Photo of the Week

Photo of the Week
The first thing your told to chase is your dreams

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Time to move on

Well what can I say it’s been a while and nothing much has been posted and I am sure many of you have given up on 3shadescc. Well, I don’t know where to start other than a plan for the future has been put in place and unfortunately some changes will be coming. I would like to thank Carlos for his help in the project. His input will allow us to grow. I would like to explain more but lets just picture him with a camera searching for that great shot.

So onward we must go. Or at least that’s what I got out of some of you. I didn’t quite know how to proceed at first and threw some ideas around but the issue with content just kept hitting a brick wall. More importantly you can only have so much conversation with someone before you throw them out the window, become bored, or run screaming something about the wizard of Oz and the witch should have lived. None of those sound appealing to me. So I am learning to let go of my controlling ways and hand some of the site over. Don’t get too excited, I said some.

Here is the jest of the way I see things coming. First I need some help. I am keeping the idea of 3shadescc alive. Two views and documentation of the path to agreement is still the general mission. I plan to invite people to participate in the site. I need to get a better “pool” if you will of talent. I am looking for women and men (lets be honest, different views). I even thought about seeing what two couples could write and come up with. The point is I think the site needs varying people and opinions to stay fresh appealing and helpful. If you’re interested then drop me a line at!

That’s brings me to the next part. If you look at the email address you will notice we got our own domain. I am working on bringing the blogging up soon and I will let you know a ETA when I get a better idea . Until then I welcome your input and ideas. Leave your posts

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The house is almost unpacked

First let me tell you all of you one thing:
If you got a comment for Carlos or myself then please post it on the site.

I want your feedback and your thoughts but remember we want you to comment on and about us here. We welcome what you have to say even if you don't agree. I have had a couple ask me some questions about what Carlos is doing and I answered as best I could but really it should have been posted on the site. So I will attempt to answer some of them here. Remember I am answering and not Carlos

Q: What is point of what Carlos is trying to relay?
A: I don't know. I only know the point of what I am getting from him and that's another question.

Q: Why does it say "Op Ed from Art Photography" and I don't see Photographs?
A: Well you see in our infinite wisdom we launched the site at quite possibly the worst time for both of us. Carlos was taking off out of the country. I was in the middle of closing on my wives and mine first house. Neither of which allow for Carlos or myself to really collaborate on the site the way we intended. I have full intentions of dragging more Photography out of him and I will have an opinion on something.

Q: Cione, you don't argue to get your point across. You usually tear me a new one.
A: I tear people apart that tell me I am wrong because I formed a belief. You can tell me I am wrong because of my logic. Not my beliefs, those are sacred. If yours aren't then that's your problem. Not only that, the point of this site isn't for me to agree with you, it is for us to come to a consensus. More importantly it is for the story of a photograph to tell a story that leads to a consensus between Carlos and I. If you want to chime in the by all means then come in.

Q: Is this site always going to be about sad things and in general have a "Save a world mentality"?
A: I can only answer half of that. From my side of the site, no it isn't. I have no delusions that I can save the world or nor do I want to. I am inspired by people talking and the process that comes from that. I can just easy have a long conversation on how Dum-Dum suckers are the best or talk about how Socialism has bad reputation that is maybe over stated. If you have a topic that you want us to address then send a email to and we will look at it. The first person to ask me to defend anything from the Clinton family gets bad karma points just for asking.

Q: I have something I want to say but I am afraid it might get someone mad. Should I say it?
A: The rules here are not written in stone and they won't be if I have anything to say about it (I do). The rules may change but the intent will stay the same. Say it loud and say it proud. Be willing to take the heat. If you're wrong in the end then consider it learning. Learning is not bad. If your right and don't why then say that. Not speaking up is like not voting, you can complain all you want and you have a right to do so. I just have a right to say that you're a low grade whiner that can't take the time to mail an envelope in a single three week period.

Q: What are you guys trying to do?
A: There is no such thing as a stupid question but there are stupid people. Go back and read the whole thing. If you still don't get it then post online and we will help. The point is to post your thoughts and tell your friends.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wood Boat

First let me say sorry if I have not returned all my email yet. I will do so I promise. I also am sorry I have not sent Cione an email with more info on where I am!

As mentioned below, the rest of my trip to the jungle.....

