Finn's Golden Sword Will Keep You Safe

Hello, it's me.

So much for my abandoned blog.

"I just Realized Something" 2012

It's always odd for me when music or art but especially song lyrics have an emotional impact on me. I can feel my pulse rise, my heart quicken and I know that means I'm onto something at work or at home that is important/critical and it's how I know to pay extra attention to living in the present, to living with an open heart.

Here's a record that  I just dragged out again. a record I first heard in Brooklin, Maine in 2003 - I don't have many records that I can remember where or what I was doing when I first heard it - but this is one of them:

here's the lyrics

We all do what we can
So we can do just one more thing
We won't have a thing
So we've got nothing to lose
We can all be free
Maybe not with words
Maybe not with a look
But with your mind

here's the link:

Common and The Fearless Revolution

I've been following this Common thing by The Fearless Revolution. I don't really have a handle on what it is. I do know it's the brainchild of Alex Bogusky and John Bielenberg and Rob Schuham. John is also Project M and did that great work in Hale County around municipal water that I told you about here.

"Common" or "The Fearless Revolution" work out of a place called "The Cottage"and the concept is to build a network of creative types - and to actually brand that network - and I guess harness the power of this immense group of artists, filmmakers, graphic designers, web developers, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, researchers, producers, and advertsisng execs to work on  pro bono projects and to actually work in areas that will be a huge benefit to society and the planet. They also talk about wanting to "fast prototype a new capitalism." and they are "seeing a dramatic shift in the way business is done towards more transparency, more collaboration, more democracy, and ultimately more value."

You can sign up to join "The Fearless Force" and do pro bono work here. Although, I've signed up and haven't heard a peep from them.

Here's the Butler Bros "advermentary" about "Common"

A COMMON START from The Butler Bros on Vimeo.

Why don't ad agencies have staff photographers?

Why don't ad agencies/design agencies have staff photographers? What I mean here is that since editorial photography is dead and the age of copyright protection is over,  I imagine you could find one or two great photographers that would be readily available for a staff position at a fraction of the price you'd have had to pay a few years ago for such a luxury. I mean wouldn't it be a treat to put an accomplished photographer on the payroll!

Seriously, check out the two links above. Rob Haggart has some great thoughts on the morphing of editorial photography  and Doug Menuez should be inducted into the business of photography hall of fame with his analysis of  photography as a viable business.

And I am really curious if there are examples of staff photographers at agencies. Anyone care to give me the cons of such a concept?

Friday Stock Request Image

 I got an email today for an image I shot at  Insight Meditation in Barre, Massachusetts. I hadn't looked at these images in a while. They are very quiet images. Calming. Imagine that.

Here's one of the images:

Insight Meditation, Barre, MA for AARP - The Magazine ©Russell Kaye

I've recently joined a mediation center here in Decatur called The Shambala Center.
Maybe I'm just getting older and with age comes wisdom - but I've really come to believe that there are immense benefits to meditation. I want to make more time for my practice. How hard could it be to practice mindfulness a few minutes every day?

Mt Sinai Ad - Back Cover- NY Sunday Times

This was fun to see - it's an ad for Mt Sinai Hospital
on the back of the
Sunday New York Times Magazine.
Agency: Devito/Verdi
They added a Father. And made it a vertical. Have a look:

and here's my original image (click image to see it bigger)

I'm dedicating some positive energy today to my Dad and his liver (and his lymph nodes) he's recently been beating hepatitis...
go get'm Dad, get better! Love ya- R

Want to buy a little something for the wall?

