On the Edge of Nowhere

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I see that I lost wrote about my 2014 trip to Iceland over two months ago, so it’s about time that I wrote another post.  That last one (here) included photos of Rebecca Tun at a canyon called Fjaðrárgljúfur.  Now we have some photos of Rebecca from that same day but at a location farther east.

This particular spot is historic, not just for the turf houses that you see here, but for the importance of the site and the people who used to live there.  This particular settlement was the last place that one passed going east before reaching the great Skeiðarársandur – a huge black mass of barren nothingness (“sandur” is actually an English word, too, meaning “outwash plain”) created by the nearby glacier Skeiðarárjökull when the volcano beneath it would erupt, releasing vast quantities of water and debris to wash away everything here that stood in its path.

In fact, this area is so treacherous that it was the last part of the ring road that circles Iceland to be completed, in 1974 (which is not really that long ago).  Before the road was completed, the only way to get to the other side (and to southeast Iceland), without having to circle around the very long way in the other direction, was to do so on horseback – and the family that lived at this settlement were experts on the area and would be able to guide you across (as you sure didn’t want to go wandering across on your own).  Even after the road through here was built, some sections had to rebuilt in 1996 when three bridges were washed away by another volcanic eruption.

Although an important site, it is also fairly small, and I even drove past it when I was looking for it.  It wasn’t until I saw the great wasteland ahead of me that I realized that I had gone too far, and so had to turn back to find it, which – as you can see from the photos – I am glad that I did.
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Another Print on the Wall

New Mexico Nude, 1997, #1

I found out a few days ago that one of my photos has been selected to be part of an exhibition right here in New York City.  The photo, “New Mexico Nude, 1997, #1,” was chosen to be exhibited in the Patterns and Shadows 2017 show, sponsored by the New York Center for Photographic Art (NYC4PA).  The juror was Stephen Perloff, editor of The Photo Review.
I don’t know how many images were selected, but the e-mail notice said that over 1,100 images were submitted, so I’m happy that one of mine was chosen.
The exhibition will be up from April 3 to April 14, 2018, at the Jadite Gallery, 413 West 50 Street in Manhattan.  The opening reception will be held on April 5 from 6 pm to 8 pm.
As for the photograph itself, it was made at a workshop at a ranch about an hour’s drive outside of Santa Fe, in just my third year of photographing art nudes.  I had a few minutes left to photograph the model, and as I liked the shadows coming across that were cast by the wooden railings, I asked her to lie down so that the shadows created a pattern across her figure.
I still consider this to be one of my “signature” images.  It’s hard to believe that I made it 20 years ago.
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Winning the Ivy

A boy looks up in awe at Yale QB Kurt Rawlings

I just looked at my last post and I see that it was made nearly a month ago.  Where has the time gone since then?  For me, much of has been spent at my office, working overtime in the evening and on weekends, too.
So, I have decided that my next post will be something different, harkening back to a time before I began photographing art nudes and before I had done much travel photography.  As an undergraduate student at New York University, I was the sports editor of the school newspaper, the Washington Square News, for a couple of years.  Although I primarily wrote stories about sporting events (and other news, too), I did bring my camera to events to photograph stories myself, even though we had some staff photographers who covered sporting events, too.
Now move forward to this past Saturday – November 11, 2017 – when I drove down to Princeton, New Jersey, to see an Ivy League football match-up between the defending co-champion Princeton Tigers and the team of my other school, the Yale Bulldogs, who were on the verge of winning the title this year.
The game did not get off to a good start for Yale, as Princeton’s high powered offense made some big plays, running up a 24-7 lead in the second quarter.  After that, though, the tide turned, with Yale coming back for a thrilling 35-31 victory to guarantee the Bulldogs at least a share of the Ivy League football championship for the first time since 2006.  (A win over Harvard this coming Saturday in “The Game” will guarantee Yale its first outright Ivy football title since 1980.)
After the game ended, I saw some other Yale supporters jumping down onto the field to join the team, so I decided to follow, and before long the photographer in me began to take over, with my pocket digital camera in hand.  It harkened back to my days photographing sporting events at NYU, though I had never seen a championship celebration like this.  At NYU, I also knew the people who I was photographing, while here, the Yale players were just guys who I had read about or seen on TV.
On the other hand, however, this wasn’t much different than the travel photography that I like to do, put in an unfamiliar situation, with unfamiliar people in front of me, but I still have to go out there to frame as many interesting images as I can and try to find those moments of humanity shared by people that bind us all together.
Here are some of my favorites from this event.
Boola boola.
(To see more images on my Facebook photography page, click here.)














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Another Honorable Mention

Nude, Iceland, 2013

The results of the this year’s Black & White Spider Awards competition were announced yesterday, and two of my art nude photos made in Iceland – one in 2013 and one in 2014 – were nominated for awards this year.
Not only that, but the 2013 photo (above) was given an Honorable Mention, too.  (Another photo from Iceland was awarded an Honorable Mention a couple of years ago, hence the “another” in the title.)

This particular image was actually the second to last photo that I made in Iceland on that trip, and it was a candid.  I was with the two American models I had brought with me to Iceland  (Aubrey Z and Brooke Lynne) plus two local Icelandic models (Bjorg Halldorsdottir and Hallgerður Langbrók) who had been brought by Bragi Kort, an Icelandic photographer who I had joined up with.

We were working near a power station in southwestern Iceland, and the models had been in the warm, naturally heated waters that the power station had been processing.  It was getting late, though, and the tide was coming in – bringing with it the cold waters of the North Atlantic, which were beginning to mix with the warm water.  As the four models were beginning to leave, I saw them in what looked like an interesting grouping, so I made a photograph of it.  The steam can be seen rising from the heated waters, too.

The other nominated image, with Rebecca Tun

The coming of the tide not only made the water colder, but higher, too.  When we arrived, I was able to walk from one rock to another to get to where I wanted to be.  Now, though, the water level had gotten so high that in order to get back, I had to take off my shoes and socks, roll up my pants legs and wade back through the water.
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In the Dog House

Dog House, Dingle, Ireland, 2015

Dingle is the name of a beautiful rocky peninsula in southwestern Ireland, but it is also the name of a town on that peninsula’s southern coast.  In fact, it is the only town on that peninsula, and with a population of less than 2,000 people (in 2011, anyway), it is not a very large one.
Still, it is a pleasant place to visit, with some interesting things to see.

When I’m traveling, I often look for unusual or amusing things to photograph, and so it was on my 2015 visit with this portable hot dog stand, the “Dog House.”  The sign across the top says “Best in the West,” but as I didn’t eat any dogs there, who am I to contest that claim??? – along with the other sign that says “Ireland’s Only Chili Dog!”  (If you don’t like chili dogs, I see that you can get cheese dogs and classic dogs there, too.)
For what it’s worth, I have read that the best hot dogs to be had in all of Iceland (yes, Iceland – not Ireland) are sold by a street vendor operating near the port in Reykjavik – so perhaps there is some merit to the claims made by this particular Irish establishment.
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Rebecca at Fjaðrárgljúfur

Nude, Iceland, 2014

My trip to England in July of this year was primarily to attend a week long language class, but while I was there, I took advantage of the opportunity to photograph some English models, too.
One of those was Rebecca Tun, who I had photographed for a couple of days during my trip to Iceland in 2014.  I’ve posted some photographs of her previously, and here are a few more of her at the canyon named Fjaðrárgljúfur.

I had been to this canyon on my trip to Iceland the year before, but I decided that it was worth exploring again with a camera.  The weather in 2013 was not very cooperative when I was there (as was the case for pretty much the whole trip), but things were better the second time around.

While I did not get to photograph in the bottom of the canyon the first time, as this involves crossing the river that runs through it, I again chose to keep my feet dry by photographing from the rim of the canyon.  Rebecca did her usual fine job, so much so that one of the photos (at the top) won an honorable mention in the Black & White Spider Awards a few years ago.

As for Fjaðrárgljúfur, I still hope to be able to photograph in the bottom of the canyon one of these days.

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The Road to Santa Margherita

The Tower of Pisa, 2017. (Yes, it leans.)

I last wrote about my June trip to Italy with a post in July about Florence, which included some color photographs made with my pocket digital camera.  Now it’s time to continue with that trip.
Following Florence, my tour group headed north to our next overnight destination, the seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure located on the Riviera.  Before getting there, though, we made a stop in one of Italy’s must see locations – Pisa – to see the famous Leaning Tower.
As for Santa Margherita itself, it’s a pleasant, fairly quiet town, and it provided a nice respite after the hectic days spent in the crowded centers of Rome and Florence.  Especially interesting are the facades of the buildings painted with the figures of statues and such things. (Apparently the building owners could not afford to commission real statues to be made, so instead they had them painted on.)
We also made a short visit by boat to the somewhat ritzy, very small town of Portofino – a place which the jet-set used to call home and which still seems to see a lot of yachts visiting.
Finally, on a free day that we had, I went via train by myself to the city of Turin.  It took about three hours to travel each way from and back to Santa Margherita, but it was worth it to have the chance to see the recently renovated Egyptian Museum there, which is said to be the finest museum dedicated solely to Egyptian antiquities outside of Cairo.