After my guide drank my Masate I was very greatful but as mentioned, now they were a bit on the drunk side. I felt the strange stomach ache I feel right before I, um.....turn on the turbo boost (you know what I mean, the colon blast) but we had to make it back to town. The boat engine for some reason decided to stop working again and here we were all over again. There was a river bus that came by at ten but no one had seen it. Then, the village mechanic tells us, why don´t I give you a tow into town? He had a load of wood to take to Iquitos and if we wanted to we could hitch a ride. We jumped at the oppertunity and the two boats, one full of wood and a chicken (they sell the chicken when in town to buy gas for the way back. Sort of like a living ATM card), another boat full of four hungry tired men, and a 5hp engine set off for town. We made it 3/4 of the way and then they either asked up to walk the rest of the way or Oscar felt bad for slowing them down so much that he offered that. None the less, we were close to a village that had Coca Cola and cake to eat so we ate of fill of that. I don`t know why I did not have a sugar coma after that, I really should not have eaten that but I don´t think I will ever speak ill of Coca Cola again.

Strange thing happened to me last night. In my email to the Co Op back in the states I mentioned that most of the people I spoke to in the jungle were in what seemed to be good health. By that I mean they are mobile, have fish at least every other day, and the milk program set up by an NGO is working well. This is a hell of a lot better than other folks around the world have it. True, the poverty is horrible, no doubt about that but as long as you can work your crops, have animals, and help from the outside you can survive. My shock came when the Co-Op contact seemed dissapointed that I did not find people in poor health. They kept trying to apply the standards we live by in the States to the people in the Jungle. I think this was my first true lesson in working with groups such as this. When your whole goal is to save the world, it sucks when the world can help itself.

Oddly, the Co-Op has run short on funds. The work Oscar is doing is great. There is a need for medical help in the Jungle and if we think health care is a human right then Oscar is the champion of that cause. His work in tireless, many times paying for supplies out of his own pocket and never complaining about it. Oscar is poor, by any standard he is poor. When he took me to his house, like a moron, I asked where is it?? I was standing in front of it thinking it was a storage shed.

The People in the Jungle trust him and I think look to him for direction. Hell, I saw thin man take a village in revolt and talk them into having democratic elections right there and then. I saw him give people hope when they had none.

I am returning to the States this weekend, my funds too will run out now that the Co-Op has run out of funds. I will post as many of the photos as I can, we can then talk about them, laugh about me, and if we can help Oscar in his mission.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On the moon

Sorry for the delay in posting. Also the no photos, internet is so slow and I am using a hotel computer because my tavel adapter for my laptop exploded, really. Seriously, fire came out of it and it burned my finger. Anyhow, here is another update:

So tired but I feel rather relaxed. Several mornings ago Oscar, Herman, Oscars Brother, and I set out for a remote villge up the Rio Momon. This boat was in worse shape then the last one and water leaked in from the bottom. Our motor was a 6.5hp engine that made a noise like really angry pop corn. We set off at a slow speed, all that the motor could handle and again several hours past, down narrow tributaries and canals until we reached an unmarked landing area. We planted the boat and walked to the village an hour away. We talked, I took photos and videos, all seemed well. We had not eaten all day so when we were offered a cup of warm goat milk with rice we took it, I did not feel so well after that. The village was small, homes are one room with perhaps a wall, the floor is made of thin wood slapped together that bends as you walk on it. It does not pay to be a fat person walking in these houses.

The people we spoke with were nice, all of them said we were welcome but that we were not really going to help them. NGO´s come all the time I was told, they talk, some bring food and promise to return, but they don´t. Oscar explained that his group is going to form a Co Op, and that they are not an NGO. TO turned to me and asked if we have Co Op´s in the USA. I thought for a moment and all I could think of was my REI membership Co Op so I said, yes. I also said that Co Op´s work well but everyone has to participate and at times it can be hard. That is all I said not wanting to become a source of information.

We walked back to the boat, still hungry and now more tired than ever. I was light headed and my back was sore from all my gear. The boat engine sputters, but will not start. We drift for some time as they try to fix the engine, practically taking it apart on the boat. I was told this would happen but the folks in the US told me not to worry unless my guide was worried and that never happens. My guide was worried.

It was getting dark. The Amazon at night is the stuff nightmares are made of. Strange noises, odd lights, and voices from the river banks. We make paddels out of branches we found (yes, the boat had no oars) and start rowing. My guide now seems to have a plan and does not seem so worried. The plan it to row to Santo Thomas. A larger village of about 15 huts. We arrive just after dark and walk towards the village. Hungry tired and sore we ask for some food and a place to stay. They let us stay at the home of the village grade school teacher as she is out on vacation but there is no food to share with us. I found it odd to look into the face of someone that had no food and ask them to share. At that moment, the villagers and I had something in common, we were both hungry.

