Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

A Modern Boy

Monday, June 8th, 2015

I’ve been showing some people around Paris recently, thus have been in areas with a higher concentration of tourists, and I can’t stop photographing people photographing themselves; in front of anything, everything and nothing at all. The selfie stick is everywhere and it looks to be about as addictive as sugar.

What was the gesture before the iPhone? I’m trying to remember, when on vacation what were people doing? I always had a camera, but I remember often being the only one. I’m trying not to worry that the virtual is trumping real-life, but I am.

A Modern Boy in Versailles

A Modern Boy in Versailles

Des années

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Ten years have now passed, since I changed countries. I’m almost breathless, looking back, seeing who I was, who I think I was, and who and where I thought I would be today. People make ten-year plans, I never have. I have dreams but I don’t give them deadlines. I was impatient with the Paris dream. I tried once, it was all set up, seemingly perfect, and then fell through just after the Twin Towers. I let it go. And maybe it’s like they say about the people you love. Let them go and they may come back to you. I let the dream rest, though never stopped desiring it, never stopped saying out loud what the ideal situation would be.

I changed paths, out of necessity, and became reacquainted with another dream, one not linked to a particular city, one that could be initiated right where I was.

In looking for a starting point, I jumped through numerous hurdles to get to where I thought I should begin, and when it was my turn to sign up, all seats were taken. But it was vital for me to begin, so I found a second-string starting point, one I judged as inferior but at least put me into action. The new plan-B-point-A would take me far, to where I wanted to be, because the room where my plan B started was where another person had entered by mistake and then decided to stay.

A relationship began, one that would bring me to Paris and then dissolve. A person came into and out of my life, enabling “the ideal” situation in between, which I had so often described out loud.

But a dream is maybe like having a photo of a tarte au citron meringuée when the reality is eating one. Except reality also requires you to learn to make the thing first, then savor it. And those are the ones you don’t forget.

These years have been a lot of work, and sometimes a real pain in the ass, but equally delicious.

I’m still working on the meringue.

La caccia di lucciole

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

I don’t think I’ve seen lightning bugs in years! Tonight they were like Christmas lights blinking around in the bamboo. I’m working in northern Tuscany, and tonight after dinner, and before a delicious crema di limoncello, we went out to try to touch them.

Lightning bugs in Bagni di Lucca.

Lightning bugs in Bagni di Lucca.

A howl from coast to shore

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The saddest dog I ever met lived alone on an island you could only reach at low tide. When I visited, he followed me around the island just close enough to keep an eye on me, but at safe distance. He wouldn’t approach my out-stretched hand, no matter how much of my dog-lover’s heart I tried to project. His howl echoed on the wind the morning we left.

Communicating from distant shores

Communicating from distant shores

Angels in the architecture

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

I went into San Giovanni in Laterano to get out of the rain. The mother of all churches. The “archbasilica.” The Pope’s church. It’s even above St. Peter’s.

And of course, it’s stunning, with a history as unfathomable as Rome itself. Though the gold and gild left me feeling as if I’d eaten too much birthday cake.

Buona Pasqua.

Angels in the architecture, San Giovanni, Rome.

Angels in the architecture, San Giovanni, Rome.

Mosaic tiles and plastic chairs.

Mosaic tiles and plastic chairs.

Gold and arches.

Gold ‘n’ arches.

Facade of St Giovanni through bare trees.

Facade of St Giovanni through bare trees.

Ile du Guesclin

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Another post going back to the roots… As they call it in France, “l’argentique.” I’m pretty excited about the idea of shooting digitally, making negatives from those files and printing à l’ancien, as in cyanotype, gum bichromate, and the like. Earlier this month I had an intro to those older processes, and starting today have a weekly slot in a collective darkroom 10 minutes from my flat. Wednesdays my perfume will be fixateur.

As excited as I was this morning, I found myself questioning the whole process (“I could do this in five minutes in Photoshop if I scanned the neg, is this really worth my time?” and so on…) Then a magical error happened. I had taken out the negative to blow off some dust, and when I put it back, I set it up on the frame just next to the one I was working on (a frame I hadn’t chosen to print). I didn’t realize it, exposed the paper as before and got a completely different result. Obviously. I didn’t understand right away what happened, but loved the unexpected image that resulted.

This isn’t a new story. But it reminded me one of the reasons why I was there, and why I still enjoy shooting film.

on a blustery day.

Leaving the Ile du Guesclin, on a blustery day.

An afternoon the color of sand

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Walking in Rome, I am so enchanted by the colors along the Tiber River.
The water is so caramel, and the light so voluminous, casting no shadows.
It is creamy, and soft. The seagulls float in it and laugh.
But they laugh at anything.

A Day at St Maries de la Mer

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Five people who don’t appear to know each other intersect in front of my camera as I sit on the beach like a sniper, thinking they look lost.
I’m probably projecting.

It all began in Les Ardennes

Monday, May 14th, 2012

I have been driving around Luxembourg and the Lorraine region of France, visiting and photographing for the first time, the villages where my great-grandparents were born, and the unifying color in this wonderful journey is the golden colza in bloom.

A road through Les Ardennes, Luxembourg.

Pilgrimage to My Family & The Family of Man

Monday, May 14th, 2012

I’m traveling in Luxembourg, to visit my roots, on the anniversary of my Luxembourgeois great-grandmother’s birthday, which happens to be the day before my birthday. That’s synchronicity number one.

Number two is, the guidebook says The Family of Man exhibit should be opening in spring 2012 in Clervaux! (Edward Steichen was from Luxembourg:). Alors, let’s go! This is a small country, so I convince Seb, one of my best travel partners, to take a detour north, despite the fact that when we call the chateau, there is no answer… We took the chance anyway, and on arrival at the Clervaux Castle, we find that it will be spring 2013.

Anyone want to pile in on next year’s road trip? It’s a beautiful time of year to travel through the country that France once claimed as its département des forêts.

Somewhere in the hills of the Ardennes, on our way north. Luxembourg, 2012.

Esch-sur-Sûre, Luxembourg. My birthday, 2012.

Somewhere between les Ardennes and Clervaux. Seb consulting the GPS, while I don’t even want to look at it, prefering to use my compass and a paper map.

Arriving in Clervaux, the Church Saints Cosmas & Damian.

I got pretty excited at the site of this. :)

Not so thrilled to see this.

But, as the wind blows, hopefully we’ll make another pilgrimage next year…

Tonight the view from my window is of a man waiting

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

via Fiesolana, Florence.

Rialto Tourists

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

“Here honey, this is what you look like in Venice
through the Hipstamatic filter.”


Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

An adorable city that makes me a little homesick,
though it is really like no place I have ever lived.

Bergen from above

Halsnøy Kloster, 6:57pm

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Strange, I think that’s what time I was born. Anyway.

The light was fleeting and wonderfully unpredictable on the Kloster Fjord tonight when the ferry from Liervik came through.

Making friends on the island

Monday, September 5th, 2011

A couple of Halsnoy’s inhabitants, taking their jobs very seriously.

Curious George and Stinky Pete

Halsnøy Kloster, 8:20pm

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

First night in the Halsnøy Kloster. I’m here doing a 3-week residency on an island at the southern end of the Hardanger Fjord, between the mainland and the island of Stord. It’s so wonderfully quiet, except when the cows are hungry.

Man-made borders

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

One year ago I met an extraordinary person. His brief visit to my city coincided with the moment I had decided to shave my head. Visually we made a remarkable pair.

We weren’t fluent in a common language but the connection was intuitive and I don’t remember communication being too much of a barrier. When you must speak Spanish, you just do. His country is reported to be reforming laws, making it easier for its citizens to travel abroad. My country tells me if I travel to his, I face “civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return.”

What astounding barriers can interfere with the possibility of two people meeting each other. And yet, it happens.

Luis y Dani bajo una luz de néon.

In the Oliviers

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Driving in Tuscany this afternoon, I passed by this man in an olive tree. Despite the decidedly unamused look on his face, I imagine swapping jobs with him for a day, or several. Having just realized I love the view from inside the olive trees, surrounded by their gentle oblong silver leaves, I will take all reasons, excuses, anythings, to hang out in them.

A handful of kilometers outside of Florence on a Monday afternoon


Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Ciao Napoli. I’ve never set foot in a city as intense and alive, unruly and expressive as you are. You kind of freaked me out for a moment. See you in the spring.

we're writing it right now

Taking a Sunday

Monday, February 7th, 2011

My body was feeling broken. I bought new tennis shoes. Purple, white and green. I wore them to Capri, down steep winding paths, in pine-needle-fresh air, then took them off and stood on scratchy, tickling rocks in the ice cold water.

I saw this photo on the way there, or rather I imagined it. At that moment the sun was so bright off the water that I could barely see anything. I took three quick exposures and continued down to find my own little nook in the rocks.

Fishing in Capri


Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Bend left knee, hands on hips,
hair placed gently over the shoulder,
you-want-me-can’t-have-me smile,
yes, you want it vertical, got it.

Visitors to Trevi fountain

Man in black photographs shadow

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Those little electric buses zip around this old city pretty fast. I was 15 minutes early for my rendez-vous at the Obelisk in Piazza del Popolo this morning. The sun was warm and bright. Not being high tourist season, most people were passing through quickly, from metro Flaminio to one of the three teeth (Via del Babuino, Via del Corso or Via di Ripetta) but this man stopped to look at something through his camera.

Man in black photographs shadow

Piazza del Popolo, Rome

11:40pm, Rome

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

This man’s hands beat my pizza crust into shape. He almost never stopped moving, the constant flow of orders and the line outside the door didn’t allow a break. But I caught him looking at the clock, at 11:40pm, when I had devoured half of one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten.

He who kneads the dough

Pizzeria da Baffetto
Rome, Italy

He who spreads the sauce

Boating to Peggy

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Two weeks in Venice came and went in a cold fog,
inside of which I made and worked with some lovely new friends
and took a dreamy picture or two, hundred.

There was this one day,
when I had nothing on the schedule
so I went to visit Peggy Guggenheim’s collection.

Can you see her place in the distance,
and the Alexander Calder by the water?

Peggy from the Ponte dell'Accademia

Thanks, DM, for the invite.