Friday, May 25, 2012


The most important ingredient for taking good photographs is being present. It doesn't matter what kind of equipment you have if you're not aware, living in the moment.
This image of my daughter taken last weekend just before her sister's college graduation ceremony is a perfect example. We had arrived over one hour early at the campus to stake out our seats for six people. At the time, the closest ones to the stage were smack in the middle, directly in the sun. As we waited, amid the crowd, sweat beading on our foreheads, I fretted about how I would get a shot of the graduate through all the heads as she walked down the middle aisle.
Then I looked up and saw my older daughter's smile set aside Healy Hall, the oldest building at Georgetown. Lifting my camera, I took three shots. This one, the last, of her wistfully glancing sideways as if she knew exactly how I was framing her, is my favorite. If I had continued to fret, hadn't been present, I wouldn't have this precious momento.
For a more poetic take on this image, go to Recovery Thru My Lens.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Each Mother's Day, we go to the North Fork to buy plants for the garden like so many Long Islanders. But this year there was a special treat. Lunch at the Tea Time Cottage in Jamesport where it's all about lavender. Thriving everywhere, the fragrant herb abounds in the gardens, the greenhouse and inside as well. It's in your tea, your whipped cream, your soup, your chicken wrap, you name it. They also sell a line of lavender soaps and lotions that smell divine.
Although it was midday, I challenged myself by attempting to photograph the brightly illuminated place including the sign near the road that resided in deep shade. There must have been about a 3 or maybe 4-stop difference between the two. I accomplished this image by overexposing by 1/3 stop and brightening the sign--as well as the porch--quite a bit in Photoshop. Rather contrasty for my taste, but fitting for the warm, cheerful day! 

Friday, May 11, 2012


On the heels of my quintessential cherry tree image, I thought this would be an interesting follow-up. Each spring I love the sight of petals dropped like confetti on lawns and roadways; and each spring I try to find a way to photograph these carpets of color. A few weeks ago, I made an attempt with the addition of my Shadow.
Last weekend on my way to my daughter's house, I noticed this swath of pink beside the road and pulled over. Shooting from above, they appeared like unremarkable specks with no real perspective. However when I sunk down to my heels, I found something more compelling.
A first glance it was just a rusty drain; but the more I looked the more I liked the irony it presented. Here were these beautiful bits of nature adorning the sewer made by man that would eventually suck them in.
It's these surprises, these counterpoints that can make an image more meaningful. For a more lyrical rendition of my thoughts regarding this image checkout my other blog, Recovery Thru My Lens.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Most photographers avoid midday light at all costs. They shoot either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, skimming the earth creating dramatic light and long shadows. Between 11 am and 1pm, the sun shines directly down producing dark circles under the eyes and extreme contrast everywhere else. 
However, on occasion it can work to your advantage with the right subject. Here's one of my favorite images taken on the North Fork of Long Island in a place called New Suffolk. One May day I was driving around this charming area scouting for locations when I spotted this vintage truck protected by a canopy of pink. Enchanted, I pulled over and grabbed my medium-format camera (with film). When I stood before the scene, the lacy shadows took me by surprise turning a pretty picture into an interesting one.