Archive for April 2009

Aleksandra ReaAleksandra Nasteska

Born: 10.04.1981
Place: Skopje
Height: 173 cm
Weight: 52 kg
Bust: 86 cm
Waist: 66 cm
Hips: 89 cm
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel

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It’s been over a week since my last posting. If there are any people out there who really miss reading my ramblings, I do apologize. To be honest, I really haven’t done much photographically in recent weeks. I decided to take a break during holiday time earlier this month, and I just haven’t gotten back into doing things again. Lord knows I’ve got a ton to do, and as I’ve got a lot of photo-taking planned for the upcoming months, I should try as best as I can to take care of what I’ve already got.

As with many things, though, the hardest part is often just getting started.

The biggest event since my last posting was going to a free concert at Temple Emanu-El here in New York last Wednesday. It was an opera concert (with piano accompaniment rather than orchestra) sponsored by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation featuring singers from the Metropolitan Opera. Some of the singers were well known, others less so.

The concert began with an attractive young American mezzo-soprano named Kate Aldrich striding on stage wearing a red, sleeveless, strapless to sing the "Habanera" from Bizet’s Carmen. She later sang the “Nacqui all’affanno” from Rossini’s La Cenerentola. When I was leaving the temple, I waited a few minutes for her to come out so I could say hello. I told her that I actually have a ticket to hear her sing Carmen this summer at a location outside of New York, so she told me to drop by to say hello after that performance. Perhaps I will.

Other highlights included hearing and seeing the always beautiful Barbara Frittoli (photo, left, from several years ago) from Milan, Italy, singing the "Ave Maria" from Verdi’s Otello and the tenor Matthew Polenzani singing “Una furtive lagrima” from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (which I ‘ve written about earlier) and Franz Lehar's “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz,” along with the veteran bass Samuel Ramey singing “Old Man River” from Showboat.

Photographically, about the only thing I’ve done recently was to prep some photos of Vietnam for the new website that I’m working on. The website is pretty much fully designed. I just need to prep the photos and upload them (a very time-consuming task) and design a home page.

Otherwise, I've finished reading the current issue of American Photo magazine. This issue is devoted to the digital age, and includes a segment on Flickr and what it calls Flickr superstars – people who regularly get tons of hits. I haven’t looked up any of them, but what struck my curiosity was that one of the photos – by a German fellow who mostly photographs his girlfriend – was a full frontal nude image. I’ve seen topless shots in American Photo before, but never before a full nude. What could be going on in their editorial offices?

Still, I gave up on Flickr long ago. I used to post stuff, but when I’d posted ten nudes and ten travel images and got only one comment (or so) after several weeks, I decided that it was pointless, so I took everything down. I also seem to remember Flickr having the right to use posted photos for their own purposes; I don’t know how true that was/is, but apparently that’s the way it is with Facebook – one reason I don’t post photos there.

The other problem with Flickr was the sheer volume of photos posted there. Digital cameras are great for taking lots of photos, so apparently people go out, shoot lots of photos and then they (seem to) post them all on Flickr. If I were running such a website, I would institute this rule: a maximum of one (maybe two) could be posted per week. That’s what I do with Community Zoe and Deviant Art, as I think that anything more is just overkill.

It’s ironic that the same issue of American Photo has a review of a new book about Robert Frank’s classic book, The Americans. It said that during his trips across the U.S. from 1955 to 1957, Frank shot more than 27,000 photographs and edited them down to just 83 for inclusion in the book. I think that’s about a third of one per cent. If the people uploading to Flickr shot 27,000 photos, would they post all 27,000 – or would they be able to edit it down to only 20,000 or so???

At the top: another Holga image made on Prince Edward Island in 2006.

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Katarina Ivanovska Photo1Katarina Ivanovska-photo for Dolce&Gabbana

Katarina Ivanovska Photo3Katarina Ivanovska photo for Benetton

Katarina IvanovskaKatarina Ivanovska photo for GAS

Katarina Ivanovska

Photos of Katarina Ivanovska for various magazines and advertising campaigns.

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This will be a quick posting by me today. Dinner’s on the stove and in the oven so I want to finish writing this before I go off to eat and relax for the evening. I’ve got two medical appointments coming up this week so I just want to take it easy tonight.

Actually, I really don’t have much to report photographically. I tried to straighten up a bit more here this week, but the biggest event was last night, when I went to the Bonni Benrubi Gallery on East 57 Street to attend the opening of the new exhibit of photographs by the Austrian photographer Josef Hoflehner.

I first became aware of Josef’s work fairly recently when I saw a portfolio of his black & white photography in the most recent issue of LensWork magazine. Then I came across him on Facebook and sent him a message telling him that I liked his photos in LensWork. He was kind enough to respond, add me as a friend and invited me to the opening last night.

