Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter in Garrison

Discovered new parts of Garrison this weekend thanks to David Dasch who knows every corner of the place, its history and who lives in every house. For eighteen years he has been exploring and knocking on doors. A few years ago one door he saw was piled high with snow and cries for help coming from behind it. He dug it out with the shovel he always carries in his car. The cries came from an eighty-five year-old woman who wanted to give him money for his kindness. He refused and instead asked for permission to walk her fields any time he wanted during his lifetime. She agreed. This is a corner of one of her fields. She is now ninety-seven.


Slippers bequeathed to the puppy. They were old but would have gone on a little longer. L. L. Bean are out of stock as most retailers at this time of year are out of stock of anything you might want.

Keith Haring

He had a spring in his step and wanted to move around his studio. The bike, a hansome bike, anchored him for a moment. But not for long - he soon began riding it. And then he was gone.

Muriel Spark

I had to find a way of distracting her from looking at me with her pretty smile. I said that I needed a minute or two to adjust the settings on the camera. I fiddled with the Rolleiflex, and kept half an eye open to see what she was doing. Then something must have entered her mind and she looked down and forgot I was there. I clicked the shutter.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bushwick Diva

Every three or four minutes the light from the window that lit my subject faded to twilight as a subway past on the overhead track of the J train on Broadway. Teresa lives with her husband and shares the apartment with two other musicians. They were still asleep in their room because of working late. I crept around the main room taking care not to tread on or trip over guitars, cymbals, tom-toms, wires and microphones that littered the floor.

I whispered instruction, looked at her paintings that she kept in a cardboard box on a high shelf and listened to her telling me that she liked London and disliked America because there was no National Health Service here and it was difficult getting a Green Card. She grew up in Bari, Italy. Her English was flawless.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spalding Grey

He arrived with a canvas shopping bag and told us of his addiction to
caffeine. He talked for ten or fifteen minutes sitting and slouching at a table leaning on his elbows. I asked him if I could photograph him sitting up straight. I adjusted the light so that it put half his face in shadow leaving only his eye lit on the shadow side.

When he left the studio I had the feeling I would like to see him again which, by chance, we did, on a beach in Sagaponack with his wife, one beautiful late summer day
. They were both a great pleasure to talk to. They had their small child with them.

Strong Jaws

It was a cold morning, too cold to think of asking anybody to stop and have their picture taken, so we headed straight for the warmth of Robin Des Bois Sherwood Café. Well, not quite straight as we now have Nicholas's puppy to look after and he needed a walk. During the hour that we were in the café it got much warmer so I took the two friends above outside.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Father and daughter

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It was a cold morning and we were glad to be immediately shown to a table by the window at the Robin Des Bois Sherwood Café. As I sat down I was at once struck by the man sitting at the next door table. He was with another woman who could have been his wife, but I never did find out. Also at the table, a young woman who certainly could have been his daughter. Here they are.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A young writer outside Café Orwell

He was standing outside Café Orwell smoking a fat yellow cigarette. Was Orwell a vegan? Because the café offers only Soy milk. It's a dark place, five or six writers tapping away at their illuminated keyboards. There was nobody talking to anybody. This man liked to talk. He lived in a hostel round the corner. They would find him a job if they had any jobs, but they didn't have any.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friends at Boulevard Café

They were pouring over their laptops. I wondered if they were too much though. Just how well matched can you be? But then I thought, no, they really are wonderful. I got up and said "May I photograph you, you look wonderful together." They said, "Why, of course."

Because the light and the background were better at our table, I asked them to move.
They wanted to bring their laptops but I liked the cup and saucer and the pepper and salt better. They are performance artist. They were writing the material for their next collaboration.

Friday, December 4, 2009

3rd Street, Carroll Gardens

A Saturday morning. Imagine this street early Monday morning. As I set up this shot I kept worrying that somebody would come and park their vehicle here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ballet dancer

One of four sisters who love to dance. This is the youngest, twelve-years-old, her mother told us. Photographed at the Newburgh Performing Arts Academy.

Roald Dahl

I don't remember if Roald Dahl was much interested in film (although he was married to Patricia Neal), but several of his books have been made into movies - very recently: "Fantastic Mr. Fox". I remember him more for his love of wine and food, gardens and talk. He wrote to me when I sent him this picture: "You will notice that this person is leaning at about 30 degrees off the true vertical line. This is a fairly accurate reflection of his attitude to life."