Thursday, April 30, 2009


A couple shots from the Sawmill River with Sheba. I didn't post these with my last update to the site because as usual I wasn't happy with the translation of the actual space into a photo. The shots are interesting, but I feel like they may not be quite as otherworldly as some of my other images. This is a set of images that I've gone back and forth on many times, I'm still not sure that I made the right decision.

Both of these shots were taken in the remains of an abandoned building over the river, right in the middle of downtown Yonkers. It's quite striking with the roof/floors of the building gone, the sunlight beams all the way through the shell of the building to the river below. I've shot this place before on my previous trips where we rafted down the river, but this was my first attempt with a model. When I exchanged emails with Sheba she mentioned that she has a fascination with water so I knew this would be a perfect match.

Sheba had also told me that she had issues with spiders and I had assured her that there weren't any at this particular spot as I had never seen any at all on previous trips. Unfortunately for her, I was quite wrong and there were quite a few of them all over the walls. They hadn't been there (or weren't visible) a few weeks ago when I passed through the river. I think it may have had to do with the weather warming up significantly when we shot there. It could have also been due to lack of rain in the days before that would have flushed away all the arachnids. Either way, she stuck it out and I did my best to clear any webs from an area before she moved towards it to pose. She did great overall and it was a pleasure working with her.

I'd like to give this spot another chance and I'd love to do it with Sheba as she was a good match for this space, but that may not be possible. She happened to be in NYC on a layover and I'm not sure when our paths will cross again. I just picked up a new camera and slightly wider lens, so I may go back and play with a few alternate angles with a different model sometime this summer. We'll see how it goes, there are alot of factors that come into play with this location, most dependent on weather conditions.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Another shot of Aubrey from the water filtration plant. It would seem this was my most productive shoot yet, I've already posted 4 other images from it. Even with running a bit late and light fading, we were able to do a bunch of varied setups.

This image was shot on Provia 100F with my trusty 28/2.8 ais on my dads old Nikkormat, a combination I grow more fond of every day. I also shot this digitally, but the flare from the plastic covered windows was nowhere near as pleasing as it is on film. I ended up rejecting the shot because I felt that it didn't define the space adequately. It's also a little bit closer than I normally get to models and consequently more personal. I usually like to step back and let the models really experience the vastness and solitude of the space. This is a bit of a departure from that, but I think it stands pretty well on it's own.

Friday, April 3, 2009


A couple outtakes/alternates from my shoot with Marlo on the Municipal Building. This was a long time coming, it had taken me quite a while to find a model that was brave enough to venture out onto that ledge. Marlo was fantastic and we were quite efficient, getting it all done with in a matter of 30 minutes or so from meeting in City Hall Park to exiting the building victoriously. This was one of the situations where I had a really solid idea about the exact positioning/pose/framing I wanted for the shot. That's what ended up in the final version.

These are two images that had some elements I found interesting and worth exploring a bit. The first is a color version that gives a sense of what the day was like, this was taken at the end of November and it was at most 45 degrees out and quite windy. I love the full view of City Hall below and sense of the color changes happening in the trees. I also like the pose itself in the sense that it is a bit more contemplative and is directly confronting the drop below. It more directly addresses the mortality issues that sometimes spring up in my work. I only wish that this composition were as strong overall as the final version, but it just didn't compare.

This last shot is a candid I ended up taking after we were done that I was sure would have been a throwaway. After being out there for a good 15 minutes or so, Marlo was starting to shiver and that meant the shoot was over. I told her we were done and she could come back in. I handed Marlo her slip dress she decided to get dressed while still standing out on the ledge and I realized I still had a frame or two left to waste on my film camera, so I leaned out through the columns once again and snapped off this image. As it turned out, it ended up being my favorite from the whole roll of film. Although it really doesn't fit in with the conceptual framework of my project, I found it to be strangely captivating. It's definitely got a voyeuristic feel, yet when combined with the setting, it makes it something completely different.

This really is a special little place. It's in the center of one of the busiest areas of the cities and in one of the largest government buildings in the world, yet it manages to be one of the most peaceful and secluded places in the entire city. It's high enough that all the city noise and chaos seems to disappear with the wind, and pedestrians are not much more than ants going about their busy little days. You really couldn't ask for a better refuge from the daily grind.