More from Day One on the Road in Iceland

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

My last post was of some photos that I made on day one of my 2014 road trip in Iceland with models Zoe West and Nadine Stevens, so here are some more photos from that session.
This was actually our second day in Iceland, as we had arrived the day before in the morning and spent much of the day walking around the windswept capital city of Reykjavik.

3548_11 - Nadine and Zoe

Wind can be and often is a very big problem when photographing (or simply walking) in Iceland, and when I stepped off of the airplane onto the top of the rolling steps that lead down to the tarmac, I felt the cold wind blowing and I thought to myself, “Oh, no.  Not again!!!”

3548_12 - Nadine and Zoe

That’s because my trip to Iceland in 2013 had been made very difficult because of the coldest summer in memory that year.  I returned in 2014 in the hope that the year before was an abnormal aberration and that I would get better weather.
That first day put a scare into me, but things did get better. While there were a few occasions when the weather was cold, on most days – including the one on which these photos were made – the weather was mostly cooperative.

3548_08 - Nadine and Zoe

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In The News

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Nude, Iceland, 2014

So, Iceland is back in the news again.
It’s not about a volcano erupting as the news from there often is.  This time, it’s about how the prime minister is caught up in the “Panama papers” financial scandal.  The guy even walked out of an interview when he was asked about a shady company that he’s involved with.
Still, for me, I prefer to think of Iceland as a place with unparalleled scenery,where I made two art nude photographic trips in 2013 and 2014.  In one of my recent posts I began in earnest to show the results of the second trip (here), so I will continue that now.

3548_03 - Nadine and Zoe

Like the photos in that earlier post, these photos were made on the first day that I hit the road with my two models, Nadine Stevens and Zoe West.  They were also made close to the location of those earlier photos, though a little bit further up the road.

3548_05 - Nadine and Zoe

The photos made at this location were a little difficult to handle as far as the scanning and editing went, due to the great difference in brightness between the sky and the ground.  It was difficult to get detail in both because of the contrast, so I decided to emphasize the ground, especially as the two models were down there.
I’ll post more from this series in the near future.
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Thinking of Summer

Prayer Flags at Draksum-tso Lake, Tibet, 2007

Prayer Flags at Draksum-tso Lake, Tibet, 2007

So, here we are in the final week of March.  The springtime arrived last week and the beginning of the baseball season is less than a week away.  There’s some more cold weather on the way, but hopefully the worst of it is behind us for the year.  Naturally, then, one’s thought turn toward….the summer.
As I wrote before, I have not been to Asia for five years, so I am planning to go back this summer.  Yes, I know.  It will be hot!!!  Still, that’s the way my schedule has worked out this year, so I just have to live with it.
Sand Dune near Samye Monastery, Tibet, 2007

Sand Dune near Samye Monastery, Tibet, 2007

With thoughts of Asia in mind, I’ve set myself to scanning more of the many photographs that I made in Asia from 2004 to 2011 (and I’m not even including the color photos I made on my incredible trip to China in 1989).
So, here are some photos from my trip to Tibet in 2007.  There are many places in Asia where I have not visited but would like to see – India, Myanmar, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, etc. – but Tibet is surely a place that I would like to see again and in greater depth.
Hopefully, one day, I will.
Woman at Draksum-tso Lake, Tibet, 2007

Woman at Draksum-tso Lake, Tibet, 2007

Trandruk Monastery, Tibet, 2007

Trandruk Monastery, Tibet, 2007

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Overcoming Inertia

I walked 40 flights of steps here in my building yesterday.  That’s five flights of steps, up and down, eight times.  It’s the third time that I did it this week.  Last week, I walked 35 flights of steps three times.
If you’re wondering why I would do such a thing, the answer is easy: exercise.  In addition to physical fitness being a good thing, I am also hoping to do some “adventure travel” this summer and I want to get back into shape so that I can handle the physical aspects of it.
(Toward that end, I’ve also been cutting down to lose weight, and since early last month, I’ve lost eight pounds so far.)


The last time that I exercised by walking the steps was probably last summer.  Why nothing since then?  Well, the fall is a very busy time at work for me, and it’s hard to maintain an exercise schedule when you’re working late during the week and working on weekends, too.   Then came winter, which had me feeling under the weather, so I decided to wait until I felt better (which I now do).
There was, however, another factor involved:  inertia.  One definition I found for this word is “the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion.”  Another is “a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.”  In other words, inertia is the principle of continuing to do nothing when one is doing nothing.  It’s a difficult force to overcome.
As I like to say, sometimes when you want to do something, the hardest part is to just get started. After that, once you’re moving, inertia can actually help you to keep moving.


