It’s that time of year again!
Ma! I Need a Job!
We all know that this is a tough “new” economy and I wonder how successful college grads will be in looking for work in their fields. But I also wonder what would I do if I was in my 20’s, finishing school and wanted to be a photographer. Where would I start looking for work? I was a staff photographer for the first 20 years of my working life, and staff positions still exist, but not as many, and I’m not sure where. Plus, I assume, the photographers in those jobs aren’t leaving until they retire. Newspapers are also laying off staff and TV news channels are relying on the “public” to share their pictures with them (CNN Lays off Staff). Photographers interested in stock photography will discover the falling of prices and competition from the general “non-pro” shooter who posts their images on Flickr and Getty decides to use those images. “Yikes! Ma. I gotta compete against some guy who just happened to get a lucky shot, or if my image is chosen they’re gonna pay me only $3?!” (Time Magazine uses iStock photo dirt cheap.) Then there is assisting other photographers to learn the ropes on both the business and technical side. I never assisted. I landed my staff position and when I was laid off, just like all those other photographers, I opened my own business. What I needed at that point was assistance in learning how to “run” a business so I struggled through it but I wonder how many “new” photographers are getting the opportunity to assist and learn. I say this because I see many seasoned pros turning to “educating” the newcomer – lectures for a fee. And other pros who are leaving the photo business thus not providing opportunities for the newbie to assist and learn. And other photographers, like myself, who are reasonably busy but don’t hire assistants because the jobs don’t demand it. I’m getting more and more requests from recent college grads wanting to assist. I know that I’m not the only one they’re contacting, but I always feel bad when I have to say that I don’t need their help. It’s always been a scary world, but it just feels like it’s getting scarier, at least if you’re looking for work as a photographer.
The image above was taken as a test shot before taking the actual portrait. It was used as a background for the portrait.
Happy New Year from the Superheroes of the Universe
Happy New Year!
Onward to New York City!
Every year at this time I like to head to New York City for photos, fun and food. I shoot for stock photography, never sure what I’ll get other than the standard images, but am always looking for some inspiration. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t. Let’s see about today.
Dover Castle, Dover, England
Dover Castle is on the south coast of England on the English Channel.
I wish I were king 500 years ago so I could behead somebody.
It’s that time of year again!
Sunrise over New York City
Photo was taken before leaving for London.
ComicCon 2011 NYC
It’s this weekend. Tomorrow I go. The photo is from ComicCon 2010.
On August 20th I posted a short video on my blog about my vacation trip to England. Now on my Lifestyle website I have posted a gallery of images from my trip. We flew into and out of London with 3 day trips outside of the city. Our first destination was to Dover to see the castle. The photograph of the cruise ship (you’re probably thinking “what does that have to do with England?) was taken looking out from the castle onto the English Channel. Barely visible in the background is France. The next day we went to Bath. It was a return trip for my wife and I, having visited it in 1984. It’s a beautiful city with ancient Roman ruins and an amazing street performer (photo included in gallery and a short clip in the video). Our last trip was to Brighton also on the English Channel, and which was another return trip for us. When we were there in October 1985 the swimming season had ended. Not for this visit however, as evidenced by a few images in my gallery.
The image above was, of course, taken at the Beatles Abbey Road spot. Back in 1985 we also visited Abbey Road and took a similar photo but we were the only ones there. Also, we were at the wrong corner at the time and nice elderly lady pointed us to the right corner. Well, things have changed. The spot is very busy with plenty of tourists wanting to take their Beatles shot. And the front wall to EMI studios is covered in Beatles graffiti – names of songs, I love the Beatles, Miss you George, etc. And yes, I wrote on the wall too.
One comment concerning photo #19 in the gallery – I was walking along shooting photos and, without realizing it at the time, captured this shot of a man on his phone, in front of a store display that happened to have the phrase “OMG” in a cartoon balloon right next to the man’s head. Wow.
Just in case you have a problem, here’s a website that might be able to help – Camera Stolen. A photographer on APAnet/Yahoo Group wrote about a photographer getting all of his equipment back using this service. If you’re a member of the group, you can read about it here. If you’re not, you can always join.
My First Hurricane
While I’m in the path of Hurricane Irene, luckily I’m far enough west – about 50 miles from NYC – that it’ll probably just be a tropical storm in my area. My neighborhood is not a flood zone and my house sits on an incline so water runs away, but I still cleaned up my yard and tied everything down on my deck, just in case. And there’s always the possibility of a tree falling on my house. Yikes! It’s a surreal moment to prepare for a hurricane. I’ve never done it. I wish I had a waterproof video camera so I could go outside, play weatherman and look like I’m about to be blown away. Why do those knuckleheads do that?
