Ode to things, by Pablo Neruda

I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.
I like pliers,
and scissors. 
I love
and bowls – 
not to speak, or course,
of hats.
I love
all things,
not just
the grandest, 
small – 
and flower vases.

Oh yes,
the planet 
is sublime!
It’s full of pipes
through tobacco smoke,
and keys
and salt shakers – 
I mean,
that is made 
by the hand of man, every little thing: 
shapely shoes,
and fabric,
and each new
bloodless birth
of gold,
carpenter’s nails,
clocks, compasses, 
coins, and the so-soft
softness of chairs.

Mankind has 
oh so many
Built them of wool
and of wood, 
of glass and
of rope: 
ships, and stairways.

I love
not because they are
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
this ocean is yours,
and mine; 
these buttons
and wheels
and little
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms,
glasses, knives and
scissors – 
all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
in the depths of forgetfulness.

I pause in houses,
streets and 
touching things,
identifying objects
that I secretly covet; 
this one because it rings,
that one because 
it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.

O irrevocable 
of things: 
no one can say
that I loved
or the plants of the jungle and the field, 
that I loved
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true: 
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them: 
they were
so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.


5th Annual Secular Holiday Digital Advent Calendar

Happy December Everyone! Please enjoy my 5th Annual Secular Holiday Digital Advent Calendar. It will be updated daily through December 24. You have to find the number that corresponds to the day of the month and click it for a special treat. Don't click ahead (you won't find anything there). Lots of fun and surprises in store! Come back everyday or on the 24th to see the entire calendar. Please feel free to share...


Exhibition - Hotel Room Portraits

If you are in the Lambertville, NJ / New Hope, PA area check out my exhibition of Hotel Room Portraits at Wessel & O'Connor Fine Art. Running until December 23 there are over two dozen prints from this ongoing double self-portrait series. 

This is the first group hotel room portrait from our recent trip to Bolivia.

Left to Right: Theo, Richard, Seth, Vincent, Willemijn, and Nikola.


Loius CK

Louis CK is definitely one of the greatest comics of our generation.  I just completed watching the third season of Louis (which is running on the FX network).  Louis CK is not only the star of the show but he is also the writer, director, editor, and musical director. The semi-autobiographical premise of the show is about the trials and tribulations of a middle-aged stand up comedian who is lonely and out of shape. Each episode is only twenty-two minutes in length but Louis CK manages to pack them with poignancy, humor, sadness, and surrealism. The character Louis is honest, vulnerable, and socially conscious. I simply love him.  The girls playing his two daughters Lily (hilarious) and Jane are both incredible young actresses. I think this show goes above and beyond anything in the canon of fictionalized autobiographical sitcoms that have come before it (specifically Sienfeld & Curb Your Enthusiasm). Louis CK is an auteur like Woody Allen but he doesn’t live in a bubble like Allen and he depicts his life and shows a vision of New York City that is both real and accessible. A nice perk is that there are often really great guest stars that sometimes appear in multiple episodes. This most recent season there were outstanding performances by David Lynch, Parker Posey, and Chloe Sivigny to name a few.



As I am about to embark on a big trip to South America check out my project Aéroport - a photographic series from years and years of air travel. Additionally, take a look at a recent blog post on the project at Forbes.com


Early Color

Have a look at this slideshow on Time's Lightbox of early color photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii of Czarist Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century. Magnificent!

Two Prisoners in Shackles, between 1905 and 1915


Dwight Henry and "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

This evening I saw the film  Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was a big hit at Sundance this year. It's quite a magical and special film: dreamlike, poetic, and a little bit sad.
I've been wanting to see it since I was in New Orleans last month to photograph the lead actor Dwight Henry for New York Times T Magazine. I spent the day with Dwight and met his lovely family and very sweet publicist Anjulee. This was Dwight's first film, as he is actually a baker and a very good one at that (I was fortunate enough to try his famous Buttermilk drops at the Buttermilk Bakery and Café in New Orleans). Good things are happening for Dwight Henry - he is appearing in a Steve McQueen film due next year and planing to open an outpost of his bakery in Harlem. I'm glad that our paths crossed and that I got to experience meeting Dwight who has an aura of kindness and warmth around him.  Speaking of auras, New Orleans has about one of the best of all the cities in the USA. 

More Photos About Buildings and Food

I have work in a group show opening in Philly tomorrow. It's up through December 22. If you are in Philadelphia this fall - check it out!


The Large Format Portrait, ICP - Summer 2012

I just finished my 4th annual large format portrait class at ICP this week and I couldn't be prouder of the work and energy of this years class. Here is a little peek at what these view camera virgins were able to accomplish.

The Large Format Portrait, August 2012

Cary Tijerina - Astoria Skate Park

Cary Tijerina - Astoria Skate Park

Daria Galli - Untitled

Daria Galli - Untitled

Eliot Nolen - Henry

Eliot Nolen - Smoker

Lee Chantler - Jacob

Lee Chantler - Zod

Matthew Freedman - Dan

Matthew Freedman - Ed

Meghan Hickey - Lucy & Triada

Meghan Hickey - Tito

Mikkel  Jorgensen - Albert & Joan

Mikkel  Jorgensen - Forbidden Ones Brooklyn

Ottavia Musini - Untitled

Ottavia Musini - Untitled 

Alp Klanten - Eugene

Alp Klanten - Ruslan

Tommy Mendes - West 4th Street Hood

Tommy Mendes - Grandma

Varvara Abramova - Untitled

Varvara Abramova - Untitled


The Big Top

Carson & Barnes Circus; Geneva, Ohio
 July, 2012


Hotel Room Portraits

Mannschaft Magazine recently featured my Hotel Room Portraits as a cover story in their July 2012 issue.  Hotel Room Portraits (1999 - present)  is an ongoing series by my partner Seth Boyd and me.  On the surface, this body of work is a series of self-portraits, but if you take a deeper look it's also a journal. In our hotel room "journal" what is being recorded is intimacy, aging and physical change, the architecture of hospitality, and a comprehensive travelogue.  Have a look at the Mannschaft article here and the complete series here.


The Contractor

Bogdon, June 2012