This was taken at a newish spot in Brooklyn called Bossa Nova — easily one of my new favorite places in New York. The venue permeated with a cool, relaxed vibe and the house and techno was mixed by top quality DJs. It’s hard to find a place like this in New York since Manhattan’s real estate has made it nearly impossible for a place like this to flourish but, as usual, Brooklyn tops Manhattan (and this is coming from a guy who lives in Astoria, Queens).
Bossa Nova Civic Club
March 31, 2013
I’m not in a rush to jump 6 months to Halloween. I was coincidentally going through some Halloween photos yesterday when I found out that we were halfway to Halloween. I figured that it was a decent time to publish some photos that haven’t yet been posted on this blog.
Nestled between towns on the outskirts of both Queens and Brooklyn is a neighborhood that I’ve come to know as The Hole. I can’t remember how I’d heard about it or whether a suggestion from a friend or a late night tour through the odd end of the internet had piqued my curiosity but I finally went through it last Wednesday.
The mystique of this neighborhood arose from the photos and the stories I had read: Houses fallen into ruin on marshy land. Abandoned and derelict homes can be found throughout the five boroughs of New York City as well as crumbling neighborhoods but what I had heard about The Hole was different. It was supposedly a ghost town a dumping ground for mafia-related victims and men on horses from the Black Cowboys Federation used the streets to ride their horses on. But when my friend and I drove through the jewel-named streets, we found cars parked in driveways and homes occupied by local residents who paid no attention to the Crown Victoria with tinted windows aimlessly rolling by. My friend and I wondered if we were in the wrong neighborhood but after double checking the descriptions we had read, we realized that we were in the right place. It was when we drove around another time that we noticed a fence that surrounded a large lot spanning several city blocks. Through the holes between the fence, I recognized a hill from a photo I had seen as well as the guts of buildings that had been torn down to their foundation. The Hole, for the most part, seemed to be gone.
Disappointed, we drove to another part of the neighborhood where we found a single abandoned building that seemed barely stand where it was. The windows and door in the front were boarded, however we had to see if we could somehow get in. My friend parked his car and we walked across the front yard toward the back. The windows and back door were open so that we could peak into the flooded basement. There was torn slats of wood jutting from the ceiling to reveal a gaping hole where the walls of the first floor could be seen.
I hadn’t walked into an abandoned building like this in a long time. With all of the stories floating around the web, I was nervous while walking up the steps into the dilapidated husk of this find. Glass cracked and crumpled beneath my Converse shoes. The floor creaked as I stepped through the rooms of the first floor. I raised my camera to take my first shot of this decaying work of art. Fissures had grown in the wood beams with the passing seasons and corners where dust had accumulated a colony of moss and dirt, sucked in shadow and light.
A dark and ominous entryway led into the basement but the flood had gotten to it and appeared to be a few feet deep. The flooring of another room at the other end of the house had given way down to the basement. Tiled walls and a bathtub, barely clinging onto the base of whatever ground was left, suggested that this was the bathroom. One foot inside this room and you’d fall right into the water that had flooded the basement below.
While looking at the broken beams of wood, cracks in the walls and ceiling as well as the rusting shells of an old kitchen appliance, I imagined the decades of use in this house. Who lived, loved and died in this building? Other than a fallen wood cabinet in what was likely the living room, there was hardly a trace of a personal touch or love. It felt as impersonal to me as a sheet of blank paper, which made me feel kind of sad. Houses are vehicles of energy from whomever lives or had lived in them and yet this one felt like nothing. I imagined that the last occupants very much wanted to leave.
If you get a chance to check this out, do so before it’s all torn down.
*Click on the first photo to open gallery.
April 23, 2013
January 13, 2012
I took these photos while on assignment for Richmond, Virginia-based RVA Magazine. Paired with a writer, we were covering the CMJs. It was one of those nights that was a page out of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which the writer and lawyer became part of the story rather than the observers.
Apart from this being one of the most fun assignments this year, I relished in walking through dense fog between parties in a part of Brooklyn that’s part hip and part mystique, with a landscape drawn from industrial decay and artful decadence.
October 20, 2012
Photographing at cemeteries is my thing. It’s a personal project that has seen years of accumulated photographs of memorialized existences. Yesterday, I took some time from doing work and headed to Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn to make some photos happen. My buddy from 40 Shades Studios came with and we ventured into the autumnal gloomy daze of this cemetery’s offerings.
October 24, 2012
PLEASE NOTE: This post is completely useless if you don’t click on the photo to open the gallery.
It was a foggy evening and once in a while, I’d see a face appearing through the mist and then it would disappear again into a darkened street.
Shot while on Assignment for RVA Mag
October 19, 2012
This is kind of a sequel to the last kiss in the rain post I made about a week ago. In case you didn’t read it, I covered Mad Decent’s Block Party for UrbanDaddy on August 5th. It was a fun event bookended by good weather and shitty rain. When lightning started shooting down from the sky, Major Lazer, the headliner couldn’t perform. Although they continued at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, I had to call it quits for the night (they weren’t honoring press credentials there…boo). Either way, fun day.
