Posted on October 29, 2015
A stunningly crisp and detailed image of one of the first fallen leaves of the season as it sat in the shadows of the early morning sunrise. I don’t often take close up images like this anymore, but I couldn’t resist the effort to capture the light and and liveliness of this leaf– even though it is dead. It seemed to be standing on it’s own two feet enjoying the warm morning sunshine and asking for a photograph. If you have the opportunity to view this image on a 4K or 5K monitor, go for it, you’ll be shocked at the detail that is contained in the image.
Taken with a Leica M Monochrom and a 75mm Apo Summicron lens.
Available as 1 of 50 archival prints by clicking here.
Posted on October 5, 2015
… one of my favorite photos of all time…
I took this image while walking along the newest far-west section of the High Line Park, near the Hudson Rail Yard, using a classic “street photography” technique that I decided to start experimenting with. This was shot “from the hip” with the aperture set at f/8, and the lens pre-focused to about 8ft using the distance scale. I’m certainly not an expert street shooter, so this image is about 2% skill and 98% luck, but it turned out fantastic!
The light is exactly how it appeared on that late Sunday evening, the shadows are dark, and the details are crisp. And yes, the gentleman pictured here did actually look this fashion forward.
Posted on September 24, 2015
This photo was taken on an empty boat dock during the “golden hour” where the evening sun has a certain warmth and comfort that can’t be felt at other times of the day. This gentleman was alone on the dock enjoying the last warm rays of the summer sun on the last day of August, and this candid photograph of that moment is one of my favorites in my entire collection.
I used a Leica M9P and a Leica 90mm f2.0 pre-ASPH lens manufactured in 1983 for this shot, and I think this is an excellent example of the sense of realism that these vintage devices are capable of capturing. I’ve never been able to convey such a sense of warmth and relaxation with more modern equipment, and I’m tremendously pleased with my decision to switch from Canon/Zeiss to vintage Leica for this reason.
Posted on August 9, 2015
Evening light outlining the iconic financial hub, the Citigroup Building in Midtown.
For me this image is all about the light. With an older camera like the Leica M9P I used for this shot, you have only two choices in a situation like this. You can meter in the center bright portion of the image and obliterate the shadow detail, or you can meter in the dark portion of either lower corner and preserve more detail in the shadows but completely blow out the highlights. The lack of choices here would be considered a major fault of a camera system by many modern photographers using ultra modern sensor technology like the Sony A7 series, but I actually like that the old-school Leica system makes it this simple to capture the images just as it looked to me at the time, not a pumped up, semi-CGI looking version of it.
Don’t get me wrong, the landscapes and cityscapes that I’ve seen coming out of the Sony system are stunning, but I’ve never been in a situation where I could see every detail in both the brightest portions and the darkest portions of the image at the same time. The human eye is not capable of seeing light and dark that way, and a sensor that creates an image that the human eye could never see always looks a bit artificial and unnatural. It loses the feeling, the allure, the reason why that scene prompted me to put the camera to my eye in the first place.
It’s all about the light here. It feels warm. It reminds of you of that relaxing evening summer light we’ve all seen and enjoyed. And it’s ironic that the Citigroup Building is highlighted here because it takes a small fortune to purchase a Leica camera even though the technology is considered outdated and irrelevant nowadays.
Taken with a Leica M9P (out-of-production) and a Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 version I lens (also out-of-production).
Posted on August 9, 2015
It’s been quite a while since I posted a photo on this site. A hectic work schedule at my day job, and a relative lack of inspiration from my photography gear, led me to put photography to the side for a while… something that is occasionally necessary with almost any artistic endeavor. My beloved Canon 5D Mark III and lovely collection of Carl Zeiss lenses stopped inspiring me to go out and take photos, so I made a very difficult decision to sell everything and take a step backwards in technology to see if it could get my creative juices flowing again. Within 24 hours of selling one of my prized possessions, the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon, the photographer who purchased it took a photo that I’ve been dreaming about for years. His name is Stanley Lewis and he took the above photo near his home in Florida with a lens that I adored for quite a while. That makes this photo special enough to post here, and to feature Stanley’s breathtaking work for everyone to enjoy. Thank you for your contribution Stan!
