Archive for January 2009

I’ve titled today’s posting “Hide and Seek” for a couple of reasons. First, this is my first posting in more than a week, and some of you may have wondered if I went into hiding. The answer is: no, I didn’t. I’ve just been busy.

When you’ve got a bunch of different things to work on, you can either do a small amount of work for all of them and never really finish anything for a long time, or you can work on finishing one thing and neglect the other stuff. Lately I’ve been doing the latter, trying to finish the work on the DVD I’ve been putting together about the Community Zoe get-together that I attended back in September in California. The work on that has pretty much been taken care of now, so I’m now able to get to doing other things like scanning film, working on my new website and writing blog entries, as well as the domestic stuff that’s ever present.

Now on to the other reason for the title of “Hide and Seek.” Basically, hide and seek is what the photo at the top is about. During my travels through east Asia in recent years, I’ve seen that trying to photograph kids is something of a game to them. They’ll often run away and hide when I try to take a picture, but they’ll be laughing and smiling the whole time. One time a girl in a village ran away into a house but she kept peeking out from behind the door, and after I next took a photo of a couple of older girls with my digital camera, she bolted out the door at full speed to see the result when I showed it to the other girls. (I did eventually get a photo of the younger one, too.)

That event happened in Laos, as I recall, but the picture above was made in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. As I’ve written before, the Barkhor is the old Tibetan area of Lhasa (the rest of it being mostly a Chinese city) and is filled with pilgrims who come from all over Tibet to pray at the Jokhang Temple and other places. The pilgrims circumambulate around the temple, and the route is lined with vendors’ tables and booths, in addition to the stores in buildings.

On this particular afternoon, I was with a woman in my tour group who was looking for a small yak figurine to take home. We were going from table to table searching, when I came across the girl in the photo. I held up my camera to make a photo of her – and she dropped down below the table with a smile. So, I dropped down to focus on her – and she stood up. So, I stood up – and she dropped down. I dropped down again – so she popped back up.

Not to be deterred, I continued to play along with her for a bit longer. Then it happened. I dropped down, she stood up, I popped up again – and then she stood there motionless, looking at me and my camera for a few seconds. It was long enough for me to quickly focus and snap off one shot before she dropped down beneath the table again. I can only imagine that she decided to be nice to me and allowed me to take her photo. As it turns out, I’m kind of glad it happened this way, as I did get a nice image and it gave me a story to tell, as well.

The other two photos I’m posting were also made in the Barkhor area shortly before and after I made the photo of the girl.

Regarding a couple other things, I don’t know if I’m the only one having this problem, but I was unable to access my blog page or those of several others the last couple of days. The problem seems to be with blogs having the adult content warning. I’ve been able to see those that don’t have the warning, and I’ve even been able to access those with the “objectionable content” page that comes up first.

For some reason, some (though not all) of the blogs with the voluntary adult content warning don’t work. I get no warning page, but just a blank black page instead. (In the case of my friend Terrell Neasley’s blog, it’s a blank green page.) That’s what happened with my own blog here, but when I dropped the voluntary adult content warning, I was able to see it, though once again with the objectionable content warning.

Has anybody else out there had this same problem?

Finally, looking over my recent entries, I see that I haven’t posted any nude work for a while, so I’ll try to put some up soon for those who don’t object to that kind of objectionable stuff. Stay tuned.

read more

Model: Martina Pavlovska
Photos: Patrik Blom
Location: Skopje, Macedonia
Equipment: Canon EOS 40D
The whole gallery

"The first thing you notice when seeing Martina is her eyes, if you look at the photos you will see why. In front of the camera she is very professional and she knows exactly how to pose and make it look natural. In real world, Martina is also very pleasant and sociable. I would certainly like to work with her again." - said Patrik Blom, Swedish photographer about the work experience with Martina.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , .

read more

No, this posting is not about a Marx Brothers movie (as wonderful an idea as that may be). It’s about something I did Tuesday night that I had not done for quite some time that I used to do a lot – spend a night (well, part of one) at the opera.

