Our Irish Uncle

Uncle Sam, Killarney, Ireland, 2015

Today is Independence Day here in the United States of America.  It’s a day when we celebrate things that are typically and traditionally “American.”

So, what can be more typically American than our friend with the white beard, Uncle Sam?  (No, it is not Colonel Sanders.)  Here are some photos of Uncle Sam that I made a couple of years ago, but the place where we were was a little unusual – Killarney, Ireland.

I was in Ireland in July 2015 and the town of Killarney was going to have a parade to celebrate the United States’ Independence Day.  In the days before the parade, this statue of Uncle Sam was set up on one of the main streets in town where the parade was to take place.
So, happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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Feeling Sheepish

Nude, Iceland, 2014

It’s been almost two months since I posted about my 2014 trip to Iceland (here), so I’m back today with more from my day with Nadine and Rebecca on the south coast.
These photos were made near the location in that last post.  In this case, there was a large outcropping of rock that I thought looked interesting, so I used it as a background, as seen here in two photos.

The third photo here has three more models in the background.  Yes, they’re sheep.  As sheep are so ubiquitous in Iceland, I needed to get at least one photo with them included.  (Hopefully no model releases will be required.)

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I wrote last time that I recently returned home from a trip to Italy.  That trip began in Rome .  It was my third time visiting La Citta Eterna – “The Eternal City” – and yet there are still many things and places that I have not seen.
However, here are some photographs made with my pocket digital camera of things that I obviously have seen.  Many were made in museums, as one cannot reasonably go to Italy without seeing much of the great art that is there.  (As it is, I’ve gotten my film used in Rome developed, but as I have a lot of earlier travel pictures from film to post, the new ones will have to wait.)
The two museums that I had enough free time from my tour to see were the Museo d’Arte Antica in the Palazzo Barberini and the the Galleria Borghese in the large Villa Borghese park.  The Museo d’Arte Antica features mostly paintings, and one notable highlight here is Raphael’s “La Fornarina,” which is supposedly a depiction of his girlfriend.  Another great one, totally different in nature, is Caravaggio’s “Judith and Holofernes,” showing the biblical heroine giving the chop to the Babylonian general whose forces were about to attack Israel.
One of the things that was different about this trip as compared to the last is that museums generally allow photography now (without using a flash, that is).  One definite example is the Galleria Borghese..  When I was there eight years ago, I had to check my camera in a locker, but this time photography was permitted.
Among the highlights of the Galleria Borghese’s collection are several superb sculptures by the great baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.  His sculpture illustrating the mythological story of Apollo pursuing Daphne may be the most beautiful work of art in all of Italy.
“The Rape of Prosperina,” showing Pluto, the god of the underworld, carrying off Prosperina (aka Persephone) is another masterwork, but just about all of the photos I had seen of it neglected to include Bernini’s fantastic inclusion of Cerberus, the three headed Hound of Hell, who was accompanying his master.  As you can see below, I was finally able to photograph it myself – and it really is quite a thing to see.
Then there is Antonia Canova’s well known statue of Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger sister, Paolina Borghese, depicted as Venus, nude from the waist up and reclining on a couch. From what I have read, her husband wanted her to be shown fully clothed as the goddess Diana, but she insisted on being Venus.  Apparently the statue was somewhat scandalous in its time, her husband not wanting it to be shown publicly.  When a journalist asked Paolina Borghese if she felt uncomfortable posing in the nude, she responded that she did not, as the room was quite warm.
By the way, my photograph here of this sculpture is meant to mimic a well known photograph made of it by the photojournalist David Seymour, which can be seen here.

Building feature on the Via Veneto


Wheels on the street


Piazza Colonna


Near Palazzo Barberini


Watching Judith decapitate Holofernes, courtesy of Caravaggio


Regarding Raphael’s “La Fornarina” (the Baker’s Daughter)


Waitresses on a break, Via Veneto


Roman fashion


Two buildings in Vecchia Roma (Old Rome)


Selfie in the Piazza Navona


Statuary in the courtyard


Interior of the Pantheon


Memorial monument


St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican


“Apollo and Daphne” by Bernini

Bernini’s “Rape of Prosperina”


Cerberus, the three-headed Hound of Hell, accompanies his master in Bernini’s “Rape of Prosperina”


Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix (Victorious) by Antonia Canova

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Home from the Road

Untitled Nude, 2016

I just returned home from a trip of about three weeks to Italy.  This was my fourth visit to that country, and it is a place to which I could return every year.
I was unable to make any new blog posts while I was away, and it will be a while before I can post any of my new black & white photos.  Some posts with color photos from my pocket digital camera will follow, but for now, here’s a photo that I made last year with Erica Jay and BlueriverDream near Woodstock, New York.
While this photo may seem to be unrelated to a trip to Italy, there is a bit of a connection with it: the masks that the two young ladies are wearing were purchased by me in Venice on my last trip to Italy eight years ago.  (More were purchased in Venice this year, too.)
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Boy on a Wall

