Dave Beckerman Photography 




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Transit Strike
All Day Parking
Harlem Lookout
I Love Everybody
My Door
Matt Weber Project
Ilford - Kodak
Rent Demonstration
Matting Info
Google Image Search


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12/20/2005 DELL CHAT


David Beckerman: "Is it possible to upgrade the processor in my Dell 8100?"

Agent (Pradumn_011139872):"Thank you for contacting Dell Consumer Hardware Warranty Support Chat. My name is Pradumn. Please allow me a moment to review your question.

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Hi David, How are you?"

David Beckerman: "I'm fine. How you are you."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "I am fine. Thank you."

David Beckerman: "I'm a photographer in New York. I'm doing a lot of more intensive processing in Photoshop and the current system is too slow. I'm wondering whether I'm going to need to buy another pc; or whether this one can be upgraded."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Thank you for the information. As per the records you have a Dell Dimension 8100 model and Windows Millennium Operating System. Is that correct?"

David Beckerman: "I'm running Win2K"

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "All Right. I would be very glad to offer assistance regarding your issue."

David Beckerman: "I have 3/4 gig of ram."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "As I understand the issue, the system is slow. Is that correct?"

David Beckerman: "Yes. Processing an image is slow."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Since when have you been experiencing the issue?"

David Beckerman: "My Photoshop files have become larger; probably starting about 6 months ago. I think that I need a faster processor."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "May I know if any computer technician advised you for a faster processor?"

David Beckerman: "No. But I have computer programming and hardware experience."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "All Right. That's great."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Dell does not offer processor or motherboard upgrades for purchase as discreet items, nor does Dell recommend upgrading the processor or motherboard in any given system; therefore, Dell cannot support systems in which the motherboard or processor has been upgraded."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872) sends page which says same thing:

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "May I know if you are able to locate information on the link?"

David Beckerman: "Yes. So Dell can't tell me whether the processor or motherboard is upgradable?"

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "We do not advise processor and motherboard upgrades. However, you may upgrade memory, Operating system etc. to improve the speed of the system."

David Beckerman: "Okay. Thanks."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Thank you. Do you think I have helped you in resolving this issue and answered your questions properly?"

David Beckerman: "Yes and no. You have done your best, but I think Dell should be able to tell me whether a system is upgradable or not."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Thank you."

David Beckerman: "Bye."

Agent Pradumn_011139872): "Is there any other Hardware related issue I may assist you with?"

David Beckerman: "No thanks."

Agent (Pradumn_011139872): "Please spend a minute of your time in providing us with your valuable feedback. This would help us in improving -- "

Connection terminated..


Transit Strike
Yikes this is a disaster! I'm glad I'm not at Penn Station. This might very well destroy the local union which has just been fined a million bucks a day. My neighbor believes that this will give the union leader a face-saving out. That he can come back and say that because of the court decision (which he must have known they'd get) the union should go back to work and the thing goes to binding arbitration.

Bloomberg was totally pissed during the news conference today.

If this thing goes on much longer they'll have to declare NYC a national disaster and get the new and improved FEMA in here.

Somehow, to my surprise - Fedex managed to get through and just delivered extra memory for the laptop. And when I went to drop-off some prints at the local Fedex drop store they told me that they didn't think there'd be any delays with Fedex shipping.

Before the strike, I did a little poll of my neighbors and family and no one thought there would actually be a strike. Everyone believed it was just a case of brinksmanship. That the union would get close to the strike but wouldn't actually do it.

Everyone was wrong.


I know that many of you are concerned about the recent takeover of the American states by the British, but I assure you children that this takeover is for our own good. Now the British have asked me to teach a class on some of the new words they've introduced into our language so you can understand what they mean. Are you ready class?

Yes, Mrs. Landers.

As you know, some of our citizens have still not accepted the presence of the British on our soil. The British, have assured us that they will leave as soon as they can. In the meantime they are helping us setup a Parliament like they have. And as you know there are a few words that might help you understand what's going on:

Today's word class is: rejectionist.

