Camellia-Planting Fields Arboretum
Last night I presented the ‘Curtain Raiser’ at the Sierra Club’s Photography Committee’s monthly meeting. I think it went well. You can see the images I displayed at Curtain Raiser.
The best thing about the evening was when a woman in the audience came up to me…asked me “Did I grow up in Brooklyn?” “…on East 19 St.?”. Which of course I did. Turns out she was a childhood friend, I mean early childhood when our parents would take us in our carriages on strolls throughout the neighborhood. Probably haven’t seen each other in 50 years. It was great to see her and we’ll get together to talk about life since 1959!
So what does this mean? I recently met up in Florida with another old friend from East 19th Street…was contacted on Facebook by another person from that time in my life…and they keep on coming.
My concern is that this may be a sign from above or in my case probably below that the end is near!
The 'photographers' from PS 92M
I don’t know how many people ‘love’ their job…but I am one of the fortunate few who does.
As a member of the faculty of Brooklyn College I have the privilege of working with some of the best new teachers in the NYC school system, members of the NYC Teaching Fellows Program.
I also just embarked on a new project with the Department of Education, which I truly love and feel honored to have been asked to be a part of. I am working as the on-staff photographer training NYC school teachers who have no knowledge in photography, on how to properly use Canon DSLR cameras. I will also work with them on composition as well as processing their images.
The goal of this project is to then have these teachers take their students into the ‘field’ to shoot with these cameras and to then incorporate the images into books that the classes will be writing and publishing. The themes of the book have to be science related.
This year, so far, I’m working with two schools in Harlem, NY. My experience with these teachers has been nothing less than fantastic. They are eager to learn, enjoy going out to shoot, and are wonderful people. I’m looking forward to going out into the field with their classes and helping the students with their projects. The first scheduled field visit is to the Bronx Zoo. Images of that workshop of course will follow in my blog.
NY Cares sponsors two events each year. Volunteers in the Fall help clean up and pain murals in the city’s schools. In the Spring it’s clean-up time. Over 5,000 volunteers from all walks of life come out to help. This year, in Forest Park, Queens, NY, about 200 people came to clean up around the carousel area. The weather was great, spirits were high and the park got a much needed make-over.
My friend Shaniqua is organizing a trip to Paris this summer for college students from the inner city. Shaniqua and her friend will escort the students in this “City of Lights” where they will learn poetry, art, fashion and photography.
On Friday, April 30th she will be holding her second fund raising event Last Plane to Paris-Part II . Shaniqua has asked me, and I am honored to do so, to contribute some images for her to sell at the fundraiser. I let her choose the images. The Kiss and The Water Lily are two of the six that she selected.
Unfortunately I will be unable to attend as I will be in Cape May that weekend. I wish her and her group the best of luck in raising money to help defray the costs of the trip.
Just returned from my third visit to Eastern State Penitentiary…Hooked up with John Barclay’s workshop…It always amazes me at how much there is to shoot here…We were able to go to three cell blocks that are not open to the public…Little or no work has been done to the cells since ESP closed in 1970. (It opened in 1839)…Here are images from two of the cells that we were able to shoot.
1930's vintage subway car as seen thru 8mm fisheye lens
Love my new fisheye lens. It’s made by Rokina and I think it does an excellent job. It’s a fun lens and can’t wait to shoot more this weekend.
Tom & Landa's front parlor, Bethlehem, Pa
Cherry Blossoms in the BBG's Japanese Garden
Having grown up in Brooklyn, and I have lived and/or worked there forever, so it seems, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of my favorite places. It brings back fond memories of my childhood, where in the Children’s Garden I learned how to grow many herbs and vegetables. (I bet Michelle Obama would be proud of me! :-} ). I spent many memorable hours with my late wife Donna and with my children Ari and Jonah. What better place to be with family?
I often return to the garden enjoying the seasonal wonderments it provides. At this time of year, the garden is in full bloom with magnolias, azaleas, and the most beautiful cherry blossom display in any public garden on the east coast.
The image above was taken last week in the Japanese Garden. It was quite a magnificent display.
The Cherry Blossom Walk and Esplanade should be in full bloom next week and I will be sure to be there to capture its beauty and to share it with all of you.
At the request of some of my friends I’ve decided to enter the world of blogging.
I titled the blog ‘decrepitude and other beautiful images’ based, sort of, on the saying of one of my favorite t-shirts…BEER GOGGLES…they turn BOW into WOW! That’s exactly what I’m trying to do…make a WOW statement and also have fun doing it. I also chose the name of my blog because of my love for the ‘old and abandoned buildings and farmhouses’ that dot the landscape of our great country. I like to visit these places and try to feel the history in the walls…to wonder what it was like growing up or working in that environment. My hope is through my images to beautify the destruction that is around me. Does that make sense?
My good friend LisaMarie once said of my images that they are too pretty…too colorful. She on the other hand likes to process her images so that they appear stark and contrasty! It works very well for her but not so much for me.
Two other friends, Spage and Dan, said my blog should be about my documenting all of the places I’ve been thrown out of or almost got arrested at. That too will be part of this blog.
Please let me know what you think. Don’t be kind just to be kind. I need and cherish constructive criticism. And JB you can call me a “dope” any time you want.