Saturday, November 21, 2009

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Painting by Gerhard Richter, 1966

Digital Photograph by Michael Somoroff, 2004

I don't know; what do you think? It might be flattery but it might also be thievery.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In honor of Veteran's Day ...

Photograph of General Dwight D. Eisenhower speaking to paratroopers before they are to be dropped behind enemy lines at Normandy for the D-Day invasion. Many of them did not survive.

Photographer Unknown.

To all Veterans, we salute you, and thank you. Godspeed.

War Photography

“I hope to stay unemployed as a war photographer 'til the end of my life.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I relate!

I concur with the sentiment expressed in this shot.
(Hooray Yankees!)

Fans in Times Square after the Yankees win the World Series.
© Associated Press

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nick Brandt / making it your own

You've seen one photograph of a lion, and well, you've probably seen it a million times -- it is pretty tough to not get the same kind of shot if you're lucky enough to go on safari.

HOWEVER, in the case of Nick Brandt, the virtual stamping of his name consistently from one photograph to the next is one wonder unto itself. Even more astounding is the intimacy and almost human like quality of these magnificent animals that he is able to capture. It is as if he establishes a rapport with them and he gets not only their permission but garners their cooperation.


Friday, October 30, 2009

In the spirit of Halloween ...

I'm posting a photograph of bats. Leave it to National Geographic to provide shivers with their requisite strong photography.

These baby bats were rescued by the Australian Bat Clinic after a violent storm threw hundreds of them to the ground.

~~~ + ~~~
Photo: Newspix/Rex USA

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the power of a photograph

Immediately after Meghan McCain (daughter of Presidential hopeful, John McCain) posted a self portrait on Twitter, the nation went abuzz and a brouhaha ensued. I have to admit, the scandal (although I can't tell you exactly what the scandal is) prompted me to Google her and then immediately look up The Daily Beast where she is a columnist. The Daily Beast is now bookmarked on my computer.

depth & dimension

© Henri Cartier-Bresson

Link to the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

autumn indulgence

For fall enthusiasts and Ansel Adams aficionados, you can pick this up at Christie's auction house for somewhere between $9,000 and $12,000. A steal compared to the $1,609,000 for an Edward Weston 1925 nude from Sotheby's in 2008.
Leaves, Alaska, 1948
© Ansel Adams

The Masters

These are but three of the masters. Helmut Newton (with Alice Springs, his wife, to the right), Irving Penn, and Richard Avedon (with Sophia Loren).

Since I am a fiend for self portraits, I will continue to post them and if you'd like to share your finds or your own, please email me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What better day than today to launch my new site?

I'm big on omens and since the Yankees just made it into the World Series, what better time to go live?! (

Here is a poignant and beautiful photograph of Babe Ruth with a fan.

~~~ + ~~~

1929 / The New York Times
Photographer Unknown.

"Here's lookin' at ya ..."

~~~ + ~~~
1) Marlon Brando & Katy Jurado, 1955
2) Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, & Marilyn Monroe, 1953
3) Sophia Loren & Jane Mansfield, 1957

google it or ogle it I'm not sure what


new GOOGLE logo compliments of

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

too close to it

Part of me wanted to include this shot on my current website but then the other part of me said:
  • --You're only as good as your most current work.
  • --Maybe it's dated.
  • --The dresses should be tighter.
  • --But wait -- I styled the whole thing!
  • --I directed the make-up!
  • --This was one of my first tests! And I put this together on the cheap. Models, hair & make-up, accessories, returnable wardrobe from Bloomies -- everything -- FREE!
Yeah, but so what? Since when did sentimentality become a component of a sound photograph?

I asked my web designer for his input -- gave him the disclaimer that I knew it didn't really fit with the other work and he came back to say, "as far as the 80s shot ...". Right then and there I knew I was TOO CLOSE TO IT. "
The 80s shot."

Lesson Learned: Sometimes a photographer is too close to their work to be a good editor.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Julius Shulman

Starting with art and then setting out to document it would seem like an advantage of sorts, even cheating, but then again, if you do the art justice, THAT takes talent, finesse and empathy. Julius Shulman was just that sort of photographer -- he possessed a knowingness and appreciation for the nuances of great architecture.

Julius Shulman 1910 - 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cropping as an after-thought ...

Full-frame versus cropping --
to be or not to be.

To "be" is to shoot full-frame. "Not to be" would suggest that if you didn't frame your shot just right when shooting, cropping it afterward is in order to SAVE the shot, hence, you didn't really get the shot you wanted.

Well, that's the purist school of thought anyway.

If given my druthers, I'd never crop. With digital, however, I not only crop like mad, I manipulate the heck out of images. We have the luxury to SAVE images that way. We have the luxury to imprint mediocrity with something splendid. Digital is uber-forgiving and I'd even go so far as to say that if you don't like the shot and you don't like the crop or the manipulation, hey -- just blend it all together with some elements from another rejected shot and you could conceivably come up with a masterpiece.

That isn't to diminish the finished product when its rendered through digital imaging, but for those who are process aficionados, there is something to be admired about capturing the final image at the very moment you expose the film.

I sound highfalutin but the truth is, I really believe that shooting full frame and the deliberate nature of it is an art unto itself. It used to be touted as the respectable way of shooting when you're talking about film. But then, everything seemed more precious with film.

Shooting full-frame is a WAY OF SEEING which means a way of arranging what appears in your viewfinder.

When you compose your shot deliberately so that every corner of the frame is considered, it cannot be denied that that is a more PURE way of taking a photograph. There is no after-thought on which to rely. Sure, I can thoroughly appreciate manipulated images and the painter's mindset that accompanies post-production imagery, but I can tell you that it is exceptionally moving when a powerful image is rendered just at the moment the shutter is clicked.

Shooting full-frame is an art. Cropping is an after-thought. A good crop can produce better art but the better photographer can produce imagery with no cropping at all. : )

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009


Snapshots are folk art and you can't discount folk art as an art form. Think of snapshots as today's
Daguerreotypes to one day be collectibles of the future. (Okay -- not a great analogy since Polaroids would be a better one.)

Point is, with snapshots, families tend to create traditional styles of shooting. While growing up, my family was big on dinner table shots. I'm pretty sure this had to do with my parents always being dressed up fancy and my mother having had the table done up just so. If it was Thanksgiving, a turkey would grace the table, if a birthday, a birthday cake, but other than that, it was always sans food and seriously static.

Currently, the tradition with my kids is that my oldest winks in all the shots and my youngest intentionally closes his eyes.