Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve 08

It’s been one lazy day today for me. I’ve been sitting around all day, just looking at everything that needs to get done. Everyone has one of those days today is mine. Tonight we bring in 2009 at my in-laws. What’s nice is that we don’t have to drive. Today, it snowed on top of rain, and now it’s cold and blowing, so the walk maybe as bad as if we drove somewhere.
I’m not one for resolutions. I do think 09 will be more difficult for me as a freelancer and this year was no picnic. Still, we got by, and the bills are the bills. I’ll have two college tuition bills come September and that worries me the most. I don’t know what Adam, my high school senior will get offered. I’ll just have to wait and see.
All in all, I’m thankful for my family and the place where we are at in life. I’ve seen dysfunctional families, families troubled by addictions, and families will low moral character. God has blessed us, and this I am thankful for.
Today’s picture is from the walk on the beach Sunday. This is St. Andrew’s Dune Church. The dune side. With the fog it looked a little eerie.
Happy New Years to all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Last Monday of 2008

I spent the morning working on images from the Vanderbilt Museum’s fundraiser I worked last night. What a wonderful place, I can’t believe anyone wants to see it close. It’s just that government hasn’t figured a way to fund the operations of the place and not affect some other program or raise fees somewhere. The museum’s untouchable trust fund doesn’t generate enough money to cover the operating expenses since the market went south, and Suffolk County’s executive and legislative branches are bricking over what to do.
The Vanderbilt also has a cool planetarium. I was there as a kid to see a show about the solar system. Last night they did an updated version for the crowd. Today’s post is from last night at the planetarium. It’s a combination of two images one with the star projector and the moon, and one with the projector and the man.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday December 28th

Today’s photo is from my mid-morning walk along the beach today. The weather is warm and clouds are low. It was eerie and peaceful at the same time. I came across plenty of interesting images making it a productive walk.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quite Saturday

The house is quite this morning. The family is a bit on the tired side from yesterday’s trip into the big city. We have a tradition in our family to go into Manhattan between Christmas and New Years. We visit Macy’s Herald Square and ride the wooden escalators, visit the Christmas Department, if it’s still up, and purchase half off cards and ornaments. We go out to dinner, visit the big tree, window shop and just enjoy some time together as a family. We always have fun on the train ride in and back. In past years, we’ve been rained on as we ran from building alcove to building alcove and we’ve been caught in snow between home and the train.
This year we ate at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on Broadway. It was really good for a chain restaurant. The wait staff was excellent and the food was good. We had a good laugh at some of the places we ate in the past.
Manhattan was exceptionally crowded yesterday. I guess with many people having a four day holiday, I should have figured it would be crowded. It wasn’t all that bad; we got to where we wanted to go.
The crowds did make me think of what a nightmare it would be for homeland security if there were a problem. I remember Christmas 2001, the armed guards and police dogs at Penn Station, I’m sure not many people were thinking those thoughts last night.
Today’s picture post is one of the many I made while riding the escalators in Macy’s. These two young ladies were posing for a friend and I snatched one for myself.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

Christmas has changed over the years. The cat was the first one up this morning. My wife and I could have waited till morning to put the gifts under the tree. No one else would have known. Anyway, it’s a little before two and it’s time to go to the in-laws. To anyone who visits today, may you have a Blessed Christmas.
Today’s picture post is from December 6th, one of the many trees the Village of Southampton has decorated along Main Street. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

I was on line at the post office yesterday. It was ten minutes before opening and there were five people before me. We were waiting in the lobby for the doors to open. It seemed that the first four knew each other. Their conversation started with the trashing of someone with an over-decorated house to the post office people never opening on time. Two days before Christmas and they couldn’t find something nice to say about anything.
Joe, the postman who works the counter opened five minutes early. How nice was that!
Sad that it was wasted on a group of ungrateful folks, sometimes there’s no pleasing people.
The weather took a turn and warmed up. I stopped at the ocean and made a few photos. The sunset was beautiful as was the beach. No waves or breeze to speak of, but relaxing. Even the gentle rhythm of waves has a soothing effect. There was only one other person walking with her dog.
Solitude is a good way to clear your head.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Catch me

Today’s post came from Bellport’s Beaverdam Creek on Saturday. Fresh snow always looks so pretty. This leaf has such beautiful earth tones. I love the way it was caught on the twigs. If you don't look close, you can't see it not just hanging on, but suspended and punctured by branches during its fall.

