OutServe joins in Tokyo Pride

More than 4,500 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from around the world descended on Harajuku, Tokyo, for the inaugural Tokyo Rainbow Pride, themed “Power of Rainbow,” on April 29. Not just a first for Tokyo, this marked the first pride event where members of OutServe – Japan could participate openly following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Continue reading

The story behind the DADT photo

DADT repealed

It’s a common misconception that photos just fall from the sky. It’s not that people believe in some magic photo fairy (no pun intended), just that few people really think about how the photo happened. When you see a terrifying photo of war or other dangers, rarely would you think “oh yeah, someone had to be on the other end of that camera pushing the shutter release.” As bad as the people in a photo have it, there was a photographer experiencing the same thing, only with 20 pounds of photo gear on their back. Continue reading

You know you’re a military photographer when…

I recently read a “You know you’re a photojournalist when” list, and thought I’d add my own list of military-specific situations. You can read the original at this link.

Disclaimer: the following is meant for entertainment purposes only. Names and circumstances have been changed to protect the criminally dim-witted. Any resemblance to actual events is unintentional, although those people should really know better.

You know you’re a military photographer when…

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National Coming Out Day

I’m mildly surprised, but I only found out about this holiday a couple days ago by accident. I was never much of an activist in the LGBT community or got myself too much into the pride celebrations until this past year. I guess I was so entrenched in DADT that I didn’t let myself give in to the hope that I’d ever be allowed to celebrate that part of me. Even now, the idea seems a bit foreign.

And yet, here I am, bisexual and proud (okay, so maybe still working on the pride part, but I’m getting there). Despite the holiday being anticlimactic after the repeal of DADT less than a month ago, I have to say that the greatest thing to celebrate on this day is normalcy. The sheer fact that I’m sitting on my couch, on a military base, writing a blog about coming out on my iPad, is such a blissful form of normal that it’s hard to describe.

So here’s to normalcy, to the status quo, to the redefinition of the American dream. To my fellow LGBT servicemembers, welcome to life as it should be. To those of you still afraid to look into the mirror, or to open your true self to the world, know that there are people in this world who love you and support you and you don’t have to live in fear. Dare to live, to dream, to love, unburdened by social paradigms, and find the beauty inside your own heart.

Happy National Coming Out Day.

Morsifaction

As a little tongue-and-cheek, self-depricating humor, I thought I’d share this daffynition. My post processing techniques cultivated from my years as a graphic artist as well as my love of the expanded dynamic range of newer dSLRs have given my photos a certain “look” to them. So common is it for me to greatly enhance the detail in skies and other areas that many people in my office have taken to calling this phenomenon as being “morsified,” even when it’s not me who’s morsifying it. For those curious, I do plan on doing step-by-step how-to videos on my post processing techniques, and will post them here.

In any case, enjoy:

Aomori Prefecture, Japan

Morsifaction [mawrs-ih-fak-shuhn] ~ noun: A state or degree of being morsified, particularly in photography involving skies so heavily burned in that it looks like the apocalypse is nigh. Synonyms: burned to all hell, over-processed, OMGWTFBBQ

The road to repeal

In the past week and a half, coming out and talking to people openly has brought something into sharp focus: most people really don’t understand the significance of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal on Sept. 20. While it’s true nothing really changed about who we are and what we do in the military, it still makes a world of difference for those of us who had to hide under the old policy.

So, here’s the story of my life – the hidden story that might explain exuberance of those liberated by the DADT repeal, myself included.

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Finding your own style

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Many books and websites have been devoted to the topic of photography. Dozens of people claiming their way is best fill communication channels with what they perceive to be “the magic formula” for photography. The very concept is laughable. The idea of photography is vastly different from one photographer to the next, much like the concept of music is vastly different from one musician to the next. Each musician has their own instrument of choice, medium, and style in which they create their masterpieces. Photography is much the same.

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