Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three's Company

"Two's company; three's a crowd." How many times have we heard that old adage?
As the oldest of three children, I can't agree more that three or any odd number is challenging when it comes to relationships between people. "The love triangle" and "the fifth wheel" are two prime examples.
However, when it comes to visual relationships in photography--or any of the arts for that matter--three seems to be just the right number. Unlike our psyches which strive for balance and symmetry, the eye seems to prefer when things are thrown askew.
So during a recent workshop on still life at the Westhampton Library when we took a walk down the street to a little farmstand, I pointed out these three onions thrown haphazardly into a basket to my teenage students.
Looking downwards, one lifted her camera and peered through her tiny viewfinder. The corners of her mouth turned up, then she nodded and pressed the shutter. What more could a teacher ask for? I haven't seen her version yet, but this is mine.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Double Duty

This month I'm conducting three workshops per week at various venues in the area. While I start each session with landscapes and progress to still life, students seems most interested in learning how to take better pictures of their loved ones.
My philosophy, however, is that one needs to learn about composition and light before trying to capture things that move. So as I began to plan the upcoming lesson on portraiture, it was apropos that my most active subject, my three-year-old grandson, arrived at my doorstep Saturday to spend the morning with me while my daughter went to work.
"Where's Copper?" he asked as my six-month old puppy bounded toward him. For the next few hours, they played like siblings indoors and out while I ran after them making sure that the dog wasn't too rough with the boy and visa versa and that Copper didn't eat Brody's toys.
When they finally relaxed, Copper hopped onto the window seat in my front room, his favorite spot, and Brody followed. Quickly I grabbed my Canon and set it on the portrait setting. No time to fiddle with the camera; just enough time to capture the moment.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Alas, I've finally gotten back to shooting film! Although I'm thoroughly enjoying the instant gratification of my Canon Rebel digital SLR, there's still nothing like film.
Taken with my Hasselblad which I was using almost exclusively before buying the Canon last summer, this is the first image I've selected for a new series I'm developing with two other women photographers, Elizabeth Holmes and Mia Wisnoski---who also continue to shoot film and share a love for the nostalgic aspects of the area. Decaying buildings, vintage trucks, rusted wheels; we all seem to be drawn to what's old or not too new.
Every few weeks since the summer started, we've been driving around, mostly on the North Fork, with our cameras with the idea of presenting the East End from three different viewpoints. To get back to film, I've decided to used this medium-format camera; notice the square format and the color saturation; a warmer yet more formal format to my eye.
Next June, we'll be mounting a show at the new Westhampton Library showcasing the results. While I love to wander on my own, it's nice to have a break from the solitude and enjoy the company of like-minded souls.

Monday, July 5, 2010


People watching, it's one of my favorite pastimes and one of the reasons I started taking photographs in the first place. So when I went down to the Quogue dock with my friend, Julie, on Friday evening where I heard a Reggae band was playing to kick off the holiday weekend, I made sure to bring my camera.
Working our way through the crowd with the sun glaring in our eyes, Julie pointed toward the dock on the periphery where we headed and took a seat. Perfect, I thought, as the sun sank behind my right shoulder casting a crystal light. Men wore shorts, women donned hats, boys and girls pushed scooters and rode bikes; it was Norman Rockwell, circa 2010.
I waited and watched...then out of my left eye, I spotted them, the perfect family, some with two legs, some with four. Quickly I changed lenses to my long zoom and set my f-stop to F11 to ensure there would be enough depth of field for the foursome yet throwing the two posts, that framed the image so nicely, a little out of focus.
"Do you think they have kids?" I said.
"Nah," Julie replied, "looks like they've invested in dogs."