Cathedral and Tower, Pisa, 2017


Painted statues, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Pasta for sale, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Egyptian influenced door knocker, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Sign, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Statue of Santa Margherita, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Harbor, Portofino, 2017


Restaurant, Portofino, 2017


Portofino, 2017


Bakery sign, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Olive oil, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Restaurant, Turin, 2017


Statue of Ramses II, Egyptian Museum, Turin, 2017


Figure of the god Amun with King Horemheb, Egyptian Museum, Turin, 2017


Ushabti figure, Egyptian Museum, Turin, 2017


Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Marilyn, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Flags in the breeze, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017


Retro-fashion, Santa Margherita Ligure, 2017

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22 Years

Untitled Nude, 1995

Today is the 22nd anniversary of my first art nude photographs, which were made at a workshop in Woodstock, New York, on August 19, 1995.  As I have been doing since my 15th anniversary in 2010, I have been making a post on this day (or shortly thereafter one year when I forgot) showing one photograph from each calendar year that I have photographed nudes.
As for how often I have been photographing this past year, it really has not been a lot.  My first photos for the year were made last month on my trip to England, and the previous art nudes I had before then were back in August of last year.  Some people feel the need to photograph every month (or even more frequently), but I can go about eleven months without doing so and feel like I’ve picked up where I’ve left off.  Despite that long absence from photographing nudes  – or perhaps because of it – I have been trying to do more figure photography recently, with more planned for the next month or so,  while the warm weather holds up.
Anyway, here are the photographs.  Enjoy.

Untitled Nude, 1996


New Mexico Nude, 1997


Nude, Tuscany, 1998


New Mexico Nude, 1999


Nude, Provence, 2000


Nude, Colorado, 2001


Untitled Nude, 2002


Untitled Nude, 2003


Nude, Scotland, 2004


Studio Nude, 2005


Studio Nude, 2006


Nude, Michigan, 2007


Nude, California, 2008


Studio Nude, 2009


Nude, Ohio, 2010


Nude, Nevada, 2011


Nude, Nova Scotia, 2012


Nude, New Brunswick, 2013


Nude, Iceland, 2014


Untitled Nude, 2015


Untitled Nude, 2016


Nude, England, 2017





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Coptic Cairo

Man and Shadow, Cairo, 2017

It’s been a while since I made a post, and even longer since I made a post with some of my black & white travel photographs, so I’ve decided to show some of the photos from my trip to Egypt in February of this year.
Most of the tour that I went on was devoted to visiting ancient monuments from the days of the pharaohs, but I happened to arrive a day early.  Half of the day was spent exploring the pyramids at Giza, but the other half was spent walking around Coptic Cairo, which is the old Christian section of Egypt’s capital city.
This section of town is made up of primarily pedestrian streets, with a number of very old and beautiful churches, as well as the Ben Ezra synagogue, where a cache of papers dating back to the time of (and including manuscripts by) the great medieval scholar Maimonides were discovered in the 19th century.
Here are some of the photographs that I made there.

Vendors, Cairo, 2017


Shadows, Cairo, 2017


Symbols, Cairo, 2017


Interesting Structure, Cairo, 2017


Ornate Fence around Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo, 2017


Christian Items, Cairo, 2017


Middle Eastern Design, Cairo, 2017


Dresses, Cairo, 2017

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Going to Church

Nude, Iceland, 2014

Many people think that the Vikings were the first people to inhabit Iceland. They’re wrong.
No, the first people to live in Iceland, as far as is known (or, at least, as far as I know), were Irish monks trying to get away from it all (and Iceland certainly is a good place for that).  The Vikings arrived after the Irish did.
So, what does all that have to do with the photos I’m showing today?  It’s all in the name of the place, Kirkjugólf , which means “church floor.”  It looks like it could be the floor of an old, ruined church, and that’s what the Vikings thought it was (built by the Irish, I suppose) when they gave it that name – yet they were wrong, too.

No, this floor was not created by the hand of man, but rather by that of Mother Nature, as these stones are in fact the tops of natural basalt columns that extend deep into the ground.
When I visited Iceland in 2013 and passed through this area,  I had somehow missed seeing this natural attraction, so when I went back in 2014 I was determined to find it – and I did.  At the time, I was with Nadine and Rebecca, who I had been photographing that day.   Both of the young ladies thought it would be a good location for some nude photographs, but it was the middle of the day and a lot of people were around.

So, we agreed to go there again early the next morning.  I left my hotel early with Nadine and drove about 20 to 30 minutes to pick up Rebecca, who was staying at a hotel not too far from the “floor.”  We got there around 6:30 in the morning, but it was chilly, raw and damp with a some rain coming down. I asked Nadine and Rebecca if they still wanted to go ahead with the photos and they said that they did – so the photos were made.
I worked quickly and only shot one roll of 120 film, given the elements and the fact that cars could be seen going by not too far away, but I think it was worth the effort – and how often does one have a chance to photograph nude models on a church floor?
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