Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Freedom Tower May 6th 2013
So most of Brooklyn leaves me a bit cold, I really get Tribeca. It is very black and blue. Above is view of the almost completed Freedom Tower from West Broadway and Duane and below is a citibank facade nearby. The industrial revolution was in full tilt mode here amongst the 5- 6 storied warehouses that create the feel of the neighborhood but is giving way to glass and white. I still miss the Twin Towers which loomed above and south but life keeps on moving.
Tribeca Citibank branch
Friday, May 3, 2013
Newkirk, over M line, Brookyn, NY
I want to be cool and hip, embrace all that it has to offer, but find much of it oppressive in size and density. I want to stretch and have new experiences but find my view often blocked by physical obstacles... maybe it is me that puts them there. I seek walls and fences and railings, boundaries separating subject and object..Brooklyn underscores my sense of duality. That which I am not, yet here I am, finding solace in this corrugated obstruction, trying to fit into Brooklyn the only way I can.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
No matter how hard one tries, the limits of the iphone camera sensor just can't handle the highlights of the sun. I abhor blown-out highlights.. to the extent I almost cropped this shot to show just the clouds...I may still do that and I find that in itself curious. What is so wrong with a photograph with no detail..I often have shots with no detail in the shadows, deep blacks..but the highlights showing pure white? Never. Was it the teaching of Minor, Ansel and Co that drilled this concept into my adolescent skull? I wonder. But looking at this photograph it still just seems wrong and out of place...evidence of someone not in control of their characteristic curve..and ignorant of proper printmaking...shame is on me, what was I thinking of?..just the attempt of making a "serious photograph" with my phone is silly and oh so pedestrian ...this is my internal dialogue.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Rye Beach, NY April 2013
Sometimes this blog functions as a sounding board to my observations about life...good, bad and indifferent as it may be given what I stumble upon...or in this case blocks my way.
I am very fortunate to live in walking distance of open water, it is a treat to look, smell and feel the water. I am not as fortunate as my west coast friends and likely other places of this free country to enjoy unobstructed access to the "public" shore.
What does this locked fence provide? Who is it keeping out and to whose benefit? Ronny Reagan's plead to Gorby "tear this down" is ringing in my ears. Just behind where I was standing to make this photograph there is a nice park.. 28 acres of grass and mature trees..no fence to obstruct entrance. Somehow the public is trusted to access this without a fence ( as long as you follow their long list of rules) ..but the beach, no. The parking lot for the park and the beach has restricted access for the sole purpose of collecting funds..and the only way into the beach area is through another paid attendant..who sits and collects from memorial day to labor day, 102 days.. the rest of the year, most of the year..it sits locked off and protected from the public. If the the Town Park security guys discover one day the fence laying down, with all the iron fence posts cut at their bases, they had better come check my garage for my portable saws-all with worn out metal cutting blades. I am affronted by the obstructed view, I am affronted by the nanny-esque implications dictated by worrisome lawyers who think they know what is best for the citizens and I am affronted by the need to make public owned waterfront a gated paid attraction for non-residents. I am sure the powers in play would tell me of all their legitimate reasons for why it is the way it is. I realize that this little stretch of community beach is very rare and there are a million folks from the bronx to white plains that may prefer to wet their feet here than to drive 45 min to Long Island beaches. The water is already past the bridge on how little of the waterfront is in the public domain in Westchester County and how little of the waterfront in The Bronx is treated as recreation. Parking restrictions in Rye are so difficult in the summer months it requires the park to facilitate all the cars, limiting the number of outsiders who can have paid access to the park and then pay again if they want beach access. With all this money changing hands you would think that the Town Park makes money, you would think. The official books shows break even, but this is New York, not the west coast and things are done differently here..sadly. It is an all cash revenue so what the true revenues have been is somewhat of an unknown.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Greater Dog Island, BVI
The Virgin Isles are all about blue, blue sky, multi-blue water and of course other bright caribbean colors thrown in for contrast. Of all my colorful shots from my last visit it is this somber color-void seascape of Greater Dog Island, with just a hint of blue bleeding through the grey clouds, that I responded. A great bank of grey came squalling through on our last full day there, the Islands, sky and water where transformed into almost black and white. Shot in full color mode from out in the Sir Francis Drake Channel between downpours, there is something primal and basic at work here, a place where color and no-color meet.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
banana + crasins on granola
I am a big fan of canberries, not the band, but those little intense red things. Like raisins, they are difficult to photograph. I did a lot of Sun-Maid work and in the pre-computer days I would have to work hard to get the perfect light values in the dried fruit. We have it so easy now, the ability to add value and control saturation..etc etc.. A shot like this would have cost hundreds of dollars in polaroid and film to get the right pour where now you can shoot until you know you have the needed parts and build your perfect pour and get your crasins the right color. The only saving grace is that someone still needs to know what the end-thing should look like and when to stop messing with it.
When I started in the commercial photography business it was the end of an era that had changed little in the 30 years leading up to it. I would have shot this with 8 x 10" large format color transparency film..Kodak Ektachrome ( there were no non-yellow box options then), but only after shooting many poloroids to check lighting, focus and composition. The film would be sent out to a specialty film lab to be processed and only after a hero was chosen would it be sent over for a 16x20 Dye-Transfer color print to be made. This would then go to the airbrush retouching artist to massage per art director's guidance...the final approved version of that would then be sent to a film separator / color house to be shot with the process camera and separations made and then final retouching on that, it was then ready for the 4color press to become a cereal box, print ad or billboard.
From that process to now..in less than 30 years. No more 8x10 camera, no more Kodak, no more Polaroid, no more E-process Labs, no more Dye-Transfer or labs to make them, no more airbrush retouchers, no more press cameras, color separators, type houses... and where are all the bike messengers that moved this material?. Yes we live in completely new world devoid of these things, due mostly to what I am typing on and you are reading on. We have all read where Steve Jobs had a love of calligraphy and typography and ironically this was the first area that the mac caused a revolution and demise, the typesetters and type houses were the first to disappear.