Happy New Year. I wanted to alert my regular followers of something new I'm trying out. I'm putting a few Photographs on Ebay and Etsy. Here's the first one I'm making available and to test the waters a bit, I'm putting a 17x22 up on Ebay with no reserve price and without the buy it now or regular pricing  information. I'm curious to see if anyone that doesn't read my blog here bids it past my regular price. Thanks again for looking - Russell

Viking Ship Snorri at Full Sail, Labrador Sea, 1998

  • These are Limited edition prints and are a great value - see chart below.
  • Museum quality - printed to highest archival standards.
  • Printed by me or under my supervision by Anthony at Green Rhino's Brooklyn Print Works
  • Includes a certificate of authenticity and is numbered and signed.
  • And the best part - you receive a beautiful photograph and also know that you are directly supporting me (and my family.)
  • Regular Pricing & Edition Info
    $75       8.5x11"    print, edition of 100
    $200     17x22"     print, edition of 100
    $2000   30x40"     print, edition of 5

    Photography, New York, Fall 2010

    I just found a great list of what is on view this fall in New York. From the blog Horses Think. Thanks.

    Lee Friedlander: America By Car at The Whitney Museum
    September 4 – November 28, 2010
    Phillip Toledano: A New Kind of Beauty at Klompching Gallery
    September 8 – October 29, 2010
    Jessica Backhaus: I Wanted to See the World at Laurence Miller Gallery
    September 9 – October 30, 2010
    Adam Fuss: Home and the World at Cheim & Read
    September 9 – October 23, 2010
    Lee Friedlander: Recent Western Landscape at Mary Boone Gallery
    September 9 – October 23, 2010
    William Lamson: A Line Describing the Sun at The Boiler, Pierogi
    September 10 – October 10, 2010
    Chris Verene: Family at Postmasters
    September 10 – October 16, 2010
    Polly Apfelbaum: Off Color at D’Amelio Terras
    September 10 – October 23, 2010
    Pipilotti Rist: Heroes of Birth at Luhring Augustine
    September 11 – October 23, 2010
    Bing Wright: Silver at Paula Cooper Gallery
    September 14 – October 23, 2010
    Chris Killip: 4 & 20 Photographs at Amador Gallery
    September 15 – November 13, 2010
    Laura Letinsky: After All at Yancey Richardson Gallery
    September 16 – October 30, 2010
    An-My Lê at Murray Guy
    September 16 – October 30, 2010
    Sarah Sze at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
    September 16 – October 23, 2010
    Ricci Albenda: Paintings at Andrew Kreps
    September 16 October 23, 2010
    Sara VanDerBeek: To Think of Time at The Whitney Museum
    September 17 – December 5, 2010
    Sue Williams: Al-Qaeda Is The CIA at 303 Gallery
    September 18 – October 23 2010
    Mark Barrow at Elizabeth Dee
    September 23 – October 30, 2010
    Gregory Crewdson: Sanctuary at Gagosian Gallery
    September 23 – October 30, 2010
    The Students of Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at the Institute of Design at Higher Pictures
    September 23 – October 30, 2010
    New Photography 2010: Roe Ethridge, Elad Lassry, Alex Prager, Amanda Ross-Ho at MoMA
    September 29 – January 10, 2011
    Taryn Simon: Contraband at Lever House
    September 30 – December 31, 2010
    Abelardo Morell: Groundwork at Bonni Benrubi
    October 7 – December 18, 2010
    Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
    October 29 – December 11, 2010
    Collier Schorr: Here The World Held Its Breath at 303 Gallery
    October 30 – December 4, 2010
    Elad Lassry at Luhring Augustine
    October 30 – December 18, 2010
    James Casebere at Sean Kelly Gallery
    October – November 2010

    Eric Baker Says Goodbye to Beauty, Absurdity and Naivete

    The Complete Book of Palmistry by Joyce Wilson, Bantam Books, 1971 (1982)
     from Eric Baker Today 8/7/2010 which is from Stopping Off Place
    Eric Baker over at Design Observer call it quits on his  "Today:"   photo essay,  random, image round-up of sorts. Long a fixture of my weekly blog reading - well maybe not so long -  I guess he's only been at it since October 2008. Still I am going to miss him.

