Saturday, January 30, 2010

B and H Story

Something in my gut is telling me to post this:

About one year ago I bought some rather expensive photo equipment from B and H. Recently I decided to sell this gear and went back to B and H used department. Well, they offered me only 10% of the purchase price and that came with a slight bit of arrogance. Needless to say this did not bode well with me, specifically after spending a great deal of money there over the past two years. .

About 4 days ago I met Joel from Adorama on Facebook. After a series of messages and two phone calls I brought the gear into Adorama yesterday. Well, Jack Gold, Joel and Efrain could not have been nicer to me - I was treated like a customer who had been there for years, and, they offered me 4 times the amount that B and H did. 

I started to think about why B and H did not at least offer a store credit in a reasonable amount to a regular customer - I can't come up with any reasonable answer.

Needless to say I will be dealing with Jack, Joel and Efrain from now on. 

Old Time Rock and Roll

I was looking through  Ektachrome slides this morning and found some old rock and roll, circa 1970's images. During that time period I was shooting a lot of music images in New York City venues like The Academy of Music, Madison Square Garden and some of the smaller clubs.

The image of Black Oak Arkansas, above,  was done for Circus Magazine - they actually sent me out to Arkansas to visit Jim Dandy et all at their compound - yes compound -  they all lived together in a bungalow type environment. 'Jim Dandy to the Rescue'.........

The image below was captured during a video shoot in Indiana for John Mellencamp - the song was Human Wheels which was filmed in 1993 in and around Bloomington, Indiana. I was John's Tour Manager from 1984 through 1999 and always had a camera nearby for these moments.

I am hoping in the near future to get all of these older film captures scanned and cataloged.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I had planned this post for last night but due to the weather and several business commitments I was unable to get it done. Was also planning on getting out to shoot a bit more but never got the opportunity. Oddly enough the weather/changing weather allowed me to make a few images from my hotel room window, and, I am re-posting the capture made on the ferry from Toronto City Airport.

These are the two favorite images from the trip.

Shooting in New York for the next two days at Radio City - surely some good IPhone opportunities will come from this.

In another week I will be leaving for two days in San Francisco (Atherton, CA) and the three days in Yosemite ending up in Los Angeles on Feb 15th. 

PS: Spending Sunday with Dan Burkholder at his home/studio to learn more about iphone imagery both capture and printing. Check out his website. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


'No matter how slow the film, spirit always stands still for the photographer it has chosen'.

Minor White

This Minor White quote has always been one of my favorites.

The quote popped into my mind when I was scanning through images in Lightroom today. I was  thinking about deeper issues like  'what motivates me as a photographer' and started thinking about Minor White. Lately I have been working with my iphone using applications to to create images that are more 'expressionist' the 'realistic'. Then I started to wonder if I am losing touch by not spending more time working on the more realistic straightforward images.  Do I need the HDR or the IPhone to get excited about a capture?

I was also giving some thought to my visit to Death Valley while working on the photo below.  I kept thinking the photo was missing something as this image is a complete departure from other images that I have been working on over the past few weeks. I then took another look at the Las Vegas, New Mexico image above, which was one of the first HDR captures I made in 2008.

I must admit I'm drawn towards the HDR - not necessarily the more 'grunge' HDR - but I do love the painterly quality of the image that you can achieve using this process. So, in the end, the debate still exists about whether it is a photograph or an illustration. And then , again, does it really matter.

PS: Two images today - did not post yesterday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Portree Boats - Isle of Skye

This is from the trip to the town of Portree, located on Isle of Skye, Scotland. On the day we were leaving Portree I noticed that the the tide was out and there was access to the rocky shore (albeit covered with snow). Prior to that there was no way to get near these boats without high water boots.   I quickly grabbed my gear and walked out on the shore to capture this images. I had been trying to capture these boats for the three days prior but with the tide in there was no way to get in the right place to shoot.

The top version is the high resolution version, and, the one at the bottom is captured and proessed on the Iphone.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Laguna Beach Lifeguard

This image was captured last summer. I was out on the road for 50 days during July and August - made it a point to go out every morning at sunrise looking for images.

