Welcome to my blog. I use this mostly to toot my own horn but occasionally am inspired to write something about photography. Although I photograph regularly, I no longer write according to a schedule, so new posts here happen when the spirit moves me. Thank you for visiting and come back soon.
2021: “It’s Not All Fun and Games,” 2-Person Exhibit, Camerawork Gallery,
2020: “It’s Not All Fun and Games,” 2-Person Exhibit, Artspace Gallery,
Richmond, VA. (Canceled due to Covid19)
2019: “Last Call,” solo exhibit, Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick, MD.
2017: “Death Valley,” 2-person exhibit, GalleryAt Second, Harrisburg, PA.
2016: “Street Photography,” 5-artist invitational, Art Association of Harrisburg.
2015: “Alleys,” 3-person exhibit, GalleryAt Second, Harrisburg, PA.
Black & White magazine
Issue 134, June 2019: Merit Portfolio (3 images – Carnivals)
Issue 122, June 2017: Merit Portfolio (3 images – Amusement Rides)
Issue 119, January 2017: single image - Blow
Issue 116, June 2016: Merit Portfolio (3 images – Industrial)
Issue 113, January 2016: single image - Takeout
Issue 110, June 2015: Merit Portfolio (3 images -Closed for Business)
Issue 101, January 2014: single image- Nighthawkers
The Photo Review, 2020 Competition issue & Web exhibit, Love & Corn Dogs
The Photo Review 2018 juried Web exhibit: It’s On the Menu,
Juried Shows Single Images
2020: And Justice for All, (We the People Exhibit), Carlisle Arts Learning Center, Carlisle, PA
2020: It Happened Much Later, FOCUS Photography exhibit, Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2020: My Race is Not a Crime, (Honorable mention) Invision Pennsylvania Photographers, Bethlehem, PA
2020: I Vow Never to Sit Back, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers, Bethlehem, PA
2020: Love & Corn Dogs, Photo Review competition (Honorable mention winner), exhibited
at Philadelphia (PA) Photo Arts Center
2020: Untitled #1, (Suburban architecture exhibit, http://www.mwcponline.com/suburban-
architecture.html) Midwest Center for Photography, Wichita, KS
2020: Untitled #2, (Suburban architecture exhibit, http://www.mwcponline.com/suburban-
architecture.html) Midwest Center for Photography, Wichita, KS
2020: Untitled (Waiting for Normal), Vermont Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT
2020: Skeeball, Frederick Camera Clique, Frederick, MD
2020: Love & Corn Dogs, (Best Monochrome Image), Frederick Camera Clique, Frederick,
2020: Variety of Fine Food, (Isolation exhibit), Midwest Center for Photography, Wichita, KS
2020: The Vise, (Architecture exhibit), Southeast Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
2020: The Pink House, (Walkabout exhibit, http://www.mwcponline.com/walkabout.html),
Midwest Center for Photography, Wichita, KS
2020: It’s Almost Over, National Juried Show, Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2020: The Walking, National Juried Show, Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2020: Photo Plates, (Structures Exhibit) A Smith Gallery, Austin, TX
2020: Good Work is Done Safely (Exhibit - Words) Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2019: Sidelined, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers Juried Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2019: Drinks for Two, (3rd Place award), Invision Pennsylvania Photographers, Bethlehem, PA
2019: Something Wicked This Way Comes, (Momentum Exhibit), New York Center for
Photographic Art, Jadite Gallery, New York, NY
2019: Love & Corn Dogs, Pennsylvania Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania,
2019: International Women in Photo Association, short-listed winner, Last Call series.
2019: 8, (Women by Women exhibit), Southeast Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
2019: Table for Two, Juror’s Selection, Primary Colors, New York Center for Photographic Art, Jadite Gallery, New York, NY
2019: Love and Corn Dogs, Open Call Exhibit, Southeast Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
2019: It’s On the Menu, Millersville University Expanded Visions Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2019: Love and Corn Dogs, (Honorable mention award), Millersville University Expanded
Visions Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2019: Mucking the Stalls, (Working Women exhibit), Vermont Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT
2019: Sidelined, National Juried exhibition, York Art Association, York, PA
2019: Drinks for Two, National Juried exhibition, York Art Association, York, PA
2018: Rainy Day Blues (National Juried Show), Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2018: Radio Flyer (The Telling Image), Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2018: Midtown Soul, (Urban Landscapes, Suburban Scenes, Rural Impressions Exhibit),
New York Center for Photographic Art, Jadite Gallery, New York, NY
2018: Love and Corn Dogs, Honorable mention award winner, Invision Pennsylvania
Photographers Juried Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2018: It’s On the Menu, 90th International Juried Show, Art Association of Harrisburg PA
2018: Rising Waters and Love & Corn Dogs, National Juried exhibition, York Art Association
2017: Going Down (Wandering Curves Exhibit), New York Center for Photographic Art,
Jadite Gallery, New York, NY
2017: Three Faces (Black & White Exhibit), New York Center for Photographic Art,
Jadite Gallery, New York, NY
2017: Riding in the Rain, Pennsylvania Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
2017: Untitled Black & White, (Open Call Exhibit), Southeast Center for Photography, Greenville, SC
2017: End of the Night, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2017: The Last Call, (89th International Juried Show,) Art Association of Harrisburg, PA
2017: No Takers (National Juried Show), Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2016: Three Faces of Steve, silver selection, North Valley Art League, Redding, CA
2016: The Middle Way, Pennsylvania Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
2016: Three Faces of Steve (National Juried Show), Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2016: Shoshone Rest Stop (1st Place winner), Millersville University Expanded Visions
Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2016: Three Faces of Steve, Millersville University Expanded Visions Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2016: Lemonade, Pizza & Pretzels, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers Juried Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2016: Gram’s Hands, (Black & White exhibit), Vermont Photoplace Gallery, Middlebury, VT
2016: Lovers (National Juried Photography Exhibit), Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2016: Obsolete, )88th International Juried Show,) 2nd Place Photography,
Art Association of Harrisburg, PA
2015: The Party’s Over, Pennsylvania Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
2015: Ride, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers Juried Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2015: Closed, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers Juried Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2015: Into the Light, Millersville University Expanded Visions Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2015: OutsideIn, Millersville University Expanded Visions Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2015: The Watcher, National Juried Show, Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2015: Power, 87th International Juried Show, Art Association of Harrisburg
2015: Orange, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
2015: Turnpike Commission Bldg, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Mid-Century Modern Exhibit
2015: 800 N. 3rd Street, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Mid-Century Modern Exhibit
2015: Amp, Inc., State Museum of Pennsylvania, Mid-Century Modern Exhibit
2014: No Takers, Invision Pennsylvania Photographers Juried Exhibit, Bethlehem, PA
2014: Street Scene, Millersville University Expanded Visions Photography Exhibit, Lancaster, PA
2014: Laughter is the Best Medicine, National Juried Show, Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD
2014: No Art!, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
2014: Elemental, 86th International Juried Show, Art Association of Harrisburg
2013: Bisected, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
2013: Sandwich Dog (at the Whitaker Center), Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
Community Venues - “Harrisburg @ Night:”
2018: Yellowbird Café, Harrisburg, PA
2017: Martin Luther King Government Center, Harrisburg, PA
2017: Highmark Blue Shield, Camp Hill, PA
2016: Harrisburg Parks Association
2013-2015: Plein Air Paint Camp Hill
2014: Heart Association Heart Walk
2013: St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association
Let’s face it, the Covid 19 pandemic has put the kabash on most photography activities. Camera clubs have cancelled meetings. Galleries have cancelled exhibits and classes. Workshops and seminars have been called off or postponed because speakers and attendees are unable or unwilling to travel. Facilities are closed and caterers unable to prepare food. And in some areas people are asked to shelter in place, traveling only for food, prescriptions and other things deemed as essential. And when going to these places, maintaining a safe distance and wearing a mask are required.
I am a street photographer and am dealing with no people, or very few people, on the streets. Maintaining six feet of distance has been easy when no one is around. No crowds to get lost in to take a photo without being noticed. No people interacting with one another to make an image interesting. Almost everyone’s face is covered.
