Head buzzing. Internal screams. Needed a bit of anonymity tonight.
Headed to Bob's Diner in Brewster for some dinner... where it has been years and years since my last visit.
Didn't work... at least not exactly as expected. The waitress recognized and remembered me without any prompts.
Listened to a group of guys sitting at the counter, talking about getting licenses to be able to kill Canadian Geese. Their conversation seemed endless. I'm not really sure what their problem was with geese... but they were dead-set on killing them. Then they started talking about Obama... insisting that Obama intends to waste money by sending astronauts to the Sun.
I break out my camera... which makes a guy at the counter very nervous. He keeps looking at me... then returning to his coffee.
He leaves... and I point my camera toward the empty spot where he was... and get this shot of the corner of the counter... and the haze of the scene beyond.
My good friend Lenny loves to photograph the Moon. Every month he gets beautiful shots of the Moon in all of her glory. Even tonight... as we were leaving a Candlewood Camera Club meeting, Lenny couldn't pass up the opportunity the clear sky gave... and as we drove away he was snapping photos.
Arriving home I looked up at the Moon as we pulled into our driveway. Seeing how beautiful she was, I realized that I couldn't pass up this opportunity either.
You stand on a busy city street on a bright day around lunchtime. The light is strong... so bright that whites are blinding and shadows are hard and unforgiving. You hold in your hands a fully manual camera: No autofocus... No automatic modes to choose the correct aperture or shutter speed, in fact there's not even a light meter to give you a recommendation! You've chosen your film for the day (that's right... "film") - so you do not have the luxury of switching from ISO 50 to ISO 100 to ISO 3200 and back to ISO 50 with each photo you take. You don't have auto-bracketing. You don't have anything. It's all up to YOU. It's up to YOUR eye... it's up to YOUR know-how.
Suddenly, it happens... "the decisive moment". Something happens in the crowd of people around you. Perhaps a child holding a balloon suddenly lost her grip of the string... and the balloon rises above the head of the crowd, as the child reaches up - the rest of the crowd oblivious. You have just a split-second to raise the camera to your eye, choose a shutter speed and aperture, focus and release the shutter. One mistake... one incorrect setting, and the photo is lost forever. The question is: Can YOU get the shot?
In all honesty, most photographers couldn't. Not anymore. We've become too reliant on auto focus... light meters... automatic shooting modes... auto-bracketing photo bursts... and, if all else fails (and sometimes even if it doesn't), the ability to make adjustments in Photoshop later on.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, on the other hand, could get the shot. He had the true photographers eye. In a fraction of a second he could raise his Leica... focus... and snap, with confidence. With just a quick glance of the light around him, his experience told him what the proper shutter-speed and aperture combo needed to be for a proper exposure. No light meter needed.
Time and time again his uncanny ability to "get the shot" captured incredible moments of day-to-day life that would have gone unnoticed otherwise. Moments that would have been "lost" if it weren't for his ability. Friends of Cartier-Bresson have recounted instances of walking with him... never even noticing him taking a photo - only to have him come back a day or two later with images of scenes that had occurred during their walk together... scenes the friends had never even noticed.
Cartier-Bresson truly was a master... and this despite the fact that he never considered himself to be a photographer (in fact, he HATED developing film and making enlargements - and left that up to "more qualified people") and preferred painting and sketching to photography. Yet the simple truth is that he was a master... one of the most important photographers of the 20th century... and the father of my personal favorite photographic genre, "street photography". These simple facts alone make the exhibit - "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City a "must see" for any photographer or photography enthusiast.
The exhibit - which runs through June 28th - is the first major Cartier-Bresson retrospective in the United States in almost 30 years. It spans his entire career, bringing together close to 300 photographs... as well as periodicals and books featuring Cartier-Bresson's work.
I attended a Members Preview of the exhibit a week before it opened to the public, and was in awe the entire time! The photos are presented beautifully... and are easy to view and "absorb". The galleries begin with some of Cartier-Bresson's earliest pieces... as well as examples of how differently his photos appear depending on who the printer was and/or when the print was made. A famous image from Spain, taken in 1933, is used to show the stark difference between an early printing and a later printing from the very same negative.
Moving on, the galleries begin to take you on a tour with Cartier-Bresson... as he travelled the world capturing moments as a photographer for Magnum Photos (the famous photographic group he created alongside Robert Capa, George Rodger and David Seymour). Key locations include Spain, Mexico, the Soviet Union, Italy, India and the United States. Famous and familiar images, many of which appeared in LIFE magazine.
The show concludes with examples of the many portraits Cartier-Bresson took... including wonderful images of Alberto Giacometti, Truman Capote, Henri Matisse and others.
It has been three decades since such an impressive collection of Henri Cartier-Bresson's work has been presented. It may be several more decades before such a collection is presented again. Simply put: Don't miss your chance!
"Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century" runs through June 28th at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Special Gallery Talk Lectures will be held on Saturday, May 1st (1:30PM)... Thursday, May 6th (11:30AM)... and Friday, May 7th (1:30PM)
A full exhibition catalog is available.
For more information, visit the exhibition's official site HERE
Or visit the website of the Museum of Modern Art at www.moma.org
Another gray, rainy morning. A bit of a chill in the air, too.
Walked my son to the school bus stop... looked up, and noticed the power lines against the bright gray morning sky. Something about this really captivated me. Lines merging... simple... abstract... beautiful.
Kind of bored today. Not feeling very energetic. Not feeling very creative.
Realized I hadn't snapped a photo yet. Grabbed my camera and snapped a photo of my Tenba bag... my almost constant companion... which allows me to have my camera, my laptop, my iPod, my notebooks, and all of my other "essentials" with me at all times.
Spur-of-the-moment day-trip. Headed to Stamford due to an intense craving for pizza from Colony Bar & Grill. Went down to the South End, where I grew up... wandered around Woodland Cemetery for a few memories... ended up at The Cove to wander the beach for a while... and, finally - stopped off at the Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop before heading home.
A full day...
An exhausting day...
A wonderful day!
And the picture? This is a shot of my son at Colony Bar & Grill. Waiting for our pizzas to arrive, he had his face pressed up against his glass of soda. I pulled out the camera... zoomed in... and snapped a quick photo to show him how silly he looked.
When you're a kid, few things beat an umbrella drink in a restaurant. Whether it's a Shirley Temple or a Virgin Daiquiri... there's something special about slurping on the brightly colored concoction... playing with the tiny umbrella and the plastic sword... and feeling "big"... perhaps even bigger than the grown-ups at the table.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I absolutely love REAL Southern BBQ.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am also extremely picky about my BBQ. You can't just grill up some burgers, hot dogs and chicken - slather it with store-bought sauce and call it "BBQ". Real BBQ takes time. Real BBQ takes patience. "Low and Slow" is the mantra: Meat cooked over low-heat for a loooong period of time. When I make pulled pork, for example... it cooks for almost 24 hours over a hickory and apple smoke fire.
I love BBQ.
And I love BBQ restaurants.
So today, on our way home from our daughter's dance competition in Massachusetts, I notice a little sign saying "Bub's BBQ - 5 Miles". Hmmm... BBQ... in the middle of nowhere... and it happens to be lunchtime. Could this be a sign from god?
Yes. Yes it was!
There it was... Bub's BBQ in Sunderland, MA... in full sunlight, as if the Heavens were illuminating it just for us.
Bub's BBQ... simply the best BBQ restaurant I've found outside of the South!
I ate like a freakin' pig! A pulled pork sandwich... a beef brisket sandwich... collard greens... baked beans... dirty rice... potato salad... beer...
I wanted sweet potato pie, but I was too damn full!
Somehow I just get this feeling that I'll be eating there again at some point this summer.
Saw this aluminum pan from last night's Entenmann's Cinnamon Buns sitting in the dish rack... waiting to be recycled. Smiled at the Sun imagery. Grabbed my camera... snapped a quick photo... and that was that.
"Night and Stars are falling down... A wild breeze is blowing. Earth and Moon are whirling round... The Fool walks through the door."
* * *
TAROT DECKS SHOWN:
* The Robin Wood Tarot by Robin Wood * The Rider Tarot Deck by Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith * Pierpont Morgan Visconti Sforza * Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris * Tarot Classic by Claude Burdel * The Witches Tarot by Ellen Cannon Reed and Martin Cannon * Whimsical Tarot by Dorothy Morrison and Mary Hanson-Roberts * The Gendron Tarot by Melanie Gendron * The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti