October 22, 2014



October 22, 2014

ah what to call this post? mary and i have driven across america twice, once in 2011 for 28 days and now again in 2014 for 42 days. the idea for the trip was to see america, the national parks etc. nothing like Robert Franks The Americans. it was just something i’ve always wanted to do and since i have someone in my life willing to accompany me why not. how many dreams in our lifetime do we get to full fill?

i never posted anything about the first trip as too daunting to edit through all those boring images. the real fun of the trip was being there and sharing it with someone you love. not that mary didn’t want to leave me by the side of the road at times or i didn’t want to catch a plane/train back to New York but hey we were trapped in a very small uncomfortable space, the car.

there are iphone pictures, G12 pictures, and 5D mark ll images. just backing them up took time and the computer i brought the optical drive gave out midway trip. so this week i’ve blitzed my brain editing images, actually they are snap shots of our trip, meaning less to anybody else but ourselves. i’ll share them anyways maybe someone will enjoy them in a facebook kind of way.

i’ve decided for my sanity to mix everything up, both trips together. nobody is interested in buying my work so why should i knock myself out presenting it. i’ll put it on my web site but that’s not getting buy offers either.

we started out leaving home in nj camping when we could and motels for a rest and showers. our first trip in 2011 we camped at Shenandoah National park just in time to feel a 5.5 earthquake as we checked in at ranger station.we found a campsite along side this deer sleeping in the grass shenandoah deer

shen deerand pitched our tent. he soon got up wandering off somewhere quieter.

shenandoah camp

that night i took mary down to a clearing overlook of the valley below and she took her first pictures of the milky way. yes it’s my picture because i don’t have mary’s.

milky way

next camp was in the Smoky Mountain Nat’l park where i caught poison something or other on my arms, ugh.

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the smokey mountains have pretty hiking the trails but they are old mountains not as spectacular as the rockies but interesting none the less.

Clingmans dome MG_9872

 Clingmans domeVIEW FR CLINGMANS DOME _MG_9875

and a restoration of Bales cabin showing how mountain people lived in split log cabins.

bales cabin _0510 we did manage to see the small eastern Cherokee pow wow and made friends.

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next day exploring the park, waterfalls etc i was crossing the Little Pigeon river when i slipped and fell in camera and all. no pictures card shorted out and camera was mush. we needed to have another camera sent to us so we then moved to Ft Smith Ar when we had to wait for the spare camera to arrive. so far Tennessee hasn’t been good to me and i am glad to be out of there. we did find the Cherokee pow wow fun and tried to connect to the western Cherokee pow wow but wouldn’t fit our schedule.

ft smith main st

main street Ft. Smith which has a long american history if one wants to look it up.

ft smith

ft smith 1


pictured above is an old church and in the basement entrance is this picture of a cross

sunset ft smth

the difference is

August 13, 2014

today a perfect rainy day for sitting here writing  and posting my latests adventure in model land. sometimes it’s not a pretty story i guess because nobody gets rich or famous working with me, not even me. as i’ve written i seem to do this for love, actually i’ve got a need to create or i start feeling antsy.

one heck of a way to live huh? yes there is a physicality to this ‘not working’ mary makes fun of me sometimes telling her friend that ‘i was sitting in the driveway relaxing patching holes in the pavement.’ that old new england work ethic which comes into play even in my creativity. now if only i could find people to work with with the same ethic.

so today i’ll post some new pictures of two different shoots done a week apart although it seems world of difference. we will do them in order but actually the second series we had been talking about for some time before actually finding time. both of the models come from model mayhem, tiemn: 3433931 and masha 1029 : 2273038.


tiemn i found on craigslist and she looked interesting but i’ve been down that road before and should know better for me. i am not the best instructor for doing poses, working with dancers all i need is to give them a space and they perform. all i do is push the shutter button.


i do give them some idea of what i am looking for not always does it translate and i am a big experimenter but i fell back on what i knew worked. these were done with some small hot lights i have, just to make things interesting.



i told her at one point in the shoot she looked as if her ‘dog had died’ oh well. she put the image below in her portfolio.



i liked this image along with the one below that i photoshoped some background stuff to make her stand out some and give a sense of direction for the lighting.

