Thursday, December 31, 2009

WIlliam May

A dear friend and business associate passed away today - he was a shooting star that crashed to earth but will always be looking down on us - a creative talent and I considered him a dear friend, Over the past two years we had been working on a new project and I will miss those calls with Billy - he was always so excited about a new twist or turn in the script - a new character or two - always thinking of some new way to get the point across. You will be missed my friend.

Below is the official release on his passing.......

William H. “Billy” May, world-renowned entertainment producer, director and composer, died at 1:45am on Thursday, December 31st, 2009 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.  Mr. May’s death follows a recent illness.

May’s talents and creations crossed many frontiers—from writing, composing, conceiving, designing, architecture and special events, to theatre and arena events.  His reputation as an artistic director was colored by a driving passion to give children and families the experience of wonderment, and to ignite their imagination to dream.  His motto was: “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” 

In the past 30 years, he and partner Malcolm Cooke produced more than 40 theatrical productions, from New York’s Broadway to London's famed West End.   These acclaimed stage shows included the musical Always, the love story of King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson, for which May co-wrote the book, music and lyrics; Boswell for the Defence, which starred the late Leo McKern as James Boswell; The Hobbit; and The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe.

His latest award-winning creation, “Walking With Dinosaurs - The Live Experience,” is a ground-breaking arena show that transports audiences back 65 million years to literally walk with15 realistic dinosaurs, from Brachiosaurus to a life-size T-Rex.  This production is one of the largest and most acclaimed shows to come out of Australia, and is currently touring two productions in North America and Europe.  

May came from a large family of four brothers, two sisters, and at various times, ten foster children.  By the age of twelve, May was awarded scholarships to the prestigious Carnegie Hall for dance, and to the New York High School of Performing Arts (aka FAME).  As a teen, May honed his abilities as a performer, composer and writer, touring with such acts as Sonny and Cher and the Osmond Brothers.  By age 19, he’d ventured to Australia, where he became partnered with producer Malcolm Cooke to discover and manage Australian singer Samantha Sang.  May enlisted the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb to write and produce a song for Sang, resulting in the 1977 multi-platinum international hit, “Emotion.”   At age 24, May returned to New York, becoming the youngest producer on the Great White Way with his Broadway musical debut Marilyn - An American Fable, the life story of Marilyn Monroe.

May was also devoted to several philanthropic endeavors involving children, including being an ambassador for Australia’s TLC for Kids, The Lighthouse Foundation and The Royal Children’s Hospital, as well as Think Pink, which supports women living with breast cancer.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Beatles to Bowie

"The Beatles to Bowie - The 60's Exposed' at the National Gallery in London put together some fabulous vintage images of The Stones, Bowie, Cliff Richard, The Bee Gees, TRex, Led Zeppelin, Lulu and Marianne Faithful to name a few. Also Dusty Springfield, THe Animals with Eric Burden and funny enough an image of Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry in Steampocket. 

All this made me dig into the archives for something I had already scanned from that time period, hence the Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk posted today. As far as I can remember this was a benefit show having something to do with Phil Ochs in New York City - late 60's I believe. How about that set list hanging from Bob's microphone. 

Tomorrow it is off to Glasgow by train (6 hours), and I am betting there will be some iphone moments just outside the window.

Oh, by the way, I guess left out a few names from the exhibit - band like The Who, The Troggs, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Shadows and so on. Look it up on line and go see this if possible.  

Catch you all later...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All You Need is Love

Yesterday was an amazing day for weather in London - Sunny and quite warm - today it is gray and pouring rain -the luck of the draw....

While walking around London last night I spotted this balloon down a small alley, and, of course, headed off in that direction. It turned out to hanging over Carnaby Street, something that immediately brought to mind the Beatles and 60's. How right they were all those years ago. 

The street was buzzing with activity - this was London on a bank holiday and at 7PM at night everyone was still shopping - certainly does hurt that Carnaby Street is right off of Regent Street and just a short hop from Piccadilly - 

The more I use the iphone the more I enjoy the instant gratification of the image. It frees you from the usual technical concerns  and a certain immediacy to capture the moment in a very stripped down honest way.

Oddly enough today we are on the way to the National Portrait Gallery to see "From The Beatles to Bowie - the 60's Exposed". 

"There is nothing you can do that can't be done"..........

Monday, December 28, 2009


Finally made it London this morning - albeit 2 hours late - but that seems to be the norm when traveling overseas due to the recent issues in Detroit.

I did get to watch the last hour of Julie and Julia on the plane and I must say it was a very inspiring film - Julie went through what I am experiencing the past year or so trying to actually do what you love - the emotional up and down roller coaster ride resonates for me.

Still keeping with the iphone theme today (works great out of car windows) here are two photos from the ride from Heathrow to central London. One is The Tower of London and the other popped up outside my car window at a stop light. I rode in the front seat to shoot but also to get the feel of driving over here which starts for me in Glasgow in three days. And, yes, we took all the insurance on the rental car.

Image re-construction equals iphone...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New York City - December 27, 2009

I was driving into the city this morning to pick up a few items from B and H for my trip to Scotland (leaving tonight until January 8th) when I spotted the two attached images.

These are also iphone shot and processed images -

OK, off to pack to Scotland -

PS: I started to watch Julie and Julia (Julia Child) last night and Julie started a blog - her goal was to cook over 500 meals from the Julia Childs' cookbook and post her adventure online - I guess I never really thought my idea of 365 images in 365 days was that unique.

But I will keep on with my attempt to get my 10,000 hours in -

Happy New Year Everyone...See you next year

Christmas in Canada

I spent December 22 - 26 in Canada and while I was able to post on Dec 23 there was no access to internet on 23, 24 , 25 and 26 so I am playign catch up - need to keep up with my image a day.

