Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Felix Salmon and Michelle Vaughan

Of the 15 or so people I have photographed in the carriage house of the Garrison Institute, Felix is the only one who, noticing a number of golf balls scattered on the floor, looked up at the window panes of the floor to ceiling windows and asked, "Is there any connection between the golf balls and the broken panes?" As there is a large lawn in front of the carriage house it is quite possible that someone had been out there practicing their swing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nutmeg's friend

She particularly liked our most difficult and bad-tempered cat Nutmeg. Since her visit Nutmeg has been more agreeable. Her mother has a gift with animals that she may have inherited.  

Louis' profile

I have always found it useful to have a stand-in to test the light before the shoot. Sometimes the picture of the stand-in is better than the subject. Here, I think... I'll just say that I cannot remember who Louis was standing in for.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1965 to 2012

Jason Ross asked me to come and spend the day photographing anyone in his building in Red Hook that would like their picture taken. Here are six of the pictures including Jason himself seen here with Natasha Chekoudjian.

At one moment Jason disappeared into his bedroom and came back wearing a Michael Fish shirt and a French Velvet jacket. "They belonged to my father. He bought them when he lived in London in the 1960s." Natasha Chekoudjian is wearing a dress from her own collection with a belt and jewelry designed by Jason.

Scarlet and plaid

Todd Bachenheimer, shirt designer for Brooks Brothers and his friend Christine. At lunch with Jason and Natasha, Christine wandered around with a plastic beaker. It contained a yellowy, clay colored liquid. We asked, "What is it?" 

"Cleanser," she replied. I thought, what more of a cleanser could you want than our lunch: raw carrots, raw celery, chicken sandwich and slices of blood orange with mint leaves.

Two pairs of blue eyes

At first it was difficult to stop them kissing. When they did stop, they were perfect hosts. They put back the blind that had fallen off a window where the sun was pouring in and spoiling my shot, they moved a table to give me more room and they cleared a background of clutter.

She travels to Africa to work, tending to those in need. He is an art director and designer here in New York.


Sometimes the camera sees something in a face that merely looking does not reveal.

Ovals amognst circles

Sculptor, Robin Heide Kennedy, of Red Hook, New York and Spoleto, Italy. I particularly liked her kitchen. She made tea for us and we talked about dogs. She has an Italian hunting dog.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Alan Furst

Whatever else you think Alan Furst is good at, to my mind he is a master of the lower-upper-middle-class English staccato voice of the 1930s—the one the mid level Secret Service had in the 1940s. He does, of course, write this voice, not speak it, something to my mind that is difficult to do well because it is riddled with special inflection, threatening and unexpected emphasis, and the use of words that are not quite what the dictionary gives you.

In Spies of the Balkans two Secret Service agents, Jones and Wilkins are briefing Francis Escovil, a junior street operative. Jones explains that they have to clean up a mess caused by a superior and are giving the job to Escovil. Here I quote from the book:

"Somebody with a name?"  Escovil said.

"Oh, we can't tell you that." He stared at Escovil. "Are you mad?"

"I see," Escovil said, faintly amused, which was not at all the proper response.

"Do you." Wilkins said.

Only in England, Escovil thought, could "Do you" be spoken in such a way that it meant "So now I shall cut your throat."   

Yet, Alan Furst is not English, but an Upper West Side American Jew, now Sag Harbor resident. Besides the exciting plots in his books, it is his gift of a perfect ear for different English accents that made me smile.