John Early Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    I know you're time is valuable so thanks for taking the time to visit. Here you'll find irregularly-timed irregular posts about what I've been up to or about topics that interest me or I think might interest others. Mostly the content will be about photography, cinematography and the such, but I'll also occasionally diverge into my personal life and share slices what I do in my spare time.

New Website johnearly.com Launched!


Last week I finally launched the new version of my professional website,  johnearly.com. After looking at several options I decided to go with Livebooks as the site designer/host for their dependability and easy-to-use Edit Suite where I can upload, update and tweak my site on my own without having to wait for a designer to get around to it.


Working with Livebooks designer Corrie Tse, and Flash designer Adam Royer,  we came up with a nice clean design that I think reflects my style and approach to photography. The site showcases my traditional photographic automotive and product work as well as my “new media” work consisting of animations, CGI, video, and virtual reality. There’s also a new section called “Placement” that shows where some of my work has been seen on the internet. In addition I have a behind-the-scenes area and links to my blog and my stock site.

I’m thrilled with how it turned out so please feel free to take a look!

Life is Like Riding a Sand Pit

Those who know me know I spend lots of time riding my mountain bike. Most of my riding time is spent with groups of riders or at least one or two others. Not only is this safer in case you crash or break down, but it’s more social. But I have always enjoyed solo rides for the peace and quiet and for being able to just ride at my own pace, whether it’s fast, slow or medium that day. Those who also mountain bike may also know that one of the best qualities of mountain biking (on anything but pavement) is that it tends to free your mind of worries and extraneous thoughts and allows you to only focus on the here and now that is the trail in front of you (especially on downhills). Lose that focus and you will likely crash. Simple as that. 


So suffice it to say when I am riding solo on anything remotely technical I’m not doing much deep-thinking…just concentrating on the flow of the trail and problem-solving my way up or down the hill. With all  that being said, the other day I had a pretty deep thought while out on a solo ride. 



It was mid-week, early morning in the newly re-opened Whiting Regional Park. Many know that name because it is where Mark Reynolds, a mountain biker, was killed by a mountain lion a few years ago. Last year it burned in a forest fire and was closed to the public until just a few weeks ago. The park was particularly empty and I had only seen one hiker on the way up Borrego Trail. Borrego meanders it’s way along a mostly dry creek, slowly gaining elevation as the trail climbs the canyon. Before the fires this trail used to be a cakewalk to ride. Smooth, buff hard-packed trail, worn smooth by countless mountain bikers. After the fires and the rainy season Borrego Trail became a sand pit wherever the trail crossed the dry creek bed. What used to be smooth, easy trails were now in many places a 75-foot stretch of 6-10″ deep sand. In case you’ve never ridden in sand like this, it is difficult to say the least to negotiate. Many bikers tossed out a slew of negative opinions about the sand and why couldn’t it be removed. Apparently they were not able to negotiate it. I found it wasn’t easy like it used to be, but hey look on the bright side..it’s rideable and at least the park is open.

As I was crossing one of the sand pits on my morning ride, this deep metaphorical thought crossed my mind. These sandpits were like one’s life journey in a several ways. 
  • Life can be hard at times, but not impossible: Just like the sand pit. Riding in sand is difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible to traverse. But with enough steady effort and the right balance, the sand is easily travelled.
  • Have a plan: Allow your front tire to wander from the straight line in the sand and you will either crash or be delayed and you will exert extra effort to exit the sand pit. Just as in life, without a plan to steer straight on, one might wander through life,get sidetracked and either never achieve one’s potential or a least will require or expend additional unnecessary effort to achieve one’s goals.
  • Everything in moderation: Enter the sandpit too fast and even the slightest steering mistake will send you flying. Enter too slow and you will bog down not able to ride through the sand and having to walk. Same goes for life…live it too fast and hard and a mistake could send you crashing to rock bottom. Live life too slowly and carefully and you might miss out on many of the best things in life.

And then just about the time I completed that deep thought, I realized I wasn’t concentrating on the trail enough and I should stop thinking and just ride!

Pirate Ride


This past weekend Kristine and I participated in a cool ride called The Pirate Ride. This is a semi-underground ride where a large group of mountain bikers get together, dress up like pirates (and wenches of course) and ride. Well there’s a little drinking thrown in also to spice things up. After all it wouldn’t be a pirate ride without some rum! Arrghhh!

This year the event was so popular it was covered by the Orange County Register. The ride, and the party was alot of fun. But the fun was marred by two crashes when we headed down the hills back to the cars. Our friend Brenda dislocated her elbow and we had to take her to the hospital. Another friend, Vickie, crashed and ended up getting a black eye. 
Check out the thread on SoCalTrailRiders.org for lots of awesome pictures and words.

Gnarls Barkley at the Hollywood Bowl

My wife and I had a nice date on Sunday. We ventured up to LA-LA land to see Gnarls Barkley at the Hollywood Bowl. We had great box seats 14 rows back in the center. Here’s some Youtube content someone else shot of the concert. We were lucky to be much closer than this. If I get a chance I’ll upload some of the video and stills I shot.

The opening bands were Deerhoof and then Fallou Dieng. Deerhoof can best be described as a four-piece super-electic San Franciso band experimenting in wildly varying rock timelines and beats with high-pitched vocals from their asian female vocalist. I don’t think the crowd liked them much but I kind of liked a couple songs because they reminded me of The Flaming Lips in their earlier, more raw formative years.
Fallou Dieng is a great Senegalese nine-piece band with a great rhythmic African sound. They were tapped at the last minute to replace Youssou N’Dour who could not make the gig for some reason.
Gnarls Barkley was awesome as expected and really rocked the bowl. They played alot of their best songs as well as a cover of “Reckoner” by Radiohead for their encore. Alot of people don’t know Gnarls Barkley isn’t some actual person, but it’s just a name. The lead talent is Danger Mouse who played piano and Cee-lo Green who is the vocalist. Of course they “had” to play “Crazy” as they were “contractually obligated” as they put it.
Here’s a great article that goes into more depth about the concert.