As regular readers may know, I used to attend the Metropolitan Opera frequently and even acted as an extra on stage about 50 times. (I used to think of myself as an actor with a non-speaking role.) Due to things like my foot surgery and getting hit by a car, plus having plenty to deal with here at home, I just hadn’t gone to the Met for a few years.

The last time I went was rather memorable. It wasn’t for a regular performance, but rather for a gala to celebrate the career of the retiring General Manager, Joe Volpe. My friend Dave Levingston happened to drive in to New York to stay with me for a week or so on that day, but due to the performances ending late, coupled with some track work on the subway that forced me to take a bus part of the way, I didn’t get home until around 2:30 in the morning – and when I got to Dave’s car parked on the street, there he was inside just waiting for me to show up.

Anyway, as I’ve written recently, I want to start doing things again the way I used to, and that includes attending the performing arts, of which the opera was a major activity. I bought five tickets recently, and this first one was for Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. I had never seen this one before (though I once attended a concert version in London several years ago) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Gluck was active composing not many years before Mozart and provided the bridge from the baroque to the classical eras. This particular opera is known for having done away with the excesses that had been plaguing baroque performance and bringing the music back to its essentials.

Stephanie Blythe was excellent in the role of Orfeo (Orpheus), the hero who braves the torments of Hades to bring back his beloved wife Euridice from the dead. (For older operas such as this one, it’s not unusual for a woman with a deep voice – a mezzo-soprano – to sing a male role.)

However, I was really looking forward to seeing and hearing Danielle de Niese in the smaller role of Euridice. I had bought her album of soprano arias by Handel last year and it soon became one of my favorites, and I was not disappointed. Not only is she a great singer, but she is a gorgeous looking woman, too – so not all sopranos are “fat ladies.” Just look at the photos of her to see. I went by the stage door afterwards to get the CD booklet signed and she posed for a photo with me. The other good news is that she said that she’s just recorded an album of Mozart arias at the Abbey Road studios in London (yes, I believe it is that Abbey Road!) and will be returning to the Met next season – things to look forward to, indeed.

Finally, a brief note on politics: Hip Hip Hooraaaaaaaayyyyyy!!!!!!!! Bush is out, Obama is in. At last, these United States have a president with a real brain in his head after eight years of a simpleton.

I just wonder, though. Is it a coincidence that the Bush-appointed Chief Justice flubbed the oath while swearing in a new Democratic president???

read more

Model: Katarina Ivanovska
Photos: Fabio Chizzola
Magazine: Glamour
Edition: January, 2009

See also: Katarina for Vogue magazine-Spain (June, 2007)

read more

Irena Ampova/Ирена АмповаIrena Ampova

Born: 19.08.1988
Place: Skopje
Height: 179 cm
Weight: 50 kg
Bust: 95 cm
Waist: 64 cm
Hips: 88 cm
Hair Color: Blondie
Eye Color: Blue
Titles: Miss Universe '08 (Bulgaria), Miss Cassino London (Bulgaria)

Photo: Avarel

read more

I ate two breakfasts and two lunches today. The first breakfast was my normal bowl of cereal in the morning. Then, at my office, my supervisor brought in a bunch of croissants and muffins and stuff, so I had one large croissant and one large (so called) caramel muffin, along with some grape juice. (I don’t drink coffee or orange juice, and there was no apple juice.)

I had thought that this little celebration of finishing up the busy time of year was just meant for my small group of five people, but everyone in the office was invited, so I guess this was our “big” holiday party. We never had a proper holiday party the way we used to in December, and apparently nobody is in much of a celebratory mood these days to plan anything else. (This has nothing to do with the state of the economy, but everything do with how the state of our jobs sucks.)

Despite having had two breakfasts, I decided to eat the half-sandwich that I brought in for lunch. (Even though I’ve stopped trying to lose more weight, I’m still having the half-sandwiches for lunch to try not to gain the weight back.) I thought of leaving the sandwich in the refrigerator at the office for my next day in, but as that won’t be until Tuesday, I figured that I’d better eat it now.

