I hope everyone reading this (in the U.S., anyway) has had a good Veterans’ Day weekend. I made a big trip on Saturday but yesterday and today I stayed home to take care of things.

I’m continuing to make progress in getting through my backlog of film. I’m almost finished with getting my film from July developed, and the next set of rolls to be taken care of will include the first of my trip to Tibet in August (though that first roll of film was shot in Beijing, not Tibet).

I’ve also been continuing to make 8.5 x 11 inch color inkjet prints of Tibet to put up around my desk at work, so until my Tibet film is developed, organized and scanned, I’ll be posting some of these color digirtal images here on the blog – as I am doing now. The ones I’m posting today (from the top down): a man and his daughter in front of a billiard hall in the Barkhor area of Lhasa; a painted wall with a beautiful door curtain in Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple; a yak head in front of a shop in Lhasa (don’t ask me if it’s real, because I don’t know); and a group of monks at the Tashilunpo Monastery in Shigatse.
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On Saturday I drove from Brooklyn down to Philadelphia for the annual Photo Review benefit auction. I’ve been going every year for about ten years, but last year I couldn’t make it as I’d had foot surgery shortly before and couldn’t drive. I had also planned to donate a couple of photos this year, as I normally do, but wasn’t able to do so due to the injuries I suffered in May when I got hit by a car. (If you started reading this blog recently, you can read about that at http://figuresofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/05/best-laid-plans-of-mice-and-men.html ).

The ride down to Philly went pretty well. I listened to 80’s New Wave rock music on the way down and Frank Sinatra on the way back. (Frankie just seems to sound better at night, doesn’t he?) One of my photos was in the auction – a print that I gave last year but hadn’t sold – and it was bought this time by an internet bidder, though for a price lower than I’d hoped for. Still, at least somebody did want it enough to buy it, so that’s good – and most of the proceeds from the auction go to the Photo Review, a photographic arts publication.

The good news is that I bought three prints myself at good low prices to add to my photo collection: an image from Italy by one of my favorite contemporary photographers, Linda Butler (I’ll have to see if it’s included in her book about Italy); a beautiful outdoor nude by a team named Williams & Russ; and a 19th Century hand painted photograph of Japan. If you’ve ever been interested in starting your own photo collection, benefit auctions are a great place to start as the selling prices are often much lower than those in a gallery. They’re where I buy from.



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Finally, a couple of items I’ve read on blogs recently that made me try to think about……well, what those other people could have been thinking. The first, written last week by my friend Terrell Neasley, reads as such: You have heard me speak on the incomparable Dave Rudin before, several times I might add……. Well, I certainly do graciously thank Terrell for his very kind words, but I don’t think I’ve moved into the category of ‘incomparable’ quite yet! (If I have reached that level, why am I still essentially unknown? Of course, it is possible to be compared to others and still be judged better than them…LOL) I’m looking forward to meeting Terrell when I make another visit to Las Vegas next month.

The other quote, which I saw yesterday, is from an admirer of a totally different source. I happened to see that some people were linking to my blog from Fluffytek’s blog (http://www.fluffytek.com/blog/). That blog is written by a pair of British people named Richard and Lin, and Lin had written this: Incidentally …… if you want to see some exceptional fine-art photography where the model really “engages”, go look at some of Dave Rudin’s work , particularly his shots of Sarah Ellis. They knock my socks off! (Actually Dave Rudin knocks my socks off because he really is gorgeous, but let's not go there.)

Well, the first part of that I can understand. Sarah Ellis is gorgeous – enough to knock anyone’s socks off – and all I really had to do was compose something decent, focus on her and push the button. As for that second part, it’s really got me scratching my head and wondering where those ideas came from. I’ve never met Lin before, so maybe she’s thinking of the photo on my website that the Hollywood photographer Greg Gorman made of me ten years ago. In that one, it looks like I had more hair on my head than I really did and it doesn’t show the gray in my beard and the ten pounds around my waist that I’ve gained since then! (Still, why spoil the fantasy, so if you’re reading this, Lin – yeah, I still look like that photo. Just don’t ask for any proof!)

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