Monthly Archives: August 2014

Making Lemonade

Where: Miami Beach, FL

 

 

Miami Marathon 2I was staying near the airport in Miami but had several hours before my flight.

 

 

It was early morning and the sun was starting to stream over South Florida, so I grabbed a cab and headed to South Beach. I was hoping to capture all those amazing colors on Ocean Drive but soon it clouded over and things starting looking dull.

 

 

Then about a mile from South Beach we came to a dead stop. Turns out that many of the streets were closed due to a Marathon. A police officer said that we would likely be able to pass in 15 minutes which was so frustrating that I thought about finding my way back to the airport.

 

 

I was taught to loathe clichés and for some unexplained reason I couldn’t get one of the worst clichés out of my head, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade”. So now I was frustrated in being blocked from South Beach, the dull light and a cliché that I couldn’t stop thinking about. So I acted on that cliché and due to the low light, experimented with slow shutter speeds and camera moves.

 

 

I experienced guilt when I liked what I was seeing on the LCD and soon realized in this lighting, getting stuck turned out to be a great thing. By adding noise and saturation in post, I was able to enhance the blurs and create a sense of pointillism.

 

 

Posted in Between Meetings

Post Drip

East Hampton, NY

 

 

DripperWhile the Hamptons are best known as a playground for the rich, there is a deep connection to struggling modern artists.

 

 

I was very fortunate to have known Arnold Newman. As a teenager his work fueled my earliest interests in photography. When Arnold presented me with a signed print of Igor Stravinsky at the Piano inscribed, “To my friend Dano” I not only felt incredible gratitude to receive one of the industry’s most iconic images, but a feeling that I was somehow connected to Arnold’s amazing world of Long Island artists.

 

 

Arnold set out to be a painter but when money became tight during the depression, he discontinued his studies and found work as a photographer. But he maintained connections to the world of modern art and told me stories of how friends in Cape Cod and Long Island would trade works or sell art to each other for small amounts of money. Arnold swapped work with struggling artists such as Mondrian! I distinctly remember Arnold telling me that one of his friends offered to sell him a painting for $300. That friend was Jackson Pollack. While that painting today is worth Millions, Arnold told me,”$300 was a lot of money back then”. So while Arnold declined the offer, he was able to photograph Pollack at his studio in East Hampton.

 

 

That studio, which is a very modest and poorly lit barn, celebrates the work of Pollack by leaving the floor in the same state as it was upon Pollack’s death. Visitors put on special slippers to avoid scuffing what is in many ways an archeological dig of modern art. It not only connects the visitor with Pollack, but with the Hampton artists’ community which included DeKooning, Motherwell and Rothko. It helped me reconnect with my old friend Arnold Newman and what it must have been like during that amazing period of creativity.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Between Meetings

Road to Mandalay?

Where: Las Vegas, NV

 

 

Mandalay I was in Las Vegas for yet another trade show or event. Frankly I can’t remember, but as usual I woke up at dawn due to jet lag.

 

 

I remember it was winter with temperatures in the low 60s, which is balmy for any Easterner in January or February.

 

 

While several around the hotel were wearing sweaters, I could tell this lone person reading the paper on the hotel’s fake beach, had to have been from Boston or New York. He was likely reading about a snow storm back home.

 

 

Posted in Between Meetings