Then, when I went to my doctor’s office to have my breathing checked out (the third doctor’s appointment in three days), there was a little party going on and I was invited to partake, so I had a couple of small tuna sandwiches, some potato-egg salad and a fudge brownie. (Despite my bronchitis and my throat still bothering me, my breathing still registered at 111% of normal, for those that are interested.)

Having eaten all of that, I’ll probably still have dinner tonight, as I have a busy weekend planned.

Now, why am I mentioning all of this instead of writing about photographic stuff? Probably because I have no photographic stuff to mention and to put up enough text to provide filler for the photos I’m posting today. I haven’t posted any images of mine from Europe for a while, so in honor (or should I say, 'honour'?) of our British friends, I’ve decided to show some photos from two of the four capitals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The two, if you haven’t figured it out, are London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. (I’ve only photographed Cardiff, Wales, in color and I have never been to Belfast or any other part of Northern Ireland.)

The photos, from the top down, are: Edinburgh Castle (up on the hill); the Houses of Parliament seen from the London Eye on a (what else?) rainy day; some silhouetted turrets and towers seen from Edinburgh Castle; and, a silhouetted Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

The last photo, despite its saying “Scotland Place,” is actually in London – somewhere near “The Yard,” if I recall correctly (though I may not recall correctly).

read more

read more

This is my first posting here in a week’s time. That’s because I spent 65 and three-quarter hours working at my office last week. At last, though, the overtime is done and I returned to a normal schedule today. I felt like I had only worked half a day when I left to go home (though as I’d put in work days of 12 hours or close to it, two-thirds of a day would be more like it).

Despite getting back normal, I’m still feeling pretty tired tonight so I won’t write much. I’ll just write, as a number of other bloggers have done, that the photos I submitted to the French magazine PHOTO as part of its annual Concours Amateurs (amateur contest) are now online at that publication’s website. You can see them by clicking here and then typing in my name where it says "rechercher une photo."

I see that the magazine gave tags to each image submitted, and three of mine got tagged with the work “couverture,” which means ‘cover.’ I saw that only 105 photos among the thousands and thousands submitted were given that tag – so does that mean that three of my photos were considered for the cover? I don’t know, but it’s nice to think that they may have been. I’m sure that none were chosen or I would have known by now. I’ll just have to wait another month or so for the magazine to appear for sale here in the U.S. to see if any photos were chosen for publication. Some years it’s happened, some it hasn’t.

Wish me luck, everyone.

Oh, the photo at the top of Kat in California last year was one of the ones I submitted. I think I’ve posted the others here already.

read more

Ana Kalacoska/Ана КалачоскаAna Kalacoska

Born: 30.05.1989
Place: Skopje
Height: 178 cm
Bust: 83 cm
Waist: 59 cm
Hips: 89 cm
Hair Color: Light-Brown
Eye Color: Green
Agencies: Models In (Macedonia) and FMI (China, Taiwan)

read more

Slikite se izbrisani po baranje na Ana Danchevska
The photos have been removed at the request of the model

read more

In the year 1494, a Dominican priest named Girolamo Savonarola became the religious and political leader of the city of Florence, Italy. Savonarola was not somebody who could be called a “fun loving guy.” Quite the opposite. He came to power preaching and ranting against what he considered to be excess. This was during the Renaissance, and that included fine art – something that had been supported by Florence’s previous rulers, the Medici family.

Three years later, Savonarola put his plan into action, holding a public burning of many of these lewd and immoral items in the Piazza della Signoria – an event that came to be known as the Bonfire of the Vanities. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the event:

[Savonarola and his followers] sent boys from door to door collecting items associated with moral laxity: mirrors, cosmetics, lewd pictures, pagan books, immoral sculptures (which he wanted to be transformed into statues of the saints and modest depictions of biblical scenes), gaming tables, chess pieces, lutes and other musical instruments, fine dresses, women’s hats, and the works of immoral and ancient poets, and burnt them all in a large pile in the Piazza della Signoria of Florence. Many fine Florentine Renaissance artworks were lost in Savonarola’s notorious bonfires — including paintings by Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo Buonarroti, which are said to have been thrown on the pyres by the artists themselves, though there are some who question this claim.

