Monday, November 30, 2009


I've known Tim I think for about five years, just about. I first met him through Maria. They worked together at her day job, at a place that books bands into corporate functions, high-class bar-mitzvahs, and the occasional bris.

Tim's a good guy. He's also one of the few people I can discuss classical music with, since he's an oboe player (Oboist? Oboesexual?). No, like he went to graduate school (Ivy League no less!) for the oboe! That's two reeds, we're talking. Not one, but two, count 'em, two reeds, while I sit here before my computer completely reedless.

The occasion at which I saw him was a reunion of sorts of some of the people that used to work at or frequent the dump I've talked about in past posts, my home away from home dump. I'm glad he was there. It's always good to see you Tim.

As mentioned above, I got the chance to see some people, some of which I hadn't seen in a while. I was able to badger a few of them into having their picture taken. And unlike my past flash photographs, I actually brought a notebook with me and wrote down the settings after each shot, so maybe I can begin to figure out what the hell I'm doing with the darned thing instead of just hoping for the best, or even worse, telling myself, "Oh, I can remember the settings," and never being able to (which was the case until last night).

Here's to some kind of improvement in my night shots.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Erik was visiting his cousin Ryan (that's his hand entering the frame on the left) from Norway, that is, Erik was from Norway, that is, he's still from Norway, but it was Erik who was visiting from Norway, visiting his cousin Ryan from Albany who was visiting Mike, (who we met two posts ago) who is not from Albany and was visiting from Pelham, though Mike wasn't really visiting per se, but he was just down from Pelham to go out and came with Ryan (the hand on the left, that is, his right hand on the left side of the frame) who came down from Albany who brought along with him Erik who flew over (I'm assuming he flew, and by that I mean in a plane, and not by flapping his arms) from Norway.

That was worth the read, right?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

David and Seja

David said he wanted this shot to appear casual, which of course I deftly captured. I'll leave out the obvious statements about overexposure/overflash for the meantime. After he went out for a cigarette, Seja gave me the third degree, making sure that her image wouldn't appear on a porn site. She was relieved, but I'm not sure David felt likewise.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Mike kept on saying the same thing all night:

"I haven't seen this guy in over a decade! I knew him back in the 90's!"

Mike was exaggerating a bit, but for certain, I can't remember the last time I saw him, maybe at least three years or more. But you know how it is, you go a couple of years without seeing someone you used to hang out with all the time at a bar that's the last stop before hell and all of a sudden it's like no time had passed, yet it has.

Wow. What a lame, typical attempt at profundity that was.

If Mike looks familiar to you, it's probably because you remember him in the pivotal role of "Tito The Retarted Revenger" in Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. No really, that was him.

The above picture was taken right after we saw each other for the first time in however long it was. I sure am quick on the draw, what with the shot, and yes, that's my card he's holding. Gee, I'm so sincere...

Thursday, November 26, 2009


"Oh, Spring," I said, after she clarified what her name was. "I thought you said Spree. I'm glad you're not named after a candy."

Quite a scene greeted me when I got out of the subway at Union Square a few weeks ago. On one side of the plaza there was a rally going on for gay marriage healthcare rights, and on the other there was a pavilion promoting the new "Modern Warfare" game, and in the middle of it were the Socialists. They were there to support the gay rights side of the park.

My head isn't entirely here right now. Recovering from Thanksgiving. Gravy, cranberry sauce, enchiladas...chocolate pudding's all a blur.

I'm not thrilled with this pic. It's off-center. I took another shot of her that I think is much better, both with framing and her expression. Of course, it's darker from a weaker flash setting.

Okay, I'm lying down now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Plaid, Argyle, and Paisley Against Black Car

The first time she told me her name, I didn't hear it so well. When I asked her again, she said, "It's not important."

But she did want me to take photos of her with the car, even though it wasn't hers.

I'm digging those argyle fingerless gloves/mittens/whatever even more now than when I took the picture.

And thus starts another series.

Oh, I should say that this photo is a color scan of a black and white negative. Sometimes I just like the way they look before going grayscale. But back to the comments on the series.