Let me write it on the blackboard for you kids.

No Jimmy, you won't find rejectionist in the dictionary. The new dictionaries haven't been printed yet, but the next Oxford English-American dictionary will include the word rejectionist.

If you kids continue to hold onto the old ways - if you don't accept the presence of the British - you will be considered a rejectionist. Be careful not to be one of those, at least not while the British are still here. Our official policy is to be an acceptionist. That too is a new word, but it just means that you want our country to be helped out by the British. That is the only reason they are here. Let me repeat that: The British are here to help us because it is clear that we can no longer govern ourselves.

Also, remember kids, that since the British discovered a new process for manufacturing oil, they have once again become world rulers and that you are now a part of the Britanian Empire.

Yes, Mrs. Landers. But they're forcing us to drink tea again.

Well class. I would suggest that you drink it and like it. Their new synthetic Earl Grey is an excellent beverage even if it is a side product of their new synthetic oil manufacturing process. Now Tommy - a simple remark like that about your dislike of tea would be considered a rejectionist remark.

Yes, Mrs. Landers.

Now I know this is a hard transition for you, but the new Prime Minister, Mrs. Thatcher II, has made it quite clear that these new words be explained to you.

The next word is, Bushist. I'm sure you know what that means?

Yes - Marge. I see your hand Marge. Yes, that's correct. Someone who still follows, either in their heart or mind the former President Bush. As you know, President Bush is no longer President and we must pay attention to what our new Prime Minister says. Remember, we don't want to go back to the days of the republic where our own politics were disfunctional.

The Prime Minister has a lot in common with our former President. Both had parents who ruled their countries for a while. So don't be a Bushist; don't be a rejectionist; be an acceptionist.

Now there are two other words that she asked me to explain to you, terrorist and insurgent. But that will be for our next class. Now everybody please stand up, we are going to sing God Save the Queen.

Yes, Mrs. Landers.

Mrs. Landers?

Yes, Beaver.

Mrs. Landers, my dad can't sign my homework tonight because we can't find him. Some men came into the house last night and took him away.

Beaver, I'm sorry to hear that. That brings us to another word: renditioned. Have you heard of that? You haven't. I'll explain that to you tomorrow.

[As far as I know, Dave wasn't smoking mushrooms when he wrote this but I can't keep track of him 24 hours a day. He also missed the main news of the day: Transit Strike in New York. He told me that he wasn't interested in photographing the transit strike and I asked him why not. He just said it was like photographing something not happening. My own take is that it was too cold for him. -- ed. ]


12/19/2005 All Day Parking

One of the crappiest parking lots in New York is under the 59th street Bridge (Manhattan Side). The gas pumps are covered with flakes of rusted something - probably lead - from the shaking of the bridge. If you stand there long enough you'll need a good cleaning too.


Harlem Lookout

Finished working on Matt Weber's gallery and should put it up today. Here's another shot of his that I love: Harlem Lookout (Matt Weber, 1988). Not exactly the "How much is that doggie in the window" song that I grew up listening to. I don't know if this dog has a waggely tail - but I bet it has a fascinating tale to tell.

Here's the link to the gallery: Matt Weber Photography. I've also put up a link to his book which I have and think is great. Most photographers who actually have a chance to handle the book end up wanting one. Right now his stuff is going through Paypal - so I probably should integrate so it goes through my own cart mechanism... later... I'm starting to get itchy trigger finger.

* * *
As far as most of my own old 4 x 5 work goes - most of it is pretty worthless: static, and careful but not interesting. When I get to the Medium Format shots they get better. And the 35mm shots that were hand-held are even better. There was something about using the 4 x 5 camera that caused me to really think twice about taking the shot. There are two or three gems in there but nothing undiscovered.


12/17/2005 I Love Everybody
I've been forcing people to listen to Lyle Lovett through my iPod wherever I go, but I haven't made any converts yet. Why, these are all ballads, they say. This is like your other country stuff. What's that guys name -- John Prine? How come you like this country stuff anyway. Huh?

