2006 Archives

 

 

" Rapture"

October 10, 2006

 

 

 

October 10, 2006

 

 

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"Life Without War"

September 9, 2006

 

 

 

"Guitarist"

September 9, 2006

 

 

 

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"Stone Sentinel"

Cape Breton - August 2006

 

 

 

"Cape Breton Meadow"

Cape Breton - August 2006

 

 

 

 

"Lands End"

Cape Breton - August 2, 2006

This was a straight shot. I waited what seemed like a long period of time waiting for the bird to fly into my image. The light from the setting sun was brilliant in it's clarity and intensity as it engulfed the Bay of St. Lawrence.. The land you see is the end of the chain of Applachian mountains as it terminates and plunges into the northern Atlantic Ocean in Cape Breton.

 

 

 

 

"Fishing - End of Day"

Cape Breton - August 1, 2006

The details and sharpness of the picture is pretty startling. I printed a 13 x 18 print and the details of the small fishing boat in the bottom right corner is incredible. You can distinctly see the fisherman aft of the boat and a covey of sea gulls right at the stern of the boat in the print. Wonder what it would do to poster size. This image please's me a great deal. Tranquility.......and Peaceful. I envy the lifestyle of the Canadan Fisherman. Their boats are beautifully maintained...clear to see the immense pride they take in their boats. So totally engaged with their work.

 

 

"Dock, Birds, and Clouds"

Cape Breton - August 1, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"IRIS"

June 12, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Trees in Mist"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above images shot earlier this year just recently developed

 

 

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"American Celebration"

June 12, 2006

 

 

 

"The Look"

June 12, 2006

 

 

 

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"Arges"

 

 

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June 2, 2006

 

 

 

 

"Sentinel Door"

June 2, 2006

 

 

 

 

"Ivy"

June 2, 2006

 

 

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"Light and Shadow"

May 23, 2006

 

 

 

"Moving Light"

May 23, 2006

 

 

"Evening Shadows"

May 23, 2006

 

The above three images made during the most spectacular late afternoon/early evening display of light across the street from my house. The kind of light that makes the whole world feel very special and makes you feel alive. My shadow I think adds to the "Evening Shadows" image.

 

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" Solitude"

May 14, 2006

 

 

 

"Chapel"

May 14, 2006

 

 

 

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"Carnival Worker"

May 13, 2006

 

 

 

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"Archive"

May 12, 2006

 

 

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"Metamorphis""

May 5, 2006

 

 

 

 

"Metamorphis II"

May 5, 2006

 

 

 

 

"Plasma"

May 5, 2006

 

 

 

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May 1, 2006 - May Day

Normally I try not to discuss photographic equipment and processes on this website. Primarily because it is the means to an end. They are tools and techniques to help create and achieve an artistic impression. However I see the opposite in some people in their pursuit of photography. They often see the equipment as being the holy grail. I take photography very seriously and if anyone does so the issue of equipment, technique, and process has to come into play, but it should only be to a certain degree. Again the means to an end. Other than my blurb about how I came to be involved in photography I don't talk much about equipment.

Photography is about SEEING and pre visualizing the image in your minds eye and having a unique vision which connects with the viewer. It is an artistic process and experience. It takes constant practice and "doing it" to become a "good" photographer. Cameras capable of taking great photographs are pretty commonplace, but visionary photographers are not that common. Most of the 75 BILLION photographs that are taken each year don't convey what the photographer wanted to capture, "it just don't come out" right. It doesn't represent what the photographer was trying to capture. Often times people blame the camera...."only if I had a better camera!" they say.

Frequently if there are other people around me when I'm shooting, invariably someone always asks me "what kind of camera is that?"....."Is that a digital or film camera? Medium Format, 35mm, Large Format?"

Being the friendly sort I always try to answer the question and then often it turns into a continued conversation about "Equipment". People generally are always facinated about "equipment, material things". It's like the guy driving a Ferrari, suddenly in his mind he's become "a special person" the car somehow has changed the man's character, personality, and most important IMAGE..

