art, photography, random thought

ballin’ with birds of prey

i play basketball every day.  i know, i know.  hard to picture.

regardless… it happens.  every day.

it can get pretty mundane i will admit.  but today was vastly different.

i walked up to the court, head down.  did my stretches.  heard a loud screech.

one that i don’t usually hear in the middle of dallas.

i looked up, and this is what i saw.  remarkable!  a red-tailed hawk about 15 yards from me.

what a phenomenal bird.  he allowed me to get within 10 feet of him too!

he caught a squirrel, so i think he was concerned with defending his meal.

but he sat there and watched me as i played basketball for a half an hour.

what an unusual treat today…

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2012

photography, random thought, travel, writing

lebanon …day 2

al jnub (the south) of lebanon is very beautiful.  but it’s also high security, because of it’s proximity to israel, and a relatively strong hezbollah presence.







basketball.  lebanese style.  we met an american couple up in the mountains of the south.  it was a welcomed break after the long drive from beirut.






the american couple’s kids were great.  and this little guy was official.  he had just been with his dad to renew his visa, and i guess he had a little fun with the rubber stamp.






the south has a very strong hezbollah presence.  these three flags, lebanese, palestine, and hezbollah, are on the southern border of israel.  a strong statement, though the majority of the lebanese are anti-syrian and angry with hezbollah for firing at israel.  hezbollah receives almost all of it’s funding from syria and iran.  they have no allegiance to lebanon, and as a result, the lebanese people are beginning to withdraw any support they may have given in the past.


mount hermon and israel in a haze.


the village of marjeyoun, where my family is from, looked tired from war and violence.  i hope to spend more time there before i leave.  i only passed through this time.








mount hermon.  


israel straight ahead.  but the border is insanely secure with lebanese forces and droves of un tanks and soldiers.  on the other side, 24 hours a day, israeli soldiers fiercely guard their borders.





a giant un complex near the lebanese/ israeli border.




lebanon is know for it’s wonderful crops.  this is the biggest lemon i have ever seen.











all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2009

photography, random thought, travel

and so it begins…

i’m back in austin this weekend for a shoot, and once again i’m wondering why i don’t live here.  right now:  i’m at my favorite burger, beer, and darts joint, crown and anchor, watching my texas longhorns in the big 12 tournament semifinals, and it occurs to me – if i plan this out, i could be back here for good in a year.

dallas is crushing my spirit.  it’s time for a change.  austin, you’re on alert…

and so it begins…