BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography of New York by Dave Beckerman

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A Few From the Wedding

5 October, 2008 (21:17) | 4 comments

old-friends-3649 A Few From the Wedding

wedding-girl-3998 A Few From the Wedding

wedding-girl-3721 A Few From the Wedding

Wedding Shoot & Cat

4 October, 2008 (18:06) | 10 comments

cat-3594 Wedding Shoot & Cat

My middle sister (J.) is getting married tomorrow (for the 2nd time) and I was tapped to be second photographer.  I usually refuse to be the main photographer since I can’t stand grouping people together and forcing them to smile and all that stuff.

So I do my usual documentary style - and usually end up with some good shots.  But the first time she got married I had trouble since I didn’t bring a flash and it was just a very dark hall.  So I took out the flash and forced the cat to do a few tests for me in case the hall is dark tomorrow.  I really don’t like weddings.  I don’t like to dance unless I’ve had a few drinks - and I don’t drink anymore.  Too many people.

I would like to do pet photography someday.  I have more respect for cats and dogs than I do for most humans.

I keep the flash on a cable and hold it in my left hand, or put it on a bracket so it isn’t directly above the lens.  Since the flash is a sunpak that doesn’t communicate well with the Canon - I have to work in manual mode - but with digital that’s not a big deal.  I just do a few tests - check them on the camera back - and I’m usually pretty close.  If I were going to do more of this sort of thing I guess I’d pick up a dedicated flash - but I don’t really need it.

There will be 300 people, and she’s also expecting me to get at least one shot to use on the thank-you cards.  Frankly, if I were still shooting film, I wouldn’t even offer to do this job.

The only pain was that I had to buy a suit, since I couldn’t fit into my old suit from 7 plus years ago.  I’ve decided that I’ll go with two lenses - the 30mm f1.4 and 50mm.  In other words, I’ve learned not to get too fancy - and just shoot weddings or whatever as I would anything else.

I do get asked to do weddings - but so far have been able to refuse because I’m busy enough with orders and a few other designer projects which I can’t mention in the blog.

Anyway - buddy told me that I did get his best side.

City Lights

3 October, 2008 (13:32) | 3 comments

street-lights-3566 City Lights

Shades of Walker Evans

1 October, 2008 (17:37) | 7 comments

triangle-2192 Shades of Walker Evans

Ben Shahn had recently learned the basics of photography from Walker Evans.

“Look, Ben, there’s nothing to it,” Evans had called to him on his way out the door to catch the boat to Havana.

“F9 on the shady side of the street, f45 on the sunny side, twentieth of a second, hold your camera steady!”

In order to catch their subjects unposed, Shahn and Evans used a periscopic lens on their Leicas (not unlike the one Strand had used on the Lower East Side almost twenty years earlier), so that they appeared to be aiming at each other rather than disturbing the natural flow of events in the street.

From Walker Evans by Belinda Rathbone

Central Park Lake

27 September, 2008 (20:39) | No comments

central-park-lake-2725 Central Park LakeView from 59th street.

The Mets - 9/27/08

27 September, 2008 (16:15) | 2 comments

Johan Santana pitching 3-hit shutout on three days rest.

johan-santana-3494 The Mets - 9/27/08

When you start to do stop motion shots of pitchers, it’s amazing the amount of torque and stress they put on their limbs, muscles etc.  You start to get an idea of why so many of them get hurt.

Tomorrow is the big day.  If Mets can win and Milwaukee loses - then Mets go into post season.  If both lose or both win, then there’s a one game playoff to go into the post season.  So it’s a big game.  And no matter what any (including myself) say - they didn’t collapse like last year.

Breakdance!

25 September, 2008 (15:58) | 4 comments

I had an hour or two to kill after printing most of the day, and decided to head down to St. Patricks to shoot the interior with the infrared flash.  As I got off the R train, first thing I noticed was a good angle on the Central Park Lake which I hadn’t shot before.  But then headed on and there were the breakdancers that I had shot several times before - but always in the subway.  You know me - I love street performers.  Never did make it to the church.

These guys always put on a good show.  Not just in terms of the gymnastics, but how they relate to the crowd.

The lead guy, usually does his thing to Billy Jean as Jackson, and he’s very good at it.  But the acrobats, working on sidewalks without mats - the crowd loves them.


break-dance-59th-2772 Breakdance!

break-dance-59th-2780 Breakdance!

break-dance-59th-2768 Breakdance!

floating-27391 Breakdance!

Yes, this last one is some form of levitation; which reminds me of a religious painting by Dali.


Another Jogger

25 September, 2008 (09:17) | 4 comments

squirrel-jogging-4165 Another Jogger

A few days ago, my dad called to tell me that someone he knew had died, and that they had a bunch of photo equipment that might be worth selling, but he wasn’t sure.  One or two of the cameras were called - LYE-KA, and something else, what was it he tried to remember, oh, Hass-something.

It wasn’t very long ago that I would’ve jumped at a chance to at least see this stuff.  Maybe I could get a good deal on a Leica.  Who knows what was in the guy’s collection.  But now I just told dad that I wasn’t interested but that I was sure that whoever had the cameras could get rid of them on e-bay.

I remember a similar situation a few years ago.  Someone had died and left Leicas.  I went out to Long Island to find out what they were, but was dissapointed to find that they weren’t even rangefinders - but old SLRs with all the trimmings - but the widow knew the worth of the stuff and so it was a trip for nothing.  But nowadays, you don’t get that.  And with digital stuff - can you imagine jumping at a 40D 30 years from now?

It would be like buying an early IBM PC.  Maybe for a collection - but not for use.  Will the early digital cameras appreciate in value for collectors?  I have no idea.

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