Monday, February 28, 2011

Israeli student

Today the sun was out and it was almost warm. The pictures I took were in the shade of buildings, in this case the Brooklyn Public Library, with sun bouncing off the light paving in front of it, to produce a perfectly even light.

She was brought up on a Kibbutz, still lives in Israel on a Kibbutz, but a different one. She is visiting Brooklyn and will stay as long as she is allowed by her visa. I asked her if she would have to return to Israel to do national service. She said yes. "Meanwhile I have my sister's army jacket to keep me warm."

She was delighted when Caroline asked her if I could photograph her. Yet she was modest and a little shy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter evening

Winter is still with us. The drive is a sheet of ice, but Nicholas can lift a 70lb bag of sand as easily as if it were a can of tennis balls. We are eeking out the dwindling wood supply and tracking down under $10 wine. Latest finds are the best this winter: Beaujolais Village Chateau de la Carelle, $9.00; Sangre de Toro, $7.50; Ciconia, $7.00. No prizes for guessing where you buy them. Not long now and we shall be rolling in the mud.

Shoulder scars

The button reads: God and I / Will handle what / ever happens / Just for today. The man told me he got the scars from a fall from a kitchen table where he was helping with meals for the homeless. I was reminded of this photograph because a friend wrote to say that he had spied it on my website and wanted to know what was written on the button. See comment below.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Matinée Idol

An empty Newburgh... just a few stalwart figures chipping away at the ice and snow in front of their houses. I was about to give up finding a subject when this hat and lean face under it caught the corner of my eye as I drove by. I walked up to him and said hello. He wouldn't mind his picture taken he said. When I asked about the perennial matter of work in Newburgh, he said, "Here you either look for work or you hustle. I'm a hustler so I don't have that problem." I finished photographing him and he shook my hand and said, "I must be off to the library before it closes."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ken Dodd remembers

Ken Dodd is sitting in his old primary school playground in Knotty Ash near Liverpool, England. This is one of a series of comedians in a reflective mood that I photographed in the 1970's. I do not know if his fame reached these shores, but Ken Dodd has sold over 100 million records and at the height of his fame was a household name in England that equaled the Beetles. He is still touring at the age of eighty-four. My idea of doing the comedians with their mouths shut was embraced by the art director, but the editor, when he saw the photographs, shook his head and doubted he could run them. But he did and the art director remained in his job and I continued to work for him.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Long distance runner

My assistant Nicole was driving up Third Avenue. She stopped at a red light and there was a tap on the window. She knew the young woman who was standing there, but was not happy to see her and refused to open the door or lower the window. Nicole drove off as the light turned green.

Twenty blocks later Nicole sat at another red light. Her eyes were raised waiting for the green. Then a vague shadow of a person appeared in the corner of her eye and she turned. There to her astonishment was her friend beside the car. Passion, fleet of foot, and endurance had won the day. The young woman had run the twenty blocks and caught up with the car. Nicole gave in. Smiling she opened the door for her.

When Nicole told me the story she asked if I would like to photograph this champion. One afternoon we drove to the Bronx and photographed her in her apartment.