“Weddings on Pensacola Beach in the summer are always risky because it is either extremely hot or they are interrupted by the predictable afternoon thunderstorm. The one I was involved in on July 31 was no exception because in the early evening a severe thunderstorm rolled through just as the wedding was finishing up. I set up my Canon 5D MarkIII with a Zeiss 21mm lens for a night shot hoping to catch a lightning strike and I was fortunate to catch this stepped leader as it streaked downward across Pensacola Bay toward the Gulf of Mexico.”
Posted on July 2, 2014
There is a wonderful energy and light in the early mornings in New York, especially in the summer. The city is at it’s quietest, and there are usually only a few other people around who all appreciate this feeling. I came across this gentleman waiting for a bite on his series of fishing poles under the Queensborough Bridge while enjoying the view of Manhattan. The rising sunlight silhouetted the whole scene, and allowed this image to feel warm and quiet, just like it actually did at the time I was standing there. Taken with a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 wide angle manual focus lens at f/2.8.
Posted on June 16, 2014
This is one of my favorite photos, not because of the lovely colors or the wonderful city backdrop, but because of the motion. I find motion in still photography to be one of the most challenging techniques, especially when the motion has to do with people. Traditionally, long exposure photography that captures motion is in a nature setting where the photographer places his camera on a tripod and then exposes the shot for 15-30 seconds so that water and clouds will take on that lovely smooth appearance we’ve all seen in those beautiful landscape images. Capturing motion with people requires a completely different skill set. You have a use a neutral density filter on your lens so that you can increase the exposure time without letting too much light in. You have to have your focus just right, which is quite difficult with moving subjects and manual focus lenses. You have to have the exposure just right or your subject will end up so blurry that you can tell it’s a person, or not blurry enough so that it only looks like the image is out of focus rather than in motion. You have to keep your camera VERY steady so as not to blur the background, which is quite difficult when you’re not using a tripod and shooting at f 1/10 or 1/20. And you have to do all of this in less than a second before your subject runs away and makes your shot impossible. The whole thing sounds like a big hassle, and while it does lead to quite a few messy photos, when you get it right the results make for really interesting and original photographs. Taken with a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon manual focus lens with a B+W XSPro ND Vario Filter, handheld at 1/30, Shutter Priority mode with vario filter adjustments to ensure an aperture of at least f/8.
Posted on June 9, 2014
Every New Yorker has their favorite bench. You know the one you seek out whenever you need a break on a sunny weekend morning… when you feel like relaxing and reading a good book… the one that ruins your day if you see that someone else beat you to it. This photo captures that idea perfectly. Taken in a tiny east-end park in the Sutton Place area with a Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens wide open at f/2 and 1/5000.
Posted on June 4, 2014
The lovely soft, muted colors of a perfect pink rose with it mesmerizing swirls of petals. I love the off-center composition and the subtle transition to an out of focus foreground and background. This would make a beautiful display as a medium sized floating canvas print. Taken with a Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens.
Posted on May 30, 2014
This image turned out so much more interesting than I thought it would thanks to the use of a red filter that turned the clear blue sky into a dramatic cloud-free black backdrop for Midtown Manhattan. The details of these buildings and their spatial relationships to each other often go unnoticed in color, especially on a clear sunny day like this when the sunshine itself tends to wash out most of the detail. The simple foreground lawn also makes for a very interesting composition against the complexity of the city. Taken with a Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens at f/11.
Posted on May 27, 2014
Stunning and dramatic B&W photograph of the most southern section of Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island taken on Memorial Day 2014. The militaristic attention to detail in this park is a site to behold, as is the incredible amount of white marble used in the park’s construction. The precise angles and lines are a photographer’s dream, and the scene here is quite peaceful, especially early in the morning before the crowds come out to play. The floating statue of FDR is a fantastic centerpiece for this photograph, but if you walk down this walkway past the statue, you’ll find one of the most impressive views in all of New York at the southernmost tip of Roosevelt Island. Keep reading to take a look at a few other photos that capture this view and complete the Four Freedoms Collection; all photos are available as archival pigment prints for anyone looking to bring a piece of New York into their home.
Posted on May 27, 2014
Memorial Day of 2014 was one of the most beautiful days of the past few years… warm, sunny, just perfect. I came across this young woman using a parasol while strolling through Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and just had to capture the image. There is a very long stretch of pure white marble on the Western side of the park facing the city where the sun gets reflected so brightly that it created this wonderful scene of highlights and shadows that was perfect for a B&W photo, and the out of focus background has an almost dreamlike quality to it that I love. Taken with a Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo Sonnar manual focus lens.
Posted on May 26, 2014
Just what you want to see on a beautiful Sunday morning… the New York Times neatly rolled up and standing on your doorstep. Lovely B&W image with a tremendous amount of fine detail in the grain of the cement, and small amount of lens distortion pulling the paper out towards your eye just ever so slightly. Taken with a Zeiss 28mm f2 Distagon manual focus lens in Sutton Place.
Posted on May 24, 2014
Lovely architecture tucked away in the Upper East Side on Cherokee Place. Walking through this section of the city had a very European feel to it, and definitely felt unique in it’s own setting far off to the East in the mid-70’s. I lived on the Upper East Side for seven years, and this is the first time I’ve appreciated the fabulous detail here… the masonry, the ironwork, even the lamp post is a work of art. This image is available as a Giclee print, and would look beautiful in any New Yorker’s apartment. Taken with a Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus manual focus lens.
Posted on May 24, 2014
Beautiful B&W photograph of the evening sky opening up to illuminate a single spot on the ground in Long Island City. The cross shaped structure gave the scene a very spiritual appearance, especially because this ray of sunshine was so fleeting and disappeared back into the clouds just a few seconds later. The walkway along this park in LIC was severely damaged in Hurricane Sandy, and the new stairs around this cross were just completed a short while ago. Taken with a Zeiss 100mm f2 Makro Planar manual focus lens.
Posted on May 21, 2014
Gorgeous cloud display and incredible details in the structure of the 59th Street Bridge shot in B&W with a red filter. The morning light created this unbelievable pattern in the sky, and highlighted the beautiful lines, arches, and angles of the bridge. The scene disappeared to into a formless dark cloud less than two minutes after this photo was taken. This would make a magical medium sized archival print displayed in a simple black frame. Zeiss 55/1.4 manual focus lens.
Posted on May 19, 2014
Weekend sunset over Midtown Manhattan that slowly changed from beautiful, soothing, pastel pinks and blues to a more dramatic and colorful version of itself as the sun moved lower into the sky. Click the ‘Read more’ link below to see how this scene evolved over the course of about 5 minutes. Taken with a Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon lens at f/11.
Posted on May 15, 2014
It’s finally warm enough to brave the early mornings and capture some of the beautiful imagery that most of us never get to see. I love the sunny contrast in the clouds, and shining glimmer of the water, and the perfectly placed shadows of the buildings with the orange glow of the rising sun illuminating the eastern face of one of them. This would display beautifully as a medium sized canvas print. Taken with a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon manual focus lens.
Posted on May 14, 2014
Dramatic color rendition of a near-full moon taken on May 13th, 2014, one day before the actual full moon. I’ve found that both early morning and late evening scenes like this need to be captured in a hurry, not only because they are so fleeting in time, but also because you never know when, or if, you’ll get another chance. It’s so rare to be able to compose a full moon with a simple series of buildings, let alone with the combination of moonlight and the very distant setting sun illuminating the whole scene providing this contrasty and subdued color profile. This would make a fantastic display as a floating canvas print. Taken with a Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo Sonnar manual focus lens.
Posted on May 13, 2014
Beautiful B&W artistic composition of a ships mast. The shadows and highlights of the morning sunlight are particularly striking, and the image comes across as powerful but somehow still pleasantly nautical. Taken in a Mystic CT shipyard with a Zeiss 55/1.4 Otus manual focus lens using a red filter.
Available as 1 of 20 Limited Edition archival prints.