Saturday, December 31, 2011


This afternoon I waited until after four o'clock, about 20 minutes before sunset, to drive to one of my favorite local spots, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, to take a photograph for my New Year's Eve posting. There's a serene spot overlooking the lake that I had hoped would be illuminated by a dynamic winter sunset. Although I try to avoid that particular cliche, I thought I'd make an exception for today.
However, there was only fog to be found when I arrived even though the sun had been out not long before. For a moment, I thought I'd just post a dramatic image taken several years ago of the sun rising over the bay down the street from my home. But then, I reconsidered. This scene, although not nearly as cheerful, seems more fitting for the tough times we're facing and more a reflection of the serenity I hope we'll find in the year to come.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


During the holidays, any holiday, one of my greatest pleasures is cooking with my kids. Here's a plate of chocolate raspberry rugelach baked yesterday by my daughter, Jackie, and photographed overhead using natural window light.
I'm sure most of you have seen or eaten these cream cheese cookies traditionally baked on Hanukkah, but available in bakeries year-round. Yesterday while walking with my friend and author Julie Sheehan, I expressed my "trans-cultural" delight over the fact that Jackie had baked 150 ruggelach to be wrapped in sets of a dozen and presented as Christmas gifts to her boyfriend's family.
"Rugelach, what's that?" she asked.
"You know, those little crescents I had at my Hanukkah dinner."
"Oh those," she said, "I didn't know what they're called; how's it spelled?"
Never quite sure, I looked it up when I returned home. Here's what I found: Rugelach ( /ˈruːɡələx/; Yiddish: רוגעלך), other spellings: rugelakh, rugulach, rugalach, ruggalach, rogelach (all plural), rugalah, rugala (singular), is a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazic origin.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Family Photo

Taking a family photo is one of my biggest challenges, especially when I'm in it! First of all, when I announce that I'd like to take one, everyone clams up and starts complaining about what they're wearing or how their hair looks. So I've discovered that it's best not to tell them in advance and to plan to take the photo on special occasions when people are already looking their best. Sure, they will still whine, but they won't have as much time.
Also by using the self-timer on your camera (if you have one), you can get everyone engaged and smiling as they wait for the timer to count down and the shutter to release. This image, featured on my holiday card this year, was taken just before we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Buzz

Accidents happen. And sometimes for a reason...
Last week I was in midtown Manhattan taking more photographs for my Phantoms series. At around five just after the sun set, I was walking down Fifth Avenue amidst the crowds, just past the tree in Rockefeller Center. Gazing up at the holiday lights, I spotted a small formation of branches framed against a building that I found interesting.
With my camera set at aperature-priority, I raised it and pressed the shutter. It stayed open for several seconds, far too long with too much shake to render anything discernible, or so I thought. Realizing it was a mistake, I shut off the camera.
When I looked at it later, this is what I found...all the holiday buzz and energy that had been circling around me...

Saturday, December 3, 2011


In the last week, I've been to the beach four times with my dog, Copper. Yes, I know it's December, but it sure doesn't feel like it! On one of our walks at Cupsogue Beach, the county park at the far western end of Westhampton Dunes, we came upon this incredible sight. I'm not quite sure what to call it. An etching, engraving, masonry in sand?
Raising my camera, I started to snap away, excited about my discovery, wondering whether it was man-made or some kind of natural phenomena. Juxtaposed against the streaky clouds, I couldn't believe my luck. As I shot away, Copper crept into the image. At first I wanted to shoo him away, but then he sat down in just the right spot providing his profile.
They say things come in threes, it seems that also applies to photography.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On The March

Here's a photo of an Occupy Wall Street protester taking time to donate during a march taken by artist Patti Robinson at just the right moment. On this day of Thanksgiving. this image seems to project just the right spirit.
As he leans back digging into his pocket, it epitomizes the movement itself. No matter how busy, how stretched, or how little we have ourselves, giving to others produces a smile.
Bravo, Patti, for carrying your camera and sharing with us!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


