Thursday, May 21, 2009

Helpful Quotes

"Like the people you shoot and let them know it". - Robert Capa

As a portrait photographer I found this to be an extremely helpful bit of advise. I think that comes natuarally for me but to be aware of it while shooting brings better results.
Here's another one that I keep posted over my desk and refer to at least once a day.

"I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration"
- Steve Martin

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Today I leave to go shooting in the rolling hills outside Lexington, Kentucky...... how I wish I had an 8x10 camera for next purchase.                                                                   

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At Last

After much anticipation and only several months over due, the birthing process is complete. My site has gone live...... Hallelujah!  Speaking of Hallelujah, Any lingering cynicism that might have existed for me about organized religion fell to the way side this past Saturday when I  witnessed my son receiving the holy Eucharist for the first time. There is something so beautiful and sacred about the rite of any passage, with a few exceptions.

                                    A gift from God

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A look into my studio

                                                    Salted prints on vellum paper.


Religion and Spirituality

This weekend my pious son will be making his first communion. It never seizes to amaze me what I can learn from my kid. As I have spent the last twelve years estranged from my Catholic roots,  my one and only child is helping me break down the defensive wall against my punitive Catholic upbringing.  How can I continue to be such a cynic when he has been so earnest in his believes?
I was comforted by the words of  Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso.  When she was speaking about teaching spirituality to children, she explained religion as a process in asking questions rather than getting answers. Eisenberg was encouraging parents to explore their heritage religion before giving up on it. She described choosing a religion to be like choosing a language. Families should  Choose the traditions that best suit their family and disregard the ones that don't.  

As it stands, I'm not embracing though I am inspired to explore.

Half finished jewelry box I made for Nico to give to him on the morning of his first communion. 
Detail from my home studio

Friday, May 8, 2009

Freddy Hubbard's memorial service this past Monday
A friend from the Marble Hill Projects

There is so much more to being a photographer than just making images.  The marketing thing can just be exhausting. I enjoy viewing sites and following  blogs of photographers I admire but sometimes it just gets too distracting and overwhelming. There are so many of us out there doing amazing work. Deciding what direction to take can be paralyzing. I am most successful in my work when I put my blinders and just take the pictures that are calling me. The challenge comes in when I want my work to be seen.  I enjoy Zoe Strauss' work and her approach to getting it out there for the world to see. She wanted a show, she gave herself a show,  under I-95 in Philadelphia. How cool is that, she stripped away all the pretense and made her work accessible to the general public selling the pictures for $5 a pop. 

Lately I've been questioning the point of this blog and I realized as I put my thoughts out there, I'm holding myself accountable...... kind of like a public to do list. Also it serves as a home to orphan images. Originally I embarked on this blogging venture for content to drive traffic to my site which I haven't pursued.... too forced and insincere. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

All it Took was a Phone Call

Imagine how many drinks in plastic bottles are consumed in the little league field of one town in one season.  You would think they would have recycle bins next to every garbage...... not in this case.......
After three years of taking a passive roll in watching this atrocity play itself out game after game and  year after year I decided to take this baby on. Okay, where do I begin? I guess the first call should be to the little league field manager. Initially he wasn't amenable and couldn't see beyond more work and money.  Once I thanked him for his volunteer work, convinced him I wasn't criticizing and I was willing to take it on myself and that it was our duty as the adults to set the example for the next generation the door opened a crack. I made sure to point out that it's actually more expensive to cart away garbage than it is to recycle.  After a while of  back and forth he agreed to make an inquiry to the carting company.I was fully expecting the project to stop there. Much to my surprise, on opening day after the usual house keeping announcements just before the National Anthem there was one last announcement....... "Wallkill Little League wants to help the planet, we are now going green". The crowd of three hundred was silent(in preparation for the National Anthem),  I took it upon myself to hoop, holler and cheer, the crowd was obliged to joined in. LET'S PLAY BALL. One phone call is all it took!  

Friday, May 1, 2009

It all right in front of us.

A close friend passed away a couple of weeks ago from melanoma. In a moment of reflection in the last e-mail, she wrote, " What we have to be happy for is all right there in front of us so just enjoy and don't sweat the small stuff." Something pretty simple that I've heard before, in this context it resonated....… I 'm working on applying the notion to my photography. I have a tendency at times to over think where I'm heading with a project, what the outcome will be, what if it fails , etc., all that self doubt that comes with being an artist( in many cases). So often I talk myself out of something before I even begin.  It truly is all right there in front of us and we just need to trust the ideas, give them a chance to come alive and eliminate the self inflicted judgement.  It is our job to just put the work out there. So that's where I'm at,  just trying to enjoy the process document what speaks to me. 
Monday is Freddy Hubbard's memorial at St John the Divine I'll be there shooting.

The Earth Day parade was a slight disappointment, a very watered down version of last year.
The spirit was there and the tradition of the tree planting ceremony and parade are now in place for years to come.