To that end today's post will be in two parts - albeit all iphone images -  technically with the 4 images I post today it should keep me in step with my 365 image goal.

So here are two images from Canada - cold, snowing, freezing Canada.....

PS: I had a moose-burger and also went to christmas mass with 20 other people in Low, Quebec  - truly an amazing-humbling experience - more photos from that trip will be posted over the next weeks...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Who

Pete Townsend, The Who, Madison Square Garden, circa 1976.

For me this particular image was always a reminder of the great shows in the 70's - there were shows every night at some venue in and around New York City -  a fabulous time for music - not sure that can ever happen again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays

Over The Hill

An image circa 1990 -  part of the Childhood Dreams sequence that hopefully will be finished before the end of the New Year 2010.

Leaving for the frozen tundra (somewhat reminiscent of Northern Exposure) of Canada today and will not have internet or cell service so daily postings will not happen until December 26th when I return to the 21st century.

Happy Holiday to all....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Roger McGuinn

Not quite sure of the actual date (possibly mid 1970's) that Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) stopped by the studio in NY for this image. He was the first person I had met who was involved with the new wireless technology - my memory is a bit vague on what he actually has in hand but I believe it was some type of early wireless communication device.

At any rate this image was for a story being done by either Circus or Zoo World magazine....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

iPhone Photography

A bit of a side track from the usual post today - the iPhone. The two posted images were shot and processed with the iPhone camera and post-processed on iPhone applications. The are numerous third party applications available for the iPhone and they are becoming increasingly more adept at post processing images without the loss of resolution, not to mention the ability to stitch panorama images seamlessly.

Dan Burkholder is a huge proponent of this technology and has said. ''the iPhone is a powerful creative tool for creating art, right in our palms - we have the camera and darkroom in our shirt pocket'. Check out Dan's website as he is teaching iPhone artistry at various workshops both at his Catskill Studio and other locations.

The other photographer who comes to mind is Chris Alvanaswho I met last week in Maine when we both attended the Fine Digital Print Expert class with John Paul Caponigro. Chris is the Director of Photography at Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University's  Washington DC Campus.

There are links to both Dan and Chris on this blog.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Live Music Test

These are two highly processed images from last summer - my search for a new way to present live music photos. I would welcome all comments, either pro or con.

The image on the left is Andy York, the right is Dane Clark, from the John Mellencamp Band.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fire Island - July 4th

Not much to say about this image other then it is July 4th on Fire Island. Every year  the local children put together floats and costumes to parade around Ocean Beach for the day - one of the early highlights of the summer season for the kids. This is the judge's area where they award ribbons to the best costume, float, etc....

There are no cars allowed on Fire Island - it is only accessible by Ferry from the mainland.

This image is part of  the Childhood Dreams sequence and will be posted on my website, sometime in the New Year. .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Caddo Lake

In November my buddy Al Hernandez and I decided to photograph Caddo Lake in Uncertain, Texas. Caddo is a huge mass of wetland on the border of Texas and Louisiana. We drove the 200 plus miles to lake from Dallas and chartered a boat to photograph the sunset and the following sunrise.

Sometime in the early 1900's oil was found under the lake, and, we all know what happened next - they built dams and starting drilling, doing much damage to the lake's ecosystem. Somewhere around 1930 the WPA established this lake as a State Park. The area has 200 species of trees, 100 grasses and woody vines, over 200 types of birds and large populations of fish, reptiles and mammals of which many of these species are considered endangered or rare.

Our plan is to make another trip back to the lake in the spring and then again in the fall of 2010 to  capture the lake in the various seasons.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hampton Beach Bike

This image is somewhat confusing for me - mostly having to do with my perception of childhood. Is the viewer involved with the image or standing outside looking at a missing childhood experience. I believe the answer lies in a place between the literal image and the personal emotion one feels when viewing an image.

This image will become part of a series on Childhood Dreams.

"No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen' Minor White

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 1974

Today we have one from the archives......Peter Gabriel

This image, from the show mentioned above, was shot at Howard Steins Academy of Music in New York City. Lamb was a two disk concept album which included Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Steve Hackett.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Brooklyn Bridge

I had the pleasure of living under The Brooklyn Bridge for almost 6 years during the 1990's. While we could see the financial district from the east side of the Hudson River, it always felt like we were looking from past history at the new world - Manhattan. This area was called DUMBO, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, a name coined, some will say, too make it sound unattractive to developers. In years past it was mostly a manufacturing district, which, due to the changing economic situation turned into low cost loft apartments with a great deal of space, used primarily by arts organizations and artists.

This all started in the 1970's and lasted until the late 90's when developers finally started buying and renovating the area into expensive apartments with the appropriate consumer services that turned this into a more residential family area. Being only one stop from Manhattan also helped to facilitate the change in DUMBO.

This photograph is from the base of Old Fulton Street looking toward the financial district.

PS: As a side note DUMBO has fabulous pizza on Old Fulton Street - used to be Patsy's and now called Grimaldi - amazing thin crusted pizza with very fresh mozzarella cheese.


Welcome to my new blog. The goal is to post a new photograph every day for the next 365 days. I have been involved in photography intermittently over the past 40 years and just recently decided to organize all of the images into working sequences. The photographs that will be posted have been created using various mediums - film, digital and in recent months, the Iphone.

Photography has been a lifelong avocation and now that I am semi-retired my plan is to pursue the dream that began as a young child - making images. Also, in the near future, I will launch a website where all the images will permanently reside.

I would welcome any and all comments, and, please feel free to forward this blog address to anyone you believe might be interested in seeing these photographs and reading the accompanying story about the images.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone.

Best regards and Happy Holidays

PS: The first image will follow shortly.