Given some time even the shiniest piece of silver will tarnish.

Silverware on Metal_BLOG

See more and of my conceptual photographs at thomlang.com.



Are pills the answer? Well, I guess that depends on the question. I made this photo as a stock image to illustrate the subject of drug use and abuse. I chose the image of a head filled up with pills to more specifically address the issue of overprescribing pills for mental health issues. See more of my conceptual stock photos at gettyimages.

Hollow Pillhead_Blog copy

So before you pop a pill to feel better, ask your healthcare provider if there are other options available. Don’t be afraid to ask what the research says and what the evidence there is for the treatment being offered. So often people are told to take a pill and are not aware of other approaches that have proven to be effective. Diet and exercise play a huge role in our mental health, and in combination with talk therapy, many times medication can be minimized, or avoided altogether. Pills are not always the answer. And most times, they are only part of, not the entire solution.

Equipped With a Gun (and Gideon’s Bible)

Everybody’s talking about guns again, or still, going way back to Rocky Raccoon.

Bible & Gun_BLOG

After every mass shooting the debate on gun control heats up for a little while, then dies down again until the next massacre. I made this photograph after one of those shootings, and I chose a bible and gun, inspired partly by a comment that presidential candidate Obama made in 2008 about frustrated working class Americans “clinging to guns or religion”. I think the choice of a Gideon Bible was subconscious, or I just liked the red cover, I’m not sure, but when somebody said that the image reminded them of the Beatles song “Rocky Raccoon”,  At first I had to laugh and say that’s not what it’s about at all. But maybe it is to them, and if that is the case, then is the viewer’s interpretation any less valid than the original intention of the artist? On second thought I would say both are valid.

My intention is not to downplay the seriousness of mass shootings or the gun control debate in America, but that unexpected interpretation of my photograph made me think, and so I did a little research on the story behind the song. The lyrics are familiar to many people, but often not given much thought:

Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
And one day his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye
Rocky didn’t like that
He said, “I’m gonna get that boy”
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon

Rocky Raccoon checked into his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Rocky had come, equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival

The song appeared on the album The Beatles, widely known as The White Album, and was released in 1968, a volatile year in America with the assassinations of both Martin Luther King in April and Robert Kennedy only 2 months later in June. Both by guns.  Were The Beatles making some kind of statement, or was this a coincidence? The White Album was released on November 22, 1968, which happens to be the 5 year anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (by gunshots). Some people say that “Rocky Raccoon” is a gag or not such a serious song, but maybe this sad story of a tragic figure wasn’t meant to be taken so lightly.

His rival it seems, had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy
Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy
Now she and her man, who called himself Dan
Were in the next room at the hoe down
Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin
He said, “Danny boy, this is a showdown”
But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot
And Rocky collapsed in the corner

Now the doctor came in, stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said, “Rocky, you met your match”
And Rocky said, “Doc, it’s only a scratch
And I’ll be better, I’ll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able”

And so people are still being shot by guns every day in America, and the debate continues.

Now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon’s Bible
Gideon checked out, and he left it, no doubt
To help with good Rocky’s revival

Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind