nfp fall 2015 shoot

Another great shoot with Gail Travis of NFP studio.We shot at my studio at Atlas Industries in Newburgh with hair by Carlos Jacome, make up by Jenny Atwood Smith and the hilarious and beautiful Kelsey Vogelzang.



what is wonder?

I am honored that Reader's Digest chose this photo of August to illustrate what wonder looks like.  Eight other photographers are featured as well, many of whom I have admired for years.

When one of the editors called me to ask me why this photo looked like wonder to me,   I stuttered out a few things and they made it make sense in print.  Looking at the photo again, I still don't think I can eloquently say why it says wonder to me.  It was just one of those hot summer days and the kids and I walked to the drugstore to kill some time.  August saw this totally crappy and mediocre bow and arrow set and begged and begged for  it.  I finally after he agreed to pay for half.  He skipped the entire way home and his unadulterated joy made me reach for the camera.  That he broke the thing after about 10 minutes did not lessen his enjoyment of it one bit.  I think I finally threw it out what was left of it this fall.

 I just looked up wonder and the definition is:  something strange and surprising.  If asked, that's not exactly what I would have said. To me, there is an element of delight in those odd and unexpected things.  I hope that's what is illustrated here.



Putting together some work to submit to a show I realized, I've got a thing for hands.


present and absent with melissa mcgill

A couple of years ago my friend Melissa McGill called me up and said, "I've got an idea and it's a big one."  Her idea was a big one - as far as her artwork goes, the biggest she'd ever had.  She wanted to create a site specific, public art work using the ruins on an island in the Hudson River, not far from where we live.  This island, known to most as Bannerman's Island, was once owned by Francis Bannerman who constructed both a home for himself and castle-like storage space for his military arsenal.  Shortly after his death, the castle was partially destroyed by an explosion.  Weather and time have have also been unkind.  Melissa's idea is to create a 'constellation' of lights that would loosely echo the shape of the former arsenal.

Why do this? Melissa's idea fits seamlessly into the study she has been making of absence and presence since she began making art.  Whether casting molds of the insides of porcelain figurines or creating paintings from discarded plaster forms, her pieces examine the ideas of memory, preservation and phenomenology.

To me, there are 2 kinds of memory, the kind that you keep in the front of your mind and the kind that needs to be awakened.  Melissa's work falls gracefully in between.  You are, at once, with what is and what was but you are also suspended between the two where your own histories are evoked. When I witness her work, my mind wants to immediately fill in the blanks, create stories, my heart swells in a lot of different directions.

And so I was thrilled the other cold and slushy night when Melissa asked me to join her on a mission to various places along the river to see what we could of a couple of prototype 'stars' that were temporarily up on the island.  It was great to get a first glimpse of this project in practice after watching her work so hard to make it happen.  When we got to the first viewing location there was a moment of worry that we wouldn't be able to see them but then, there they were, beautiful, not too bright to make you squint - just enough to make you wonder how long that star had traveled to get there and about all of the experiences it had along the way.

For more info:  http://melissamcgillconstellation.com

Here are a few pics from our adventure:

the view of Bannerman's Island

a train headed our way

lights from a car across the river

And here are a few more pix from Melissa's studio and home.


wash teeth, if any

Woody Guthrie's new year's resolutions, 1942/43
happy new year!!


on grief, for edible hudson valley mag

Here are a few photos that recently I shot for Edible Hudson Valley Magazine.  This is not the first time I have illustrated, rather than documented,  a story for them.  It's a fun challenge.  I read the story and make pictures that I feel help to tell it.  Here is a link to a similar story that I shot for them a couple of years ago.  Coincidently it was also about death. Go figure.