15-03-20 Weekly Photo Challenge- Fresh (Snow In NYC)

This week’s challenge, in honor of the first day of spring – chuckle – is Fresh. And yes, it is freshly snowing in NYC as I type…

Be that as it is, I thought this hit the theme pretty well. This is from the photo shoot I worked yesterday…


Other freshly delivered views…











10-11-14 Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

“Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph

And somebody spoke and I went into a dream”


Nightmares are dreamy too.

Image from last night’s ICP Borough Walk led by Angel Franco.


Other dreamy views:










10-2-14 Best Laid Plans

Go to hell quickly. I expected to be writing about the ICP Williamsburg walk and showing 15 of so photographs from it but between an internet and router outage and four hours on the phone with various companies getting that fixed and then another family computer problem, here it is 11:30 and I should have been in bed an hour ago…

Here is a picture that made it into the finals but did not make the cut.


9-29-14 Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime 3 – Brooklyn Edition

Back to Nighttime.

I still have not posted my favorite night picture but I was in Williamsburg last night with The ICP class: From Hipster Heaven to New Jerusalem, led by Andrew Lichtenstein and this just jumped into my camera. Simple and clean.

Long time readers of QH may remember my write up of the brilliant Coney Island/Brighton Beach walk Andrew led back in May of 2013 or the Lower East Side walk in October of 2013.

This walk was equally good. Pictures to follow. Someday…



My previous two attempts are here and over here.

Some other views of nighttime:











7-27-14 Travel Theme: Meeting Places

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is meeting places. I am currently TA for Lynn Saville’s New York at Twilight class (Check out her work here).

Two nights ago we went to a classic NYC meeting place:


Washington Square Park, legendary Greenwich Village Meet up spot.



Last night we went to a newer meeting spot:


Brooklyn Bridge Park



Some other meeting places:








7-11-14 David H Wells – Photographer

I just finished up a week as a TA for a course taught by David H Wells at ICP called “The Photographic Tools For Travel Photography”. He is a great teacher and photographer with an insane amount of publications, awards, grants etc. over his career. Click on his name above to get a small taste.

The class was both a lecture and practice class. We went out every day to shoot and then critiqued the work the next morning. Here are a few of my shots that made the grade…although we all agreed I was veering dangerously close to street photography and probably crossed the line in several cases…

Robert S Johnson-49

Robert S Johnson-30














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.





5-31-14 Weekly Photo Travel Theme Challenge: Split-Second City Story (South Bronx Edition)

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Split-Second Story. Ailsa’s Travel Theme is Cities. This is my first go at the Travel Theme but the second go at the Split-Second Story (First is here.)

I assisted on an ICP Boro Walk in the South Bronx today.  There is always a surprise on the walks.  A split second decision lead here. I was extremely glad I brought the powerful flash…

Version 2 Here



Here are other stories and other cities…
















11-13-13 Boro Walk -2013-It’s A Wrap

All Borough walks are concluded for 2013. I thought I would throw together a gallery of the 10 walks. One shot of the photographer and one shot that represented something about the Borough or walk – to me.

These surely do not qualify as pictures for an exhibit. These are tokens as much for my memories as for any other reason. The only borough not represented is Staten Island…but hey, they are used to being an afterthought! So, as always, click on any picture in the gallery to jump to full size.

10-28-13 – Twenty Minutes of The East (Spanish) Harlem Borough Walk

Saturday was the East Harlem/Spanish Harlem Borough Walk.  Joseph Rodriguez led the walk.  We basically covered 125th Street to 105th Street from 5th Avenue to 1st Avenue. It was a very successful walk and I will have more pictures up of the entire walk tomorrow.

For tonight, however, I want to zoom in on one 20 minute period of the walk that took place between 117th and 118th Streets. I don’t know how the event started as part of my job is to make sure the stragglers don’t get lost but I know most of the scene.

First, a little background on Joe. He is a graduate of ICP and he has made a very successful career as a documentary photographer. (Link to his web page is here.)  In 1990, National Geographic asked him to do a photo essay on growing up in East Harlem.  It became the cover story in May 1990 issue which was extremely unusual at the time.

Nat Geo

The Geographic did not often focus on urban stories. After finishing the photo essay, Joe kept shooting in East Harlem and made a book in 1995. Spanish Harlem, “American Scene Series”, National Museum of American Art/D.A.P.

Spanish Harlem Final

Back to the walk.  As the few of us came up to the group, they were all in front of one of the many urban gardens that are springing up all over New York and Joe was having a discussion with a man from the neighborhood while showing him his book. The gentleman, Jose Santiago, got to page 40 (I think – don’t quote me) and said: “That’s me.” He turned a page and said “That’s my family, my brother, sister-in-law who recently passed and my sister”.  Later he saw his sister’s first boyfriend in a picture (I think, again don’t quote me, I needed to keep track of the walkers and could not focus.) This caused a certain commotion, as you can imagine.  Other people in the neighborhood stopped to look and listen. The man called his sister who came down.  The “president” of the garden came down and opened it so we could shoot inside it.

This was truly a great moment. truly a photographer’s moment. As Joe said, you should always come back to places you shoot because who knows who you will meet and reconnect with.

I was able to take a few shots though they don’t really do the scene justice. Here you go.

1st Ave and 117th Street_Joe Rodriguez meets an old subject

Mi familia. My family

1st Ave and 117th Street_Joe Rodriguez meets an old subject-2

This is my brother.

This is my brother.

Looking for a specific picture

Looking for a specific picture

1st Ave and 117th Street_Joe Rodriguez meets an old subject-6

Joe on right

1st Ave and 117th Street_Joe Rodriguez meets an old subject-7

The President of the Garden

The President of the Garden