Dedicated to Donald

Pinocchio, San Gimignano, Italy, 2017

Here’s a photo that I made in Italy last year in the medieval Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano.   It’s a depiction, of course, of Carlo Collodi’s famous fictional character, Pinocchio, whose nose would grow longer every time he told a lie.
I am dedicating this post to another frequent liar, Donald Trump, whose nose – if he were like Pinocchio (and if he were looking up) – would be close to piercing the stratosphere right about now for all of the many lies that he has told these past two years.  (Do you think that the moon, or even Mars, are in reach?)
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Catarina

Studio Nude, 2018

Autumn is the busiest time of the year for me, it seems.   It’s the busiest time of the year at my office, which has me working overtime – both evenings and weekends – and there are other events to attend, but I’ve also been away for a few weekends, too, doing things.
Still, I finally had some time for myself this long holiday weekend and was able to find the time to scan some new photos to make a new post here.
As far as my art nude photography goes, during the colder months of the year, I am basically restricted to working in my living room studio set-up.  This is a very limiting place to work – some tungsten lights plus a quartz light, with a couple of soft backdrops.  The most limiting part of it, though, is the limited space in which to work.  I sometimes ask myself why I still do this, as I don’t know how much more I can do that’s any different from the photos that I’ve made there already.

Despite that, last month I photographed Catarina during her visit to New York.  On my previous sessions here, I had used a gray backdrop with a couple of lights, but this time I decided to go more basic, with one light and a black backdrop.
Here are a few photos from that session that I recently scanned.  Despite the limitations inherent in the setting, I like them.

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More Falling Water

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I see that it’s been over a month since my last blog post.  Where has the time gone?
Well, my last post was an anniversary post, which is the longest one of the year that takes a lot of time to put together,  so I normally leave it at the top for a while longer than others.  Then there’s the fact that I was away for a while visiting family, which took time away from my photography.
As valid as those reasons may be, they’re minor.  The primary reason that I have not written for a while is that, quite honestly, I just haven’t felt focused lately and it’s been hard to just sit down and concentrate on doing something.  It’s not just blog writing, either.  I have loads of negatives – recent and going back years – that are just crying out to be scanned, but I haven’t felt like scanning many of them, either.
So, now that the summer is officially over and the days are growing shorter, the fall arts season is beginning and I’m starting to go to the lectures and events that mostly ended when summer began.  Hopefully that will put a bit of a fire under me and get me to be more active with my photographic editing and writing (along with other things).

As for the two photos you see here now, I’m picking up again with my trip Iceland with Nadine Stevens and Zoe West.  I last posted about us heading back west toward the Reykjavik, and these photos were made along the way.  There’s a large, very famous waterfall not too far from the one seen here, but most people don’t know about this one so hardly anybody seems to go there.
The top photo, with Nadine standing quite literally behind the waterfall, was a bit difficult to get as my proximity to the fall kept getting me and (more importantly) my camera wet from the spray.  I took a number of photos of Nadine in this spot, and before each exposure, I would have to take out a handkerchief to wipe the water off of the front of the lens – a process that I would have to repeat for each frame.
There’s also a photo of Nadine and Zoe together in front of the fall.
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23 Years

Untitled Nude, 1995

So, here we are on the 19th of August, which – this year – is the 23rd anniversary of my first art nude photographs, which were made at a workshop in Woodstock, New York on August 19, 1995.
As I’ve done every year since my 15th anniversary in 2010, I’m making a post which includes one photograph from each calendar year that I’ve been creating art nude photographs.
For this year, I haven’t done too much.  I attended a weekend workshop in Utah in April and I photographed another model last month, so far – though I am trying to arrange to do some more work for the remainder of the year.
Let’s see what happens.  For now, please enjoy these.

Untitled Nude, 1996

 

New Mexico Nude, 1997

New Mexico Nude, 1998

 

Untitled Nude, 1999

 

Nude, Provence, 2000

 

Nude, Colorado, 2001

 

Untitled Nude, 2002

 

Nude, Nevada, 2003

 

Nude, Scotland, 2004

 

Nude, Arizona, 2005

 

Studio Nude, 2006

 

Nude, California, 2007

 

Nude, California, 2008

 

Studio Nude, 2009

 

Studio Nude, 2010

 

Studio Nude, 2011

 

Nude, New Brunswick, 2012

 

Nude, Iceland, 2013

 

Nude, Iceland, 2014

 

Nude, Vermont, 2015

 

Untitled Nude, 2016

 

Nude, England, 2017

 

Nude, Utah, 2018

 

 

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Figures of Grace: The New Website

Some months ago, my photography website went down. Suddenly.  Without warning.  The woman who had created my website had moved on to a teaching career and was long since out of touch, so what’s a person to do in such a situation?
Create one for yourself.  Although I had been able to add, subtract and alter content on my old website, I always felt a bit troubled that the overall site management was out of my hands.  This time, I decided to do it differently by creating a new website from one of the available online website hosting companies.
I had to wait a while to get my website’s URL to transfer over from the old site, but that has been done.  Now, I have a working website for my photography that once again bears the web address https://www.figuresofgrace.com/.
I invite everyone to take a look and let me know what you think of it.  Navigation can be done by clicking on the bars at the upper right.  Photo galleries have been divided into two sections, Travel and Art Nudes.  Right now, there are four galleries in each section, though I plan to add more in the future.  Some galleries have more photos than others, but I will again see if I can equalize those a bit more later, too.
Though there some other changes that I would like to make,  I think it’s time that I made the official announcement about the website.
One final note:  the site looks better when viewed on a desktop or laptop computer with a wide screen, rather than on a mobile device (for now, anyway).
Thanks for stopping by.
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Back to the Beach

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’m returning again to my 2014 trip to Iceland with Nadine Stevens and Zoe West for this post.
My last posting from this trip (here) included a photo made on our return west from southeastern Iceland, and the photos here now are from our continuation west – in this case, on the black sand beach near Vik.  I had photographed Zoe here on the way eastward (see here), but this time I had both Zoe and Nadine with me.
In order to have the beach to ourselves, we had to wait until close to midnight to make these photos, but as I recall, we still had to wait a little while until some other people left.