I’m writing this not just in reference to my exercising but also in regard to this blog.  I see that I have not made a post in over a month.  Yes, I have been busy during that time – trying to clean up my apartment, trying to plan my summer travels, trying to get my income tax done, etc.  Still, inertia has been a part of it, too, as once you begin to not make blog posts, it can be difficult to get back to doing it again.  The longer you go without doing it, the harder it is to start again.
So, I am hoping that I can continue to make blog posts on a regular basis of at least once a week, just as I have continued to walk the steps these past two weeks.
So, what is there to write about?  Well, a few weeks ago, I stopped at the Barnes and Noble near my office and saw that the annual contest issue of PHOTO (France) had finally reached its way to the shelf.  In the past few years, this issue of the magazine usually first reached the US around mid-March, so I was happy to see that it had arrived a few weeks earlier this year.


As I wrote previously (here), one of my photographs has been printed in this issue – the third year in a row for me and the eighth time overall since my first publication in 1999.  I had hoped that this year’s photo might be printed on half a page, as it would lose part of its relevance by being printed small, but small it is at one-eighth of a page.  (I showed the magazine to a friend who works at a major photo gallery here in New York.  He said that my photo should have gotten half a page, instead of the two crappy photos that were given half a page opposite it.)
Still, I’m glad it was chosen to be printed, and I’m glad that my good friend Dave Levingston has one of his photos included, too.
Otherwise, I can write about books.


First, one of the things I did in cleaning up my apartment was to get shelves for my photo and art book collection. The night that I returned home from my photography road trip to the Canadian maritime provinces in 2012, sometime during the wee hours, the metal shelves that held a good portion of my book collection collapsed. Since then, the books were piled up in three stacks several feet high, with boxes of slide trays atop them, which made the books impossible to look at.
Now, at long last, I once again can.
In other book news, I made a post recently (here) about a book of my color photos of Asia that I had published via Blurb.  One of the reasons I did this was learn how to use the Blurb bookmaking program, so I could more easily create a 20 year retrospective of my art nude photography.


I have not done this yet, but I have made a step in that direction by putting together such a book with MyPublisher.  I did it because I’ve heard good things about the quality of MyPublisher’s books and because I received a limited time offer for a substantial price reduction.  I basically had to spend the better part of the weekend working on it a few weeks ago, but the end result is a really beautiful looking book.
Unfortunately, MyPublisher does not have a store to sell books online the way Blurb does, so this 11 x 15 inch book was basically made for me to show to people, but I have ordered some extra copies.  As it happens, a friend should be coming over in a few days to look at it to perhaps buy a copy, so let’s see.  Quite honestly, I haven’t seen any Blurb books with pages that look as good as the ones in this book, so if anyone else may be interested in getting a copy of this version, you can write to me at






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Iceland: Round 2

"Nude, Iceland, 2014" with Nadine

“Nude, Iceland, 2014” with Nadine

It’s been a year and a half since I went on my second art nude expedition to Iceland in July 2014 with models Nadine Stevens and Zoe West.  I’ve also mostly covered my first art nude expedition to Iceland in July 2013 here on the blog.
So, I guess it’s time that I began posting more photos from the second trip, having only made one post up to now.  (You can see it here.)
The photos from today’s post were made, like the photos in the first post, on our first day on the road.  They were made in the same general location, too, on our way driving east from Reykjavik.  This was also near the spot where I made the first photos on the trip the year before (see here), having followed the same route to take advantage of some photo opportunities that I had missed out on the first time.


The difference in locations between the two years was made by something that a local Icelandic photographer had told me:  don’t be too worried if people can see you from the road, as Iceland is a pretty open country when it comes to things like nudity.  (However, I did not want to cause any road accidents, either, from distracted drivers.)
Thus, the first year photos were made in a small canyon away from the road, while the second time around we were in full view of the road, though it was not a major road and we were some distance away from it.
For today’s photos, we walked even further away from the road than those seen in my earlier blog post, as I wanted to get closer to the mountains to use them as a backdrop.  I then found a nice boulder in a good spot that would allow me to align it with a nice crag on the ridge behind it.
Zoe and Nadine did the rest.





