Bad Wolf Bay?

Coastline, Labrador, Canada, 2015

Coastline, Labrador, Canada, 2015

I returned home last week from a week and a half long trip to England, which is why I haven’t posted anything recently.  I had wanted to prepare some posts ahead of time, but I was so busy preparing to go away that I just didn’t have the time to do so.
My first post-trip post will be a short one, but it will be related to the trip.  It’s not a photo that I made in England, but rather on the way back home to New York.
I like to get a window seat on the plane whenever I travel, preferably on the north side, which is the side away from the sun in the northern hemisphere.  I don’t always get a good seat, but on this occasion I did, and behind the wing, which I like.  Often, however, having a window seat doesn’t yield any good photographic opportunities, especially if the weather below is cloudy.
As it happened, however, clear weather was what we had as the plane completed its journey across the Atlantic Ocean and began flying over Labrador, which is the mainland portion of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Of course, I took several photos of the landscape below, but the image which is the most interesting to me is this one here, of a bay where the water appears to take the head of a dog – or could it perhaps be a wolf?  And if it is a wolf, could we perhaps give it a name used in the television show Doctor Who:  “Bad Wolf Bay”???
To see more of my aerial photography, please click here.
I will try to return to more regular posts soon featuring my black & white fine art and travel photography.
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AIPAD: The Photography Show 2015

Contemplating Clergue at Throckmorton

Contemplating Clergue at Throckmorton

April is a month that I normally look forward to.  The weather begins to get warmer, the baseball season begins, it’s my birthday and – most importantly for this blog post – the annual Photography Show mounted by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) takes place here in New York.
I first attended this show many years ago when it occupied two floors of the New York Hilton, but for a number of years now it has taken place at the Park Avenue Armory.  This year’s show was last week, April 16 to 19.  I was fortunate to attend the press preview and opening reception on April 15 and then went back a few days later on Saturday with my good friend Dave Levingston from Ohio, who I’ve been telling for years to come to see the show.
This year’s show featured 89 dealers from North America, Europe, Asia and South America and, as before, was a visual feast.  It can be an overwhelming experience to just walk around and take everything in, so taking the time to look more closely at the works on the walls and in the bins is the most rewarding way to look at things.
What did I see this year that I liked?  I’ll be honest.  As I’ve probably written before, I like classic black & white photography, so it’s not surprising that this is what I most preferred in the show.  To be truthful, though, most of the work on display was black & white, though there was some interesting work in color, too.
One of the things that first caught my eye was a series of tintypes by Josephine Sacabo on the wall at Santa Fe’s Verve Gallery.  Though these prints, in editions of five, are contemporary, they have a wonderfully sensuous vintage feel to them and seeing them was a highlight of the show.
Josephine Sacabo's "Fortuna" at Verve Gallery

Josephine Sacabo’s “Fortuna” at Verve Gallery

One of the more unusual things I saw was at the Scott Nichols Gallery from San Francisco, who had a series of twelve cancelled prints of Ansel Adams’ famous “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.”  Other highlights included Ruth Bernhard’s “Eighth Street Movie Theater” (yes, she photographed more than just nudes), Horace Bristol’s “PBY Blister Gunnner, Rescue at Rabaul” (which I consider one of the greatest male nude photos ever made, not only for the image but for the story behind it), a stunningly printed Cala Lily by Brett Weston and a signed print of Edward Weston’s “Nude Floating (Charis).”
Ruth Bernhard's "Eighth Street Movie Theater, New York City, 1946" at Scott Nichols

Ruth Bernhard’s “Eighth Street Movie Theater, New York City, 1946″ at Scott Nichols

"PBY Blister Gunner" by Horace Bristol at Scott Nichols

“PBY Blister Gunner” by Horace Bristol at Scott Nichols

Peter Fetterman from Santa Monica had a large booth as usual, and I was especially taken by the 1960’s fashion photos he had by William Helburn, Jean-Philippe Charbonier and Georges Dambier.
William Helburn's "Simone with Whippet" at Peter Fetterman

