Thursday, December 3, 2009

Polaroids and Tim Burton

Lately I have become a tad obsessed with the Polaroid (I bought myself an SX-70, and thanks to Polapremium, have the film to go with it). After seeing what I thought was Tim Burton's entire show at the MoMA, I walked around it again, somewhat frantically, trying to catch a glimpse of one of the large scale Polaroids that I had read about. No such luck. I finally found them, however, tucked away in the basement. A guard had to unlock the elevator to let us down there. But, oh! What a fabulous room it was! Tim Burton used a 20 x 24 Polaroid camera, an extremely large-scale camera to make beautifully vibrant photos of such things as fake plants in the desert and his dog with antler ears. William Wegman also used the 20 x 24 camera to take some of those famous dog photos. There are less than a dozen of these cameras in existence and after Polaroid decided it was no longer in the business of making instant film, they were all going to be destroyed. Luckily, in NYC, a team purchased all of the remaining chemistry and one of the cameras and have set up shop in Soho at the 20x24 Studio. Due to the recent bankruptcy hullabaloo, the Polaroid Collection, a vast collection of Polaroid photography from some of the world's most talented photographers, will likely be sold off piece by piece, including photos made with the 20x24.

Photos by Tim Burton.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Found Bicycle Photos

I enjoy collecting found photos, usually in themes. I was collecting photos of old cars, then swimming photos and now bicycles.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Making of a Tintype

Seems Tintypes are making a comeback of sorts. Joni Sternbach's surfer images were recently featured in PDN and the New York Times did a fashion spread today using the same technique. The images are really haunting and beautiful. The photographer did the entire shoot on Governors Island. You can see a slide show on the making of, here.

Photos by David Sokosh for The New York Times; Photographed on Governors Island, New York.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dressing for Fall

Taking a cue from one of my favorite bloggers (and magazine writer) Joanna Goddard, let's pretend shop at Le Train Bleu - a beautiful online boutique (love the photography!). Considering that you'll usually find me in jeans and t-shirts, I'm certainly no expert in the Art of Dress, but I LOVE pouring over these great clothes.

The Double Matinee Coat: Just. So. Beautiful. Makes me want to take a drive down some of the old roads out on Long Island to see the Fall leaves (but I'd better work fast - seems we are quickly slipping into winter out here on the East Coast).

The Pippin Apple blouse: I simply love this color. Swoon.

Hickory Striped Necktie: I love the 1940s vibe.

Photos by Le Train Bleu.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Creative Wallpapering

This 1840s farmhouse in Walton, New York, with its creative wallpapering, reminds me of my parent's Pacific Northwest house that they sold in 2008. In the 1970s, my mother used pattern covers and fashion spreads from magazines she found inspiring to decoupage the wall (and floor!)of her sewing room. When they sold it, it was amazing to really take a look at what was in vogue at the time. The red and white room was inspired by a tea tin my mother had lying around. I loved the hot air balloon as a kid. Both rooms were unfinished basement rooms that were rarely seen by guests - which made them all the more exciting as a kid.
P.S. If you enlarge the bottom photo, you can see my sister's handiwork under the hot air balloon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween in Harlem


A few years back I shot a series on Harlem. I couldn't resist photographing the awesome costumes on Halloween. The kids were great. Here are a few of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lincoln and New York

I'm always on the look-out for great graphic design. Long ago, I did a lot of graphic design for my then-boyfriend's (now husband's) sketch comedy group. I really loved doing it. Recently, while scouring the Times, I came across an ad for Lincoln and New York at the New-York Historical Society. I love the bold colors, the photo they chose of Lincoln and the typography. I wish they had a poster of this because I'd love to frame it. It would look perfect on our blue, blue, blue wall.
While running past (literally, my husband is training for a marathon) a flag by Central Park yesterday for the exhibit, my husband and I decided that we must go this weekend. He's a bit of an old President buff - he's read bios on Lincoln, Adams, Roosevelt and FDR. I'm really excited about seeing it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


It's starting to feel and look like Fall around here. I love Fall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Project: Old Cameras: No. 2 Cartridge Hawk-Eye Model C

The third camera I took out from its place on the shelf and used for the Old Cameras Project is the No. 2 Cartridge Hawk-Eye Model C by Eastman Kodak. The No. 2 was manufactured between 1926 and 1934 in the US and uses 120 film. I have no idea where I got it but it looks like it was never used - in fact, if they still made such cameras today, I would have a hard time convincing someone that it was actually from the 1920s or 1930s. I should have done a little research before I took it out for a spin, however, as the fixed-focus lens is designed to keep objects between 6-8 feet away from the camera in focus, something that would have been handy to know. Out of all the images that I shot, there is really only one that I like - and it's pretty blurry. My other issue was that I could not see through the "finder" at all, making shooting a pretty interesting endeavor. Additionally, I realized I was likely making a few double exposures as I was flipping the shutter both up and down for each shot - it only needs to be released once. Here are two of the photos:

All and all, I had a great time using it. I am kind of excited about trying to use it again - now that I understand how it works a little better. More information on the No. 2 can be found here.

