Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

The Nose Knows

Posted: July 22, 2017 in Lenses, Photography


By a nose…   Went to the Fairmount Park Racetrack to wager on the ponies (ha ha, those $2.00 bets add up) and dragged along the big tele zoom. Only got a handful of snaps and was happy with this capture. But this is the kind of photo that would drive me crazy as a photo editor; keep the context, or get really close on the jockey’s intense face?

~John

Run, Don’t Walk

Posted: June 13, 2017 in Photography, University City


I guess this is the reason I am not a very successful commercial photographer; I go to an event and take a few hundred exposures and in spite of my best intentions I am subconsciously looking to get one “keeper”.  Oh sure, I do yeoman’s work, cover the bases, get the cliches, but dang it, I never really get excited about the commercial aspect — I am always striving for that one memoriable picture. I blame this on the uber competitiveness of University of Missouri’s photojournalism program, not so much the formal classwork, but the informal one-on-one (or dog-pile five-on-one) absolutely brutal critique sessions. And, of course I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Working (hardly) Vacation

Posted: May 20, 2017 in Photography, Travel


Travel photography requires early morning and late evenings to take advantage of the golden/blue hour classic lighting. Of course you have to while away the time in-between, in this case pretending to be Colonel Kurtz in the pool at the Hotel Mono Azul in Costa Rica. Coming from the Northern latitudes it is worth noting that the length of the days at nine degrees doesn’t vary much and it seems a much quicker transition during those sunrise/sunset periods. Enjoy my views of Pura Vida here.
~John

Three for One

Posted: April 9, 2017 in Cameras, Photography, University City


Technology is a wondrous thing but with great power comes great responsibility. The easier it is to produce special effects the more important to stretch beyond the obvious. HDR photography is a great example — you can produce HDR with your phone camera, but why settle for a gimmick? Think content and decide, “will this tech trick impart greater meaning to this photograph? Am I stopping too soon because I see a neat image on the camera screen?”  Think of the sports mantra — follow through.
~John

One Glove Clapping

Posted: February 16, 2017 in Photography

dinosaur-glove-pencester-gardens_0700-1400
The sound in Pencester Gardens when one dinosaur glove claps…
~Paul

Made Up News

Posted: December 20, 2016 in Events, Photography, photojournalism, publication

_jrm4727-2
Fascinating to attend a “news” event as a citizen journalist. But what was more interesting to me was portraying the event with an editorial slant — or not. Yes, I was sympathetic to the “cause,” and yes, I was interested in making sure that the little protest got some publicity. However, I immediately went into photojournalist mode once I arrived. I had no interest in carrying a sign or chanting, or engaging passerby. I calmly photographed  and watched for an interesting juxtaposition or compelling face, or as so often the case — a confrontation. No drama here — just a group of 20 or 30 concerned citizens making their voices heard on a topic of importance to them (and me). From a professional point of view I was OK with the five pictures I posted to my “publications,” Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — nothing extraordinary — but sans CJ there would be no coverage.
~John

Panning the Purple Rain

Posted: October 7, 2016 in Cameras, NYC, Photography

rain bike
The joy of waiting for a bus in the rain. Time to make pictures. Showing motion in a still photograph can be tough. I chose to pan and use the built-in flash of the Nikon D610 to make it happen. I photographed about 15 cyclists before the bus arrived and this was the best (and last) of the lot. Of course the rain makes the picture, but I like the iconic NYC cab and the purple too. Panning is an art — you try different settings and adjust — this was 1/15 second at f4 using a 50mm lens. The digital advantage: make adjustments on the fly, review, and keep refining the image.

Show’s Up

Posted: August 16, 2016 in Art photography, Events, Photography, UK
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Opening night
The event in Dover this summer.  Don’t miss the premier of this exciting show. See some of the featured images @ instagram.com/existential_tourist

~Paul

Republican Convention 1976
Politics is all the rage at the moment and while looking at the archive (a box of mounted prints) I yanked this one as an example of looking at an event from a different perspective. I guess when I took this (while photographing the 1976 Republican Convention in Kansas City for the Garden City Telegram) I was thinking about looking out and not being being in, or maybe I just like the simplicity of the moment…

~John

smoothie
Summer arrived a week early in Missouri –  already 90+ and high humidity. My solution was to bike to the local coffee shop and slurp.  Advice to the “instagram” generation, put down your mobile phones and connect with folks. A meet and greet resulted in two hours of stimulating conversation with a graphic novelist and a screenwriter. Make the effort, skip the virtual world and go analog.
~John

One hand
New York, New York.  No matter how often I visit the city I am always dumbstruck and overwhelmed by the visual cacophony. Paul too embraces (and is similarly overwhelmed) NYC and approaches it from a slightly different style. When he saw this picture his reaction was, “someday we will do a show on the sound of one hand.” Perhaps that is the way to experience New York — with a Zen frame of mind. This sliver of light was captured at Columbus Park at Bayard and Mulberry streets. This part of New York was once known as “five points” and the park is now a gathering place for game players, a quiet respite from bustling Chinatown.
~John

urinal
I was at Tate Modern last week,  as you can see, the art scene in London is a real pisser.
They had a sculpture by Duchamp, and three more in another room.
urinal
~Paul

Cherry tree

Kearsney Abbey in Dover

Here is  a little creative poetry editing,  when A E Housman wrote this he was about 20, since I’m a bit older…

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my fourscore years and ten,
Sixty will not come again,
And take from ninety springs three score,
It only leaves me thirty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Thirty springs are little room,
About the woodland I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
~Paul

Gateway Arch
Had a lot of fun recently with a group of aspiring photo enthusiasts as we photo-walked the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – aka Gateway Arch. An eclectic group of snappers, we took to the streets, engaging visitors and capturing a sense of the city.  Part of our assignment was to approach and photograph a stranger — my métier. These tourists from Colorado were as friendly as only Westerners can be. I also chatted up a NYC couple who were equally jovial. But more interesting for me was meeting strange new photographers.

Journalism school pressed Paul and me into the maw of about 20 of the most aggressive and motivated would-be photojournalists (I guess I am not exaggerating) in the world. We would constantly critique each other’s work — and what the professors said about our pictures/stories — ouch — I still have scars.  Later when I taught photojournalism, I was brutally honest with my students, occasionally at the cost of tears and always with a reward of better future pictures. I like to think I have mellowed over the years and more importantly, I have slowly come to realize that photojournalism-style photography is not all there is. Shocking. The photo-walk provided me an opportunity to share my expertise and learn from others. Advantage for me, interacting with new photogs requires the same skills as street photography, an honest approach and openness to rejection (ha ha). Just like the wonder of connecting with folks you have never seen before and making their picture, chatting with photographers who have a different visual Weltanschauung can be daunting. If you are going to walk the photo walk, prepare to talk the photo talk.  For snap samples search Instagram using #isrphotoswalk
~John

1 Dogs of th week w Micaela _0762-1400
Not sure the feline pattern is exactly right for the canines or for the Fräulein…
~Paul