London by Holga

London, England, 2014

London, England, 2014

On my recent trip to Iceland, I told the two models who I brought with me – Nadine and Zoe – that the last time that I photographed a model, or even used my Pentax 67 camera, was back in September of last year when I photographed Nadine near her home in the Delaware Water Gap region of New Jersey.
Yes, folks, I went over nine months without photographing a model or even picking up my primary camera.
I guess there are photographers who feel that they need to work every single month, or maybe even every week.  They need to keep working to keep sharp.  Well, I’m not one of them.  I work when I can, if I can.  I like to think that I’ve been doing photography long enough that my way of seeing will still be there when I go looking for it.  Besides, I use film and make prints, and as doing those things are costly, in terms of both dollars and hours, I only have so much time and money to spend on doing them.
Still, I had not gone completely without making any photos since September.  In May, I went to England for a little over a week to go to some museums and theatre in London and to go to a Doctor Who convention in Oxfordshire. (Yes, that’s right. Doctor Who.)
As I knew that I’d be spending a lot of time indoors doing non-photographic things, I decided not to encumber myself by bringing a lot of camera gear with me.  Still, I wanted to be able to shoot some film photos, so I decided to bring a dozen rolls of 120 film and my Holga with me.  (Yes, that’s right.  A Holga.)
I never did use all of those dozen rolls.  Most of my time in London was spent going to museums, going to the theatre and meeting friends.  For me to walk around to “see” and photograph in a certain way, I need to get myself into a certain frame of my mind, and I just couldn’t do that while running around doing those other things.
However, after I returned to London from Oxfordshire for one more night before returning home, I found that I had the afternoon free.  This was my chance, so I stuffed some film into my pockets, put the Holga around my neck and out I went.  Heck, I didn’t even bring a bag with me.  When it began to rain later, I just hid the Holga underneath my jacket.
Here are some of the results from that day, mostly from the first of the four rolls that I exposed.  More will follow.

3540_01 London Gower St

 

 

3540_09 London bookstore

 

3540_06 London

 

3540_09 London umbrella shop

 

3541_01 - London British Museum

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Return to Iceland

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the fog

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the fog

I first visited Iceland in 1995.  It was the first time that I tried using my Pentax 67 camera system, which I am still using now. Back then, though, I was using color transparency film and was primarily interested in doing travel stock photography.
After 18 years away, I decided to go back last summer, this time bringing two models with me to photograph nudes in the Icelandic landscape.  Things didn’t go quite as well as I hoped, however.  The weather, for one thing, was the coldest summer there in memory, which made nude work very difficult.  I also acted like too much of a tourist, spending too much time at popular, crowded places instead finding quiet spots to photograph nudes.
I came home with just enough good images to make the trip worthwhile, but I knew that it could be done better.  I knew that I could do it better – so I set out to do just that by planning to go back to Iceland this summer.
One of the things that I planned differently was to select a custom made itinerary rather a than a standard tourist itinerary as I did last year.  Another thing I planned was to stay two consecutive nights in most places, rather than only one night as I did last year, allowing for greater exploration of each area plus a chance to rest during the middle of the day. As this was a custom trip plan, I spent a lot of time researching good locations.
Still, in a place like Iceland, all planning is subject to the thing that nobody can control: the weather.  Iceland is a very expensive place to visit, so to undertake a trip for three people with such unpredictable weather is really rolling the dice.
I just came back from this trip and I’m happy to report that my gamble paid off. When I stepped off of the airplane onto the tarmac at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport, the weather was cold and extremely windy – very much like what it was last year – and I wondered what I had gotten myself into.  It improved the next day, though, and overall, the weather was much better than last year.  Aided by knowledge of what to do and not do from last year’s visit, the trip plan was much better, too.
The models who joined me on this trip were Nadine Stevens and Zoe West, and we were also joined for two days by Rebecca Tun from England.  Halfway through the trip we met my friend, photographer Siggi Marason, and on the last day, we went out photographing with another friend, Bragi Kort, along with local models Svala, Jolanta and Katla.
Overall, even though this trip was just three days longer than last year’s trip (eleven days rather than eight), the number of art nude photographs I made was more than three times what I got last year.  I suppose that I could try to write about some of the highlights of the trip, but I think those stories may best be saved for when I post my art nude images from the trip here.  That will take a while, as I need to get the film developed, filed and then scanned.  I also have photos left to post from last year’s Icelandic trip, plus other work.
For now, here’s a travelogue of sorts with snapshots from my little digital camera.  Enjoy.
(Oh, just one more note: I am planning to go back.  Again.)
The adventure begins!