Photo of the No. 2 Cartridge Hawk-Eye Model C by formica via flickr.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Wall

I'm always on the lookout for great photo/art displays and the last time my mother was here, we wandered around downtown and found ourselves in the Kate Spade Soho store. Forget the bags, I said, take a look at that wonderful grouping of artwork on the back wall! I love the seemingly disjointed variety of work - it all goes seamlessly together, despite the fact that there isn't a unifying theme like identical frames. Luckily, the folks over at Apartment Therapy wrote a little blurb about how and why this arrangement works. You can check it out here.

Artist: Agnes Barley (bottom right)

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Project: Old Cameras Part II

The next camera that I took out and dusted off for the Old Camera Project is the Polaroid Automatic 100 Land Camera, a folding rangefinder. It's been sitting on a shelf for at least seven years. I can't actually remember where I got it - but it may have been at an estate sale. I purchased a new 4.5v battery off of eBay and went to Adorama yesterday for some Fuji FP-100C instant film. I was skeptical about the camera working but at under $20 for the battery and film together, it wasn't an expensive commitment. Once I jammed the battery in (the battery is larger than the original) the shutter appeared to be working but the whole operation was so quiet it didn't seem like anything was actually happening. I took it out, aimed it at my lovely two neighbors, depressed the shutter and . . . nothing. The photo was completely black. I then adjusted the ISO (the film is 100 and the camera does not have an ISO 100 option) and ran outside to take a photo of anything nearby. I was pretty thrilled to get an image, any image. Here are the results:

Next up is the Agfa Isolette. It was my grandfather Jack's camera.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

From the Archives

I shot these in 2000 of an old friend of mine. He recently had the whole lot painstakingly scanned. This my favorite.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Montgomery Boutique in Harlem

I've always admired the beautiful clothing at Montgomery Boutique in Harlem (her pieces are all one-of-a-kind) . . . and the store design. I've been fascinated by the butterflies, flowers, etc., that hang from the ceiling. It's gorgeous.

*photo by Design Sponge.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Odd Sangesland

I had the pleasure of meeting Odd Sangesland today - minutes after he completed this year's NYC Triathlon. The Triathlon's oldest participant, at a young 80, Mr. Sangesland looked like it was just another day in the park.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Project: Old Cameras

Recently I was bemoaning my lack of space (tiny apartment, two dogs, one cat, one baby and one husband) when my mother noted that I have an immense array of old cameras on "display." She wondered why I didn't put those into storage along with my winter coats and various other items (like an ancient typewriter) that I have no room for but can't, for the life of me, part with. I was, of course, horrified. Why, I use all of those cameras, ALL OF THE TIME. My mother raised an eyebrow, "Really?" OK, so, no, I rarely, if ever, use any of them.

So, I have decided to embark upon a new project - I am going to use each and every one of these cameras and write about the results here.

First up: the Mamiya 645. I used this when I first purchased it, maybe twice. I was actually looking for a medium format that produced square images. The Mamiya is medium format that produces 6x7 cm images. At the time, I found the Mamiya heavy and intimidating (I ran around with my trusty and extremely light Pentax K1000 - which I used professionally and probably would have continued to do so if I hadn't started doing sports photography which required the switch to digital). Since I took it up again, however, I am loving the detailed images it produces and the fact that it's all manual. I recently developed the second roll I shot with it from possibly 9-10 years ago. Great details, great lighting (oh, how I love film). I shot a new roll of the bambino but found the manual focusing a bit tough (I'm out of practice) when you are trying to capture your delightful, yet squirmy, wee one. Two examples:

The bambino.

And this was taken when I first purchased the camera but never developed the film.

Next up: The Polaroid Automatic Land Camera 100. I'll be hunting down the 4.5 v battery and some Polaroid 600 film (and Fuji 100). The camera that I am most coveting right now? The Polaroid 600SE. It's a beauty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

East Harlem Apartment

This designer showcased her apartment in Real Living - and she lives in East Harlem. Love her design - it's a small space and she's made it really quite beautiful. Don't you think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yellow Living Room

Last summer, the Husband painted one wall in our living room yellow. We absolutely love it. However, we haven't pulled it together, really, at all with anything else in the room. I desperately need to get some other stuff in there that ties it all together. Currently we have a honey colored wood tv cabinet that is asian-inspired, an antique turquoise farmer's cabinet (I just made that up - I really don't know what it is called, it's kind of a desk/display cabinet), a green couch and a burgundy desk. No, seriously. It's a tad schizophrenic. So, here are some photos that I pulled off of Apartment Therapy for ideas. I really like the pop of yellow in the accents (like the yellow doors). I also, surprisingly, like the deep brown or eggplant with yellow. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Totally Awesome Laptop Bag

The RedCamper is a laptop bag that is totally customized and photo-friendly. The designer, Maura Gramzinski handpicks vintage slides that are inserted into the flap and sides of the bag and she uses recycled airline seat belt clips and 1970s vintage car upholstery - all for under $300! I love it.