It’s safe to say, my interest in photography was born out of necessity. As a teenager in love with hardcore punk and going to Sunday matinees, I started a fanzine which needed pictures to go with my interviews and show reviews. Admittedly, my pictures were terrible. I really knew nothing about composition or camera settings. When I think about it, I didn’t even own a film SLR until I was twenty four. by then I was more interested in documenting my new surroundings in a neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen. While I was still going to shows regularly. and taking much better photos, I eventually got bored, which started my focus on experimentation with light and movement. Ultimately, is was within the shadows, movement and darkness, that I found my love. The more I learned about composition and waiting for the right moment, the more my images stood out. While it wasn’t alway pretty, I felt that I was finally capturing the energy, raw emotion, and elements that capture the essence, and intimacy that smaller venues offer.
Fast, Loud Still Rules
In a little less than a month. I hope to attend a friends band play what seems to be a small, intimate venue in Richmond. Due entirely to health and my inability to maintain any sense of balance. I haven’t been to a music event since 2017. Considering my love for music, going to events and capturing moments through photography. The event and the chance to see a really good band that hasn’t performed remotely close to my residence. The excitement can be compared to the feelings I often experienced as a much younger show attendee. With a new camera and being years removed from shooting live music. I have a lot of relearning to do.
Somehow, this recently captured image reminded me of how important it is to stay open-minded and open to advice and criticism. As someone whose bread and butter has always been writing and critiquing others’ music and product. I wholeheartedly admit to not taking criticism of my work or the backlash on my opinions and beliefs very well. As of late, however, I’m trying to become more open to criticism while being more helpful when applying my views of other people’s work. It’s not easy. However, we can all benefit from listening to and accepting other people’s views, critiques, and advice. As the future quickly becomes the now. I aim to learn and apply the knowledge and criticism from those who think well enough to help. Luckily for me, many do.
Day Trip to Richmond
This weekend, for the first time in more than ten years. I took a trip to Richmond to attend a long-time friends inclusion in an intimate record show. Aside from seeing this beautiful friend, getting the stuffing hugged out of me, and meeting her husband. I enjoyed nourishing food, walked the streets of a diverse city and took lots of pictures. On the right is the restaurant, delicatessen where we started our day.
Satisfying that Urge to Travel.
Sunday afternoon, we took advantage of the days weather forecast to make a trip to National Harbor to do some sightseeing, shopping, and extended walking. Though it turned to be a lot colder than advertised. We wholeheartedly enjoyed our time there. As I took this picture of the ferris wheel. I was reminded of my fear of heights. My knees wobbling like a bowl of jello. Dizzied from the sight alone. Assuring myself, that someday, I will conquer my fears and face down that Moby Dick of amusement park rides. Until then.
In Case You’re Wondering
I took this while going for an extended walk today. While most of my street photography often lacks that human element. I find the ones that do, add an extra element of storytelling. Filling a void and adding personality to the image. I’ve noticed that the majority of my photos outside of studio work are shot of people walking away. That element can be due to future sales of prints. Personally, I find that aspect adds more to the story. Allowing the observer to better ecersize their imagination. .That, or I’m not up for being punched in the head, or being angrily questioned as to why I just took their picture.
Bringing Lost Treasures back to Life.
I’m finally getting images off the floor, out of the closet, and onto the white walls of our condo. Thoughts arise regarding what goes where and the themes they represent—taking a nod from childhood memories. Two impactful ones immediately come to mind. The coop my Mom raised me in as a child had two bathrooms. The smaller one, just off the kitchen, was always the one that doubled as a bathroom/art gallery. Small, yet functional. The small area was lit by one of those funky colored bulbs and rotating art that varied from nudes and movie posters the company she worked for produced. At the same time, my Father ushered in my love for boxing by installing a heavy bag in his garage and sharing his love for the sport with me. A passion and appreciation that has stuck with me since.
So, when needing one last print for my boxing-themed room. I dug deep into my Lightroom 4 images and found a long-lost gem that perfectly captured my envisioned mood and vibe. Taken ten or more years ago by an actress, model, and stuntwoman I worked with in my small, Hoboken studio. The session this image came from marks the beginning of my love, understanding, and practice of adding shadow, contrast, and mood to my studio lighting.
To your right, is one of the first print/enlargements I’ve made in more than five years and my first with District Cameras Arlington location. Having done business with them numerous times in the past month, I can only say the most positive things when recommending their service.
Working from home is one way of closing yourself off from social interaction. Enduring a dark, rainy day ensures I won’t be going very far. However, today’s combination of both did little to extinguish my desire to attempt anything remotely creative. Thankfully, the rain left its impression on our living space. As drops of rain collected on our windows and doors. Enough to make for a pretty cool idea. In working on using light, shadow, and other aspects to achieve my future goals of using natural light to create mood in my portraits. I find that experimenting with various elements will benefit me in the end.
Train of Thought
With the wife at the office and my wanting to take advantage of the warm weather and a barely baptized new camera. I carefully navigated the sidewalk cracks and pot holes, and walked my way down to Dolly Madison road to attempt some shots I’ve been wanting to take since arriving in the area. Arriving at the edge of the great divide. I took to time to steady myself and compose the area I wanted to focus on. With my main focus on the soon to arrive train and two towering buildings in the foreground serving as bookmarks. I waited for my photo version of Moby Dick to come into view. This photo opportunity served several purposes, as the day marked my longest solo walk since my diagnosis, capturing a shot I’ve long envisioned, and later discovering the route to a rewarding nature walk.
Dedicated to a Better Life, and Better Photos.
Tuesday, February 7th, marked the sixth week I’ve been attending physical therapy in Washington, DC. When first recommended by my primary doctor and the specialists at Rochester, Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic. I strongly disagreed, referring to my already unyielding dedication to working out, the gym, and nutrition. Despite my skepticism and experience with past sessions where they put you on a bike and walked away. Like a good patient. I agreed to at least look into it. With due diligence, I found a highly rated/recommended place in nearby Washington, DC. My “What can they possibly do for me.” mantra went out the door during my first session. My therapist (Feeke) has been by my side, adding new and rewarding challenges each week. All of which I’ve applied to my daily routine at my condo’s gym. Since being diagnosed in 2017, I’ve had my share of challenges. All of which I’ve taken on like the stubborn son of a bitch I’ve always been. Whether it be my dedication to my workouts, meditation, tai-chi, or eating habits. Despite any challenges or disabilities. I feel as if I’m in the best shape of my life. I took the picture below in DC at about 7:43 am. The image reminded me that, no matter what, if you want to achieve anything. You have to put in the work.