William Helburn’s “Simone with Whippet” at Peter Fetterman

One of the most unusual and interesting prints was brought by the James Hyman Gallery from London. Titled “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman,” it features a self-portrait printed by Berenice Abbott on a distortion easel.  Not many examples of this print are known, with two others in the Met and MoMA in New York, and as each print was uniquely made, each one is different.
Distorted self-portrait by Berenice Abbott at James Hyman

Distorted self-portrait by Berenice Abbott at James Hyman

Michael Shapiro Photographs from Westport, CT, had a range of interesting photos, including work by Aaron Siskind, Roman Vishniac, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Josef Koudelka, Edward Steichen, Sonya Noskowiak and William Klein.
"Rabbi, Warsaw, 1938" by Roman Vishniac at Michael Shapiro Photographs

“Rabbi, Warsaw, 1938″ by Roman Vishniac at Michael Shapiro Photographs

William Klein's " May Day Parade, Gorki Street, Moscow" at Michael Shapiro

William Klein’s ” May Day Parade, Gorki Street, Moscow” at Michael Shapiro

"Martine's Legs" by Henri Cartier-Bresson at Michael Shapiro

“Martine’s Legs” by Henri Cartier-Bresson at Michael Shapiro

Alex Novak’s Vintage Works/Contemporary Works had it usual large collection of interesting work, including a platinum print by Edward Weston from around 1915, the wonderful “A Memory of Undine” by Clarence John Laughlin, Alfred Eisenstaedt’s touching 1945 “Mother and Child, Hiroshima” and Robert Doisneau’s delightful “Women With the Same Hat.”
Clarence John Laughlin's "A Memory of Undine" at Vintage Works/Contemporary Works

Clarence John Laughlin’s “A Memory of Undine” at Vintage Works/Contemporary Works

"Mother and Child, Hiroshima, 1945" by Alfred Eisenstaedt at Vintage Works/Contemporary Works

“Mother and Child, Hiroshima, 1945″ by Alfred Eisenstaedt at Vintage Works/Contemporary Works

In a show like AIPAD, you see a lot of photos by the well known names like Weston and Adams, so it’s always good to find interesting work by unfamiliar artists. One such photographer was Christer Stromholm from Sweden, whose interesting portraits of transsexuals and transvestites were featured at Berlin’s Grundemark Nilsson Gallery.
Work by Christer Stromhom at Grundemark Nilsson

Work by Christer Stromhom at Grundemark Nilsson

Other discovereies to be made were at Galeria Vasari from Buenos Aires, which featured some very beautiful vintage 1930’s nude studies by Annemarie Heinrich, who was born in Germany in 1912 and moved with her family to Argentina in 1926.
A 1937 nude by Annemarie Heinrich at Galeria Vasari

A 1937 nude by Annemarie Heinrich at Galeria Vasari

The gallery also featured a series of prints titled “Suenos (Dreams)” by Grete Stern,  photomontages published between 1948 and 1951 in the Argentine avant-garde magazine Idilio and made to illustrate dreams submitted to the magazine by its readers but also to comment on the oppression of women in Argentine society at the time.
Photomontages by Grete Stern at Galeria Vasari

Photomontages by Grete Stern at Galeria Vasari

Another series of beautiful prints was presented at the Howard Greenberg Gallery, featuring experimental European 1950’s photos by artists like Peter Keetman, Ludwig Windstosser and Otto Steinert.  (Kudos also go to Greenberg for using non-reflective glass in its frames, which made seeing and photographing the prints much easier.)
Print by Ludwig Windstosser at Howard Greenberg

Print by Ludwig Windstosser at Howard Greenberg

Experimental 1950's European photography  at Howard Greenberg

Experimental 1950’s European photography at Howard Greenberg

When it came to color, I liked the series of small color Polaroids by Scott Hammond at L. Parker Stephenson.
Polaroids by Scott Hammond at L. Parker Stephenson