As Thanksgiving approaches this year in the midst of so much global uncertainty, I find myself giving thanks for the little things I take for granted each day. In lieu of admiring the vast display of color that has been prematurely blown away this fall, my eye has been gravitating to the plumes gracing the tips of ornamental grasses that populate the area. Here's a spiky one at the end of my neighbor's driveway that gives me pleasure each time I drive-by.
So this week as you prepare for the holiday, savor the sights all around you, then take out your camera and snap away. And please send your favorite image to and I'll post one here on Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Autumn Colors?

Looking out my window, I can't help but notice that there's not much color this fall nor many leaves left on the trees. Due to Hurricane Irene and the recent nor'easter that dumped snow everywhere in the area except here on the East End, most were blown away before they could reach their peak. Therefore, I thought I'd post an image from a glorious fall taken several years ago.
Up until recently, Northeasterners could claim that climate change hadn't affected them as badly as those in other areas. After all, we weren't subject to tsunamis, earthquakes, fires and drought. Yes, we've been kvetching about hotter summers and much colder winters, but we seem to be finding the money to pay for more energy and to clear away all that snow.
But now it seems to be claiming one of our most sacred pleasures---our autumn colors! Have you noticed?

Saturday, November 5, 2011


On Halloween this past week, I found myself pushing a stroller through the parade on Main Street in Westhampton. Gazing around at the crowd of trick-or-treaters, there was a myriad of adorable faces. Unable to break away from my watch, I looked down and realized one of the sweetest, my newest grandson locked in his seat, was right in front of me waiting to be photographed. A willing subject, he gave me many smiles to choose from, however I kept shooting and after 15 frames, it was this wide-open expression that captured him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Constant Motion

It's about that time again, time for me to post yet another image of my grandson, my most challenging yet irresistible subject. As I've said before, photographing children under the age of five is one of the most difficult assignments, especially little boys who are in constant motion. Trying to pose children---or people of any age---is usually an exercise in frustration and often results in forced images revealing little about the subject's personality.
For me, spontaneity is the way to go. I always try to remember to bring my camera on outings with him, especially when there's an activity or something there that I think will engage him.
So on a recent autumn afternoon when we went to the Riverhead Street Fair, I made sure to pack my camera. While there was junk food and carnival rides galore, it was a collection of vintage tractors that captivated him most. Once he jumped onto this 1949 John Deere, it took just a few frames to really capture him.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Infinity and Beyond

In support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I'm posting this image taken on Saturday at Zuccotti Park near Wall Street. Of all the protesters, this one engaged me most. No sign of anger, no litany of words, just a simple symbol and an upraised arm.
Yes I know what some of you might be thinking. What exactly do they want? What do they expect to change? Well, it's that attitude, that complacency that's kept 99% of us down. And no, I didn't sleep in the park or even picket, but I was uplifted to see what looked like a lot of middle class people speaking up, finally taking a stand.
When I saw this fellow, I sunk to my heels and shot upwards; it was my way of enhancing his stature, amplifying his stand...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


At this time of year, it's difficult to turn my lens away from the pumpkins blanketing the fields here on the East End. Here's a relatively small display that I couldn't help but photograph outside the Garden of Eve, an organic market in Riverhead where I just ordered a Thanksgiving Veggie Box that I will pick-up on the Tuesday before the big day.
While it cost more than I would normally spend, it's certified organic and takes care of a good deal of my holiday food shopping well in advance. Instead of planning all those recipes, my daughters and I are looking forward to the surprise ingredients the box will hold and the dishes we will come up with.
So this is a reminder to carry your camera with you at all times, even on all those errands.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Today at lunch time I took a bike ride along Dune Road where I saw the most magnificent clouds. But alas, I didn't have my camera with me. As I lamented its absence, I remembered a group of cloud images I had taken of October skies in 2009 that still lay buried in my "C" drive. I also recalled that Alfred Stieglitz, the father of art photography, turned away from portraits and landscapes and up toward the clouds to explore abstraction late in his career.
So tonight I found a short video on YouTube about that series called Equivalents. Here's my rendition taken at mid-day with my telephoto lens when a storm threatened over the bay near my house.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In The Field