Dublin, Ireland, 2015

I’ve decided to go back to my 2015 trip to Ireland for today’s post.  More specifically – to Dublin.
I was walking down by the River Liffey, which is the river that runs through the middle of the city, when  I happened to see a boy standing and balancing himself atop the wall of the embankment that runs along the river (below).
This seemed to be dangerous enough, but when he saw me, he jumped over to the other side of the wall and seemed to suspend himself by his arms as he asked me to take a photo of him!  It was a great photo to get, for sure (above), but I was appalled that this kid would act so carelessly.

It was after the boy had climbed back over to the wall to the sidewalk that I walked over to where he had been and took a look down to find that he had in fact been standing on a metal ladder that lead down to the river below!
By the way, the bridge across the Liffey seen in the second photo is the famous Ha’penny Bridge. Built in 1816 to replace the ferries that crossed the river and officially called the Liffey Bridge, this pedestrian bridge gets its “ha’penny” name from the half-penny that was charged as a toll for people who used it.  I like the way that you can feel the bridge bounce up and down under foot as you cross it.

The Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin, 2015

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Models on the Rocks

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’m continuing today with my photographs of Rebecca and Nadine made during my trip to Iceland in 2014.
Like my last post with these two lovely ladies, these photos were made on the south coast.  I had never been to this part of Iceland before, so it was necessary for me to prepare by reading books and getting information online so that I could find some good locations for photography.
For this spot, I had read about a road that lead to some interesting places, including some waterfalls .  To get to this particular location, I took the road as far as it went, parked the car and then we continued on foot for about 15 minutes.  When we got here, there were a few other people around, so we just waited for them to leave and we then had the place to ourselves for quite a while.

Working here was a little difficult, as the water coming down from the waterfall made the ground very slippery, so we had to be careful as we walked.   With two models and two large boulders, I thought it would look good to have one model per boulder – Rebecca on the left and Nadine on the right – to stand out more and to get above the wet footing.
You can click on the photos to see them larger.
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Ten Years After…..And I Can Still Walk!

Today is the tenth anniversary of my getting hit by a car, so I am making this post to remember and celebrate the day.  Why celebrate such a thing?  Well, as the title for this post suggests, I got hit by a car – and I can still walk!
Here is the text from the blog post that I made a couple of days later, writing about what happened:
“As readers of my blog will know, I went to Ohio last weekend to visit my friend Dave Levingston and to work with some models there.  I photographed six figure models there on a total of 28 rolls of film.  I had planned to begin developing that film today, but I must report that any film developing will have to wait.
That’s because I was hit by a car crossing the street Friday morning.  (Yes, I am 100% serious about this.)  The collars of my shirt and jacket were soaked red with the blood coming from my head.  An ambulance came, the paramedics gave me a quick once over, then they restrained me on a stretcher and lifted me up into the ambulance.  The neck restraint was the worst as I felt like it was almost choking me.

The next stop was the emergency room of a local hospital, where they gave me (I suppose) the full treatment – squeezed and poked all over, needles stuck into me, EKG, x-rays, CAT scan, etc.
While I do feel very thankful indeed that I am still alive and kicking after what happened to me (I was, after all, hit by a car), the injuries that I sustained do make it impossible for me to develop film (and to do other important things) at the present time and perhaps for the near future.  Sorry about this, but sometimes life just has a habit of getting in the way.
Or, as John Steinbeck famously wrote, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.“  (Steinbeck, by the way, got the line from a poem by the Scottish poet Robbie Burns: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley/ An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain for promised joy.“  I certainly know the part about pain.)
Oh, and by the way, if you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be hit by a car, take it from me – you don’t want to know!”

The day after I wrote that, I actually returned to the hospital to have the cast on my arm removed.  The accident resulted in one of the fingernails from my left hand being ripped off, so the paramedics took the nail with me to the hospital where it was stitched back on to my finger.  After the cast had been removed, the stitches on my finger were also removed – and that hurt a lot more than getting hit by the car!
To be honest, getting hit by the car didn’t hurt much as I got blindsided and didn’t see it coming.  I was crossing at a green light when all of a sudden, everything became a big blur.  Then I regained my senses and realized that I was lying in the street, bleeding, in pain and with a car stopped next to me, so I had figured out what happened.
The blurry sensation I got no doubt came from the back of my head slamming into the ground, which was evidenced by the blood flowing profusely from the back of my head (though fortunately, I did not need any stitches there).  I was, however, found to have two broken fingers on my left hand.