Now, move forward 512 years in time and westward across the Atlantic Ocean to the "Land of the Free," where we see that Savonarola has risen again. This time, he goes by the name of the Unites States Department of Justice. Unlike the original, who destroyed works of art that had already been created, this new Savonarola is trying to prevent such artworks from ever being created in the first place through the implementation of regulations that are difficult or impossible to abide by.

Thinking about the similarities between the Justice Department’s new rules and the likes of Savonarola, I began to wonder what well known (and less well known) art works created throughout history may never have been made had the artists had to live with the new 2257 rules. After all, any art work displaying below the waist frontal nudity in a lascivious manner could have landed these artists behind bars for five years. Let’s take a look at some.

The Venus of Urbino by Tiziano Vecellio (aka Titian) [seen at the top]

Titian was the greatest painter in Venice during the Renaissance, and his “Venus of Urbino” may well be the sexiest painting ever made. I saw a program on TV not long ago in which a British art historian gave a description of it as such: she is a courtesan who has just finished pleasing one of her clients (as indicated by her tousled hair), but despite that, as seen from her direct look at the viewer, she is game for more. The placement of her left hand calls attention to where it’s placed. If this isn’t a lascivious depiction, then what is?

So, if Titian didn’t have positive proof of this woman’s age and real name (did she really use her real name in her line of work?) plus any maiden names or other aliases, and kept them available for inspection at least 20 hours a week, he could have gotten sent to the Doge’s (or should I say “ DoJ’s “ ?) prison for five years. The fact that a cute little dog has been exposed to such indecency and lewdness may have gotten him in trouble with the VSPCA, as well.

Allegory of Venus by Agnolo Bronzino

This painting by another great artist of the Italian Renaissance has so much in it to have gotten Bronzino into hot water. First, we can see the woman’s pubic area. Second, a boy is grasping her by the breast, which should render the whole thing lascivious. Third, there’s an even younger boy with his genitals exposed. Topping it all off is the presence of the proverbial ‘dirty old man’ with a beard at the upper right. Would Bronzino have dared to create such an artwork if he didn’t have all of the proper ID’s and papers kept in alphabetical order, made available for inspection at least 20 hours a week, for fear of getting bread and water for five years?

The Turkish Bath by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

A large group of naked women getting all hot and sweaty together? With lots of frontal nudity and depictions of pubic areas? Ingres really would have been asking for trouble by painting this one if these new 2257 rules were in effect. How could this not be lascivious in nature? I mean, just look at those two women groping each other on the right side, second and third in. If Ingres didn’t want to have trouble when the gendarmes pounded on his door, he would need to have had the proper documentation to identify all of the women in this painting to be on the safe side.

Olympia by Edouard Manet

Okay, so this painting really was scandalous when it first went public. Similar to the painting by Titian, but this courtesan is defiantly proud of what she’s doing. Lascivious? You betcha! If “Olympia” wasn’t her real name, Manet had better have gotten her real name – and any other names she may have worked under - or else! (And if Manet told the authorities that she wouldn’t tell him her aliases – well, he could have time to think it over during his five years in the Bastille.)

[Yes, I know that the Bastille was destroyed before Manet's time, but let's pretend.]

The Birth of Venus by Alexander Cabanel

A group of naked little boys leering down at a woman lying there stark naked with her pubic area exposed? Shameful. Absolutely shameful! Just look at the face of the kid second from the right and try to imagine what lascivious thoughts are going through his mind. Better make sure all of those IDs are in order.

Venus Crucified by Norman Lindsay

If you saw the movie Sirens (also about attempted censorship of art), you should know about this one. I’m not sure how lascivious this depiction of frontal nudity is, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the government used that as an excuse to put this artist away. Lindsay had better have had the model’s proper ID (the movie claimed that it was his wife), and they’d best not go on any vacations, either, should the authorities come knocking on their door wanting to see the papers. After all, 20 hours a week is 20 hours a week – no exceptions! (as far as I know).