September is just flying by! Each year I set my sights on savoring its splendor and it's gone, just like that...This month I've been besieged by a series of "fix-it" projects--updating my online gallery (almost done!), repairing hurricane damage to my chimney and roof, and reconstructing a few teeth--keeping me from getting outdoors with my camera.
So here's another autumn image taken some years back that's inspiring me to get out in the fields, so full here on the East End this time of year. Again, notice the square format and the diagonal lines of color that pull the eye into the image. By stepping a few feet to the right, I was able to make a very still subject come alive. Check-out the long island collection on my site, to see more examples.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brush Fire

As summer comes to a close and we edge toward the first day of fall, I recall this image taken several years back in a nearby park. That autumn afternoon when I tromped around with my medium format camera (notice the square frame) in the late afternoon as the sun dipped down, the light skimmed through the trees illuminating this burnt orange brush.
And as I'm apt to do, I stopped down to a wide aperture, f4 or 5.6, to accentuate the foreground and throw the background into a blur.
With the drought continuing in Texas and the wildfires still burning out of control, this image seemed to signify the coming season when mother nature unfurls her unrelenting fury as well as her most exquisite beauty.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


A few months ago at around 6pm on a June evening, I heard a crash in my backyard. The trunk of a tree had cracked and fallen just over the fence from my neighbor's property onto mine. No storm, no wind, no warning; a giant maple was strewn across my lawn just like that.
Fortunately it hadn't fallen on my house, my dog, or on anyone outside. But was it some kind of warning? Were the gods trying to tell me something? And now I had a major mess to deal with just as I had finished sprucing up my yard for the summer. Who was going to clean it up? How much was it going to cost?
The following weekend my grandson came to sleep over. When he ran out back to play, he screamed "Grammy what happened?"
As I explained, his eye grew wider and wider. "Can I climb up there?" he grinned with glee.
For a few moments I hesitated. What I had viewed as a catastrophe (albeit minor) and a major nuisance, this child perceived as wonderful. The next morning he jumped out of bed, slipped on his sneakers and ran outside in his pajamas to play.
On this hallowed day, this image gives me some hope for the future. No matter what befalls us, what we must face in this life, the human spirit does prevail.

Friday, September 2, 2011


This week I'm feeling quite grateful. Grateful for the bulb that burns on my desk while I work and read day or night; grateful for the flame that flickers to boil water for coffee or tea; grateful for the warm water that flows from my faucet to wash my hands and hair.
Yet, although Hurricane Irene spared us here on Long Island, I can't help but fret about the future, that nature's fury will continue to accelerate.
Yes, the water didn't rush up the one block from the bay to my house and flood my first floor as I feared it might for the first time since living near the coast for almost 20 years. And although I spent just one night away from home and lost power for just two days, I'm concerned about those affected in other areas, especially those devastated upstate and in Vermont.
Unless we heed nature's warnings and work tirelessly to find a better balance between consumption and conservation, we'll have to hope that we all can learn how to walk on water.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hanging Out

As I cover my office equipment, pack up my photo albums and before I move my computer upstairs to higher ground before Hurricane Irene hits tomorrow, I thought about this collage completed last month and now hanging over the reference desk at the Westhampton Library until Sept 1st.
Called Hanging Out, its background is a composite of three images taken in Guatamala of a volcano. Yes, that's real lava that we were allowed to hike up to and even touch if we dared on a group trip taken there in 2008. And the characters floating on its crest are people I've come in contact with over the years.
Anticipating the course of the next two days, it seems that after we've bought flashlights, batteries, candles and peanut butter, there's not much more we can all do but hang out, hope for the best and see what happens...

