Thursday, September 30, 2010


On the last day of September, this seems like the image to post. Most of the second homeowners have returned to the city or to suburbia. However, they've left their lounge chairs to us natives along with permission to roam free with our dogs. And while it's my favorite month here on the East End, it also flies by the fastest.
Each year at the end of the summer, therefore, I tell myself that I'm going to make an extra effort to savor September: walk on the beach everyday, swim in the warm water, take the time to sprawl out on the sand with a novel; ignore the fact that I might be the only soul sitting there under the sun.
Well I'm here to report that Copper and I did pretty well this year, as evidenced by the images posted in the last few weeks. While I've certainly dug deeper into work, spent more hours in front of this screen, and broken out my boots a few times, I've still been polishing my toenails and wearing sandals most of the time.
And look at Copper, he's trying to figure out where all the people went and why they left their furniture behind and in his way...

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Something magical happens here during the first few weeks of autumn in a place called Cupsogue Beach County Park that I just became aware of after living on the East End for more than 20 years. As the Monarch butterflies migrate from Canada southward to Mexico each year, they stop there along the way to roost in the pines trees that line the path leading from the parking lot to the inlet.
Last Tuesday my friend, Joy, called inviting me to meet her there at 5:30pm to see the butterflies and "make sure to bring your camera," she insisted. So off I went with my dog, expecting to see a few fluttering around.
As we wandered down the path, I looked up and indeed there they were just as she had promised soaring in circles, dancing with one another, then landing between the pine needles where they perched to soak up the day's last bit of sun. Switching to my long zoom lens, I became mesmerized by the "abundance," a word Joy kept repeating in my ear. Grateful that she had lead me there, I wondered how many more marvels may be unbeknown to me. So for any of you reading these words, do keep me posted when you discover anything I might have missed...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


If you gaze out your window tonight, you'll see the Super Harvest Moon. It's a rare event when the autumnal equinox coincides with a full moon. I took this picture last evening while outdoors at dusk after photographing Monarch butterflies at Cupsoque Beach in Westhampton Dunes---to be posted soon.
Satisfied with the expedition, a friend and I were headed for the parking lot about to leave when I looked up and saw the moon hanging over the dunes. It was so vibrant I could actually see the man in the moon.
Immediately I thought of Serge Gal, director of Image Ouverte, a photography school in the South of France, someone who shared his passion for photography with me and many others. Serge passed away this past August. He spent his life helping others learn how to see. Today he would have been sixty years old.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


In observance of Yom Kippur, this seemed like the right image to post today. Although I don't go to synagogue like I did in my youth and find other ways to connect spiritually, this highest of Jewish holy days still weighs on me. Marked as the day to atone for our sins and memorialize the dead, I still try to fast, but usually don't make it to sundown.
Interesting how this sad day falls in September, the most beautiful time of year here on the East End. The water has warmed, the air has turned crisp, and the ski seems bluer. As I walked along the beach in Westhampton the other day, I took pictures observing all three. But then I came upon this black rock that had washed up on shore and was shimmering in the sand, soft to the touch, filled with pores. I leaned in close, was again captivated by all the nooks and crannies.
Gazing at it now, I wonder if those are my sins or the people I have lost. Whatever the case, it's definitely holy...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Peach is one of my favorite colors. While most houses here on the East End are painted grey or tan, mine is painted a pale peach. And my living room which I redecorated about two years ago is covered in a more vibrant shade of that hue. After a few trips to Mexico, I was inspired to brighten up the long, wet winters here by the shore with some color from the tropics.
So when I was walking my dog last weekend and spotted this splash of peach, I stopped and sank down to my heels trying to get as close as possible with my camera. Within a few moments, I was lost in the color and texture; the nooks and crannies grew more interesting to my eye than the object as a whole.
While I usually specify exactly where I unearth my images, I'd like to leave this one up to your imagination. Leave a comment below telling me what you think it is and where it was discovered...

Friday, September 10, 2010


While I try not to use this blog to showcase my family, I couldn't resist posting this image. Here's my younger daughter, Jaclyn, (my baby) at the airport a few days ago, about to leave for her semester abroad in Barcelona. Excited yet clearly apprehensive, she clutched her wallet and her rollie in the middle of the terminal just after checking her other two bags.
When I raised my camera, she covered her face and screamed, "Noooo, Mom, it's so embarrassing!"
"Come on, let me take just a few."
"Ok," she sighed and looked away."
At first I thought this image so aptly epitomized the moment. But maybe, it just mirrors the mixed emotions of the photographer who happens to be her mother. Even though separating has gotten easier, I must keep reminding myself that she's twenty years old not twenty months. Which raises an interesting question about portraiture.
Where do we leave off and they begin? Are we portraying how they feel at a given moment or how we feel about them?
For me, it's a dance of give and take, just like any relationship.

Monday, September 6, 2010


With an autumn chill in the air this morning, I chose this image today, the official last day of the summer, hoping that the season will continue well into September.
Last week I met friends at Meschutt Beach, a narrow strip of sand on the Peconic Bay, where young families gather to enjoy the seaside. On Friday evenings, a band plays while adults munch on fried food and their children swim safely in the calm water.
As my girlfriend and I talked about our busy week, I had one eye on the kids running in and out and splashing about. Now that my daughters are in their twenties, it had been years since I had sat in that spot savoring the sight.
"Excuse me," I said to her in mid-sentence, "I have to go get my camera." Luckily, I had stashed it in my car, but left it there in hopes that I could just sit back and relax. Returning to my beach chair ten minutes later, I switched to my long lens and started shooting.
Quickly I focused on this group who had been seriously hunting for crabs since I had sat down. Because I like to engage with my subjects and capture their expressions, it's rare that I opt for a telephoto lens and shoot from behind. But in this instance, facial features were not required; their stance and the evening light warming their skin tells us everything we need to know.