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.