Friday, March 14, 2008

Hostage Situation

Hostage Situation, originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

Jeez what a let down.

At around 7 last night there was a call about a hostage situation in a Nashua neighborhood. What had happened was a murder fugitive from Florida had made his way up north and was squatting at someone's house (relation wasn't clear). When I arrived that situation was pretty much diffused. The SWAT team had thrown tear gas into the house and were able to arrest him. What I ended up seeing was people not being allowed back into their houses. They hadn't been able to go back into their houses (some still had their stove's on) for four hours. What I happened to come upon was a bunch of cold people patiently waiting. Not as juicy a story as I had thought.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"I fell in love with a female assassin"

From the UK newspaper The Independent, via PDNPulse

Photojournalist Jason P. Howe writes about his experience documenting the FARC and the paras in Columbia, and how his lover ultimately became as violent and entrenched in war as the people he set out to document. An astonishing read.

"Watching her take the pistol from her belt, unbutton her jeans and slip into bed I somehow couldn't quite equate the woman in my arms with the bodies I had seen in the local morgue, their heads shattered by gunshots at close range, murders she confessed to having committed. High on a combination of the heady tropical climate, local rum, grade A cocaine and in the arms of nubile 22-year-old, fantasy and reality became blurred. It felt like I was living in a Quentin Tarantino movie."

Full text here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

By the river.

By the river., originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

Another one from the river today. This was my first spot news assignment in awhile. For the last few months, when I'm called to a breaking news event its usually a car accident or fire in the middle of the night. This time I spent two hours in the middle of the day watching the entire story unfold. For an hour...nothing. Not a word from the EMS, police, or firefighters. It was a good deal of waiting from something to happen. The woman in this shot kind of just showed up. No real explanation. There were some others like her as well. One guy even owns a police scanner and just goes when he hears something interesting. Like some weird blood lust. Do they just want to see a dead body? I was judging then in my head a lot but then I realized I was kind of doing the exact same thing. It's good to keep things in perspective and think about how to separate yourself from the gawking masses.

By the river.

By the river., originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

Emergency workers suiting up a diver to retrieve a body from the Merrimack River in Nashua.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Discarded Bread

Discarded Bread, originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

A quick snap walking home from lunch today.

Drum Stick Guys

Drum Stick Guys, originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Goal!, originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


What could be more boring than a documentary about fonts? If it was about the minutiae that only a type designer could understand, than yes it would be quite boring. But what if it was about the font that is so ubiquitous in our visual culture that some designers consider it the type equivalent to air?

Helvetica, a documentary released by Red Envelope (Netflix's distribution company) focus on the creation, usage, praise and rejection of Helvetica, the ever present san-serif that can be seen in the logos for countless corporations and brands. Watch this movie alone just to get a kick out of the fact that Target, American Airlines, Crate and Barrel, the Gap, the IRS, EPA, the NYC Subway and countless other governments, corporations and designers are using the exact same font.


Because it works. One of the most interesting things I heard was one designer saying that some fonts only make you feel one way. They are overly designed to communicate only one emotion, but the success of Helvetica is its universal nature and in essence can communicate anything you want to. From clean, comforting design to crushing bureaucracies, it has been used to communicate and helped usher in a new age of modernism and simplicity in design.

One of the most interesting parts was on the rejection of Helvetica. Some dismissed it as simply boring, while Paula Scher saw Helvetica as a supporter of the Vietnam and Iraq war. An image of corporate conformity that strangles creativity.

But then again, the film shows that ironically, corporate conformity is only one of its uses. Its a blank slate that can be shifted and molded to fit whatever message people have. As I find myself more interested in design this was truly an eye opening film. To watch this then go out on the street, it's as if you're looking a the world with a completely different set of eyes.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Robot Competition

Robot Competition, originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.

Robot Competition

Robot Competition, originally uploaded by Johnny Simon.