They men worked on the boat all night as Oscar and I sat up and sang songs on Oscars guitar. I shared my cigarettes and they gave us sugar cane rum, that was all there was at the moment. So, in a familiar moment to me we all sat there drinking and smoking and playing guitar. The entire village silently came out of the dark to hear the music. I shot video and took photos while Oscar continued to play. Finally the engine sputtered to life and we all rejoiced. Then we went to sleep, my mosquito net had wholes in it.....fantastic.

I did not sleep much that night, the buzzing is very loud. The villagers sleep in the huts I mentioned earlier but the floor has many holes in it, and they all live above a pool of standing water. I take Maleria pills every morning that I am here and I hope they work.

Speaking of the have to take them with food, otherwise you have a dizzy sort of high feeling. Well, I was on my second day without food. I woke up with a bit of a headache, another familiar feeling, and we walked over to a house where an older woman lived. Again, we asked for food (why they would have it now and not last night I don´t know) but were told they had none. Figuring he would at least get some work done, Oscar had us walk to a house on the edge of the village. You have to understand that when walking in the jungle the trail can many times only be seen people who know what to look for. You many times come to a very narrow branch that acts as a bridge (one of those moments that you have to be shitting me) over rocks and water. Your boots are muddy with clay and other lubricants so you can understand how this could give a guy from Portland a bit of a pause. We came to the house Oscar was looking for, he gave his talk and all seemed well. Then, it happened. The offer of something to eat! Oscar said yes please bring us three servings. They had Masate to offer us...

Masate is sort of like a soup. The woman of the house chews up yuka plant for a long time and spits it into a bucket with the pulp, then she lets it sit so it can ferment. Then, it is served at a temp of just above luke warm. It smells like a mix of vomit and sour milk. Remember, I have a bit of a hang over. I drank some, and stopped. It is rude to not drink it so my guide offered to drink it for me, god bless him.

We made it back to the village to find out our boat engine was dead again. I will post the rest of the story soon. Now, I am too tired. I hope you are all well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Turning up the flame

Ok now for a complete 180 from where we have been. Dont want to bore you all. Heres how this works. I will try and reply to as many as possible but I am going to throw out a random thought and all of you are invited to shoot me down or back me up as you see fit. Yes I know the following statement in slanted but thats the point.

I personally think that at some level all Americans are in some way no matter how small, racist and sexist.

Flip Side

I am just confused tonight. I don’t know why and don’t look for the answer. Tonight I vent for a bit and let you draw what you may. I have been trying not to let things get to me. Tonight I think I just may have grown tired. I am worn and need a break. Call me a lazy or call me just about anything but I gotta let some things out.

First there is this blog. I love the idea and what it can turn out to be. There is great promise in everything that is being betrayed here I truly believe. So far I am impressed at what we are getting put down but I had secret ambitions of more comments. I am frustrated at the planning or the lack of knowledge. Here I am trying to stretch out a four paragraph email from Carlos wondering if he is going to be alright and somehow he posts a small novel. When I got his last email I couldn’t believe what I read. Next I couldn’t believe that it is all I would get for a week. I can’t believe what he is going through and yet I still don’t know why. I have to imagine there is something more to it. It is driving me kind of nuts. I can always find the point to something. It doesn’t have to make sense to you, as long as it does for me. I try to learn from mine and other people lives as often as I can. Yet besides the oversimplified answer of we got it good and share the wealth. I mean I knew that before he left.

Next is the whole house moving thing. Today I tried to leave work early and couldn’t. I got to the old house and crap if I didn’t forget my cell phone. Back to work I go. I hate going back once I leave, I always get stuck doing something. Today I got stuck talking about how the company won’t spend a lousy ten thousand dollars. I know in the light of what has been going on with Carlos this seems petty. Remember, my day to day job is still to keep a national companies computer network running. My wife beat me to the house and was ready to go. I immediately went into planning mode and when I got to dinner she said we had leftover pizza. Here I go again comparing to Carlos and feeling selfish but I didn’t want that. I wanted to grab something and get back to paint. You know something that wasn’t a day old.

