Rome, Italy March 2012

Thursday, March 29th, 2012


Our travels found us in Rome in mid to late March 2012. Rome can best be described to those who have not visited as a city that is noisy, crowded with tourists everywhere, motor scooters buzzing, small narrow streets, constant traffic, and it is all laid over a tableau that is ancient and truly breathtaking.

I have included sample images in sepia tones, as it just seems an appropriate homage to the past.

Here are a few samples:













Castelsardo, Sardinia, Italy, March 2012

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Castelsardo, Sardinia, Italy


Hard to get to, impossible to leave.

Seeking a respite from Rome, we traveled to Sardinia, 15 hours by ferry from Rome. We cheated and took the one hour flight to this large Mediterranean island with a grand history of its own.

Sardinia is officially part of Italy, but with its own dialects and strong local customs, it remains a place set apart. By pure accident and luck we stumbled upon the northwestern coastal village of Castelsardo. This  fishing village seems to be a summer resort for the local people of Sardinia and some Europeans.

We came to this wonderful place as the locals were still fully embracing the winter patterns but busy prepping for their season. It seemed the major activity of the young, old, and everyone in between, was visiting with their neighbors in the piazza, the sidewalk, and on every corner. Pairs of lifelong friends gathered for long stretches arguing in that passionate Italian way.

At every stop there is a story to observe and tell.  See if I am beginning to communicate the story of Castelsardo.

You will not see these images on an American travel website anytime soon. The local people report that few Americans get this far off the beaten path.

Hope you enjoy the samples.












Thanks for viewing.

Riomaggiore, Liguirian Coast, Italy, March 2012

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Italy March 25, 2012

At the beginning of March we moved our traveling study tour to the wonderful land of  Italy. We flew from Paris to Pisa and were not on the ground for ten minutes before we were witnesses to two Italian men conversing by shouting passionately and waving their arms at each other.

Having grown up in the culture, I immediately saw it for just a typical mid-morning conversation between good friends.  In two months in Paris we did not see this level of passion, once.

Our first stop in Italy was the Ligurian coast, the village of Riomaggiore, part of the famed Cinque Terre.  Not our first visit here, more a return trip to shoot and enjoy he sea, the ancient village, and its people. Riomaggiore and three of the other villages in Cinque Terre exists at sea level, (Corniglia, the sole mountaintop village, well worth the climb). Riomaggiore and Manarola are distinctive in that small fishing boats are pulled into the marina piazza which forms the harbor entrance to the village.

The last time in Riomaggiore I  shot images one dark night when the sea decided to invade the village. I will include some of those earlier shots in my gallery on this village.

The village is built into the cliff side, massive sets of uneven stone steps, which must be navigated to go anywhere in the village, are challenging to all, especially the elderly of the village.

Here are a few of the newly made images.








Thanks for viewing.





A timeworn tradition

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Beginning in the mid 1800’s, American doctors-in-training traveled to Paris to study at the feet of famous Parisian medical practitioners. The foreign students would see and practice a greater variety of medicine in their time at Hotel Dieu, the urban Paris hospital, than they were likely to see in their entire careers at home.

The path, cut first by American medical students was soon followed by a steady stream of American artists, as Paris became the center for art and literature in the western world. Study with a known master in a Parisian atelier was considered the best training for refining the creative spirit.
(see The Greater Journey by David McCullough)

John Singleton Copley, Samuel Morse, and William Morris Hunt, are just a few of the artists who initially made the difficult journey to the continent. Mary Cassatt went at the time of the revolution in painting we now know as the Impressionists movement and she became one of the leading voices in that movement.

Photographer Bernice Abbot traveled to study with Man Ray; Robert Capa, a photographer originally from Budapest, but based in Paris, teamed with Henri Cartier-Bresson, a Parisian, and eventually formed the famous Magnum Photos. Capa singlehandedly invented photojournalism and had incredible influence photographically worldwide. He still does (he took an American name to help with the sale of his work).

Writers James Fenimore Cooper and Hemingway lived in Paris and wrote major works that became great American literature.

With all of this history, many Americans continue to fantasize of study in Paris, myself among them.
Given my lifelong fascination with photography and our love of museums, the time seemed right to challenge myself to study light…… in the City of Lights.

After all, photography is informed by its very definition, “drawing with light.”

The Café, absinthe (Pastis), and croissants quickly became a wonderful side benefit.

I planned to spend as much time as possible at the Louvre studying the Masters use of color, composition and light and then shoot, shoot, shoot, and was successful with both goals. 5500 images later……

The results have been surprising, even to me. My work, as you can see from these examples, is going in a different direction. Color seemed distracting, using black and white images initially allowed me to see the contrast between light and dark; but then the sepia tones of early work seemed to properly highlight the things I was seeing. Often I found myself shooting with the black and white image in mind, focusing solely on the light source and its effect on the object of interest.

I invite you to view these samples and encourage you to comment as it helps me “see,” and, I hope, it helps you in your own photography. Do not let the lack of terms intimidate you. Your eye is more practiced than you know. Tell me your emotional reaction to the work ….it helps me.

Finally, it will take a bit to edit the body of work to create a few new galleries. As I complete a gallery, I will announce the completion on Facebook and Twitter. Join me there so you can be one of my earliest critics.