I recently had the exciting commission to photograph an actual, real-life, escape artist. Thomas Solomon is an internationally-know magician and escape artist. A friend and contemporary of David Blaine, he designs his own tricks and escapes. He owns thousands of historic handcuffs, including one used on one of the gang that assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Lucky for me, he wanted to be photographed in an old-school, Hollywood style. This meant I got to play and experiment in my studio during his photo session. Using Fresnel lights that can focus into a tiny spot of light, I created that Hollywood look of the 1930s.
dramatic poses from another century…
I was inspired by the work of photographer George Hurrell, the quote-unquote “Master of Hollywood Glamour Photography”. His work contributed to the definition of cinematic glamour in the 1930s and 1940s. Below are a couple examples of his work…Do you recognize these faces?
It’s almost fall and I am lucky to be visiting friends in the NORTHEAST KINGDOM…the northernmost counties of Vermont. I’m in West Glover, about 20 miles from the Canadian border. It’s easier to get CBC radio than NPR.
The days are sunny and the nights are cool. The apples are on the trees and the vegetables in the garden are plentiful, but you can tell their days are numbered. This is dairy farm country, so there’s lots of cheese.
Below is Little Hosmer Pond in Craftbury Commons. I am trying out different functions on my new camera, Panasonic Lumix GX8. I love the monochrome settings that give a very silky, soft look.
The Lumix handles quickly and is very sharp. This is the 42.5 mm lens, wide open at f/1.7. It is equivalent to an 85mm on 35mm.
“Page Pond with cattails” is another black & white example with the Lumix. Like many of the new generation of cameras, the GX8 can by quirky and finicky and, until I get used to it, I have to really concentrate when using it.
The neighbor’s rams giving the Panasonic a good look.
Last night, I went to the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan to hear one of my favorite photographers speak. Howard Schatz was a ophthalmologist in San Francisco who loved photography. 20 years ago, he ditched medicine and moved to New York.
I first became aware of him when I purchased his book about redheads called Seeing Red. As I learned last night, he has over ongoing 40 projects ranging from redheads to underwater dancers to boxers. This 75 year old photographer is an amazingly prolific, innovative, and daring photographer.
Twenty years ago, I photographed my two sons, then 3 and 7, with their heads poking through holes in my white seamless paper background. As you can see, they were getting pretty annoyed at Dad for making them sit for a portrait. It was hilarious!
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2014. They were in town for turkey, and we reenacted the entire scene, but this time their scowls were make-believe. It was even more fun the second time, especially now that the the boys are charming and accomplished. The guy on the left is graduating college this month, and the fellow on the right is moving to Seattle next month to help design spaceships.