The Floor Scrapers, 1876.

Gustave Caillebotte



During my recent trip to the midwest I decided to take a detour into the city of Gary, Indiana. I have passed by Gary on Interstate 80 countless times on my way to and from Chicago and it had always been a place I wondered about. Finally I stopped wondering and learned what sad sad shape this town is in. I was expecting a functioning, primarily black city -scraping by something along the lines of Newark. What I found instead was a dead city with almost no economy to speak of being slowly but unmistakably reclaimed by nature. Gary is home to US Steel and as most of you know those manufacturing jobs have been leaching away year after year. I left Gary feeling depressed and cynical. Gary was crucial in giving Indiana to Obama and all I could think was this president probably isn't going to help this town and its people anymore than the last one...


The Large Format Portrait

I recently taught an intensive week long large format class at ICP and wanted to post some of my students' work. It was the first time shooting large format for most of them and I think everyone did a fantastic job. It was really instructive for them to get out there and have the hands on experience of working with the view camera. Thanks to all of them - check out their work below...

Bryan Schutmaat

Matilda Saul

Matthew Genitempo

Tim Carpenter

Rogelio Pereda

Wesley Wong


Elton John

My nephew Jonathon (pictured below)

who is a big fan of Elton John asked me a couple of months ago if I might be able to try to get him tickets for the Elton John/Billy Joel concert in Chicago this summer (being that Elton has been a big collector of my work). I wasn't so sure as I had only dealt with Elton through my gallery. I figured that there was no harm in asking so I wrote an email to my gallerist to see if this might be at all possible. They passed on my request to the personal hair dresser of Elton John who also happened to have one of my photographs in his collection and he was kind enough to have obliged us with 4 tickets and backstage passes.

We hadn't any idea of what to expect but we were delighted to have had the chance to meet Elton John and chat with him for nearly twenty minutes.

We talked a lot about photography and his passion for the medium. He was also really engaged and made us all feel at ease even though we were all pretty starstruck.

Sir Elton's shoe

and then we were treated to an amazing three hour concert in historic Wrigley Field. It was pure joy.

Billy Joel

my new bff!

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium - Beautiful video!

Kuroshio Sea - 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world - (song is Please don't go by Barcelona) from Jon Rawlinson on Vimeo.



Michael Light

My friend Michael Light was in town not too long ago and showed me the maquette for his forthcoming book Bingham Mine/Garfield Stack published by Radius Books. It is a stunning body of work of his aerial photographs of the Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah. The work raises your anxiety level over the devastation of our environment while at the same causing you to gasp at Michael's beautiful images that are so thoughtfully composed all from the seat of his small CTSW airplane. I was also fortunate to get a peek at some of his other work from the mountain states and can attest to their magnificence.
If you do not know who Michael Light is - he is the author of both Full Moon and 100 Suns - two important books which were the result of him doing thousands of hours of archival research of the Apollo missions and Nuclear Test Site photographs. By the way, Michael shoots 4x5 film while piloting an aircraft at the same time! Can you do that?

all images © Michael Light


Straight from the horses mouth...

Bill Moyers speaks with a former PR insider from the Healthcare Industry about why the insurance companies are so dead set against reform. Hint: Shareholder Profit. Heroic journalism from one of the best in the field. Watch the episode here.



Stop is exactly what I did when I saw this woman walking down the streets in Roanoke. I was in Virginia for a couple days last month on assignment for People Magazine when my assistant Andy spotted this fabulous character walking down the street.
We drove by her and she looked in the car and asked us for a ride over the bridge to the other side of town. I negotiated the ride for a photograph and I was fortunately obliged.


Cacti in New Jersey?!*

It took me over 41 years to learn today that the prickly pear cactus is indigenous to all lower forty eight states. Who knew?

July 9, 2009  Gateway National Recreation Area   Sandy Hook, NJ


July's 19th Century Photograph

Panorama of the World's Columbian Exposition  (The White City)   Chicago 1893
compiled by Brian Karpuk     (best viewed when open and enlarged)


Mammatus Clouds

Last week I noticed that the light was really beautiful outside so I grabbed my camera and went out to the pier where I have been doing a lot of shooting lately. I was lucky I did as I was rewarded with some of the most unusual clouds I have ever seen.
You can read about them here.


Happy 4th of July

Battery Park, New York, New York July 4, 2009


renaldi.com - censored

A few months ago I met with the Department Head of Photographs at a major art museum to show them my new book Fall River Boys. During the meeting I asked if I could show another more recent body of work that appeared on my website. They obliged and handed me a laptop to bring up my site. When I entered the url a message was returned that my website was blocked due to adult content (likely due to a handful of nudes in one of my series titled hotel room portraits). This was regarded as no big deal by the curator. I was told that there were many artists whose websites were blocked because there was some form of nudity in their work. I however was flabbergasted for many days afterwards - that a world class museum of art had internet filters preventing curators from viewing images of the naked human body. To this day I wonder if they are able to view their very own collection online?