Still, I enjoy photographing other things. Architecture, street scenes sans people, objects, and yes, sometimes even landscapes when I can get out of an urban or suburban location. So getting those photographs is still possible, even in this situation. Travel is still allowed. I could theoretically drive anywhere. I just have to maintain a safe distance from others and remember to wear a mask.
But is that all there is to it? I wish.
I have a 73-year-old body with a 73-year-old bladder. When on a photo trek, I can generally wait to empty it until lunch time or thereabouts. Pre-covid-19 I knew I could duck into a restaurant for lunch and the needed potty break. Even walking around the streets of New York City, I could slip into McDonald’s if I had to on the chance I couldn’t make it till lunch. But now the restaurants are closed. Restaurants can only deliver curbside. McDonald’s is only available for drive-through. Even walk-through isn’t going to help me. So, unless I’m going to a location that has a Sheetz or a Rutters or other gas station nearby that doesn’t care if you use the toilet without buying something, I’m not going there.
So, for the last three months, I have gone to the same few places to photograph, mostly within a 10-mile radius. I have shot the same streets, the same architecture, the same bridges, the same riverscape, the same monuments ad nauseam. With all the hardship others are going through, with all the sickness, with all the unemployment, I’m finding returning to normal for me as a photographer is just needing a place to pee.
These days, the number of shots a camera can do per second in burst mode is apparently a big selling point. I can see the advantage of using burst in certain types of photography such as sports, rodeos, auto races, or other fast moving events. Even some types of photojournalism could benefit from high-speed bursts.
With street photography, though, I find burst mode unnecessary and impractical. One would think that it would be useful in street photography; people are often moving and catching them at the right moment is critical to getting the right shot. Although burst mode is not a camera feature I pay much attention to, I have tried it occasionally while on the streets. What happens to me, however, is that I raise the camera to take the initial image of an emotional or behavioral moment I observe. Then as the camera continues to fire away, I get shots as it’s being lowered again – blurred images of sidewalks, legs or feet. Not very useful or interesting. Although digital images don’t cost anything to take, process or develop, it’s a waste of time and space on the camera card not to mention the time it takes deleting unwanted images in post. And if I keep the camera to my eye as it fires, I run the risk of the subject in question seeing me. I’m not afraid of being noticed, but I don’t want to insert myself into the moment I’m trying to photograph. I’ll leave that tactic to the Bruce Gilden’s of the street photography world.
Eric Kim, whose blog I read regularly (http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/01/07/timeless-lessons-street-photographers-can-learn-from-robert-franks-the-americans/), described the methods used by one of my favorite photographers, Robert Frank, whose book, The Americans, depicted rural America in the 1950s and was/is one of the most influential photography books of all time. “…when [Frank] had photographed cowboys at Madison square garden or socialites at the toy ball, he had made many exposures of the people and the scenes that interested him, no doubt hoping that an editor would find one of use. But now, with the knowledge that he had plenty of materials, a full year to work on [The Americans], and no one to please but himself, he responded more immediately and intuitively.”
That sentiment is described more fully in the catalog essay about Robert Frank from Phillips Auction House “Just days before reaching Louisiana where this iconic image Trolley, New Orleans was taken, [Frank] was arrested for suspicious activity. He found the experience humiliating, but it amplified his compassion and sharpened his perspective while he photographed "[I] became like a cop watching people, observing them, stealing." His photography style became casual, but acute, with constant movement, quoting his friend Allen Ginsberg "First thought, best thought. .... When one releases a second time, there is already a moment lost." (https://www.phillips.com/detail/ROBERT-FRANK/NY040215/209?fromSearch=rob&searchPage=2)
Since Frank already channeled Ginsburg to give credence to his photographic style of shooting, let me channel Michael Vronsky (played by Robert DeNiro) in The Deer Hunter to illustrate mine. When on a hunting trip with his buddies, Vronsky gives them the following advice when shooting: “Only one shot. You have to think about one shot. One shot is what it's all about. A deer's gotta be taken with one shot.” What he meant was to aim swiftly and correctly to take the prey cleanly and without suffering. When shooting street, be conscious and aware of what is happening around you so that you can see moments as they unfold. Know your equipment and settings well enough to get the shot on the first try. Be ready mentally and have the camera set for light conditions and what you want your final image to look like (e.g. shallow or deep focus range, high or low key, grain or sharpness, etc.) If you’re pressing the shutter again and again, you not only miss the moment, you could potentially destroy it.
