #5, btw) I knew I had it.
I got my copies of this month’s Rebel Ink magazine with my Koffin Kats photos, and to say I’m pleased with their use of my work is pretty much the understatement of the century. I can’t remember ever having not one criticism of how photos were used in the past. Ever.
Thanks to my NBC Examiner gig, I got to interview Silas Weir Mitchell of “Grimm” this week. First and foremost, not only do I love this show, but I am convinced his character, Monroe, is the best character on TV right now. To say I was thrilled was an understatement.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Normally, I shy away from the old Q&A format of just regurgitating an interview verbatim, but this one begged for it. I had asked Silas about similarities between his quirky character and his real life persona, and he mentioned their minds work in very similar ways.
“It kind of bounces around a little bit, you know, and then once it latches on to something, it will bore all the way into it, like the clock making or the Pilates or the vegan thing or, you know, but when it’s not anchored, it kind of skitters around. My mind is like that. If I don’t have something to really focus on, I can kind of, think about five things to do at once. You know what I mean?”
Then he proceeded to demonstrate that aforementioned principle multiple times in the interview, which I found very Monroe-like. And I’m not about to edit that down to something more standard.
We also had a rather funny moment when he was patched through by his agent on the phone, and he was having a very hard time hearing me, so he was trying to be really quiet. And I was yelling into the phone.
Silas: I’ll just stay really still and not move.
Me: You stay still and I’ll scream.
Me: Okay, that sounded kind of weird
Silas: I wasn’t going to go there…
Anyway, if you aren’t watching the show, catch up with it here. And here’s a video homage to everyone’s favorite big bad wolf, Monroe.
I’ve added on a new title at Examiner.com as their National NBC Examiner. I freely admit I wanted it to just to get my grubby little paws on “The Voice,” but am enjoying covering some other shows, like “The Biggest Loser,” “Grimm,” and oh yeah, that little show where celebrities try to impress a business mogul for charity. But yeah, it’s all about “The Voice” — I’m always down to find an excuse to talk music. I just interviewed contestant Angie Johnson today and will be talking to Juliette Sims Monday, both from Team Cee Lo. Nice gig, huh?
Note: This photo really has nothing to do with the post, other than a homage to random good fortune. But I like pictures so I wanted one on it.
I am having the oddest day today.
I spent the morning writing up some new articles for my CMT Examiner site when I got off work. Then I went to one of their phone trainings, then things got really weird.
I’m getting emails from Chuck Ragan’s rep asking me to write something up for No Depression for him. Grammy nominee Linda Chorney is messaging me on Facebook to say hello. I respond to emails from a publicist at CMT to set up interviews with Paige Duke and some of their other reality show casts. My editor at Yahoo!Movies sends me the nicest message about setting up a special beat for me because he so loves what I’m writing for them. I’m querying Miranda Lambert’s, and Trace Adkins and The Band Perry’s and Keith Urban’s reps for photos and maybe interviews if I can dare hope — I’m doing that because instead of spending most of my time trying to find the right people, my contact person at Examiner just basically handed me the keys to the country kingdom in the form of the CORRECT contacts for every major country artist on the planet.
After spending five years struggling just to get the right contacts in rock and roll to finally get somewhere, that last one alone is enough to make a grown woman cry.
It’s been a very surreal day, indeed.
I’ve returned to Examiner.com, which seems to be doing good things these days after a rocky patch a couple of years ago, and happy to have come on board as their National CMT Examiner. At the moment, I’m mostly covering their original TV series, “Sweet Home Alabama,” Bayou Billionaires,” “Swanderosa,” and “My Big Redneck Vacation,” but hope to be adding some interviews and really cool features soon, once I get properly settled in. Below are a few links to read up on the shows, as they have some good ones over there at CMT. And family-friendly, for those where that is a concern.
Sweet Home Alabama
My Big Redneck Vacation