Thursday, December 18, 2014

CELL PHONE CAMERAS


Marlborough, MA


Portmouth,NH


Worcester, MA


Worcester, MA

I have always been on to carry a camera with me just about everywhere I go.  And lately that camera has been my cell phone.  I have to admit that my first camera in a ;phone I had was not very good, maybe better stated as poor.  Things have improved muchly since that time.  No, I do not have an iPhone, rather a Samsung Galaxy Note II.  Could never bring myself to own an Apple product, I don't like the taste of heir CoolAid.  The Note II's camera is only 8-mega-pixels, but if the light is good, it does very well.  In fact, I would put it up against the old Canon Rebel XT which I owned about 10 years ago.  Think about that: a simple cell phone camera performing at the level of a dSLR.  Last week my wife and I upgraded our Note II's to the new Note 4.  It's camera is really good, 1000% improvement over the Note II.  I'll try and post a few images in the next few weeks to show what it can do.  I was thinking about buying mirrorless small camera to carry with me, but with this new phone, I'm rethinking that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

JUST LIVING......WELL


My kitchen in West Boylston 17 November 2014

20-and-a-half years ago we moved into this house with a non-functioning kitchen. Two completely kaputt wall ovens, a loud noise making Sub Zero frig, and only one burner working on the cooktop. First order of business was rip out the old and start on the new. Set up a temp kitchen way in back of the house in the old laundry room. Coleman two-burner propane stove and a microwave. Could cook and do laundry at the same time.

Even before we set about designing the new kitchen (above), we stripped the old kitchen down to studs and joist.  We being, me, Ellen and Libbie. Rewired and re-plumbed the entire room.  When I took down the ceiling, I found two wire-nutted live circuits laying loose on top of the plaster.  The debris almost filled a 30-yard dumpster.  When we pulled up the floor I found five split joist.  That was more work than Ellen could help with me and I put in a emergency call to my brother to come help with that not so small problem.  Had to pull up all the subflooring, sister in new joist, and then lay new 3/4" tounge-n-grove subfloor.  

Ellen and I sat down and designed what we wanted the kitchen to function and look like.  What you see above is how it tuned out.  I wanted the business (cooking) end to be separate from the area where people sit and give grief to the cook. All the cook's work takes place at the far end, and the hecklers sit at the counter end of the island.

Behind me is a very open wall into our breakfast room, and to the right is the family room which is accessed through six foot opening from both the kitchen and the breakfast room. Wanted it to be a very open design.  The three rooms function like one big open room.

Monday, November 03, 2014

BATHROOMS


Me, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan  Oct 10, 2014

I know, I KNOW! It's not something I do very often, but if the opportunity presents itself, why not. If nothing else, photography is all about opportunity.  I have a friend who photographs himself in bathroom mirrors all the time (you can see a few of them here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/louiedespres/sets/).  The "selfie" craze seems to have taken over social media these days, but "selfies" are nothing new, especially to photographers.  Every photographer I know has, at one time or another, pointed the camera at him or herself.  This genre has a history as old as photography itself.  I even give my beginning students an assignment to do just that, make a self portrait.  And there is always one or two who adopt the genre semester after semester.  I tell them the great advantage of doing self portraits is they don't have to hunt for a model.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

FALL








All this color happened within a mile of my house.  While not great images, the colors of fall here in New England are hard to pass up.  The gazebo is on the town common here in West Boylston.  I have assigned my digital class to come up with one fall image for their next critique class.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SHORT TRIP TO THE MET IN NYC



New York City

I had been meaning all summer to make it down to NYC to see the Garry Winogrand exhibition at the MET.  Finally made it down last Saturday, the day before it closed.  Better late than never.  However, it was a good day because the museum was not crowded.  So great to see all the images I have known for so long.  This was probably the 5th or 6th Winogrand exhibition I've seen, most recently his "Women Are Beautiful" portfolio (in it's entirety) at the Worcester Art Museum.  It was my honor to furnish them with a print of Winogrand working the streets of Austin, Texas, for their introduction. You can't see an exhibition of this man life's work without being inspired, so as we were moving about NYC, I made a couple of images.  The top on from the window of the cab in which I was riding, and the bottom one made while waiting for the museum to open.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ON MY WAY TO DO SOMETHING ELSE


Worcester, MA 8/21/14

On the 21st of August, my wife was being honored by the city of Worcester because the American Antiquarian Society, of which my wife Ellen is President of the Society, had received in Washington the week, the before Presidential Metal for the Humanities presented by President Obama.  As to the image above, I saw this on my way to the Worcester Common where the city's ceremony was being held.  It is just a reminder that you should always have you camera with you because you never know what will present itself at the end of the next block.  That's why I was downtown, camera in tow, to make a couple of images of Ellen being honored by the city.  I am always be willing to take the two minutes to stop and make an image no matter the rush I might happen to be in.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

CLASSES HAVE STARTED


Worcester, MA 9/7/14

Yes, another school year has started which means I'm back on my academic schedule.  All day long, Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m to almost 7 p.m.  Like my groups of students.....so far.

Not only did I travel in the spring, but also spent 10 days in extreme upstate New York -- Lake George and points north, this late summer. Wanting to see what Stieglitz saw in the area.  Can assure you he would not be pleased.  Nothing but tourist and tourist traps.....sigh. Been living in central MA for 22 years, and had never taken the time to travel in that direction.  In the coming weeks, I'll post a few images from the trip.  As to the image above, I'm always looking for unusual shrines, and I saw this one yesterday, but didn't have time to stop.  So I went back this morning because I knew the light would be really good.....and it was.