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New Book: “A View to the East”

 A View to the East cover
I just published my first book.
This is something that I had been thinking about for some time, and my first self-published volume is called “A View to the East:  Color Photographs of East Asia.”  I had finished working on it and uploaded it to Blurb about a week and a half ago, but I wanted to actually get a copy of it myself so I could look it over before I made any kind of announcement about it.  Having said that, my copy arrived today, and other than one small error to correct (a wrong date), the book looks good to me.  I hope that everyone reading this will take a look at it (and, of course, consider buying a copy) here:
So, why this book and why now?
I’ve seen other people self-publishing books, of course, and I knew that I wanted to do something like this, too. I was just waiting for the proper time to do so.  The first book that I wanted to publish was one of my art nude photography.  I’ve seen that some photographers have published books of the nudes that they’ve photographed in just a single year.  That’s not what I had in mind.  I was waiting for something bigger – a 20 year retrospective!
Followers of this blog will know that I celebrated that anniversary last summer, so I’ve certainly put in the time to publish a volume of my nudes.  Unlike my travel photography, which still has lots of lots of images waiting to be scanned, the figure work is mostly ready to go.  So, why not a book of nudes?
Well, 20 years is a lot of time, and I want to take my time to go over that 20 years of work to decide which photos – and how many – to include in such a volume.
More immediately, though, I had never published a book with Blurb before, so I had told myself earlier that I would acquaint myself with the process first by putting together a small book of my color photographs of Asia.  (Oh, and Blurb just happened to have a 35% off sale on books that people authored themselves, so I wanted to take advantage of that, too.)
Regarding the book itself, it’s in Blurb’s small format, which is 7 x 7 inches, and it contains 100 photographs that I made in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Tibet between 2005 and 2011.   So, do please take a look.  I’ve set up the page on Blurb so that the entire book can be previewed.
Finally, as for the price…..well, like all other self-published books, it is not inexpensive.  The hard cover version with the dust jacket is $61.95 and hardbound version with the ImageWrap cover is $62.95, but the soft cover version is only $49.95.  The great majority of that goes to Blurb, as I’m keeping the profit margin low to try to keep the price down.  The good news is that Blurb does occasionally have sales, so you should look for those and I’ll mention them when I see them.  (There’s even a 20% off sale ending tonight but sadly it’s only for books that one has authored oneself.)
As for the 20 year art nude retrospective, I’m already thinking of it.
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Monitoring the Situation


New Mexico Nude, 1998, #4

I found out last week that one of my photos has been selected to be included in the Photographic Nude 2016 exhibit at the LightBox Gallery in Astoria, Oregon.  This is an annual show at the gallery, and last year one of my photos happened to win the juror’s top award.
My good friend Dave Levingston also had one of his photos selected, and you can see it and read about it on his blog here.
Still, I have not written about it here until now because I wasn’t able to write earlier.  Why?  My computer monitor basically died on me last week.
That old monitor came with the computer I had before the one I’m currently using.   This current computer is about half a dozen years old, and I probably had the previous one for almost as long, so I guess that monitor was at least ten years old.
Anyway, when I turned on the monitor one day last week, the screen stayed on for a second before it turned black.  I rebooted the computer and the same thing happened.  Then I tried turning the monitor on and off.  I did this about a dozen times, and on each occasion, the same thing happened – on for about a second before turning black.
The next day, I unplugged the monitor from my computer and attached it to my laptop computer to see if the same thing happened.  It did.
So, I knew it was time to get a new one, and on Saturday I went to Best Buy, where I bought a 23 inch HD widescreen monitor by Acer to replace the old 17 inch standard screen Dell monitor.  I have to get used to looking at a widescreen monitor, but so far I like it a lot.  It almost feels like I’ve gotten a new computer.
Getting back to the photograph chosen for the LightBox exhibit, “New Mexico Nude, 1998, #4” (top), it was made at a ranch near Santa Fe where I had been during some classes I had taken at the Santa Fe Workshops.  In 1997, I took two art nude workshops there – the first with a local artist named Louise Roach and the second with Greg Gorman, the well know celebrity photographer.
In 1998, I had planned to take another figure workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik.  However, when one of my travel photographs won first prize in its category in that year’s Assignment: Earth competition, sponsored by the Santa Fe Center for Visual Arts, one of the prizes was free tuition to a workshop in Santa Fe. I could have used it to pay for the workshop with Elizabeth, but instead I decided to stay for two weeks and use it to pay for the Joyce Tenneson workshop the following week.
This photograph was not made during either of those workshops.  The year before, I saw that some of the other participants had decided to stay a few extra days to work with some of the workshop models, so this year I decided to do the same, and this photo was made during one of those extra days.
LightBox 02 - Photographic Nude 2015

2015:  The Juror’s 1st Award winner

The southwestern desert is blessed with beautiful, clear sunlight.  I think we had been photographing for nearly five hours at the ranch before we came to this spot on the upper level of a two-storey adobe building.  It was late afternoon, with the sun getting close to the horizon, projecting beautiful light straight across the scene.  I saw the beautiful shadow that the model’s figure was casting on the wall behind her, and I made a series of photographs.
At one point, though, she put her hand in front of her face to shield her eyes from the blinding sun, and I knew that I had my best image right then and there.
The southwestern desert has been good to me, actually, as the photo that won first prize last year, “Nude, Nevada, 2006, #1” (above) was also made there.
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