Thursday, January 23, 2014

NYC seen through a Panoramic Lens

I've become an admirer of a new feature in The New York Times. Every Sunday, for the past year,  the paper features a panoramic image of the city done by one of its photographers. I love the range of the subjects their talented staff cover. I shot a panoramic camera for many years (you can see a sample of my images here) and took advantage whenever I could of the city as a subject. So kudos to the Times for this new addition- I am a fan!

The above image (from along Washington Square) was taken with my panoramic camera turned on its side and shot on the vertical. Not exactly the intended use of the device- still it's always fun to experiment when life allows.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A moment from a while ago

Life is sufficiently quiet this week (nothing like 10 degree temperatures!) that doing some major re-organizing of my files is my current focus. I really don't think I need to keep every photo I have ever taken- and the thought of doing so almost makes me dizzy when I survey the negatives I never quite put away. (Don't ask.) In the course of my excavations- some gems of days gone by make me pause and reflect. I have always loved this image of my eldest child, Nora, taken when she was 7 or 8. Hope you feel the same way.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

I think the title of this post says it all. I went out 4 times today in the weather- lastly heading out at 3 p.m. to pick up my son and his friends at school (which required driving 10 miles per hour to town) so I'd like to think that I'm not going anywhere else today. (Fingers crossed.) At some point I'm going to have to corral a certain two individuals into joining me outside to move the many inches of fluffy white stuff that has accumulated.

I know there will be much grumbling- even with homemade cookies and hot cocoa with miniature marshmallows as an incentive. It's only January 21st and this is already our third snowstorm of the season. I foresee many more days of my teens in hibernating mode (one of my least favorite things) until the arrival of spring.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Unexpected Relaxation in the Hollow

It's utterly quiet around here today. The husband off skiing, one kid at a friend's, and my high school senior upstairs in her room.  One of those unplanned days where I really have no obligations at all.
So it's sort of a "What do I feel like doing today?"  Errands? Not really. Work at my desk? Do I have to? Do some assorted task around the house? Can't that wait for.....tomorrow? No, this is an unusual opportunity to take it easy and even do nothing at all. Let's see if I can survive the guilt of that.

Author's Note- I just discovered the blog Just Me With.. that is d**n funny and incredibly well written. It makes me appreciate the many talented bloggers out there. Now I'll probably spend the afternoon reading as many of her posts as I can....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Now and Then

I have been a huge fan of Lena Dunham since her first feature film,  Tiny Furniture, and her talent and sensibilities are terrific. I have an indirect connection to her because years back, I photographed her mother, Laurie Simmons. We knew each other through a mutual friend and saw each other socially. At the time I was photographing artists and Laurie sat for a portrait. I have great respect for Laurie's work as she is an amazing artist along with her husband, Carroll Dunham, a celebrated painter. Talent abounds in the family!!

 (I couldn't resist posting one of  the images I took from the sitting with Laurie below. How exciting to have your daughter on the cover of Vogue!)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Joan Rivers and Me

Today Joan Rivers is going to be guest hosting on The Leonard Lopate Show with one segment featuring lawyer and author Henry Bushkin about his recent book on Johnny Carson. I know it will be riveting because of Joan's history with Johnny. This brings back my memory of taking Joan's picture for my friend, Diana, who was an editor of a TV related publication and needed a photo of Joan Rivers holding her just published bio Enter Talking for an article. I bought a copy of her book and gear in hand, headed up to the hotel (I think it was the Carlyle) with the writer assigned to the piece.

Earlier that same day Joan had announced that she was going to be doing her own talk show for Fox, itself a new network and her time slot was 11 p.m. Upon arrival, we were told that she had just heard that Johnny Carson (her most important supporter) was furious and terminating his relationship with her. She was in such a perfectly coiffed state of shock that all I wanted to do was take her photo and get out of there as quickly as possible.

(Utterly distracted, she was completely gracious and happy to sign her book for me. Like many photographers will attest, images and narratives often intertwine- and who doesn't like a good back story?)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our Four-Legged Guest

Along the way, I have taught photography and have always enjoyed the chance to share what I know about cameras and image-making. With beginning students, assignments can be useful in that they pose a visual problem to solve. I would tell the class that they were free to interpret my query anyway they liked, except for one subject, "Please no images of cats."

I'm sorry I have not held cats in high regard photographically. It must be something about  the reliability of most members of the species to eventually curl up in a ball, making it easy to frame in a viewfinder. Earlier this week, my eldest decamped back to college taking her kitten, Boo, with her. But before they left, I succumbed again to his presence and now I have joined the ranks of the feline inclined. It's always good to be able to change your mind, wherever you are in the game.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Twelfth Night

My neighbor had an extra ticket to today's matinee of Twelfth Night and I was the lucky recipient.  From my front row balcony seat (thank you Susan!) I was able to take a few photos- as when you arrive the dressers, actors and stylists are onstage getting the characters ready which makes for a fun spectacle of its own. Everything about the production was amazing and made for a very entertaining afternoon with the Bard. 

(and Mark Rylance was brilliant)

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Return to Civility

Last night, like many addicted devoted to  Downton Abbey, I was glued to the screen watching the premiere of season 4 on PBS.  There was something for everyone from risque to ennobling with many sad faces on Mary. (I was relieved when she finally wore something other than black.) I only wish the Dowager Countess of Grantham was my grandmother! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Refresh and Rehash

As much as I like seeing and doing new things, there is often some aspect of personal history calling me. Years back, one summer, I took a road trip through the Loire Valley with my niece and we stayed in some ancient chateaux that rented rooms to tourists. We traipsed, ate and drank while enjoying the many idylls of the region. I had a few cameras along and took numerous photos (even experimenting with filters).  The images have been laying in wait for me to examine them and today's frigid temperatures make exploring my archive an especially enjoyable distraction.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Snowy Day Pix

It's been grey and chilly for a long stretch and yesterday, the first snow storm of 2014 brought wintery conditions and over 8 inches of snow. What a treat to wake to clear skies, sunshine and our world iced in white!

(and thank you family for the excellent shoveling!)