Continuing my deep dive into decades old images that I captured on slide film. I’ve somewhat shifted my kicking myself for less than perfect attempts at capturing the beauty and uniqueness of my subjects and instead recalling how much fun I was having and how lucky I was to have complete strangers agree to give me the time to practise my new passion. I can also recall how my social skills and ability to strike up a conversation with just about anyone were taken to new heights.
Back in ’97, I attempted what would become my first-ever photography portfolio. While I had three or so years of experience photographing the city I lived in and had even published a few in local newspapers and magazines. More than anything, I wanted to photograph people. And by people, I meant “Real People.” Not the emaciated, disinterested kind you saw in magazines and billboards. “Real People” like the ones you saw during your daily outings and wondered, “Hmm, what’s their story?” I was somewhat shy, but I was curious and had a camera. So, with all the drive of a formula1 racer and the knowledge of a kindergarten dropout. I took advantage of my night slot at the east village record store and asked many individuals to help a young artist reach his goals. To say the very least, it was a great time. Meeting people from all over the world made friendships that remain strong today. I was and still am in love with slide film. Recalling that most of the images captured then, (including the four posted below.) were done with slide film.
No matter where I go, or what I do. I see just about everything as a picture opportunity. Whether I have my camera with me by my side or my phone in my back pocket. Every time is picture time. Like a true superhero. My strength is my weakness. So, as we sat at the counter waiting for our breakfast, I became drawn to the drinking glasses in front of me and how they warped the scene just outside the diners window, with the coasters in focus while the the rest of what you’re seeing was somewhat warped. I felt I had something worth capturing. The results seemed worth sharing.
When recently attempting or order a large metal print for the condo. I came to learn that most of the files I had housed in my Lightroom were Jpeg and not big enough to print the 48 X 36 inches I desired.
After ordering one in a smaller size, I retrieved an old hard drive where all my RAW files were kept. While the discovery was a lift off my shoulders. Not labeling the images will surely lead to endless hours of combing through thousands and thousands of images in order to label and set aside in the case I’d like to print or share on social media. Especially in the case of printing large prints, the details are sure to be crisp, no matter how large I choose.
We recently returned to Pike and Rose in Bethesda to do some shopping and capture those funky stairs with the proper gear. (I don’t consider my phone to be a camera.) After taking my time to capture the flow, I was approached by a security guard who seemed a bit too intrusive as to what I was doing. “I’m doing my thing.” was all I could think of. Which, in the end, seemed good enough.
After grabbing some gear and noshing on some tasty, but incredibly overpriced, bagels at “Call Your Mom.” We headed back to the car to head home. Just before the garage entrance, we came upon this funky looking, winding staircase. Not having my camera, I grabbed my iPhone and geeked out while pedestrians passed and a woman screamed into her phone. The moment was a nagging reminder to bring my camera with me wherever I go.
It’s pretty rare when I adjust my camera settings to shoot in color. With my wife now accompanying me in the majority of my outings, Her insistance that I switch to “landscape” mode is really the only time I shoot color. Right or wrong, it’s just my preference. However, when I raised the shades on this wintry morning and saw these colorful leaves showing life on an otherwise bare tree (My wife calls it “The Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”) adjacent to our patio. I jumped into action to capture what will soon be gone.
Shared a phone conversation with a good friend I met more than thirty years ago. While we still share many things in common. It’s the bond of friendship and brotherhood that stands above everything. As we grow older, many of us fall into the trap of regret for the things we’ve done and said. I’ve been doing it far too long. I’ve come to realize I want, need, and will change that. Instead, being grateful for the people in my life. The friends I’ve managed to keep and the bond we share. Here’s to a new year full of change, growth, learning and appreciating the many gifts we often overlook.
As I continue to go through some old photos of my numerous trips to Coney Island and Asbury Park, I can’t help but think this is somehow connected to the fact that I’m doing so while bundled up like someone sitting on an Antarctic iceberg. Being that we’re a couple of days from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the New Year. I’m hopeful that it won’t be long before I’m taking out the shorts, flip flops, and sun block.
One of the things I love most about New Jersey is its diner culture. Living in Virginia for over a year. It usually takes a keen eye and a google search to find a decent greasy spoon. Whereas in Jersey, they each seem a stones throw away. This particular image was taken during a mid morning breakfast at a favorite, Asbury Park’s Frank’s Diner. My wife and me love the food, cost and flow of the place. On this particular day, we had the honor of sitting at the counter. Something I highly recommend.