Monday, December 22, 2008


It was ice cold today. I spent the morning picking up blank CD’s and DVD’s. I need to back-up some files and clean up the laptop. Needless to say I didn’t venture out today. I want to post an image I made on Friday at the Peconic River. I love the way the branches in the background look. It was the repetition of the branches that first caught my attention. But it was this folded leaf that made me stop to make this photo. During Saturday’s walk in Bellport I did a similar photo that I will post tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Rainy Sunday

Today’s rain is washing all the snow away. I wet for a little walk this morning but nothing caught my eye. I have those kinds of days. Writers have them, painters have them, I’m sure anyone who creates has them. I read on someone’s blog about a composer who kept musical riffs and combined them later to make songs. Someone responded about writers doing something similar with characters that don’t make the cut the first time around. It got me thinking. I know what I do with the images I don’t use, but what do other photographers do? I have a file cabinet full of similars and images I think have historical value. But, with digital, is there a need to keep an image that looks like another?
Today’s picture post is from yesterday. I was in Bellport and came across this scene. I’m lucky I had my camera.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20th

It snowed yesterday. Nice. It looks beautiful outside. Winter is one season I have mixed feelings about. It definitely brings about a holiday spirit for me but by mid January I’ve had enough of the cold. Yesterday I made some pictures alone the Riverhead section of the Peconic River. I stopped between shopping just in time to catch some snow in some of the images. Then I headed down to the village to finish shopping. Wait is shopping really ever finished?
Anyway, the village was covered in snow and looked beautiful so I walked with my camera looking for other things that looked interesting. At home we made the usual chocolate chips, ginger snaps and chocolate drop cookies and did our annual Christmas portrait. Which is today’s post.

Friday, December 19, 2008


It was a beautiful day today. Surprising since it’s supposed to snow tomorrow. I spent the day delivering cookies to clients and making pages for a client’s book. I did a bit of Christmas shopping and after dinner we decorated the tree.
Today’s image was made Wednesday on my wet, walk through the woods.
Doesn't it look like a smile?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Overcoming obstacles

I took a short walk today looking for something new to post. I had something I shot yesterday on a job. It was the hands of the stenographer typing away on her steno machine. I actually took a similar photo a few months ago at her request. The older one was better, so I had to go for the walk. The weather didn’t help. I hate taking my camera out in the rain.
I came across this image and thought about how this tree just grew right over the sign. I started to think about how weird this was. It looks like a “No Trespassing” sign from years ago. The tree looks as if it has poured itself over the sign. Maybe, in some strange way it wants visitors. It plans to consume the sign, so as I trespass, as I usually do, I could say, “sign, what sign?” It’s amazing how Mother Nature overcomes obstacles. I need to take a lesson or two.

Monday, December 15, 2008

C, zinc and chicken soup

Sorry about the lapse in posts. I was a little under the weather this weekend. I’m still not one hundred percent. I have a morning shoot and freelancing doesn’t come with sick time. It will be fast, the US Marines Tots for Tot’s annual collection photo. There’s probable hundreds of photographers making this or similar photos across the country as the Corps collects toys from collection points and get them ready for distribution.
Today’s image is from Saturday. My son Adam is on the high school wrestling team. They have these tournaments that last the whole day. He needed to catch the bus at five thirty AM and we got home at around seven. I missed his first two bouts. I had a family sitting to do.
Adam is seconds away from pinning his opponent. This bout gave him third place in his weight class. Congrats.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Friday, the end of the workweek for some, the beginning for others. As a photographer, it’s rare to have a weekend off. Everyday is a workday. I get a call to do a job, and if I’m not already booked, I take it. Simple. Sometimes I get a call and they ask what days I available. That happened yesterday. But events are not usually scheduled around me.
Today’s picture post is also from the Prosser Pines walk. If I wasn’t earning a living yesterday it was pouring down rain. So I didn’t have time to just wonder with my camera. We got wet enough during an outdoor press conference about Smart Cars.
I need those few minutes alone not thinking about anything.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prosser Pines

