///// HEY?! THAT'S MY CAB! /////::::::>>>

moving on up

Posted in Thoughts by van ditthavong on March 13, 2011

this wordpress.com blog has moved to www.heythatsmycab.com — we had a make over!

dinosaurs, margaritas and more

Posted in Photos, Shoots, Thoughts by van ditthavong on March 11, 2011

there’s a quietness that hangs in certain places where you can’t really figure out if it is truly peaceful or flat out frightening. these places for me often include old churches, empty playgrounds, public libraries, public bathrooms, english phone booths, empty movie theaters and dinosaur parks.  yes dinosaur parks! I went to my first one, dinosaur valley state park in glenrose, tx. i went during off-season time so there was absolutely no one there, which greatly added to the eeriness of it all, but nevertheless – made for an incredible surreal experience. there’s nothing like seeing an actual dinosaur footprint, and tons of them. and what’s great is you don’t have to be ten years old to enjoy it, the excitement is still that grandiose in your mid thirties! this month’s issue of texas monthly celebrates 175 years of texas independence by describing “the greatest texas road trip of all time” – a journey to 175 places that made texas what is today. i went and photograph three of the places.

first up – dinosaur valley state park:

those circles are sauropod dinosaur (brontosaur-like) tracks.

this is a three toed carnivorous (theropod) track.

next up: the zapruder pedestal. talk about another eerie place – the grassy knoll would also fall into that category of pretty but…

the kid sits on the actual spot where abraham zapruder filmed 26.6 seconds of the kennedy assasination.

and lastly: where mariano martinez invents the frozen margarita machine (1971). his restaurant is now a petsmart.

the machine stood roughly where the fire extinguisher is.

all images ©  van ditthavong

red rabbit

Posted in Photos by van ditthavong on March 7, 2011

jimi 1963 ::::> my touch with greatness

Posted in Photos, Shoots, Thoughts by van ditthavong on March 3, 2011

i remember going through the botanical gardens in atlanta ages ago looking at all these incredible species of plants and their ridiculously hard saying scientific names… and thinking wow, wouldn’t it be cool to be a plant expert, a botanist?! getting to know about the origins, the medical benefits, the ins and outs of plant life, and the correct pronunciation of aulacomnium palustre… (oh that’s ribbed bog moss for those who care). scratch that. wouldn’t it be cool to be just any expert?! wouldn’t it be awesome to love something so much that you know absolutely everything about it? the way spielberg knows films, the way mark twain knows writing, the way bobby flay knows cooking, or better yet… the way jimi hendrix knows the guitar. well, the sad truth is we all can’t be that great, so being around something or someone who is – is still pretty cool. so that’s why when the photo department of guitar aficionado sent me to shoot jimi hendrix’s 1963 white fender stratocaster (one of his first strats!) – i was pumped.

here’s me with the guitar:

here’s the shot of the guitar:

© van ditthavong

i was also fortunate to spend the day with the current owner of the guitar. he not only had a hendrix guitar but clapton, lennon, dylan, springsteen, bb king, keith richards, paul mccartney… you name it! unreal:

oh, speaking of spielberg – see those shark jaws there in the photo above – it’s signed by cast and crew. shishhh!

check out this months issue:

from the vault >>>> table + glasses

Posted in Photos by van ditthavong on March 1, 2011

plant + tile

Posted in Photos by van ditthavong on February 24, 2011

dress codes

Posted in On the Road, Photos, Self Promo, Shoots by van ditthavong on February 17, 2011

2011 February issue – Ladies Home Journal

“The other children are always curious about me. They’ll say, ‘Look mommy, it’s a ghost, or an angel.’ It’s the parents who look the most uncomfortable.” – this is a terrific quote from saba syeda, a conservative muslim. the folks from ladies home journal sent me down to houston to meet and photograph saba. the story was about the misconceptions of being a muslim american based on religious clothing. we spent the day together doing “normal” things like shopping, eating, and going to the park.  from my brief time with her, I noticed two things – 1) how people usually react to the unfamiliar with raised eyebrows and a deep stare and 2) how easily, or i should really use the word naturally, saba let’s it all bounce off of her.

a few outtakes:

© van ditthavong

 

first mailer of the year —> round one

Posted in Self Promo by van ditthavong on February 15, 2011

food shots

Posted in Photos by van ditthavong on February 9, 2011

early in my career i shot a lot of food. it was fun seeing how the chefs plated their creations… and even better when we got to eat the dishes after the shoot!

© all images van ditthavong

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my office

Posted in Photos by van ditthavong on February 3, 2011

cool book covers ::::> the great gatsby

Posted in Book Covers by van ditthavong on February 1, 2011

mister jobs

Posted in Inspirations, Thoughts by van ditthavong on January 27, 2011

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

– steve jobs

cage the elephant

Posted in Photos, Self Promo, Shoots by van ditthavong on January 24, 2011

the boys from cage the elephant had great energy, but most importantly… great humor. and to top it off – they’re really making some damn good music! this was for a piece for guitar world magazine. here are some cutting room floor stuff >>>>>>

© van ditthavong 2010

a bird & chandelier

Posted in Photos by van ditthavong on January 19, 2011

on photography

Posted in Thoughts, Writing by van ditthavong on January 13, 2011

i just love how accessible photography is nowadays. whether you are on one side that says it is its own art form, or on the other side that says it is a learned craft/service – this all really doesn’t matter.  what matters is that photography today is seen more as a viable career path and option for people – even during these uncertain economic times. but much like anything in life, you get what you put in to it. you sprinkle in a little bit of hard work, passion, a little of persistence, a dash of talent, a whole lot of learning and entrepreneurship, and a touch of luck – you’re in the game. now the journey isn’t always smooth sailing – especially for us photographers – whose egos are as fragile as house of cards – but we push along the best we can.

a few years back i wrote a book to help me on my personal journey in this photography business. its purpose was to help me keep motivated and inspired no matter how low or far things seem to be. in short, it was a way for me to keep faith. i hope this can also be useful to anyone else out there struggling in there creative pursuits. please feel free to download it here or pass it along to any young student of photography:

HEY?! THAT’S MY CAB: finding a way in photography or www.vanphotographs.com/heythatsmycab.htm

i hope you guys enjoy it … the more creative photographers the better!!!

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