Category - photography

My Ride on The Hogwarts Express

I’ve seen a few photos on Instagram this week of the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands, so I thought I’d add one of mine to the mix. Harry Potter fans will recognize this location from the movies: the Hogwarts Express is shown chugging over this gracefully curved overpass in several of the movies. @westcoastrail operates a steam train service called The Jacobite that offers daily excursions out of Fort William to the fishing village off Maillaig on the Scottish Coast that goes over the viaduct and its passes through the valley on the edge of Loch Shiel. The wife and I took that trip in October, 2012, and made an obvious discovery along the way: It’s a lot harder to get a good photo OF the train when you are ON the train. So as the train approached the Viaduct, there wasn’t a whole lot else I could do but… get on the ‘port’ side, put my arm out the window and… fire away. Out of several clunky frames, I managed to get this one good one. .

OK, I confess, I’m kinda …

…crushing on the fiddle player. Her youthful exuberance is great fun to shoot – but this was a moment in-between. I was starting to upload the color original when I experimented an iGram B&W filter… went back to Lightroom and Topaz and cooked up one of my own instead. Marie McGlone (with Jimmy Charles at Pucketts downtown – Feb 1, 2018

The Photos That ‘Ended My Career’

Back in the early 1970s I saw a student film called “Hot Dogs for Gauguin,” written and directed by Martin Brest, who went on to have a notable film career.  He directed such memorable hits as Midnight Run, Beverly Hills Cop, and The Scent of a Woman before becoming a Hollywood persona-non-grata for directing a fiasco called Gigli in 2003; Marty’s IMDB bio ends there.

Oh, the humanity!

Hot Dogs for Gauguin” is about a photographer – played by a then-unknown actor named Danny DeVito – who wants to replicate the kind of acclaim that he thinks befell the photographer who shot the Hindenberg disaster (Oh, the humanity!).  DeVito’s character figures to achieve similar acclaim by blowing up the Statue of Liberty – and being on-hand to capture the moment with his camera. Suffice it to say it doesn’t end well…

This is a story about my own “Hot Dogs for Gauguin” moment.”

Or maybe it was more of a “Gigli” moment, if not quite on the same scale.

There was a period a couple of years ago when I was making a concerted attempt to market myself as a photographer, in particular of music-related subjects.

With some coaching, I’d set up a program at (it’s still there) and created a couple of ‘packages’ for shooting stills during studio recording sessions.

Not long after I set all that up I was invited into a studio by an A-List, first-call musician, a side-player to the stars, who was recording her own album for an indie label, and had called on some of the town’s top A-List players in support.  I did not know most of the names, nor of the many-arms-lengths lists of credits they all carried.  I was a bit of a fish out of water.  They all knew each other, and I only barely knew the woman who’d invited me to the session (I’d met her when we worked together on another project).

I will mention just one actual name, because it was the effort to capture his thousand-watt smile that got me in trouble (I think). Read More