July 28, 2010

Urban waterfall

Up here in "Little Dominica" they're big on opening fire hydrants. One particularly hot day I counted 4 open hydrants in a 6 block range. Seems at least one person on each block has the special wrench to open these things. Sooner or later the fire department shows up, shuts the water off and 20 minutes later it's back on and the kids are back in the street enjoying their own little "urban waterfall".

July 27, 2010

Coney fun

Coney Island is in full swing. Saturday it was 97 degrees and the pier became one big diving board, much to the chagrin of the Park Police who tried in vain to stop the fun...

Lovers under the pier.

Excuse my absence, had a virus.

The household computer caught a nasty virus called Antimalware Doctor. Suddenly this fake window appears telling you you're under attack and press these buttons to avoid a computer nightmare. Too late, already in there making the computer slow and do all sorts of odd things. It's a pain in the ass but I'll post photos later.

One note... The thing I love about living in New York is that just about every single day you see something that you probably wouldn't see anywhere else, at least in America. The thing I hate most about New York is that you probably see something everyday that you wouldn't see anywhere else....

Today I'm on the subway coming back from shooting a singer/songwriter in a club on the Lower East Side. There's a guy sitting across from me wearing a very low-cut, blue and red wife beater tank top with oddly wide shoulder straps that made it look more like suspenders. He looked to be half black and half Indian (dot, not feather). He had thick reddish brown hair that had obviously been professionally cut (and dyed) recently and he wore baggy shorts that would have been more appropriate on someone half his age, which was probably around 50. Anyway, he drops this small white object on the floor and it rolls towards me and stops. Before I can get a good look at it he quickly snatches it up looking startled and slightly embarrassed. I pretend that I'm looking in a different direction but I watch him as he rolls that white thing between his fingers. After a minute or so he buries his thumbnail into the object and starts to slowly and slyly peel away a white wrapping from it using very minimal hand movements. This takes about 2 minutes. Then he balls up the peeling/wrapper, glances at the object and then pops it into his mouth. He sucks on it and rolls it in his mouth like it was some sort of lozenge or candy without chewing it for a few minutes, like one might do with a Halls or even a Werthers butterscotch. Then the rolling stops and he bites down... chews... and swallows. Then, I realize what it was--a clove of garlic. Who in the hell eats a clove of garlic on a subway at 11:00pm at night? Who? That guy did. Now that my friends, is some weird shit...

Pictures soon... damn virus.

July 16, 2010

Snapped this week

Gumball envy.
No smoking, copface.
Denis Leary stares.

July 15, 2010

I saved a life...

Walking through Noho I saw this little caterpillar walking along the sidewalk. I knew he would be squished within minutes. I let him climb onto a leaf and after dropping him from waist level twice I released him onto this large tree. He didn't seem to suffer any internal injuries from his fall(s). He climbed up the trunk towards the leaves. For a brief moment I felt like I had saved an entire species. After eating at Dojo I glanced up and saw these beautiful God rays.
A tender little moment on the ferry.
Mango sale as seen from above on 207th.
Trash as seen from above... We REALLY need to do something about the ENORMOUS amount of garbage we generate each day, month, year.

July 14, 2010

Daily snaps

Colors on the subway platformfrom a stained glass window that's avoided vandalism for some odd reason.
Odd buzzer configuration in Soho. Rube Goldberg would be proud.
My claustrophobic, sardine-like riding experience from West 4th to 125th on the Express A train at rush hour.
Same car minutes later.

July 13, 2010

Haven't posted any photos lately

I still like to go out late on a sunny afternoon, hold my camera over my head pointing down (and upside down) and take snaps of people's long shadows.
Like these two cops and other passersby.

Proud dad and a ham of a kid, Washington Square Park.
Dog in a bag on the uptown A train

July 9, 2010

The best shirt EVER.

I need this shirt. In one sentence it sums up all my feelings about the state of photography today.

July 8, 2010

Photography is dead

So it's official. Photography is dead. Every single dope with a digital camera can now shoot for magazines, making photographers a dime a dozen and completely cheapening the industry. Show me a person who can take a Hasselblad 500CM, Mamiya RZ, or a Contax 645, put a lens on it, load a film back, put it on the camera, take a light meter reading with a real light meter, set the exposure (shutter speed & aperture), remember to pull the dark slide, take a well-exposed photo, pull the film out of the back, develop that film at home in a tank in the bathroom and then go into a darkroom and make a nice clean usable print, and I'll show you a real photographer. Everyone else is a bullshit poser. So, after taking photos for about 33 years, give or take a few, and shooting in NYC for the past 16+, I get a call from someone at a publication who recently worked with one of my clients. She asked me if I could do a portrait for her. I stupidly said yes, without asking the rate, figuring it would be comparable to other publications. After I accept the job she tells me it pays $150. I laugh and tell her what a ridiculous rate that is. She's apologetic and agrees. Today, while emailing back and forth, I jokingly asked if $150 included expenses. She wrote back that, "No, $150 is the flat rate." I knew right then that photography was indeed dead. I whipped off this nice email.
I will shoot Jaime and Ally and do a fine job. I took the job and will do my best. If $150 is the final rate, as much as I appreciate you thinking of me I cannot possibly work for that amount again. Stupidly, I assumed expenses would be covered. But, after paying for cabs and editing, less than $100 isn't worth my time nor effort. I wouldn't even shoot for that amount while in college (many many years ago). I realize this has nothing to do with you, you have a budget to deal with.

Many of my editorial clients pay an average of $300 for a few hours of shooting, plus they cover cab fees (average $35) plus $100-150 for edit/burn Cd plus assistants if needed. Even Conde Nast, my least paying client, covers ALL expenses.

I DO understand that these are lean times but paying a working photographer $150 for any published photo using professional equipment is unreasonable and absurd.

Thanks again for thinking of me,