Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blue, in the rain.

Another rainy day has to be a sure sign that spring is on the way.
I found these plastic trays stacked up outside a local chain drugstore. I liked the blue and the drops of rain. I did crop the image to give it a slant. It was boring straight.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some Thoughts

My life as a photographer has given me the opportunity to look at the world as an observer. The consequence being that I cannot be both the observer and the active participant at the same time. I use the adjective active because photographers no matter how impartial make decisions that effect how a viewer sees what the photographer photographed.
The decision of what lens I use, where I stand to get the best angle, how I ultimately process it, the size and usage all will have an effect on the final image and consequently what the viewer feels. So I do participate, just not upfront.
A bullet kills once a lens kills over and over. I’m not sure who spoke those words, but with that in mind the photographer is very much part of the action.
But are photographers artists? Do I deserve credit as an artist because I saw and photographed Pussy Willow, or today’s post of rain on pine needles? These things were not created by me, I just happened to observe them. I’m not saying photographers are not artists. Some make beautiful constructed photographs. In fact it wasn’t too long ago that I spent hours printing in the darkroom to make a print that I found perfect. Maybe I was an artist then, but now, I don’t think so.
These days, I just think of myself as someone with a camera pointing out things others have missed because of busy schedules or limited resources. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Card Collection

I’ve been so busy and unmotivated lately and it shows in my lack of posts. The weather hasn’t helped, the calendar says spring, but it’s been cold and windy. I went for a walk along the Carmen’s River in Shirley. All I came back with were two photos of Skunk Cabbage and one texture study of an old fallen tree. I didn’t even want to download them.
We got a new desktop computer this past week, an imac. We love that it’s all contained. Very neat and minimalist, nether of which describe my family and I. I’ve been spending most of my free time setting it up. Today, I have memory coming, and that will need to be installed. It doesn’t look too difficult.
Today’s picture post is from May 17, 2008. As I was going through files of photographs I came across this one. I made this image at a hamburger joint somewhere upstate New York. I don’t remember where we were, just that we had picked up Brian from
Potsdam and were heading home. It was somewhere off the New York Thruway.
I made this image while waiting for our food order to be ready. I wish it were sharper. I must have had low blood sugar, it was made at a 1/50 of a second which I can usually hand hold.
The warm tone of the wood panel and diffused light attracted me as well as all the business cards. Tucked up in the far left corner is a prayer card. There were local business cards as well as cards from New York City, all testament for the good food and fair prices. It’s a shame I can’t remember where it was.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I can’t believe yesterday was the first day of spring. We’ve had a cold snowy winter and I’m looking forward to warmer weather. Today’s picture of our Pussy Willow plant was made Thursday morning. We planted this bush in the fall and I forgot what it was. When I saw the cotton-like buds, I told my wife that I think it’s a Pussy Willow bush. She say that’s what it was when we purchased it last fall. So much for my memory.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

I covered a fundraiser/Saint Patty’s day breakfast this morning in Sayville. It was at The Lands End, a place my dad and I used to go to when I was just a kid. It brought back memories.
We lived in Sayville on Greeley Avenue in a rental house that was between a Jewish Temple and a greenhouse business. We were waiting for our house to be built. I think about that mouse-infested place often.
My sister, brother and I all shared one of the two bedrooms. Our bedroom window had a clear view to the train station and we would sit and watch for the train that grandma was on when she visited. We were probable in that house for less than a year; I can’t remember a Christmas there.
Sayville is a nice town; it has some old homes with lots of character. It has a thriving downtown shopping area and waterfront activities on the Great South Bay. Most of all it brings back memories of growing up for me.
The Lands End, that was its name when I was a kid forty years ago. The single story apartment building that my friend Joe Goral lived in is still across the street. It’s not red any more they painted it tan. It all looks the same as the mental image stored in my brain.
I parked there with a girl friend one night, while enjoying the salted night air off the bay things got hot and heavy. A policeman came and knocked on the car window. He didn’t wait around; he just wanted us to move on. Scared the two of us right back into our clothes. We never heard him pull up behind us.
I can here Joe banging out a Joni Mitchell song on the piano. Sayville has some good memories.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Old Plymouth

I made this image at a Saint Patrick’s Day parade yesterday. I wasn’t in a creative mood yesterday, either at the parade or later when I went for a walk around Camp Edie in Sayville. It didn’t help that it was overcast and cold, a good day to walk in a parade. I just couldn’t’ t get the creative juices flowing.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Harbor Seal

My family and I made breakfast for the homeless through our church yesterday morning. We’ve been doing this for a few years. We get up at 4:45, and make pancakes or eggs for 30 or so homeless folks that are picked up and housed overnight in local churches. We are part of a group that volunteers for a nondenominational organization called Maureen’s Haven. . Maureen’s Haven, rotates among a few churches here on the eastern end of Long Island, and runs over the winter months when the elements are most severe. It’s an eye opening experience and I’m glad the boys come and help. We always get to work with some nice folks.
This time we meet a new couple that just joined Christ Our Saviour Lutheran Church. Colleen is a bike rider who rides with our pastor. We’ve heard stories about her and bike riding for quite some time from Pastor. So it was nice to put a face to the name. Her husband, Phil told us about a seal release that was going to take place at noon. Even though I needed to go to a meeting, I was able to meet my wife and sons at the release point and watch as the second Harbor Seal get released into the wild.
This little guy did not want to swim away. He kept rolling around in the surf back towards the crowd on the beach. Being so late I couldn’t really get to close. There were little children in front of me and they kept walking in front of my camera. This is one of the only images I’m happy with.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Those Damn Geese