The adventure begins!

 

Feet

Feet

 

Zoe at one of Iceland's more unusual cultural attractions

Zoe at one of Iceland’s more unusual cultural attractions

 

Zoe and Nadine in Reykjavik

Zoe and Nadine in Reykjavik

 

Stretching

Stretching

 

On the trail

On the trail

 

Zoe near the Seljalandfoss waterfall

Zoe near the Seljalandfoss waterfall

 

Zoe on basalt near the town of Vik

Zoe on basalt near the town of Vik

 

Nadine

Nadine

 

At Vik, with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast

At Vik, with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast

 

The view from the Kerlingardalur road.  We were about to photograph some nudes here, but a tour bus pulled up and put an end to that idea

The view from the Kerlingardalur road. We were about to photograph some nudes here, but a tour bus pulled up and put an end to that idea

 

There are no snakes in Iceland, but apparently there are spiders

There are no snakes in Iceland, but apparently there are spiders

 

Nadine and Rebecca at Stjornufoss waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Nadine and Rebecca at Stjornufoss waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur

 

Nadine and Rebecca at Kirkjugolf ("church floor") - in reality the upper end of natural basalt columns in the ground - in Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Nadine and Rebecca at Kirkjugolf (“church floor”) – in reality the upper end of natural basalt columns in the ground – in Kirkjubæjarklaustur

 

Rebecca tries eating shark for the first time

Rebecca tries eating shark for the first time

 

Rebecca survives eating shark for the first time

Rebecca survives eating shark for the first time

 

Nadine and Rebecca at Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Nadine and Rebecca at Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

 

The lagoon at the foot of Svínafellsjökull glacier

The lagoon at the foot of Svínafellsjökull glacier

 

Nadine at Kviarjokull glacier

Nadine at Kviarjokull glacier

 

Fjallsjökull glacier and the Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon

Fjallsjökull glacier and the Fjallsárlón glacier lagoon

 

The famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

The famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

 

Rebecca decided to take a dip for art's sake into the freezing cold, iceberg filled waters of Jökulsárlón

Rebecca decided to take a dip for art’s sake into the freezing cold, iceberg filled waters of Jökulsárlón

 

Siggi Marason

Siggi Marason

 

Nadine

Nadine

 

Zoe and Nadine at dinner in the town of Höfn

Zoe and Nadine at dinner in the town of Höfn

 

Zoe and the plum

Zoe and the plum

 

Breakfast of champions!

Breakfast of champions!

 

Old turf covered farm buildings at Núpsstaður, a UNESCO world heritage site

Old turf covered farm buildings at Núpsstaður, a UNESCO world heritage site

 

Zoe and Nadine having dinner at Halldorskaffi in Vik

Zoe and Nadine having dinner at Halldorskaffi in Vik

 

Waiting for people to leave so we could photograph on the Reynisfjara beach near Vik

Waiting for people to leave so we could photograph on the Reynisfjara beach near Vik

 

The Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast of Vik

The Reynisdrangar sea stacks off the coast of Vik

 

Michelin man Zoe

Michelin man Zoe

 

Monster Zoe

Monster Zoe

 

Sublime

Sublime

 

Kvernufoss waterfall near Skogar

Kvernufoss waterfall near Skogar

 

Finally, someone who understands

Finally, someone who understands

 

Zoe and Nadine at the Skogafoss waterfall

Zoe and Nadine at the Skogafoss waterfall

 

Volcano Girl! Zoe on the rim of Saxhóll Crater

Volcano Girl! Zoe on the rim of Saxhóll Crater

 

Fjöruhúsið , a cute little cafe right by the water in Hellnar

Fjöruhúsið , a cute little cafe right by the water in Hellnar

 

Snæfellsjökull, where (according to Jules Verne) men journeyed to the center of the earth

Snæfellsjökull, where (according to Jules Verne) men journeyed to the center of the earth

 

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, with the mountain, Kirkjufell

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, with the mountain, Kirkjufell

 

