A couple for Valentines Day.
A couple for Valentines Day.
Back to Cuba for a post, I still have not gone through all of them, and I enjoy discovering what I have as I try to get them all processed. This afternoon I found myself with some time and looked at the dance photos. Our last night in Havana our group headed back to the entrance of Havana Bay where we had been at sunrise a few days before. This time it was sunset, and we would be joined by two young ballerinas who would pose for us to photograph. I love taking dance photos, 15 years of practice with my daughter and Medway Dance Authority has made it, so I actually know what great dance looks like, and these two young ladies were incredible. Not only in talent but the poise and ability to tolerate 12 cameras pointed at them while onlookers stared and mingled in one of the most visited spots in Havana. Fisherman, families, tourists, the place was packed with people, and these two danced as if no one was around. So grateful for their grace set upon a striking backdrop of Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro built in the 16th century one way, and in the other direction the sun setting over the Malecon. Thanks to my friends Eli and Jordan at Your Cuba Travel, and Don and Laura with Hunt Photo Adventures for setting opportunities like this up for us while we were on the trip. It is stuff like this that makes a trip unique and unforgettable.
I have this whole blog in my head about Cuba, specifically ‘why Cuba?’ I have been asked that a lot, and there are multiple factors, but I sit to write it and I get disturbed, distracted or maybe it is not ready to come out yet. So in the meantime, I have started to unpack the photos. Tonight I share some of the people I encountered. These are only a handful of them. Cuba is people, I posted about this today elsewhere, I have the same feeling I had as I processed the Iceland trip. These are special to me, the journey itself is more important than the photos, yet the photos are precious. There is a distinct difference from the two trips, with Iceland the land was the subject, beauty as far as you could see, a beauty like no other. With Cuba, the people are the subject. It is an island of people, incredible, strong, kind people, and I can see the change in the approach to my photos I took in Cuba as I go through them. The early images I am trying to capture the scenes, the buildings, the cars, then there is a quick evolution, as I discover the people make up the island regardless of the scenes. I still photographed the other stuff, but my portrait lens was on my camera more than off, and I looked forward to strolling around the streets looking for subjects to talk with. We would see people, sitting walking, standing, they tend to notice people with cameras, a quick “Hola”, raise the camera “Foto?” Eight out of ten times you would get a smile or a shy grin and permission, I would take it and then show them. They would light up, “gracias”. Sweet is a word that comes to mind, they have a sweetness that is genuine. At the same time a toughness that shows in their faces. They are the country, no matter the politics, the elements that make the place up, it is the people who give the island a strength. They are so proud to share what they have done to get by. Invites to see where they live, what they make, who they are. I am better for having met them. I learned from them then I had to give. I am grateful to have these ‘fotos’. Tomorrow I will try to share why Cuba, also, I have been asked a few times, will there be a show of these. I am not sure, the Iceland show was a great thing and a huge success, but a lot of work. I would love to hear if there is an interest in a Cuba show, perhaps after the holidays.
The last night on the road, back in the Reykjavik apartment we started in last week. So I sat in the parking lot and sent the drone up above the city for a few minutes, at 10pm at night. I have not seen darkness in over a week, not sure how they do it here, but to be honest if I was 18 and just starting it all again, I would consider this as a home. The last photo is looking down on me from 400 feet. I am in the center of the the hotel block sitting next to a tree. I will really miss this place.
Yesterday was the party of the year, the 4th annual Labor Day Bash at The Tradesman in Milford Ma. This is Ray Auger and I on the stage with a few of our friends – yes they are friends telling us we are number one! Ray is the mastermind behind this event, so why not let him speak… the following is from him. If you want to see ALL the photos check out the set on my facebook page here.
Wow what a night. 800+ people (good chance there was a few more!)… 9 bands… delicious food from Anzios Brick Oven Pizza, Wicked Twisted Pretzels and Larry Joes New England Fire Pit… massages from Kelsey Rutkowski… incredible music by Josh Briggs & Friends, Jambag, SOULidarity, Shanna Jackman and Not in Kansas, Bad Marriage, Tailgates Down Band, Charity Case, The Abe Froman Project and Tigerlily… just an incredible lineup of local music!
We raised money for Cory’s Crusaders, Inc. and Milford Ma. Youth Football and Cheer this year through a raffle and all the bands donating their fees back to the cause. Each organization will be receiving about $1500 each!
Thanks so much to Rob DeDominic for putting it all on the line year after year, making it possible for us to throw this party. I appreciate his dedication and willingness to let us do crazy shit at his bar. Now show him your support by visiting The Tradesman again soon AND Valley Pub… his other establishment in Whitinsville. Thanks to Tim Rice of timrice/photo for making all look so good! It’s no doubt that this thing gets bigger and bigger every year because he captures the fun for all to see so perfectly. Thanks to Christopher Rando for amazing sound, stage and lighting. You made us sound and look like rock stars my friend. Thanks to William James for managing the stage all day. He kept us all in check while rocking a set of his own with Charity Case. Thanks to Ed Barry for proving the community drum kit, Todd Boisvert for the bass rig and Gordon Swanson of UpFront Guitars for the rest of the backline. Thanks to the entire staff of The Tradesman and Valley Pub and all the volunteers who worked their asses off all day. Thanks to Jay Pillarella and Dawn Bailey (That Smarts by Dawn) for the cool commemorative t-shirts. Thanks to Milford Police Department and fire departments for doing an outstanding job managing the crowds and supporting the party in general. Same to the Town of Milford, especially our selectmen who approved the party. Great to see you at the show Will Kingkade! You too Scott Harrison. I love walking through the crowd and seeing town officials and school committee members like Joey Callery and off duty police officers and firefighters. This event has really turned into a great community celebration.
On a more personal level thanks to the two great bands I am honored to be a part of… Tailgates Down, with Meghan Haskins, Israel Saldana, Matt Kudirka, Jamie Nicholson, Lorraine D’Angelo Lee and our talented fill in for the show Jay Tullio and The Abe Froman Project with Justin Redden, Todd Boisvert, Tim Corrigan, Johnny Keys and Todd Boisvert. You guys make performing so fun! Thanks to Molly for putting up with me with all the planning and day of shenanigans and to some great friends for your consistent support… Dexter Avery Carcione, Jay Pillarella, Dawn Bailey, Amber K. Redden, Justin, Barbara Bain Rice, Tim and Kathleen Ann and Chris Manoogian.
Hope you go this far because I really want to thank all of YOU! The crazy bastids who partied with us all day! See you all at the social on Monday!
There’s probably more… I’ll stew over it for a bit and hope I didn’t forget anyone. So many great people to thank!
Went to Porthsmouth, NH with a stop in Newburyport, MA this weekend. A nice quick getaway.
Second of two days in NYC. Today the rain made for inside activities. A Smithsonian exhibit of the costumes of Star Wars, lunch at Sardi’s, Times Square and some people watching at Grand Central Station, before heading home. Tomorrow we head to see Star Wars again, this time in Imax, so I will share the costume photos then.
In the 1921 days the dailypic has been around I have never posted a photo somewhere else first, then posted it as the dailypic later. It is rare a dailypic was not shot on the same day either. One time I did repost The Old Mill photo months later because it won a contest and was going to be on tv. So, today is an expectation to my own rules, the rules that no one but me knows. I took this photo at 9:17pm 12/31/14 in the street of Cambridge, while waiting for the 10pm show for Ellis Paul. I loved it the second I took it. I looked down at the camera looked back up and the subject was gone. I actually have another shot taken less than 1 minute later.
Not nearly the same photo. I have been sitting on the photo for 2 days, trying to figure out where it lives. Ellis Paul was the dailypic, then a toy, but I wanted this to be seen. It is one of my favorite shots I may have ever taken. So, I tossed it on my facebook page, the second I did, I wish I had not. People started to like it as much as I did, it needs to be a dailypic… so here it is. After so many people have already viewed it, here it is posted again. I know there are many of you not on my facebook page, so it will get fresh eyes. And again, really, they are my rules, no one cares but me. It did get me thinking though, this is one of my favorites of at least 2014, if not more… so why not go through and pick some more favorites of last year. So I did, it took me 10 minutes. I started in January and tagged photos I loved, it did not matter if they were dailypics or not, I ended up with 55 photos that I guess are the ‘best of’ according to me. If I did it again, they might be different, I did not over think it. Just viewed and clicked. This is what I ended up with. Enjoy.
The best Smithsonian (in my opinion) is not in Washington DC, it is in Chantilly, VA at the Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles Airport. Anna and I went this morning, driving out in the pouring rain. Strolling through the 2 hangers full of aircraft is a great way to spend a raining morning. The dailypic is the underside of the Space Shuttle Discovery, it was fun watching people walk up to it and just stand in awe. If you have been there, maybe it was the same for you, to me it just looks fake. No matter how close you get to it, it is not something you could imagine has been to space and back 39 times. I took my time taking photos, close-ups, fish-eyes; I had it covered. We also got to see the Red Bull Stratos Capsule, Felix Baumgartner stepped out of to fall to earth a couple of years back. Check out the photos from the visit, if you get the chance I highly recommend making the trip.
April 15th, 2013 – I am sitting on a crowded train with my family, heading back from NYC. I honestly have no idea what to write for today’s blog? I have a picture, I like it. Here it is, taken on 7th Ave. while walking the city across from the Wellington Hotel… see the reflection.
I hate it when people make larger stories about them. So, I debate what to write. I do not want to do that, I have been thinking I would just post the photo, no words, but I have been getting the news from Boston all day, I was sitting on the giant red stairs in the center of Time Square, in the center of what feels like the universe and my phone lit up… every news alert I got, all screaming about explosions in Boston, Marathon stopped, people hurt, more information to come. What a helpless feeling, there is nothing I could do, no matter where I was, but I felt strange, violated. Sitting in New York City, while getting hints that something was happening in Boston. I do not live in Boston, I live in the burbs, about 45 minutes southwest, but when a random stranger struck up a conversation with me at a cross walk and insisted on talking to me about what had happened… well, I said I was from Boston. 4 hours before I might have said, Southern Massachusetts, or just outside of Boston, but Boston got bigger today.
My Dad and I used to go see the Marathon together. Sometimes we would meet up with his friends from work, my Dad always knew a spot where we could get close. I remember being very young and thinking it was a something I could never do, run that far, not knowing if it was going to be hot, cold, sunny or snowing. I think I had a plan to try to run it on the 100th anniversary, it was on the early version of the bucket list… well that came and went. But as I got older I would go in to the city with friends. One year we were right on Boylston yards from the finish line. No matter how cynical or disinterested you claim to be, it takes a lot not to be inspired by the event. I found myself all day checking in on my phone. I told the kids it had started. I knew it was a close race this year in the men’s category, I checked on Dick and Rick Hoyt, I may not have attended it for years, but I like to know it is there.
Now this? You would think we would become numb to this shit. I think it speaks volumes about this country that we don’t. I met a kid my age (when I was a kid) we were maybe 20, from Ireland. I listened to him tell stories of bombings and the IRA. He told them like they were just, well normal events. ‘These things that happened.’ was how he put it. No different than running to the store, or getting the paper from the walkway. I never appreciated his sense of comfort with it until I was older. Now I hope this was just his coping mechanism, because I can’t do it. I took my kids to NYC, and I felt guilty because we did not make it to Ground Zero. I have been to Manhattan probably 10 times since 2001, and until this trip I have made it there each time.
I sat in Penn Station trying to calm my kids, actually just my daughter. I did not have the heart to tell my son yet, he was nervous enough just traveling. You could see her concern. She was sitting next to me when that phone alerted me of what is going on. She then saw the city of New York slowly revert to protective mode. Block by block as we walked to the train station, police were growing in numbers, military was guarding the entrance to the same building where they were not “visible” just 2 days before. Dogs sniffing packages, news reporters interviewing anyone that had a Boston shirt on, what do I tell her? I don’t know why this is happening. I mean I do, but what she wants to know is what we are doing about it? What are we doing about it?
I can’t take my kids to the marathon next year if I wanted to? I can’t. Why would I? But for the first time in years I want to. Hell, I want to get my sorry ass in shape and run the damn thing. To show my kids they can if they wanted too. I do not want my Son or Daughter to ever talk about this stuff like that Irish kid did. I am on a train, just hoping to get home, so I can tuck my kids in bed, after a trip that no matter how awesome was stained. Where all I can think about are the victims and their families, not what photo to post. Scared of a conversation with my kids where I have to explain why I can’t in good conscience (right now) think of taking them to something that we weren’t going to anyway. Even though now I want to go more than ever.
Keep the families in your thoughts, keep yours even closer.
1/125sec, f6.3, iso1600, Nikon D700, Nikon 50mm 1.8