I have never been asked a question about composition, visualization, texture, form, or even technical process. Never what did I "see" at that moment. It's always about "equipment".

If on a particular day I'm using a digital camera, the next question is "how many pixels". If I'm using my latest camera it's over 10 Mb sensor. That always "impresses" people. AHH thay say....You must be a professional photographer. "I'm saving for one of those so I can take great pictures too", they say.

If I'm using my Large Format Film camera (picture of my Horseman)

With it's swings, tilts, rises and when I'm under the focusing cloth for several minutes, I always will be asked "what type of camera is that", "You must be a professional photographer".

Then of course additional several minutes of conversation concerning equipment.

I always want to ask these people when was the last time they asked a fine arts painter "what type of brush" they were using or "what type of paper. I would venture they don't ask the painter whether they were "professional" painter.

I'm sure they wouldn't ask a writer what they use to write with, wether it was an old IBM selectric typewriter, a computer word processer, or the "good ol" pad and pen.

 

Sooo........ I always wondered why people are so facinated with the equipment that a photographer uses.

I think the answers lie in a few concepts.

1. Almost everyone takes pictures.

2. EVERYONE takes bad pictures. Myself included. Most of my pictures you don't see in this website just "suck" (some may even say some of the images IN this web site too!). . ....I shoot a lot. It's just like practicing on the violin. It hones your skills. I'm always experimenting, finding my vision. Seeing with the heart. Also it's like anything else , the more you "just do it" and practice the more effortless it becomes and LESS you think of the process or equipment. I will shoot a hundred images or more before a "keeper" happens, but I learn from the bad ones. "Great images" require patience, persistance, visualization, right weather and light, you have to be there at the "Right" time at the right place, you have to be ready. Serendipity sometimes come into play. All these variables have to be there to make "great" images. I stress the word MAKE, you have to MAKE the shot happen. It just doesn't happen all by itself.

3. Ansel Adams once said if he gets a good image once every few months OR EVEN ONCE IN A YEAR, he was happy. We're talking fine art photography.

4. So if MOST everyones Photos suck, what do MOST people do. THEY LOOK FOR THE MAGIC BULLET. In most cases they focus on CAMERAS and EQUIPMENT. When in fact they should be looking for their vision, visualization, and working to master their medium. You need to understand the photographic concept. NOT CAMERAS. It took me some time to come to this realization.

 

When I shoot and capture, I don't "think" cameras, They are tools in my tool chest. I shoot film cameras for their dynamic range, I shoot digital for it's lack of noise, I shoot large format for it's stunning visual clarity, I shoot 35mm for being flexible and to be fluid to the world and light that is quickly changing around me so that I can capture that decisive moment.

These cameras are only tools. In capturing images, my mind races at a sub conscience level as it evaluates the tone and light to the Zone system, the right F stop for the "right" DOF and , the shutter speed to achieve the visualized image. It's all sub conscience on the "technical" stuff.

Where I am "In the Moment" and what I am really concentrating on is the "Visualization", "Light", "Composition", "Texture", "Form". These elements are the functioning components of how I create the image as a further extension of my minds eye and my heart.

 

 

In Antoine de Saint Exupery's fable, "The Little Prince", a child of the royal family of a tiny planet visits Earth to seek the meaning of Life.

He fails to find it with his eyes, so he takes to asking others where to persue his vision. No one has an answer until a wise fox tells him,

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye"

So it is for photographers, those who seek that special image, they will only find it if they know how to see from the heart.

 

 

 

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"Window Light"

April 26, 2006

 

Back in Town (Holyoke)

 

 

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Some of my recent images from a 2 week trip to the American West. The first time out west for a real visit other than on day business trips. I saw it through different eyes. It was an incredible trip I will long remember. The vastness and the majestic beauty of the land still overpowers me. I long to return already and it's only been 2 days from my return. It wasn't only the beauty of the land, it was about the people, their friendship and spirit. It was about the time my car broke down in Northern Arizona on Friday night and the parts store I found stayed open late to track down the part for my car and made sure I would have it for the next Saturday morning.

