Blog Archives

one day in New York – sea to heights

The sky was falling that day – yet sparse little groups were coming for the refuge of the Atlantic.

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Rockaway floodtide

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on the other side of the city, perched on granite

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millions make their daily marks

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More photos here:  www.flickr.com/photos/mattron

The Blue Gate

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Purely #nofilter – latest analog pics

The following color pictures were taken with a Diana; the black and white ones with a Soviet Zorki-4

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Startling Tales of the Ocean-Sea: 2nd in a Series

No. 2 – In which I receive a Revelation to let fall my Pistol and engage in Music to conjure the Maidens of the Ocean-Sea.

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me in front of the camera for once…

 

photo by Ron Gejon Photography

all those sunday mornings after

 

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copyright 2013

Startling Tales of the Ocean-Sea: 1st in a Series

No. 1 – In which I rain Fire upon the dread Squid so lately harassing our noble Shores.  Stand yo’ ground!

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me in front of the camera for once…

photo by Ron Gejon Photography

Pictures from a heatwave

July, 2013, NYC –

 

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An article called “10 Cities in the Western Hemisphere that Feel Cooler Than NYC Right Now” mentioned Death Valley…  The week-long inferno peaked out at about 103 degrees, with matching humidity.  Everyone has a glazed look in their eye, and walk stiffly to minimize any motion that does not involve keeping cool.   The sort of heat that gives you chills – if this was the temperature of inside your body, you’d be laid in bed with fever, taking antibiotics

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Engulfed by concrete and brick; a pizza oven.

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As the gloom slowly slips away – Scroll Down for Spring

100th Post!!

This is that “just 10 degrees warmer please” time of year, when the long, gray drudgery of March starts to crack into early Spring.  People are sick of it – you know it’s April in New York when it gets just a hair above 60 degrees, and the sidewalk cafes are packed with bundled-up diners pretending not to shiver.  But as the flowers begin to appear, first tentatively, then explosively, we know sweet May is not long off.

These are some photos tracing the end of Winter and the first baby steps of Spring.  Near the bottom are pictures of the almost-complete 1 World Trade Center

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“Death of Time”

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Forest Hills, Queens
Zorki-4

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A pretty estuary it must have been before urbanity took hold. Probably not unlike similar coastal creeks I’ve kayaked along. Today, this is the border between the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn – a Superfund site which ranks among the most polluted waterways in the US. The snowy weather today tempered that fact for a little bit, and high above on the Pulaski Bridge it’s easier to imagine it as it once was.

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Queens Blvd
Zorki-4

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cabland

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Rivington St.
Lower East Side

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Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

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33 stories above Lower Manhattan

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5Pointz
A world renowned graffiti/street art mecca, the exterior of this former-warehouse-turned-artist-studios-space is covered in amazing pieces which are constantly changing.
It is currently threatened by developers who aim to build a sterile, glass condo complex on the site.

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180 ft below Washington Heights

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Icy Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

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Century-old Skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan Gold

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Verticalia – World Trade Center, early April, 2013

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A climb out the window and a few flights up the fire escape to the roof is a treasure which makes all the b.s. of daily city life go away for a precious few moments.

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Into the Blue – World Trade Center, early April, 2013

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Washington Heights

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sudden sweet sultry haze of spring.
Ft. Tryon Park, Manhattan

Sunshine and Shadow – January 2013

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– near the Gowanus Canal, near where the dolphin got trapped and died the other day –

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“end stop and frisk; hands off the kids!”

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Standing on what used to be the boardwalk of a much wider beach. The debris has been removed, and all that is left are the concrete supports.

They’ve caught sand in the wind and formed a sort of dune;

within it are scraps of tile and vases, smashed in the storm.
The neighborhood today was silent, frozen, locked-down.
Buildings still burned out, power still out in places – sand everywhere.
There’s still a long road ahead.

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The Crappiest Cameras of the Digital Age

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  All best wishes to thee and thine.

 

This is a re-run of an article I wrote for onefive4gallery.com, a collective of artists from a multitude of disciplines.  Check them out!

In recent years, vintage toy cameras have been gaining artistic appeal. Why?….