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the one thing i can say about her is she’s very comfortable nude. while waiting for a cd she sat on the couch nude playing with her phone. most girls get dressed right away and are ready to dash off. at first tiemn didn’t want her face shown only her body, well lets see what happens i said. i don’t think these pics will spoil her chances of getting married but might improve it. who knows?

now with masha  who’s much different, lovely portfolio, plain full body shots showing who she is along with artsy stuff. she is a painter which we talked about working in but this was our first get together and i am soooo tired of lighting.

i wanted to do a boudoir/lingerie type shoot under natural lighting using my 50mm 1.8 lens which was fine with her, so lets begin

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i was hoping for something commercial looking, thinking maybe someone might want an old man to shoot them for valentines days picture for their boyfriend. i have a friend jack cutler who shoots awesome boudoir/erotic images. no i don’t think i’ll ever match him but it does inspire me.

_MG_6208_MG_6194red is not her natural hair color but it looks pretty cool, women are lucky that way one day red next day blond.

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so now we started playing around using props.

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 we both had a few laughs since i lost the keys to the handcuffs but she showed me how to use them without the key she has her own set, i didn’t ask.

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this image i use now for my avatar on model mayhem which i hopes draws some clients but mostly the people who see it just want money from me, which i don’t mind if they have something of equal value to offer me. masha has a sense of humor and really didn’t have a problem doing anything i asked.

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this image will never make farcebook but that’s not a world i live in. i want to feel the blood pounding through my veins to my heart, to feel the heat of myself getting excited. to live, to love, to be in the moment, here and now.


Traveling……. traveling and more………… traveling…. Alaska

July 29, 2014

one of my limitations i’ve learned over the years is my total lack of a travel photo eye. we, mary and i travel a lot together and instead of wandering in search of the perfect picture, yes i do admit i do wander off at times must be my age i don’t get those wonderful travel photos that make you want to go there. you know the ones in travel & photo magazines.i do snap shots and some time i am lucky but it’s only because of where i am.

we’ve put some travel miles on, beginning with Alaska, Russia, Netherlands, and Hawaii. whew and i don’t think i’ve posted any pictures or words about any of this. Sorry to my readers if any of you are still out there. today i looked through the alaskan folder, won’t tell you how many files, way too many, but i did have a couple landscapes i liked. this was our first cruise, i know a lot of people do this and what better way to see Alaska. we traveled on Holland American line, the Zaandam ship.

holland american ship Zamdam

holland american ship Zaandam

that was an experience of our lives, as i said we aren’t really cruise people but maybe we will take another one, never know. but this was a way to get where we wanted to go Alaska easily. we say glaciers in the rain but it was cool anyway.

Prince William Sound Alaska

Prince William Sound Alaska

Prince William Sound blue ice glacier

Prince William Sound blue ice glacier

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

but our final destination, dream of dreams was Denali National Park and we couldn’t have been luckier with our timing. the weather most of our time in alaska was grey, cloudy or rainy, as was this shot of Mendenhall Glacier from under a covered viewing area. no bears eating salmon, who wants to get wet for a fish, besides it was end of season for them.

Denali National Park held something special for us. little did we suspect arriving on a grey wet day what might unfold for us. we had booked a bus tour of the park, the only way to get around besides backpacking. that to took place on a semi grey day with bits of sunlight breaking through.

Polychrome at Denali National Park, autumn

Polychrome at Denali National Park, autumn

would we ever see the sun? they said the cause of the bad weather were japanese typhoons heading to the north pole. great, say hello to santa for me.

Denali National Park autumn river landscape

Denali National Park autumn river landscape

at the end of the day, tired, hungry and wanting nothing more than to lay our heads down on pillows, sleep awaits as we headed back to our lodge. we woke up to find clear blue sky’s for our plane ride around Mt. McKinley. Wow what a surprise….. it had snowed in the park, the first snow of the year. Denali air was our next destination and what a thrill, well it was a small plane seating 6. i am not a big fan of flying and not in a small plane but bite the bullet and climb aboard.

Mt. Mckinley snowy mountain landscape

Mt. Mckinley snowy mountain landscape

see the little shower cap on the mountain?  the mountain is so tall it has it’s own weather system disconnected to the rest of the park, we were suppose to fly over and around the mountain but way too rough. i was glad because i wanted mary and i to live to a nice old age.