I think this one came out okay. The one big thing I learned from this last series of shots (and what you'll learn soon enough) is that I still really don't know what the hell I'm doing with my flash. I really, REALLY have to do some serious tests with a patient subject so's I can hopefully end up with less guesswork, and less of the crappy results. And there are some crappy ones, just you wait...

I'm tending to think that my first shots for this project, way back in August, were really great. I think I started with a bang. I'm not sure about the overall quality of this anymore. But maybe that's just the way these things are, they wax and wane (ugh, some lousy typical choice of words).

But...All's I can hope for is that maybe, just maybe, I might actually progress with this thing, and maybe in a year, or two, or something, the good will outweigh the not so good, and the not so good will outweigh the bad, and the bad will outweigh the outright god-awful.

I just gots to keep taking pictures.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Old Time Favorite of Mine

I took this picture sometime between 1999 and 2001. Actually, it might have been in 2000. Let's just say I took it around the turn of the 21st Century.

I wonder if that kid outgrew playing in the fountain, or if he's still at it.

Tomorrow our long national nightmare will be over. That is, the holding pattern this site has been in for the past couple of days (maybe more than a couple?) will end, assuming the photo developer people are correct in telling me that my rolls will be ready tomorrow.

This is so exciting. You can cut the tension with a spork.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Here's another trip down memory lane, in lieu of more current material.

Amy's full name was Amy Grumpie. I don't think that really was her last name, but she played in a band called "The Grumpies," so that might have something to do with it. This was taken in the summer of 1999, during the Recess Records Tour. This was in a backyard somewhere in Texas. Maybe somewhere outside of Dallas? We were offered a place to stay and...well...even for a bunch of punks, it was just more sanitary for us to crash outside than be indoors.

This was the next morning, I'm pretty sure. Who doesn't have a Coke first thing in the morning when they're on the road?

I always liked this picture. Amy was really nice, too (yes, "nice" sure tells you a lot about a person...). I haven't seen her, or a lot of the, not a lot, but definitely some...a few, at least...well, some of the people from that 1999 Recess Records Summer Tour I haven't seen since.

Again...I just always really liked this shot.

Okay, so I'm thinking that Wednesday is going to be the day for new material around here, assuming I can my procrastinating ass to the film developing joint.

No, I'll have to, since they'll probably be closed on Thursday, and I don't want to delay this any more than you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Birdman of Washington Square Park

I forgot I had even taken this photo, until circumstances earlier today reminded me. Hopefully I'll be able to explain those circumstances in a later post. I'll have to see if the film comes out first. But when have I ever let that stop me.

But anyway...

This was from one of my first rolls through the YashMat back in August. I guess I never put it up here since I asked this guy for a shot, as I was trying my best to be orthodox about only posting pictures of people who say, "hey nice camera" or something to that effect. Since then I've loosened my standards somewhat, if only to keep this thing alive. I'm sure you've noticed by now that I've been posting a picture a day, every day, since August. I guess that's the one redeeming quality of this thing, that if anything, I'm consistent.

Well, consistent with posts, not with quality.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jefferson Market

I took this over the summer with a Kodak Duaflex that I can't even remember when I got. I think I bought it on the street. This was one of the first shots through the thing.

I still haven't quite decided whether I like the car being in the shot or not.

I do like it with all the grit and dirt.

In completely unrelated news, I hope by the middle of next week this site will be back on track with its usual collection of whoever I end up pointing the camera at, coupled with the usual negative comments about my own photographs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Guess What.....It's Time For Placeholders!

Well, we knew this day was coming, but it was a good run, right? I think about two and a half weeks of new shots before having to go to the archives. Actually, I do have one in the can (perhaps I should rephrase that), but haven't taken the roll in yet. I just got done with a big project for school, so hopefully if there's some nice weather tomorrow I'll hit the streets mit der YashMat and hopefully this delay will be a short one.

So until then...I present a shot of Charles Lane in the West Village. Detail from a larger shot.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kareem, or I owe you one for screwing this up.

