Sunday, August 28, 2016

Blondes Prefer Gentlemen

Renowned Taos painter Walt Gonske has one of the world’s great smiles. Seems to me it's especially radiant when he's being fawned over by a six-foot blonde named Ginny. She's playing the dude like a freaking double bass.They met precisely 9.58 seconds before this shot and connected so fast I needed a 2000th of a second shutter speed to stop the action. 

That’s his Praying Mantis Romeo on the flip side.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Face Time

The human face is an endless source of inspiration. The case can be made that absolutely every face deserves some facetime. So it’s a wonder that I don’t do more candid portraits. My photographer friends and I frequently talk about ways to extract more dinero from our photographic habits because trying to make money from so called “fine art” photography tilts with some serious windmills. Quixotic in a word. When pressed to say what commercial path I would take if so inclined I always answer "portraiture" since it draws me so.

From the trip that Steve Bundy, John Farnsworth and I made to the Mortenson Ranch for National Day of the Cowboy come these unposed headshots.

I'm something of  specialist as you can see. All of these folks are on the other side of young like me. And my apparent sub-specialty is white facial hair.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Cowboy Way

Two dudes taking pictures of a dude taking a picture of two dudes. John on your left and Steve on the right.

At the Mortenson Ranch south of Santa Fe Steve Bundy, John Farnsworth and I convened for National Day of the Cowboy. I doubt that anybody had a shot list. I know I didn’t. I did have in the back of my mind to get some action shots or more precisely to stop some action with a fast shutter, a shallow depth of field, a fairly high ISO or some combination thereof. My results were decidedly mixed as even 2000th of a second didn’t always freeze the action. Still trying to figure that out.

The cowboy camp was held to benefit Listening Horse, an organization offering therapeutic riding for folks with a host of needs. There were three events including Barrel Racing, Mounted Shooting and Argentine Polo. Here in the above order are one of each.

Barrel Racing

Mounted shooting. Note fragments of balloon just left of the cone.

Argentine Polo. Follow the yellow ball.

Followed by some rope magic.

I actually learned how to do this in LA when I was about nine.
Next week head shots from the ranch.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Still Noir

Mural on the Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.

This glowering portrait of artist Clyfford Still might well be from a Howard Hecht film noir. His emotionless face and the angry descriptor to his left called for the cool black and white treatment and then some applied noise to give it a newsprint sensibility.

Still was an early Abstract Expressionist among whose post-war contemporaries were Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. He was the first among them to discard recognizable subject matter and to employ great fields of color, later described as Color Field painting, to explore existential conflicts and grand themes such as creation, life and death. Of his work Still said, “they are life and death merging in fearful union.” This struggle was expressed through vertical forms that soar through his paintings and described by Still as “the vertical necessity of life.”

The artist was a prickly character who disdained the New York art scene, ignored criticism and who assiduously controlled how is work was marketed, collected and shown. He died his own man in Maryland in 1980.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Alley Cat

Some people say I do my best work in dark alleys so it’s only natural that I’d pick one to get from 18th Street to 17th Street in downtown Denver. From the multi-pane windows of an early 20th century parking a rich glow leant a painterly effect to the grimy stone walls.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Escape to Denver

After two weeks stuck at the house waiting for a new roof to be installed I had a virulent case of cabin fever and decided to drive to Denver Friday. The trip was exhilarating and tiring at the same time. I stuffed as much into those 32 hours as I could.

I needed to absorb some city energy and Denver's booming downtown proved to be just the ticket. Since our January trip to LA I've had cityscapes on my mind; zoomy metal and glass piercing the sky, contrasting eras fighting for air space and psychedelic reflections that seem to vibrate in the panes. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

500 but who's counting

Butternut Squash, Studies and Abstractions, East Conway, NH, October 2, 2003

Google tells me that I've made 500 blog posts over the last ten years. My records show 470 so we can agree on two things: it's a lot and I can't count. My first post was in 2006 but I only did a handful. Then in 2009 I got after it and haven't missed a post since. Topped out at 74 a couple of years when I was an undisciplined young man.

For this post I want to do something to recognize your endurance. It can't have been easy.

Here beginning with "Butternut Squash" above, it's the one I think of as the seminal image in my return to photography, are a few oh so carefully chosen photographs that trace my ascendancy from a total novice I was to the total novice I am today.

The captions tell the tale. You'll find the title, the name of the series of which the image was the first and location and date. I hope you'll click on the image in your email notice so you can see each one full size. As always your comments are most appreciated. Thanks for watching.

Vanishing Point, At the Edge of What's Left, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD, July 23, 2004

John Snyder, Monumental Heads, North Conway, NH, September 8, 2004

Silent Running, The Fog Series, Putney, VT, October 2, 2005

Bicyclists, Street Series, Munich, Germany, March 29, 2006

Sagrado Corazon, Divine Light, PeƱasco, NM, August 1, 2006

Brush Strokes, The Fog Series, Taos, NM, December 4, 2007

Found Art, Found Art Series, Rinconada, NM, March 7, 2008

Cuba and Perros, The Last Shepherd, Taos Plateau, NM, December 26, 2011

Vielle Ferme, Baudinard sur Verdon, France, September 23, 2012