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Archive for August, 2011

Scenes from A Show

Aug 26

In Friends, News at 7:12am

We set up the show on Tuesday night. When you need to get something done, it’s always good to have FDNY on your side. Louie Cacchioli rallied the guys, and over 25 firefighters showed up and worked tirelessly from 9pm through till 3am to get this in place for the Wednesday opening press reception. Pushing these frames around, many of which are close to 300 lbs., more than once I was like, “Why’d I have to shoot ’em so big?”

I was just humbled, really, by the selfless way these guys, many of whom came from way out of town, just pitched in and got this done. My thanks also go out to Related, the owners of the building, which worked with me to allow this to happen. If we had to actually hire shippers and handlers to move it around, it simply would never get done because of the enormous cost. Louie, seen below, has been the face of the show since the book came out in 2002, and he ended up on the cover. I always tell people he’s firefighting’s answer to Robert DeNiro. He’s always been there to help.

It also would never have gotten done, were it not for the tireless efforts of Ellen Price, who has worked with the collection for almost 10 years. Her labors are done behind the scenes, organizing, cataloging, making sure it has been stored properly (24,000 lbs. of photography in museum quality, monitored storage!) and working with the 911 Museum to arrange for its’ eventual home. Below, Ellen works with the guys.

So it got done. It will be on floor of the Time Warner Center, free and open to the public, from 10am to 9pm every day until Sept. 12. After that, we’ll see what happens. More on that tk.

We had lots of press at the opening, and a bunch of subjects from the original project also graciously came. Below, Bill Butler speaks eloquently about the events of 911.

More than 75,000 people a day transit the TW Center. Which means that close to a million people will pass by these over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully, they’ll stop for a moment, and remember.

(all video shot on Nikon D7000’s by Drew Gurian, Michael Cali, Mike Grippi and Lynda Peckham)

More tk…

Uh, Hang in There, Guys!

Aug 23

In News at 6:34am

This just in: Bethany College players suspended over nude team photograph.

Seems the guys on a college golf team got themselves into the rough over the last couple of days by shooting a naked team photo. The gang lined up on a hillside and made what has evidently been deemed a provocative picture, wearing only their irons and woods.

Quoting from news reports: “It was only intended as a bit of fun with the lads,” said senior team member Jack Hiscock who is from England. “We all have our shirts off, our shorts to ankles and we are holding golf clubs in front covering up our um, male parts,” said Mr. Hiscock.

According to reports filed, the coach’s reaction was dismay. “My stomach dropped and I thought this can’t be good,” said Bethany College Head Golf Coach and Athletic Director Jon Daniels.

Even though no athletic department regulations were violated, the lads have been suspended for three tournaments, which they feel, understandably, is a bit over the top. “The whole team is frustrated. We think the punishment is a bit harsh–not fair,” Hiscock said.

The golfers claim to have found pictorial inspiration in a photo done some time ago of the UCLA men’s golf team.

Uh, sorry guys.

I shot this for Golf Digest during the course of doing a story about the physique’s of young golfers. Inspired at the time by the powerful physicality of golfers like Tiger Woods, the sport was in the process of shedding its’ time honored image of portly duffers tootling around the links on golf carts, knocking back golf shots and beers in equal measure. The “new athletes of golf” as the story was slugged, spend as much time in the gym as they do on the course. They are finely tuned athletes in every regard, as is evidenced below, by another shot I did of the UCLA varsity.

All I can say is that I’m rooting for the guys in the midst of this heartland tempest. There’s all sorts of calendars out there, for instance, raising money for good causes, in which everybody from athletes to octogenarians doff their duds for a lark and a charity. As Bethany team member Norrie Steyn was quoted in the news, “It’s just a fun thing, we all had had a great time doing it.”

The Golf Digest story was certainly fun to do. For instance, I shot this of the formidable Scottish golfer Wallace Booth, bare chested, in a kilt, swinging a club. Not the way he usually attacks a course, but a cool shot nonetheless, and seeing his arms and torso certainly convey the sense that he can drive the ball a fair distance.

