15-03-13 Weekly Photo Challenge – Wall


Leaky Wall


Other walls…











8-25-14 Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray (Flora Edition)

I have frayed and am fraying in many ways this week. This time a more gentle fraying.


Other Fraying











6-25-14 Working Through The Experiment (Amy Arbus Edition)

“Science, my boy, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”
Jules Verne (Journey to the Center of the Earth)

Last night I finished my second class with Amy Arbus at the International Center of Photography. If you are not familiar with her work, you should be. She is a first class, top of the line, portrait maker and shooter of people. If you are a long time reader of QH you know I have been shooting primarily landscape for the past four years.

The first class I took, The Fleeting Moment, was, in my opinion, a mistake ridden mess (on my part).

As Samuel Beckett said…”No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

So I had to take the next class she offered (either The Narrative Portrait or The Extended Portrait – the name seemed very changeable) because I had learned so much about what not to do that I thought I might be ready to begin to start to maybe take a decent people shot.

My aesthetic and Amy’s do not agree. She loves clean and uncluttered. The frame may be full of things but clearly and precisely.  To me real life is about clutter and weird lines and the inconvenient fire extinguisher. Another good thing. Being challenged by intelligent and thoughtful people is always a positive experience.

A brief diversion, Anna, our TA, and the other students in both classes were excellent collaborators, critics and colleagues as well. This does not always happen in Continuing Ed classes.

At the very start of the class I got lucky. In casting about for a subject I asked Abigail and her friend, Lilah, if they would be my subject. They were both graduating high school (different ones), getting ready to say goodbye and moving into a new life stage. To my surprise they both said yes. In the work, we all enjoyed the process enough that we are discussing carrying it through the summer, right up until drop off day at their colleges. Over the next few weeks I will be occasionally showing some of the work that resulted from our collaboration.

I shot them together and separately. These images are from our first joint shooting day, May 9, in Riverside Park overlooking the Hudson River.





Riverside Drive and the lazy Hudson beside it

Robert S Johnson:

Ephemeral New York has done it again. I had to reblog this given the subject matter. By virtue of living in Morningside Heights this is my home base on the river. I thought you might be interested in seeing its past.

Originally posted on Ephemeral New York:

It looks like a pleasant spring or summer day on Riverside Drive and in the park beside it, based on this postcard stamped 1916.


We’re at 93rd Street. Grant’s Tomb can be seen over the treetops; open-topped automobiles and a double-decker bus share the road. Pedestrians linger on the sidewalks or on the teardrop-shaped green.

And in the distance, there’s no George Washington Bridge.

View original

5-4-14 Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring

“Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.”
Walker Evans

The Weekly Photo Challenge is spring. It has barely begun in the northeast. Running more than a bit late but seems to be moving in now.  A few spring images from Riverside Park, April 27, 2014:



RSJohnson_1404270394Other springing off points:











4-8-14 The Children’s Hour (River And Park Edition)

It was a beautiful spring day in the city. High somewhere in the low 60’s, partly sunny or partly cloudy depending on your point of view.


(Digression – Why the internet can be great. So which has more sun a partly cloudy or partly sunny day? Off I go down the google hole!)






I’m back. So…while you waited did your glass become half empty or is it half full?

It seems that officially, meteorologistly speaking…partly sunny and partly cloudy mean the same thing! It depends on the speaker. Now, I always assumed that a partly cloudy day was less sunny then a  partly sunny day but many people out there in internet land make a convincing counter argument. If your glass is partly full or partly empty which has more liquid in it? I would say the partly empty glass is more full then the partly full glass so isn’t a partly cloudy day therefore more sunny than a partly sunny day?

Could be! Who knows?

Anyway. The temperature at the river was the same as the rest of the city but…


the wind was blowing in the high teens or low 20’s so it felt a bit brisker. That didn’t stop these kids from PS 75 who took an art trip to the river


to make their own driftwood and flotsam/jetsam art!  I didn’t ask what grade they were in because I just assumed second or first. If it was a third grade class they almost certainly would have been trapped in a classroom being taught the finer points of taking a bubble test, – sorry I mean learning the math and english appropriate to the  grade level of their required make or break test – which is being given shortly. They certainly would NOT have been wasting time on such frivolity as Art (or for that matter History or critical thinking or deep reading).

As they headed back to school for dismissal I headed up to Riverside Park and shortly thereafter the fun continued with a wider range of ages.

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