The Sleepers by Gustave Courbet

The new rules say that anybody depicted having either real or simulated sex need to be properly documented, so that would seem to cover this one. It doesn’t even have to be lascivious (though that would seem to go with the territory). Would Courbet have made this painting if he knew that failing to get such documentation, not keeping the documents in the proper order or not making them available for inspection at least 20 hours per week could land him in prison?

Phryne before the Areopagus by Jean-Leon Gerome

A beautiful young woman is stripped naked in front of a group of men, in a story from ancient Greece. Some look like dirty old men with long beards, so there’s got to be some lascivious meaning in here, and as her pubic region can be seen, Monsieur Gerome would need to have followed the letter of the law and kept the model’s ID in perfect order if 2257 were in effect. (Of course, to avoid any potential problems, he could simply have opted to paint something else without a nude in it. Besides being less trouble for him, it would have been less work for the government to do, too.)

The Rape of Prosperina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

A great work by the master of the Italian Baroque, this time a sculpture. So let’s see what we have here. An old man with a long beard is trying to carry off a beautiful, naked young woman who looks like she’d much rather be somewhere else. This could be any dirty old man’s fantasy. (Well, at least dirty old men with long beards.) I’m sure that the old boy here has got some real lascivious thoughts in mind, doubtless regarding her pubic region, which can probably be seen. Add to that the fact that the title has the work “rape” in it, which is just asking for trouble. It may be a borderline case of 2257, but if you were Bernini, would you have wanted to take the chance of being labeled a sex offender and getting sent up the Tiber in irons for five years for failing to keep proper documentation, telling everybody where you keep those documents or making them available at least 20 hours a week? Perhaps not – and another masterpiece would have been kept from the world.

(Actually, I think David Swanson could probably make a good attempt at recreating this as a photo with Abigail. I would only suggest that he do so before March 18 of this year, unless he wants to turn his home or studio into an office with regular business hours of at least 20 a week. After all, it is our civic duty as creative artists and good citizens to accommodate the government in all it does to keep our lives free from indecency –and not the other way around!)

The Nymphaeum by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Another large group of nude women with several exposed pubic areas. Not as hot and sweaty as the painting by Ingres, but this one is titled “The Nymphaeum,” which may suggest that some of these woman are nymphomaniacs, and we know how lascivious they can be in regard to their nether regions. Again, it may be a long shot, but the government needs to entertain all possibilities in the fight for public decency. Bouguereau would have needed to have the proper names, aliases and maiden names for all of the girls depicted (to be safe) and to have sat around in his studio for at least 20 hours a week in case the FBI (French Bureau of Investigation) decided to pay him a visit. Or – he could have just painted a landscape without any nudes just to avoid the bother.

The Nude Maja by Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes

This is one of the most famous works by the great Spanish painter Goya. (He painted another version of this young woman in the same pose and setting but fully clothed, so we’re not so interested in that one.) Again, would a painting like this fall under 2257 jurisdiction? There’s no sex going on, and no genitals can be seen, but her pubic area is exposed (you can see some hair), and the way she’s lying there with her arms behind her, looking coyly at the viewer, can we be certain that there’s no lascivious intent in either her or the artist? If you were Goya, would you have taken that chance and painted this version, or just stopped with the clothed one? Even if he had the proper ID, do you think someone like Goya had the time to sit around his studio for 20 hours a week with regularly posted hours?

The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet

Another one by Courbet. If any one of the artworks I’m showing today would raise the hackles of the 2257 people at DoJ, this would be it. Sure, porno magazines may show stuff like this and more, but they have offices where they can keep their records with regular business hours. Do you think an artist like Courbet could have done that? And just think - if this very same painting were to be made on or after March 18 of this year, for it to be displayed in a museum or gallery in the United States (if I understand correctly), the full disclosure of where the ID records may be seen and when must accompany it on the wall. If 2257 doesn't apply to paintings, then it surely would to a similar erotic photograph. So the question once again is: do you create something like this or do you play it safe?

