Sunday, August 08, 2010

For No Particular Reason

Sometimes there's no particular reason to show a picture other than I just happen to like it. These fall into that category. Above, a car slows atop a bridge over The Brickyard, Deefield, Illinois. From a series on water towers in the mid-west.

This is a portrait of my friend, Jimmy Winstead, a photographer now living in Jackson, Mississippi. He stood for this portrait in 1985 (or was it 1984?) in my studio on East 20th Street in New York City.

I think it was either a test of the lighting for a series of portraits I was making on deep grey background, emulating Denis Piel, who I assisted for a while. It could have been a test of the light bank that I built to be used in the set-up for a series of portraits I was making on deep grey background, emulating Denis Piel. Either way, Denis Piel figured-in prominently.

I had to build my own bank light because, at that time, I'd just opened my business and was strapped for cash. I couldn't afford to have one custom-built for me and I didn't like those fabric banks like Chimera and their imitators because they had a pin-cushion-like shape which I found unattractive when reflected in a surface.

Johnny Rotundi, the pizza maker at
L & B Spumoni Gardens & Pizzeria, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York City, September 1987. I was working on a project with 39 other photographers called Document: Brooklyn whereby we all worked around the clock for a week, well, at least I did. Anyway, L & B Spumoni Gardens was supposed to be the best pizza in Brooklyn. I don't know, I never got to eat any, I went broke buying the dough we consumed making the picture of Johnny tossing the dough in the air, I couldn't afford to buy a slice after the shoot. Oh well.

Everyone who knows me knows that I like to eat pizza. In fact, I make a pretty darned good pizza myself. The secret, believe it or not, is in the sauce. I don't like tomato sauce from a jar so I make my own, it's really not that difficult. Typically I'll make meatballs and spaghetti, have lots of leftovers, then make meatball pizza. Nobody in Chicago makes meatball pizza and they treat me like I'm some kind of a nut when I try to order one. Eat shit, Lou Malnati!

A jellyfish photographed on a visit to the Monterrey (California) Aquarium. My friend, Ernie Pappas, thinks it's a man o' war. To me, it's a pink sea creature in blue water. I like the color. I'm not too interested in the jellyfish except that I hope not to encounter it when I'm swimming, despite its obvious beauty. I think I'll just stay out of the ocean and swim in pools. Anyway, no particular reason to show you these, except I like the pictures. 'Nuff said.

Oh, wait, I know why I'm showing the jellyfish. Well, aside from the fact that I like the picture, my nephew Sam didn't believe me when I said I'd made killer pictures of the jellyfish. That's because he either didn't remember being with me at the aquarium or he was just too young to be aware of what it was I was doing at the time, despite the fact that he was standing right next to me. Sam's a college graduate now, so there!
Brickyard: Canon EOS-5DII, 70~200/2.8 Canon Zoom Lens EF L Ultrasonic, ISO 100
Winstead: Nikon F, 10.5cm/2.5 Nikkor Lens, Kodak Panatomic X
Pizza: Nikon F3HP, 180/2.8 Nikkor Lens, Kodachrome 64 Professional
Jellyfish: Canon EOS-1N, 70~200/2.8 Canon Zoom Lens EF L Ultrasonic, Fujichrome Provia


Blogger chuckcars said...

Joe, thanks for the great post, inspiration for personal work. I need that.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Joe P. said...


Glad to be of service.
Be inspired!


10:50 PM  
Anonymous Keith Taylor said...

Hey Joe, you posted the image of the water tower in a previous post - I remember because you credited it as having been shot with a Leica D-Lux 3. The result was that within a week I was many hundreds of dollars lighter but the owner of a Leica D-Lux 3. I still have it, still use it, still love it. Cheers!

12:05 AM  
Blogger Joe P. said...

Ahhh, Keith, you've been paying attention.

As The Brickyard tower is local... the hometown favorite... I've photographed it many times. The previous one was with the D-Lux 3, this one is with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and a 70~200/2.8 EF-L Zoom Ultrasonic Lens (or whatever they call it).


12:53 AM  

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