Sunday, August 14, 2011


After a week of the most glorious weather of the summer, it's a rainy Sunday when I have to admit I'm content to stay indoors, catch up on my reading, my blog, and perhaps do not much more than watch the rain fall.
Here's an image taken with my telephoto lens through my front window at f5.6 to emphasize the drops of water falling on the leaf. I could get much closer with a macro lens, but since I don't need to get super close (and don't own one), a telephoto is sufficient. Another reason this lens is a good choice is that the longer focal length further enhances the shallow depth of field.
Following a busy summer of framing and mounting work for several shows, it's nice to get back to making new images...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Purple Ponds

The hum of the crickets, the scent of the sea spray, the intensity of the light are all signs of August. Here's an image taken in 2005 not far from Orient on the North Fork around this time of year.
It's currently on view as part of an exhibit, THREE WOMEN--Photographic Renditions, now hanging at the Westhampton Library in Westhampton Beach thru Sept.1st.
It features many of my Long Island landscapes-- exquisite hand-painted photographs by Mia Wisnoski and Elizabeth Holmes, two fellow photographs from the area.
My new triptych collages including Romp posted here last month are also on view. It will be fun to pop into the library this month and see how the patrons are responding to the new direction of my work. Details regarding the show are listed here in the News section on the right.
Also Phantoms at Art Sites has been extended an extra week, so if you haven't made it to Riverhead, there's still time!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Here's another image from my Phantoms series now on view at Art Sites in Riverhead thru August 7th. This Saturday I will be giving an artist talk at the gallery at 5:30 about my process and what inspired me to create these images. I hope those of you in the area can come!
This one called Scissored seems to be one of the favorites of the exhibition. It was taken at the Lincoln Road Mall in South Miami last February. I stationed myself in a particular spot where I had a view of the shoppers strolling by, then I watched and waited.
When this young phantom came along, I took notice. Her dark hair, glasses and trousers contrasted with the bright background. But it was her scissored arms and legs moving across the frame accentuated by a slow shutter speed that make her so dynamic.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


About a year ago, I had the urge to start cutting up the piles of test prints I had stored in boxes over the years. The result is a new series of collages entitled Out of Whack mounted on wood that I will be exhibiting at Galerie Belage, 8 Moniebogue Lane in Westhampton Beach this week thru August 1st as part of the Artists Studio Tour.
Here is one called Romp--a triptych--that I completed last week featuring my favorite subject, Copper. You might recognize the background image as a photograph I posted here last year not long after I adopted him.
What's wonderful about this new work is that I get to revisit, recycle and revise my images into narratives that tell new stories depending on who is viewing them. Take a look at this one and comment below telling me what you see and think...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Here's another image from my Phantoms series on view now at Art Sites, 651 W. Main Street in Riverhead. I hope those of you not too far away can make it to the opening reception this Saturday evening, July 9th from 5 to 7 pm.
This phantom was taken in Miami on the strip in South Beach as I ate my breakfast and watched people pass by. And here's my artist statement which came out more like a poem about what inspired the series:
As I move through life, human beings seem to be disintegrating. I see a face here, hear a voice there, but then they're gone. Blurred, garbled, disjointed... they're all around me. Sometimes I see them, smell them, touch them, sometimes not. They walk by, sometimes we connect for a few moments, sometimes not. They are in my heart, my mind, but mostly on my phone and my computer. They pass by in cars, in the mall, in the park, on the street, sometimes not. They are living, breathing, moving past me, sometimes not. Perhaps they are phantoms, perhaps not.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Since last fall when I traveled to Spain and France, I have been working on a new series called Phantoms. This week instead of photographing, I have been framing ten of the images to be exhibited at Art Sites, 651 W. Main Street in Riverhead from July 2 - August 7th--with an artist's reception on July 9th from 5 - 7pm, open to the public. I hope those of you within driving distance can come see!
This particular image, Skateboarder, was taken at a very slow shutter speed in Paris beside the Fontaine Saint-Michel in the Latin Quarter as I watched a boy skate around it. Other phantoms in the show were photographed in Barcelona, Miami Beach and Manhattan.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