Ok I admit this is all whining. I know that. I am working on 5 hours sleep and have been up for 17 hours. I get to go to my cushy little King sized bed and be comfortable. At least for the next 5 hours anyway. My luck is the Alarm Company from work will call. Did I mention I also handle Security for the building? It’s amazing what you learn about people when you get paid to keep them out and get them to talk once you let them in.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Night of the Knock..... Part III

This was originally written before Carlos posted. Remember we are blind to each other right now. I was trying to get a week out of the last email from him. I almost didnt post it but I decided that I had it and you guys didnt so here you go. Remember my thoughts were written three days ago. I had no knowedge when he would come out of the jungle.

I had never felt so alone in my life as I did that night.

Ok now you calmed me down with that one. What did you miss the most? I had a lot of wise comments but suddenly I feel kind of bad. Seriously I need to know what you missed the most. This is selfish and I know that but for the love of god tell me.

I was angry and confused. My room was hot, stuffy, super small, and filthy. BUT!! I decided that that not going to ruin my trip so this morning I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Slash and burn buddy.

Due to perhaps the only good thing about my last hotel, the slow wi-fi, I found a new hotel based on the recommendations of the Lonely Planet Guide to Peru. Holy shit are they spot on! My new place Hotel Acosta is great! The staff is super cool and the rooms actually have a window. Did I mention my last room did not have a window?!?!?!

Pictures man, where are the pictures? My inside is hurting without pictures.

Actually it did have one that gave me a view of the inside of some sort of ventilation shaft. But back to this new place.... it is actually cheaper than my old hotel, and breakfast is included. The area I am in now is a bit to the west from where I was, a little bit farther than the tourist areas where the street walked and drug dealers hang out.

Tomorrow, the jungle. I am looking forward to getting out of the city and getting to work. Until then, at least I have peace, and a quite door.

Carlos, when you get back let me buy you a beer. Maybe two.

How the night was won

Edit - forgive the spelling errors. Paying for internet at this rate makes you type fast.

I now know how the guests on FOX news feel! No, the night was not quite what I had in mind but after 20 hours flying with little to no sleep, my bags being lost, my guide not showing up, taking one of the most insane cab rides (until I rode in a mototaxi that is) of my life, being taken to a craptastic hotel with basically the choice of stay here or figure it out yourself, a room without a proper window and roaches in my bed, sweltering heat......well, I must have figured that knock was just par for the course. In hindsite it was a mistake of quite possibly deadly consequenses but I survived and that mistake is now a leson. I did not say "who the hell are you" in English, nor have I spoken English at any time while here. I wrote the emaill to my unilingual partner because HE WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND IT IN SPANISH. As far as anyone here is concerned I am Mexican but most ask if I am Peruvian because of my last name. Ugly American, no. Tired Latino, yes. Op Ed should at least be somewhat accutare.

36 hours ago I was seated behind my guide on his motercycle as we raced through the small back alleys of Iquitos in search of rubber boots for our journey into the Jungle. The small motercyle screamed as we turned tight corners into oncomming trafic just in time to navigate the sea of metal and rubber. I have to admit that I was holding on to my seat with my ass more than anything else because around here you don´t hold on to the person infront of you, needless to say it was an interesting night. We found the boots in the worst part of town. Belan (sp?) makes the rest of Peru seem normal, in this part of town the stench of raw sewage mixes with gas fumes and cooked meat. My guide asked if my camera was put away and asked I not show it at this time of night. I tried on several pair and went with a black and tan pair that felt quite nice on my feet, little did I know that I would spend 13 hours in them and walk over three hours in the Jungle wearing them.

Oscar (my guide) picked me up at 7 the next morning and we took of for the boat area. I had asked Oscar previously to not change the way he works in any way for me. Pretty much just pretend I am not here and do your work as the organization you work for has you do it. He looked very oddly at me and asked if I was sure, I said of course. I can not give an accurate account of this project if I am the focal point of your attention. He agreed.

Our boat was old. I mean like John McCain old. The Amazon river is much wider then the Willamette river and much darker. The mosquitos hit you so hard you think they are small rocks. We travelled down the Amozon going north for several hours then turned off into a smaller tributary where we had to slow down quite a bit to avoid fallen logs and roots. The water is low this time of year. Several times our path was blocked and we had to cut our way through the river. It occured to me that there was no way to turn back at this point. Another hours or so passed and we landed in a remote place with steep banks and wandering cattle. We unloaded and began walking. We were told that the village we were looking for was one hour away by foot, this was not the case. Along the way we passed many small villages and houses. People were surprised to see visitors so far in the Jungle. They were all very nice and wanted to shake hands and look at what I had in my camera bag.

Side note - I had with me 2DSLRS, batteries, battery grip, two lenses, Leica M3, film, Fuji digicam, and one litre of water. Trust me, this gets heavy.

