Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Totally Entertaining

We are here to amuse you. No? Shot on an early Saturday morning, spring light. Ilford Delta 100, shot with a Canon T-90.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Smoky Dawn

When winter settles in Portland, the Willamette River sometimes gives us a bit of fog in the morning, often with evocative effects. Shot with a Canon S3 IS.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Haven't posted much here, of late. Been pretty busy. But I was looking through some older work, and ran across this shot of a perfect tropical day in Hilo, Hawaii. When they say blue Hawaii, they aren't kidding. This was shot with a Canon T-90 SLR on Fuji Velvia slide film and using a polarizing filter. I made a few adjustments in Photoshop to match the tones of the slide, so this is pretty much what came right out of the camera.

Obviously, I'm a sucker for blue.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Point Lobos

Last year, I visited Point Lobos in California. Just south of Carmel, it's amazing confluence of sea, stone, weathered cypress, and devastating landscape. For years, photographer Edward Weston, one of the art's greatest practitioners, lived nearby, and he basically spent the last 20 years of his life photographing the Point (along with nudes, portraits, dunes, still lifes, and trip across America for the Guggenheim Foundation). After visiting there, I can understand it: you could photograph the place day after day after day. I just had one; I'd love to go back. This was shot with a Canon IS S3 digital, then was toned in Photoshop. I must have 20 rolls of Point Lobos shots on film in the refrigerator, still waiting for developing and printing, when I manage to find time amidst all the other crazy stuff I'm doing.

Edward Weston's work led me, many years ago, to pick up a camera. As with many photographers, I owe him an unpayable debt.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Double Portrait

An older shot, taken on Tri-X film with a Leica M3.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Portrait of an Actress

Well. Been away from this blog for way too long. I've been so wrapped up in theatre production and writing that I haven't had much time for photography. Planning to get back to work on angels+demons shortly. This shot was taken with a set-up very similar to angels+demons, except it was shot on Ilford black&white film, with a Canon T-90, if I recall. The model is Laura Smith.



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Total Blonde

This is an older portrait of my friend, the fabulous Cybele, who has since renounced her Marilyn persona, let the blonde go from her hair, and retreated to become a poet. But this is her in all her pink and golden glory. The original was shot was a Canon T-90 using hot lights and Tungsten-balanced slide film (Fuji, if I remember correctly). The backdrop was added in Photoshop using some stock footage I'd taken of clouds.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

More angels+demons

Here's another image from the angels+demons project, featuring Chris Harder doing the demonic:As with all angels+demons shots, this was taken with a Canon IS S3, and I've been making 13x19" prints on Canon Photo Glossy Plus paper.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This is a cross-post from my other blog, splattsights, which is devoted to my work as a photographer.

For awhile, I've been working on a photo series called angels+demons where I have actors, models, or other interested folk choose whether they want to be an angel or demon, then see how they interpret the concept. So far, results have been very rich and the project's been a lot of fun. I've got the lighting just where I want it, and it's been a total kick seeing how much the sitters bring to the session; it feels like a true collaboration.

I'm on hiatus until July, when I hope to pick it up again and continue shooting into the fall, with the goal to be a show at some point, but, for now, here's a sample from the project. The model is Cassie Skauge, demon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Live Woman

A theatre rehearsal shot, from when I was working on a series called "Theatre of Dreams."

Tech: Leica M3, shooting Tri-X, printed on Ilford Warmtone, scanned image toned in Photoshop.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Shaniko is a little town in Eastern Oregon that was once a major wool-producing hub, and then someone got bought off, and the railway moved, leaving behind sagebrush and rattlesnakes. Not many people there now, but there's a wealth of decaying buildings. It is, in short, a ghost town. A buddy and I traveled there last year on a lightly overcast day, which is not much for sightseeing but perfect for shooting detail, of which Shaniko abounds. This is from an abandoned barn...a taste of the real West.

Tech: Shot on Ilford Delta 100 with a Leica M3, souped in DDX, and printed on Ilford warmtone.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Death of a Photographer

The photograph above is not mine. I wish it were. It belongs to Yuri Bonder, a photographer of tremendous talent, who had a great heart for helping other artists. I met Yuri through photo.net, a photography website where I maintain a portfolio, and though we exchanged just a couple messages over the years, I always looked forward to seeing what he was up to next. He had a great eye, a sense of humor, and just seemed like an extraordinarily decent person in a field often bustling with oversized egos.

I learned yesterday that Yuri died on his birthday from complications with pneumonia. He was only 41. Life, of course, cuts none of us slack, but his passing, in light of his age, his talent, and his charm, gives one pause.

