August 2, 2016 § Leave a comment
A couple of weeks ago, when I was photographing the activities during the RNC convention, I wandered over to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. There was free admission that day, and I got in for the last 30 minutes they were going to be open to the public. There was going to be a big private party later that day and they had to get ready for that. I had about 30 minutes, and I wanted to capture some of our out of town guests as they viewed the exhibits. After the Hall closed, I wandered around the grounds and photographed the building. Now everyone with a camera standing outside the Rock Hall, has the same couple of pictures, from the same angles…me included. Let’s face it, it’s a very unique, iconic structure, and I’m still thrilled that Cleveland was awarded the Rock & Roll HOF. I do have a problem with the fact that other than a few years, the induction ceremony is held in N.Y.C. Come on already…the Baseball HOF inductions are held every year in the little village of Cooperstown, not Yankee Stadium! But I digress! So I’m walking around the outside of the Rock HOF and I decided to get some unique angles. The geometric design of the building is really great, and it affords many different possibilities for some cool images. The day I was there, there was not a cloud in the sky, just a plain blue background, so I composited my views of the building with some cloud shots from my files. So here goes with the images.
Thanks for looking!
July 25, 2016 § Leave a comment
We sure had a whole lot of people in town last week! Protesters, cops, “pro-Trump” people, “anti-Trump” people, ordinary voters…you name it and they were there…and all of them seemed to crowd onto E.4th Street at one time or another. I wasn’t going to go down there, but my wife was late going to work, and I thought, “what the heck, I need to get out and shoot something”, so I grabbed my cameras and went downtown with her…and went downtown the next 3 days as well. What an experience. It doesn’t matter what you think about the candidates, but as a photographer, you can barely keep up with all the interesting subjects that seem to materialize every time you look up! This blog will have more images than I’ve ever had before, and believe me when I tell you that my final edit cut the number almost in half. There was just so much happening, and I didn’t even go to Public Square and I didn’t have the credentials to actually cover the convention itself. Before I go on with the pictures, let me just say that Cleveland and Clevelanders should be proud! The second time in a about a month we had huge crowds and no violence to speak of. Lastly, a big shout out to the cops! They joked, posed for pictures, and many times had a wonderful time interacting with all the people…all the while, paying attention to what was going on around them so they could assure the safety of all of us! O.K. now for the pictures!
As always, thanks for looking!
July 5, 2016 § 6 Comments
I know that sounds like a dumb question, but I started to think along those lines recently…actually just in the past couple of months or so. The cicadas returned this Spring after being dormant for the last 17 years. I remember the last time they were around because I was standing in a cemetery after burying a loved one, and we were discussing the annoying sound they make. This time I felt differently. I’m at the age, when it’s entirely possible that I won’t be around the next time they appear. I found myself listening with a different mindset, one that found the sound not only interesting, but enjoyable. My son takes walks almost everyday in the local parks and he told me where he found an area where the cicadas would actually land on you. To be honest, I had never seen one close-up, so I asked my son to take me to that location. When we got there, I was thinking I might have maybe 17 minutes left, if I was lucky…hot day, no water, but a picnic table out in no-man’s land where I could rest! I looked down and found a dead cicada. My son was calling me from about 50 yards away telling me they were swarming all around him, but I had enough…the dead one would do! I posed him(her?) on the table and took a few shots. This went well since I have had some experience working with models before. My son returned and showed me a couple of areas where you could see the holes that the cicadas emerged from. I shot all of these with my phone, something I would not have had with me 17 years ago. O.K. finally I’m back to my original (dumb?) question. 17 years from now, where will you be, what will you be doing? I think these questions gain a bit more relevance the older we get. I personally know what I’ll be doing the next couple of days, but after that who knows. Last week, I re-did my website. The old one I’ve been meaning to do something with the old one since my old one had a style that dated back to at least a couple of cicada sightings! It’s weird, but it was this cicada experience that made me realize that while I accomplished quite a few things in the last 17 years, maybe if I really buckle down, I can accomplish a lot more in the next 17.
Thanks for looking.
July 4, 2016 § Leave a comment
In these crazy times we live in, it’s good to reflect on what our founding fathers went through back in the late 1700’s. On one of my trips to Williamsburg, I remember listening to one of the guides/historians talk about how young these people were. How they would meet at the local tavern and discuss breaking away from their own country to form a brand new one…you know, the everyday mundane discussions people have all the time. Anyhow, here’s to a happy and safe 4th to all of you!