It was Chris, a Garage owner who opened his repair shop over the weekend just to work on my car and repaired my front end so I wouldn't be stranded, it was the friendliness and genuine interest from the Navajo Indians I met on my trip. They seem to be so at peace with themselves and their environment.

It was about Ramsey, an elderly gentlemen who flagged me down driving down the road because he saw my Massachusetts plate and just wanted to visit and buy me breakfast, (he grew up in Springfield, MA and moved out west in 1954). Even when I was pulled over by a Utah State Trooper for going a little faster than I should have, he gave me a friendly warning, a warning I respected. He was a real person and we had a 5 minute conversation and told me some interesting places to go to take some pictures and we chatted about the camera he gave his wife for Christmas.

I guess the spirit of the West is still strong in America. I found it comforting and hold a deep appreciation of discovering this way of life on my trip.

 

 

Canyon Slot #1

March 28, 2006 - Northern Arizona

 

 

 

Canyon Slot #2

March 28, 2006 - Northern Arizona

 

 

 

 

Navajo Country

April 1, 2006 - Utah near Arizona/New Mexico Border

 

 

 

"Solar Home"

Northern New Mexico, North of Taos Valley.

 

 

 

"Taos Valley"

 

 

 

"Tree Root and Monument"

April 1, 2006 - Utah - Navajo Nation

 

 

 

"Storm Break"

March 26, 2006 - Grand Canyon

 

 

 

 

"Storm over Canyon"

March 26, 2006 - Grand Canyon

 

 

"Canyon Sunrise"

 

 

 

 

"Canyon Dawn #1"

 

 

These two images were made early morning. I was camping near the South Rim of the Canyon the night before. The temperature had dropped really low to around 12 to 15 degrees and was it windy! I thought the tent was going to go airborne even with it pegged down, all my gear, and me in the tent. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep. Mostly because it was so cold even wrapped up like a mummy in my sleeping bag. I woke up around 4:30 AM to head down to the rim. It was pitch black as I'm stumbling around in the dark with my camera bag and the heaviest tripod I brought with me. Most of the edge of the Grand Canyon has no railings. Only a few strategic vantage points have them. It's a long fall to the bottom!

I arrived at the point I wanted to be around 5AM. Shortly there after another photographer and his wife arrived where I was. We were the only ones there (Probably because it was bitterly cold and the wind was still howling around 40mph!) as the clear morning dawn creeped up over the eastern rim of the canyon. We were speaking in whispers, I don't know why, probably because the three of us were in awe of the majesty and beauty of that morning, just like being in a beautiful cathedral. I made a dozen exposures. The wind was so bad I litterly kept the tripod and camera down with my body. I didn't think the imaeges were going to be sharp thinking the tripod was moving, but they came out A-OK. I can't describe the feeling and emotions I felt as the beautiful light filled the horizon and the lovely crescent moon rose over the canyon. The beauty litterly brought tears to my eyes, ( if anyone had noticed I would have said it was the cold and the wind).

 

 

"Canyon Dawn #2 "

March 27, 2006 - Grand Canyon

 

 

 

"Sentinel Tree"

March 25, 2006 - Zion Utah

 

 

 

"Zion Ridge"

March 25, 2006 - Zion Utah

 

 

 

 

March 24, 2006

The photo on the left is Ansel Adams famous "Moonrise Hernandez". Arguably it is his most well know photograph he has made in his illustrious career. It is my favorite image by any photographer. I've always been haunted by this image. (you have to see an original print to understand what I am talking about). To me it brings a sense of a time and place, a serene and restfull desert town. It also speaks to me about loneliness, solitude, and perhaps isolation.

