B&W – What’s it good for? | Shannon Atkinson

Shannon Atkinson Photographer

Fortunate to live in south Louisiana’s Cajun Country, I’ve come to know many amazing people from every walk of life. A long time cycling friend and all-around Renaissance man, Shannon Atkinson is one of those people.

I was captivated by his photography during this year’s Mardi Gras. Growing up with the annual carnivals, I’d seen the sights and images over a lifetime. His eye-view and imagery exposed a side of the season I’d never known—or imagined.

My crime fiction episodes, A Cajun Murder Mystery Series are set in the deep South’s bayou land. Shannon’s art captures the raw, gritty genre of the classic noir mystery thrillers. It was a perfect match.

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A giant big bayou favor – go to Shannon’s Facebook and mash the LIKE button.

Scott: Shannon, thanks for your time. How about sharing a bit about yourself?

Shannon: I’m Shannon Atkinson, and a Louisiana based photographer focusing primarily on concert and street photography. I’ve photographed live promotional images for artists including Plain White T’s, Percy Sledge, Louis Prima Jr., and Marco Palos in addition to other international acts.

My work has been published in regional magazines and websites as well as Yahoo Sports. Although I continue to develop a diverse catalog, my true passion is street photography, “I have always gravitated to Environmental Portraiture. It is not uncommon for me to shoot other genres, but the streets are where I feel most at home with a camera in my hands.”

I’ve photographed throughout the United States as well as Central America. Currently, I’m working on a photographic series documenting the decline of Louisiana’s indigenous population and loss of culture. My work can be viewed at  www.shannonatkinsonphoto.com

Scott: Your passion is obvious in your art. What ignited your flame for photography?

Shannon: My dad was the family photographer when I was a kid.  He had this wonderful, shiny, 35mm that I used to secretly sneak out of the house and experiment with when he was away on business.

Eventually he gave in and allowed me to borrow it when I wanted.  I fell in love with the ability to take a subject and capture it in a way unique to my vision.  I’m still in love with this.

 

Scott: I love the black and white urban-scape photography featured on each A Cajun Murder Mystery Series’ cover art – what drove you to focus on that motif?

Shannon: Black and white resonates with me, it has soul.   I started in the days of film and spent a lot of time in the dark room working in B&W.  Removing color from the image allows me to focus on shadow and form which is what I’m very much drawn to.

I do shoot color, but the color has to be a major part of the reason I’m making the photograph in the first place.  As for the Street photography genre, I’ve always been an observer of people.  Human beings are bizarre and interesting creatures… especially when they have no idea they are being observed.

Some people give off a certain something that can’t be put into words.  I’m drawn to these people and interested in seeing how this translates into a photograph.  The same goes for certain places, they just have soul.

Scott: Kinda of cliché, but I’ll go for it. If you could photograph anyone from any period of time – who would it be? Why, and how would you set the shot?

Shannon: This is a tough one.  The tendency is to choose someone that would be a bit obvious.  I could pick JFK or Marilyn Monroe or maybe Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa.

The problem with these choices, although tremendous subjects, is that they are not that personal to me.  So if I have to choose a subject just for me, then it’s simple… I’d choose jazz great Miles Davis.  From the late 1950’s, the Kinda Blue era.

He had an ultra-cool vibe that I’d love to explore and capture.  I’m thinking in a dark jazz club with a cigarette and lots of backlit cigarette smoke.  Real harsh and grainy with lots of his coolness.

Scott: Miles Davis sounds a lot like you. You’re also an excellent musician and cyclist – what other acts of awesomeness do you regularly demonstrate? 

Shannon: I involuntarily wake up 1 minute before my alarm goes off… every day.  Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

Another chance to do yourself a favor – go to Shannon’s Facebook - mash the LIKE button. 

B&W – What’s it good for? | Shannon Atkinson

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #5

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RHETT MATHEWS:

Being a current handler myself, I always get the question, “Why do the dogs come from Europe? And are they already trained?”

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Breeding regulations are a lot stricter in Europe.  Some of these dogs have prior training, but may not be the training you’re looking for, so be very careful.  Some of the dogs come in with outstanding training and some with issues you may never resolve.  There are very dependable breeders and trainers in the stats that would also help you.

 

SHERRY TROOP:

What happens to the dogs after they no longer serve as a K9? Do their officer handlers get to adopt them? Can they integrate into “family” life?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Our department allows the handlers to adopt their dogs. We have had great success with the dogs integrating into family life. However, I have heard of dogs that could not integrate in family life.

 

SHERRY TROOP:

Just saw a news broadcast about Universal K-9 that trains shelter dogs on “death row”. The trained dogs are then given for free to police dept. So great to hear!! Wondered if you heard of them or deal with them?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE: 

I haven’t heard of them, but will certainly check them out. Death Row dogs are very dear to me. When I started my first K-9 Academy I worked a German Shepherd, which was rescued by my dad K-9 Sam. K-9 Sam was picked up for killing chickens.

When I started with he did not know how to walk on a leash. I think for the first six weeks I retrieved the ball more than Sam. Then something clicked and he loved his ball. At the end of our academy we were awarded the Top Team award. I learned a lot from old K-9 Sam.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #4

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CAROLINE CASH:

How long do most dogs serve as a K9?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Most dogs work to between eight and ten years of age, depending on their health.

 

SHERRY TROOP:

What other breeds of dogs are used besides shepherds? Are some breeds better suited for the job or is it the personality of the particular dog?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

Belgium Malionois, Dutch Shepared, Labrador Retriever are some of your most popular.  I have seen some mixed breeds out work any pure breed dog.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #3

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SYLVIA E. BULL:

Do you volunteer to be a K-9 officer? Do you get to pick the dog? What do you do with the dog during vacation? How long is the training?

 

LT. E. RODRIGUE:

In our department you volunteer to be a K-9 Officer.  I pick most of the dogs and try to match them with the handler’s personality.  In our department when the handler goes on vacation I kennel the dogs in my kennel.

When I go on vacation one of the other handlers will care for my dog.  If you look above I answered the addressed most of the training question.  In our department before a K-9 Team is allowed to work the street they must past their NNDDA certification.

Once they have passed their certification and are allowed to begin working on the street, they still attend weekly training sessions, which is required.  At the training session I make sure each team is performing well and address any issues that may arise.  I try to expose the teams to new things each training sessions.

 

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GEAUX TIGER – Breaks Out

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #2

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ALEXANDER SIMPSON:

I’ve heard that some officers have to pay for their dogs out of their own pocket. Is that true?

 

LT. EDDIE RODRIGUE:

Yes it’s true. I have worked several of my own K-9’s. I donated my present K-9 Vic, so I would be allowed to work him.   Our department now buys green dogs for the other handlers and I complete the initial training to save the department the price of a fully trained dog.

Our department pays $5,500.00 to $6,000.00 for a green dog. This is for a dog with great drives and some very basic training . A fully trained Police Service Dog these days is any were between $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 plus.

 

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K-9 Interview | Readers’ Questions Answered #1

 

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K-9 QUESTION

SHERRY TROOP

“I saw recently on TV that dogs trained to sniff bombs in Afghanistan are now being used for the same job in Washington D.C. (The dog featured is 4years old). Is it difficult for both the dog & it’s handler to separate from each after working as partners for so long? I would think they would bond closely.

Which gender is best suited?”

 

LT. E RODRIGUE

“I find it very hard to separate once you have a good bond. I have seen some handler’s and K-9’s go through separation anxiety. Some K-9’s do fine and some may not work with another handler.

Either sex will work depending on the drive.”

 

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