B & H Portfolio Development

Photographically, I’m lucky to live practically in New York City, mostly because the visual opportunities the city has to offer are in-tune with my style and, to boot, they’re virtually endless.

But then, I’m blessed because being a short underground trip away from B & H Photo gives me the opportunity to attend the classes and lectures they host at their Event Space, and that’s where this short adventure, that’s about to end, began. Continue reading »

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Facebook and photography (January 2015 version)

Photo: flickr user Saludadea

Photo: flickr user Saludadea

(Click aquí para leer en Español)
Photographers’ issue with facebook and intellectual property is like the pimple that keeps coming back.

Like most online services, the social network’s terms of usage are worded in such a [one-sided] way that more than an agreement between two parties, the only thing missing seems to be your willingness to let them have your first-born in exchange for the privilege of using their service (whatever that may be). Continue reading »

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Shades of Gray (50, 100, who cares!)

shades-of-gray.jpg(Haz click aquí para leer en Español)
Histograms are all everyone seems to be talking about lately. The problem with throwing such a cool-sounding term around is that, while everybody in the audience has a tendency to nod automatically, as if by reflex, few people really know what this type of graphic means (or how useful it really isn’t). Continue reading »

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You are as important as your subject

sweeping-woman-800.jpgPhotography is a dialogue between subject and photographer. The camera only serves as a device to capture this conversation and freeze it in time.

It goes well beyond seeing something and taking its picture, and in the instant that it takes for the light to make an impression on your camera’s film or sensor, there’s as much coming from the front as there is from the back. Continue reading »

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Today’s Record Store Day

record_store-400.jpgNowadays, it’s as easy to jump from song to song as it is to flip channels on the TV. If we don’t like a song, clicking on a button is enough to listen to another one, and another one, and another, until we hear one whose first five seconds “hook” us.

Continue reading »

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My favorite spoon

nazi_spoon-400.jpgMy favorite spoon is one that my wife’s father found, as a kid, on a beach in Sicily, at the end, or perhaps right in the middle of world war II. This spoon travelled half the world to arrive in Venezuela, with him, and then with my wife, to the US.

Of the few dozen spoons that we own, this one’s my favorite. It’s an antique, of course, and for me it’s very special because it belonged to a soldier. It’s made of what must’ve been the best stainless steel available at the time, and great pride must’ve gone into making it and equipping a soldier with it so he’d be able to eat with dignity in the midst of what was one of the lowest points humanity could’ve reached during the twentieth century.

On the back of the handle, it’s engraved with its manufacturer’s name and the winged logo of the third reich with the swastika underneath.

Today is the Day of Holocaust Remembrance and I thought it was appropriate to write about this spoon because, as I said, this is a spoon that I not only use, but I revel in seeing it in my kitchen drawer. I find it delightful that today I can open that drawer, grab that spoon, and enjoy my favorite cereal with it. And this sentiment is so strong because I am a Jew. I am, precisely, what the people and ideas behind this spoon most wanted to eradicate from the face of the earth. Every time I use this spoon it’s as if I’m telling those ghosts and those ideas “You wanted me gone, but here I am. You aren’t. All that’s left of you is this worthless spoon.”

(Click image to enlarge)

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Crits and crits

thumbs-400.pngTo put it mildly, a critique is a daunting event. It involves countless hours of preparation, each and every minute of which is filled with heavy doses of self-doubt, trepidation, and uncertainty. Unless you can predict the future or read minds, there is very little (if at all, if you’re lucky) that’s objective about them. If you don’t believe this, pick ten random images from your archives, show them to a few random people (especially strangers), write down the results, and tabulate. Even if there is a semblance of consensus, chances are that doing the same exercise with professional critics will yield completely different results. Perception and opinion are as personal as they can get. Young critics will view things differently than older, more seasoned ones. Education, culture, and experience also play important roles on what someone finds laudable. In essence, it’s a crap-shot, and no amount of planning will yield reproducible results. Continue reading »

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Slowly coming back go life

zombie-400.jpgLooks like tonight’s the night when I’m finally going to stay up until morning to get the site back up. When I decided to take it down, maybe on February 27 or 28, little did I know that my father would die on the morning of March 1. I had to up and leave for Venezuela with almost no time to prepare, only to return about four weeks later to countless loose ends and fires to put out. The web site would have to wait a bit longer. Perhaps I should’ve posted this note six weeks ago, but, to be honest, as much as I’m committed to my photography, it was one of those things that would have to wait.

I’ve been back home for some weeks now. Some of the fires are still raging and some of the ends are still loose, but I’m getting to it all little by little, although I must say that I don’t recall ever being so tired and tired so constantly as these days. There hasn’t been a day since my return when I didn’t want to go to bed early in the afternoon and close my eyes and shut the world out. Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to put the world on hold.

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ASMP Portfolio Review

Photo: Adi Talwar (aditalwarphotography.com)

Photo: aditalwarphotography.com

Last Wednesday was ASMP’s portfolio review.

My life has been such a whirlwind the past couple of months, that when I ordered the printer I’d use to print my portfolio, I was positive that it was Wednesday, the package would be at my door by Friday, and I’d have five days to put everything together. Alas, I was wrong. It was Thursday, which meant that, hopefully, I’d get the printer on Monday (morning, afternoon, who knows?), so now the five-day plan to print was down to three or, maybe, just two days. Continue reading »

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Looking for me

compass-400Trying to figure out what kind of photographer I am, while [also trying] to get work done and preparing for a photo-critique whose sole requirement is to bring three (yes, three!) photographs was like the perfect storm to turn these past few weeks into the weeks from hell (did I mention that I also have a family?).

The good news is that, after countless hours looking at pictures, I managed to pick four. Continue reading »

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