What would you say if I told you that this rose used to be pink? I'm sure you'd say that I must seeing things. Well yes, I do have a vivid imagination but there's no mistake; pink roses, bubble-gum pink to be exact, bloomed on this bush for years.
When I first noticed the change a few weeks ago, I was mystified, thought it was some kind of sign. Perhaps it signaled my daughter's upcoming 21st birthday, that she was turning into a woman. Her middle name happens to be, yes, Rose. Or maybe, it was a sign of my own maturity, the richness of my life as my family and my work keeps growing. Whatever the case, I was pleased since I disliked that particular shade of pink.
Then, I decided to research the subject and found out that indeed, white roses can turn pink and pink roses can turn red due to something called "grafting." Apparently, this rosebush was originally red until it was grafted to be pink. And sometimes, after a period of time the process can reverse. Mystical, don't you think?

Monday, June 13, 2011


There's nothing like natural light.
On Saturday at my grandson's birthday party, my job was to take care of his new baby brother. Amidst all the ruckus--rock music blaring from gigantic speakers and 20 four year-olds dancing around us--I laid him down on a leather chair near a window to let him stretch out and noticed the beautiful light falling on his face.
Since I was trying to take some photos too (my usual job), I grabbed my camera and attempted to capture him without a flash. Fortunately, Blake is a very mellow fellow so far and stayed still for the 1/10 second exposure required.
It was also lucky that these two balls happened to be right there on the chair coordinating with his outfit and mimicking his cherubic face.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Wind, it's not easy to capture by its very nature.
Yesterday on a sunny afternoon, I noticed a field of grasses swaying in the wind on the side of the road. I can't count the number of times I've been mesmerized by this glorious sight, but have shied away from attempting to photograph it. The sheer motion, it's vastness and all the slender pieces seemed like too much to cram into a still frame.
Setting my shutter at 1/320 second, I tried to isolate a single frond at first. While those images were lovely, they didn't reflect my impression nor my experience. So I zoomed out and maintained a shallow depth of field to exaggerate the motion. Then I let it rip...

Friday, May 20, 2011


After almost a week of rain, it finally stopped today and the sun came out for a while around noon. By the time I stepped out, however, the weather had already changed---not unusual by the sea here on the East End.
As I walked down the block toward the bay, I felt the moisture in the air and saw that the fog had started to descend. "Wonderful," I thought, "it would be nice to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, but fog is much more interesting."
Then, I started to wonder why. Is it the mystery it evokes? The blur in the distance? A sense of wonder?
Sure, it's all those things. But looking at this image, I realized that what fog does best is bring our attention to what's right in front of us since there's not much more to distract us.
Here, mounds of sea grass stretch into the water like fingers testing the temperature. I had never noticed that before...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Amid all the recent reminders of September 11th and the talk of nuclear threats since the killing of Bin Laden and the tsunami in Japan, I keep summoning up this image. Taken early on a May morning several years ago less than a mile from my house, it calms me.
I wish I could replace all the pictures of barbed-wire compounds and bloody floors streaming across the media with images like this. I can't help but think that our minds are in drastic need of rewiring.
After all, violence provokes more violence, therefore, wouldn't peace provoke more peace?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Lime, it's the hallmark of spring. That fresh green color that sprouts from the branches and pops up in the garden. All that grey and suddenly, almost overnight lime takes over the landscape.
Late yesterday afternoon, I was looking out a second floor window of my home and found myself staring at the blossoms blanketing the maple tree in my front yard. At first I tried to take a photograph from the window, but the image in my mind's eye did not translate through the camera lens as often happens when shooting from afar.
So I decided to step outside and move closer. I had never stopped to examine an individual maple blossom before. What I discovered was quite beautiful and much more complex than I expected.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