The povery in the city is very obvious. Kids sick and hungry, begging for money. Adults hustling any way they can and basically fighting for survival. Povery in the Jungle is much different. Because although people in the city are poor they have access to services and if they can scratch together enough money, they can eat quite well. In the Jungel you live and die by the mercy of the Amazon river. What food it brings you consume. What water it provides you drink. You animals need the water and your grass grows with the rain for them to eat. I have never seen skinnier cows.

We reached our destination after several hours. Oscar and Herman were dragging along 8 2.5 litre bottles of soda pop for the village (they freeking love that stuff) as well as chips and cups. It occured to me that although they had food for the village they had none for themselves. Our talk went great and they had good advancement in the co op, you can see more about this in the finished product I put together upon my return. On our long walk back I finally had to say something. We had been hard at work for about 9 hours at this time and all they had eaten was a ball of rice early that morning. I asked if we were going to stop at a village to purchase some food. They both looked rather embarassed and told me they had no money for food. I asked why not and they told me the Co op would pay for gas, the boat, some of there time (Oscar makes much less working for the co op than as a guide), but not food.

I sit here at my hotel getting ready to head out again into the jungle. I begin to wonder about all the people I met in that little village. The photos I took and the look of just being tired in the eyes of the old. I think of Oscar and the people here in the city. I think of myself and am more sure that I am doing the right thing than I have ever been in all my life.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Night of the Knock..... Part II

If you dont know what is going on then go see part I.

See, I am stupid enough to open the door in a third world country at 3 in the morning but I am not stupid enough to not have the security chain still attached.

Oh this is part where you have a plan. Right, forgive me but so far I am still leaning to fact keeping the door shut was a better idea.

So with a mighty thrust of all my weight I closed the door and locked the dead bolt.

So for the love of god did you learn anything?

The knocking continued.


I picked up my hotel phone and dialed 0 and waited.

Let me guess they don’t answer.

It rang and rang with out an answer. I knew someone was at the desk because someone had to have let these people in but how was I going to find them?

Let me remind you of something. You are in a third world country that doesn’t have the same ideas as us. Why would they answer? They saw them come up and quite frankly why would they ever answer your plea for help? Dude I am just wondering where this comes from. I mean you were the one that told me all the bad things that happen in this country. I am supposed to posting on politics and poverty. Instead I am posting on stupid Americans in what is going to be a great movie beginning. All I need now is 5 more Photographers and I am gold.

After a good 45 minutes the knocking stopped.

Oh that’s good. That’s when they come back right. That is a total equivalent of three days of knocking in the US. In fact most hostage situations could have ended by the time they quit knocking. Whats next and how come your guide didn’t warn you about this?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Night of the Knock..... Part I

So here is how it goes. Carlos sent me an email and here is an small part of it. The Blue is him talking and the red is me. If you try to picture any of this in your head then do it in black and white. It’s a foreign film so the titles suck and the translation might be off.

I had a rough night at my hotel, people were loud and some prostitute kept knocking on doors asking for Ben.

So now we know what name he is going by on this little journey.

I opened the door the first time I got the knock (note to self- don't open sleazy hotel doors at 3 in the morning) and saw a face in the dark hallway.

Wait a minute lets think about this. Are you a complete idiot? What would posses you think that opening this door is a good idea. Yeah because now is the time that your old friend Troy from the block will just happen to be in town. I mean maybe its just me but you moron this is probably the first scene to any movie that comes out around holloween. Why didn’t you tell the face to hold on a sec why you got your camera? Would you or anybody else do this in the states let alone Peru?

"Who the hell are you??" I asked in a not so polite manor, "Ben? Is Ben there?" came the voice from the dark hallway.

Good move pissing off the voice. Quick now yell and make a scene. Piss some more people off. This is why we are known as “Stupid Americans”.

My thoughts quickly brought me to the place where all the red flags are waving and I knew this could be bad so I replied "Ben is not here, leave me the f**k alone!" and I tried to close the door.

Once again. You are off to a great start here. I am so glad you picked this amazing cozy little hotel. When you get back remind me to kick you or something. For the love of god why did you open that damn door.

Tried, but she and one other set of hands pushed back.

I am so glad to hear this because another set of hands can hold the camera for you. Everybody say cheese. Who would have ever thought that people banging on the door would have brought some muscle. Next thing you know you’re going to be rocking back and forth vowing to never put down a Best Western again. What are you going to tell me next, that you thought ahead and somehow have a nice safe backup plan. Those cameras don’t have capes.