Of course, some of the things I’ve written here are exagerations on my part, and I’m sure they’ll seem that way to most readers, too. The problem is that the church ladies and John Ashcroft’s of the world may one day say these very same things but do so with absolute seriousness. That’s what’s scary. (Just ask Jock Sturges.)

Finally, getting back to Savonarola, if you’re wondering what happened to him, the people of Florence finally tired of him and revolted. He was eventually tortured, hanged and then burned in the Piazza della Signoria – the same spot where his Bonfire of the Vanities took place. Let’s hope that these ridiculous new 2257 rules share a similar fate.

read more

So, here we are on this side of the yearly divide. Happy new year, everyone! I hope this will be a year filled with joy and good health for everyone.

It’s also time for me to do my review of the year 2008. I’d wanted to actually write it and post it in 2008, but I’ve just been spending too many hours at the office to have had time to write it until now.

So, as for everybody else, 2008 had its high points and its low points for me. I’ll start off by naming a couple of positive things. First, I lost 20 pounds in about four months. It’s something I had wanted to do, and I finally got it in my mind to actually do it – and I did it. Another good thing about 2008 was that I did not get hit by a car! (For those new to my blog, I did get hit by a car in 2007. You can read about here.)

Unfortunately, just because I didn’t get hit by a car, I still did my (unwilling) best to keep the medical profession in New York gainfully employed. During the course of the year, I paid visits to my dentist, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist, pulmanologist, cardiologist, dermatologist, orthopedist and otolaryngologist. (Jee, did I leave any out?) I underwent numerous breathing tests and electrocardiograms, two echocardiograms, two stress tests, one CAT scan, three endoscopies, some hearing tests, wore a heart monitor for 24 hours, made one visit to the emergency room and had a rubber hose stuck up my nose and down my throat twice. (Jee, did I leave anything out?)

Still, the news wasn’t all bad. The cardiologist says that I have the heart of a marathon runner, the pulmanologist says that I have the lungs of “almost a super man” and the otolaryngologist says that my equilbrium is so good that I could qualify to be a fighter pilot. I guess I just need to deal with the other things that are bothering me – but maybe it’s all just part of this thing called ‘getting old.’

Anyway, on to the months.

January and February

The year began fairly quietly, without any new photography happening during the first two months of the year. The main thing I did photographically was to finish developing the film that I had shot in 2007. Besides that, I was also planning and preparing for my big foreign trip of the year.


This was the month that I made my big, two-week trip to Southeast Asia – my third trip to that part of the world in four years. My destinations this time were Laos and Cambodia. I had been to Laos two years earlier for five days, but this time I spent eight days in that country – mostly to places that I had not visited on my earlier trip. The one exception (and not a bad one) was the UNESCO world heritage town of Luang Prabang – the former Lao royal capital. Some of the newer places I saw were the current capital, Vientiane (often described as “the quietest capital in the world”), a town called Vang Vieng located in a very beautiful area and the Plain of Jars – an area with many huge, ancient stone jars scattered about (and no one today is exactly sure what their purpose was).

The trip to Cambodia for six days was my first to that country with such a glorious ancient history and such a terrible recent one. My tour’s first stop was the town of Siem Reap and the nearby ruins of Angkor – the capital of the mighty Khmer kingdom that ruled over much of Southeast Asia centuries ago. I had wanted to visit Angkor for some time, and I saw many of its sites - Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Prea Khan, the Bayon, etc. I took a fair amount of photos, though of course to try to do Angkor proper justice, I’ll need to go back on my own with a private guide and not as part of a tour group. I really didn’t expect more than just an introduction to Angkor, and that I did get – with a few good photos, too, I think.

Our other stop in Cambodia was the present day capital, Phnom Penh. Much of what we saw dealt with the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s and seeing some of these things was very emotional, indeed, such as the Khmer Rouge prison, Toul Sleng, and the killing fields at Choeung Ek.


