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.