The song that is especially hard to find appreciation for is "I Love Everybody" which is the title song of the CD. I realize it's a little sappy, but it makes me feel like I'm sitting in a little mythological bar in a mythological town with a bunch of good ole boys - waving mugs of beer around. Many of us in the bar are crying over lost love. Some are silent, staring off into space with a funny look - maybe thinking about their wives.

There's a John Ford western bar room mirror with a crack in it and a picture of Lilly Langtree. The trouble between the cattle owners and the sodbusters has momentarilly been put on pause.

If you look through the mirror - you see a dusty road that turns into a highway and then into a modern city. Did you know that 100 years ago nearly everyone lived in a town or on a farm and now they're all crammed into the big metropolis?

I love everybody, especially you.

* * *
Four more prints to do for Matt's gallery and then I think I may actually go out and do some shooting. Especially if there's a subway strike (which I still doubt).

Lenox Lounge, © Matt Weber


12/15/2005 My Door
I often leave my front door open so the cat can stake out some territory on the top of the stairs. He does like to roam around.

Yesterday a real-estate agent with a prospective tenant stopped by. They saw my opened door and the young woman who was contemplating an apartment in the building wanted to ask me a few questions.

How's the super here, she asked. He's okay, I guess when you can find him. He doesn't live in the building though.

How's the heat in the winter? It's okay. I remember using the word okay several times.

She looked hopeful. Wanted to know about the neighbors. I didn't tell her that they generally came in young and fresh like her and left for something better after a year. There are about five or six of us in the building that have been crammed in here for a few years or more.

Then she made the mistake of asking if she could come in and look around. Okay, I said. And she took a few steps in and couldn't get much further because the vacuum cleaner hose was blocking the way. But she stepped over it. Took a look around. I could see her jaw drop. Not exactly the model apartment she was looking for.

She politely thanked me (doubt if I'll ever see her again) and left. I looked around after she left through her eyes. What I saw was a workshop. Cramped. Messy. Not a touch of anything remotely feminine, or homey to be seen.

I saw that every square inch has something to do with film or printing. I recently moved my liquid chemicals into the only kitchen cabinet because in the bathroom they were too close to the steam pipe. I left the photoflo bottle in there though thinking it's just soap.

Open the fridge: batteries, juice, some ancient olives - and film. I don't cook here anymore. There's no room.

The kitchen counter is just a mass of wires, extensions, scanners, and a printer (2200).

What was once a spice-rack has tri-x boxes in it.

Look up and you'll see the loft - more boxes with packaging supplies. I don't really mind the place until someone new and fresh stops by and then it seems like a peculiar way to live. I once read an article - I think it was in Lensworks about a photographer who didn't even have a bed and slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of his apartment. Looking at it from that point-of-view I consider myself well off.

I didn't always live this way. Before moving up here I lived in a five room apartment on the lower east side with my girlfriend. There was the one room for darkroom equipment and the rest of the house was like your usual house with a bedroom and living room. Sometimes we'd have guests over for dinner and open a table. I once did Thanksgiving at that house for both her and my family. When we split - I let her have the apartment (and was glad to get out - you know how those things go).

Sometimes, as I'm falling asleep - I think about what it would be like to just pick up and move someplace cheap and homey. Someplace with wide open skies and vast horizons. Big rooms where you could stretch out and watch the sunset through panormic windows.

The grass is always more saturated someplace else. There are people out there saying: Gee - wish I could do what Dave is doing. And then there's Dave thinking - I wish I could get a job at a filling station in Mayberry and come home - pat Opie on the head - and sit and smoke my pipe on the front porch. Mayberry and the photographer's life - all a dream. Might as well keep it beneath closed eyes.


Matt Weber Project

Midnight Kiss, Matt Weber

Abbey Road, Matt Weber

It is just as interesting to work on someone else's images as my own (if I like the photographs).. These are Matt Weber's photographs.