April was in some ways one of the best months of the year and also one of the worst. As for its being one of the worst, the month began with me feeling chest pains, followed by an incident when I thought I was having a heart attack on the subway, followed by several visits to the cardiologist and several heart tests, plus a visit to the emergency room at a local hospital. (I even saw some of the same doctors who treated me after I'd been hit by the car.) After that and more tests, it was found that my heart is fine but the problem was with my stomach. I’m taking medication for it now and the condition seems to be improving, so that’s good. An additional ‘benefit’ of all this was that it gave me the impetus for me to lose the weight that I did.

As for the good, I made my first nude images of the year, beginning with Carly Champagne on one of her visits to New York. It was the first time that I ever photographed a model on a weeknight following a day at work, but a weeknight was the only time she had available and I didn’t want to miss a chance to work with her again. It was a long night, and as I’ve written before, I’m unsure of how good the images will be, having worked with her in my home studio set-up where my photo skills are not quite what they are outdoors. Still, I think the effort was worth it. (As with my other photo shoots of the year, I have not developed much of the film yet, due to my wanting to take it easy while getting over my medical woes.)

In the middle of the month, I also made a trip to Las Vegas, where I met my friend Terrell Neasley and went out with his group on one of his photo outings, where I joined the others in photographing the model Lydia. Coming shortly after the onset of my medical difficulties, it was definitely good to get out, do some work and feel good afterwards.

The last week of April may have been the best of all, as I was very fortunate to play host to the very beautiful model Maria Eriksson on her first trip to New York. I had met and
photographed Maria for the first time in California the previous year, and it was certainly a treat to have such a charming visitor for a week. It also gave me a chance to play tour guide and act as a model’s chaperone for the first time – something rather odd for a photographer to do, as one must get used to just standing around and watching. I also photographed her for a few hours in my studio one day.

May and June

I didn’t do too much in May, but in June I worked with the Australian model Jessamyn on her visit to New York. Though the weather in June was warm enough to work outside, I photographed her in my studio set-up as I really don’t know of any good outdoor locations within a reasonable driving distance from where I live – something I need to work on.

I did do some outdoor photography later in the month when I went up to Woodstock, New York, to attend a photo workshop at the Center for Photography there. Woodstock is where I began photographing nudes back in 1995, and it’s always nice to go back for a visit. Though not billed specifically as a nude workshop, we did get to photograph some nude models one day – and as yet (sad to say) I have not developed any of that film. (As I’ve been saying for some time now, I have a big backlog.)


July was a month for a week-and-a-half long domestic journey, mostly spent visiting family in Las Vegas, followed by a few days in San Francisco. I did not do any photography in or near Vegas, but a did make a long day trip to Utah, where I photographed Tamara near Zion National Park. It was my first trip to Utah, and though it was very long day (and night!), it was worth the effort as the area around Zion is very beautiful (as is Tamara).

In San Francisco, I was met early one morning by all six feet and two inches of Kat Love (second photo down from the top), who drove me off across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County, where we made some photos at Muir Woods and at a location on the coast. I’ve developed most of the film from that day, and it was certainly one of my most successful photo days of year (with Kat getting most of the credit for that, I have to say!). Muir Woods is a beautiful forest location, but as it’s a popular public spot (and it having been a weekend day, no less) we had to get there very early – which we did. I thought we’d have to trek off to get some privacy, but we were there early enough to work right next to the paved pathway. When things started getting too crowded, we went off the next location, where an overcast sky made for some nice even lighting.


It had been three years since any of my photos were exhibited publicly, but that came to an end this summer, when two of my photos were selected to be included in the Artful Nude exhibit at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado. I had read about this exhibition back in March and figured that I should enter some work, though I nearly didn’t do it as I waited until the very last day to submit work (after spending much of the day at the cardiologist’s office, no less) in April. I’m glad I did, as not one but two of my photos were chosen – making me one of only four out of the 50 photographers represented to have two prints in the show.