Which one do I put up first...the one that's better exposed (and that's not saying much), and blurry:

or the one that's darker and focused:

I really wanted these to come out well, since Kareem was such a nice guy. I was walking south on 6th Ave when he spotted the camera. He and his friend were on their way to the mall (in Herald Square, I'm presuming), and Kareem was very happy to take a few seconds out of his day to indulge me. He told me that he was just starting to get into the world of hip hop production.

I asked him to tilt his hat up a little, yet the shadow still played havoc with his face. Why didn't I just face him more towards the sun? Oh yeah, me not think so much on spot. Me need to think more gooder.

Kareem, I owe you one. Hell, I owe you two.

This is what I get for overthinking. The first shot wasn't in focus, but had good light, even if the shadow was extending across his face. My other two shots I progressively closed the aperture. Damn. I know I've said it before around here but I'm going to say it again. I think I've said what I'm about to say before. Now I've twice said what I said before about what I was going to say again. What was I saying?

Oh yeah...

When I first started with the YashMat, I was just eyeballing the exposure, and doing a pretty decent job of it. But when I first started actually giving a shit about things, it's just gotten worser and worser. I don't even remember if I had my light meter with me when I took the shot, but it wouldn't have mattered with the hat brim shadow.

I just have to let go and use the force.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yeah, I know I screwed the exposure up. I know I should have used the flash, which I had with me (duh), but at least it's not as bad as what I'll be posting tomorrow (I'm not looking forward to that, but I suppose maybe you are, if you're a fan of foreshadowing).

But anyway, on with the post.

This is Matt. I've known him for maybe six years (or more? I don't know), but I only just recently learned that his name was "Matt." For years I called him by the name everybody else called him, and which he called himself, "Ugly."

Of course you can see that "Ugly" is one of those ironic nicknames since he is anything but. I don't think that impugns my heterosexuality to say that Ugly isn't ugly. Well, Matt is Ugly, but Matt isn't ugly. You followed that, right?

Matt is engaged to my friend Chloe (not pictured. why do I have to state the obvious all the time?). I've so far asked her twice to submit to be photographed for this blog, and twice she's refused. But the last time I saw her she said, "Ask me to do anything three times and I'll say yes."

You better look out Chloe, the next time I run into you with the camera, #3 is on...

Oh, about the picture. This was taken at Church Street just south of Canal. Ugly was showing off his Mets pride to all of the Yankee fans walking back from the parade.

Being a Mets fan myself, his gesture was more than appreciated.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jessica, Nicolette, Gabby, Danielle, Roberta (l-r)

This was taken on Church Street, the day of the Yankees parade. I was walking past when Gabby asked me, "Take a picture?" Of course I agreed, and then she followed up with, "Are you gonna post it?" I wondered if she was asking because she didn't want it posted, but it turned out they all were more than willing to participate.

Besides being a celebration of Yankeetude, it was Danielle's birthday.

After taking the shot, I had a very nice conversation with Jessica, who shoots with an SLR. Her friends were pointing and giggling at us while we talked. Yeah, I was some strange older dude with a strange older camera, but no stranger than the "Go Yankees" dudes which descended upon the girls with their arms comfortably around their new friends' shoulders.

What's a World Series title for if it can't bring people closer together?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brock and Friend (l-r)

I was loitering in front of Niagara when Brock started talking to me. I think he asked me, "Where's the party?" I didn't really have an answer. I told him that going out to bars and watching people get plastered really wasn't my idea of a fun time, but Halloween demanded some extra effort on my part.

I think the gentleman on the right initially approached in search of a cigarette. Honestly, I don't remember how or why he came to join us. Either way, there he was, and so I shot.

A Note:
Well, we've now come to the end of our little Halloween 2009 run. Exciting, wasn't it. We got to meet all sorts of interesting people in costume and out. But don't worry, I have at least a few more days of other shots before I have to go to the archives.