He made this image one late afternoon in 1941, heading to Sante Fe from a frustrating day of photography in Chama Valley, New Mexico. He saw this image from the corner of his eye driving down old route 84 in Hernandez, NM. He quickly turned the car around and set up his 8x10 large format camera. The light was quickly changing as the sun was setting. He was only able to get one exposed negative before the sunlight left the crosses in the cemetary. It was a dream of mine to find and see where this image was made. I found the very same spot on Rte 84 in Hernandez, NM in my trip. The photograph you see next to Ansel's image is a photo I recently took. From the perspective I must have stood pretty close to where Ansel Adams stood with his tripod and camera 55 years ago.It has changed a great deal, the power lines, many homes, a garage, trees, etc. The amazing thing is that the old Odobe church is still there (the brown building on the left) and the cemetary with the crosses. You can make them out in my photograph.

Most, if not all of you are going to say I'm nuts, but I also drove down by the old church and the side streets, and Felt a sene of a deep mystery and in awe of that area. I don't know why, the overall place is rundown, many of the homes are small with small yards with a look that they had seen better times, maybe that also made me feel the way I did. When I stood in front of the old Adobe church, I felt a sense of prescience and enlightenment come over me. A tingly sense that the world around me suddenly contained a deeper significance and meaning beyond the ordinary and that I somehow beheld a link and vision to that world.

Like I said most of you will laugh at me, but I tell you I never had that feeling before........

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday March 11, 2006

"Chimney Tops"

 

 

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"The Chair"

March 5th, 2006

 

 

Sunday, and a beautiful day. Almost feels like Spring even though it's only about 40 degrees outside. I guess it's because the sun is out and gives it a brightness and warmth which creates an illusion of spring. I'll take it.

I used the brilliant light to create these two images. "The chair" is in downtown Northampton. It's a beautiful work of art in it's own right. Very victorian in it's design.

The "Stairs and Light" is inside Thornes. The strong light creates a very abstract image in both photographs.

 

"Stairs and Light"

March 5th, 2006

 

 

 

 

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February 26, 2006

"Waiting for Spring I"

 

 

 

"Waiting for Spring II"

February 26, 2006

 

Sunday morning, wandering around downtown Northampton center. It was bitterly cold, 5 degrees when I woke up. I thought the above two images both suggested to me "Waiting for Spring".

 

 

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Lilly IV Black & White

 

 

 

 

Lilly III

 

 

 

 

"Winter Silence"

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

 

 

"Frost on Glass"

 

February 25, 2006

Saturday morning and it's snowing outside. Expected to receive 4 to 6 inches of snow. There was a Lilly and I thought it would make a lovely picture. I set the flower in a window sill with a dark green matting board as a backdrop. I think the soft winter light adds to the images. I prefer the Black & White.

Later on I'll head out and try to capture some winterscapes.

I seem to keep heading back to this cemetary................ "Winter Silence" was taken there.

Walking around Northampton ........... "Frost on Glass"

 

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"End of Day"

 

 

 

February 19, 2006

 

 

 

February 19, 2006

 

 

 

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Some one asked me the other day how long I've been doing photography. Well that's a good question. When I was 13 years old I got bitten by the photo bug, Can't recall when it happened but I think it was when my friend Francis Kamendulis showed me his Voightlander 35mm camera. His father gave it to him and we used his one camera between the two of us. When ever one of us had any money we would buy a roll of Tri-X . Then we got into developing the black and white film and printing them on a cheap enlarger we picked up at a flea market, set up a dark room in my basement. I thought it was facinating to see the images magically appear in the developing pan. After that I picked up a few cheap cameras but what I really wanted was a pro camera. A Nikon to be exact. Well, back then a good used Nikon F body was around 350.00. (New around $800.00). A fortune for a 13 year old back in the 70's!

I was working in a steel fabrication shop part time after school and weekends making 50 cents an hour (started at 25 cents an hour!, child slavery! just kidding, I loved working in that shop, I learned to weld and fabricate when I was 14, it was a great experience). I saved for two years and finally saved enough money to buy a used Nikon Ftn body and a cheap 135mm Vivitar len in the Want Ad (Nikkor lenses cost more than the camera at that time, so couldn't afford a real Nikon lens).

I paid 425.00 for that Nikon outfit. It was a black body (all pros had black bodies!) It was already like 10 years old but it was in excellent shape. I remember my dad driving me to Boston to pick it up. I was so excited, I can still remember that feeling, the precision, quality of that old Nikon F body!

