Great Socks for the Groom & the Guys!

December 06, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The ladies have something borrowed, something blue, a gorgeous dress and more. Of course, it's mostly the bride's day to shine, right? 

Guys want to stand out, too. Unique socks are among trends that help the guys put a unique twist on their participation in the wedding day. We've found some very cool ones! 

Check out these Star Wars themed socks! http://www.stance.com/men/casual/collections/star-wars

Go to bat for your favorite Major League Baseball team! http://www.stance.com/men/casual/mlb-casual/mlb-teams

Are you a college ball fanatic? Look at these! http://www.stance.com/ncaa

CollegeSocksCollegeSocks

On the wedding day, be sure to let your photographer know you've got something to show off!

Check out our Wedding Photography! http://www.jamesedwardbates.com/wedding_photography_gulfport_garner_dane


Lights to go out on USM darkroom

May 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The darkroom, a.k.a. the photo lab, at USM may be in the final days as it has been scheduled to be shuttered soon. As a photographer who switched from film to digital fully after the owner of Southern Camera in New Orleans disappeared in 2005 with my Nikon film bodies, including my treasured F5, I must say that I have not made great use of the darkroom. I do, however, see great value in keeping the existing darkroom for both art and photojournalism students. 

While I do realize that university decisions often come down to money and making the best use of limited space, I personally feel the diversity in programs has great value as well. While black & white film development and print making is not what it once was, the space and equipment already in place has great value to these programs and the students who use them. Photography as an art should be supported by the university and that includes keeping the dark room in place.

Among the greatest educational experiences at USM was my time spent in the darkroom. Professor Ed Wheeler, my fellow students and late nights in that dark photo lab saved me. There's little else I took from my time from Southern Miss of equal value, other than the long-lasting friendships I made through the Photojournalism program. 

When I arrived at USM, I had a desire for photography, but I was concerned that I could never make a living doing what I loved. I was more concerned with money. Ed Wheeler was a driving force in my life during my college years, as well as today. With the tool of photography and that photo lab as his workshop, Ed got my attention. He planted the seeds and nurtured their growth in my spirit by encouraging me to ignore my fears, to follow my heart and pursue my dreams of being a professional photographer - a photojournalist. He saw something in me that I could not see for myself. With great patience and an occasional ripped print, he got through.

Before my senior year at USM, Ed had succeeded. While my degree was in Advertising as a matter of convenience, my heart is in photography. It's how I make a living. It's how I identify with the world and communicate how I see it. Photography is the means by which I am able to share countless stories of subjects around the globe. It's my lifeline when there is no other way to communicate what I'm trying to say. Without the darkroom at USM and my time spent there, I would very likely be working a miserable job doing something I would hate. Instead, every day, I have the challenge before me to make good pictures, to tell stories, to give individuals a voice to the world who may not otherwise have one and a chance to follow my dreams with my only limitations being those that are self-imposed. 

While technology has shifted to the digital age, there is still great value in the basics of photography. Many lessons are lost on the current generation of photographers who do not have darkroom experiences. In that dark space, we have the unique setting in which to give great thought to what we're trying to create, what we're trying to say. It's challenging to explain this to someone who doesn't understand it. You have to experience it. To take a vision of what you see, capture it on film, to set aside time without cell phones or other distractions, and get into the darkroom where you give life to the image you have created and to then print it for the world to see…nothing compares to that feeling, that sense of self accomplishment. 

I owe a great deal to the roots I have in the basement of Southern Hall. I hope the administrators find a way to keep this valuable resource available for future generations to come; that other students would have the same opportunities to find themselves as did I. Education does not only come in the form of books and classroom time. Sometimes, for some of us, we need opportunities to express ourselves in a way that only the photo lab at USM can provide. 

An effort is underway to build support for keeping the darkroom in place. Your support for this effort is greatly appreciated.  Quoting Chris Payne's comment on the page, "One of the most important things I learned through film photography was to slow down and to really see what was in the viewfinder, on the enlarger and on the print." 

To join the group: https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheUSMDarkroom?fref=ts

Photos by James Edward Bates. 

More images from the USM darkroom last week:

http://www.jamesedwardbates.com/usm_mass_communications

 

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It's a sad day as digital technology replaces the age old art of darkroom development at USM's Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism in Hattiesburg, Mississippi​. While I appreciate many of the advancements the digital age has brought, such as the ability to share an image with the world in real time, a part of me dearly misses the peace and tranquility of the darkroom.

During my days as a photography student under the direction of Professor Ed Wheeler at the University of Southern Mississippi, the darkroom was a place of refuge from the burdens of academic study, a necessary evil to obtain a college degree. All I wanted to do was make photographs. I spent many long nights in the basement of Southern Hall, eagerly processing the film I couldn't afford, but had somehow managed to find a way to purchase. I ate a lot of cheap pasta, so I could afford to buy bulk film. I'd roll it myself before taking it out into the world to find photographs that told a story. 

Few photography experiences match the sense of accomplishment that came from the days of film, as you rushed back to the darkroom from a shoot, developed rolls of film and watched the magical process as light streaming through your enlarger and a chemical bath process brought negatives to life in the form of a print. 

I still own a darkroom enlarger. It's not in a functioning darkroom, but it's there. Waiting. Available. Ironically, it was given to me by a friend when a newspaper darkroom was shuttered. It's too bad the darkroom at USM can't be supported as a form of art, an important means of expression to many. Some photographers are reinventing themselves through the early photography processes like the tin type, giving new appreciation to a long lost art. It's often difficult for universities to support the arts when times are tough financially. 

All of this makes me think of the Model T I once owned. I loved that truck, a Model TT, one ton Ford truck, specifically. A 1923 model constructed of a solid wood cab and bed, it was the kind of vehicle you had to use a hand crank on the front of the engine to start before being modified with an electric push button start. The truck was antiquated. It had no doors and a single windshield wiper you had to operate by hand - while driving. Built the same year my grandfather James Marion Bates was born, the truck would go no faster than 17 mph downhill and the overwhelming gas fumes drifting into the cab made it difficult for passengers to have a pleasant experience. The gas throttle was on the steering wheel and reverse was the far left of three pedals. As old and difficult as it was to drive, there was something I really loved about it. It was unique. It was a challenge. No one else around me had one. Typically, it was just me and the truck, cruisin' down the street. It was a genuine head turner. 

I think I'll dust off that enlarger soon, and make some photographic art just for the sake of keeping it going. When I'm done, I'll have to go track down that Model TT Ford and see if the fella I sold it to might take me for a spin down memory lane. 

Read more: http://www.studentprintz.com/usm-to-close-darkrooms-for-good

 

James Marion Bates with 1923 Model TT FordJames Marion Bates with 1923 Model TT FordFrom left, my great uncle Jerry Harvey, grandparents Kathleen and James Marion Bates (seated) and me with my 1923 Model TT Ford truck shortly after purchasing it. My grandfather was born the same year the truck was built and he seemed to be the only one who knew how to drive it despite suffering from dementia. That truck brought a smile to his face that day, making it well worth the experience.

From left, my great uncle Jerry Harvey, grandparents Kathleen and James Marion Bates (seated) and me with my 1923 Model TT Ford truck shortly after purchasing it. My grandfather was born the same year the truck was built and he seemed to be the only one who knew how to drive it despite suffering from dementia. That truck brought a smile to his face that day, making it well worth the experience. 


Honoring Hattiesburg's Fallen

May 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Hattiesburg, Mississippi police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were gunned down during a traffic stop the evening of Saturday, May 9th. This was a tragic loss, not only for the family and friends of these officers, but also for the Hattiesburg community, the State of Mississippi and their fellow law enforcement officers across the nation. 

On Thursday, a candlelight vigil was held to honor the lives of these two officers and to serve as a step toward healing for the Hattiesburg community. Our prayers are with the families of the slain officers, the residents of Hattiesburg and the men and women in law enforcement who serve our communities faithfully and sacrificially. 

DeMarcus Green, 6, participates in a candlelight vigil held in honor of slain Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate at the scene of their murders in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Photo by James Edward Bates.

A candlelight vigil was held in honor of slain Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen, left, and Liquori Tate at the scene of their murders in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Thursday, May 14, 2015. The two officers were gunned down during a traffic stop a week earlier. Photo by James Edward Bates.

Kyndall McGee, 8, waves the American flag during a candlelight vigil held in honor of slain Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate at the scene of their murders in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Photo by James Edward Bates.

Sharing the light among candles during a vigil held in honor of slain Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate at the scene of their murders in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Photo by James Edward Bates.

Residents place candles in remembrance during a vigil held in honor of slain Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate at the scene of their murders in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Photo by James Edward Bates.

Click for more photos: http://www.jamesedwardbates.com/hattiesburg_police_slain


Historic Grass Lawn is a great Gulfport asset

April 28, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Having photographed wedding ceremonies and events across the country, from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama to Connecticut and Cape Cod to Houston, Los Angeles and elsewhere, I have to say Grass Lawn in Gulfport is among the most beautiful venues I have had the opportunity to photograph. 

Tragically, the Mississippi Gulf Coast lost several locations for weddings with Hurricane Katrina as we all know too well. I was thrilled to see Grass Lawn come back to life and fully support this historic location. It is important to the City of Gulfport and her citizens. Our heritage is important, even if the structure is not the original building, which was leveled by the hurricane. Structures like this are important gathering places for a city. Not everyone wishes to have their wedding ceremony on the beach, in a typical community center or in a church. 

I have experienced firsthand one Second Street resident's opposition to Grass Lawn being rebuilt. During the reconstruction of Grass Lawn post-Katrina, I parked across from the property on the very public Second Street. Immediately, I was told by a resident that I couldn't park in front of his house. I politely, and quiet plainly, told him that he couldn't forbid me from parking on a public street, even if it was in front of his house. I went about my business and left my car in place until my work was complete. 