Prosser Pines
This image is from yesterday’s walk through Prosser Pines in Yaphank. It used to be called Cathedral Pines. I don’t know why they changed it. Our first house was not too far from this extremely unique place. Long Island is known for its beaches, not for towering pine trees. This place has the tallest pine trees I’ve ever seen on the Island. It’s a hidden gem. This is one of those places I continue to revisit and I always fine something new there. Yesterday was gray and drizzling rain, which added to the mystery this place holds.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Guess the Song

I missed a post yesterday. I wanted to write about a photo blog I visited even though I didn’t have a new photograph to post. I still don’t, I haven’t shot anything personal since Saturday.
That’s just the point. The blog, "what it all looks like" ( has some good photojournalism. If I made images like that for a living, I wouldn’t mind posting them.
When I started my blog, I promised I would only post what I liked, no work. And I’d try to make it an exercise to look for different things that I found attractive or interesting.
My photography on the job is safe, not edgy. I don’t editorialize. That’s not to say that I haven’t produces images on the job that I like, I have. Maybe I’ll post one in the future.
Today’s image is old; it was made on the 20th of September in Potsdam, NY.
Can you guess the song?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nostalgic Spirit

Monday morning and I’m listening to Christmas songs as I get things in order before I leave for the first photos of the day. Saturday night’s Christmas tree lighting and parade in the village was nice. It was cold but fun.
Yesterday, it snowed. There was no accumulation, but snow and Christmas music is all it takes to change my mood. I also like to watch those old sappy Christmas shows; Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life.
Which brings me to today’s picture post. This old Chevy is used by Hildeth’s Department Store for advertisement. Being in the nostalgic spirit I made it sepia for the post.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Afternoon

I had so much planned to accomplish today and I got none of it done. It does feel nice to catch my breath after a busy week.
Today’s photo I made at the Rogers Mansion, which houses the Southampton Historical Society in the village. I went for a walk this morning and took along the camera. I have always been intrigued with the look of dead Hydrangea.
We’ll all going back to the village for the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting shortly. So I’m not planning on getting much of anything done today.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Personal Narnia

This is from another walk in the woods I took yesterday morning. It was brisk, but not cold enough to make any of the puddles ice over. I’m not sure if this was a small pond or a large puddle. I needed to walk off the trail a bit to get to this spot. It made me fell like I was in Narnia. I had a nice walk even if I didn’t make many images. I didn’t have my polarizer with me so I make some adjustments in Photoshop to get rid of the glare from the sky.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hanging on

Here’s another image from yesterday’s walk in the woods. The sunlight caught it just right and all I needed to do was to be there with camera.

Leaves don't drop they just let go,
And make a place for seeds to grow.
Every season brings a change,
A seed is what a tree contains,
To die and live is life's refrain.
From: Leaves Don’t Drop (They Just Let Go)
© 2007 Carrie Newcomer & Michael Mains

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I see music

There’s a little down time between jobs this morning so I took a walk through the woods.
That’s where I found these backlit weeds. If you looked through the years of slide pages that fill my file cabinet, you’ll find a similar photo. I sure there’s more than one. I love the way they look backlit. Today’s group reminds me of musical notes. I made a few different exposures with a wide-open aperture to keep the focus shallow.
The forest, or in my case here on Long Island, the woods, are a muse in many art forms. It’s an intriguing place to explore, full of surprises both good and bad. It can be relaxing when you need to get away from civilization or stressful when you wonder too far off a know path.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Busy, busy, busy. I can’t remember which Christmas movie it’s from, but I can hear the voice in my head. I finished yesterday in a middle school photographing students serving and entertaining senior citizens. I’m always touched when I see service projects like that. It’s my favorite part of the job. These children were genuine in their need to make the elders feel comfortable and loved, even if it was in the middle school cafeteria. Much better than covering a talking head at a press conference. Yesterday’s buzz was still the poor temp worker that was trampled by Wal-Mart shoppers. A Nassau legislator was talking about new laws to prevent this from happening again. Someone was actually blaming the Nassau County Police Department. More police were needed at Wal-Mart to control the crowds and keep the peace. In my mind I herd we should be using tax dollars to subsidize holiday shopping at a greedy irresponsible retailer. Yea right! Not my tax dollars. Don’t get me started. It’s hard keeping my mouth shut at some of these press conferences. But my job is to get the shot…just get the shot.
Today’s image is totally boring, but typical of my style. I still can’t believe I paid 1.97.9 for regular.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Routine