That camera went everywhere with me, to school, after school, every where. Still couldn't afford any other lens. So I shot for about a year with that one telephoto lens. Finally when I was 16 I picked up a used 35mm f/3.5 lens. So I had a wide angle and a short telephoto! So cool.

When people saw me with that camera all the time and some of my pictures, the high school photography teacher recommended me for doing a lot of the photo work for the year books. So when I was between 13 to 18 I shot all the time. Then I got married at 18, full time job, two children, going to college at night, guess what, no time....... Stopped shooting, didn't pick up that camera.......for like 20 years. Then one day for some reason going through boxes of stuff in the closet I saw that old Nikon Picked it up, started to dry fire it, brought back that feeling....... Still didn't go out and shoot any film.

But for some reason I brought that Nikon to my office, I think it was in my car and I didn't want it to sit out there. So I sat that old Nikon on my desk......for 2 years!

I told everyone in the office that it was a paper weight when they asked me why it was on my desk.. Every once in a while I would pick it up, look through the finder, dry fire it, then put it back on the desk. Some of the people who worked for me in the office noticed I would do this and sort of smile. One day my operations manager Doug Quirk asked me "so when are you going to use that camera?, I see you pick it up sometimes, and hold it like it's your most prized posession".

He was laughing as he said it. I told him the little story about that camera and how I used too be so passionately into photography and my desires as a teenager to be a photojournalist.

After hearing this he said to me " you know I think one of these days you're going to pick that camera back up and not put it down again"".

I told him, Not likely......I was working like 75-80 hours a week (pretty much that way since getting married, and I told him I just didn't have any time for it.............

Damn if Doug wasn't right!, about a year and a half later from that conversation I picked up that camera again (and other cameras, medium format, and even large format) and totally immersed myself in photography in my spare time. Pretty much consumes my free time now ( I've cut back on working to about 55-60 hours a week as an Environmental Compliance Consultant). That was about 3 years ago. So I guess in a sense I've been reborn as a photographer. Who knows maybe I'll change my career to being a photographer and relive my old dream.................

(By the way that 40 year old Nikon still works fine!)

On another note , this web site is now 40 days old ( or new, as the case may be), still working to refine it as I go. It's been a great (and frustrating) learning experience!

 

 

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"Fractured"

Saturday 2/18/06 . Walking by the park in downtown Holyoke apparently some one broke the glass door.. Talking to the maintenance man apparently this type of vandalism happens all the time. Can't figure people out and why they do what they do.

 

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"Tobacco Barn"

February 11, 2006

 

 

"Tobacco Barn II"

 

 

 

 

"Winter Trees and Barn"

 

 

 

 

 

Cemetary during Storm

 

 

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"LifeLine"

 

 

 

 

"Freeboard"

 

Sunday February 5th 2006

The above three photographs made today. The day started out pretty dismal with rain and clouds early in the morning. As I was wandering around thinking it was going to be a pretty poor day for photography, By 9AM it started to clear up with the most dramatic clouds. "Liberty" and "Lifeline" were made earlier in the morning and "Freeboard" made in the afternoon at the UMass campus.

As you can tell most if not all of my recent images are made on the weekends. I carry a camera where ever I go but working full time (not as a photographer but as an environmental consultant) doesn't give me much time during the week for photography. So it's usually Sundays when I can spend some time out and about with my camera. One thing I've noticed is that by the time the images get "shrunk" to be able to put on the web, they loose a lot of resolution and detail.

 

 

 

 

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"Steel Workers"

Driving down Rte 146 near Rhode Island border early this morning 1/29/06. I was surprised these guys were at it so early on Sunday morning. Must be behind schedule!

 

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The above three images were taken Sunday 1/22/06 walking around Holyoke and Northampton. Click on for larger image

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"Witches Hand" 1-8-06

January 8, 2006 Image was taken near my house today. Went for a short hike where there are many large rock structures. I thought it reminded me of a witches hand coming out of the dark fissure.