World's Fair Grounds, Queens, NYCHolga, Fuji Superia Reala 100

World’s Fair Grounds, Queens, NYC
Holga, Fuji Superia Reala 100

The Holga, the Diana, and others… they were among the lamest cameras of the ’60’s and ’80’s – cheap plastic give-aways that kids would save cereal box-tops for. The bottom pile of an increasingly sophisticated artform, when photography was becoming precise and razor sharp in its aesthetic and production. In their time, a camera with a plastic lens, dubious aperture settings and a vague focusing system, was definitely not to be taken seriously.

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Whether it likes it or not, the present always looks towards the past. So in our digital world, with our digital aesthetics, it is inevitable that we begin to see nostalgia, and even to seek nostalgia, in what we look at and listen to. This is why music, trends, and art tend to repeat themselves every few generations or so.

These weak pieces of plastic have, for the first time, begun to mean something to the art of photography. We have come to expect perfection in our pictures, but the hearts of many of us still hold dear the imperfect images of our memories.

Long Lake, the Adirondacks, New YorkHolga, Fuji Astia 100, cross-processed

Long Lake, the Adirondacks, New York
Holga, Fuji Astia 100, cross-processed

This is one of the basic appeals of a camera like the Holga or Diana. Pop in a roll of old-school 120 film and shoot the best you can without the benefit of a re-do. Then rush the roll to a lab and wait a small eternity for the turn-around- At first, all this ends in frustration- casting off precious dollars for 12 frames of failure. Eventually you get it right though, and begin to get pictures that many would say were shot decades ago – back in that world of memory.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal. Antwerp, BelgiumDiana, Ilford HP5 400

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal. Antwerp, Belgium
Diana, Ilford HP5 400

But this effect is now possible digitally- with apps like instagram, hipstamatic, etc. For now, the eye can still tell the difference between digital effect and real analog, but very soon, the two will be indistinguishable.Digital has far outpaced what film can do. So it goes- there’s no purist indignation here.

Then – what’s the point of having a love affair with analog film, and especially for cheapie plastic cameras?

Two reasons that come to mind:

1) There are no re-do’s. You have to get it right the first time. This frees the instinct to have full sway, and often, instinct is the best force we have. There are no fancy knobs and settings, no science. Just you and the light.

2) Also, the chemical properties of film are totally integral to the image produced. Each make of film has its own basic character that can’t be circumvented. Choosing the right film for your vision is like finding the right spice for a meal- once you start with it, it’s there to stay. And- analog processing is subject to temperature, time, and density- functions of the physical world. It’s a more dynamic, organic, process.

World's Fair GroundsHolga, Fuji Superia Reala 100

World’s Fair Grounds
Holga, Fuji Superia Reala 100

Careful re-makes of vintage toy cameras are sold all over the place now, and analog is definitely in fashion lately. It has all the trappings of a fad. Who knows if it will stick. Who cares?… It’s an endlessly fun art, and that’s all it really needs to be.

AmsterdamDiana, Kodak Tri-X 400

Amsterdam
Diana, Kodak Tri-X 400

Port de Hal, Brussels - Diana, Kodak Tri-X 400

Port de Hal, Brussels –
Diana, Kodak Tri-X 400

New Paltz, NYHolga, Kodak Portra 400

New Paltz, NY
Holga, Kodak Portra 400

Staten Island Ship GraveyardDiana, Kodak Portra 400

Staten Island Ship Graveyard
Diana, Kodak Portra 400

Central Park, NYCDiana - Ilford HP5 400

Central Park, NYC
Diana – Ilford HP5 400

Long Lake, the Adirondacks, NYHolga, Fuji Astia 100, cross-processed

Long Lake, the Adirondacks, NY
Holga, Fuji Astia 100, cross-processed

Astoria, NYC - Holga, Kodak Portra 400

Astoria, NYC – Holga, Kodak Portra 400

Occupy Wall Street, NYCDiana, Kodak Portra 400

Occupy Wall Street, NYC
Diana, Kodak Portra 400

For more of my analog, toy camera pics: 

with the Diana

with the Holga