This is one of my favorite captures from that trip.

PS: The new image in the header is from a video shoot in California sometime around 1997. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Feast of San Gennaro

The Feast of San Gennaro takes place every year around early September in New York's Little Italy. The event runs approximately 11 days and has the most amazing food, not to mention a cannoli-eating competition. Well worth a visit if you happen to in the neighborhood.

This image was captured on film in the late 1990's - right place right time image - a split second later and the scene changed.

PS: Took a one week Advanced Photoshop Course with Jean Miele last week at ICP in New York. I would highly recommend his class if you are thinking along these lines.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The House on the Hill

Last summer driving to Acadia (southwest harbor) this house was spotted just north of Belfast, Maine. Must have been a heck of a house in its day. I hesitate to guess at the year it was built - might just be turn of the century.

It is very interesting to look at how this house was deteriorating into so many odd angles - so many of the architectural details were still intact which indicates the grandeur that once was.

This house sits on the main highway across from a car dealership and all sorts of mini mall type business locations. I would assume that none of this existed when the place was first constructed.

Truly a remnant of a dying America -

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eilean Donan Castle - Scotland

OK, a little history lesson today about Scotland and it's castles.

According to Wikipedia, this castle sits on a small island in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge about one half mile from the village of Donnie. The name comes from Donnam of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in the Dark Ages.

Legend has it that Robert the Bruce was given refuge in this castle in the early fourteenth century -

If you look hard enough one can see Isle of Skye in the distance.

Two images today - one high resolution and one Iphone capture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fire Island - July 4th

Today is another image from the sequence 'Childhood and Other Neighborhoods". The image posted yesterday, "Birthday Party" is also part of this sequence.

Most of these images were done in the late 90's with film, scanned and printed digitally. For the most part the negatives were filed for the better part of the last 15 years - it was not until I learned how to scan that the sequence took shape. My preference is to think about these images as a statement on childhood, shot from, for lack of a better word, an isolationist point of view.

Over the next few weeks my website will be live and most of this sequence will exist in a catalog.

PS: new header photo is Mr. Eddie Van Halen - circa 2004 - captured at Sony Studio in Culver City, California during a production rehearsal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday Party 1990

Originally captured with 35MM film - scanned and digitally printed

This is a second post today to make up for a missed day this week.

Boats - Isle of Skye

 Some days it is simply just to hard to come up with words for the blog. You sit and think about what to say and it all sounds so wrong - especially for someone who has never been that good with words - possibly being tired comes into play here - yesterday was two classes until 10PM - every night this week is a class from 6PM  - 10PM - in the end the goal here is to post one image every day for a year - why let a few words get in the way.

We were leaving Isle of Skye when I noticed that the tide was out and there was access to get a bit closer to the boats which had been impossible for the prior three days.

This image is the iphone captured and processed version of the high res file.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Empire State Building

With all the excitement of the JETS game yesterday I forgot to post an image. This image was captured and processed in the Iphone Sunday morning just outside of B and H - the building on the right is the old post office - the shot is looking east on 33rd street.One could barely make out Madison Square Garden on the right just past the post office.

Another image later today......

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Under the Golden Dome - Notre Dame

This capture was made during the summer of 2009 on the campus of Notre Dame in South Bend Indiana. The painting at the top was done by Luigi Gregori, the director of the art department in 1874. The painting sits under the 'Golden Dome' in the main building on campus. Luigi also painted several murals in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which is located next to the main building.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Eddie Van Halen

OK, back home after a long week commuting into New York  - nice thing about beng in the city is it presents one with a  number of good opportinities for iphone imagery - did I mention that I had John's pizza on 44th street on thew way home.

Today's post is Eddie Van Halen - a couple of my favorite images from the 2004 tour with Sammy Hagar. Always interesting traveling with the Van Halen bunch......check out his fingers in shot below.

Looking forward to the long weekend and spending some quality time with my new Epson 9900 which has been staring at me for several weeks now - well maybe some of the NFL playoff of the great sports weekends of the year.

