Journal Entries

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New York City High-Line


October 2019

In a city of 8 million people it can be difficult to find a place of solitude. This fellow has found one in a most unlikely place: the High Line in NYC. During the day this city walk is teeming with people, mostly tourists locked elbow to elbow. But at night it takes on a completely different aura. A repurposed elevated railroad track in the heart of the NYC’s meatpacking district is now one of the most expensive real estate locations in Manhattan. It seems remarkable now that the promoters for this idea struggled to find anyone interested in investing in the project. I was walking back from a Roy DeCarava exhibit at a gallery in Chelsea and Roy’s images inspired me to look for something dark to shoot. Roy’s most famous work is of jazz musicians in dark, smoke-filled jazz clubs. His images are dark, almost black, and often blurry due to the slow shutter speeds needed to shoot in such dark settings. They have a haunting beauty despite their perceived technical shortcomings, or perhaps because of them? So I was in a dark frame of mind wandering the city at night. This image is no DeCarava, but it is my humble way of saying thanks to the man and all of his beautiful images: and for demonstrating conclusively that the worth of an image is not in its technical proficiency, but in its emotional impact. And by the way, those dark blurry images are selling at a starting price of $80,000.



Skateboarding - Brooklyn NY

September 2019

Spent an afternoon watching the skateboarders in Golconda Park in Brooklyn. Not only does the skateboarding look dangerous, trying to photograph these folks can be just as risky. When those boards let loose they really fly! You need to really pay attention and position yourself strategically. But it was a lot of fun, and a friendly bunch of people to hang with. There’s a whole genre of skateboarding photography out there that I was never aware of. There are a lot of talented photographers doing amazing work capturing the exploits of the skateboarding community. Skateboarding has certainly come a long way since I was a kid.



A Journey Through the Past (apologies to Neil Young)

August 2019

An antique Adirondack guide boat appearing through the early morning mist on Blue Mountain Lake in New York’s Adirondack Park. These boats date back to the mid 19th century when city people would pay handsome fees to Adirondack guides who would provide their clients with a wilderness experience and the necessary survival skills of living off the rugged NY State landscape. The ADK guide boats could carry 3 people and enough gear for a full summer in the wilderness. Fast, light, and durable, these boats were an engineering marvel and truly a work of art and craftsmanship. To me, there’s a mystical quality to the early morning hours on the lakes in the Adirondacks, and seeing an antique guide boat materialize out of the mist lent a dreamlike sensation to my morning paddle. I felt out of place, and certainly out of time, sitting there in my plastic kayak, as if I had created a temporary break in the time-space continuum where technologies a century and a half apart collided for a brief instant. I realized that the lake is essentially unchanged since this approaching guide boat was built, so it was I that was the odd man out, a trespasser on a journey through the past. (image title blatantly stolen from Neil Young, listen here: Journey Through the Past)



The End of Days?

April 2019

The cross is a powerful symbol. I can hardly pass one by without taking a picture, especially when it shows up in unlikely places like a beach on the Jersey shore with a raging fire behind it. This is Ocean Grove NJ, founded in 1869 by Methodist ministers as a summer religious retreat. This religious influence is still very much evident today as clearly illustrated by this cross on the beach. The fire raging behind it was a large wooden pavilion of shops and restaurants along the boardwalk that eventually burned completely to the ground. When I was young my family would vacation in nearby shore towns and I can remember seeing the roads to Ocean Grove blocked off on Sundays because driving was not allowed on the holy day. As a young child I really didn’t understand those strict rules but I didn’t pay it much mind either. The town had a nickname called “Ocean Grave” because it was so strictly religious it was thought no one was allowed to have any fun there (unlike the rest of the Jersey shore where there didn’t seem to be any rules at all). The town’s standards have loosened considerably since those days but it is still very much a community based on its religious beliefs. I find it an odd enclave of spirituality nestled in an otherwise non-spiritual atmosphere of secular decadence that is typically what you find “down the shore” in NJ. And when it comes to shore towns, a little decadence is not a bad thing.



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