Mt. Mc Kinley, Denali National PArk, Alaska

Mt. Mc Kinley, Denali National PArk, Alaska

Mt. McKinley, Alaska, Denali National Park

Mt. McKinley, Alaska, Denali National Park

we took a cruse ship train down to Anchorage our last city, seeing Mt. Mckinley fad away in the distance. i must say we were impressed with the trains. why can’t Amtrak  be so together? No high speed rail in america? the food and accommodations were great as was the service.

Denali National park, mountain landscape

Denali National park, mountain landscape

Denali National park autumn mountain landscape

Denali National park autumn mountain landscape

Anchorage didn’t disappoint us weather wise as the sky closed over to a 18% grey sky once again. we stayed at a pleasant B&B called ‘Walkabout’ a bit outside of the main part of town.

nice while it lasted but costly. as a friend would say  ‘ you can’t put a price on a good time.’ never the less it was a doozy and memorable trip spent with my honey and a friend of ours. hope you enjoyed this little catch up., no i am not a travel photographer i just happen to have great people in my life who are willing to share the adventure. who would have thought, not me for sure, that life would be so wonderful.



17 Pinup paintings side by side with the photos that inspired them

April 26, 2014

in my youth one of my escapes from reality was drawing. it was something i shared with classmates war planes tanks etc, the Korean war was going on, one of my classmates was really good at characters and created his own comic strip which he shared by slipping it around to his fans.

i liked drawing and art classes, my best class along with writing although i wasn’t a good speller but i had an active imagination which the teachers tried to stifle at every chance they got. so drawing didn’t have these limitations and i was free to try this and that.

as a mopy teenager hanging around the house the one thing my parents did encourage was drawing so i sent in a match book cover ‘Draw Me’ and won. i won a salesman dropping by to congratulate me on my budding talent. i had a scholarship  to this correspondence school if only they signed me up for the course, which they did.

it’s not easy learning to draw that way but i tried and my drawings came back corrected showing how i should have drawn the line. i imagine teaching those courses must have been really depressing but soon the students like me gave up and the school had the money so who cared if another Michealangelo became a truck driver.

when i first came to New York city i lived next to a working painter who sold his work in a small gallery on Broadway. he mentored me to a degree at least he didn’t laugh at my work. i remember him saying my work ‘was too honest.’ but i continued and the work improved but where to store all the finished canvas and i was moving around from apt to apt? so most of them wound up under years of trash in a NJ landfill.

it wasn’t until years later that i moved into photography after establishing a steady income and life. so i am neither officially trained in drawing or photography but i’ve had some classes in both and love both art forms. here is something that came along to me i though would be nice to share.


Gil Elvgren is a painter known for the pin-up images he made in the 1950s. The iconic creations feature impossibly curvy ladies in silly situations, and until now, only the paintings have been seen. has now released the photographs upon which Elvgren based his paintings, and the similarities (and differences!) between them are really fun to see.

Elvgren’s paintings take the photograph as his inspiration, but alter the image to make a cartoonish effect.

Elvgren's paintings take the photograph as his inspiration, but alter the image to make a cartoonish effect.

It’s interesting to see that the way Elvgren alters his models’ bodies is similar to the way that photos are altered now with Photoshop.

It's interesting to see that the way Elvgren alters his models' bodies is similar to the way that photos are altered now with Photoshop.

The bright colors and voluptuous curves combine to make the iconic images that so perfected captured a moment in art.

The bright colors and voluptuous curves combine to make the iconic images that so perfected captured a moment in art.

No matter the decade or the tools available, it’s clear that the media has been making an exaggerated figure to catch your eye.

No matter the decade or the tools available, it's clear that the media has been making an exaggerated figure to catch your eye.

The bizarre scenarios and silly expressions look all the more entertaining when you see them enacted by a real person.

The bizarre scenarios and silly expressions look all the more entertaining when you see them enacted by a real person.

Many of the images Elvgren created were used in advertisements and calendars by the company Brown & Bigelow.

These pin-ups defined an era in art, and seeing the women behind them makes them all the more beautiful.

These pin-ups defined an era in art, and seeing the women behind them makes them all the more beautiful.

Who knew that so many everyday activities could be so conducive to leg-showing?

For more information on Gil Elvgren’s work, check out his website here.  Originally published in


Revelations: Unlocking Diane Arbus’ Composition Techniques

April 8, 2014


this is an interesting read of an interesting photographer, does it explain her life?