Well, it’s about 24 hours to the big show!
The American West
One of the most beautiful places in our country – Monument Valley.
Planet of the Apes
For me seeing the new apes movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was not a choice but an obligation. When the original Planet of the Apes film with Charlton Heston premiered in 1968 I was around 14 years old. I sat in the Plaza Theater in Paterson, NJ and was transported to a world that held me by my heart and soul. I had chills when the character “Taylor” played by Mr. Heston uttered the words, “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” And those chills were intensified with the ending of the movie – seeing the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the sandy beach. It’s an iconic moment in American film history. I walked out of the theater in a daze. To this day, I do not remember if I saw the film with anyone else. That movie cemented a relationship with the soon-to-be-made franchise. I bought a hardcover of the original novel written by French author Pierre Boulle, also author of The Bridge over the River Kwai. For a 14 year old to purchase a hardcover of a book displays the respect I had for the material. The novel was different than the movie, but it was just as perfect.
After the original film premiered I was first on line for everything that followed – Beneath the Planet…., Escape from the Planet…., Conquest of the Planet…., and finally Battle for the Planet….. Nothing equaled the original, but the movies were entertaining. Sometime in the 1970s a close friend and myself sat through a marathon of the 5 films at the Plaza theater. A bland TV followed in 1974, comic books (not interested) and the Tim Burton remake in 2001. I’d lump Burton’s remake with the sequels, entertaining but nothing special.
I don’t remember the year, but sometime between 2000 and 2009 the original Planet of the Apes film was playing at the Lafayette theater in Suffern, NY. The theater had a sci-fi movie weekend with the Heston movie being one of the films shown. Also present at the showing was Linda Harrison, aka “Nova”. It was a fan’s dream to see and hear Ms. Harrison reminisce about the making of the movie.
Back to the new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was entertaining, more so than some of the other sequels. There were plenty of references to the original – some subtle, some not. I don’t remember the reason given in Conquest of the Planet for the rise of the apes intelligence, been a long time since I’ve seen it, but the logic in the new movie was very good, in my opinion. My only real qualm was the ending of the movie. It contradicts the original story, how the apes became the dominant species, and I didn’t see any real reason to change it.
Regarding the photo above – that’s my wife and I. It has nothing to do with the apes movies. I also love comedy and the Three Stooges, and as any student of film comedy will say, gorilla costumes are part of that history. I thought that it was time me for to be a stooge.
Early morning fog. One of these days I’ll get lucky and the wolfman will come out of the shadows.
An early sighting of Captain America, before the muscles and the shield.
Wish I Were Here…..
It’s a heat wave and time for the shore.
Happy Birthday to my Son
Life is wonderful with him.
I haven’t gone on a good hike in a long time.
The Space Shuttle
Today is the final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle program and there is no replacement. There are plans for future missions, space vehicles and the like, but I’m not feeling confident. We can’t get our debt in order or have a serious energy policy or start creating new jobs (the ending of the Shuttle program is costing even more job loss – both in government and the private sector), and on and on. I don’t live in a fantasy world. There have always been and will always be problems/challenges to solve. But when you are the leader in the world in space technology and exploration why would you want to acquiesce that role? For, at least, the next 5 years the Russians will be taking our astronauts to the space station. Wow. Will we have another “Sputnik Moment” when the Chinese threaten to push us into 2nd place in space exploration? I hope so. Our elected leaders, both liberals and conservatives, preach that we are “The Greatest Nation in the World”. Being “Great” means to achieve and we’re not achieving much except agreeing to take a back seat to the future.
Uploaded some new images to my Lifestyle and People Photography website. The image above is in the “Music” gallery.
On Being An American on the 4th of July
Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Britain, said it best in his memoir:
“A friend of mine whose parents were immigrants, Jews from Europe who came to America in search of safety, told me this story. His parents lived and worked in New York. They were not well off. His father died when he was young. His mother lived on, and in time my friend succeeded and became wealthy. He often used to offer his mother the chance to travel outside America. She never did. When eventually she died, they went back to recover the safety box where she kept her jewelry. They found there was another box. There was no key. So they had to drill it open. They wondered what precious jewel must be in it. They lifted the lid. There was wrapping and more wrapping and finally an envelope. Intrigued, they opened it. In the envelope were her U.S. citizenship papers. Nothing more. That was the jewel, more precious to her than any other possession. That was what she treasured most.”
Happy 4th of July.
Time for Breakfast!
Now, don’t you just want some pancakes with a side order of bacon and eggs?! I know I do. And, please, don’t forget the coffee.
Happy Father’s Day – to me
My 2 best reasons for living. And this is when they were cute.
Summertime! It was a cold winter. I really don’t mind sweating this year.