January 30, 2010

Look, up in the sky...

After a sudden brief snowstorm the skies cleared leaving the last moments of a beautiful golden, reddish sunset.

I like to close one of my eyes and line up the moon with something like the corner of a building.

While walking through Central Park the other afternoon a large hawk swooped into a tree just above me. He sat in that tree for the longest time. I only had a short zoom lens with me. Then after staring in one direction for a few seconds he took off flying very fast soaring just a few feet above the ground, probably making some unfortunate squirrel his dinner. I'm amazed that these large majestic birds thrive in Central Park. A few minutes before, that I saw a large raccoon run into a holly bush. Like I've said before, sometimes it's like being in Vermont.

Trees are just as beautiful with no leaves at all against the evening sky.

Walking out of the park heading down 73rd street I looked up to see the lights on in this upper floor apartment. I love staring into windows. I always wonder who lives there, what do they do for a living and what the apartment looks like inside. I always assume it's amazing. It has to be.

January 20, 2010

DVF & Birds

I did a portrait of Diane von Furstenberg today for McFadden publishing. Second time I've shot her in a month. The interview went longer than expected... no surprise. So, I got 5 minutes to do a cover and inside story. I need to take a lesson from Annie Leibovitz and put my foot down.

I haven't lost my mind... completely. I was walking down the street in Chelsea and some lady was throwing bird seed out for the pigeons. I once told another lady not to feed them, as there are signs everywhere. But she screamed at me, "How would you like to go hungry?" This time, being the "new, improved, non-confrontational Stephen" I didn't say anything. I walked through the flock and this one popped up just as I fired a snap with the trusty Fuji point and shoot. Is it interesting? Not particularly, I was just taken by the way these fat little things get off the ground. Leaning forward, bringing the wings out front, pushing that air. Sort of amazing. Shit, maybe I have lost my mind. Like Brando in his final years sitting around watching ants all day.

January 19, 2010

I've got nothing to say...

I haven't felt like writing much lately. Or talking for that matter. Since finishing that book A New Earth most of my blogging material seems pointless. Not necessarily everything, just anything controversial. I realized that I've wasted so much time in the past trying to make my point regarding such topics as politics, religion, Obama, Bush, global warming, war, overpopulation, nutrition, kids, materialism, gas guzzling SUVs, our dependency on oil, or all the plastic floating in the ocean... and for what? According to the book, to boost my ego. That book made me realize that I probably won't change someone's mind about anything and arguing is pointless. When someone tries to start an argument or become confrontational you can instantly stop it about 99% of the time by smiling and saying,"Okay, whatever." If you practice this, it becomes easier each time. Turn the other cheek. So at least that's the mode I'm in right now. It's futile to try and fight with someone. Arguing and fighting are all based on ego. The need to make your point, to feel superior. People believe what they believe and more than likely you won't change their mind anyway, so why try?

Here are some recent snaps:

Imagine you're taking a leisurely bike ride on the upper west side. A nice quiet neighborhood. Parents pushing strollers, walking their dogs, kids skipping down the sidewalks. You stop and lock up your new $800 Cannondale bike and go do some errands. An hour later you return to find this: The thief didn't only steal your bike, he took practically everything, didn't even leave the frame. Just the lock and a wheel, not even the tire. Amazing.
I saw this sad sight the other night after having dinner. The scenario was conjured up in my brain while staring at that locked tireless wheel.
That bike could have been there for 3 years before being stolen for all I know.

Realistic life sized nude sculpture looking down on 23rd street. (click on photo)

Last trip home. I kept looking at the windshield instead of what was beyond it. Notice the drips on the glass.

January 15, 2010

Up on the rooftop click click click

My friend Kristi works in the penthouse of an office building in midtown which has a wonderful balcony overlooking the surrounding cityscape. She was kind enough to stay an hour after work and let me take some snaps. I could have used a wide tilt/shift lens but it was interesting nonetheless. She patiently played solitaire on the computer while I clicked away and nearly froze to death.

As I was shooting I noticed this reflection behind me in a window.

January 9, 2010


Doing a quick edit of the photos I shot of Amanda, I found 2 more that I like very much. The one with the red flowery thing in her hair reminds me of a Cindy Sherman movie still. She's very easy to shoot.

Walking down the street the other morning I snapped this with my little Fuji point & shoot. I love the morning glow on the front of the building.

January 8, 2010

Bravest man in the world

I'm always amazed at people who are extremely dedicated. Mountain climbers who scale a peak like K2 or Everest, anyone who will attempt a marathon, triathlon or iron man competition. Even runners who get up at 6:00am to go out and jog in 18 degrees. I'm impressed with people who have the discipline to practice doing scales on an instrument for hours on end. I last about 15 minutes before I toss my guitar on the couch.
The other day I took a walk over to the Hudson. It was about 19 degrees and the wind was howling. A guy pulls up in a Volvo and takes a kayak off the roof. I think to myself..."No way, he's crazy". About 15 minutes later he sets sail, or paddle. The bravest man in the world. He's probably dead. I keep looking for a report of a lost kayaker.

January 7, 2010

Mirror mirror

The other day while on my way to the Whitney, I stopped in a coffee shop and bought a cup of decaf. As I stood outside leaning against the front window I glanced to my left and noticed the reflections in the glass. I set down my coffee and took a few snaps. When I got to the Whitney it was closed. On a Tuesday, who knew?

January 6, 2010

Owls keeping guard

Today I went across the street to get my favorite cheap Chinese food ($4.95). I worked up an appetite picking new website images and doing laundry. Mr Multi-tasker. I glanced up at the beautiful blue sky and noticed a plastic owl staring down at me. Then I spotted another, and another and another. Like a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds" except with owls. My building has an owl keeping guard every 15 feet. I never noticed them before. This is obviously to keep pigeons away but here's a news flash...it aint working. Pigeons are everywhere. They stand next to the owls and smile at them. I've decided to open Domingo's Owl Store (if it said "Stephen's" nobody would come. Remember, this is Inwood). My new vocation..owl salesman.

January 4, 2010

My $50 umbrella

I find it amazing that after a very windy day here in the city, people just toss their broken umbrellas on the ground, sometimes close to a trash can. They're everywhere. The wind whips through the streets here like a powerful wind tunnel. Gusts will instantly turn your fancy umbrella into a broken inside-out tulip shape in seconds. Here are some results the morning after a very windy night. These were all shot within a 100-foot radius on 34th street in 3 minutes. Imagine how many broken umbrellas are lying on the streets of NYC after a windstorm.

January 1, 2010


This morning I took a short hike into one of the parks near my apartment. As I walked deeper into the woods and lost sight of the surrounding buildings, I felt for just a moment like I was someplace like Vermont. I took some snaps of these very small, delicate, little plants with dried flowers on top. I'm still on my Eliot Porter kick.