Originally posted on optical collimator:

“Child with A Toy Hand Grenade” taken by Diane Arbus. Central Park, NY. 1962.

“Child with A Toy Hand Grenade” © Diane Arbus

As I was sitting in my living room flipping through the pages of Diane Arbus Revelations, I realized that all of her photographs shared the same visual element. Not the perversity or the freakish that my mind continuously sipped at her photos throughout the years. It was the identical arrangement repeated to the same effect in all of her photographs. Most of her subjects were presented almost

View original 1,804 more words

session #2…….. flowers & frustration = creativity

January 15, 2014

ever since i can remember i’ve been trying to find out how things work. i can’t count the toy cap guns and other toys that i couldn’t figure out how to put back together again so they worked. but after reaching my quota of toys to learning ratio i figured out where the original springs, screws and various parts went, BANG i was back in business.

and so it is with the rest of my life. i never became an expert at one thing but more of a ‘Jack Of All Trades’ or in other words an artist. i don’t claim to be a photographer because there are so many other ones out there that know a hell of a lot more than i do.  heck i’ve got to remind myself to take off the lens cap.

i am in awe of real photographers who ply their trade making wonderful pictures, right exposure, timing and location along with a clear vision which i seem to lack.

i am lucky enough to be part of photo salon, a group of heavy duty togs including Howard Schatz,  Jack Reznicki  and Jay Maisel, well i am not really part of, more like an observor of their work. they’ve never asked to see my work so i guess saying i am part of isn’t correct. I sometimes go over to SVA to see the monthly presentations. oh well i learn from them anyways. one of Jay Maisel’s pictures of the Venice canals changed how i looked at things in the world of photography and i told him so. he liked hearing that.

i’ve a portfolio on model mayhem website which is mix of all levels of photographers, models, makeup people, etc. we all need to start somewhere. I don’t do fashion, beauty or comp cards, so why am i there, i’ve asked myself that many times. but as i say i am an artist who takes pictures and why not be there?

there are occasions when i meet someone there who just clicks with me, so that’s enough reason. i am working with an artistic  person, a fellow traveler as it were who clicks. of course she is a designer along with a beginning model so we both have a chance to learn from each other. This weeks assignment we trying to glue flowers on her body, starting with her breasts, something left over from my flower power days which she’s totally ignorant of. ah youth…..

beginning experiment

beginning experiment

What we tried to use to adhere the flowers was eyelash glue to be gentle on her areolar. one yellow one whitish.

cutting the flowers from the stems the leaves fell off the centers and had to be glued each leaf at a time which took her hours.

flower experiment

close up

close up

so now what do we do now that this isn’t working?

retouched image

retouched image

China doll, as i’ve called her here suggested we do some plastic drop cloths shots which we had discussed a while ago. sure why not? but we didn’t have much set up time. i pulled a lowel dp and stand out with a full blue placed it behind a sheet of plastic and around a corner of a hallway  as a back light/key. her tungsten key light consisted of  a mini mri 75w  clear spot coming from the left between sheets with a frost gel. i white balanced camera to tungsten to match her key light. not the idea lighting locations but far enough away from the plastic to not melt it.

dropcloth test

dropcloth test



pretty boring right? So this is where my painting skills come into play. i guess all that money and hours of being a student and teaching assistant at ICP photoshop classes paid off somewhere. i always do something to my images, darken the corners do this or that. heck i did the same in the darkroom though i wasn’t as good at it then.

gold tint

gold tint

white bouquet

white bouquet

and these two we both like, i guess because she is relating to something we all see. i understand it’s so hard modeling and figuring out where to place my hands, eyes or feet. working together as a unit creating on the fly and we are not professional or experienced takes a bit of learning to trust in the process. maybe that’s the creativity part, just relax listen to the inner voices, whatever feels right.

who will buy my lovely flowers?

who will buy my lovely flowers?

 usually the image below would wind up in the trash but thanks to jay maisel it’s a keeper for me



Wet Plate Collodion Photography within Hand Blown Glass

January 8, 2014

Life is so amazing with all kinds of opportunities out there, here is an interesting young artist i found on Creative pro com

Some of the most interesting expressions of creativity can come from the combination of seemingly unrelated art forms. Case in point: a Kickstarter project by San Francisco artist Emma Howell, whose idea is to combine wet plate collodion ambrotypes (think: Matthew Brady Civil War era photography) and glass blowing. Here, the photographic “plates” can actually be bowls. The process and results are unique, beautiful, and just about as far from the throwaway, instant gratification of modern mobile photography as you can get.