Too many comparisons

There is always the other side. The side we just don’t see. Today shows such a contrast in the difference between us and them. To get perspective you need to go read a post from Carlos about where he is at in his journey. Read the comments and read who is posting as it instantly changed some of my thoughts about what I was going to say tonight. I was ready to post a write up I had done on the contrasts we were going through. However I have to share some thoughts and wing it.

I had asked about how Carlos’ wife felt about the trip and was amazed that she wasn’t killing him for the mere thought. We talked about his daughter and the conversation to led to family topic in general. I can honestly say that he loves them both. I didn’t think they would care about this blog. It was supposed to be a project about op-ed through art and what we think. We talked about how he and I were going to interact on this project. We didn’t once talk about how we would interact with family. I was supposed to be able to find a post and rant on and offend. I can’t really disagree with something as simple as concern.
It is just another example of the many sides of documenting what goes into both Art and Opinions. So with that I am going to try and go to sleep. I have rewritten this three times. The first was a long drooling rambling about family but I got lost. The second was a lame attempt to show something about poverty and wealth. That went down in flames as well it became pointless.

The third is this. Carlos is in some “Cozy” hotel and I am moving so I have a choice of two houses to sleep in. Different places and different times for different people. While his wife wants him home, I am driving mine to want me gone. It’s crazy. While he experiences poverty most will never see, I walked into a 50,000 square foot home improvement store that could rebuild the town he is in. Crap, here I go again. Maybe you just can’t compare Poverty to wealth.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Ok, I could not sleep. I tried but I kept waking up. I decided to take a walk and bust out my Leica, that camera was made for this type of place. I would up running into a guy named Jesus (no, he had not seen the Big Lebowski) and we got to talking about Peru,Politics, and what life is like as a street vendor. I wound up buying Jesus a beer after he recomended a local brew. Turns out he lives in a floating house out on the river, not this house but on this river. By the way, this is what I see when I leave my hotel and turn the corner.

Crappy digital P&S shot but I do not want to use my DSLR in the city just yet.

Why am I at a hotel? Well, I'll tell you as I sweat in this sweltering heat. My guide became confused in a string of emails I sent to him about my flight plan. When I arrived in Iqutos this morning I could not find my guide, not only that but my checked in bag did not arrive. Fantastic.

I took a taxi to town and found a hotel that I can only descibe as, cozy. By this logic a port-a-potty in mid July is cozy. But it has wi-fi and is close to a mini mart and food. I purchased a large bottle of water and had a clif bar for lunch. I am going to have dinner with my guide this evening and talk more about the plan for next week. He is also helping me track down this missing bag of mine.

So, overall an interesting start to an interesting journey. Here you go Cione:

So Tired

I made it. I am to tired to say more than that. I slept one hour in the past 24 hours, and that was on a bench at the Lima airport. Iquitos is crazy, it's just like a Quintin Tarintino movie come to life. Must sleep now, will post more later with photos.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I may be just that.

Besides airplane food I know that I am going to have to get used to several things right away. In this month the desire to chain smoke may get the best of me.

They must have good rum in Peru, I hope they do have good rum in Peru. Why? Cigarettes and rum. The only time that is a winning combo is when I travel alone. The insanity sets in quickly when your motel room is the color of Comet.
The rum helps with that.
The people in the next room will love each other no matter how long you pound your shoe on the wall.
The cigarettes help with that.

In the morning, you wake up, step outside for the paper, and smile at your overly sexed neighbor.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


This new project really has me thinking lately about where I am going and how to get there. The typical question of whether or not I am even on the right path was on my mind. I am a very driven person and believe firmly it’s ok to question yourself and direction. All that said my primary focus is just to stay happy. I watched Carlos make a decision that was not only pure faith but also about something more. After the initial thoughts of taking my stapler to his forehead wore off for leaving me alone in cubicle hell, I was ecstatic for him. I love what I do for a living and yet was questioning something I loved.

I never aspired for any career when I was younger. In fact I remember very vividly a teacher in high school telling me that it was more likely that I would be “lower middle class” so I shouldn’t be thinking about some of the jobs I was looking at. You know jobs such as a forklift and truck driver were way beyond my scope. Others were taking tests to see how smart they were and I was told to apply at the local circle jerk with Spicoli calling for a pizza. I think back now and think it would have been worth it to say what I was thinking with some well placed hand gestures. I had another guidance counselor laugh at me when I attended college night. These ladies and gentlemen were my inspiration to get that public education that would prepare me for the real world. So forgive me for a minute when I pat myself on the back for working on a global computer network. Yet if I love what I am doing and I am proud then why wonder if it is the right direction?

