Reason to be Pretty and The Modern Magazine

Neil Labute's Reasons to be Pretty is a great show but it's a tough one to sell in Spokane.  It's harsh, tight dialogue is well-crafted but difficult for many viewers to digest.  The play deals with the topics of beauty, perceptions of beauty and how we defend ourselves when our self-images come under scrutiny. It doesn't always go smoothly for the characters onstage and it often, by design, leaves the viewer questioning his or her own perceptions and flaws.

How do you highlight a piece like that? Well, you play into stereotypes and how the normal person views celebrities. Celebrities with numerous, unseen flaws.  What may in reality be a heartbroken, bitter wreck of a person may, with the right spin and marketing, appear to be a font of lifestyle advice.  What, to a sane person's eye, appear to be a shallow, fearful bully may appear on our newsstands as a paragon of manhood.

I've grown to be very fond of Molly, Ryan, Nich and Jennie for both their acting prowess AND their ability to incorporate these flawed characters into their own persona.  It's a difficult piece to perform and they did so marvelously well.

Reasons to be Pretty finishes its run this Sunday.  For tickets and more info, click HERE!

Why .de?

I get this one a lot. danscape started in earnest as a blog and web presence in the summer of 2012. During that time, my life had undergone some significant changes and I was spending the summer in Germany, the land of my parents and a country that many of my family still called home.

While serving in the US Army, I was stationed there from 88-91 and was greatly enamored of the place. I have visited again often but that trip in the summer of '12 was different. It was a turning point.

The adventures that I went on, the stories that I wrote, the images that I captured showed me that I COULD do all of those things in a way that folks would enjoy, that I would enjoy. The trip, among many other things, validated for me that despite the rawness of my photographic skills, I had the base ability to compose an image, to capture details in both word and picture.

The bigger picture for danscape photography is seen in a venue larger than Spokane, larger than Eastern Washington, larger than just the US. The goal is to do what I'm doing on an international scale.

Frankfurt (21 of 35)

Imagine all the stories that can be told. How many overlooked buildings and angles are there to be seen? What stories are held within the strangers we pass on the street? The ultimate goal is to uncover or discover as much of the world as possible.

That is why .de! Yes, I need to make improvements to the tech-related issues concerning the page but I'm going to keep the current name as it represents me as well as my images do.

Bad Bederkesa 5
Bad Bederkesa 5

The Storm over the 'Storm over Garland' - updated

Here's the iPhone pic that started it all. Storm over Garland - original - danscape


I'm doing some Event Photography and Social Media work for the good folks in the Garland Business District and their upcoming street fair.  It's always a popular event and our goal was to get it a bit more attention and to have a number of great images captured so folks can remember the experience.  In preparation for it and to build up a bit of buzz, I've driven and walked through the area a couple times recently to capture a few images for our Twitter feed.

On Tuesday evening, after a full day at work, I visited again hoping to get a few sunset images of the area.  Just as I parked, I got a weather notification regarding a potential storm.  Almost as soon as I got out of my car, I saw the skies to the south looking crazy dark.  I also noticed that the town smelled of earthen dust, a very unique smell.  It was the haboob being pushed by the storm.  I took a few pics with both my phone and my DSLR and captured a few winners that I Tweeted out.  They got a bit of buzz from a few friends and news sites but nothing too big.  There were a lot of folks tweeting some really cool pics and weather updates.

I continued to walk around and captured a few more images including this winner of the Quinn Marketing building.  As the storm got worse, I packed up my gear and was about to head home when I saw, to the west, the best ever cloud formation.  I parked and grabbed my iPhone.  It was raining too much for me to risk my good camera and there were too many cars for me to get to where I wanted (the middle of the street) so I just got the best vantage point that I could and took 3 pictures, including the one above.

Almost immediately, I knew that it was a great one, even for an iPhone pic. I quickly posted it on my Twitter feed, @danscaper, and the Facebook page of the Garland Business District. I'm familiar with how to monitor Facebook stats and I could see that the image got very popular, very quickly.  It was going very well in Spokane but once KXLY Radio shared it on their page, it went crazy from there.

It almost died down when another popular local station, 92.9 ZZU, shared it, too. More sharing and liking ensued, the likes of which I haven't been involved with before.  Really cool stuff and a great way to highlight both me and the Garland Street Fair.

What threw a wrench in the works is that KHQ posted the pic on their Facebook page as a submission from one of their followers.  They admitted that they didn't know who took the pic but admired it enough to post it anyways.  Not the way I would have liked but I'm pleased that they enjoyed it.  It quickly got tons of play (571 Likes and 69 shares as of this writing).  Again, I'm pleased but those are stats that I can't track because the images wasn't shared properly.

After a quick note to KHQ, they were happy to tag me and danscape photography and I'm grateful for it. Any attention is good attention and they certainly meant no harm.  Plus, they threw in a plug for the street fair.  Where it got screwy is how a few folks claimed credit for it in the comments section and another few folks doubted who actually took it.  One guy went so far as to copy the image and then share it on his page. He said that he did it to make certain that proper credit was given so I guess he meant well. There, it went on to get more attention (268 likes and 25 shares as of this writing) that I couldn't track because it was now a copy of a copy.  After a friend of mine reached out to him and let him know whose it was, he sent me a friend request and tagged the image.  Again, I couldn't track it but it was still nice of him to share it and give credit.

So were are we at now? Many lessons learned about the etiquette and power of sharing, LOTS of positive attention, several new followers and friends and a fantastically popular image.

Oh ..... that image!  I took it home, spent some time with it in Snapseed, Lightroom and Photoshop and came up with this ......

Storm over Garland

I'm working on a few different ways to make it available in print or poster form and I'm planning on using it to raise funds for a local charitable group, a civic organization that helps out those that have troubles helping themselves.

Spokane, thanks for the positive experience and the opportunity to take and share such a fabulous image of our town.

A screen cap from the fella that shared the image.  Basically, my suspicion was correct, that he totally meant well and just liked the image and wanted the proper artist tagged.


Just further proof that if you're looking for cool folks and good stories, you'll find them.  Thank you, Shauk.