Polaroids by Scott Hammond at L. Parker Stephenson

The AIPAD show is also a good place to meet well known photographers if you’re fortunate enough to come across them.  I met Arnold Newman here once, Steve McCurry another time and Jerry Uelsmann last year.  This year I had the chance to see Marilyn Bridges again, which is always nice, but there was a great absence this year in the form of Lucien Clergue, who was a mainstay at this event but sadly passed away late last year.  He will be missed, and it was nice to see a tribute to him on the wall at Throckmorton.
A tribute to Lucien Clergue at Throckmorton

A tribute to Lucien Clergue at Throckmorton

Finally, of course, there were many more fine photographs on display that I could write about here, so here’s a selection of some others that I liked (plus a few other event photos).  Of course, this is a limited amount, too.
Christy Turlington by Arthur Elgort for Vogue UK at Staley-Wise

Christy Turlington by Arthur Elgort for Vogue UK at Staley-Wise

 

Arthur Leipzig's "Children Looking in Store Window, Christmas, 1943" at Richard Moore Photographs

Arthur Leipzig’s “Children Looking in Store Window, Christmas, 1943″ at Richard Moore Photographs

Bert Stern's "Paris Collections, 1967" at Staley-Wise

Bert Stern’s “Paris Collections, 1967″ at Staley-Wise

"Nude, London, 1956" by Bill Brandt at Weston Gallery

“Nude, London, 1956″ by Bill Brandt at Weston Gallery

At Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

At Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Edward Weston's vintage palladium print of Tina Modotti, 1924, at Gitterman Gallery

Edward Weston’s vintage palladium print of Tina Modotti, 1924, at Gitterman Gallery

"Glass and Lily, 1939" by Edward Weston at Charles Isaacs Photogaphs

“Glass and Lily, 1939″ by Edward Weston at Charles Isaacs Photogaphs

Ellen Auerbach's "Sulphur Bath, Big Sur, 1949" at Robert Mann Gallery

Ellen Auerbach’s “Sulphur Bath, Big Sur, 1949″ at Robert Mann Gallery

Etherton Gallery

Etherton Gallery

Herb Ritts' "Consuelo, Paradise Cove, California, 1984" at Etheron Gallery

Herb Ritts’ “Consuelo, Paradise Cove, California, 1984″ at Etheron Gallery

Fahey-Klen Gallery

Fahey-Klen Gallery

Helmut Newton's "Sie Kommen" at Fahey-Klein

Helmut Newton’s “Sie Kommen” at Fahey-Klein

Francis Frith's 1858 "Second Pyramid" at Robert Koch Gallery

Francis Frith’s 1858 “Second Pyramid” at Robert Koch Gallery

Geof Kern's "Untitled, 1999" (detail) at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

Geof Kern’s “Untitled, 1999″ (detail) at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

Yours truly (the author) with Burt Finger of Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

Yours truly (the author) with Burt Finger of Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery

"Marie in Shower" by George Tice at Scott Nichols Gallery

“Marie in Shower” by George Tice at Scott Nichols Gallery

Halsted Gallery

Halsted Gallery

Irving Penn's "Cameroon, Seated Warrior, Seated Girl" at Alan Klotz Gallery

Irving Penn’s “Cameroon, Seated Warrior, Seated Girl” at Alan Klotz Gallery

Jacques Henri-Lartigue's "Florette, Paris, 1944" at Hyperion Press

Jacques Henri-Lartigue’s “Florette, Paris, 1944″ at Hyperion Press

"Bubble" by Keith Carter at Catherine Couturier Gallery

“Bubble” by Keith Carter at Catherine Couturier Gallery

Manuel Alvarez Bravo's "Retrato de lo Eterno, 1935" (detail) at  Scheinbaum & Russek

Manuel Alvarez Bravo’s “Retrato de lo Eterno, 1935″ (detail) at Scheinbaum & Russek

