Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As an artist, and especially as a photographer, I'm always editing myself. My first instinct was to simply ignore this shot because it's so common. At least for my work anyway... it's just another street shot of retail advertising.

But I worked with it a bit and I think it really has a great balance now. I had to crop it a bit, but now there's an interaction between the mannequin heads that didn't really exist before. The upper central figure with the fur cap kind of peers out at you while the two in the front are more focused, yet they're not focused at all - they look in different directions! And then there's the head to the left with the gray cap that seems to be looking at them. I had to take out some stuff at the bottom for that to happen, and that also allowed for a more balanced color palate...

...there's the faceless purple and blue head in the center left that works color-wise with the pink in the background, and that's contrasted, but also complementary to the brown and green of the fur hat in the center and the green Eagles cap. The blue of the denim cap is the only thing that really seems out of place, but even that's balanced in some way by the sleek gray hat to the left. And if you take that line and skew it on a central axis just a bit counter-clockwise there's a dark grey hat to the left and a black hat to the right behind the central head with the fur cap.

Hmmmm... here I am looking at photos as if they were paintings or drawings. I tend to focus on balance and shape. Maybe I should just do more painting!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There's a certain light that occurs at sunset in late October. It's as if light is bouncing off the clouds and lighting everything from above. The world around you seems to glow. I haven't really caught that here, but I tried.

Still, I like the composition and balance. I like the way the black ladder stands out at first, and then later on the white fire escape pops out. The way the darkened windows glow like embers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This was taken outside-looking-in, on the top floor of the New Museum in NYC. I think that the reflection is interesting; and the clarity through the small, clear square of window; but also as you scan from left to right, the shape of the blue building with the water tower, the diagonal movement of the white beam that connects with the reflection of the building in the center, and then the sharp dark figure and the way his legs kind of mirror the angle of the beam. Additionally, I kind of like the way that the setting sun is kind of cut off by the frosted glass. The whole thing for me has a whole kind of apocalyptic feel to it, and yet a super-modern kind of feel.

Friday, December 5, 2008


More paper graffiti. (If anyone knows someone who does paper graffiti I'm working on a project and I'd love to get some input! Please help me get in touch). What I liked about this shot was the way the drawing stood out. The wall behind it is painted grey and it seems very cold. Also, it looks like there's a black and white photo to the upper right, which makes an interesting contrast, but the drawing wins out. Personally, I really like this stuff. I could take pictures of it all day, and then just really enjoy the artwork found within in. So thanks to the artists that do this - and not to the people that just spray-paint their "tags" all over the place. These kind of things are like little jewels of art placed all throughout the city giving us glimmers of culture here and there; and oddly enough, it seems like the artists that do these pieces know where to put them and where not to put them. They seem to respect that only certain areas are open for this kind of stuff, as opposed to the clowns who scratch their names onto the windows of city buses, or spray-paint store fronts or apartment buildings.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that as a photographer I find it really important to edit my work. I didn't really get a lot on my last trip to NY, and so I haven't posted much. I shouldn't even have posted this! There are some more interesting shots but they don't really cut it for me, so I'll just put them aside for now. Perhaps they'll someday fit together with other pieces to make a set. Or perhaps not.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I don't know what restaurant this is in Manhattan, but it looks good. I'm sure it's less impressive, and more 'plastic' in person, with less richness and warmth, but it certainly appears welcoming here. The mirrored ceiling really gives it a lot of visual interest, and the reflections from the front window give it even more depth.

...just a nice snapshot that could have been taken in almost any large city.


This is a guy that was selling puppets at the Christmas Fair in Union Square in NYC over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. He wasn't mugging for the camera, he just looked like that. Well, he is actually a she, but that's a whole different story and not important here.

They say that people choose dogs that look like themselves.


I took this on a drunken night outside of a really cool bar called "The Gutter" in Brooklyn, NYC. It was raining lightly, and the chrome of the bumper reflected the blue sky above. The black of the body blends into the darkness of the street. It reminds me of something by Weegee (Arthur Fellig). Thanksgiving Day Parade. The one with the cab and the wet street. It's obviously not nearly as good, but I kind of get that feeling in the reflected blue sky. And I wonder what his pics would have been like if they'd been in color. I've certainly been influenced by him and Robert Frank. Hopefully I'll one day have something that comes close, but then again, there are so many artists operating in the same vein that my pieces probably won't make even the smallest ripple.

That said, as an image it's not much. There are plenty of pictures of cars that have interesting features. But I think it has an interesting feel to it. And I like it myself. It was a good night. I had fun. I felt alive. That's what it means to me.
When I'm out taking photos people often look at me like I'm crazy. They seem to be thinking "What the hell is he doing?", and I guess that's because their photographic culture is to simply line up the smiling people and click.

Anyway, this was one of those situations. I was on Madison Avenue taking a picture of the inside of a trash can - OK, I can see the disparity there. But that's kind of what I was going for. I was waiting for the light to cross and I saw this trash bag that said MADISON AVENUE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT.

Hmmm. They're so upper class that they have printed garbage bags... ? The regular ones just won't do. Or is it that people wouldn't steal them if they're marked? I don't know. I just found it very odd.