June 20, 2016 § Leave a comment
Pinch me, wake me up…but maybe I’m not dreaming, maybe this is real. Wow, what a feeling. I actually can’t remember what I felt back in ’64 when the Browns won the NFL Championship, you know, before there was a “Super Bowl”. I was 14, a ninth grader. I’m now eligible to collect Social Security. I’ve lived through “The Drive”, “The Fumble”, “Red Right 88”, “The Shot” “The 95 World Series”, “The 97 World Series”, hell, I remember feeling like I was kicked in the stomach when I was 9 years old and I heard we traded Rocky Colavito to Detroit for Harvey Kuehn…f**king HARVEY KUEHN!! I also remember “The Decision”, when I watched in sickening anticipation just knowing in my gut that Lebron was about to decide that he was leaving us. I believe it was the very next day that the big Lebron banner was being removed, and I rushed downtown that Sunday morning thinking it would be gone, but hoping I could record the event. I was surprised that I made it on time. I got my shot and with time, the pain and humiliation wore off. My Lebron image was just another good image on my website, fitting in with the “orange surfer” shot or the “old man with the pole”. I decided last week to redo my website. I want to move on from the past, refresh the site, bring it kicking and screaming into the modern era, but one move can’t wait, so I made it today. My Lebron image is being retired! Lebron came back and vowed he’d bring us a championship, and he delivered big time! Clevelanders are good decent people, we like to forgive and forget, even though we were hurt badly by “The Decision”, there was always a deeply routed love for our “prodigal son”. So while thinking about Freddy Mercury singing “We Are The Champions”, or David Bowie singing “Changes”, all is good today in the “Land”!
May 23, 2016 § 6 Comments
If you go back a few posts, you’ll see some tabletop images of dead flower arrangements I shot in my studio. I placed them in glass vases and used studio strobes to light them. These were flowers that my wife kept from her brother John’s funeral when he died in April of 2015. By the way, I shot a portrait of a horse trainer last year, sitting in front of a horse stall with a horse looking on. That was John just a few months before he died. Anyhow, after I shot these flowers in the studio, they started to crumble, and my wife kept a very nice arrangement in a vase, but threw the rest out into her garden. Luckily, she didn’t throw them in the garbage, so I happened to see them laying there right next to our patio. I grabbed a couple and laid them on the sidewalk. I shot a few with my smart phone. They looked pretty good, so I went and got my regular camera and shot them again. I used different combinations of flowers, and different sections of two different slabs of sidewalk. Believe it or not, while shooting, a couple of dead leaves blew across the grass about 10 feet from where I was. I got them, laid then down and shot some frames of them too. In post processing, I brought out the texture in the sidewalk, and as I adjusted the exposure, some color in the slabs started to show. I actually decreased the saturation in the sidewalk so it looked closer to what you actually see when walking on them. I guess there’s all kinds of cliches to describe this, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, or “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. I almost entitled this post as “Dead Stuff on My Sidewalk”, but I opted to throw in the “Fine Art” phrase! Hope you enjoy these, and as usual, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
As always, thanks for looking!
May 9, 2016 § 2 Comments
I was watching a tutorial by a well know nature/travel photographer this past weekend when I noticed a shot of his that had this beautiful cloud formation. The shape, color, and texture of the cloud formation in his image was a perfect match for one of my own. I guess if you spend your life shooting outdoors, you’ll have all kinds of beautiful clouds and sky images. I have hundreds of every type of sky/cloud images imaginable in my files. Anyhow, once I found my cloud image…the one that resembled his, I decided to play around with it. All I needed was to find some subject matter to composite with my cloud image. I found an image I had used before in a very early version of my portfolio…sailboats in the Rockport, Maine harbor. I had spent time in ’85 and ’86 at The Maine Photographic Workshops. I loved the peacefulness of this one area, and would walk over and shoot the same quiet, peaceful harbor everyday. The clouds were shot from my own backyard. Some of my favorite cloud images are from my trips to Wyoming, but in recent years, I’ve found that you can get images like this anywhere, you just have to be ready for when they appear. So anyhow, I have my sailboats and my clouds. I desaturated the sailboat image, and using curves, I increased the contrast, so I was left with a very stark b&w. I dragged the sailboats on top of the cloud layer, set the blend mode in Photoshop to “multiply”, played with the opacity slider and then added a mask so I could brush out the red that was over my dark boats. On two versions, I created a second layer, flipped it horizontally, dragged it down far enough that it was a mirror image…like a reflection. On one, I added some filters to make it look more like a reflection and less like a mirrored image. On the other, I set the blend mode to “screen” and brushed it in so as to be lighter on the bottom. The 3rd image was where I just dragged the sailboats onto the cloud layer and left it “floating” there…more “surreal” than “real”. You could argue that not one of these three images are “real”, but my answer to that is “so what…if I like what I have, and it’s personal work, then I’m fine with it”. I’m including the original sailboat image, and the original sky/cloud image, both of which are nice enough to stand on their own.
As always, if you have any questions, please ask, and again, thanks for looking.