I was also fortunate in that I was able to go home the same day, and even did it by bus, though I must have looked like hell with my arm in a cast and the back of my jacket all torn and the collar soaked with blood. When I went to my local pharmacy to get my prescription filled, the pharmacist took one look at me and said “What the hell happened to you?!”
Still, there were more visits to the hospital to be made.  The first was when I began to get feelings of vertigo when I would lie down or sit down quickly, so they took another CAT scan of my head and could find nothing inside, which lead them to believe that I had a concussion, which does not show up on such scans.  That was followed by a few months of physical therapy on my broken fingers, as well.
Fortunately, I healed fairly quickly, I suppose, as I was able to go on a two week trip to Tibet in August of that year, just three months later.


Okay, now that I’ve gotten this out of the way, I will return next time with some photos that you will most likely be happy to see.  😉


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Rebecca and Nadine

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’ve been away from posting for a couple of weeks (in part because I was away from home for a few days recently), so I’m coming back with a couple of photos of a couple of models in Iceland – Rebecca and Nadine.
These were made during my 2014 trip to Iceland, and I’ve posted some photos with Nadine there previously.  However, on the occasion of these photos, I was working with Rebecca for the first time.  She had been planning to visit Iceland from her home in England and very kindly arranged her schedule so that she could work with me for a couple of days.
The location is a well known waterfall located near one of the major towns on Iceland’s south coast.  As Rebecca had only arrived to meet us late in the morning, we had to make our photos here in the middle of the day, when lots of tourists are about.  Being next to a busy campground and in clear view of a bridge did not help things, but despite that, we somehow got a minute or two with nobody around to allow us to take a few photos.
Still, we had to be quick, and I don’t even think I was able to finish off the roll of ten photos.  I am, however, happy with what we did get.


Some of you who are friends of mine on Facebook may have noticed that I have not posted anything there for a couple of weeks.  Why???
I was put in Facebook jail for a week about two weeks ago for posting a picture of my new book, which includes some topless models on the cover, so I figured that if FB wants me to not write anything for a week, then I’ll just stay away from FB altogether for two weeks.  Still, when I tried to log in again, I was told that I needed to prove that I’m really me by showing them a copy of an official ID (like a driver’s license), which I refuse to do.
So, I have decided to boycott FB for at least a month.  (After all, Mark Zuckerberg needs us a lot more than we need him, something evidenced by my getting a couple of e-mails from FB every day asking me to log in again.)  The only question is, when I choose to return, should I cave in and show them a copy of my ID, or do I just set up a whole new account and go through the trouble of re-friending a few hundred people?
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Book on Sale at 25% Off

For those who may be interested in purchasing my book of art nude photography at a discount, Blurb is having a 25% off sale through April 13 with the code SHINEON25.  See:


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Egypt, Part II

Column, Karnak Temple, 2017

I made a post last month with some color digital photos from my trip to Egypt in February (here.)  Those photos were made in the northern part of the trip, in the area of Cairo and the pyramids.
Now, here are some photos that I made when we were up in the southern part of Egypt, mostly around Luxor and Aswan.  (Yes, as the river Nile flows from south to north, one goes “down north” and “up south” in Egypt.)
While the northern area is dominated by the pyramids at Giza, Abusir, Saqqara and Dahshur, the monuments further south, which generally date from later periods, are more in the line of temples and tombs – the great Karnak temple near Luxor (or, as I like to call it, “Karnak, the Magnificent”) being the best known temple, with the most famous of the tombs, of course, being those in the Valley of Kings at Luxor.
I have also gotten all of my black & white film from the trip developed, but it may be a while until I post any of those, as I still have a lot of photos from my 2015 trip to Ireland to post, and I really have not even begun to scan my film from last year’s three week trip to China and Tibet.
So, enjoy these photos of Egypt now.

Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut, Karnak Temple, 2017


Photo op, Karnak Temple,2017


Masterpiece: a figure of Thutmose III, Luxor Museum, 2017


Beauty on the wall, tomb of Ramose, Luxor, 2017


Celestial ceiling, tomb of Ramses VI, Valley of Kings, Luxor


The Sacred Path to Luxor Temple, 2017


Statue of Queen Nefertari, Luxor Temple, 2017


Colossus of Ramses II, Luxor Temple, 2017


Temple of Seti I, Abydos, 2017


Detail, Temple of Seti I, Abydos, 2017


Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, Luxor, 2017


Temple dedicated to Horus, Edfu, 2017


Along the river Nile, 2017


Detail of temple at Kom Ombo: ‘ankh’ sign holding animal-headed ‘was’ scepters


Selfie on “galabiya night” with the author (r.) and Prof. Lanny Bell (l.)


Temple of Ramses II, Abu Simbel, 2017


Temple of Queen Nefertari, Abu Simbel, 2017


Taking a selfie on the Aswan High Dam

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