Hopefully I'll be able to get some good material in the next few days so I can push the archive placeholders back a bit.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Here's Rose, taking a moment behind the bar to indulge my hobby. Like the previous post, it came out overexposed. Unlike the previous post, I don't think I was able to hide that as well. I've taken some other pictures of her since. They were better exposed, but the pictures...well...I'm still figuring out what to do with them.

This other one I also took that night, but was able to rescue it from overexposure a little better than the first one.

I like this picture. I like the near-exasperated look on her face. I'd look like that too if I were stuck behind the bar on Halloween when they set the clocks back an hour. Well, I wouldn't look like that, I think you know what I mean.

In case you're wondering, she is dressed as Ron Weasley.

I could write a lot more about Rose. I didn't mean that to sound ominous or anything. Maybe some other time, some other photograph.

But for now, Rose is Rose.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Alex and Benjamin

I was worried when I looked at the original of this photo. It seemed too overexposed, but hopefully the photoshop adjustments aren't too obvious. I was taking the shot in pretty tight quarters, as you can see from his face being relatively well in focus and hers a blur (and shooting with the aperture wide open, of course).

Alex and Benjamin were extremely nice. They're from England, now living here, and are soon to be married. They're also photo-savvy. I had a very nice talk with Alex while she was waiting for their to-go food (or should I say "takeaway"), while at the same time Benjamin was waiting to use the bathroom.

Their food came before the bathroom opened up, probably because there were two girls in the john doing more than just comparing Urinary Tract Infections. Fortunately, they lived in the neighborhood so he didn't have far to go to go.

I can't think of a way to close this out, so I guess I'll just say...

Congratulations on your soon-to-be marriage, and good luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Anne, Jane, Lindsey

This was my last photo of the night. You'll notice Lindsey from the previous post on the right. In the center is Jane, who was mentioned in the previous post, but now being seen here in her entirety for the first time. I think she said her costume was that of a "crazy monkey." On the left is Anne. She was also a friend of Jane's who I was meeting for the first time that night. Unlike me, Anne is a real photographer. She has a studio, and I'm pretty sure she said she uses a Mamiya 6x7.

I like this shot. It was a good way to end the night.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I was trudging my way home at nearly 4pm (oops, I meant AM!), which with the end of Daylight Savings Time meant it was really 5am when I ran into Drew and Jane. You can see part of Jane on the very left, and that's Drew in the background on the right. They both worked at the dump I mentioned in an earlier post, that dump that I used to call my second home.

Lindsey was a friend of theirs. I can't remember a darned thing we said to each other, though I do remember saying "heynicecameradotblogspotdotcom" over and over again, since I ran out of cards earlier in the evening.

I wonder if she remembered, or if I repeated "heynicecameradotblogspotdotcom" so many times that it became this Philip Glassian background noise.

I didn't ask her what sign she flashed when I took the shot. Maybe she's in some kind of white chick gang. Maybe I should stop speculating before a gang of white chicks comes over to my house to hurt me.

Wait...why is this a bad thing?

The Shocker. I should have known...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Joanie and Geoff

He was Captain Morgan, complete with barrel (not shown, but his foot was resting upon it much like in the commercials. No, he didn't walk around like that with the thing stuck to his foot, but maybe he should have...). She...well, I don't know what she was. A fairy maybe? Tinkerbell? She has the wings, and what looks like part of a wand in her left hand there (her left, our right). But that's not the story.

An indecent proposal was made that night.

I won't say by who, or what act was proposed, or for how much, or if it would be photographed.

You know, I won't even say if the proposal was accepted or not.

It'll be our little secret.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bar Couple

At least I can say that I didn't forget their names, since they never gave me their names. They were already enjoying themselves quite a bit when I took the photo. That's a diplomatic way of saying that they were toasted (her more than him). I don't remember if I gave them cards or not. I think the girl didn't think that I had actually taken a shot. One of them did say, "Hey, take a picture," or something to that effect. It doesn't even look like the flash went off, but it seems to have come out pretty okay. I do like the sharpness of his face.

Nothing more for now. And as usual, another picture will go up tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that.....