Marilyn Bridges' "Birdman, Nazca, Peru" at Throckmorton

Marilyn Bridges’ “Birdman, Nazca, Peru” at Throckmorton

Yours truly (the author) with photographer Marilyn Bridges

Yours truly (the author) with photographer Marilyn Bridges

Picture Photo Space from Osaka, Japan

Picture Photo Space from Osaka, Japan

Roddy McDowall's portrait of Elizabeth Taylor at Keith de Lellis Gallery

Roddy McDowall’s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor at Keith de Lellis Gallery

Sebastiao Salgado's "Fortress of Solitude" at Yancey Richardson

Sebastiao Salgado’s “Fortress of Solitude” at Yancey Richardson

Full plate, hand tinted ambrotype from around 1850 at Bernard Quaritch, Ltd.

Full plate, hand tinted ambrotype from around 1850 at Bernard Quaritch, Ltd.

Weegee's  photo of Marilyn Monroe on an elephant at Keith de Lellis

Weegee’s photo of Marilyn Monroe on an elephant at Keith de Lellis

Willem Diepraam's "Peggy" at  Stephen Daiter Gallery

Willem Diepraam’s “Peggy” at Stephen Daiter Gallery

William Ropp's "Ethiopia" (detail) at Throckmorton

William Ropp’s “Ethiopia” (detail) at Throckmorton

 

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Guinness as Usual

Untitled Nude, 2014

Untitled Nude, 2014

It’s getting late here in New York, and the clock is ticking away, but it has not yet struck midnight, so the day is still March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day.
Why the rush to make this post before today becomes tomorrow?  I dropped off some film to be developed yesterday and I picked it up today.  These were the last photos that I made, back in September of last year.  (Yes, it has been that long since I’ve picked up a camera and used it.)
As I looked through the loupe at the lab, eagerly looking at the results on the nine rolls of film, I noticed my muse, Zoe West, sitting in the room opposite a poster on the wall that says “Guinness as Usual.”
How appropriate, I thought, for me to be coming upon this half year old image on St. Patrick’s Day, of all days.  Was it coincidence, or, as the saying goes, “the luck of the Irish”?
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Back to Snaefellsnes

Nude, Iceland, 2013

Nude, Iceland, 2013

I still have not finished posting (or even scanning) all of the good photos from my trip to Iceland in 2013, and I see that the last time I made a post with them was in late September of last year.  I hadn’t planned to go that long without continuing the series, but somehow that is what’s happened.
Well, what’s done is done (or, in this case, not done), so all I can do is pick up with it now.
In my last post (here), I showed some photos of Brooke Lynne on a rocky beach on the western part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula.  Today I will continue that with a few photos of Aubrey in the same location.  The difference with some of these photos is that the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean are visible in the background.
As I noted in my earlier post, the weather was very cold and windy that morning, and I have to once again give all the credit to Aubrey and Brooke for posing in such difficult conditions.

3459_7 - Aubrey

My primary camera is a Pentax 67 SLR, and almost all of my photos are made with that, but these photos of Aubrey were made with my backup medium format camera, a Fuji GW670 rangefinder.  I had loaded a roll of 120 film into the Pentax and a roll of 120 into the Fuji, thinking that I could get twenty photos of the two models together (ten frames on each roll) without stopping to reload, but it was so cold that, at the models’ request, I only did one roll of each.
While a fixed lens camera like the Fuji may not be as versatile a tool as an interchangeable lens camera, it is nonetheless a very fine camera with a very good lens and I am happy with the results.  Again, though, most of the credit for the success of these photos must go to Aubrey.