This is how one looks after wading through thigh high water

This is how one looks after wading through thigh high water

 

Nadine and Zoe on the beach at Búðir

Nadine and Zoe on the beach at Búðir

 

Eldborg crater

Eldborg crater

 

Flowers

Flowers

 

Bragi with Jolanta (left) and her sister Sandra

Bragi with Jolanta (left) and her sister Sandra

 

Svala (left) and Katla

Svala (left) and Katla

 

Riding back to Reykjavik: Zoe, Jolanta and Svala

Riding back to Reykjavik: Zoe, Jolanta and Svala

 

Zoe and Nadine at our farewell dinner

Zoe and Nadine at our farewell dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Independence Day

 

Star Spangled Banners, Aix-en-Provence, France, 2000

Star Spangled Banners, Aix-en-Provence, France, 2000

Today is Independence Day here in the United States, the 238th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by a group of brave and bold gentlemen.
Unfortunately, not everybody can be celebrating as they might like as the storm has been heading up the east coast and wrecking havoc down south.  Even in New York we’ve had rain today.  I wonder won the hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s….
I actually grew up in Coney Island, close to Nathan’s and down the block from the Cyclone.  My bedroom window faced both the amusement area and elevated subway tracks, and I can still remember seeing packed subway trains heading in, filled with people wanting to have fun, with the load, pounding music of the scene heard from beyond.
The photo I’m posting today is a bit more serene.  It shows two Star Spangled Banners – the American flag – put on display outside of a pair of windows in the old town of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.  Oh, the date was July 4, 2000.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday, everyone.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Icelandscapes

3456_3 - view from Berserkjahraun
My last few postings included some nude photos made during my trip to Iceland last year.  I chose to go to Iceland to photograph nudes as the landscape there is so dramatic and beautiful, so now I’m going to post some pure landscape photos.  I’ve already posted photos of some waterfalls and those made at the Jokularlon glacier lagoon, but these now are a bit more random.
I do have to admit that I would have liked to have included a nude figure in some of these images, but circumstances did not allow it.   Still, there is nothing wrong with photos of the landscape by itself.
These photos were made in different parts of Iceland, so I’ll be putting them in order from west to east.
The first photo, at the top, was made from the Berserkjahraun lava field that I’ve recently written about.  A rough dirt road winds its way through this amazing place, and looking west while driving on it in the late afternoon yielded the scene that you see here, with a volcanic crater silhouetted against a dramatic sky.
Naturally, I had to stop to expose a roll of 120 with this breathtaking scene.  Unfortunately, I was unable to spend as much time as I may have liked in doing so, as this road is quite literally wide enough for just one vehicle (and it’s not even marked as a one-way!) and another car had ridden up behind mine waiting to proceed.
As it happens, I returned to this lava field the following afternoon, but the lighting at this spot was not nearly as dramatic as it was this day – proof that you’ve got to take advantage of such situations while you still can.

3436_5 - View to Reynisfara

Next is the view east from the Dyrhólaey peninsula on the south coast. I had made a day trip to this part of Iceland on my first trip there in 1995, but I had never been up there before, and it was amazing to see this view looking toward the Reynisfjall mountain and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, with the beautiful black sand beach in between.  It seems like a scene that was made to be photographed in black & white.
Here is a closer up scene looking toward those sea stacks, made from the black stone beach next to the mountain.  I have to admit that this is one place where I wanted to photograph nudes.  As a matter of fact, when I decided to go to Iceland to photograph nudes, this was the number one place that I had in mind!

3452_4 - Reynisdrangar beach near Vik

Sadly, it never happened.  This photo was made around 11:30 pm, when I went out there with one of my models thinking that nobody else would be there at that hour.  I was right about that, as we were alone.  Unfortunately, the weather was brutal: cold, raw and windy – not good conditions for nude modeling.
I still had the following morning, before we hit the road to travel further west, but I had told the two girls that I would let them sleep late.  Silly me, I actually let them do that!  I did go back with the other model, and though the conditions were still not good (but a little better than before), she eventually agreed to model for a quick few shots.  By now it was around 8 am, though, and before we could start, a tourist showed up.
So, we waited for him to leave.  Before he did, two more tourists arrived.  When they left, more arrived.  And more. And more…..
We waited there for 45 minutes, and during that time we did not have one single minute to ourselves.  If we had gotten there just a few minutes earlier, I could have gotten some photos, so I guess I learned my lesson that day:  never promise to allow models to sleep late!