Wanna go to My Facebook Page
Mad Decent Block Party
August 5, 2012
The clouds loomed throughout the hot August day. It felt like we were buying time, hoping that the storm would begin after the Mad Decent block party ended. But right before the headliner, Major Lazer was to perform lightning started shooting from the sky to end the show. The rain came down real hard. The crowd raced to the exit. I stayed behind, trying to capture what was left. I found shelter inside one of the vendor shacks near the exit to avoid getting my equipment left. While stuck underneath with another photographer and a paramedic, a couple began to kiss in the rain.
You can see the rest of the photos for the event HERE.
(photo appears in this series differently)
On Assignment for Urban Daddy
Mad Decent Block Party
August 5, 2012
I got my start in NYC photographing bands for temporarily-defunct The Whiskey Dregs. Free shows. Free music. Cool people and interesting venues — all with various lighting conditions and a sometimes adherence to non-flash photography, which is a bitch when you’re shooting at places like Mercury Lounge with dim moody lighting. I’d take a shot and pause to review it on my tiny LCD screen. Sometimes it’d look sharp and right and others it’d look blurry with light smearing the background. Although unusable, these shots would often become favorites which would be sadly relegated to the un-flagged pile of my digital contact sheets.
I enjoy the abstractions of light, the contours of the human body and how it could be pulled apart like sci-fi film experiment. I rarely ever look at these though I feel that they more accurately portray the feeling of the artists’ music — the mood and the action. A couple years ago, I wanted to make a whole series of these. Blurred portraits of indie bands on the up-and-up but I never pursued it. It might have been a fun project.
To be clear, most of these are happy mistakes.
New York City
Click a photo to view gallery.
Here are a couple of portraits I took on sunny days. It’s always exciting to see summer in bloom.
First shot I did for 40 Shades Studios.
Second shot was taken of my girlfriend’s sister during an outing to a Long Island vineyard.
structures define and express the character of a town. i love that.
Long Island City
Click on any picture to get the gallery movin’.
Ok, it’s close enough to the release date. Here’s is a shot for Performer Magazine that will be on shelves next month.
This is Tami Hart.
We’re getting gypped up here in New York. It should be warm outside. It should feel like spring but it doesn’t. It feels like an angry step child of spring. I miss scenes like this one (RIGHT). It was hot. It was in Brooklyn and Cut Copy were about to play up a storm. The port-a-potty line was the best spot to meet strangers and almost everyone had a smile. It’s coming though. Oh lord it’s coming and I can’t wait to bring the camera along for the ride of summer. Good trips planned. Good parties to photograph.
So yeah…yesterday I wrote a very techy/nerdy post that really had nothing to do with anything. Here’s the thing…I’ve been headfirst into the grindstone for the better part of a week now so I started to think like a manual. But if you’re interested in that stuff then great! Let’s geek out over gear some time.
Much of my work is environmental activism in imagery. Or better yet, it’s the reflection of what I see happening to the world. It can be depressing but destruction is often as beautiful as creation. How that works out in the end, I haven’t a clue. But this was my day at the beach — or rather a cove in Astoria, NY that I had no idea existed because “progress” has already sought all useful parcels of land.
Ok here’s the short story of it. New York City (Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens (the latter two being on Long Island)) used to be all forests, ponds, streams, hills, and waterfalls. It used to be an Eden and if you go North just 15 minutes from the heart of Manhattan, you’ll be surrounded by nature, which might give you a glimpse of what it may have looked like.
Check out the pictures of the mired and decaying old merchant ships. These are probably late 1800s — THE LATEST.
If anyone has any info about the ships below, please tell me about it!
Sometimes you get down when they’re gone for a while. She’ll be back on Friday night and all will be well again. At least I got some good pictures out of it.
I’m a voracious reader of photography blogs. A post I read on one of these sites discussed how to get that Dave Hill “look” in Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5. I followed the instructions but somehow failed. Despite this, I created a preset that allows me to make my pictures quite interesting. I literally named my preset “Shitty Dave Hill Attempt.” I haven’t implemented PS yet but I’m liking the results I’m getting in Lightroom. It must also be mentioned that lighting is everything in photography, obviously, so it’s important to focus on the lighting and composition first before snapping the photo.
After I applied this preset in Lightroom, I softened our bodies, used more clarity to achieve more detail and contrast on the buildings and water, and brightened the highlights of our faces and parts of our hair lines to get the illusion of sunlight tracing our outlines. Poetic shit.
So out of a mistake came something I consider to be a nice effect.
The picture below was taken by the captain of the sailboat (Jerry aka Jerr Bear), using my Nikon D80 with Tiffen polarizer on the lens. I’m on the right, piloting this sweet ass sail boat, while my friend Jason is on the left, casually sipping from his sippy cup. Here we are, talking shit and drinking wine. Very Long Island of us.
Check out the before and after:
BEFORE. Nothing at all done to it. Just a RAW image converted into JPG.
AFTER. Settings above have been applied to RAW image and then converted into JPG. A bit more stylized. A bit more work but a much more “artistic” appearance than the previous shot.