My friends take different paths this week. I am signing papers for thirty years of debt. Carlos takes off for far lands with different cultures. I have another who must pick up and find a new place to call home. While yet another friend has found out that his home may be leaving him. One more friend and he too has made a decision to change careers.

So what is the point of my ranting you may ask? I don’t have one. I am just talking about what is going on.

Ok, back to nervous

It hit me again this morning. No more bed, wife, daughter, or home for a month. I rather enjoy all those things and the thought of being so far away makes me feel a little homesick already. I know once I am on location that feeling will not be so bad, out of sight out of mind type thing. I have not lived alone for quite a number of years so I'll have to get used to it all over again. Funny thing is , when you are single, all you seem to want is to be with someone. Then, you find someone and you don't let go. Eventually you get married or something and that person becomes part of you. It's tough to leave a part of you behind but it makes coming home great. Sometimes you just have to be open to new experiences and hope your family understands.

My last vaccination shot was this morning. Every time I go to the travel clinic I have a different person administering the injection. All have been very nice, the ones that warm up the vaccination fluid are the nicest. Today I have to spray my clothes with Permethrin to keep the insects away while in the jungle. The bottle says "Repels & Kills Ticks, Chiggers, and Mosquitoes. A treatment for clothes. Do not apply to skin". What the hell is a Chigger? How will I know when I see one?? These are obviously dangerous creatures but I've never been warned of them in the past. Is this a new creature caused by global warming and genetic mutation?? I personally think they made that one up to fill space on the bottle label.

I emailed my friend Crystal yesterday to find out how she was doing. She lives in Shanghai and with the recent events I was worried. I was happy to hear she was doing well, shaken but not stirred. Apparently, working on the 31st floor of a tall building gives you a good ride during an earthquake. The death toll at this time stands at over 12,ooo. Remember, this quake lasted more than 3 minuets, this is an insane amount of time for a quake. If any of you have been in one you know that 30 seconds seems like hours. I hope to god the Chinese government responds better than some others.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Main St

Cione asked that I post this weeks photo of the week and make it about the American Dream. I had to search for some time because so many of my images evoke that feeling from me. The image I finally chose was this one...

It is a photo of Main St in Sublimity, Oregon. My wife has Grandparents here and I love to visit with them and wander this town. It seems no matter where I go in Sublimity I always wind up here. Main St will always remind me of the American Dream. It is the perfect street in that perfect little town with the perfect little family. The cool thing about this Main St is that the only thing in front of it is open space. It reminds me that as we all reach for the American Dream, the future is wide open.

I seem to be almost packed for my trip. The piles of camera gear, passports, and travel needs have been taking up most of my office for the past week. My wife has saved me by helping me pack again. I swear if it was not for her I would not have made it back from any of my trips. She even left room for 10 rolls of Tri-X film and my Leica to fit in my bad ALONG WITH two DSLR's and various lenses. You gotta love a girl like that.

I seem to follow the same pattern every time I travel. I can't wait to get started, then I don't want it to start because it means it will be over soon, then I am I ok with it and realize that I have an amazing opportunity waiting for me. I am at that last part now. I have myself a PBR, check my gear and wait.

Cione and I did not have a chance to meet this week, I bet I won't see him until I return. I have to admit I am enjoying our meetings more and more. I think this project will be a good thing and I hope folks join in, comment, and have fun with it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Who I am

To all the people I don’t know I say welcome. To those who do, I say hold on, again. I am going to take a few minutes and introduce myself to all of you. My name is Cione (Show-knee). My goal is to show a side of me not often shared. I am simple person with not so simple opinions. Reserved and shy are not words that people would use to describe me but at the same time I would hope that overbearing and dramatic wouldn’t be used either. I like people to bring their perspective and opinions to the table. The rest about me is come and learn. I will usually answer anything but sometimes I will make you ask. I think the best way to describe myself is through my friends. Many times they laugh point and ask “what kind of idiot are you to do…” My usual reply is “You didn’t have to come but since your here”

I have always believed the biggest problem people face is acceptance. Coming in a close second is one’s ability to communicate their opinion in a way that is both honest and not hateful. With that said I still think that people can just be full of BS. While that may be fine, the real passion and the real story will lay hidden. I love to take something and discuss it.

It seems sometimes we want to take a moment in time, freeze it and keep talking about it. That thought would lead to many conversations and to this experiment with Carlos. It always seemed in our conversations that others were listening yet afraid to voice their thoughts. After some talking Carlos and I came up with this idea. Radically simple and almost right up our alley.
On May 15th, providing all goes well I will be a proud first time homeowner. Carlos and I are both chasing our dreams. Those dreams although they are so far different in nature and are almost identical in execution.

I welcome you to 3shadescc and hope for you to comment. Tell us we are crazy, stupid, or the smartest people ever. Just tell us something. I will tell you about what I think. You tell me what you think. If Carlos and I can agree then 3shadescc will become…

Introducing Juan-Carlos Delgado

Dear Friends and Family,

Most of you know me and what I am like. Many of you know that I am working
as a photographer chasing stories. What many of you may not know is what it
is like to be me. Now, I am fully aware of the enormous arrogance
in the assumption that you would even care what it is like to be me, but
just go with me for a bit on this one........

What I am about to do is take the Carlos you
know (and I hope love) with all my skills, wit, charm, and demons to the
edge of the world. My journey will begin on May 15th, in a place 45
minutes by boat up the Amazon River from the city of Iquitos, Peru. My
task for the Peruvian American Medical Society is to photograph the lives
of the people of the Selva (Jungle) for one month. You will experience
what I experience and from the perspective of this (yours truly) 29 year old slacker from
South East Portland. At times I will have no electricity, plumbing, or
access to phones. Where I am going I cannot drink the water, eat the
fruit, and I can apparently die from a mosquito bite. Political unrest in the country
is ramping up due to labor disputes; violent street protests are not uncommon.
It's your basic Club Med......

This is my life, who I am and what I have become. No lies, no re-do, and
no second chances. I have agreed with my partner in this project to not
delete posts and to honestly report what happens to me. You will see me
with all my faults, successes, and disappointments.

My partner is my good friend and former co-worker Cione. We will both run
the blog 3shadescc as the vehicle to deliver this experience to you. I will file
reports from where I am at with help from Cione. He and I will comment
on my experience and images. This should be a fun and spirited discussion
that everyone reading this is welcome to join in on. Please feel free to
contact me for any reason; I look forward to seeing you all online soon!

Juan-Carlos Delgado

Monday, May 5, 2008

Our new world

In today’s world of black and white answers, people forget the story. We get caught up in the belief that things have to be right or wrong. Worse even, we get caught up in thinking that we have to accept what others view as right or wrong. There are stories out there that need to be told and the way they need to be told needs to change. One person’s art is another person’s tragedy, hope, or ordinary life. Opinions can cause hatred, spark action or even be art. We want to start to explore ordinary life from this different view. Lets explain first who “we” are and the mission, or lack of, we share .

3shadescc is a new personality that we two guys are trying to create. Two different people who just want to take a look at what's out there. It has been compared to a voyeuristic, reality based TV show where we want people to come poke in to our lives. While that may be true in some ways, the answer is we just don’t know at this point. How many times have you heard the old saying that there are the three sides to a story? Yours, Mine and the truth. Truth is perception, and perception we think can be a personality. That personality we named 3shadescc.

The next part is telling you just who “we” are but first, let’s be honest and tell you how this idea started and why we are doing it. Juan-Carlos is the wrong person doing the right job. Cione (show-knee) is the right person doing the wrong job. We met in the standard forty hour a week job in a cubicle farm. Not having much desire, we would discuss everything under the sun except, well, work!

Carlos' natural talent is photography and creating fantastic art with a camera. Cione is a geek and loves to speak his opinion. At the end of the day the two sometimes form an opinion. Those images and opinions have become an experiment and the reason you are reading this.

The name 3shadescc is simple but has distinct meaning. The 3 is basically stating the obvious and that it is not one person’s opinion but the consensus. The “shades” is just that, not a definite black or white but a perception. The last part can be taken several ways, and hopefully will be. The most obvious is that “cc” can stand for Carlos and Cione. The next meaning is simple if you sound it out, “cc” as in “too-see”.

Now you know who we are. With luck we will have the time to time to tell you the what and the when. More importantly you understand that what you’re reading isn’t written by one person but a consensus. Juan-Carlos and Cione will be introduced as separate characters. We will post here as the stories and opportunities arises. However, together we will post as 3shadescc when needed or when we have reached some sort of thought process that can be told separate from the two. We welcome you to join us as this new experiment develops.In the words of Hunter S. Thompson...... Buy a ticket and enjoy the ride!