This is one of my earliest images taken sometime in 1970. I had just discovered photography and was using our family’s Kodak Instamatic camera. I took it around the neighborhood and to (grade)school capturing ordinary moments that most people don’t record.
This was shot from the second floor of David Thornquist’s house – my best friend.
I think I developed the film myself.
Last day of the 5 Day Challenge.
I like doing cityscapes. I try to accomplish one of two things when shooting them – either show lots of human activity or total absence of human activity. While doing the latter I look for a way to make the city scene seem dark, forbidding and like a dystopic remnant of the future. This image was made on a bright semi-cloudy January day in the afternoon. By metering for the highlights and making the image B&W I made a normally bright reflective city a dark place with dark widows of mystery.
This is the only digital capture in the 5 day challenge.
This challenge was fun. Thank you Ellen Crane for challenging me.
Every once in awhile I get a really nice referral. Che was a real treat to photograph. She was a professional fitness trainer and competitor. At her peak performance state she had 5% body fat and you could see every muscle detail, a photographer’s dream. I lit her to show all the nuance and texture of her body.
This image was shot with a Pentax 67, 165mm lens on Tri-x
I have been challenged by my good friend and dance photographer Ellen Crane to a Facebook 5 day B&W challenge. I am going to take the next 5 days and post images from when I started taking pictures (age 12) and progress through my career to the present. Five images will not scratch the surface of my long involvement with silver halides and pixels so I picked a few that have meaning to me. I hope you like them.
Day one – A stained-glass window at St Monica’s Church in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I went to school at St Monica’s from first through eighth grade. I was introduced to photography in sixth grade. In sixth grade we had elective activities in the afternoon. One of the choices was photography taught by our science teacher Sr Frances. I started with a Kodak Instamatic, went to making pinhole cameras and then bought a 35mm Mamiya Sekor 500DTL. I have always been fascinated by stained glass. I took this morbid little image in 7th grade. After all these years it is still one of my favorite images that I have taken.
Halloween is my favorite Holiday. From the start of its retail season in August, the items at Walgreens and my neighbor’s lawn decorations, I love it all. But I especially like the Trick or Treaters. The ones that come to my neighborhood are usually creative and stick to the spirit of Halloween. You know, traditional, scary Halloween themes. But they are always really cute.
This year it was very cold outside, about 30°. Most of the little monsters had to wear coats. These Trick or Treaters however, sported their costumes sans outer apparel, despite the temperature. I was impressed.
The cloud, the stillness that must part
The darling of my life from me;
And then to thank God from my heart,
To thank Him well and fervently;
From “On the Death of Anne Brontë” by Charlotte Brontë
On August 29, Cindy Rae, friend and colleague, died from a short but brutal fight with cancer. Our friendship and professional relationship spanned almost 3 decades. The world will seem a little less without her in it.
I had just started my photo studio when I met Cindy. She was working for a modeling agency as an instructor. She brought many of her classes to my studio in downtown Minneapolis. She was an excellent make up artist working in the commercial, advertising, corporate, fashion and film industries. As you can tell she got around. Cindy was well known and highly respected.
We worked together on many personal and commercial shoots for years. Whenever I had a shoot that required make up Cindy was my very first call. I could depend on her to deliver high quality in a very professional manner.
Some of you may know this but a lot really don’t – a make up artist is more than just that. On the set a really pro make up artist is a collaborator with the photographer. She is the person who soothes the subject during make up. She is the second set of eyes during the shoot, catching fly away hairs and make up touch ups. She also contributes aesthetically through out the shoot. Working in so many studios as she did, Cindy was the most valuable make up artist of all to me.
As I wound down my career as a commercial photographer we worked less and less together. However she would have me shoot an annual Christmas family portrait for several years in a row.
In recent years we saw less and less of each other, talking on the phone now and then and of course liking and commenting to each other on Facebook. It brightened my day to see her posts.
The last time I saw her was at a Starbucks. We had coffee and visited for a couple of hours.
Cindy not only worked with me and befriended me, she supported me during ups and downs. Whether it was about drumming up business or personal issues. She would always make time for me. She made me feel she believed in me. I don’t think I could ever repay all the goodwill she showed to me.
Like everyone else I will miss her terribly and regret that I didn’t make time to see her more often in recent months. Her exuberance, commitment, kindness, respect for me as an artist and photographer and her friendship will live forever in my heart.
I spoke about my trust with Cindy. Cindy honored me with the trust to take a prenatal photo when she was pregnant with her first born, Luke. I have never seen a woman wear her pregnancy so beautifully.
Cindy, you will forever have a special place in my heart!
August 14 was the Third Annual Internet Cat Video Festival hosted by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
The frist year was a phenomenon because nobody, including the Walker, knew how big it would become. That year saw 10,000+ attendees all seated on a hill to watch a sampling of cat videos from thousands that were curated. The festival made national news.
The next year was held at the Minnesota State Fair. Grumpy cat even made an appearance.
This year the festival returned to the Walker and as in the first year about 10,000 people attended donning cat regalia.
Here are a few images I took.
If I were in high school today I don’t know with what tribe I would be associated. Geek? Nerd? One of the bullied? We didn’t have the current set of labels there are now, so hence, not many tribes to choose from. In our local colloquial lexicon there were Jocks, Preps, Greasers, or the general nondescript. It doesn’t look like it but my look somewhat blended in with the times. Hair was ugly and fashions either very specific or deconstructed. I think I was in the hazy gray of nondescript. No real way to describe except through behavior.
I was a high school newspaper photographer. Through my camera lens I was able to float between the different groups at my school. I was pretty much accepted as the guy with the camera. And when my pictures appeared in the school newspaper, I got more attention and to some degree acceptance.
I discovered art photographers pretty early. There were photo magazines available on the newsstands that even a minor could buy that all sort of adult, intellectual photo content – from nudes to social commentary. These magazines influenced me more than anything. They got me out of pubescent malaise and showed me a larger world of photography, art and thought.
The idea of a self portrait was not new to me, I learned about them in art class. But making one with a camera was new ground. Even in the 1970s, photography was not universally accepted as fine art. Despite all the art being created by photographers at the time it was tough time sledding for art photographers. Self portraits were a genre that would be in a controversial area. After all, isn’t all art (and photography) in the end a self portrait?
When I took this photo of myself I had already done a lot of self portrait drawings in my art class. My art teachers were cautiously supportive of my photography interest. It was an emotional and painful time in my teen years. I was in the prime time of discovering myself, unsure of myself, doubted my artistic integrity.
I took this picture as an experiment. But as a lot of experiments in art they become and insight or statement. I think the pathos of this self portrait captures the stoic countenance of a callow teen on the way to the long road of self discovery.
About this Image
At the time I co-owned a Twin Lens Reflex camera with a close fiend. I used lager film and had a built-in self timer, so I could take pictures in private.
I used Tri-X film.