Fine art photography and education.

Recent work

24th Street Homecoming -  The sunrise on Wednesday, September 14, 2016, was one of those once in a life time gifts the photo gods bestow on photographers.  We had just come to Ship Bottom, NJ, for a short visit with my sister Vicki in the nursing home. I thought, feared, this may be the last time I would ever see her now that she is moving to her son's home in Frederica, Delaware, population 774. I hope it works out for her there, and in many respects this arrangement is far more sensible than living alone in our cold summer cottage on 24th Street. 
And it will cost less money than a nursing home.

I was up out of the lumpy bed room off the living room at 5:30 AM, the one we always thought of as Aunt and Uncle's bedroom. The same one that had so many memories for me in a wild and crazy youth "down at the shore." Kathy slept. I looked out the door to the north and saw lovely puffy clouds hanging out in a dark sky. This sunrise had the promise of something special.

We lived just a few houses from the beach. I climbed the stairs at the top of the street and as I cleared the top of the dune I noticed a silent figure sitting ghost like on the bench. It was a woman, bundled up against the cold. She sat perfectly still, perhaps meditating to the sunrise to come. I made a few exposures with her silhouetted against the deep purple sky, ditched my sandals, and offered her a "Good morning." Not a word came over my shoulder from her, no greeting, just a dark silence and sounds from the sea. I walked down the dunes to the shore. "Good, not another reliving soul on the beach in either direction." It is always a joy to be so alone, especially here. This place felt so familiar, an echo from my youth. The cool sand felt very familiar between my toes.

The sky lightened but large clouds hung very still to the north. I could see the lights of a distant ship way out on the horizon. I waited and watched the incoming tide begin to wash away a little bank of sand. I left foot prints in the wet sand but the waves reached up on the shore and immediately erased them, a reminder of how ephemeral our existence. 

The brightening sky. The clouds began to break apart. They floated into a perfect picture, as if arranged by some celestial director of sun rises. I could see those clouds again reflected in the pool of water left behind by the waves. The time was right for a picture. I could not have imaged it a more beautiful homecoming.

We met Don and baby Cassie the morning. She is a beautiful child and he a proud father. He did not object to having this picture made. He told us they took the bus to the Breakfast because they don’t have a car. He said his wife was at work now (7:30 AM). He said they finally have a small apartment but they had been homeless in the recent past. He told Kathy they were getting by but it wasn’t easy. He seemed so protective of his baby all wrapped up in blankets against the cold. We were very moved.

The Sunday Friendship Breakfast, November 29, 2015. I took some pictures of Courtney last week and again today. She sleeps on the steps of the Providence Cathedral every night. ‪

The Sunday Friendship Breakfast, November 29, 2015. I took some pictures of Courtney last week and again today. She sleeps on the steps of the Providence Cathedral every night. 

The good work at the Sunday friendship Breakfast continues on into late summer, as do my photographs documenting the folks who come. I see the same faces week after week. I hear the same stories. I have gotten to know many of these folks by name and I often chat with them. Usually drugs, alcohol, mental illness are part of the story. So is lack of opportunity. They all say they want decent housing but is hard to get and you must get in line. You get a number and if it  is finally called you suddenly realize you will need a real bed and furniture.You usually have to pay some amount of rent with the little money you have coming in from the state so buying new furnishings isn’t an option. You don’t have a car so if furniture happens to be offered to you by some good person or organization you can’t easily go get it. It becomes so complicated that it might just seem easier to live on the street or a shelter. That’s the way it is for many of the people pictured here.  CLICK TO ENLARGE...

blessed.

My and my shadow, going the wrong way...

 

Ashlee asked me to take pictures of her so she can give them to a friend who is in prison.

Although Douglas is only 4 feet tall, he is a proud man who likes to steal the limelight. He asked me to take this picture.

 

Steve is one of the first to arrive at the Sunday Friendship Breakfast, Mathewson Street United Methodist Church, Providence, Rhode islandh, and one of the last to leave. Rarely smiles, usually alone, he always agrees to have me make his picture.

Many of the folks at the Breakfast are so very alone.

 

I usually see Mark with Bill. Both have had a very tough winter. 

Peace Dale, Rhode Island.

 

Cooling towers at the Brayton Power Plant,  Thank you for this, Michael Kenna.

London Plane tree, Peace Dale Library.