    From the October '08 entry:
    Perhaps the most appealing part of the process is the randomness of the images: an obscure Czech modernist poster followed by a vintage Australian mug-shot, followed by a diagram of a Soviet space station. This very randomness creates a different way of seeing by removing the context of the images. At times, sometimes by accident or occasionally by design, a relationship in the images will emerge. Mostly, though, I love the vagaries of the images — their beauty, absurdity and naivete.

    Read all his words about Today: here

    For Howard Finster and Nicholas - It Could Be Worse

    RA Miller Polar Bear circa 1995. "It Could Be Worse," Decatur, GA. 2010
    I had dreams last night. Vivid dreams. About Georgia folk artist, Howard Finster. Howard was in his garden and had on those toy angel wings and Howard kept repeating to me, "it could be worse, it could be worse." And I knew why, of course, as I had just been speaking about Howard to a new friend last night. Well I should say I knew at least why Howard was in my dream.  I didn't really know why he kept saying what he was saying.

    Until this afternoon. Until I got to thinking about Howard again while cutting the grass. Because then my friend Nicholas flooded my thoughts. And I knew why, of course, as I had just been catching up with Nicholas on the phone this week. Nicholas, who also performed our wedding twelve years ago and who also so kindly got me and Sandi tickets to see one of our favorite singer/songwriters tonight, Beth Orton,  had a bit of a nasty accident recently and was telling me about it. It was one of those accidents with a piece of yard maintenance equipment - completely avoidable - unless you are in a hurry and barefoot and unlucky and I'm sure it happens all the time and he's alright and all but his big toe is gone and he is in excruciating pain. And all the words of comfort anyone can say to him can't take away his misfortune but he so amazingly was in great spirits and at the end of the phone call kept repeating the same thing Howard Finster had been saying to me in my dream, "it could be worse."

    And then, again while cutting the grass, I strode past a picture I had wanted to take. A picture of the work of another Georgia folk artist, RA Miller. It's a sculpture that we've had so long hanging on a tree in our various yards that it's coming apart a bit. So I finally took the picture and as I was looking at it while lightroom finished the download, I started thinking about fixing the RA Miller or not, leaving it as it is. And then I so wisely put two and two together and heard my friend Nicholas and Howard and anyway here's the picture - it's called: "It Could Be Worse."

    Death In Decatur

    ©Russell Kaye, All Rights Reserved, Click To See Bigger.

    The other morning, very early, just before dawn on Memorial day,  the lights flickered and there was a kind of crash or boom outside toward the front of the house. After I hushed the alarm system, Rufus and I decided to let Lucy sleep-in and that we'd celebrate our heroic veterans (and no school) by getting some breakfast at The Waffle House. When we went out front, there was a "lineman" from the county in a cherry picker, rising up from the street to the transformer above.

    The morning light was peaceful and the air still cool.

    "What made the lights flicker like that and what was that boom?" I yelled up to him in his bucket.

    He didn't reply but instead pointed down to the sidewalk. A squirrel in the fetal position, very scorched and obviously dead, lay motionless at the base of the utility pole.

    "Does that happen alot?" I asked.

    "Yeah," he replied, "happens all the time, but I guess not enough because we sure have a ton of'm left running around up here."

    Just then an ambulance came roaring down our block and it started to rain.

    Daniel Gordon: Flying Pictures

    I really love these images. Anthony Accardi at Green Rhino/Brooklyn Print Works had me take a look at Danny Gordon's images. You should too. No Photoshop. He actually launches himself across the frame. I hope he does a series about the landings...

    Don't let April pass without a blogpost...

    Did I mention that we moved again? And that it really is a blast to pack everything in boxes and rent a big truck. It must be  a blast - why else would we have moved 7 times in 3 years?

    Decatur, Georgia, March 2010. ©Russell Kaye, All Rights Reserved

    Seriously, I've been revisiting a tintype project I did last year for the Vampire Diaries being filmed out in Madison, Georgia. I do wonder if any of the images were ever used. I  need to check with the production company and see if I'm free and clear to post a couple of them here. Meanwhile enjoy the Zebra from Utah on the side of a u-haul truck and if there's anyone left reading my disjointed and very sparse musings here, be the third person to email with your name and address to give_back at and I'll send you an 8x10 of our moving truck...

    We will have two winners. Mr David Leith was #3 and he's won before. (Imagine having that kind of luck.) So while I'm glad to send David a print, I'm also going to send a print to my #4 - which, by the way, has not happened yet.

    viv magazine's iPad demo

    Had anyone ever heard of VIV magazine before today. (Is that Viv or 14?)

    I'm really not sure what I think about it yet. I can't see sitting under a tree "reading" this.

    VIV Mag Motion Cover - iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

    a reader also just turned my attention to Outside's iPad demo also by Alexx Henry. See His Vimeo stuff here

    Outside Magazine - iPad Feature from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

    Tipper Gore

    I just stumbled onto Tipper's website. Something about it felt familiar and then I realized she's using Rob Haggart's A Photo Folio. I wonder if Rob had to get "security clearance." I'm sure the secret service at least sent someone over to fingerprint him...

    The Tongue Wag

    What is it about athletes wagging their tongues while in the heat of competition?

    The geography of nowhere takes one last trip down the rabbit hole before it’s paved over...

    Memorial Dr at South Candler, Atlanta, GA., January 10th, 2010, © Russell Kaye, All Rights Reserved

    Caution: blog entry ahead with many links to follow and questions without answers.

    The Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler made quite an impression on me when Frank Reiss of A Capella Books gave it to me in 1993. It's wasn't a book that filled my head with pretty pictures. Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, "because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work."

    Fast forward sixteen years to the SlamDance Film Festival last week in Utah to the documentary category:

    As background, General Order No. 9  was the document signed on April 10, 1865 by General Robert E. Lee surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia at the end of the Civil War.

    General Orders No. 9  (orders in plural) is the title of a recent documentary about The South by first-time director Robert Persons. Persons plot description starts with "one last trip down the rabbit hole before it’s paved over," and he says that "General Orders No. 9 is an experimental documentary that contemplates the signs of loss and change in the American South as potent metaphors of personal and collective destiny."

    Somehow his description doesn't fill my head with pretty pictures either. And, I may be mistaken, but when I watch the trailer, I don't think that the movie is going to have a happy ending.

    Seriously, I do want to see General Orders #9. Variety says it's photographically beautiful and my friend, David Lyman shot some of it so I know it is. (No, not the David Lyman at The Maine Photo Workshops. The David Lyman in Decatur, GA)

    Seriously,  Kunstler and General Orders are part of something that I affectionately call the "pessimism genre" and I have to admit, I'm drawn to the genre and the imagery. And I'm not sure why. Is it just easy? Is it an age thing? I kind of joke here, but I find myself repulsed by yet drawn to Mark Tucker's images of closed up car dealerships.  And why? Is it a way to express our discomfort with change? Is it a way to describe and depict the struggle with change and the acceleration of endings? And the endings of many things I could never foresee ending? Like contact sheets and photo editors and film and magazines and newspapers and books and publishing and bookstores and the end of cheap fossil fuels and the music business and record stores and the end of campaign contribution limits on corporations and the end of real estate appreciating, and the end of kodachrome (not that I ever shot it,) and the end of hope for health care with a public option and the end of Port au Prince and the end of JD Salinger not giving interviews. And again, I kind of joke here, but I'm wondering why I'm drawn to photograph those damn cell phone towers disguised as trees.

    ps. whatever you do, don't read Kunstler's very popular blog "Clusterfuck Nation" - it doesn't have a happy ending.

    Unhappy Hipsters

    here's the link:

    ephemera and carte de visite and chasing dollars with a butterfly net

    Caution: Rambling Thoughts Ahead:  Craig Nova was in touch with me a few months ago. Craig has a new book and started a new blog. Craig and Christine and me and Sandi had a delightful time chasing brook trout by float plane on assignment in the North Woods of Maine for Men's Journal a hundred years ago and we even ended up on the cover.  And then recently I start to see on my Google Analytics report a steady stream of referring traffic from a site called   And then I go there and try and figure out why and who and then I figure out  that Abigail is Abbey and that Abbey is Abbey Nova and that Abbey Nova is Craig's daughter and that she has listed me as a daily read on her blog. And then Abbey and I  trade emails and she volunteers that she also loves photography and in fact, started Flak Photo with Andy Adams before heading off to get her MFA in design history and then we share a few more emails about blogs and especially design blogs and I  remember that I haven't looked at Design Observer blog in a few months and that I used to especially love Eric Baker's weekly image roundups and now I'm all over a website devoted to ephemera and now I desperately need a back mark or a carte de visite. I've always said it's not about the photograph, it's about the background.
    And now it's all about the back of the photograph.

    How about the back mark above? Chasing dollars with a butterfly net? Where does one go to get something done like this? I bet Abbey knows.

    Snowy Night In Georgia - View From My Window

     Snowy Night in Georgia, 2010. ©Russell Kaye

    Certainly not Gene Smith's 6th Ave, but still, it's from my window and I'm listening to some Monk.

    Make Sure to check out Sam Stephenson's Blog.

    The Fungus is back Among us

    I'm not sure if I really understand the title but "he's" back and calling himself Lester B. Morrison? Look here. And I have to say it was an excellent excuse to re-read some great writing about creativity and photography. ( I also had forgotten about Mr Soth's obsession with Chan Marshall.) Anyway, check it out and let me know who the heck is Lester B Morrison? (He kinda looks like a distant relative of Ernest T Bass.)

    Recent Readings: Bad Pictures and Bad Politics

    “The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.”
    “I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”
    "It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.”

    – Diane Arbus (thanks Rob) (originally posted in 1000 Words Photography Magazine)

    2. and Matt Taibbi on  Obama and Our Financial Leaders 

    Pictures soon. Promise.

    The End of Days

    ©Kevin DeMaria

    Last year we moved to Atlanta for Sandi to start her new faculty position at SCAD-Atlanta. It was like we moved just in time for the end of days. Lehman Bros failed on her very first day of work. This year Conde Nast pulled the plug on Gourmet. Here's a very powerful visual account of The Last Days of Gourmet by Gourmet Art Director,  Kevin DeMaria.

    AsukaBook- How About This Business Model?

    I was just researching the book publishing sites out there after speaking to fellow Nat Geo Adventure Photographer Andrew Kornylak. Andrew loves AsukaBook. I went to their site and, of course you have to register first, to get information. But what stuck me as odd was the check box to certify that you are a professional. Then the follow up email they send mentions waiting two days for approval to use their services. Who limits access to their customers? Who waits for anything anymore in the digital age?

    Here's their explanation:

    An email approving your registration request or requesting further information will be sent to you within 2 business days.

    As mentioned on the Registration page, AsukaBook products are available to professional photographers and designers creating books for resale or promotions. To protect the integrity and confidentiality of our registered customers, we do not disclose our prices to the general public, as well as ordering capability. For this reason, verifying professional status is imperative. We may request further information from you such as business web site, membership of professional photography associations, and/or sample images. Your cooperation with this process is most obliged.

    It made me recall conversations with my Kodak Pro Rep years ago in which I used to kid them that they needed to limit to whom they sold "pro" film. Those guys taking "pro" film and cross processing it were giving Kodak a bad name.

    Which gets me to thinking that maybe there's room for a flickr style site that limits who can upload. Maybe a little exclusivity (or censorship?) would go a long way. Just a thought.

    Roy DeCarava

     Ketchup Bottles, Table and Coat, 1952 ©Roy DeCarava

    Roy DeCarava passed away this week. One of the great photographers of the last century. NYTimes obit here. Multimedia on NYT Lens Blog here