Friday, January 30, 2009

Imagine... It was forty years ago today... My Sweet Lord!

Nothing to do with photography, but it was forty years ago today that Sgt. Pepper was last to play.

The famous Beatles rooftop concert was their last public performance together as a group. It was an incredible sight for those lucky enough to be there.

The rooftop concert is available on YouTube here.

The rest of us can only imagine... what would it be like if John, Paul, George and Ringo were still together today? Would they be playing the garbage that so-called musicians put out today, or would they be true to their roots, while still being innovators... creating rather than conforming to trends?

I have been lucky enough to see Paul and Ringo several times and consider them to be among the best concerts I have ever been to. I made the CD above, PostFab, because it will never be made by the corporate music world. Those days are forever gone, as are the boys from Liverpool. Rest in Peace, John and George. Long Live Paul and Ringo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Show... Press Coffee in City North

My show at Photomark has ended. No sales, but lots of nice comments. I thank Judith at Photomark for putting my work up since November.

As a result of the show, Pepper Coulan, of Sol Shine Gallery, inquired if she could hang some of my work in a small group show at a new Coffee/Wine Bar in City North in Phoenix. Of course I said yes. We hung the show last night. It is more of a "salon" style show, where many different types of artworks are hung as a group, usually stacked high on the wall. Salon style was popular in from mid 19th century to the early 20th century. Not the best way to present fine-art photography, especially 8x10" contact prints, but a new audience is seeing my work.

I am represented by 10 pieces. My mentor Rod Klukas has 4 pieces. Then there are some color scenics and what look to be drawings. It is an eclectic collection to say the least.

Anyway, there will be an "opening" of sorts at 7:00 PM on Saturday, January 31. Press is located at 5410 E. High St., Suite 115, Phoenix, AZ 85054 in the new City North shopping district. City North is just north of the 101 freeway and directly east and adjacent to the Desert Ridge shopping center. Press is on the north side of the street, just east of the "center" of the street. The phone is 480-419-6221. Their website is

For more information, please call Pepper Coulon at 602-284-0505. Come and enjoy art, wine, music, and friends.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

School Portraits... well, sort of.

Well, it's back to school tonight... Rod Klukas' Large Format Photography class at Scottsdale Community College. This is my social life, this class. There are a great bunch of photographers who take the class semester after semester. Some have taken it almost twenty times. It's my fifth semester and every time I learn something new. Last semester it was the Color Zone System, which has allowed me to seriously investigate color as an artistic outlet. This is especially important to me since I am (red-green) color blind.

Rod has told us he would like to do some portraiture this semester. Initially I was not thrilled as this is not my forte. But after thinking about it I thought it would be different, and something NEW, just like color was last semester. Then I started thinking about the beautiful 11x14" contact portraits that my friend Roger Palmenberg showed. They are absolutely stunning. I would love to be able to make portraits of my wife and daughter of that quality. My portraiture experience has been limited to snapshots for the most part. Once in a while I would get lucky.

My friend, Joe Pollaro, Paterson, NJ, 1984

Back in the early 1980s, when I was starting out with the 4x5" camera, I experimented a little. On my first trip to Carmel, CA in 1984, I stopped in Berkeley to visit my dear friend Fr. John, who had been moved out west from our parish of St. Mary's in Pompton Lakes, NJ. I had gone out west to visit Pt. Lobos and the home of Edward Weston, whose photography I had been studying. I spent a few wonderful days with John, and on the last day I asked him if I could take his portrait with the 4x5. We went up on the roof of his apartment building. I kept thinking of Weston's portrait "The Head of Galvan, shooting".

The Head of Galvan, Shooting, Edward Weston, 1924

The portrait I came away with blew me away. I felt that I had taken a photograph of this wonderful man's soul. The scan here does not do it justice. I have enlarged it to 11x14" but now prefer it as a 4x5" contact print.

Fr. John, Berkeley, CA, 1984

A few more portraits here and there over the next half dozen years, some successful, some not, and I quietly abandoned portraiture for the work I have done since.

With the advent of digital cameras I began dabbling with portraiture, again mostly snapshots. And again, once in a while I would come away with something that I thought was pretty good. And each time that I am successful, it again comes down to the soul of the person.

Clownfest #33, Seaside Heights, NJ, 1999

Dennis Rowland, Scottsdale, AZ, 2008

I am looking forward to this semester's new photographic challenge for me. I hope to post some more successful portraits here soon.

Friday, January 16, 2009


A friend of my wife gave us VIP passes to one of the car auctions here yesterday. We had never been to a car auction, so I decided to take the day off from work and go with my wife. We got there about 8:00 AM and stayed until 2:00 PM when we left to pick up our daughter from school, returning with her from 3:30 to 7:30 PM. It was a very exciting day, filled with lots of photographic opportunities. I took 235 digital photos... that's about a years worth of production with large format, but the percentage of keepers is much higher with large format. Oh, what I would do with the 4x5 if I had a few days, no people and access to these magnificent vehicles!

I never really photographed automobiles, but it's hard not to at an event like this, where there are hundreds, if not thousands, of historic and classic cars. My first car was well represented this year... the Chevelle SS... although these cars were much nicer than the beater 1971 model I bought for $500 in 1983, going for anywhere between $55,000 and $112,000 today! Man, I wish I had the foresight to keep that car and fix it up.

Of course, I tended to look a little closer at the details, finding compositions consisting of lines and color. Below are a few of my favorites from the day. I think I am going to produce a small format (4x5" or 8x10") limited edition portfolio of these images. Stay tuned.

One of the Bidder Assistants was a great subject. He was very animated when he had a bidder.

There are always a few "celebrity" cars at this event. My daughter took this photo of me in front of an exact replica of the original Batmobile. There's also a shot of the cockpit.

Even got a cool family portrait... all three of us are in the reflections.

And, what day would be complete without some photographs of that contemporary American culture that we are so famous for?