Though the exhibit went up in mid-July, the reception/opening night was not until early August, and as it was on the Friday night of one of my long weekends, I decided to attend. As there was also a workshop that weekend lead by the juror of the exhibit, Kim Weston, I decided to sign up for that, too, so I spent two days photographing four models, as well. Another positive thing was that one of the other participants told me that he was a fan of my work, having seen it on the web, and he ended up buying a print from me a month or so later. (Now why can’t I meet more people like that?)


September was definitely the busiest month for me as far as shooting film was concerned, as I attended the Community Zoe get-together at Twentynine Palms in California, near one of the entrances to Joshua Tree National Park. This was my first time attending the event in several years and was also the first time I stayed for the entire week. It was good to see old friends and acquaintances and to meet new ones, as well. Regarding photography, I worked with nine different models over the course of six days, shooting 49 rolls of film – 45 rolls of 220 film with my Pentax 67 and four rolls of 120 with my Holga. (Madame Bink is shown here.) I’ve only developed nine of the 49 rolls so far – all with the Pentax - but I am really looking forward to seeing the results from the Holga!


Throughout the summer and early autumn, I had been developing film as much as was I able to, and was making decent progress with it (though most of that film still needs to be filed away into pages properly). That all came to an end in mid-October when my mother, sister and niece came to visit me until the beginning of November. They basically took over my apartment, preventing me from really doing anything photography related – developing, filing, scanning, etc.

November and December

When my family finally left to go back to their homes, I was left to pick up the pieces of my home and try to put everything back in order. Once that was done, I decided that I really needed to keep straightening up around here and to do some “de-crapperizing” (a word I learned from an Australian man I met on the tour to Southeast Asia). That task continues to this day, and will go on until I’ve cleared enough away so that I can at least print photos here again. I still haven’t developed or filed any film since early October, either, but hopefully I'll get back to that soon, too.

Though I wasn’t planning to do any more model photography due to the film backlog, I did photograph Sibyl Nin one afternoon in my ‘studio.’ Sibyl lives in Brooklyn and offered a reduction in her usual modeling fee for a short time, so being a bargain hunter, I set something up. It’ll be a while until I develop the film, so I can show now is a shot from my pocket digital camera.

November was also the month when I published my two Figures of Grace calendars for 2009 – a totally new one with indoor nudes, and a reprise of my 2008 outdoor nude calendar updated for 2009. Copies can be purchased by clicking here.

The year ended of course on a down note, with the implementation of new, extremely restrictive federal regulations on nude photography coming into effect in March. We’ll all have to wait to see what happens with this one, though I’m planning to make another posting about it.

And that's it folks - both the good and the bad. I guess we have to learn to deal with both if we want to survive.

The other thing of note is that I completed my first full year of writing this blog, having only began in March of 2007. I hope that you’ve all enjoyed my photography and my writing. If you’ve managed to read all the way down this far, I suppose that you have, so I’ll say thank you for stopping by and hope that you’ll continue to do in 2009.


On the subject of blogs, the latest – and sadly, the last – Fluffytek nude blog awards were announced a couple of days ago. My congratulations go to Jimmy D for winning the top award this year. I know that it gave me great satisfaction when my blog was awarded the top Golden Fluffy last year (even though I never knew that such a thing even existed!), so I’m sure that Jimmy will appreciate it equally so. (You can read the full list of awards here.)
Congratulations also to my friends Dave Levingston and Stephen Haynes for winning awards for best single image and best art nude blog, respectively, plus Dave Swanson for best new blog and Unbearable Lightness and Joe Crachiola for best writing.

I again want to thank Lin and Richard for last year’s honor and for this year “special kudos,” as well as all of the supportive comments they’ve made the past two years. Although I didn’t get a prize this time around, my friend Dave L said that once you’ve won an Oscar, you’re always an “Oscar winner,” so I guess I can still proudly call myself a Golden Fluffy winner!

While I’m at it, thanks also to Chris St. James for supporting me in his Univers d’Artistes blog and for providing his support in other matters (which I plan to write about shortly), and to Michael Barnes of Art Nudes blog for once again mentioning the availability of my calendar on his blog.

read more