Monday, November 9, 2009


"Make sure you get these," she said, motioning to the fins on her sleeves.

I thought I remembered Gaby, but I hadn't seen her in a while and didn't completely recognize her looking like some combination of The Flash, Shazam, and The Greatest American Hero.

After I confirmed the spelling of her name, I said, "My first dog was named Gaby, spelled the same way. She was a great dog."

That's what women like to hear, right? "You remind me of my dog."

Well, just the name.

But still, she was a great dog.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Unlike Michelangelo a few posts down, I'm almost certain that this gentleman's name really wasn't Liberace, but that he was portraying George's famous late brother for Halloween. It's the only name he gave me, so I'm going with it.

Say, how about that bar in the foreground cutting across his lower half?

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Maria gave me the usual line:

"I'm not photogenic!"

She insisted that while she wasn't photogenic, she was willing to have her photo taken and put up on the site nonetheless, willing to suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageously discriminating public.

I think she photographed just fine.

Maria, I hope you feel the same.

Yes, I realize her face and upper torso is a little lost in the boa. Why didn't I think to do something about that?

Oh yeah, more often than not I just don't think.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wira and Danielle

Danielle noticed the YashMat2EB as I was loitering about by the corner of 7th and A. I don't remember much of what was said, but I do remember giving her a card. It was later in the night and I was probably just running on enthusiasm by then.

I wasn't planning on putting this picture up today, but it got bumped to the top because of the nice comment Danielle left yesterday on an earlier post. Let's face it, I'm easily bought.

So...if I took your picture on Halloween (or any other time) and you didn't lose my card and you actually went to the site and are interested to see how you came out, leave a comment. Send an email. I'll bump you up on the list. If I should get more than one person clamoring to see how they came out (as if), your call will be answered in the order it was received.

Thank you, and keep holding. Your patronage is important to us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I never did fully clarify whether Michelangelo was the actual name of the person, or if he was supposed to be the ol' ceiling-painter himself, if he were still kicking around after all these years.

Either way, he was a really nice guy.

You may think he was in the middle of a scream, but actually he was doing this whole slow-motion thing. You can see his face was a bit overexposed, and instead of coming off as glistening, it's more of a whitish mush (imprecise focusing didn't help either).

But I think the chest glistening came out just fine, if that's the sort of thing you're into.

Even though I was going for a whole black and white thing that night, I wish I could have shot him in color. He was pretty spectacular.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hitter's Stance

Never got his name. He never offered it. He never even said a word. He just saw the camera and got into his stance, most likely inspired by the Yankee game on TV in every establishment along Avenue A.

Another time, I might have had more to say right now (more to type, that is), but my neck is absolutely killing me, and I'm tired and hungry and complain complain complain.

Maybe me writing less is best for all of us...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oscar and Carlos (l-r)

It was my first genuine, "Hey, nice camera," shot of the night. It was lightly raining, and I was sitting under the overhang protecting the outdoor seating of a restaurant. Nobody was dining, I just sat there facing the sidewalk, contemplating when I'd start moving around. That was until Oscar and Carlos couldn't help but notice the YashMat camera setup. I think it was Carlos who actually commented on it first. They were really nice, and dug the business cards.

I also realized that while I had a great spot to get people's photos that didn't require me getting wet, it was hard to focus with one of the restaurant's lights shining right over my shoulder and onto the focusing screen (yeah, excuses excuses, I know...). Though I think this came out reasonably well (well, relatively reasonably, that is).

So, thus we begin the Halloween 2009 series. I think some of the shots come out fairly decently, and'll see them soon enough.

I pretty much kept the flash/shutter/aperture settings static for the night, so I think the next time I go out hopefully I'll have a better handle on getting night shots. Weegee I ain't, but we knew this already.

Of course, this means I'm going to have to go out. Remember when I said I didn't like going out on Halloween? Well, I really don't like going out ever. But, if it's in the name of "art" (yeah right), then maybe some extra naps on a Saturday afternoon will be enough to propel myself through at least part of an evening.