There's nothing more "springy" than tulips. Last week when I was given this bunch they stood up straight at attention, their petals closed tight into yellow fists. Each day I admired them as they opened little by little, spreading wider over my dining room table.
Then over the weekend, they started to droop. As they reached down almost touching the cherry wood, I waited until this morning to photograph them in the natural light shining through the nearby window.
Yes, fresh flowers are lovely, but there's something remarkable and quite touching about tulips when they're spent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


When my grandson heard that a truck had dumped a mountain of mulch on my driveway last Sunday, he begged his parents to drop him off at my house so he could help. Shovel in hand, he dug right in, helping to fill the wheelbarrow and spread the mulch over my many beds. Of course, in between trips around the yard, he ran up and down the huge pile, filling his sneakers with his own private stash.
As the sun sank down in the afternoon, I realized this was the perfect photo opportunity. One of the most difficult jobs as a photographer is to capture young children as they dart around. However, one of the best ways is to engage them in an activity that they love so they forget about the camera.
My grandson loves to work, especially in the dirt. Can you tell?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Color At Last

Looking out the window or walking down the street these days here on the East End, the landscape is still cloaked in grey. Grey skies, grey shingles, grey branches. Since I usually shoot in color, it hasn't been easy for me to find images in recent months.
I've been dreaming of April and the colors of spring. Like most, I forget that April is perhaps the greyest of months.
Therefore, on a walk in the Quogue Wildlife Preserve this past Saturday with a friend, I was determined to find some color. One of few sunny days of late, I could at least count on the blue sky. But again, the greyness enveloped me.
"Could you help me look for some color," I asked my friend who can be quite observant.
A few minutes later, he pointed out some red branches poking through.
"Thanks," I sighed moving in close.

Monday, April 4, 2011


This morning at 12:21, Blake Levi Schaffer arrived. Eight pounds, two ounces. After just three hours of labor, he's finally here!
As I've said before, I don't like to use this forum to show-off my family. But you'll have to bear with me on this one. After all, I am a Jewish mother and now a grandmother of two.
Here's the first photograph taken of mother and child together. Just ten hours old and he's already my model. Although I hate the flash and the automatic portrait setting, it's the best choice when there's just one chance to get it right and no time to experiment. And fortunately, his other set of grandparents are blocking the wall behind them, so there's no shadow...

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Today on a walk in the park with my grandson, I saw the first forsythia blooming. With my dog in tow too, I hadn't brought my camera on this sunny yet cold day. Returning home, I thought I'd run out again, but once I sat down my energy waned. Fortunately I recalled this image taken in 2007 along a back road in Riverhead.
Displayed on my website as part of my Lines series, I'm still pleased by how the double yellow lines mimic the blooms so beautifully. Sometimes a repeating pattern or color is enough to make an image memorable. Its a simple tip that seems appropriate to share as we wait for spring until the bitter end...

Monday, March 21, 2011


After spending most of last week indoors due to back trouble, I was itching to get outside with my camera yesterday, especially since I was overdue to post here. Driving toward Greenport on the North Fork, I was sure I'd see some signs of spring, pansies on the side of the road or tractors back in the fields.
Although the sun was shining and tiny buds tipped branches, vistas remained bare. Nothing caught my attention nor stirred my imagination. I had all but given up, tucked my camera way under my arm, when we stopped at Aldo's for a pound of coffee before heading back.
Well known for his premium beans (and biscottis), Aldo is one of the few who continues to roast his own. As we ordered Ethiopian, I noticed an apparatus attached to the roaster, spinning in the window, stirring a tub-full, cooling the beans.
Drawn to the sight, I set my shutter speed at 1/5 sec to blur and thus, emphasize the motion. Then I held steady, snapping many frames in order to get one where the blur is in just the right place.
In photography like in literature, "the best laid plans of mice and men (and women) often go awry" or perhaps, amount to a hill of beans...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bottoms Up