At the gallery, it was good to finally see some of his actual silver prints, having only seen his work in the magazine and on the web. It was also nice to meet Josef and talk about his work and photography in general for a bit. The only downside of the exhibit is that he has produced so much good work that the limited wall space in the gallery didn’t permit them to put up enough to do his talent justice.

If you’re wondering what type of photography Josef does, it’s long exposure landscapes and interesting cityscape photos, as well. (He did seem impressed, though, when I gave him one of my business cards with a nude image on it…LOL). To see Josef’s work, visit his website here.

Otherwise, I watched some more movies on DVD: Strictly Ballroom, a wonderful and giddy Australian film directed by Baz Luhrman about competitive ballroom dancing, and V for Vendetta, about a futuristic, fascist England which some say is beginning to resemble the real thing these days.

Finally, at the top, a photo of Nemesis in Dave Levingston’s studio in Ohio from several years ago.

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Sanja Nikolik in Music IdolSanja Nikolik

Sanja Nikolik/Сања НиколиќSanja Nikolik/Сања Николиќ

Sanja Nikolik/Сања НиколиќSanja Nikolik/Сања Николиќ

Sanja with macedonian pop musician Robert Bilbilov
Sanja and Robert Bilbilov

Model: Sanja Nikolik
Photos: Dejan Panovski and others
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Firstly, I’d like to begin today’s post by thanking those of you who wrote to wish me a happy birthday last week. I guess that if Dave Swanson’s father can make it to 89, there’s hope for me, too. The evening of my birthday I went to my cousin’s house and I was actually surprised with a nice birthday cake.

And, in case anyone’s been wondering, I went through the pile of mail from last week and there was indeed an AARP application in the mix. (I just wonder how they knew.)

Now, to the present. Today is a day that I have been dreading. Not that anything terrible was going to happen today. That’s left for tomorrow – as today is the final day of my five-day holiday weekend (hey, I could get used to this!) and tomorrow it’s back to work. I took off Thursday and Friday from work for the holiday, then came Saturday and Sunday, followed by today being an off day as part of my regular work schedule. (Like I wrote last time: twelve more years!)

Still, I am happy to have had the five days off this one time and I did accomplish a lot. I didn’t do too much photographically, but I did make a lot of progress cleaning up around here – getting rid of stuff I don’t need and moving a lot of stuff into my new storage bin. The good news about this, photographically, is that it brings me a lot closer to printing photos again. Hopefully it’s just a matter of time now.

I also spent time here watching some good films on DVD. Between Friday night and Saturday afternoon I watched Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments on DVD – both the 1923 silent version and the better known 1956 version. The later one I’d seen many times (including once in a movie theater when I was a kid during a revival screening), and it was good to see it properly in widescreen on TV. The earlier version I had never seen before and it was certainly effective, though it was really two films in one – the first third being the Biblical story of the Exodus, with the remainder being a modern parable of morality and immorality.

I watched a couple of others, too. One was The Country Girl, with Bing Crosby, William Holden and Grace Kelly in her Oscar-winning performance. The film that really got me thinking, though, was A Man For All Seasons, with Paul Scofield in his Oscar-winning role as Sir Thomas More, the man who refused to yield to King Henry VIII when he wanted to divorce one woman to marry another. Much of what was discussed dealt with the law, and it made me think about the new 2257 laws that came into effect last month.

First, More’s future son-in-law says that he would break any law in order to stop the Devil, but More says no. He would give the Devil the benefit of the law as much as much as he would give it to any man - not for the Devil’s sake, but for his own, because when the protections of the law can be overlooked for one, they can be overlooked for all. That assumes, of course, that such laws are written in a fair manner and are designed to protect people – but what of laws (like the new 2257 rules) that are nominally meant to protect but seem to have a much more insidious purpose?

Ultimately, More felt that the law would protect him via his own silence. He would not take an oath acknowledging Henry VIII as head of the Church of England, but neither did he speak against it – and without any such declaration, the law said that he could not be convicted. Still, they were out to get to get him by hook or by crook, and they did – apparently via false, perjured testimony. More had opposed Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, so I guess it’s ironic that when Henry tired of her, he (or his people) had her convicted and executed on trumped up charges, too.

All of this is to say that when one puts faith in the legal system, that system must act fairly and the laws written must be just. I just wonder how much justice there is in the new 2257 rules and how fairly the legal system will deal with them.

As to the photo at the top, this was one of the unintentional double exposures I made with my new Holga at Prince Edward Island, Canada, in the summer of 2006. When I use the Holga, I can never seem to remember whether I’ve advanced the film or not. If I have advanced the film but I’m not sure and I advance it again, I lose a frame of film. If I think I have advanced it but I didn’t, then the result is a double exposure like you see here.

Still, serendipitous things like this can yield interesting results. The first image made was of Rachel lying down on the rocky beach. When she stood up, I asked her to pose for one more photo, to which she gave me a “what do you want from me now?” look. I think the combined image looks sort of funky. When I showed it to Rachel, her response was “I’ve got a boob on my left arm.”

