Category Archives: Photography

Mortal coils

Over one hundred years separate two iconic views of Lower Manhattan, below, and their contemporary overlays.

Paul Strand’s Wall Street commuters of 1915 mingle seamlessly with the office workers and tourists of today.

A few blocks away Charles Gilbert Hine found a bustling Maiden Lane at the East River waterfront in 1896. Horses, dock workers, and sailing ships still fit right into this dynamic South Street block.

Wall Street and Broad. 1915 /2016.
Wall Street and Broad. 1915 /2016.
Maiden Lane and South Street. 1896/2016.
Maiden Lane and South Street. 1896/2016.

Homage to Cindy Sherman

I always found Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills both hilarious and unsettling. Simply as an entertaining exercise, I began saving snippets of imaginary dialog that popped into my head over time, adding fictitious TV Guide-like listings of the sort I remembered from childhood.  As it turns out, writing the fake lines can be hilarious, but listing them in their context of time and memory is the unsettling part.

 

movielineThe Brave Ones—1962,
Lee Marvin in an army helmet. Enough said.

 

movieline2Watch Pots—1984,
An aging appliance manufacturer befriends a  brilliant but nervous young inventor.

 
movieline3Somewhereville—2001,
The usual love and romance in wine country except this one’s got chefs.

 
movieline4Other People—1948
The sparks fly when her Upper East Side rubs up against his Brooklyn.

 
movieline5Chasing Justice—1978
Detroit beauty salon owner reinvents herself as an EMT.

 

 

Legacy

What kind of world are we leaving the next generation? These digital photo-illustrations contrast lighthearted figures with a decaying environment to provide one possible answer. We are leaving them, ill-prepared, in a society that may have seen better days. But the young subjects remain optimistic (or clueless).

Worth two thousand words

Some images just belong together. Like human twins, the paired photos in the gallery below seem to finish each others’ sentences thematically, chromatically, or metaphorically. None of the images were intentionally shot to be one half of a pair, some were even taken months apart and were placed side-by-side later. But the family resemblance is striking.

Surreal Governor’s Island

This small island smack in the middle of New York harbor is weird and wonderful in a post-apocalyptic Mayberry, USA kind of way. Orderly yet abandoned 50’s era military housing, centuries old forts and crunchy-artsy commune all fuse to give bicycling tourists some of the strangest views of Manhattan available. Although now closed for the season, it will reappear from the mists of time and reopen to the public next Spring. Be sure to visit before it’s too late—Applebee’s anyone?

…now you don’t

We are always looking through something, either a window, a fence or a screen, or maybe even a combination of these. But our rational brain sees past these obstacles to provide a seemingly unobstructed view of reality. Like breathing and blinking, it’s a constant that we aren’t aware of until it’s pointed out—then it’s hard not to notice the bold patterns overlaying our world.

Catch-cam

Every home has an unloading zone where keys,mail, and groceries are dropped. It’s a table, desk, or counter top near the front door that serves as the port of entry for a continuous parade of mostly unremarkable objects. In my house the kitchen counter is such an area and it also works well as a mini studio with lighting and background that remain fairly constant. The objects in this gallery seem to be ‘caught in the act’—of what, though, I’m not sure.

Single lens ‘reflects’

I am always attracted to the dual visual worlds created by reflections; inside versus outside, darkness punctured by light, landscape meets still life. While none of the images in this collection have been digitally altered, the naturally occurring illusion is dense and at times abstract.