Despite their ornery nature, swans seem to be one of those subjects that photographers just can't resist. They fall into the postcard category like sunsets and sailboats.
Last weekend after I photographed my "Turner"--a rather moody comment on the change of seasons--I swiveled around and was tickled when these two caught my eye on the other side of the waterway.
Beyond the chuckle and humor here, I'm amazed at how the mood and light can vary so drastically in one location, from one spot to another under the same sky. It just depends which way you point your lens.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


During these last weeks of winter, it's been quite a challenge to find anything other than mud to photograph. So despite the damp weather this weekend, I was pleased when I visited this special spot in Quiogue--a tiny hamlet tucked between Westhampton and Quogue--and noticed the dappled grey overhead.
As the March winds made it difficult to steady my camera, I was reminded that dramatic skies signal a change in season. Spring may finally be on its way!
After shooting a few frames I decided to underexpose by 2/3 of a stop to enhance the contrast making the sky even more striking. And again, I've created an image that's almost black-and-white.
Although it lacks color, it also reminds me of the skies painted by William Turner, the British artist, in the 19th century. Hence the title and the romance...

Sunday, February 27, 2011


There's something wonderfully mysterious about this image, somewhat like a graphic novel.
On a trip into Manhattan this past week, I was sitting on the train, a double-decker, shooting down at the door. When it opened at each stop, I photographed the people coming in and out. Of all the images, I found this one most interesting.
Like in writing, it's sometimes what is left out, what is absent rather than what is included in an image that makes it memorable. Here we can feel the anticipation of waiting for someone to walk through the door or sit down on the bench. Our imagination starts to work...
Will it be someone old or young, male or female, black or white, healthy or infirm?
I'm also attracted to its black-and-white properties with a hint of red repeated inside and out. None of this could have been planned. And how it happens is always a mystery.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Around now we're all sick and tired of the winter. Enough already. It's so bad for me that I can't seem to find any inspiration to take photographs around here. I've covered the ice, the snow, even the train tracks. A week has gone by and I haven't taken one photo...
So today I decided instead of braving the cold and trying to overlook all the dirty snow that still lingers, I'd continue to reflect on the week of warmth in Florida (I've been back for only a week).
Here's an aluminum canopy framing the palm trees in a municipal square. While South Beach is known for its Art Deco architecture, there's also an abundance of contemporary sculpture that caught my eye. Many of the gates, doorways and public spaces are adorned with intricate metalwork bending in all directions.
For all its associations with the old and the infirm on the inside, I found Miami to be a place with a healthy appreciation of the new on the outside.

Monday, February 14, 2011


If you were wondering where I escaped and missed posting last week, the answer is Miami. Arriving on Super Bowl Sunday, I stayed right on the strip in South Beach in the heart of the Art Deco district across the street from the ocean. For the first few days, I wandered around in disbelief feeling guilty that my friends and family were home freezing. How could it be 80 degrees and sunny in this place when most of the country is covered by snow?
When I accepted my good fortune and let go of the guilt, I started to look around and appreciate the architecture and tropical colors. Since I was focusing on people on the street for another project, I hadn't taken any sightseeing photos. But on the last morning there, I spotted this Chevy BelAir parked in front of the Edison Hotel and raised my camera. Its canary yellow was a wonderful complement to the Wedgewood blue. If it wasn't for the motorcycle parked behind the car, you might think this image was taken in 1955 when this car came out, a year before I was born.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Between storms I had the opportunity to take a brisk walk with my dog in the sunshine yesterday around noon. Instead of circling the block as usual, I headed toward the tiny marina at the end of my block where the town launch is located--a busy place during the summer but quite desolate during the winter.
This time of year I'm always surprised to see islands of ice floating in Shinnecock Bay in lieu of cabin cruisers, sailboats, and jet-skis. But this time I was drawn to this group of pilings standing at attention, some cushioned by pools of water.
Its an oasis, I thought, just like this place where I can always find something new to behold in the sky, in the water, or on the dock.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Keeping On

