Woodstock: Nine Models, Two Photographers, Three Days of Peace, Love and Art

With my freinds Dane and Erica
With Dane and Erica
I wrote in my last post that last Wednesday was the 20th anniversary of my first art nude photographs, and that I was planning to do something special to celebrate.
This is something that I had thought about for several years, and to commemorate the day, I decided to go back to photograph in the area of Woodstock, New York, where it all began at a workshop on August 19, 1995.
This time, instead of planning to go by myself as I did in 1995, I did not go alone.  The first person I asked to join me was my good friend Dave Levingston, who has helped me more than any other person these past 20 years by recommending models and locations, sharing his photographic know-how and, of course, for simple friendship.
Dave L

Dave L

In this case, his help was also instrumental by bringing his van, as we had company – A LOT of company! – as Dave and I were joined by no less than nine of the best art nude models around, coming from as far away as Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia.  With us in Woodstock were Blueriver Dream, Erica Jay, Claudine, Brooke Lynne, Kelsey Dylan, Stevie Macaroni, Nadine Theresa, Dane St. Clair and Elisa Dandelion.
So, there we were, eleven of us all together to see old friends, make new ones and, of course create some art.  Most of these models I had worked with before, but with some I had not, and for two days it was great to do photography with such a wonderful group.
Stevie (right) with Elisa and Kelsey

Stevie (right) with Elisa and Kelsey

All of us gathered at the rental house in Woodstock on Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday – the day of my anniversary – we went in the morning to photograph at a beautiful waterfall that I had read about.  In the afternoon, I had gotten permission to go back to the very location where I had taken my first roll of art nude photograph twenty years earlier to the day, so we went there, too.  On Thursday we also went to a great location that Dave L had found.
It didn’t end there, though. As I had written about previously, one of my photos was selected to be included in the “Reveal” exhibit at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont.   Dave L had three photos chosen, too, so we drove up to attend the opening reception on Friday night, along with Blueriver Dream, Kelsey and Nadine.
Then on Saturday, we photographed Blueriver Dream in the morning, and again in the afternoon with Kelsey.
With Nadine

With Nadine

Still, the trip was not without incident.  On Wednesday, at the waterfall, our photography was interrupted for 45 minutes by the arrival of a summer camp group from Latvia.  (Yes, Latvia.)
On Thursday, I slipped and banged my right knee pretty hard on the ground, after earlier having twisted it pretty badly when trying to get down to a spot for photos.  (I didn’t even know how bad the bang was until I saw the blood coming up through the leg of my pants. It still hurts quite a bit, especially when turning it or walking steps, probably from its having been twisted.)
Claudine

Claudine

Then, on Saturday, I took a bit of a stumble and while trying to protect my camera from damage, both of my shins came down pretty hard onto a rock, doing some damage.
Overall, though, photographing and spending time with so many great models and getting together with a good friend was a great way to celebrate my doing 20 years of art nude photography, and I thank everyone who was there to join me.
I just hope that the future will hold more events like this.
Elisa

Elisa

Erica near Woodstock, NY

Erica near Woodstock, NY

Kelsey, Dave L and Stevie. (Yes, no words can properly describe this.)

Kelsey, Dave L and Stevie. (Yes, no words can properly describe this.)