Back to the routine, boy am I a creature of habit. It poured rain for most of the day yesterday. The tree lighting I was to cover was canceled. This morning seems mild and dry. I have a busy week a head of me. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
This image is from a walk I took back in October that also yielded the truck grill image.
I couldn’t pass up the colors of the building and that Mother Nature added her own artistic two cents at the bottom.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Morning 5AM

We took Brian to the train this morning; he’s on his way back to Potsdam. I’m feeling melancholy.
I had color corrected the amber tone of the vapor sodium lights which made the interior lighting more blue. It was too eerie for me, too blue. So I left it the way it was. The colors are complementary and match the way I feeling.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A walk through the village.

Shopping Self-Portrait
The whole family went for a walk through Southampton Village. Thankfully, no one was trampled or crushed to death as shoppers tried to buy clothing off the 60% rack outside Harmont & Blaine. Really, we were just window-shopping. Sixty percent off of seven hundred dollars was just a little out of reach for a mid-length light spring jacket.
The boys and I did purchase CD’s at Long Island Sound. After the article in the Press about him closing his other store, we were all feeling like we should buy something. This might be the last year for a freestanding independent music retailer in our town. Adam purchased a George Carlin CD, I picked up Mindy Smith’s Long Island
Shores. Sorry Mindy, it was in the used rack. And Brian picked up something for his girlfriend.
After looking at $125.00 neckties and $200.00 belts, I saw this mirror in a shop window and made this image. I lowered the camera so the viewer could see both my eyes. It’s not the ultimate self-portrait, but it’s ok for now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A little rust around the edges.

The Day After
After a day with family and good food, it’s nice to have a rest. I’m not one to run out at four in the morning to try and get some limited quantity loss-leader item. We did that once for some hand-held video games for the boys. The three games have been sitting on my workbench for two or three years. The boys don’t play them anymore.
We live in this disposable world and society plays on us to keep up with the Jones.’
This photograph was made in October. I was on a job, early as usually, so I want for a walk. This was one of the images that I made from this walk.
In my high school photography class, years ago, I made a similar image of a front grill of a Mack truck. It reminded me of my dad. He has this flat face that has a Mack style to it. This is really a complement. He’s a manly, man.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Magic Farm

Here’s another trespassing photo. It couldn’t have been too magic it was abandoned. They’ll probably tear it down and put up condos or something. I’m not going to dwell on the negative today. My oldest son, Brian is coming home for Thanksgiving break. He’s one of the many things I am very thankfully for.
I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Love or Money

Love is stimulated by illusions more that anything.
Joni Mitchell
I made this image last night at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at an outdoor shopping mall. The management hired a quartet and they had their own photographer. I was there for the elected folk. The temperature wasn’t too bad considering how cold it had been the past few days. I guess the musicians were cold. They were just sitting there playing. The guy in my photo is wearing gloves. He wasn’t the only one. The quartet was good.
The Joni Mitchell line comes from the song Sharon, and even though she’s used it to describe a relationship, I was thinking a little differently. I would have never pictured myself at a mall tree lighting ceremony taking pictures of elected people thirty years ago. I sure these musicians felt the same way. They were sitting there playing in the dark while people stopped shopping long enough to see the tree light then rush off with the kids to Santa or to another store. I wonder how many even heard them? It’s a shame; the quartet was good.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Took a day off yesterday. This is an image made at the end of September. I was trespassing as usual.
There’s this farm property in Calverton for sale. It’s a vacant overgrown farm. The main barn has Welcome to the Magic Farm painted above the door. I’m sure there’s a story there. I stopped there September 24th to explore and find photographic fodder.
One of the odd things about the place was each building on the property was numbered. This image comes from building seven. The tape above the window trim and the seven captivated me, and the fact that the painter didn’t care it was there. I arranged the window and the seven and made my own art from theirs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Cold Day

Leaves in a Puddle
It’s funny how I always return to the same places whenever I’m looking for something new to photograph. Even when I do go someplace new I come back with familiar subject matter.
In the early years of my marriage I used to ask my wife what she thought of certain images. Her response was usually “ oh, another picture of leaves, nice.” There’s a certain solace in what it familiar.
I used to read to my children when they were young. They would always get to pick a book before bed and we would snuggle up in bed and read. Adam, my middle son, would always pick the same book, Barbar the Elephant. He loved that book. I found it boring, there was no action, no suspense, and it put me to sleep every time without fail. Adam found comfort in knowing there were no surprises. He knew how it ended. I guess that Dr. Susess’ Are you my Mother? might have given his little mind too much to think about. What happens if dad falls asleep and the little bird never finds her mother?
I find comfort in familiar subject. Even when I venture off into the dark unknown I come back with something I know.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Paying the Bills