Once again, my photos appeared as a Merit Portfolio in Black & White magazine. Three images from my amusement park project are in issue 122.
At a special awards banquet, I received these honors for 2017 from the Harrisburg Camera Club:
Digital Image of the Year for Shoshone Rest Stop
2nd Place Print Photographer of the Year
3rd Place Digital Photographer of the Year
Getting Here from There
About ten years ago, I attended the dedication ceremony of a house of meditation. A friend of mine had a DSLR and a movie camera. While he was filming the ceremony, he asked me to take candid photos of attendees using his DSLR. The camera, a Nikon D50, was set on auto so all I had to do was aim and shoot. I felt comfortable taking candid shots and have always seemed to grab them at just the right moment.
I had not had a camera for a few years, having sold my Mamiya 35mm film camera on eBay. The Nikon felt comfortable to me and was easy to focus and shoot. Without doing research, I bought one for myself and, keeping the camera on Auto, continued for a couple of years taking candid shots of people and animals.
Another friend from the House of Meditation had told me she joined the Harrisburg Camera Club and encouraged me to join and participate in their competitions. Of course, my photos were definitely not competition worthy at that time, but I found that listening to the judges’ critiques during the competitions to be a great learning experience. My knowledge of my camera and of photography progressed. And so did my desire to have more and more accessories for the Nikon. What started with a camera that came with an 18-55 lens grew to include a Sigma 18-200 lens, a Nikon 70-300 lens, a 28-80 Nikon lens, a flash attachment, a tripod, camera bag and finally, when I could no longer get what I perceived I wanted with the D50, a Nikon D7000, another faster lens, more filters and a larger camera bag, heavier tripod and ball head.
Somewhere amid all the acquisitions and experiments, I realized that the photography I loved most was street photography. The event at the House of Meditation should have given me a clue. Photographing people when they were unaware of being photographed and catching them in interesting behaviors and interactions was what I enjoyed.
I was never happy with the focusing of the D7000, and I found its size and weight too cumbersome for street photography. Talk about being obvious lugging that thing around. A heavy camera with a long lens says “professional photographer” even if you aren’t one. And I’m not getting any younger, so the weight around my neck or on my shoulder was painful within minutes.
Then someone sent me a review of a new Fuji on the market, the X100s which I then acquired and found its size allowed me to inconspicuously take photos while in a crowd of people or on the street. The design in silver metal looks like an old range finder camera and it is the size of a point and shoot which doesn’t attract attention. It has a plethora of features the Nikon did not and it makes street photography so much easier.
The D7000 and the D50 and the accoutrements I accumulated sat on the shelf until I sold them.
I would like to say that I had no desire to acquire another camera, but I can’t. The X100s has a fixed lens and I wanted a camera with the same kind of features but with the ability to change lenses. Enter the Fuji XT1 with an 18-135mm lens. The two Fujis and one lens give me the ability to do all of the kinds of photography I like to do, provide me with enough pixels to enlarge photos to a size I want, and still be able to carry the cameras around the streets without drawing attention to myself or weighing me down. I have no desire to add lenses or flash attachments or filters or any other paraphernalia.
Was it necessary for me to go through all of that photography gear to get to this point of being satisfied with what I now have and use? To accumulate all of it to discover I don’t need it or need something else? I’ll never know the answer to that, obviously. Changing technology seems to carry with it an addictive desire to constantly upgrade. But at what point do we “find ourselves” photographically and settle on the piece of equipment that allows us to do what we love? At what point do we discover we don’t need all that stuff ? When do we stop fearing the equipment status quo and just concentrate on becoming a better photographer? I hope I have reached my turning point.
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