3460_3 - Aubrey

 

3459_8 - Aubrey

 

 

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La Bella Violinista

La Bella Violinista, Venice, 2009

La Bella Violinista, Venice, 2009

Last month, I attended a concert in a small performance venue by the Scottish classical violinist Nicola Benedetti.  It was an excellent show, especially as I arrived early and got a seat in the front row.  In addition to being a highly skilled musician, Ms. Benedetti is a beautiful young woman, too.
This reminded me of hearing a performance by another beautiful violinist.  Rather than taking place in a small underground space on Bleecker Street in Manhattan, the performance occurred in the wide expanse of Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) in Venice, Italy.
As I have written before, Venice is one of my favorite places to visit.  La Serrenissima – the most serene republic – it was called.  As there are no automobiles there (other than on the Lido), it is a remarkably quiet place, and therefore an excellent place to hear outdoor music.
Piazza San Marco is lined with cafes and there are a lot of small tables set up in the square for people to sit and enjoy their repast.  There are also a few platforms set up on which small orchestras play, both daytime and evening, to serenade the people there.
These are photos are one particular violinist who caught my eye one afternoon on my visit in 2009.  It’s moments  like this which make visits to this special city so worthwhile.

2867_08 - Venice-La Bella Violinista

 

2868_03 - Venice-La Bella Violinista

 

 

2868_04 - Venice-La Bella Violinista

 

2868_05 - Venice-La Bella Violinista

 

2868_06 - Venice-La Bella Violinista

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The Juror’s 1st Award

LightBox 02 - Photographic Nude 2015
I was away visiting family last week, so unfortunately I was unable to make a post then.  I had hoped to prepare one before I left, but I just had too many things to do before I went away.
Still, last week did bring some good news.  In fact, it was very good news.  I made a post last month which included mention of one of my photos having been selected for The Photographic Nude 2015 exhibition at the LightBox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, Oregon.
Well, I found out last week that the juror, Robert Gojevic – founder and editor of online BLUR magazine – had selected my photograph for the Juror’s 1st Award, which is to say, the top prize in the show!  (Thank you, Mr. Gojevic!!!)  I wrote last time that one of my photos from last year’s trip to Iceland had just been published in PHOTO France, so I guess I’ve been on a little bit of a roll lately.
Thus, as you can imagine, I’ve been feeling a little like I’m on Cloud 9.  I think the last time that one of my photographs had won first prize in a competition was back in 1998, when a color photo from Iceland won first prize in its category in the Santa Fe Center for Visual Arts’ “Assignment: Earth” competition.
Since then, I’ve been happy just to have my photos selected to be in juried shows that I’ve entered.  Winning the top award, like winning the lottery, seemed reserved for someone else, so it felt a bit unreal to find out that one of my photos had actually finished first.
On the other hand, I can’t say that I’m totally surprised that this particular image, “Nude, Nevada, 2006, #1,” with model Carlotta Champagne, is the first winner in a long while.  It’s been one of my more popular images when I’ve posted it online.  It received a Daily Deviation award when I first posted it on Deviant Art, and it received a two page spread in the premiere issue of Carrie Leigh’s NUDE magazine.
Nude, Nevada, 2006

Nude, Nevada, 2006, #1

Still, that’s never guaranteed success elsewhere.  During the six years that I failed to get a photo published in PHOTO France’s contest issue, I submitted this image to no avail.  I entered it in the Black & White Spider Awards last year and the best it could get was a nomination, along with many other photos.  I’ve also submitted it to a number of other gallery shows without it getting selected.
So, I guess I should enjoy this success for what it is, as there’s no way of knowing when – or if – one of my photos will finish first again.
Of course, I should also congratulate all of the other photographers, including my good friend Dave Levingston, whose fine work is included in the exhibition.  Just to be included at all in a show of this quality is an honor in and of itself, prizes notwithstanding.
Regarding those other photos, you can see them all on the gallery’s website by clicking here.  I’m also posting some photos of the artwork on the wall at the gallery, taken from the gallery’s Facebook page.  It looks like a very nice exhibit to see in person and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be at the opening reception myself.
For those of you who are or will be in Oregon, the exhibit will be up through April 5.

LightBox - Photographic Nude pics on wall 03

My photo is second from the right.  Perhaps that's an award tag beneath it.

My photo is second from the right. Perhaps that’s an award tag beneath it.

Dave Levingston's print is second from the left.

Dave Levingston’s print is second from the left.