Take heart, guys. You may yet be vindicated, or at least remembered. I shot this of the 1996 U.S. men’s Olympic water polo team, and it has since gone on to become one of the better known water polo pictures ever shot. Go figure.

More tk….


Not Just Your Average Joe

Aug 22

In Friends, history, News at 10:57am

From the Faces of Ground Zero Project

Joe Hodges, Ladder 6, FDNY, 2001

On medical leave, Hodges was undergoing a stress test at a doctor’s office in Staten Island when the attacks occurred. A 20-year veteran of the DNY, he is eligible to retire but has no plans to do so anytime soon.

“I pulled myself off of medical leave and hiteched a ride on a tugboat to Manhattan. Knowing that everyone I worked with was in the buildings, I had to go. There are so many young guys on the job now, older guys like me have to show them the ropes. It’s a tradition in the fire department. Now’s not the time to leave.

Joe stayed on the job for several more years after 911. He was a quintessential go to guy in the house–veteran firefighter, always up for a laugh or a prank. I have to imagine guys like Joe are the glue that hold a whole firehouse together.  He’s retired now, and thoroughly enjoying that retirement, living out on Staten Island. We visited him recently, shot a few pictures, and had a beer. I know his wife Eileen, who calls him her hero, is happy to have him home and safe, no longer plunging into burning buidlings.

I caught up with Joe a few years back as well, and made a photo with him from Governor’s Island in the New York harbor on July 4th, 2005. For the technically minded, this is one small flash, off to camera right, TTL, and a six second exposure.

Joe’s images and story will be on the floor of the Time Warner Center in NYC, starting this Wednesday.

more tk….

Press Alert!

Aug 19

In News at 7:41am

Press conference on August 24th, 9-11am, on the second floor of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. This has been a bit of a saga, folks, and I’ll be blogging about it through the show dates. Many thanks to all, especially our sponsors, and the folks at Related, who manage the Time Warner Building. This would not have been possible without a lot of effort from lots of folks. Just click on below to enlarge.

Greetings from Soufriere…

Aug 18

In Friends at 4:47am

Garvey’s hands, with the duty board of the Soufriere Fire Station.

Been coming to St. Lucia for almost 18 years, now, ever since Travel Holiday magazine sent me to paradise in 1994 to shoot a leafy place called Anse Chastanet. I have been here maybe a dozen times since then, and have dear friends on the island. The place is now called Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet, and it remains remarkable in its’ beauty, made complete by the warmth of the St. Lucian people.

Wandering Soufriere about three years ago with Scott Kelby, who was guest lecturing at a lighting workshop I gave here, we literally just stumbled upon the Soufriere Fire Station, and thought we’d take a look inside. Nothing was planned, and they weren’t expecting us. So needless to say, when firefighter and avid photog Garvey Charlemange realized Scott Kelby was actually in his firehouse, he went to four alarms.

Garvey is one of Scott’s biggest fans, and needless to say his jaw hit the floor faster than a dropped rock. It was as if Garvey had just clicked “” and, via the magic of the internet, there was Scott, saying, hey, maybe we could shoot together.

We’ve been visiting the fire station now every year, shooting pictures of Garvey and his mates, who are terrific. Last year, we had wrapped our day there,  finished the workshop and gone home when Hurricane Tomas hit. It was a massive storm, and the aftermath was a tough time for the guys at the house. Lots of round the clock rescues and recovery efforts were done, all with limited gear and equipment.

The photo business is about giving back, right? I’d never even know these guys if it weren’t for photography. When a photograph is made, at least some of time, a bond is also created. They invited our workshop into their shop. So, right after the hurricane, we sent workshop money back to the fire house. They were very grateful, and Garvey told me yesterday that the dough was directly used to help victims and buy new gear.

Garvey also invited these young lads into the firehouse for a quick portrait session. They combine to prove that kids in front of a camera are the same anywhere in the world. They can only hang onto it for just so long.

This is a lighting workshop, but all of the above were shot with available light. The shot of Garvey’s hands was actually shot after the sun was well and truly down. ISO 1000, D3S, 24mm lens, Lexar cards.

Home Sunday. More tk…..