Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Dusk NYC

Like probably most cities breaking free of cold weather a June evening can make even the ordinary seem interesting. Tonight I walked from my place to my local community garden. It is practically screaming "Perfect" for now is the time for roses and green things and people hanging out enjoying the warm air. Then a quick walk up Ninth Avenue for takeout and that special sunset light was gorgeous.

This special time of the year can make it seem like you never saw a flower or a sunset street or a food cart.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Grey Gardens Interior

This pic was from a New York Times piece on Grey Gardens as it is today and as it was when Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee purchased the property in 1979 from Edith Bouvier Beale.

The documentary by the Maysles brothers' everyone knows. But the interiors are both sad and majestic and a marvel when you realize these two women--Big Edie and Little Edie were penniless and struggling with probably varying degrees of mental illness.

The bedroom with the wallpaper kimono is so elegant to me and so balanced. I want my new bedroom to look like this and I NEVER want my new bedroom to look like this.

Underwater Anthropologie Catalog Pics

The new Anthropologie Catalog hired the photographer Barabara Cole to shoot some of the pics. Usually I feel the underwater thing can get a bit gimmicky but somehow Cole breathed some new life into these images. I wondered if maybe she was a photographer they hired and said "for this job can you shoot underwater" or was she an underwater photographer that they said "for this job you will shoot fashion" or some combo of both. If you go to her website you will get the answer. Cole clearly loves her job and that is also something I appreciate beyond her skill with a camera.

And the model was Irina Funtikova from Elite. I can only imagine how cold she was by the end of the shoot.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Black and White

The Avedon book got me thinking about color vs. BW. I personally see more color than I do see things BW, at least in terms of my pics. But black and white is incredibly strong and muscular when used expertly. I looked thru the prop house and found these graphic vintage pieces. Here is my sunday afternoon 10 minute black and white portfolio.


What do you get a photographer for his birthday. A book of photography. Joe gave me the new Avedon book, Performance. Wonderfully designed and edited and paced. For anyone interested in this medium a must have.

One of the best things about this publication is the way the book literally unfolds. As if you are drawing back the curtains on the actors and musicians and dancers.

More Birthday Gifts

Well here are a few more birthday gifts. Not sure these will make you too envious but I'll give it a try.
Joe gave me a beautiful little book named Charles Harper's Bird & Words. Charley Harper was a modernist illustrator and artist with a life-long attraction to nature, especially birds.

Also, to keep the bird-theme going, Joe gave me a motion-activated toy Cardinal. And a weird birthday card of a man with a Cardinal head.

I guess to polish my new little toy bird Joe also got me my favorite dish towels from Crate and Barrel. These are the flour sack towels and I've used them in the kitchen but also wrapped them around my neck when I am out shooting in the sun/heat.

My new apartment

Moving this week....let's hope. Had a few setbacks. The painters were not so detail-oriented so it was an extra week. Then we had a floor-finishing fiasco (still too tender to talk about what happened!). But now just need to clean the walls of floor dust and get moved in.

Just have two things so far in the place. A plant and a stool. I'm going to go from an all-white place to an all-gray place. Just can't get the color thing happening. Once I am moved in I'll get some pics of the old place and the new place for comparison.

I'm downsizing. Moving my office out of my apartment and into the studio. The new place is just three blocks from the studio. And, all you photographers will understand one more thing I'm excited about....just three blocks from B&H Photo. My view from the kitchen to the north is of Dyer Avenue going to the Lincoln Tunnel. My view from living room to the south--if I had a 10ft neck--would be of the Empire State Building.

Leave it to the French

Peter Lippmann is a Paris-based still-life photographer. I came across these Christian Louboutin ads Lippmann shot and the styling and execution are spectacular. Only the French would sell shoes in an photograph with three dead quail.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Unusual Object of the Day

I've used this object from our prop house a few times in pics I have taken and kinda/sorta knew what it was but never really had the time or energy to seek out the real answer. Well, I was on the New York Times website and saw a piece in their T Magazine that confirmed my idea.

It is a fabric printing block for Indian block printing. The Times article was on Jaipur. Found this site called Wonderful Workshops. If you have the inclination to travel to India a nicely hand-crafted fabric might just be the perfect object to bring back.

Fancy Japanese Magazine

This Japanese lifestyle magazine, Kateigaho, comes from my friend Jin. Kateigaho is maybe a little fussy in the design and photography but for the visitor to Japan it seems to have a bunch of great info. This issue seems to be about "pink" but only because the issue's theme is cherry blossom. Very comprehensive and interesting (how about a map to all the prime cherry blossom viewing sites in Japan?). I want to go to Japan and meet Isao Shirai a farmer in Yokohama who
breeds new cherry tree varieties.

Isabel and Ruben Toldedo

Yesterday I went to the studio of the fashion designer Isabel Toldeo and the artist Ruben Toledo. I was shooting a quick portrait of them for a Spanish magazine. I came away inspired on so many levels. First, they both are supremely creative and passionate about design and art and seemingly full of curiosity. And they have succeeded as business people in an intensely competitive city and world. Both are so stylish and handsome and friendly.

The Fashion Institute of Technology will be having a retrospective of Isabel's fashion designs and Ruben's artwork. The show opens June 16 and runs till September 26.

Isabel designed that iconic Ceremony dress and coat for Michele Obama for Inauguration Day. The one everyone remembers from her walk down the DC avenue with Barack.

Thursday night's birthday gift and Friday's flowers

I enjoyed my meal (and so did the mosquitos) last night at Gallo Nero 44.
Jin took me out for a belated birthday dinner and gave me this very nice
blue glass vase. Yesterday morning I went to the Union Square Farmer's
Market early and bought these cornflowers

It's that time of the year

Winter ends and spring finds a way of slowing creeping up on me and
then WHAM! Suddenly it is T-shirts and roses and parks and long days
and 92 degrees. I become obsessed with botanical gardens this time of
year. Trek to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the New York Botanical
Gardens and the local community garden on west 48th street.

Here are some pics from these past weeks. White lilac ( I don't think I have
ever seen such a "white" white flower) and cherry blossoms from the BBG
and tulips and beekeepers and more from 48th street.