PS: New photo at top of page is from Isle of Skye.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Old Truck - Broken Headlight

That title sounds like a Neil Young song...

Late post today - up at 5AM this morning and fairly worn out tonight.

This image is from the Zion National Park sequence from last November.

Going to bed now - one more day of commitments outside of Photoshop.

Long weekend coming up - just in time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Essex Junction, Vermont

This is the end of the first month of this blog. I still intend to post one image a day for the next 11 months to complete a one year commitment to myself. 

The idea was to push myself to work on an image every day as a way to learn more about the craft of photography - add this to attending workshops in various parts of the world and I am moving closer to getting in my 10,000 hours (thanks Malcolm Gladwell). The blog has proved to be an avenue  into the many images captured over the years, which, without this forum, would still be stored in boxes. And having to write something every day is very rewarding -  a personal journal or journey - never having been able to express myself on the written page. The adjunct gain from this work has been making new friends located in various parts of the world and having the opportunity to talk about and view their work.

I keep asking, 'what took me so long?'

The image today is 'Sunrise,  Essex Junction, Vermont', captured while traveling last summer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Zabriske Point 2 - Death Valley

Looks like I am on a Zabriske Point tangent again today - why not - the unparalleled beauty of this place brings to mind the outback in Australia, yet another place on my list.

Wikipedia says, "Zabriske Point is part of Amargosa Range, noted for its erosional landscape. Composed of sediments from Furnace Creek Lake, which dried up 5 million years ago - long before Death Valley came into existence".

A great hike would be to enter at Zabriske Point and come out on the other side, Golden Canyon.

PS: New image at the top of the page was captured at Acadia National Park.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Zabriske Point - Death Valley

Up early this morning  (4:00AM) working on images due to being somewhat on Scottish time. This image jumped off the screen - captured in Death Valley last November.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Reverand

Savannah, Georgia - The First African Baptist Church of Savannah - July 2009

We were recording some tracks in the church when I saw the Reverend quietly sitting with his bible. The capture was done with a 'lensbaby' on a Canon 5dMII.

Music Archives

Finally made it back home although not without some fog and flight delays - made it back last night around 9PM...planning another trip to  Scotland again in September - Scotland is an endless visual treat.

So being a little tired today,  I went back into my music archives - Peter Frampton and Harry Chapin. Not sure how these relate but those were the two that jumped off the lightroom screen.

Peter Frampton was done at Nassau Coliseum just before 'Frampton Comes Alive' - I think I actually have some 'Frampton's Camel' at the 'Academy of Music' in the archive - but that's for a later date.There are also a few images around from his visit to my studio and my visit to his house during that same time period.

Harry Chapin was shot at Harry's house for Zoo World magazine in the early 70's - they wanted him at home with his guitar...and that is what they got.

On a separate subject, I became very close with my iphone on the Scotland trip. The ability to make quality images on the fly completely overshadows the cameras lack of resolution. This is a useful tool for any photographer - even if just used as a work image so one can go back to a specific location at a later date. And for those detractors of the iphone, well, you would have been one of those who bitched when Bob Dylan went electric.

This was actually the post for January 8th - need to get one done for today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Edinburgh Today - Home Tomorrow

Sun rising and Moon setting over Edinburgh 

The Scotland adventure ends today in Edinburgh. It will be nice to get back home and get to working on the images. Flying to Heathrow tomorrow morning - changing planes to get back into New York at 7PM - just in time for the NFL playoffs on Saturday - who planned this trip?

I found out today that traveling  through the highlands of Scotland this time of year is for the brave and foolhardy - personally I enjoyed seeing the changes in weather and working through the many ups and downs for the past two weeks. All in all it made for different challenges every day that led to re-thinking what to capture. I could have done without digging out of snowdrifts, white outs, flat tires, snow removal and driving around at 25 miles per hour. We so take for granted that driving 100 miles will take 90 minutes - but not over here - even in good weather the roads have a way of  slowing you down.
                                                                                       On the good side of the scale the food was fabulous, maybe too fabulous as we ate our way through Scotland. The Indian food in Glasgow has to be the best there is and the smoked salmon is spectacular.
We have to thank Tina Waters and Dougie Souness for their hospitality and bailing us out of some tight spots changing hotels on the fly. Not to mention the drive we took on New Year's Day through the 'lochs' just outside of Glasgow. Once we get back to the USA, Dougie has promised to tell us what 'haggis' really is - we did eat it everyday since arriving in Scotland!

So we say goodbye to the wee lads and lassies - see you on the other side.

That's me with my iphone (not pictured) in what has become affectionately know as the Scottish Alps....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Edinburgh, Scotland

OK, made it to Edinburgh tonight around 730PM. Apparently the worst spell of winter weather in the last 30 years - nice. At any rate we dropped the car in Inverness and took the train to Aberdeen (3.5 hours) and then changed to a train into Edinburgh (2.5 hours). Not much image making today - would have shot out the train window but the white out and ice accumulation on the window prevented that.

We are staying in Edinburgh until the flight  back to New York on Friday - can someone send over a Ray's or Patsy's pizza....We are at the Balmoral in Edinburgh...

I did manage to capture a few images to day and will put up the iphone versions (the expressionist version as some would say) tonight. The top one is the Culloden House hotel in Inverness (it was tough to leave) and the second are some ducks on a small frozen lake near the hotel. The third image was taken out of the train window with a Canon G9.

Tomorrow we walk around Edinburgh - I can see Edinburgh Castle out of my hotel window. Seems like a great city to walk  - looking forward to checking it all out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Groundhog Day

Many times over the past few days it has seemed just like the movie "Groundhog Day" - every day something else went wrong  that might keep us stuck on Skye - the only missing ingredient was Sonny and Cher singing "I got You Babe'. But in the end the weather cleared, we finally got the flat tire fixed (after three attempts - who knew they were all on holiday for that long). They need to learn a few American words up there in Skye; salt and snowblower come to mind right now. But in the end we made it out, albeit late and actually increased our miles per hour today from 20 to  25 - who knew 112 miles could take 4 hours plus.

When we got to Inverness several roads were closed - we got stuck in the driveway at the Culloden House trying to check in. Murray at the reception got his boots on, grabbed a shovel and about 20 minutes later we were out. Did I mention the A9, our road back to Edinburgh, is closed and might not open for a few days. This might be good news as The Culloden House might be one of the best hotels in Scotland - and I might add that they have a fabulous chef.

Add all this to my tripping over a traffic cone in the snow and freezing rain at Urquhart Castle in Loch Ness - left me with big bruise on my bum. Can't wait to see what tomorrow might bring - Murray will let us know in the morning if the passes through the mountains are open for our 157 miles back to Edinburgh - wonder how long that will take.

That being said Scotland is truly an amazing place to visit - the views are breathtaking and you can experience five totally different weather systems over the course of one day. Everything from full on rain to snow to sleet and then back to sunshine in one afternoon.

The top photo was shot from our Portree hotel window early this morning. The middle photo  is Eilean Donan Castle just outside Kyle of Lochalsh as you exit Isle of Skye and the last is from a single lane highway in the Glen Moriston area (highway A887) as we headed toward Loch Ness. Really it is single lane and when oncoming cars approach one has to move into a passing zone - somehow it all gets done.

Tune in tomorrow for the continuation of the groundhog day saga.......maybe we get out and maybe we don't..

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4th - Portree, Isle of Skye

Woke up to ice everywhere - rain overnight turned Portree into a skating rink. Our car was still stuck on the ice at the restaurant we ate at lat night and no one seemed in much of a hurry to get us out - seems like they do the main roads and then the secondary etc....At any rate we took bags of dirt and carried them up the hill to the car until we had enough to get out - around noon - but we did get the car out.

Managed one short trip this afternoon but got caught in sleet which turned to heavy snow at the higher altitudes but did manage to find a few images for capture.