I’ve been walking past these decoys for weeks. They belong to my nephew, my son Evan and I walk past them on they way to the school bus stop every morning. Back during the heavy snow I walked over with my camera, but I visualized it differently that what was actually there. Yesterday the light seemed right so I made an image or two.
This is the better of the two.
Geese are a problem for some people here on Long Island. Their natural predators have declined helping their population to grow. Geese overwhelm many of the park grasslands and waterways. Their waist product pollutes many small bodies of water and makes sitting on the rolling parks lawns impossible without getting filthy.
One of the municipalities I do work for has hired dogs to annoy the geese, causing them to move on to other spots. My nephew hunts geese in season for those that find the meat a delicacy. It’s too bad the two couldn’t work together.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rusty old wheelbarrow

I missed a post or two, I’m not crazy about anything I have and I haven’t been able to get out and look around. This morning I changed this image from color to grayscale, and thought it was worthy to post.
It comes from the radar site that I visited last Sunday afternoon. I was first drawn to the rusty color, a repeating theme in my photography, and the round wheel. It lacked something even after I processed it as an HDR image.
I’m happier with it now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old Umbrella

Today’s photo was made on Sunday, March 8th at the radar site. The colorful old umbrella caught my eye along the roadside. I thought it might look good as a HDR photograph. I found the folds and shadows along with the yellow and gray materials an interesting study in line and color.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nothing to say

I’ve been saving this image for when, like the sign, I have nothing to say.
This was made on February 23 on one of my walks. I posted it as a color image and gray scale because I couldn't make up my mind. I like the colors reflecting in the worn sign.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just Under The Radar

I made today’s image up in Calverton. I’ve driven past this place hundreds of times and even seen it in another photographer’s images. I’ve always wondered what it was. Open fields and no trespassing signs surround it. As usual my curiosity got the best of me and today I went to take a closer look.
It’s a radar devise for the FAA. It looks so threatening.
Back in high school I made a photo essay on things that scare children. Most of the items I photographed were tall and ominous. Back then we always used black and white film, so I converted this image to grayscale.
Had I known about this place back then, it would have been included in that essay.
But it’s just a radar devise to guide commuter air traffic.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Empty risers

I made this image last night while waiting to make the photo I was there to make. I’m a sucker for a silhouette.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Thank God It’s Friday doesn’t have the same meaning to a working photographer. I have an assignment this morning and another at 7:30 tonight and tomorrow night. I’m not complaining, it’s how the bills get paid. The weekend nights I have off are far and few between. So I’ll just look at the colorful cocktails. Bottoms-up, this round's on me!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

A handful of brightly colored, crushed lottery tickets on the wet parking lot pavement caught my eye yesterday. Colorful dreams purchased with hard-earned money turned into litter. I didn’t win, it’s someone else’s problem now. Almost everything about the lottery is an illusion, except the trash.
A week or two ago while waiting to pay for my morning coffee, the young lady ahead of me was buying lottery tickets. She was picking and choosing which games to play, “I’ll take two $500 A Week for Life games and one Loose Change, give me a Lucky Cash X10, two Cashtastic’s, four Monopoly’s, three In the Money’s, no, make that two In the Money’s and two Set for Life games.”
My coffee was getting cold while I waited to pay. I watched in complete awe at how she rattled off the names of the games, so swift so confident. It was like a mother at the deli counter ordering the week’s supply of cold cuts for her family. “ Nick, she asked, are there any new games I don’t know about? “Did I for get the Triple Diamonds, let me get two Triple Diamonds also Nick.”
She paid and turned towards the door saying,” see you tomorrow Nick.” “Yes, and good luck” was his reply. He turned to me and scanned my 16 ounces of morning starter fluid, “ is that all Steve," he asked? I handed him two bucks, and asked if he would toss the empty cup for me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All in a Day's Work

Traveling to work yesterday morning was not fun. I passed three spin outs and had to take an alternate route because of an auto crash. I gave myself twenty-five minutes extra and was still ten minutes late.
I covered the Suffolk County Legislature’s general meeting; they passed a band on food containers used for toddlers up to three years of age that contain BPA.
Today’s picture post is an image looking over the shoulder of the bills sponsor, Legislator Steve Stern.
This image is not usual for me, most of the photos I make are from the other side of the horseshoe. I liked the layout of the mess in front of him and the big folder marked BPA.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow, Snow, Snow

Well the weatherman was right we got snow, lots of snow. With the whipping winds, we had snowdrifts twenty inches high and none at all on our deck or patio. With the help of my wife and the boys we got the driveway so it is passable. The snow blower they gave me for Christmas 07 came in handy in getting the volume down to a manageable height. But it’s still backbreaking work to do a 250-foot driveway.
We dressed Isabel in her sweatshirt and coat and she had a blast in the snow…for a little while anyway. She looked cold so I put her back in the house. She cried and cried and cried as we shoveled snow. She always wants to be wherever we are.
When we finished and were getting ready to come in for lunch, Isabel had to come out, this time without getting dressed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The March Lion

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. I woke to snow this morning and the weatherman is calling for eight to fourteen inches before noon tomorrow. Big lion. Other than church, I did not venture out today. It looks very pretty, I just didn’t want to brave the cold or pick up my camera today. I did get some stuff done around the house, so I wasn’t too lazy.