When I had decided to go to Iceland to photograph nudes, this was the first place I had in mind to photograph.  I was unable to do so on my 2013 trip, due to bad weather and too many people being around when I was there, but thankfully on this trip I was able to do it.
Nonetheless, I still think that I have not exhausted the possibilities here, and I hope to return here again to photograph one day.
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A Hui Market

Food Vendor, Xian, China, 2016

China has changed tremendously since I first visited there in 1989.  Back then, the stores where local people shopped had very rudimentary items for sale, at best.  Fast forward to 2016, when I was last there, and one now seems lots of shops featuring all kinds of American and European luxury goods.
Still, I didn’t travel all the way to China to photograph shops selling Gucci handbags.  When I travel, I try to photograph locations that are more authentic to the place where I am.

One such place in China was in Xian, the city located near the great army of terra cotta soldiers buried there for the emperor Chin Xi Huang Di.  The interest here was not in terra cotta replicas of people, but of real people.  One afternoon, my tour group was taken to visit a street occupied by a food market run by the ethnic minority Hui people.  The Hui (pronounced similar to “we”) people are Muslim, so the men wear traditional hats and the women wear head scarves, but otherwise they seem like any other people that one meets in China.

I made some photographs on that late afternoon tour, but as the light was getting dim and as this market street, several blocks long, was a short walk from my hotel, I decided to go back on a free afternoon we had a day or two later.

The businesses on this street sold plenty of food that patrons could eat right then and there, so not only was it interesting to see the people preparing and selling the food, but the people buying and eating the food, too.
I hope to revisit this street with more blog posts in the future, so stay tuned.

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The Wind and the…Trees???

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’m continuing today with a photo made on my trip to Iceland in 2014.  In my previous post from the trip (click here), Nadine, Zoe and I had reached our easternmost destination in Iceland.  From there, we began the trip back west toward Reykjavik.
On the way, after passing the great black waste of the Skeiðarársandur volcanic washout zone, I once again made a stop at site of historic farmhouses where I had photographed Rebecca (click here) when heading east.  However, this time I choose to photograph in the area behind the farmhouses, where I had not gotten to on the previous visit.
The scene here is typically Icelandic in some ways, with the rugged landscape, the waterfall and with Nadine and Zoe’s hair being blown by the almost constant wind.  What’s unusual for Iceland in this photo is the presence of those things behind Zoe on the right:  trees.
From what I have read – or, at least, from what I remember having read – the landscape of Iceland was once covered with trees, but they were cut down by the Vikings ages ago and never really grew back.  In fact, a joke about Iceland is that if you get lost in a forest, just stand up.
Thinking of my photographs of Iceland, I don’t think I have any others outside of this particular spot where there are any trees – so take a good look at this one.

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Otherwise, on the subject of my photographs of Iceland, I received my award certificate for the Honorable Mention given to one of my Iceland photos in last year’s Black & White Spider Awards.  Here’s the certificate with honored photo.

Nude, Iceland, 2013

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Giza

The Pyramids of Giza, 2017

Well, I have finally gotten all of my photos from this year’s trip to Egypt developed, which means that it’s about time that I began to more frequently post my photos from last year’s trip there.
So, with that thought in mind, here are some photo made at Giza, the home of the most famous pyramids of all – the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the pyramid of Khafre and the pyramid of Menkaure.  These were all kings of Egypt’s 4th Dynasty and built in (or around) the 26th Century BCE.

Of course, no photographs can truly do these great monuments justice.  Not only are they immensely large – the Great Pyramid held the record for the world’s tallest man-made structure for nearly 3,900 years, finally eclipsed by Lincoln Cathedral in the U.K. in 1311 – and need to be seen from a distance to really get a proper sense of scale, but it’s also difficult to get a grip on just how old they are.

To give you a clue, think about this:  Cleopatra (that is, Cleopatra VII, the “famous” queen of that name) is closer in time to us now in the 21st Century than she was to the age in which the pyramids at Giza were built.
As I said, think about it.

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Roughing It

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’m going back to my 2014 trip to Iceland for this evening’s post.  My last post about Iceland included photos made at a glacial lagoon near Iceland’s southeast coast, and these new photos were made after we had traveled further east, where I met local photographer Siggi Marason in the town of Hofn.

As I had done on my 2013 trip to Iceland, which was the first time that I had met Siggi, we went out photographing together.  This time, Siggi and I went out in his four-wheel drive vehicle with model Nadine Stevens, who was accompanying me on my trip, and he took us to a gorge that he discovered inland off the coast where he lived.
It was something of a rough, bouncy ride to get there and back, but that’s what it can be like getting around Iceland, and it was worth it, with Nadine doing some fine work as you can see here.
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