LightBox - Photographic Nude pics on wall 04

LightBox - Photographic Nude pics on wall 05

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Another Photo in PHOTO

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

A few months ago, I posted some photos from the beginning of my trip to Iceland last summer.  I really hadn’t planned on posting any more from that trip until I had finished posting more photos from my trip to Iceland in 2013 (and I do indeed have more).
However, I will break with that plan today to post and write about another photo from the 2014 trip.  That’s because I found out today that one of them (yes, the one at the top here) has just been published by the French magazine PHOTO in its annual contest issue.  You may recall that I wrote about a year ago (here) that one of my photos had been included in the contest issue after a six year absence, so it’s gratifying that I was able to get in a second year in a row, and for the seventh time since 1999.  (You can see a post about my other selections here.)
Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the magazine as it was just published in France and it normally takes a couple of months to reach the US.  Before I forget, I should mention that my friends Dave Levingston and Gary Mitchell had photos included too, so it’s nice to have some good company.
Here is a photo of the page with my image on it as well as that of my friend Dave (the one in color with all of the greenery around the model).

PHOTO France 2015_sm

So, how difficult it is to be included in this contest issue?  Well, the magazine folks claim that it’s the largest photo contest in the world (and the magazine is distributed worldwide) but only about 300 photos are printed in it out of the more than 50,000 they say that get submitted.  That’s about two-thirds of one percent being selected, so the odds are pretty long.  On the other hand, the Nude category may not get as many submissions as other categories, which may make the odds a bit better, but I still think that being selected is beating the odds.
On a potential down note, I’ve been informed that the ownership of the magazine has changed and that the magazine is being reformulated with a new editorial focus.  I just hope that the contest will continue each year, as there aren’t that many photography magazines that are open-minded enough to show nudes, let alone have an entire category devoted to it.
Anyway, about the photo itself – yes, that is a nude model in a body of water with icebergs floating in it.  The brave young lady is Rebecca Tun from England, who was kind enough to arrange the schedule of her trip to Iceland last summer so that she could work with me for a couple of days.
The location is the famous Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, into which icebergs break off from the glacier next to it and float in the water (sometimes for several years) before washing out to sea through a narrow channel.  I had paid a visit to the lagoon the previous year, and though the weather didn’t allow for photographing nudes, I saw that it could be a great background for nude photographs.
Unfortunately, “famous” often means “crowded,” and in this case it was no different.  Still, I noticed that the crowds did thin out when getting farther away from the tourist center, so I hoped that by walking away a good distance there would be enough privacy to photograph nudes.

PHOTO France 2015 cover_sm

This is what I tried with Rebecca, and eventually it worked.  We found a spot on the shore of the lagoon that was hidden from view, and I proceeded to photograph Rebecca on the shore with the lagoon behind her.  It was then that she told me that she wanted to go INTO the water!
Earlier that day, when photographing along the rim of a canyon, Rebecca had volunteered to walk out to a very precarious and dangerous looking spot on the rim.  While it would have made for a fantastic image, it was just too dangerous a spot for her to try to reach, so I said no.  Regarding getting into the water to model, I considered the risk.  She had modeled for a few minutes on top of a small iceberg that had washed ashore near another glacier, and as the members of the Polar Bear Club in New York City survive taking the plunge into the icy waters of Coney Island every New Year’s Day, I decided to allow Rebecca to go in as long as she didn’t overdo it.
Adventurous as ever, Rebecca then told me that she wanted to swim out to one of the icebergs, but I decided to draw the line there.  Venturing further away from the shoreline would have increased the likelihood of her being seen by other people, but more importantly, I would have been unable to help her if she became physically overcome by the cold and unable to swim back.

When she finally came ashore to dry off and warm up, I asked her how cold the water was and how difficult it was to be in it.  Her response was that it was indeed cold, but that it wasn’t too difficult to take as it basically made her lower half numb.  (Yes, I am indeed glad that I didn’t let her swim out to that iceberg.)
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