 

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January 1, 2006

I saw this large tree in northern Vermont driving home on New Years Day morning. The night before was a snow storm and the country side was sheated with ice. The farm was covered in a soft muted light. Originally went by the site, didn't see the potential because the farm was set back. I saw the tree from the corner of my eye as I drove by. Something told me to turn around down the road to check the tree out. I'm glad I did. How often have you seen something, perhaps even just a glimpse of something and you didn't go back. Used to happen to me all the time. My New Years resolution, Always go back if possible. Often I believe your mind works at a subconscience level from a visual sense the photographer has to explore. The original TIF image is crystal clear and quite lovely.

 

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Traveling North on Rte 91 in Vermont up north by Fairlee Lake around 7AM. New Years day eve. The night before it had snowed and got really cold that night. Minus something degrees. Going up this long stretch of highway I saw this beautiful light, glowing on the horizon. I quickly pulled over the side of the highway, rushed to grab my camera. I saw the light was quickly changing and decided didn't have time for a tripod, set the camera on the guardrail, in my rush no jacket, had to been around 0 degrees. It was COLD! but didn't notice at the time. I quickly shot several images before the light changed and the magic dissapeared. The exposure range was very high between the sky to the foreground. I didn't have time to use the graduated neautral density filter which would have brought the light range much closer together. Used curves, burned and dodged to get the tonal range closer together. The image has a sureal look to it from the ice covered landscape and the quality of the light. Straight shot other than exposure control.

 

 

 

December 31, 2005

 

Snowshoeing in the white mountains, New Years Day eve, The light was soft and beautiful. The original TIF image really brings out the highlights and color range.

 

 

 

December 31, 2005

 

Snowshoeing in the White Mountains, New Years day Eve, The light was beautiful as it often gets in the New Hampshire mountains in the winter. The afternoon light was catching the tips of the trees. Ice on the trees glistened. Sandy, my dog, was wiped after the hike, (Me to). I wonder if I can get some snow shoes for her, that would be something to see.

 

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Somewhere in Alberta, Canada. On my trip to Alaska in my trusty Volvo. I think between Bamf and Jasper. The Canadian Rockies are so beautiful. Taken in mid morning, I had good weather and beautiful clouds were everywhere. This image should print out to large scale, maybe 30x30 or so. Some images want to be small and look their best viewed in a small scale, some images want to be viewed large scale, like this one. The detail in the trees in the original chrome is incredible. Chrome scanned by Minolta Multi scanner, converted to Black and White in PS. Taken with Hassellblad 500CM, 50mm , Velvia 50, F/11.

 

 

 

"Inspiration Lake"

 

I call this lake in Canada Inspiration Lake. It is incredibly beautiful. I believe this is in Bamf. Just a short hike up brings you to this position overlooking the lake. The colors are real, the mineral content in the water brings out the turquois color. A memorable place. Another image which should be viewed large scale. Hasselblad 500CM, 40mm Distagon, Fuji Velvia, F/11.

 

 

 

 

 

" Boat House"

Alberta, Canada

Hasselblad, Fuji Velvia

 

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"Morning Awakening"

This image taken near my back yard mid December 05, It was early in the morning before heading to work. It was unusually cold for Massachusetts.

 

 

 

"Morning Mist"

December 5, 2005

Another image taken near the back yard a few minutes after "Morning Awakening"

 

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Somewhere in northern Vermont south of Smugglers Notch. I was headed up to the Notch very early in the morning, went around the curves in the road, saw this farm in my rear view mirror. Decided to go back. Parked the car and walked back. The sun was just rising in the east and there was fog lifting and swirling around. The picture has almost a look of a painting. Almost Surreal. Nikon F, 28mm, F/8. Fuji Velvia.

 

 

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My beautiful Daughter, Just graduated from College! No more College payments!

 

 

 

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Walking around New York City

Nikon F100

 

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"Lizards and Snakes" New York City Time Square

The fellow in the middle telling his compadre that I was taking a picture. After I took the shot they started to give me a lot of "Attitude" for taking the shot.

Nikon F100, 20-35mm f/2.8