The waterfall was in Portree hidden back in the woods - noticed it as we were hauling sand up to the car - the mountain range is called Glamaig which is just south of Portree. One problem you encounter this time of year is access to small roads so most captures are done from roadside parking areas - of which there are many in this part of the world.

So the adventure continues tomorrow as we drive the 113 miles to Inverness - possibly a date with the monster....who knows...And did I mention there is snow everywhere in these parts - I guess thats why they call it the highlands....Never saw any snow in Braveheart - what's up with that.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010 - Portree, Isle of Skye

Late start today - to much drama yesterday so slept late and headed out around 10AM. What you have to remember is that sunrise is 8:00AM and the light is gone around 3:15PM - depending on whether the sun is shining. There is that saying about not liking the weather just wait 15 minutes and it will change - well that about describes this time of year on Skye - and most of Scotland based on my recent experience.

We headed up to the most northern part of Skye today - Uig, Quiraing, Kilmuir and Kensaleyre. Lots of closed roads and not good access but we managed to find a few spots to make images. Also, we had an amazing hamburger in Uig - who knew?                                                                                     

A good part of the trip was on single lane (really one lane) with spaces left and right should there be an oncoming car - but I  they handle it all very well - waving if you pull over and let someone pass or blinking their lights if they want you to go first. At times it was not for the faint of heart - 1500 feet up over the water below. Caught a bit of rain and snow at the end of the day but not enough to shut down any roads. 

Went to a neighboring hotel for dinner and the ice was so slippery the car could not get up the final hill to the restaurant - had to leave it and walk home after dinner. The saving grace was they had yet another great chef - Fairly comical events this evening. 

At any rate here are three more iphone images - looks like that will be it for this trip - not enough sleep for my normal workflow so iphone it is. All of these iphone images were also captured high resolution so there will be new images down the road. 

The top image is on the road from Kilmuir to Quiraing and the middle is the Port of Portree juste outside our hotel. And of course the bottom image is a friend we made along the way.

The new photo at the top of the page is in Low, Quebec - their version of the statue of Liberty.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Portree, Isle of Skye

Finally made it to Isle of Skye - 200 miles on mostly one lane roads, Drove through a snow storm on Loch Lomand, rain, sleet, one flat tire in the mountains north of Invergary plus a few close calls with the left hand side of the road. The weather in Scotland changes form mile to mile. We finally made it to Portree around 630PM. 

Staying at the Bosville Hotel in Portree which just happens to have a world class chef so the end of the day was a wee bit better then it started. Great food, nice rooms and another day of shooting coming tomorrow. Possibly even a Starbucks if we are lucky. 

Posting a couple of iphones today as I am simply to tired for anything else. The castle photo are the ruins of Inverlochy castle just north of Fort William - the Church is St. Brides which sits on Loch Linnhe...

Hopefully will get the opportunity to work on some images tomorrow as we are in Skye for 3 days. 


Friday, January 1, 2010

Inveraray Scotland - New Years Day

Long drive today - around 190 Miles with Dugie (designated driver) and Tina, friends who live in Glasgow. We drove through the loch's just north of Glasgow - all my interest in this area was sparked after watching 'Braveheart - William Wallace 1274-1305' on New Years Eve with Dugie and Tina at their house in Glasgow. Had never watched the movie all the way from start to finish before - only bits and pieces on a plane.

Inveraray  is on Loch Fyne has been a burgh since 1648 - with modern planning put in around the mid 1800's. The town is built around a church  which dominates the centre - built in the 18th century.

The castle was designed is 1720 and the castle was completed in 1789 for John Campbell, the 5th Duke of Argyll. When the castle was built Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, had the village demolished and rebuilt about a mile away form the castle as not to impinge on the castle's view.

Two images posted today are The Inveraray Castle and an image shot with the iphone behind Saint Conan's Church, Loch Awe, Argyll, Scotland.

The tombstone is Roline Agnes Campbell, mother of the architect of Inveraray Castle, Walter Douglas Campbell.

Sorry for the history lesson but it is difficult to not have a back story with these images - no where else in Great Britain can match the Scottish Highlands.

Tomorrow we drive to Isle of Skye - stay tuned...