Monday, October 29, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lake Ontario, Fairhaven Beach

Fall may not be the usual time when most folks visit their favorite beach, but for Nancy, Aurora and I, this is the best time of the year. For everything. The subtle palette, the gentle breeze, the total lack of crowds... just a fantastic way to spend a late Autumn day.

From a photographic standpoint, it is also ideal. When the sky is clouded over, the entire sky becomes one giant softbox. This makes for very gentle wrapping light. Unfortunately, today was not a day for portraits. Aurora shot a fair number in the town of Fairhaven, but I'll leave it to her to post those to FB and G+.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Prelude to an Illustration

Over the past few days, we have had a run of very foggy, misty, moisty mornings. Certainly a beautiful time to be out photographing the remarkable light, but also so tempting to just crawl back under the covers. Yesterday, I knew that my time with this light was growing short. Soon, Winter will be here and what is left of the moist misty light will be replaced by sharp bright snow. 

Part of what drew me outside to photograph this scene yesterday is that I have a client who has asked me to work on a few bookcovers for him. One of his stories that I am working on the cover for, is called We All Fall Down, and it set in the dark ages. The setting is dark, foggy, very mysterious. Rather than try to recreate that in Photoshop, I figured why not try to get it in-camera right from the outset. At this point, I am not sure how we'll use the final image for his book, but the design ideas are pretty wild. Check out Gordon Bonnet's books at 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Details of the When and If

Today was my second day photographing the When and If. I don't think I could have asked for a more picturesque autumn day; blue skies, light wispy clouds, bright sunshine, blue water, light breeze... and that lovely snap thanks to a late morning frost. The frost was still melting off places as I climbed on board the When and If this morning. A few minutes in the bright sunshine and everything began to thaw.

Trying to capture the intimate details of this amazing boat is like a kid in a candy store choosing just one piece of candy to purchase. It is overwhelming. I find myself dumbstruck by the complexity of the joinery and the means by which forms grow and twist. Tonight I am looking over hundreds of images I took today. The details are completely exhausting. Knowing that so much of this will be pulled apart, rebuilt, reshaped and restored to its original condition is so hard to imagine. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Jewelry from Linda Christensen

I met Linda a few weeks ago, on the recommendation of a mutual friend. After talking about her goal of getting her work into an online resource for artists wanting to wholesale their crafts to galleries, we agreed that we needed to push the image quality of her work.

I spent the better part of two days arranging and re-arranging her necklaces and earrings; constantly looking for ways to highlight the fossils and beach stones she loves using. Most of her glass beads are antique glass too, and I wanted to capture that age, if possible.

My previous experience shooting small jewelry centered around Nancy's glass beadwork (EarCandy) and some other assorted metalworked jewelry. This was a very exciting prospect. After all was said and done, I feel that the finished images speak of the quiet simplicity of Linda's vision.

Friday, October 12, 2012

When and If

I have not been posting images with great frequency this month. I apologize for my absence. I wish I could say it is due to us being on vacation or being too busy with work for clients. The real reason probably has to do with the time of year and my memories of the trauma that cycle through every year at this time. 

The good news is that I landed a fascinating assignment... photographing the restoration process of the When and If. In the words of the fine woodworker/ship builder, Captain Dennis Montgomery: 
The When and If was designed and built for then Col. George Patton later the General. This is the latest project to come to Cayuga Wooden Boatworks Inc. for restoration work. We will do some work this year and some next year. We will be posting more photos on the progress as we continue to work on her this season and next so friends spread the word about this and the other interesting and historic projects at CWBW. 
Aurora and I met with Dennis this past Monday, on a perfect Fall day. For three hours, we milled about, trying to figure out what angles would be best to capture this sailboat as it left the waters of Cayuga Lake to begin its restoration process. In the end, it was out of the water so quickly! From there it was driven, suspended from huge straps, to its resting place where the real work will take place. 

Check out Capt. Dennis Montgomery's Facebook page for the Cayuga Wooden Boatworks, and follow along as I keep posting updates about this whole restoration process over the next few months.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Joe and Aurora

Four decades apart ... and if you closed your eyes, you would never know it. Listening to Joe talking to Aurora about Joe Strummer and the Clash, while sitting at our dining room table last weekend was the most fascinating conversation I have eavesdropped on in a while.

Joe had the wicked good fortune to be allowed to photograph the Clash during their U.S. tour back in 1980 and 1981. His images are stellar! Good enough that he was a contributor to the recent film: The Rise and Fall of the Clash
Check out his images, and you'll see how amazingly talented he is!

Aurora has been a fan of the Clash since she was about 11 or 12. She heard London Calling and that was all it took. Guns of Brixton and Should I Stay or Should I Go turned her into a die-hard fan. When we added Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros to our family's collection of music, she fell in love with Joe Strummer all the more.

Joe was in town so we could all see the Indigo Girls in Buffalo with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Between all the driving to and from Buffalo, we had a chance to relax, catch up and share stories galore. Something about consuming sushi that really brings out my social side!

On Joe's final evening with us, Joe and Aurora agreed to sit for a quick portrait sitting. Probably spent too much time fussing with lights... and then WHAM... everything clicked. I love the quality of the light, wrapping around both faces, those leather jackets, and the expressions on each face. Such intensity, humor, seriousness and just a touch of fatigue. Great fun!