The only way to learn is to keep doing.

No, that's not true. The only way to learn is to keep doing and actually learn from what you're doing.

Wow, I'm a regular Bertrand Russell with that kind of insight on humanity.


Monday, November 2, 2009


....if my friendly neighborhood film developer is right, I should have seven (count 'em, seven) freshly developed rolls in my grubby little hands tomorrow, all ready for scan and upload. I did something I usually hate doing, but did it anyway...I went out on Halloween.

I hate Halloween. No, I mean, I like candy and stuff, and I like my childhood memories of running around the neighborhood causing "mischief," but NYC on'm over it. I've been over it for years. But this year I just happen to be dedicating myself to photography and this blog, so into the maw I went.

I even did something I like even less than going out on Halloween. I had a costume.

I decided to go as Arthur Fellig aka Weegee. I figured people might see the YashMat2EB (yes, I know Weegee didn't use a YashMat, but what am I going to do?" in its L bracket with flash mounted on top and figure it's a prop. I'm just realizing now that maybe I should have taken a picture of myself in the getup.

I wore a suit, grey striped shirt, straw fedora (I know, but I don't have a beaten up felt fedora) with a "PRESS" card in it, and a wide tie knotted halfway up my belly a la Ralph Kramden or William Frawley. Oh, yeah, and workboots too. That tied the whole outfit together. I was sans cigar, but hey, it's 2009 for crying out loud.

I have to admit the East Village wasn't as bad as I was expecting. I met a lot of nice people and (hopefully) took some decent photos. Oh yeah, about the photos...

I had just black and white 100iso stock. Remember some time ago when I got my flash that I really had to do some night test shots before Halloween? Or maybe I didn't say it, but I know I thought it.

Anyway, I never did the test shots. I never did a systematic test of experimenting with flash intensities, shutter speeds, and apertures — taking notes all along the way...So, hopefully whatever I did the other night worked out. I know what settings I was working at, but won't mention them here, not yet, since I'd hate to think that anybody who actually knows something about photography reads it and realizes that they're going to be a pile of shit. If they come out well, I can say, "of course, I knew all along it would work out!"

Okay, I'm going on too long here. So, for the first time on this blog, I'm posting a picture taken by someone other than me (I should probably do that more often). But of course, it is a photo of me, lest this self-indulgence get off track.

Here is a portrait of the artist ("artst?") in 1993, taken by Amos Poe.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm so Sorry...

Sigh....How many times am I going to open up a post with this phrase:

"I met a really nice person and forgot his/her name."

Anyway, on with the story...

I was cutting it close to get to class on time, yet I had to stop and try to get a decent close-up shot of this brick wall (not featured). I was hoping maybe I'd get one of those cool textured-type shots where it really pops out in the small area of focus, and you know...all that arty stuff.

She was standing nearby rolling a cigarette, and kept on looking over at me. We played the look game a few times, each of us glancing the other's way, until I said, "Hello."

I think she said she's a Junior, majoring in Comparative Literature. I asked and reconfirmed her name more than once. I remember it started with a P, but that's it. After I took her shots I ran off to class and by the time I was in my chair with my notebook open I couldn't for the life of me remember her name. I suppose I can blame it on being harried and rushed, especially going to a class where my professor isn't too keen on latecomers.

If you see this, Ms. P, send an email and I'll give you your due (if you like).

I took four shots, and I like the above shot the best. Well, I like her expression in this one the best. I think I should have framed it with less headroom, and should have put her in front of the white wooden thing inbetween the windows (that's a real architectural term, by the way) so her hair wouldn't get lost in the dark reflection.

This next picture is definitely framed better:

Less headroom, and she looks cool with the cigarette sticking out of her hand. Of course, there's still the issue with the hair/reflection/wooden thing inbetween the windows. Now if I could have gotten a shot with the expression of the first with the framing of the second, then maybe I'd be getting somewhere.

Then again, I don't think this expression is awful or anything. I just think the first one is more dynamic.

Or maybe I'm wrong.