Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reciprocal mail

I took this shot yesterday:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Parks and buildings

I took these two on Saturday:

Beautiful light in my studio

The light yesterday was amazing around 7. I took this shot of my workspace. Keeping everything neat and tidy is very important for me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My son Lucius

A picture speaks a thousand words:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

City trees

Here are a few shots of trees in Manhattan:

50mm city shots

Here are a few shots I took with the 50mm lens I just got:

Friday, May 27, 2011


I rented a 70-200mm lens the other day. Here are some shots I took with it:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Neighboring buildings

I took these two from the window in the back of my studio:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

High contrast buildings

Here are two shots I took this morning:

Lola at work

I took these two of Lola last night in Maplewood:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More garbage

Here are a couple of new garbage shots I took:

Monday, May 23, 2011


Here's a shot I took this weekend:

Friends, family and colleagues

Here are some portraits I've taken over the last month:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Color compositions

Here are a few shots I've taken over the last two days. After using the 16-35mm zoom for a bit, I realize I really prefer shooting with a longer lens. These were taken with the 85mm.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Jay Seldin, my printing and photography teacher, lent me his 16-35mm zoom lens. With the exception of two photographs, all the pictures I've posted on this blog up to this point have been taken with a fixed 85mm 1.2. A dear friend, Glenn Zorpette told me this lens cost more than his new car. A slight exaggeration.

I love abstraction. The first thing I noticed with the 16-35mm is that getting abstraction is hard; you see everything, from the ground to the sky. So with these shots I'm trying to get some abstraction with negative and positive space.

Here are a few selects. All these shots were taken at 16mm. I need limitations. I'm lost without them. So I've decided to set the lens at 16mm and forget about the zoom.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This song takes inspiration from my friend who said that the photos I take lack soul and emotion. Not that I'm bitter or anything. It's not like I had to write a song about it.


I've instituted a one take policy for these posts. So you are hearing these songs warts and all. You'll hear me rush, drag, miss notes and play wrong chords. I hope this will help me with my focus. I remember hearing Charlie Rouse, the tenor player who played in Thelonious Monk's quartet in the 50's and 60's, say that Monk would go with the first take on almost every song. Any mistakes Rouse made would be recorded for posterity. Rouse is one of my favorite three saxophonists. That said, check out his intonation on "Ugly Beauty," recorded on Monk's record Underground. As I write this I wonder if the intonation is intentional given the title of the song. I don't know. Sadly Monk or Rouse aren't around anymore so we can't ask.

I've always gravitated to players who don't have clean, glossy technique. Tommy Turrentine, Stanley's brother, is my favorite trumpet player. Even over Dizzy. Tommy probably had a range of about an octave and a half. Not much. He cracked notes all the time. But the feeling in his playing is volcanic. His playing reminds me of a poem I love, "Trumpet Player" by Langston Hughes. The connection may seem literal. But what I feel in Tommy's playing and what I feel in the following poem are the same. I can't directly relate to the African American experience in this poem. But the yearning for something lost and the desire for some kind of solace kills me. Here's the poem:

The Negro
With the trumpet at his lips
Has dark moons of weariness
Beneath his eyes
where the smoldering memory
of slave ships
Blazed to the crack of whips
about thighs

The negro
with the trumpet at his lips
has a head of vibrant hair
tamed down,
patent-leathered now
until it gleams
like jet—
were jet a crown

the music
from the trumpet at his lips
is honey
mixed with liquid fire
the rhythm
from the trumpet at his lips
is ecstasy
distilled from old desire—

that is longing for the moon
where the moonlight's but a spotlight
in his eyes,
that is longing for the sea
where the sea's a bar-glass
sucker size

The Negro
with the trumpet at his lips
whose jacket
Has a fine one-button roll,
does not know
upon what riff the music slips

It's hypodermic needle
to his soul
but softly
as the tune comes from his throat
mellows to a golden note

New York City water tower

Here's the next piece in the urban studies series. Martha Singer, my fine art studio manager, asked me to do a NYC water tower. So here it is:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Abstracted woman

Here's a new piece of mine. I'm really happy with the composition of this one.

More shots at night

Here are a few shots I took last night:

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