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Marijana Aceski/Маријана АцескиMarijana Aceski

Born: 16.08.1979
Place: Skopje
Height: 176 cm
Bust: 83 cm
Waist: 60 cm
Hips: 89 cm
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Black

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Today is my birthday. I am now 50 years old. I now qualify to be a full member of AARP. Does this make me officially “old”??? (Maybe I'll just grow a long beard like my fellow Dave's Levingston and Swanson to show my age...)

On a positive note, I like to say that I am not just a year older, but also a year closer to retirement. Unfortunately, I still need to wait another 12 years before I can take up photography full time!

Above: sunset at St. Tropez back in 1996, from the days when I was shooting medium format color transparency film in the hopes of making a few dollars doing stock photography. (Like most of the things I’ve tried to do, that idea didn’t really pan out, either.)

Finally, whether you celebrate Passover, Good Friday, Easter or something else, have a good holiday weekend, everyone.

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Iva KanceskaIva Kanceska

Iva KanceskaIva Kanceska

Iva KanceskaIva Kanceska

Iva Kanceska (21) from Skopje is the most famous Macedonian pinup model. She is working as a full-time web designer but in a free time working as a pinup model. Her passions are the tattoos and piercing. She has a big colorfull japanese tattoo on her back and 5 piercings. Everybody knows her about it.
Iva's photos can be found on many specialised sites for tattoos and piercing like:,,,, where she was on the cover for 3 days. More informations about Iva you can find at her MySpace page.

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It’s been back to normal for me after spending four days going to the AIPAD photography show last weekend. I also took the time on Sunday to see the preview of the photo auction at Sotheby’s, so between that and the show I saw a tremendous amount of great photo work, and for the past few days I’ve been suffering a bit from photography withdrawal.

Still, I’ve been busy doing things like getting my apartment back into shape. I also went to see L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) at the Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday night – my last opera at the Met this season. This is one of the best comic operas and I had never seen it before. It was good fun with a lot of beautiful music, the best known being the gorgeous, slow tenor aria “Una furtiva lagrima.”

After the opera ended I spoke with an elderly couple who were sitting behind me. They said they’ve been going to the Met for decades, and we talked as we walked out to the street.

After I bid them a good evening, I went down into the subway station for my ride home. A fellow standing on the platform with a saxophone asked if I had just seen L’Elisir d’Amore. I said yes, and he said that he’d been playing music from that opera that evening. I told him that I’d never heard “Una furtive lagrima” played on a saxophone. His reply: “You will now,” and he proceeded to play it on his sax – and quite well, too!

I reached into my back pocket and pulled out a couple of quarters that I tossed into his open case, but unfortunately the train arrived right away so I couldn’t hear him finish the piece. Usually I want the train to arrive right away as waits can be long late at night, but in this case, I wouldn’t have minded waiting another couple of minutes.

(For those of you interested in hearing this bel canto gem of an aria, you can hear it and see it performed by Luciano Pavarotti by clicking here.)

I was thinking today about the Seinfeld episode in which George’s doctor charges patients when they don’t show up for appointments, but then the doctor cancels an appointment George had just so she can go skiing, and George wonders why the doctor doesn't pay him in this case.

Yesterday, I looked over the Model Mayhem page of a model I’ve worked with and I see that she now charges photographers a deposit against cancellations. She wrote that she has to do this as she models full-time and depends upon her modeling fees for all of her income. I guess I can understand this from her point of view, but as much as I’d like to work with her again, this is something I’m not willing to submit to.

Still, let’s consider the reverse. You may remember that I booked a model a few weeks ago for one last photo shoot before the new 2257A regulations went into effect. She never showed up and didn’t call to cancel in advance (though she did write and apologize later). So, just as George wondered why his doctor shouldn’t pay him for canceling, should photographers expect models to be responsible when they cancel?

I wrote before that one reason I don’t like to rent studio space is that I’m stuck with a rental bill even if the model’s a no-show and with nothing to show for it. Suppose I had rented a studio for this occasion. Should the model be responsible for part of that cost? Even without a studio rental fee, there was the set up time involved. It took me a while to set up my studio at home and it took me a while to put it all away – time that was ultimately wasted – not to mention the time I spent waiting for her to show up.

This particular model doesn’t ask for a deposit, but I was just using it as an example of a model not showing up in wondering who bears what responsibility in certain cases. I guess I know what George would say.

Finally, today was a beautiful, sunny, warm early spring day here in New York. I spent several hours in the afternoon walking around inspecting buildings as part of my job. It got me to thinking about springtime and a video I came across recently. It’s an old one from the BBC about the spring harvest in Il Ticino, the Italian section of Switzerland. See it by clicking here. It’s amusing and worth watching for its few minutes – especially if you like Italian food!
The photo at the top is one of Kat, photographed at Joshua Tree National Park in 2004.

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