Wednesday, August 02, 2017


Rafael's Panoramic...

We didn't get to live out our #CFPhotography Crew goals but here's a cool shot from Rafael that I found on my phone.  What a neat idea though! The thought of bridging photography with the energy of a neighborhood's history. Maybe some day...

Friday, November 25, 2016

2016 Fujifilm FinePix S1

2016 Fujifilm FinePix S1

Supermoon + Fuji + #CFPhotography

Supermoon 11/14/2016
Introducing the Fujifilm FinePix S1
& the #CFPhotography Crew

Since 2012 I've been shooting pics with a Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR.  I started shooting pics with Fuji cameras in 2006 when I bought a double A battery operated Fujifilm FinePix S5200. I fell in love with taking pictures because of old family photo albums which consisted of a bunch of scattered disorganized pics I'd revisit of  mom, dad, my brothers, extended family members, memories of my 80s childhood, and my adolescent years during the 90s. 

Before I got my first cell phone in 2001, I purchased Kodak disposable cameras to document my freshman and sophomore years in college. I also started traveling a little bit for university events throughout New Mexico, Colorado, California, and further east to Austin, Texas. I wanted to capture some of those moments so I always had a disposable camera with me. Around the time I also learned a lot more about computers, digital technology, and social media platforms that started up. My younger brother's god parents gave me a loan to purchase my first computer which provided a platform for where I could share and save the pictures I took from the disposable Kodaks.  At the time I also became familiar with web design and Adobe Photoshop software which helped me recognize the story of pictures and how they could be presented.  

I never went beyond the hobby of taking pictures to study and learn about the actual craft of photography.  I did start reading more though about photography through the experiences of photographers like Gordon Parks, Jose Galvez, James Vanderzee and someone I consider a lens icon for the Hip Hop generation, Jamel Shabazz. In later years, I'd also visit local photography workshops to ask questions and learn whatever I could. 

My knowledge of even the basics of photography and what cameras can do is limited. Many of the features on the cameras I purchase are intended for people like myself who don't understand the mechanics of more expensive, professional cameras. Recently, my brother's good friend, Raf, shared some knowledge with us from his involvement with the high school yearbook staff. He agreed to take some time to share what he knows for a group we started in our neighborhood called #CFPhotography. Our goal is to learn more about photography through each others interest in our own cameras. I've passed down my HS30EXR to my younger brother since I purchased the latest Fujifilm FinePix S1 model. Raf's lens of choice is a Canon. The CF in our crew name stands for "Canons and Fujis."
This month we had our first session which focused on the Supermoon.  We discussed shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and clicked through options in our camera to try and prepare for our Supermoon shots.

Shout out to Raf & my little brother MCZoo. Above is my shot of the Supermoon on 11/14/2016.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Continuing Education @ UTEP PPP

Continuing Education @ UTEP

There's no telling where these kinds of learning opportunities can take you, your children, or siblings.  Here are a few opportunities in the field of photography through the University of Texas at El Paso Professional and Public Programs Extended University.  For more information on enrollment and courses offerred visit

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photographer Jill Freedman

Photographer Jill Freedman

Just found out about her work reading James Estrin's article 'Cops, Clowns, & Cameras' click here and watching the Vice post about her project 'The Boys Club'. More information on Jill Freedman available at

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Finding Vivian Maier

Finding Vivian Maier | Netflix
Found out about Vivian Maier's work through a CNN post.  Below is a picture from the Benazir Wehelie post in CNN style, view here for more photographs.  Added a link to Maier's website in the Shooter's tab to the right. Above a trailer to a documentary about her life on Netflix.


Friday, March 04, 2016

Shooters: Eddie Otchere

Shooters: Eddie Otchere

Incredible work.  Watched a video about his shots of one of my favorite Hip Hop groups, the Wu Tang Clan.  Check out Eddie Otchere's photography at and Follow @dhagren

Added to 'Shooters' links. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Shooters: Marco Marotto

Shooters: Marco Marotto

While looking for shots of Peter Turnley's work in Cuba, I stumbled across an incredible photograph by Marco Marotto of a chess game.  Check out the interview and photograph click here.  To learn more about Marco Marotto's work visit ...I noticed another of a chess game among children in Vietnam/Cambodia at the 500px site.  

Added Marco Marotto to Shooters links.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Adventure in Photography Lit

My Latest Adventure in Photography Lit...Music Too

For my b-day this year my mom, Queen Luz, asked what I wanted.  I had passed up the opportunity to purchase the Dust & Grooves text when I first noticed it for sale online a year prior.  I lose interest in books priced beyond $20 even if I really want a copy. I kept thinking about Dust & Grooves though... the text combined the best of my favorite worlds, photography and vinyl.  After my mom asked me what I wanted on my b-day, I thought about it and searched on noticing the pre-order link to the Dust & Grooves, Adventures in Record Collecting book.  Before that, every now and then I'd revisit the Dust & Groove Amazon page to check on price and availability.  For my 2015 b-day I went ahead and pre-ordered Dust & Grooves.

Forgetting all about the pre-order I was surprised when I received the light heavy weight sized box in the mail several months later.  I finally started flipping through the pages this month.  In thinking about how I read magazines like waxpoetics, Dust & Grooves, gives me the urge to listen to it. As a book each page is a new track like a literary mixtape.  

I've added the the text to the Catalogue slot of this blog, click on the image to learn more.  I've added Eilon Paz's link to "Lens Influence".  I'm inspired by his work having photographed my own love collecting music with disposable Kodaks.   

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Peter Turnley's connection to Hip Hop

The Photography of Peter Turnley

I learned about Peter Turnley's photography after looking into one of my favorite records by The Roots Things Fall Apart which was released with different covers, one of those a photograph by who I found out this year was Peter Turnley.  To learn more about Peter Turnley's photojournalism covering the world visit The site includes social media links.