I am sitting at the counter paying bills. No economic bailout check came in yesterday’s mail. A client check did come for which I am grateful. That’s the reason I’m sitting here with the checkbook.
This image was shot Wednesday at the train underpass. I changed it into a grayscale image. It fit my mood better this way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


It was just the way I was feeling yesterday. I’ve driven passed this underpass in Deer Park many times, yesterday I needed to get out of the pick-up and make an image. I thought the shade of blue they used to paint it along with the sky would make for a good study in blue. The weeds and gate chain offered a contrasting color.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trout Pond Reflection

Trout Pond Reflection
Noyack is a sleepy little hamlet on the north shore of the south fork of Long Island. I spent an hour or so there on Election Day morning. I rotated the image so the orientation is correct. Being a reflection, the trees and upside down in the original.
For the past two days, it’s been cold and very windy outside. Not too inviting for a photo outing. I had a grueling day on the job, the pick-up needed a replacement alternator and sunlight depravation syndrome all had the best of me yesterday. Maybe today will be better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday November 18

Tuesday, November 18. It reminds me of Greg Brown’s “Brand New ’64 Dodge” from The Poet Game. Every time I say or hear someone say November, I think of that song.
This is the last image from the cattail plant series. I think the focus could have been better on this image. I should have moved the focus closer to the front of the subject. Maybe I moved or maybe the slight breeze moved it out of focus. Does it matter? I blew the shot.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Here’s the image I promised for yesterday. A day late. There’s one more I like that I post sometime in the future. Our internet was slower than molasses. I spent the good part of the day putting the finishing touches on a six light window that I converted to a picture frame. I cut the six individual mattes and put them in place. I need to pick up heavier picture frame wire before I hang it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My neighbor calls these Cat Tail Grass, I’m not sure what they are. They caught my eye yesterday and that’s all that matters. I made a few straight images, of which this is one. No HDR, no photoshop. Mostly just photographing the droplets against different backgrounds and changing focus. I’ll post a different view in the future.
I missed a post yesterday. I knew this would happen, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. I was happy I got a chance to go out and make a few images. It always helps clear my head.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This is also from the loading yard in Medford. This is the first HDR image that I was truly happy with. Good detail in the shadows.
Today, it was a rainy, overcast day for the most part. I went out looking to make an image or two but I couldn't find my muse.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Boxcar Latch
I made this image on October 11th at a loading platform in Medford, New York. I love rust, the color the texture, even the idea of rust. How weather oxidizes metals and changes the way they look and feel. Not unlike the weathered snow fence. This was shot as a HDR composite but I still lost detail inside the boxcar. I like the emptiness to the right,the negative space.
I went to the Parrish Art Museum Sunday and saw the Modern Photographs: The Machine, the Body and the City. Great show, but I wasn't happy with the way the Parrish labeled the art. The first room had the information posted at the beginning of the grouping. Every time someone wanted to see who made the photograph or the name of the photograph they needed to walk back in front of someone else viewing the show. The second room had each separate photograph labeled. It was inspirational to see some of the work.
Photo blogging is not easy. I made a self portrait today, but wasn't pleased with what I saved. Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Snow fence
Veterans' Day, I wanted to post another image from last month's visit to the beach. This is also a HDR processed image. It's a simple photo but I like the form of the fence and the tones in the weathered wood slats.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carnival Beach

Well, I have to start somewhere. This is my first blog. I am a professional photographer, which means that I earn most or all of my income from the taking and selling of photographs. I started making images in 1975, my last year of high school and except for a short period of time in the eighties haven't stopped.
This photo was made last month, October 26th along Gin Lane in Southampton, New York. I had some time to kill between dropping my middle son, Adam off at work and a portrait job. I was trying to find images that would work as HDR images. I don't think I was successful, but I liked the image anyway. I especially liked it when two guys walked into it and one was framed by the colorful bike rack.