10-19-16 Reporting In

I have been extremely busy with work, family, life in general and have not been on the blog as much as, perhaps, I should be. As Linda Ellerbee used to say: “And so it goes.”

Big debate tonight – Not really. We already know how it will go…

This past weekend I took some head shots for a beautiful young actress, Blanca Franck. Extraordinary bone structure. As I always do, I snuck in a few portraits along the way. This is, maybe, my favorite.

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So, let me sign off with a tune I’ve been playing a lot while I edit. Why? Don’t know and don’t really care. Except it is great!

 

 

 

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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.

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1-3-14 Snow-de-o-…D’oh

We had our first “blizzard” of the season.

Blizzard is a term that has become as overused as hero.  The Weather Channel continues its obnoxious habit of naming snow storms, but I bet they don’t name the storms that only hit North Dakota or Buffalo or Maine.

There are definitely places that had a blizzard but 6.4 inches in Central Park does not make the cut. It snowed and it was very pretty.

Snowdeodoo-1

Riverside Park

Riverside Park

Snow Selfie

Snow Selfie

The Cherry Walk looking south

The Cherry Walk looking south

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

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Self Portrait

Self Portrait

10-10-11 Columbus Day, The Pier 3

Better keep your distance from this whale
Better keep your boat from going astray
Find yourself a partner and treat them well
Try to give them shelter night and day
‘Cause here in this blue light
Far away from the fireside
Things can get twisted and crazy and crowded
You can’t even feel right

So you dream of Columbus
Ever time the panic starts
You dream of Columbus
With your maps and your beautiful charts
You dream of Columbus
With an ache in your traveling heart

See how the cormorant swoops and dives
Must be some thrill to go that deep
Down to the basement of this life
Down to where the mermaid gently sleeps
Not like here in this blue light
Far away from the fireside
Where things can get twisted and haunted and crowded
You can’t even feel alright

So you dream of Columbus
Ever time the panic starts
You dream of Columbus
With your maps and your beautiful charts
You dream of Columbus
With an ache in your traveling heart

And as tide must ebb and flow
I am dragged down under
And I wait the livelong day
For an end to my hunger

So I dream of Columbus
Every time that the panic starts
I dream of Columbus
With my maps and my beautiful charts
I dream of Columbus
And there’s peace in a traveling heart
I dream of Columbus

– Noel Brazil

Self Portrait

So, like clockwork, 14 days and I find myself by this pier again.

Hollywood sequelitist I guess.

This time I shot the pilings from Pier 54. Down the road I think the city has big plans for Pier 54 but for now it just juts out into the river and is used as a dog walking, jogging area, as well as hosting occasional celebrations, the largest being a dance during Gay Pride week.

There are a lot of these old abandoned pilings/piers on the river but this has always been my favorite on the NYC side.  It has a spooky, historic, feel that many of the others do not and while it speaks of change and decay, it also speaks of permanence, at least long enough for a full human lifetime…

I hope you enjoy this brilliant performance by Mary Black of the words at the top of the post.

Mary Black – Columbus