You can check out Yuri's work at: http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=482452

For those sensitive to such things, please note that his work includes nudes, for which he had a sensitive aptitude.

Goodbye, my colleague.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Poppy Heads

Summer for me means poppies; I've long been fascinated by their brief, crepe-paper blossoms and inverted amphora seedpods. As this photo shows, their color gradations continue after the petals fall.

Tech: Canon IS S3.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tequila Morning

Back in 1998, I won a fellowship, which allowed me to travel to Mexico to research a play I was working on. It wasn't a photographic deal, but I certainly didn't want to go there without a camera, so I bought a neat little Nikon point and shoot...I forget the model. As a lifelong Canon user, it's the only Nikon I ever owned, and it was a sweet little bugger. This was taken on a bright, hazy morning in Cuernavaca and then toned in PhotoShop to give it a kind of amber feel...much like the color of a very popular Mexican beverage...given that the subject was a cantina. I meant to return and partake of said when the sun got over the yardarm, but I never made it back to this very Old Mexico establishment. A couple years later, impulsively, my sister-in-law gave me her medium-format Yashica twin-lens reflex, and I insisted she take the Nikon. Hate to admit it, but it was a damn good camera.

Monday, April 21, 2008

On the Boulevard*

This was a grab shot, just a candid on the street, but I was struck by the contrast between the young couple and the older man. It seemed to spark stories. Why was he turning away? What was he thinking? Was he remembering? Was it pleasant or painful? Or was he even noticing at all? Maybe he was just trying to hear on his cell phone. Perhaps he was in his own world and never even noticed them. They certainly seem to be in their own universe. Sometimes, on the street, we seem to be ghosts to one another; if we're even noticed, strangers become vessels into which we pour projections rather than actual people.

Tech: Canon PowerShot IS S3.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Painted Wall

More of my fascination with textures and form, I suppose. What was it Ezra Pound said? "Make it new." He was talking about writing, of course, but that idea of looking at something you've seen a million times and seeing it in a new way. Very difficult. Very, very difficult. Once in a great while, you stumble onto something, which is why you keep shooting, writing, working. Because you don't get there if you don't try. Most of the time, you fail. I didn't do it here, but it's still an image that pleases me. Guess because it means you're in the game.

Tech: Canon T-90, Fuji Velvia.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Portland Dawn*

Just a simple street scene. Construction was being done nearby, hence the dust in the air, and warm light of morning turned it to gold.

Tech: Canon PowerShot IS S3

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blue Bell Tobacco*

This sink and sign are in a small Portland pub that specializes in cigars and port wines. This was an early summer afternoon, the light very soft and nice, and it felt like being transported to some Southern roadhouse. "Have me some Blue Bell, thank you." "That'll be two bits." "Damn. Prices goin' up like corn." "Not my corn." "No, not like your corn. Buy this boy a drink." And so on....

Tech: Canon PowerShot IS S3.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The gunnera has huge, leathery leaves up to three feet across and has been nicknamed "dinosaur food." When it blooms, it sends up an arm-thick stalk with something like a pinecone on top. A very weird plant. A walk through a patch of gunneras feels like a page from "The Lost World." This one was shot in overcast light at Portland's Crystal Springs Rhodedendron Gardens, one of my favorite places to shoot.

Tech: Leica M3, Ilford Delta 100, souped in DDX, printed on Ilford Cooltone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Velvet Lounge*

A slightly foggy morning, a slightly foggy feel: welcome to the Velvet Lounge.

Tech: Canon Powershot IS S3.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Overcast days (of which we have many in the Northwest) bring out detail, particularly in black & white. This was shot at Crystal Springs Rhodedendron Gardens in Portland.

Tech: Leica M3, Ilford Delta 100, developed in DDX, printed on Ilford Cooltone paper.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Japanese Maple in Rain

On a foggy, rainy morning in spring, this was shot at Portland's Japanese Gardens. The light was filtered due to the fog. I kept having to wipe the camera lens because it would mist over. This reminds me of Hemingway's line about gardens in Paris during the winter when "the trees turned to sculpture."

Tech: Leica M3, Ilford Delta 100, developed in DDX, printed on Ilford Warmtone and selenium toned.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Old Portland

A taste of the city's old style, the Guild's been around for years and has been the site of the Portland International Fringe Theatre Festival. I remember seeing "Do the Right Thing" here one steaming hot summer afternoon just after I'd moved back from New York/New Orleans, and I couldn't decide whether I was in agony over leaving the Apple or relieved to be out of the pressure cooker. I love the Northwest Noir feel of these older buildings, even though everything on the West Coast was built fifteen minutes ago compared to Europe or even Gotham.