A few years later, I had the honor of photographing the first wedding event to be held at Grass Lawn after the rebuild. Unfortunately, this same neighbor crashed the wedding, yelling at the wedding guests and servers. He was upset that people were parking on, you guessed it, "his" very public street.

Here's my take on it. Grass Lawn was built in 1836 on 235 acres. Grass Lawn existed long before any other houses that currently exist on Second Street. Period. If you have a problem with Grass Lawn's existence, then you or your ancestors should not have purchased property next to it. 

It would be great if the City of Gulfport could find the funds to purchase the adjacent property for event parking and reduce the impact on the Second Street area. Just provide guests with a simple, level grass-covered lot, no need for an ugly asphalt-layered parking lot. 

I understand there is currently a lawsuit against the city due before the Supreme Court of Mississippi. I hope our justices don't allow the voice of a few people to override the greater good that Grass Lawn provides Gulfport, surrounding communities and tourists alike. A vital representation of our Coast's continuing Katrina recovery, historic properties like Grass Lawn should be preserved, celebrated and treasured. I am proud that Grass Lawn is back and thrilled each time I have the honor to work or attend an event there. 

- James Edward Bates

http://historicgrasslawn.com

Holliday-Lipscomb

Holliday-Lipscomb

 

Holliday-Lipscomb

Stacy Bullard and Kenneth Casey wedding day at Grass Lawn in Gulfport on Saturday, September 6, 2014. Photo by James Edward Bates.

Stacy Bullard and Kenneth Casey wedding day at Grass Lawn in Gulfport on Saturday, September 6, 2014. Photo by James Edward Bates.

Stacy Bullard and Kenneth Casey wedding day at Grass Lawn in Gulfport on Saturday, September 6, 2014. Photo by James Edward Bates.


Lights to go out on USM darkroom

April 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It's a sad day as digital technology replaces the age old art of darkroom development at USM's Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism in Hattiesburg, Mississippi​. While I appreciate many of the advancements the digital age has brought, such as the ability to share an image with the world in real time, a part of me dearly misses the peace and tranquility of the darkroom.

During my days as a photography student under the direction of Professor Ed Wheeler at the University of Southern Mississippi, the darkroom was a place of refuge from the burdens of academic study, a necessary evil to obtain a college degree. All I wanted to do was make photographs. I spent many long nights in the basement of Southern Hall, eagerly processing the film I couldn't afford, but had somehow managed to find a way to purchase. I ate a lot of cheap pasta, so I could afford to buy bulk film. I'd roll it myself before taking it out into the world to find photographs that told a story. 

Few photography experiences match the sense of accomplishment that came from the days of film, as you rushed back to the darkroom from a shoot, developed rolls of film and watched the magical process as light streaming through your enlarger and a chemical bath process brought negatives to life in the form of a print. 

I still own a darkroom enlarger. It's not in a functioning darkroom, but it's there. Waiting. Available. Ironically, it was given to me by a friend when a newspaper darkroom was shuttered. It's too bad the darkroom at USM can't be supported as a form of art, an important means of expression to many. Some photographers are reinventing themselves through the early photography processes like the tin type, giving new appreciation to a long lost art. It's often difficult for universities to support the arts when times are tough financially. 

All of this makes me think of the Model T I once owned. I loved that truck, a Model TT, one ton Ford truck, specifically. A 1923 model constructed of a solid wood cab and bed, it was the kind of vehicle you had to use a hand crank on the front of the engine to start before being modified with an electric push button start. The truck was antiquated. It had no doors and a single windshield wiper you had to operate by hand - while driving. Built the same year my grandfather James Marion Bates was born, the truck would go no faster than 17 mph downhill and the overwhelming gas fumes drifting into the cab made it difficult for passengers to have a pleasant experience. The gas throttle was on the steering wheel and reverse was the far left of three pedals. As old and difficult as it was to drive, there was something I really loved about it. It was unique. It was a challenge. No one else around me had one. Typically, it was just me and the truck, cruisin' down the street. It was a genuine head turner. 

I think I'll dust off that enlarger soon, and make some photographic art just for the sake of keeping it going. When I'm done, I'll have to go track down that Model TT Ford and see if the fella I sold it to might take me for a spin down memory lane. 

Read more: http://www.studentprintz.com/usm-to-close-darkrooms-for-good

 

James Marion Bates with 1923 Model TT FordJames Marion Bates with 1923 Model TT FordFrom left, my great uncle Jerry Harvey, grandparents Kathleen and James Marion Bates (seated) and me with my 1923 Model TT Ford truck shortly after purchasing it. My grandfather was born the same year the truck was built and he seemed to be the only one who knew how to drive it despite suffering from dementia. That truck brought a smile to his face that day, making it well worth the experience.

From left, my great uncle Jerry Harvey, grandparents Kathleen and James Marion Bates (seated) and me with my 1923 Model TT Ford truck shortly after purchasing it. My grandfather was born the same year the truck was built and he seemed to be the only one who knew how to drive it despite suffering from dementia. That truck brought a smile to his face that day, making it well worth the experience. 

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