About the Images and their Galleries
To partition and categorize one's photography over a lifetime is a knotty endeavor. Certainly categorizing has the main benefit of making a large task small, dividing hundreds of works into manageable galleries. On the other hand, these pictures were taken over a period of more than fifty years, and they came to me, as all things come to us, in a continuous stream. No rhyme and no reason, except that somehow each one struck a chord in me, and I pursued it. Only upon retrospect, can we give a sense that what we experience and what we create may be organized and viewed in specific ways.
I see the organization, then, as a necessary convenience, but I hope that each of the images presented here can be viewed for what it is in itself, a single photographic composition of personal expression, regardless of its particular niche.
(Press any image in a gallery and it can be seen full size. Then, if you press the little arrows to the left and right of the image—or, on a mobile device, just press the image—you can navigate through the gallery in slide-show fashion. Also, some of the galleries have over 100 pictures in them; give the images time to load. On mobile devices with wi-fi, all the images in each gallery should take about 15 seconds to fully.)
One of the best aspects of living in the suburbs is how close I am to the natural world. The uncultivated, untended land itself, that is very much the way it was when the Native Americans, like the Mohawks and Mohegans, lived here. There are still a few tracts of land in this area that are essentially and purposely untouched by man and machine — conservancies.
The first images are from Alaska and Kenya, followed by images from California, Arizona, Montana, Florida, and Utah.
The majority of the images in this gallery, however, were taken in general area of the Northeastern United States, within a few miles of where Westchester County, New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut meet at Long Island Sound.
The pervasive evidence of the hand of man: chaotic and inspired, absurd and ordered, contradictory, harmonious and juxtaposed — in the cities, suburbs, and byways of the 20th and 21st Centuries — all taken while I walked around and looked, in New York, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Florida, Nevada, Idaho, Ohio, Montana, Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, Israel, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Turkey, France, Italy and England.
Images from far and wide, to be sure, but more than half of the them were taken where I have lived most of my life, here, in the Northeastern United States.
From the time I was a kid growing up in Great Neck, the moon had fascinated me. From my room at night, I could see the light of the moon shine on the house across the street. When I was six, I prevailed upon my mother to get me a telescope and sure enough, she got me one, from FAO Schwartz. My next telescope was an Edmund Scientific 3" reflector, then there was an 8" Cave Dobsonian reflector and a 4" Meade refractor. They are the telescopes I have today... the ones I used for some of the pictures here.
For most of my life, I have lived close to both the natural world and also within an hour’s drive or train ride of all that encompasses one of the world's most well-known cities, the metropolis of New York and its heart, Manhattan Island: the gritty and elegant, hard and romantic Gotham of subways, stores, parks, and iconic structures of concrete and steel. There is not much organization to these images, as I want them to be considered individually, For convenience, however, there some groups of images from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Natural History, Grand Central Terminal, JFK and LaGuardia airports and the Bronx Zoo.
In the early 1980s, I started to take wedding and bar mitzvah photographs, and I was quite busy throughout the thirty years that I was in business. I worked many weekends all over the tri-state area, often more than one job a weekend.
Party photography is a genre unto itself. Weddings present their own specific demands as do bar mitzvahs, but the main idea is the same: to take real-life events and make them look as pleasing as possible. I recorded other people's Special Days and knew that my job was to not miss an important shot (the ring, the kiss, the rice, the couple or child lifted high on a chair, etc.) and, at the same time, to make it all look special: joyous, fun, bountiful and appealing.
From early on, at these events, these special days, I took not only pictures for the people who hired me but pictures just for myself. These are the out-takes... the pictures I was not paid to take but somehow spoke to me alone.
Traveling without moving.
Photography without being there.
In May of 2007, as a feature of its Google Maps and Google Earth initiative, Google launched Street View. Google Street View is a technology that provides streaming panoramic views along countless streets, and sometimes paths and rivers and beaches, all over the world.
For the last four years, I have been using Google Street View to travel without moving... to take pictures captured by an automobile unaware of the wonders it passes and records on its way.
Using this new technology, I do what I have always done as a photographer: I look around and try to find scenes that move me. I then do screen captures and work on what I have found. I find and refine.
There are too many countries in the following pictures to list in any sense of order. I have, however, titled a number of the images. If you would like, you can email me and I will post the exact coordinates of where I took that particular picture. I also take requests – if you have a place that you would like me to explore, please let me know.
What I strive to do as a photographer is closest to the writing of poetry. I want my images to speak for themselves… like small poems, terse haikus. Every once in a while, though, I am moved to add words to my pictures.
I conceive of these as large images, 16x20 posters.