Yearly Archives: 2007

Life on the Edge

This is another photo from my wounded heel series: I’m good to go with my camera and tripod out to the garden, but not much farther.

In the photo, water drops are resting on the edge of a cyclamen petal. For me, the water drops on the upper petal could be the eyes of a strange, living creature on the edge of a startling discovery.

I’m hoping I’ll be well enough to go back to the Wave in the late Spring. I’ve applied via the lottery system for a permit to go with my oldest son Julian and my photography buddy Mark.

[200mm f/4 macro lens (300mm in 35mm terms), 2/5 of a second at f/40 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Flowers, Photography, Water Drops

The Earth Is Our Mother

Are titles important? Can a poetic title add meaning to a photo? Or should a photo speak for itself, in the sense that adding a title that seems too much a cliche may detract from the experience of looking at the image? Is a rose by any other name as fair?

As I was processing this photo of the Wave last night, the phrase “The Earth Is Our Mother” came to me in connection with the image. This may originally have been a translation of the opening line of a Hopi chant. It’s hard to take exception with the idea that the earth is our mother: but for the earth, we would surely not exist. This world is a beautiful place, full of wonder and mystery. I can see this at home, in my garden or with my family. And I can feel the beauty, wonder, and mystery when I visit and photograph a place like the Wave.

[This photo: 46mm in 35mm terms, 4 seconds at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

Posted in Landscape, Photography, The Wave

Wave Wide

This is a photo from the Wave using my 10.5mm digital fisheye aimed low to the ground. Full exposure data: 10.5mm digital fisheye, 1/13 of a second at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.

Posted in Landscape, Photography, The Wave

Trio of Double Hellebores

The original photo of this triad (immediately below) is a double hellebore blossom. It’s one of the first blossoms from the second year blooms of these special hellebore plants, hybridized by Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Garden, the self-styled “Hellebore King.”

Double Hellebore 1

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The more or less accurate colors of this flower (above), photographed in my studio, are pretty nice I think. But Harold being Harold, I couldn’t resist playing in the digital darkroom. Here is the capture info for the photo: 200mm f/4 macro lens (300mm in 35mm terms), 1 second at f/36 and ISO 100, tripod mounted using a Kirk Mighty Low Boy.

I often get asked about the techniques I use to get effects like these (top and bottom). I’ve no desire to be mysterious about it. But the precise steps I use are different every time. It’s a process, when it’s working right, that feels like the image is calling out to me, and revealing the steps as I go along necessary to reveal the inner image. You could say that I am the image’s therapist.

There is some commonality in the techniques I usually use. I start by photographing (or scanning) for high depth-of-field and transparency. I then work on the image in Photoshop using a variety of blending modes with duplicated inversions of LAB channels.

Double Hellebore 3

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Posted in Flowers, Photograms, Photography

Wounded Heel Suite

This photograph of a cyclamen petal reflected in myriad water drops is another entry in the wounded heel suite.

Related image: Cyclamen Drops.

[This photo: 200mm f/4 macro lens (300mm in 35mm terms), 36mm extension tube, Nikon 6T close-up filter, 1 second at f/40 and ISO 100, tripod mounted using a Kirk Mighty Low Boy.]

Posted in Flowers, Photography, Water Drops

Red Waterdrop Suspension

Coming home from Zion and the Wave, my heel hurt like heck. The doctor looked at the x-ray and said, “Hang up those hiking boots for a while, son.”

So, I’ve books to finish and a couple of interesting projects that are as much Photoshop as photography. But I miss my night hikes and the peace and freedom of the wilderness. How great to find these waterdrops in our garden of a Sunday morning. It’s important to remember that worlds of wonder can be tiny as well as vast, and near as well as far!

[200mm f/4 macro lens (300mm in 35mm terms), 36mm extension tube, Nikon 6T close-up filter, 3/10 of a second at f/45 and ISO 100, tripod mounted using a Kirk Mighty Low Boy.]

Posted in Photography, Water Drops

Pair of Dragonflies

Here’s another pair of dragonfly photograms!

Dragonfly 6

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Posted in Photograms, Photography

Coleoptera after Warhol

What can I say? Perhaps it’s just as well that Warhol came before Photoshop…

Related images: Butterfly 2, Stained Glass Bug, Coleoptera.

Posted in Bemusements, Photography

White Rose

I photographed this rose on our roof at sunset, with a piece of black velvet for a backdrop. It felt pretty weird to put up a make-shift studio on the roof, and dance around it with my tripod and 200mm macro lens. I did need to be mindful about not stepping back too far. But anything (well, almost anything, I wasn’t ready to fall off) for that wonderful and natural sunset light!

Posted in Flowers, Photography

Green Dragonfly

By popular request, here’s a predominantly green version of the third dragonfly photogram.

Related images: Dragonfly; Dragonfly Variation; The Third Dragonfly.

Posted in Photograms, Photography

Intricate Detail of Nature’s Perfection

This image shows a wildflower in a field covered with drops of mist in the very early morning. As a friend also put it in another context, I think the photo also shows “the extraordinary beauty, intelligence and intricate detail of Nature’s perfection.”

Related story: Beyond the Fields We Know.

Posted in Photography, Water Drops

Mint Leaves

Mint grows wild in our garden, particularly at the edges of the few grassy areas. I photographed this sprig of mint to emphasize the patterns in the leaves, and for transparency, then added color in Photoshop.

Posted in Photograms, Photography

Stained Glass Bug

This coleoptera (beetle) looks like stained glass to me, and is definitely more abstract than the previous coleoptera in this series (which was kind of a pop art affair).

Obviously, when you look at images like those in this series (which I am doing as part of a commissioned project) you are looking at a hybrid between photography and digital painting.

The extent to which my training lies more towards painting than photography was brought home to me in my answer to a question recently from a photography student:

Q: I now have to do an oral presentation on a photographer for one of my classes and I chose to do it on you. I pretty much have all the information I need from your blog and interview but do need to know what education in photography you have such as degrees or years completed at school. Also what years were you a professional photographer in New York? Are there any photos you could send me or I could find online of your work in New York? I only need maybe one or two shots from your New York stuff. Any help you give me would be greatly appreciated.

A: I have relatively little formal education in photography, although I did take a course in photography with Neil Rappaport at Bennington College. I also studied photography privately with Lilo Raymond.

I studied painting (also at Bennington) with Pat Adams and Philip Wofford, and at the Art Students League with teachers including Bruce Dorfman and William Pachner.

For what it’s worth, I have a degree from New York University in Computer Science and Math, and a law degree from Rutgers.

I worked out of a studio at 18th Street and Broadway in New York from 1978 through about 1990. Some of my photos of the World Trade Towers from the years I worked in NYC can be found here, here, here, and here.

All goes to show, painting, photography, or whatever: all knowledge and training is worth having in the end. On the other hand, things may be simpler than all that. As the 17th century Japanese poet Basho put it, “The first task for each artist…is to become one with nature.”

Posted in Photograms, Photography

The Third Dragonfly

This dragonfly seems to be reclining in mid-air, arms clasped behind its head!

Related stories: Dragonfly, Dragonfly Variation.

Posted in Photograms, Photography

Dragonfly Variation

This is a variation of the previous dragonfly image.

Posted in Photograms, Photography