I have about twenty prints to do and as he goes through his collection, there will be more. Now, from a business point of view - I don't know if it makes sense to sell other photographer's work through my own site (we plan to split the retail price) - but I can't see any harm in it either so long as they are tangentially related.

You'll notice that many of the best photography websites are produced by photographers who are also good web designers - often computer programmers or web designers by day. And there are sites which offer the work of many photographers - but you tend to get lost in the mix. So I like the idea of doing this with a few photographers.

I also think it's a good learning experience for me to work on other photographer's prints.

My plan is to offer 20 or 25 inkjet versions from my own site to start off with, and then help him rebuild his web site so that it is more user friendly.

* * *

Also cool - I've got the laptop running properly now, and just ordered 512mb of ram for it. It's hooked up to my router so I can see what stuff looks like at 600 x 800 (ugh). I know you think who in the world is still using 600 x 800, but it is all over the place. (Ugh again). For example: my sister, my father, my neighbor downstairs. It's more common than you'd think. And the first thing I notice is that even my blog needs to be scrolled horizontally to fit (and there's no reason at all that has to be).


12/13/2005 Ilford - Kodak
Barrett e-mailed this link

"Dear Customer,

Mono Paper, Film and Chemical Equivalents Charts

ILFORD Photo has produced a pair of charts showing the ILFORD equivalents for Kodak and Agfa Papers, Films and Chemicals, thus enabling users to switch with no problems and no need to experiment to find an alternative product. "

Do they know something we don't?


12/12/2005 Rent Demonstration

I'm always asked - so what do you shoot? I shoot:

I shoot looks. Glances. Sunrises and sunsets. Trees if they lean towards me properly. Demonstrations when a kid's tongue sticks to a railing. Shadows if they have the proper politics. Mystery and mayhem. Night floating down the river with a diamond necklace made from gleaming bridges.

I specialize in kids and old people. People my own age are 2-dimensional beings. They specialize in hiding during the middle decades. You can't appreciate them until you are in your eighties.

I shoot whatever presents itself to me, whether it exists or not. Sometimes I just sit and wait by the river and wait until the great moment approaches from behind me and taps me on the shoulder with cold steel fingers. The fingers have an ancient patina on them. They reach out from the monumental factory that once manufactured faucets. The faucet fingers are all that's left of the ghosts walking through corridors in the open sunlight near the river, near the piers where a father and son fish the now polluted waters.

That's the sort of thing I shoot.


Matting Info
The museum 4-ply board arrived from Stu-Art (sort of). They sent it to the building next to mine but the woman who got it let me know and so all is well. The mat and cuts looks great.

Remember - when comparing these prices - the Stu-Art window mats are custom cut to my specs. the Light Impression Boards are not.

So - the window mat is 4-ply archival M11 Museum White with custom bevel window cut. Backing board is MM type.


8 x 10 mat size = 1.91 ea. + .39 backing board = $2.30 ea.

11 x 14 mat size = 3.50 ea. + MM back .74 = $4.24

16 x 20 Museum Board with any opening: $5.00 ea + $1.25 back = $6.25 ea.

Light Impressions (not custom cut):

8 x 10 board and back with 5 x 7 opening = $4.59 ea.

11 x 14 board and back with 8 x 10 opening = $5.99 ea.

16 x 20 museum board and back with 11 x 14 opening = 7.59 ea.

You can see - the biggest savings with Stu-Art is with the 8 x 10 inch size.


12/11/2005 Google Image Search
You might find this interesting - I remember that Heath was looking for something along these lines. If you leave the field blank, it will bring back every grayscale image in the Prints-For-Sale directory - though I'm still trying to figure out how to get it not to pick up the index files though. But generally if the text you are looking for is in the page, it's picked up.

Here's the search page using google image search. It's still pulling up the index pages (which I don't want), but this is about the most useful thing I've found for searching particular parts of the site and returning images. It only returns jpgs that are "grayscale." There are some other parameters I can fool around with as well.


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©  Dave Beckerman Photography, 243 East 83rd Street, #3B, New York, NY 10028 (212) 570-4622