At the close of this most snowy month as the constant barrage of storms continues to disrupt life here on the East End and throughout the Northeast, this image seems fitting. Determined not to let the weather stop me, I was driving through Hampton Bays on Wednesday just as the morning snowfall was ending and there was a break before yet another foot fell that evening. Crossing the railroad tracks around noon, I noticed that the lights were on at the station at midday. Instead of focusing on the gloominess the sight portended, I decided to focus on the positive, to look at it as perhaps, the light at the end of that tunnel that we are all waiting for...
This posting, my 58th, marks a full year that I have become a blogger casting pictures and words out into cyberspace. I'm pleased that I have been able to stick with it and find images each week that I find interesting enough to provoke some thoughts. Moreover, I want to thank my readers for taking the time to take a look, especially those who send encouraging comments...they have kept me going...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


During this January freeze, it's often difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to believe that warmer days are ahead. For that reason, I was particularly attracted to these overturned rowboats stacked on the shores of Sears Bellows Pond the other day.
Skimming the surface, the sunlight was elusive, seemed to be playing a game of hide-and-seek. When the light is low and the contrast high, it's a challenge to replicate through the lens what we see before our eyes. In this case, I had to overexpose by two stops in order to render any detail whatsoever in the shadows.
The result is an image that appears black-and-white although it was taken in color. Apropos for the stark days and nights this month.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Just when the foot of snow dumped in my yard last week is starting to melt, they are predicting more for tomorrow. This winter is surely bound to set records for accumulation here on the East End. Imagining how treacherous it's been for commuters over the past few weeks, I feel fortunate that I work from home and can find images, if need be, by just stepping outside and looking around.
After the last storm when the sun finally came out, I tromped around in my back yard looking for something noteworthy. Since I've lived here for almost twenty years, it's quite a challenge to see things anew on my property. But once again I was surprised when I gravitated toward a line of bare lilac branches that hung down under the weight of all that snow.
As I zoomed in close, the ratio between the spindly branches and the amount of snow accumulated there magnified before my eyes. It's a wonder of nature that I doubt I would have noticed without my camera.

Monday, January 10, 2011


In the midst of back-to-back snow storms, I thought I'd post this image taken last month on a sunny day in Port Jefferson. Before meeting a friend at Star Bucks, I made a beeline for the harbor where the ferry runs back and forth to Bridgeport. Instead of focusing on some aspect of the large boats loaded with cars, I found myself heading to the small beach where I gravitated toward these algae-covered pilings.
Beyond my attraction to the lime green, I often find that symmetry predominates many of my images where the simple law of thirds constitutes the composition. And then there are the surprises--the gold and green sunspots that many photographers try to avoid, but in this case seem to coordinate so well and add interest to the image.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


On New Year's Eve while driving through Riverhead, a little early for a lunch date, I turned into Indian Island State Park and drove around looking for an image to post for the New Year. Although I haven't been drawn to landscapes lately, I was attracted to this scene, classic for the area because of the common reeds (or phragmites) on the right invading the marsh.
No matter what the season, they appear wherever you look here on the East End of Long Island. Hovering over the dunes, lining the roads and waterways, crowning private gardens, these tall grasses are always waving in the wind. In the winter they become particularly beautiful as their hue turns from straw to auburn and their fronds fill up with seeds becoming ever so bushy.
If it weren't for the reeds, this spot with no leaves, no sign of life would appear bleak. But the cattails (as I wrongly refer to them) lift the spirit. Not only because of their spiky beauty, their tufts of silk, but because of there persistence, their ever-presence.