Cooper Bates

"Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex." Thanks, Oscar.
You will find thoughts and delights here. Leave a little something for me too!
I think it’s so funny that solicitors stand right in front of the “Just Say No To Solicitors” sign, but I hate it when they try and insult me by saying ‘”God Bless You” ’  if I don’t stop and talk with them.

I think it’s so funny that solicitors stand right in front of the “Just Say No To Solicitors” sign, but I hate it when they try and insult me by saying ‘”God Bless You” ’ if I don’t stop and talk with them.

Photo shoot for Robert Gupta’s Street Symphony.

Photo shoot for Robert Gupta’s Street Symphony.

I walk into a coffee shop.  Set down my I pad,  computer and phone order a drink.  Return, sit.  The woman will most er her hand bag.  Never fails. Must be my destiny to go into the handbag snatching business.

I walk into a coffee shop. Set down my I pad, computer and phone order a drink. Return, sit. The woman will most er her hand bag. Never fails. Must be my destiny to go into the handbag snatching business.

Mom makes son, 13, sign 18 terms and conditions before giving him an iPhone

world-shaker:

‘I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it,’ she wrote at the start of the list.

I love this, and this mom. Here’s her full list:

‘WITH THE ACCEPTANCE OF THIS GIFT COMES RULES’: THE AGREEMENT
  1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?
  2. I will always know the password.
  3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”. Not ever.
  4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.
  5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.
  6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.
  7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.
  8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
  9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.
  10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person - preferably me or your father.
  11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.
  12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear — including a bad reputation.
  13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
  14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO — fear of missing out.
  15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.
  16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
  17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.
  18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

Source: Janell Hofman’s blog

(via world-shaker-deactivated2013092)

I had the honor of shooting Robert Gupta for the cover of his debut CD Suryodaya.  We collaborated on a Kick Starter Campaign to raise the funds needed to complete the project. 

I had the honor of shooting Robert Gupta for the cover of his debut CD Suryodaya.  We collaborated on a Kick Starter Campaign to raise the funds needed to complete the project. 

Ah, look at that. Somebody took a nice photo of me, working. I have a D700 strap on a D4 camera. I have mixed feelings about things like this. I want people to understand that I have good equipment and that I take photography seriously.  Sometimes when people look a little closer the D4 will inspire a nice conversation. I’ve even booked a few jobs because of the camera. On the other hand, let me be honest with myself. I feel a little pretentious and I don’t want people to know I have a D4. Why? God only knows. It’s all silly. Saw a sign the other day that said we were born to comsume. Made me sick to my stomach.
Well, I have to go shoot a birthday party. More later.

Ah, look at that. Somebody took a nice photo of me, working. I have a D700 strap on a D4 camera. I have mixed feelings about things like this. I want people to understand that I have good equipment and that I take photography seriously.  Sometimes when people look a little closer the D4 will inspire a nice conversation. I’ve even booked a few jobs because of the camera. On the other hand, let me be honest with myself. I feel a little pretentious and I don’t want people to know I have a D4. Why? God only knows. It’s all silly. Saw a sign the other day that said we were born to comsume. Made me sick to my stomach.

Well, I have to go shoot a birthday party. More later.

Tanjung Puting is recognized as one of the most important and outstanding provincial treasures in Kalimantan Tengah, Boreno.  Pictured here is Princess giving us a walking tour of her forest. Best tour I’ve ever had.

Tanjung Puting is recognized as one of the most important and outstanding provincial treasures in Kalimantan Tengah, Boreno.  Pictured here is Princess giving us a walking tour of her forest. Best tour I’ve ever had.