Tech: Leica M3, Kodak Tri-X developed in DDX and printed on Ilford Warmtone paper.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Flowers have been done and done and done in photography, from Cunningham to Mapplethorpe, and done well, so it's a challenge to try and see them in a new way. I'm a rabid (beyond avid) gardener, and I have plenty of subjects to choose from once the yard wakes up from winter, but I've always had an affinity to poppies: their flowers are here then gone, crepe paper that leads to pods full of hundreds of tiny seeds (the ones gracing your scone come from the infamous opium poppy, though they have but a trace of the alkaloids that made that poppy notorious). The Shirley poppies are a sport of Papaver rhoeas, the common field poppy, that was collected by a vicar in England. He gathered the seed, planted it, and continued to collect it as the variations became more bizarre and outrageous. Now, there are untold oddball Shirley poppies out there in all different colors and with unusual patterns. A single packet of seeds provides more unusual flowers than you can imagine. And the flowers last but two days. I spent a fair amount of time last summer shooting Shirley poppies, and it's hard to believe they spring from the same plant sometimes. This is one of the better images, I think. This year, I'm sure I'll be out in garden again, manuevering my tripod and exposing for maximum detail.

Tech: Canon IS S3.

*Note: I've yet to set prices, but images denoted with an asterisk will be available for purchase, probably as unmounted inkjet prints.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Fan*

A co-worker of mine kept this fan in the window of her office, and one clear morning, the light was shining through it in a way I liked. I notice more and more, I'm photographically drawn to geometric shapes and textures..."surfaces" if you will...to the point where I'm thinking about putting together a series on "surfaces." A photographer friend and I were talking about influences, and I realized that I've been partially influenced by painters like Mondrian, Pollock, and Hopper. God, do I love Hopper's light.

Tech: Canon Powershot IS S3.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Blue Weather*

An appropriate image for today's weather. Not much to say about it except I'd just been handed my coffee, turned around, and there it was. As Northwest Noir as it gets.

Tech: Canon PowerShot S3.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Brugmansia Blossoms

Brugmansias and daturas are tropical plants with spectacular, funnel-shaped flowers as much as a foot long and eight-inches across, ranging from scarlets to pale purples to brilliant whites (like these). These flowers were about eight-inches long and five inches across, taken on a shaded patio with the light behind them. This particular image won a photo contest in the Portland Oregonian and was published, and a collector contacted me and bought a print. To my mind, I think one of the things that gives this plant an unusual mystique is that all parts of it are powerfully hallucinogenic and, in too high a dose, deadly. Of course, you can't see that in a photograph, but the plants have a weird kind of energy about them and a peculiar musty odor that, depending on the person's taste, is disagreeable or fascinating. The blossoms themselves give off quite a sweet scent at night.

Tech: Canon T-90, Ilford Delta 400 film, DDX developer, printed on Ilford RC Warmtone and selenium toned.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Peace Rally

This was shot five long years ago, at a Portland peace rally protesting the beginning of the Iraq War. To me, the reporter in the foreground and the guy looking over his shoulder makes the shot; weren't we all kind of looking over our shoulders at that time, in the Kingdom of Fear?

Tech: Shot with a Canon T-90, Ilford Delta 400 film, probably souped in Ilford DDX. Scanned from a selenium-toned print on Ilford Warmtone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I took this when I was sixteen. In many ways, I feel like it's my first real photograph. I took some others at the time that were technically proficient, but this is the first one I can remember that felt like a whole image. I can still feel the rush in my throat when I uncurled the negatives from the developing reel and saw this held to the light, the ranges of tones and the strong diagonal. The light's a little blown out on the center rock, and there's a scratch on the negative because I didn't take care of images the way I try to do now, and, of course, it has the influence of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams splattered all over it, but it's still an image I look upon fondly. The location is Deer Creek in Southern Oregon; the time looks to be spring; in summer, the creek goes dry. In winter, it's a river.

Tech: Shot with a Canon TX (about the most basic SLR you can imagine) on Tri-X, which was my film of choice for years. No idea what it was developed with. Scanned from a print on Ilford Cooltone paper.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Man Ray Sky

Shot on an early summer evening beneath extraordinary skies. A matter of being in the right place at the right time. The title is derived from REM song lyrics, which refer to a painting by Man Ray. Location: Portland, OR.

Technical Details: Shot with a Canon T-90 on Ilford Delta 400 film. Scanned from an Ilford warmtone print. The sky was burned in during printing.