Wet plate Collodion Photography within Hand Blown Glass

or to see the history of The Wet Collodion Plate process it self follow the link below.

since her project is fully funded now i am not sure how to be involved other than to keep track of her on the web. maybe one can still contribute to the project helping her along on the creative trail.

that’s all for today back to copying images and backing up files from our Russian trip. ugh or maybe add some images to my web site, haven’t done that in a while. the spiders are wondering jene who?


another direction for the holidays……fashion

December 27, 2013

now for something different, no red suits or semi nude women in santa hats. i know some of you will be disappointed but i haven’t given up my wicked ways completely. just trying what ever selective opportunity knocks on my door.

i was contacted via my model mayhem page by a fellow blogger who wrote ‘ you have a really great work and i am interested having you shoot stories for my online fashion book called The Freshman TFP.’

ok i am always up for a challenge although i here never considered myself a fashion tog  it’s not something beneath me. i thought turn on some lights and see what happens, although fashion seems to demand more lights than i usually use.

we set up a meeting between creative director, model and i because i like to see what i am going to shoot before hand. my studio wasn’t available at the time but i was able to borrow a friends space who had more than what we needed. the major decision made was what kind of background grey paper. ok.

i knew dave had white, black and some grey so no problem. the day of shoot he and i set up studio paper and space  before hand so we could knock this quick shoot off. when torraine ( creative director, blogger ) showed up on time and saw the color grey he wanted to change paper. ok but that took a while because of the paper arrangement. i also simplified the lighting by choosing flourescent lighting. yes cuts down on f stops but add some iso.

odd, people see my work as one thing them want something different from me. everyone likes my cloth along with my fuzzypictures images but then something happens. reminds me of a stan mack comic about a photographer and creative director setting lighting where each frame turns off a light with the last frame completely dark with the photographer saying ‘i think we are bending the rules of photography here.’

so the theme here is my use of fabrics not my lighting. the story is about accessories and not clothes.

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these are some selects sent to creative director via dropbox image sharing site which i am learning how to use.

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i thought these reminded me of herb ritts iconic desert images where the fabric flowed behind the model like a sail.


i am very curious as to how these straight images are going to be used, i’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else


here is the model whom i found receptive to my prompts. he listened and respond to direction well and had a good overall attitude which makes for a pleasant afternoon.



these last images show the accessories as i asked at our first meeting’ what are we selling.’ which to me is the most important question next to why am i here?

all in all it was a fun shoot no animals or babies were hurt and we all went on with our lives.  to see the final outcome tune into the freshmanwear blog some time in jan issue.

that’s it for today


Boston charlie and a few friends wish you all the best

December 22, 2013

Deck Us All With Boston Charlie

This is my favorite christmas carol, remembering it always brings a smile to my face. There are at least three versions of this famous Pogo comic strip by Walt Kelly Christmas carol:

The most famous version:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,

Walla Walla, Wash, and Kalamazoo!

Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,

Swaller dollar cauliflower Alleygaroo!

Don’t we know archaic barrel,  Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou.

Trolley Molly don’t love Harold,  Boola Boola Pensacoola Hullabaloo!

Then there is Beauregard’s version:

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,  Polly wolly cracker n too-da-loo!

Donkey Bonny brays a carol,  Antelope cantaloup, ‘lope with you!

Hunky Dory’s pop is lolly gaggin’ on the wagon,  Willy, folly go through!

Chollie’s collie barks at Barrow,  Harum scarum five alarum bung-a-loo!

We also have this third version:

Duck us all in bowls of barley,  Ninky dinky dink an’ polly voo!

Chilly Filly’s name is Chollie,  Chollie Filly’s jolly chilly view halloo!

Bark us all bow-wows of folly,  Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, Woof, Woof!

Tizzy seas on melon collie!  Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, Goof, Goof!

But no matter what the words are or who’s doing the singing it’s the joy of being connected with other human beings 
fuzzypictures Xmas card'13

this picture is my wife’s nice ice photo, with this we wish you all the best in this coming year. take care and be safe……….

mary &  jene


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