I ride and shoot for the Firedepartment on ocassion.  I must admit here that sometimes I become infatuated with the notion of feeling like I am an integral part of something larger than me. Be it a community, a cause or the Fire department, this desire sometimes clouds my better judgment. On this particuliar night we answered a call  detailing that an elderly woman had suffered a stroke. When we arrived, I was asked to stay out of the bedroom becuase there was not enough room to host anyone beyond who Absolutely needed to be there. Respectfully, I stepped outside and made this picture. Moments later a car pulls up and two young women jump out and run to the house. As soon as they reached the door they were told to stay outside and wait for updates. Frantically, I watched them try to make sense of what was happening. Ultimately, their eyes locked on me looking looking official wearing my courtesy Firemans jacket and naturally they asked me if their grandma was okay. I felt flatterd that they wanted information from me. “Yes,” I told them. Your, grandmother is strong and and everything is going to be just fine.” We exchanged smiles and they wondered a few feet away from me visibly contented.
Twenty minutes later, a gurney rolls out of the house with one of the paramedics holding oxygen over the woman face, his partner held an IV dripping into the arm of the patient. Into the ambulance they went and off they go. When I crawled into the Firetruck I learned that the lady was DOA.  It gave me a surreal pause. I had told those girls that their grandmother was alive and well. I straight-up lied to them. 
"Why the IV and oxygen?" I inquired. 
"It’s to keep panic of family and friends at bay. Sometimes, it’s a necessary caution for our safety."
I regret, feeling the need to share information about something I knew nothing about. I should have exercised the necessary caution of minding my own business.

I ride and shoot for the Firedepartment on ocassion.  I must admit here that sometimes I become infatuated with the notion of feeling like I am an integral part of something larger than me. Be it a community, a cause or the Fire department, this desire sometimes clouds my better judgment. On this particuliar night we answered a call  detailing that an elderly woman had suffered a stroke. When we arrived, I was asked to stay out of the bedroom becuase there was not enough room to host anyone beyond who Absolutely needed to be there. Respectfully, I stepped outside and made this picture. Moments later a car pulls up and two young women jump out and run to the house. As soon as they reached the door they were told to stay outside and wait for updates. Frantically, I watched them try to make sense of what was happening. Ultimately, their eyes locked on me looking looking official wearing my courtesy Firemans jacket and naturally they asked me if their grandma was okay. I felt flatterd that they wanted information from me. “Yes,” I told them. Your, grandmother is strong and and everything is going to be just fine.” We exchanged smiles and they wondered a few feet away from me visibly contented.

Twenty minutes later, a gurney rolls out of the house with one of the paramedics holding oxygen over the woman face, his partner held an IV dripping into the arm of the patient. Into the ambulance they went and off they go. When I crawled into the Firetruck I learned that the lady was DOA.  It gave me a surreal pause. I had told those girls that their grandmother was alive and well. I straight-up lied to them. 

"Why the IV and oxygen?" I inquired. 

"It’s to keep panic of family and friends at bay. Sometimes, it’s a necessary caution for our safety."

I regret, feeling the need to share information about something I knew nothing about. I should have exercised the necessary caution of minding my own business.

Dirty Face

While traveling through Guatemala I glanced out the window of the chicken bus in time to catch a glimpse of a strikingly beautiful child hauling water in buckets behind a mule engaged in the same tasks.

Occasionally, actually quite often, someone will toss a gushing comment about one of my daughters looks in my direction. After the brief encounter, most times I immediately dilute the compliment by explaining to my girls,  “It’s too bad that person doesn’t know how strong you girls are, or that you want to be spies”.  Which takes lots of brains and cunning. Real virtues, I conclude.

However, I do admit that at times I weaken and entertain thoughts of exploiting their faces for cash. Fertilizing those thoughts with how that “cash” would certainly come in handy for college tuition or spy training regardless of the cost.

My capitalist, mental escapades are not at all uncommon in the States. Quite frankly, for some, a beautiful face is a highly coveted skill set.

Here is this young village girl, all of 9 or 10 years old, trapped in the necessary, mundane world of survival. Barefooted, hauling water with her calloused hands and her youth draining by the minute. No one has ever seen her face endorsing Pampers or diamonds, and we shall never see her smile on a billboard or in any medium that allows us to marvel at her cuteness or matured beauty.

It just makes me wonder. Do her parents catch compliments on how good she is at back-breaking tasks?  Toss them aside and replace them with more meaningful accolades that sound similar to “Too bad they don’t know how beautiful you are when you smile or how you would like to make commercials.”