3450_3 - near Hofn

Finally, these last two photos were made at the easternmost part of the trip, near the town called Höfn  in the southeast.   I was taken here by one of the Icelandic photographers who I had befriended, and though I did get three rolls of nudes here, we were stopped from getting more by the arrival of tourists to the area.
Again, as interesting as this scene was, some pure landscape photos seemed in order.

3451_1 - near Hofn

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Björg

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Today’s photo, like the last few that I’ve posted, are from my trip to Iceland last year.  The difference is that the models depicted here are Icelandic girls who I had the pleasure to work with on my final full day.
On that day, I met with Icelandic photographer Bragi Kort, who had managed to recruit the two local models, Björg and Hallgerður, to join us.  We rode out to the Reykjanes peninsula with my two models, Aubrey and Brooke, and had a good day doing art nude photography.
This particular photo was made inside a large building on an abandoned farm.   Björg is in the foreground here, with Hallgerður helping to fill the frame in the background.  Although she was nude, I chose to frame the image as it is seen here, and I think it is stronger for it.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Going Berserk!

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

In my last post, I showed a photo of Brooke Lynne in a lava field on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in Iceland last year.  Well, I now have some time to add a bit more to the scant amount of information I gave last time.
That photo and those here (Aubrey in the top and bottom photos, Brooke in the middle) were made amidst the Berserkjahraun (“Berserkers’ lava field”) on Snaefellsnes.  I had read about this place while doing my research and I just had to go there.  In fact, the place is so amazing that I went there twice!
So, how did this place get such a berserk name?  Well, according to one of the old Icelandic sagas, there were two brothers living in this area.  One of them decided to buy a couple of berserkers – wild Viking fighting men – as slaves from Sweden.  The pair came over, but they were too wild to handle, so he gave them to his more dominant brother.  One of these berserkers then fell in love with their new owner’s daughter, which the new boss wasn’t too happy about.  He asked someone for advice.  As it happened, this fellow had his eye on the daughter, too, so he told the slave’s owner to give him an impossible task to accomplish before he could marry the girl.

3453_2 - Brooke

What was the task?  Clear a path through this moonscape of a lava field - surely something that no man could do.  Well, guess what?  The two berserkers actually did it!  Naturally, the boss wasn’t about to live up to the agreement, so when the two strong men were in the sauna, he trapped them inside. When they finally came out in a weakened state, his henchmen killed them.
Is this story true or just a fable, you ask?  As it turns out, there is a path that can apparently be seen going through the lava (though I don’t know if I saw it), and archaeologists have found a grave next to this path, dating to this period, with the remains of two strongly built men. So, perhaps there is something to it.
As for my visiting this place last year, I drove from the main road onto a rough, bumpy, unpaved road, which is nonetheless a numbered road in the Icelandic road system.  First it goes through an open area, but after a short time it enters one of the most remarkable landscapes I saw in this land filled with remarkable landscapes.  “Unearthly” really is a word that applies here, with lava to be seen in all kinds of shapes and forms, much of it covered by moss.
Unfortunately, this road is about wide enough for one vehicle to fit on, and there are no signs indicating that it’s one way.  Luckily, all the vehicles I saw were heading in the same direction.  However, due to the narrow width of the road, there is no shoulder on which to park a car to allow one to get out and explore.  Luckily, I did find a couple of spots where I could pull off the road amidst the lava.

3454_4 - Aubrey

Another unfortunate factor was the weather.  As I’ve written before, just about everyone I spoke with told me that last summer was the coldest one in memory in Iceland – or, as someone told me recently, there was no summer in Iceland last year. As a result of this, we couldn’t stray too far from where I had parked, as it was so cold that after one roll of 120 film (or ten shots), the girls had to just run back to the heated interior of the car as quickly as possible.
That left a lot of the lava field yet to be explored.  On the other hand, should I go back – and I plan to – there will be plenty of new territory there to investigate and hopefully photograph.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Iceland Quickie

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Well, last week a made a quickie post with some photos from Canada and this week I’m following it up with a quickie post of Brooke Lynne in a lava field last year on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.  I’ll write more about it in an upcoming post when I have a bit more time.
For now, stay tuned.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment