Photography Exhibit

Join us for a memorable opening
Date: 11/16/12
Time: 7:30
Place: 502 West North Ave PGH, PA 15212
The show is private and by invitation only for the members of “Encores”.

Encores is a Pittsburgh-based membership organization that focuses on networking, self-exploration and renewal of both personal and professional life.

The exhibit will feature 15 to 20 portraits.


Insanely Useful Photography Tip

There are many things that we already know in photography but somehow we struggle to remember…..

In Zen philosophy we use the term “Beginner’s Mind” as a reminder to create possibilities from whatever may arise.  To slow down and see exactly what is in front of us.

In my conversation with young and upcoming photographers the same question is alway asked of me….How do I (insert question here).  The answer I give is always the same: base all your decisions on the light.

Too often photographers get caught up in trying to replicate someone else’s photos...this can not be done. Ever. Why? The light is never the same twice.

Great photographers create images from a beginner’s mind point of view.  Photograph what arises in the light that you are in.

I will be teaching this and much more in my 2013 winter workshops….

Be Great!


Mannequin Girl and the Fat Shirtless White Man ~ Creative Non Fiction

Sunday morning I roll my butt out of bed to go for run.  Two weeks until Pittsburgh Great Race, which marks my one year of competitive running, well competitive is a stretch on words more akin to a year of completing race that other people competitively run.

Nonetheless it will be my sixth race in a year and it will also mark one and half year that I have been healthy. It going to be a god day!

My first obstacle of the day is to try and find parking spot, you see I decide to go go for a run around Pittsburgh along the rivers edge.  Not remembering that it is opening day for the Pittsburgh Steelers football and parking is nowhere to be found, well thats not true parking was everywhere for the small sum of forty dollars, that was not going to happen. Run free I say even when it comes to parking.

I park over by our studio on the Mexican War street.  This will work I think to myself, I’ll start with a run through the park then down to the Football stadiums and to the rivers edge for the bulk of my run.

Running along the river edge on Steelers opening day is a blast. Its morning eye candy for the smart ass junkie inside of me.  So much stuff to mock quietly in my head as I run.

The Football game starts at 4:30 its currently 9am as I run and there are more tailgaters out at 9 then morning runner and bikers out for there workout.

I run by all the boats at dock, the boaters are dress for the steelers season in black and gold drinking beer and grilling things that used to be alive.

What is up with white-fat-men that have to be shirtless for a football game no matter what the weather is? Its in the low 60’s this Sunday morning I run with two shirts on and I run past white-fat-man after white-fat-man shirtless in flip flops drinking can beer.

This is good motivation to keep on running not to mention it make me feel extremely good looking about my place in society.  Look at me white-fat-man-lady-friends, its always lady friend I do no think the shirtless fat white man can actually get a wife or girlfriend.  When you become the fat shirt less white guy at sporting event you given up on all chance of sexual relationship with women.

I run past the boats and the tailgaters.  I run past the cites bridges. I run past a group of morning kayakers. I run towards……

A statuesque women...no,no its a mannequin, collage kids must of place it there as a joke..no, no its a girl….no, definitely a mannequin.  Her or its skin is all the same color, caucasian beige with a hint of pink glow.  The glow is what convinced me that she or what or it, is unquestionably not human.  Who has a pink soft glow radiating off her entire body? This pulsating hue of a glow is comparable to the new-age aura that I dare say reflects a supernatural energy.

I slowly jog up towards her.  She stands motionless, statuesque in  a pose on the grass of the river edge. She or it is in a pose of standing meditation, facing the sun. She is in what I would call the “tree pose” in yoga. Standing on one leg the other leg bent forming and arrow and her foot rest on her knee (think of a pink flamenco), her hands are in the prayer position, her head is titled upwards facing into the sun, her eyes are closed and once again I think to myself this can not be a human.  Who can look into the sun even with there eye close and without squinting or showing the slightest sign of discomfort?

At this point I am no longer alone in my gawking of this whatever in front of me.  Walkers stop and stare, bikers slow down and give a double take there is even a group of kayakers five feet off shore starring up at her.

Seeing a statuesque women with a pink aura may not seem like such a big deal? A morning athlete taking a meditative break to enjoy all of Mother Nature goodness may not be all that jaw dropping after all….until you see how she/its is dressed.

Let me paint you picture.  She stands about 5-feet’ish tall, thin, heroin chic thin, she could be any where from 18 to 30 in age, truly timeless beauty, angelic face at peace.  She has a white-blonde mohawk reaching a sold two feet into the air, the sides of her head are shaved clean.

She stands barefoot.  Wearing boxer shorts, these are old man boxer shorts, not cute stylish co-ed-girl boxer shorts, these shorts must of been taken from Good Will that had to belong to somebody Grandfather that were donated after his passing. The red plaid boxer short are rolled, tied, and bunch up defying gravity as not to fall off her small frame. Covering her breast is a sports bra-T-shirt combo of some sort, to loss to be a sports bra but tight enough as not to show the world her goodies.

Still not convinced if she is human or plastic I look for signs of female-humanness, that would be stuff, no bag, no shoes, no phone, no water bottle, no jacket no nothing at all by her side or on the ground around her.  Yep its a mannequin, no woman is without stuff with them at any times.

I come to a complete stop, wanting to touch the mannequin girl but can’t bring myself to touch her/it, it just feels wrong.  So I smile and run along.

I run straight up the rivers edge thinking about mannequin girl.  I pass a homeless man sleeping on a kayak storage rack, picture a library shelf for kayaks.  Rows of kayaks waiting to be used and one man sleeping where a boat should be. We glance at each other and nod as I run by.  The ground smells of urine. I pick up the pace.

I am about four miles into my run at this point and I stop at a place called Washington Landings for a rest, it has a nice view of the city and think about that I should come back a take some night photos from this advantage point.

On my run back I think will the mannequin girl be there? Still not sure if human or plastic.

I think about what a great photos I could create with mannequin girl in her statuesque pose with white-fat-shirtless man holding a can of beer sitting Buddha style next to her. It would be glories if only possible…..

Its been about half hour since I left mannequin girl and she was about to come back into my sight, if she was still there?

Yes, yes, yes, mannequin girl is still there in the same pose she is a mannequin!

Small crowd of on-lookers are gather around her.  This time I am going to stop and stare for awhile.

I stand four feet in front of this statuesque beauty and I whisper “what is you story”?




Current Reading: Sex, Sin and Zen by Brad Warner 
Current Music: Led Zeppelin the complete studio recording
Sounds: 6yrs old taking a bath
Mood: A little sleepy
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 73 degrees 
Thoughts: You will feel the “truth” in your gut long before your intellect will be able to comprehend it.


Exhibit Update

There has been a date change for the "Pittsburgh at Night Exhibit". We have moved the date to November 30th.  The long-time-night-photographer in me should have double checked the calendar before scheduling the event.  November 16th is "PGH Light Up Night"!

For all you non-Pittsburghers out there "Light Up Night" is the kick off to the holiday season in Pittsburgh. The city is alive with events, activities and random fun stuff for families. It's also a great night to create photos like this......



Insanely Useful Photography Tip

I had a conversation with an up-and-coming local photographer a few days ago.

She was telling me about how much she enjoys shooting with film and the that the quality of her work is better with film as opposed to shooting with a digital camera.

This is not a film vs. digital argument; they are both great formats.

Digital gives us the opportunity to be sloppy, to shoot extremely fast and to pick the best of the best when editing. Film does not give us that benefit; you need to shoot slow and with intent. 

Creating a photo is creating a photo. The camera or technology (or lack of ) is of no importance. Film or digital is how you choose to save your work. It should not influence how you create a photo. 

Remember this!!
Film is good.
Digital is good.
Choosing to shoot slow and purposeful is great!

Be great!

 I will be teaching this and more in my workshops….


Workshop & Exhibit

Private Show ~ November 30th I will be holding my first private show. The exhibit is titled “Pittsburgh at Night”, a photography project that I have been working on for the past 8yrs.

The show is private and by invitation for the members of “Encores”.  Encores is a Pittsburgh base membership organization that focuses on networking, self exploration and renewal of both personal and professional life.

The exhibit will feature 15 to 20 portraits.

My annual weekend-after-the-Super-Bowl photography workshop.
This class is a “Beginners DSLR Photography”
Date: 2/10/13
Registration (HERE)

Our New Workshop ~
Glamour & Boudoir Portraiture Weekend Workshop
Date: March 1st, 2nd & 3rd
Registration (HERE)



Current Reading: Zen Wrapped in Karma by Brad Warner 
Current Music:  Virginia Creeper by Grant Lee Phillips 
Sounds: Humming
Mood: Good
Smells: Pancakes
Temperature: 81 degrees 
Thoughts: Going to learn how to play the Beatles songs this winter.