Peter Turnley's web link has been added to the Shooters list to the right.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Alice Driver | Photographer

Photos of the Disappeared Among the Living click here
Photographs by Alice Driver

Learn more about Alice Driver's work at

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stock Photography Volume 1

Stock Photography Resources click here

Gone are the days of stumbling across the net searching for free stock photos.

New label on Lens & Words, all about 'Resources'.  Info from HubSpot Blogs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stock Photography

Stock Photography: Pixabay

Other than Morgue File, I don't know of very many sites with FREE high quality stock photos for web based or marketing projects.  Until today!  Check out Pixabay, Picjumbo, and Pexels.  Dug the chess shot above.  Linking Pixabay under Lens Links.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Project Apollo Archive

Project Apollo Archive
Photographs: click here

This is just... incredible.

Check out NASA on instagram:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Christian Year 1

Christian's Year 1

I got a lot of cousins.  Christian is in the second generation of cousins.  For the past ten years I've been taking pictures of just about every family related event we can think of.  For my neice Lil' Lucy, I put together a photo book titled "Two, Two, Two".  It was my debut in turning my pictures into photo books and covered her day in the life when she turned two.  From the minute she got up to celebrate at the water park to the barbecue to cake time with family and friends.

Christian Year 1 is the second book I've put together.  The photo above is Christian pretty much getting initiated to the dance floor.  He will experience many more of these moments for years to come.  His book is 42 photographs deep.

Until the next photo book! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Clean Guys Auto Shine Interview

Clean Guys Auto Shine
An Interview with Jose Montoya
about Recovery, Justice, 
the Environment,
& the Community

Lately been organizing my archive of photographs over the years with the goal of doing something with them or attaching them to different projects.  At times I get the opportunity to conduct interviews I refer to as photo narratives with people in the El Paso community.  Other times I'll conduct interviews online with people from other communities to promote specific projects related to literature or music.

One of those projects from last year was an interview with El Paso community leader, Jose Montoya.  On two occasions I photographed the work of his business Clean Guys Auto Shine at an off site and on-site location.  Jose runs a local waterless car wash and detailing business that is all about helping people involved in the justice system that are in recovery from substance use problems.  His work is also just as much about environmental advocacy too.  Jose has quite a recovery story which he agreed to share so that people get a better understanding of the mission of Clean Guys Auto Shine and how it relates to reentry, the justice system, his faith based roots, and the community.

With the first interview I was also able to get help from a very cool group of Spanish translators who volunteered through Volunteer Match  Special thanks to Erika, Vivian, Mariana, Julia, Crystal, & Evelyn for translating the interview.  For those that don't know El Paso is a border community where a big percentage of our population is Spanish speaking first.  In the event that the interview makes its way around, I want to be sure the content could be received in both languages.

Last year, I was also able to attend the Clean Guys Auto Shine grand opening.  The business first started by bringing their service to their customers.  Today, while they continue to meet the customer where they are, people also have the option of visiting Clean Guys for services on 11426 Rojas Drive, Suite A-7.  At the grand opening I recorded an interview with Jose using my Olympus hand held recorder while he gave a tour of the new location.  I also took a bunch of photographs and combined them with photographs that Mr. Avalos from the El Paso Corvette Club took earlier in the day.

There are a few other photo, video, and interview projects that I plan to archive on Lens & Words.  Especially as they relate to photography.  I've also gotten into story telling with family as we work on tracing genealogy thanks to family members who have started sharing photos and collecting information.

Til' the next post...

Here are links to download the interview and to watch the video:

Clean Guys Auto Shine Interview (English) / Download (PDF): click here

Clean Guys Auto Shine Interview (Spanish) / Download (PDF): click here

Clean Guys Auto Shine Grand Opening Photo Narrative Video:

For more information on Clean Guys Auto Shine visit

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Lightroom & Photoshop / Lens & Words Tutorial Archive

Lightroom & Photoshop

As software continues to upgrade into the creative cloud takeover, I went ahead and signed in for access to Adobe CC.  Figured it doesn't hurt to take a few minutes to learn some new tricks through the software tutorials I plan to share on this blog.  I currently use Adobe software to do very specific things.  While I'm not as interested in editing photographs to look any different than how I originally shot them, I do work on creative projects like covers for music, books, postcards, and media that would benefit from the information shared in the video above.

This video provides a few basic tips on how to change the background to focus on a specific piece in the image which would be helpful in developing for example, a mixtape cover.  The tutorial makes me think about the latest Black Belt Magazine with Bruce Lee which didn't look as good as I think it could've with better editing.

Expect to see more videos under the label Tutorial Archive.  The label function on blogger will provide a quick reference if needed.  World Wide Web tutorials are also shared at the following YouTube playlist: click here 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Graduating Class of 2015

Graduating Class of 2015

A special thanks to Priscilla and her family for the opportunity to capture some cool photographs earlier this month for her graduation invitations.  It was the first time I turned photos into an invitation.  Priscilla graduates May 20th from Las Cruces High School in the City of the Crosses.  Currently working on my lil' brother's graduation invitations after a photo shoot around El Paso. 

For the graduating class of 2015... from Paso to Cruces, congratulations ya'll.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 Photography

2015 Photography

Looking forward to this morning's Photography meeting.  My first for the new year.

Last year, I read about the McGill Pauper Cemetery in the Northeast in an article written by Aaron Martinez with photography by Victor Calzada (click here).  I've been thinking a lot about photography from the Northeast side of the city.  I had no idea this cemetery existed.  Above is a shot from a perspective that shows the nearby neighborhood and of course our mountains in the background.

There is a blog about the cemetery featured in the article and the stories that remain untold beneath the graves.