Claudine, Nadine and Kelsey

Claudine, Nadine and Kelsey

Brooke and Stevie

Brooke and Stevie

Erica

Erica

Dane

Dane

My print at the Darkroom Gallery in Vermont

My print (right) at the Darkroom Gallery in Vermont

With Nadine at the Darkroom Gallery

With Nadine at the Darkroom Gallery

Ken and Tim from the Darkroom Gallery

Ken and Tim from the Darkroom Gallery

Dinner in Vermont with Nadine, Blueriver Dream and Dave L

Dinner in Vermont with Nadine, Blueriver Dream and Dave L

Dave L photographs amidst the Vermont greenery

Dave L photographs amidst the Vermont greenery

Blueriver Dream in Vermont

Blueriver Dream in Vermont

With Dave L and Kelsey on our final night together

With Dave L and Kelsey on our final night together

Blueriver Dream at a stop for maple syrup in Vermont

Blueriver Dream at a stop for maple syrup in Vermont

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20 Years

“It was twenty years ago today                                                                                                                                                       Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play….”
Twenty years.  That seems like a long time, doesn’t it?  I guess it is.  Can you think of what your life was like twenty years ago?  What your hair was like??  What your waistline was like???  (Okay, maybe we should avoid that last one.)
I don’t know about you, but I remember what I was doing twenty years ago today.  August 19, 1995, was a Saturday, and I was up in Woodstock, New York, attending a workshop on fine art nude photography.  It was something I had never done before.
The previous year, I had received an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.  I had gone to school part time for four years, including the summers, to get my degree, while still working my day job full time. It was not easy, but I did it because I felt like I needed to do it to improve my career possibilities.  (I was wrong, because it didn’t help.)
After four years of doing what I felt I needed to do, it was now time for me to do what I wanted to do – and that was getting back to my photography.  So, when I went to the photo expo at the Javits Center in Manhattan in the fall of 1994 and found out about the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s weekend summer workshops, I thought it might be a good idea to try some.
The first one, of course, was something that I couldn’t imagine doing on my own: nudes.  I had thought that photographing nudes would end with that weekend, but I met another photographer who introduced me to other photographers and instructors, and that started the ball started rolling.
It has now been rolling for 20 years, and it continues to roll.
In the beginning, most (or all) of the nudes that I photographed each year were done at workshops in places like Woodstock, New Mexico, California, Italy, France and even New Jersey.  Later, the workshops became less important as I began to photograph models on my own and with friends, most importantly my good friend Dave Levingston from Ohio.
In the last few years, I’ve followed Dave L’s idea of taking models on the road with me for some photo expeditions to Canada and Iceland, which have accounted for the bulk of those year’s photos.
This year, though, I haven’t done much art nude photography.  My recent trip to Ireland was my big trip for the year, and I’ve been making an effort to save some money, too.   In fact, I’ve shot just three rolls of art nudes this year – a total of 30 photos.  Still, 20 years is a landmark of sorts, and I am planning to do some special photography on this occasion, which I will hopefully write about in a future post.
They’ve been going in and out of style                                                                                                                                            But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile…….”
As I have done for the past five years on the occasion of my anniversary, here’s a survey of my art nude photography, with one photo for each calendar year that I’ve been doing it.
It’s really up to other people to decide if my photographs have been going in and out of style, but I do hope that at the very least they will bring to you a smile.   :-)
Untitled Nude, 1995

Untitled Nude, 1995

 

Untitled Nude, 1996

Untitled Nude, 1996

 

New Mexico Nude, 1997

New Mexico Nude, 1997

 

New Mexico Nude, 1998

New Mexico Nude, 1998

 

Untitled Nude, 1999

Untitled Nude, 1999

 

Nude, Provence, 2000

Nude, Provence, 2000

 

Nude, Provence, 2001

Nude, Provence, 2001

 

Untitled Nude, 2002

Untitled Nude, 2002

 

Untitled Nude, 2003

Untitled Nude, 2003

 

Nude, Nevada, 2004

Nude, Nevada, 2004

 

Studio Nude, 2005

Studio Nude, 2005

 

Nude, Nevada, 2006

Nude, Nevada, 2006

 

Studio Nude, 2007

Studio Nude, 2007

 

Nude, California, 2008

Nude, California, 2008

 

Nude, Oregon, 2009

Nude, Oregon, 2009

 

Nude, Ohio, 2010

Nude, Ohio, 2010

 

Studio Nude, 2011

Studio Nude, 2011

 

Nude, Maine, 2012

Nude, Maine, 2012

 

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

 

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

 

Untitled Nude, 2015

Untitled Nude, 2015

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From the Vault: Tibet

Man with Little Girl, Lhasa, Tibet, 2007

Man with Little Girl, Lhasa, Tibet, 2007

As I wrote in my last post, I’ve finally created a spreadsheet which can tell me where in my photo files I can find the negatives for particular photo shoots I’ve done or particular places that I’ve visited.  That should make it a lot easier to scan negatives which I’ve never gotten to, as it will be easier to find out where they are.
Today, I’m beginning the process of going into “the vault” and scanning negatives of my travel photos that I’ve never gotten to (and there are many of them).
This photo here was made toward the end of my trip to Tibet in 2007.  We had returned to Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, so we could fly back to Beijing the following day.  I had some free time, so I walked around and came upon this man with a little girl (his daughter, I presume) who were just inside the entrance to a billiard hall.
The man was kind enough to pose for a portrait.  The little girl, however, seems to have been a bit more wary.
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Lauren Quinn

Nude, New Brunswick, 2013

Nude, New Brunswick, 2013

I have a lot of negatives that have never been scanned.  A LOT of them.  I’d like to scan more of them, of course, but it takes time to do so.  One of the other problems has been knowing where to find the particular sets of film that I’m searching for.
That last part has just been made a bit easier. Something I’ve been wanting to do is to create a spreadsheet listing all of my different photo sessions, the locations, the dates, the models involved, etc, along with the binder and page numbers where these negatives can be found.  With this, I can just do a search and find out what binder they’re in and what pages they’re on.

3489_08 - Lauren Quinn

Well, I finally put in the time and it’s been done. I can still make it more detailed (for example, listing the different places where I’ve photographed in Japan rather than listing Japan as a whole), but what I’ve done is a big step forward.
Some of the film that I’ve wanted to scan more of  is that from my trip to New Brunswick, Canada, with Erica Jay and Dane St. Clair in the summer of 2013.  I did scan some of the film with Erica and Dane, but I also scanned some negatives with local model Lauren Quinn, and I’m presenting those here.
Lauren is a beautiful young woman, as you can see, and I hope that I can return to Canada to work with her again.

3491_05 - Lauren Quinn

The location, for those who are interested,  is a private coastal beach on the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world.  These photos were made when the tide was fairly low.  The tide was coming in, though, and eventually – when these places were underwater – we all had to retreat to higher ground.

3493_04 - Lauren Quinn

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Genbaku: 70 Years Later

A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan, 2005

A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan, 2005

Today is the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan – a day that truly changed the world like no other.  I therefore think that it’s appropriate for me re-post the blog entry that I made about the event in August 2008:
On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber named the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan – ushering the world into the age of nuclear combat.
Hiroshima shortly after the blast

Hiroshima shortly after the blast

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and – a few days later – Nagasaki, most likely saved a lot of lives, both Allied and Japanese.  The alternative was a full scale land invasion of Japan, and the Japanese would not have given up easily at all.  Even after the two atomic bombs, a faction of the Japanese military dedicated to fighting to the end tried to find and destroy the surrender papers before Emperor Hirohito could sign them the following day.  (They failed, of course, but killed the captain of the palace guard in the process.)
Nonetheless, thousand of people were killed by the blast – about 80,000 directly and perhaps more than 100,000 in total by the end of the year from the effects of radiation and injury, according to one study.  Most of them, naturally, were civilians.
School kids in Hiroshima, 2005

School kids in Hiroshima, 2005

In May 2005, during my second visit to Japan, I visited Hiroshima for a few days.  Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail I wrote to friends and acquaintances giving my thoughts about the visit to this city forever linked to world history.
“Hiroshima is, naturally, a city of some contrasts.  I arrived a bit after noon today, following a nearly five hour rail journey from Tokyo.  It`s a modern city like any other in Japan – but of course one with a past.  I saw that past immediately when I looked out of the window of my 12th floor hotel room.  There below me was the river.  Across it was the island containing Peace Park and the Peace Museum, and to the right on my side of the river was the Genbaku Domo – known in English as the A-Bomb Dome.
Group photo in front of the A-Bomb Dome

Group photo in front of the A-Bomb Dome

One thing that`s hard not to notice is the presence of school children here – there must be more school kids here per square meter than any other place in Japan excluding schools themselves.  The kids are really cute.  As I was walking through the park, some of them approached me for a class assignment, so I answered some questions, followed by a whole series of photos being taken with different cameras.  After going to the stadium to buy my ticket for the (baseball) game, I walked back to the park to go to the museum.  A bit of reality came to the fore – in front of the Cenotaph memorial to those who perished here 60 years ago, about two dozen very elderly Japanese people, all in wheelchairs, were wheeled in turn to the monument to make an offering and say prayers.  I have to think that these were survivors from that day and it gave me pause to think.
Miniature kokeshi dolls made by Sadako

Miniature kokeshi dolls made by Sadako

Indeed, I had thought earlier of my visits to Berlin before and after the wall had come down – how standing at Checkpoint Charlie today one cannot really imagine what it was like back in the days of the divided city.  For Hiroshima that lack of true understanding must be even greater.
The Peace Museum is of course something of a misnomer as it`s mostly about the effects of atomic war.  At first I was a bit disappointed.  The museum tells of the history of the city, the atomic bomb explosion and the current nuclear proliferation in the world.  It was mostly cold numbers.  What grabbed me was the final part of the museum walk-through, with stories of individual people – many of them junior high school age children – who perished in the blast and afterwards.  We see tattered clothing that they wore, items that they used – the only thing that is left of them.
Paper cranes made by Sadako

Paper cranes made by Sadako

All stories are heart rending – I constantly was reaching for my handkerchief to wipe my nose – but some stand out, like the mother who always blamed herself later for killing her teenage daughter by making her go into the city when she didn`t feel well and wanted to stay home, or the story of the woman who went searching for her missing husband, finally climbing through the rubble of his office building to find a skeleton sitting at his desk.  Then there`s Sadako, the girl who died of leukemia ten years later, having folded paper cranes believing that if one folded 1000 cranes, one`s wishes would come true.”
The Memorial Cenotaph, with a view toward the A-Bomb Dome

The Memorial Cenotaph, with a view toward the A-Bomb Dome

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Revelations

Nude, Scotland, 2004, #2

Nude, Scotland, 2004, #2

I found out this week that one of my photographs, “Nude, Scotland, 2004, #2,” was selected to be included in the “Reveal” show at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont.
The exhibit will run from August 20 to September 13.  The reception for the show will be held on Friday, August 15 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.  I plan to attend, so if you’re in the area, please come down to say hello and to see the show.  The gallery is located near Burlington at 12 Main Street in Essex Junction, Vermont.
By the way, congratulations to my friends Dave Levingston, Bert Halstead, Sayeed Mehmood, Scott Nichol and William Earle, who also had work accepted for the show.
You can see all of the selections for the show and get information about the gallery on its website here.
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A Trip to the Emerald Isle

Guinness in Galway

Guinness in Galway

I returned home last weekend from a 12 day trip to Ireland. It was my second time there, the first having been (I believe) back in 1992.
That tour 23 years ago started in western Ireland, went clockwise around the country and finished up back in the west. This trip, on the other hand, started in Galway on the west coast, then moved counter-clockwise around the island and finished in Dublin on the east coast.
I have not yet begun to get my black & white film developed, so for now, here are a few color photographs that I made with my Canon S90 pocket digital camera. You can see a gallery with more of these photos on my Facebook photography page (here).
I’ll begin to post my film photos from the trip when I get some back and have had a chance to go through them.

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On another note, I guess I can keep doing my blog posts, as I found a way to get around the new (but definitely not improved) WordPress editor.  It’s a bit of a pain to do it, but at least I can get it done.  I just hope that the WordPress people don’t figure it out and ruin it.
Landscape, County Kerry

Landscape, County Kerry

 

Connemara pony

Connemara pony

 

The Long Room, Trinity College Library, Dublin

The Long Room, Trinity College Library, Dublin

 

The Auld Dubliner, Dubin

The Auld Dubliner, Dubin

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