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Archive for the ‘Rambling’ Category

The Polar Vortex

Jan 15

In Rambling, Thoughts at 10:33am

We tend to come up with new, slick names for stuff all the time now, given our buzzword laced world. The phrase “Polar Vortex” got a lot of play lately when a chunk of really cold air that should’ve behaved better and hovered nicely over the North Pole pushed south in unruly fashion over Canada and the US. I’ve encountered the polar vortex before on assignment, but wasn’t smart enough to call it by its proper name. I think I just used the term, “f*%#ing cold.”

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Off to a Rip Roaring Start!

Jan 6

In Rambling at 5:46am

A great way to start off the year! We got a check for the use of one of my pictures, evidently a photo of a “man using laptop computer.” Awesome! With funds like this coming almost every once in a while, we are set.  Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Normal, Sort of…..

Oct 29

In Rambling at 6:44am

Not that a life in photography often intersects with normal.

But after the photo industry’s annual gear-gasm at the Javit’s Center in New York City, the event known as Photo Plus Expo, well, being back home for even a day is blessedly normal. The tough thing about the three days was that it was matched with some of the most splendidly fall weather the Big Apple has seen of late. The light, the wind, and the weather was NYC at its best. Leaving the light and going inside Javits was a bit of an effort, truth be told.

Gotta thank my buds at Nikon and Adorama for including me in the proceedings at their respective booths. Spoke each day there, and always had some gracious, fun photo folks gathered round. In between, I got a chance to intersect with many, many friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in quite a while. That’s the saving grace of expositions like this. Photography has always been a lone wolf sort of thing, and digital has exacerbated the feeling of loneliness. I mean there’s the chattiness of the internet, but it’s not quite the same as giving your fellow staffers a bunch of shit over the hypo tray after a day in the field. Email lacks a certain immediacy, not to mention the capacity for winks and heartfelt hand gestures. But PPE presented some good catch up time.

In between hey, how are ya’s? I wandered. Some gear was interesting. Some of the stuff , as usual, made me wonder. Whaddaya gonna do? Photogs tend to be creatures of impulse, especially when confronted with gear. I’ve got a garage full of stuff accumulated over the years that I thought, at the time, I just hadda have.

Anyway, today, back to normal. Back on a plane. Bound for Orlando and a One Light Two Light seminar day, tomorrow. All best, and more tk….

 

 

The Days Dwindle Down…

Sep 2

In Rambling at 7:03am

Labor Day. Back to work, back to school. This picture I made of Claire, my youngest daughter, at the Jersey shore, many years ago, has always felt, to me, like the end of summer. More tk….

The Long Walk of Photography

Aug 14

In Rambling at 7:29am

 

 I’ve got perhaps the ugliest legs in the world. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were these. I’m actually sorta proud of how shabby their appearance is.

I grew up in an era, photographically, when we just didn’t know any better. We routinely carried 30-40 pound Domke bags around with us on one shoulder, turning spines into S curves, and what might have once been a normal gait into a disconnected shamble. Hell, I even used Anvil cases for a while there. Mishandle one of those getting it out of the trunk and it can snap a shin like dead twig.

These appendages have been operated on three times, had four casts, numerous tears, a couple of breaks, and a couple hundred stitches. I’ve been bitten by dogs three times, once really viciously. And, of course, I’ve put both my knees through the shredder known as thirty-five years of photography. You’re looking at the support structure for a condemned building.

All these damaging shenanigans means that, for quite a while, I’ve ambled about (that’s a generous description) like Walter Brennan. Last year, we finished a long, hard wedding and about 3am I sort of belayed my way down the block towards the studio truck, where Drew and Cali were waiting. Drew remarked, “You look like an old, sad, tired, injured rodeo clown.”

And these are the guys on my staff, who are actually paid to tolerate me. Can you imagine some reactions clients might have had when I did my scrape-thud, scrape-thud into their office? They hire me, thinking they’re getting this versatile, venerable lensman, and Igor shows up. “Walk this way!” All I’m missing is the hump, and I’m working on that.

One of these days, perhaps the knife, though not for now. No real guarantees that afterwards I can resume my side job as an Olympic pole-vaulter. Annie got me a Fitbit bracelet I’ve been wearing lately, which detects your daily travel, and during my last Kelby seminar day I walked over seven miles. And, coming soon, is news of another tough climb. So, I’m still in the game. I opted for the more temporary stay of execution of injections of a synthetic type of WD-40 for my knees, mixed with cortisone. A happy hour cocktail for my joints!

So yesterday they injected this slippery stuff into the structure of both my knees with a large bore needle that looks like they might have swiped it from the turret of a Sherman tank.  (Hence the bandaids in the above pic.) Then the doc hit the plunger and the stuff sloshes in there. I keep thinking it might be like that adherent black goo from Spiderman III, the evil slime that overtook the already dark heart of the Peter Parker’s photo staffer replacement, Eddie Brock, the one who dummied up fake pictures of Spidey slinging bad juju all over town, and got turned into the creepy character, Venom. I wonder if I’ll wake up and my knees will have fangs.

The doc did a great job with the injections, though, admitting as he worked that he really, really hates needles, and can’t stand getting injected himself. I asked him if he’s ever sought counseling about this elephant sized irony sitting in the middle of his life, and he merrily replied no. He did say that his fear of needles makes him an excellent injection specialist, though, ‘cause he’s very sympathetic about what the patient has to endure. Makes sense, actually.

We’ll see if this works, and helps forestall the inevitable consequences of a life trundling around cases of filled with the scrap iron of photo gear. I’ve still got more buildings to climb, and pictures to make, and I’m sure many of them are miles away, but worth walking after. More tk….