Sarasota Sam’s in Style

Nicolas

About 10 years ago I was at an art opening in my neighbor’s studio. My friend Bob Ballou was showing some work in this studio and his wife Bronwen and stepson Nicolas were with him. I was taking some snap shots with a digital camera and Nicolas (who was not quite 5 at the time) came over to me and asked what I was doing. I told him I was taking photos of the people and asked if he wanted to see what I was doing. He ended up making a few photos himself. After awhile he looked at me and said “I want to be like you”. I asked him if it was because I had a cool camera. He said no, then said “because you’ve got style”. As you can imagine I was a bit startled by his comment, coming from a not yet 5 year old. I asked him to repeat what he said and he said it again, “because you’ve got style”.

Well Nicolas it has taken about 10 years, but now I can say I am in Style Magazine.

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A Different Way

Well….it has been some time since I have made an entry in this blog. A few weeks ago I got a great deal on a used Mac G5 computer which has opened up many more possibilities for editing and presenting my photographs. I had an old G4 computer that was 10 years old and whenever I tried to work with video, the computer would groan and than go into major slow down mode. So I have been spending the last few weeks learning programs that enabled me to create what I am showing you here.

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Bird Land

Play Video

I never thought I would be photographing birds. In my thirty plus years of photography, I never had photographed birds before. Just now I went outside for a break and there was an Egret fishing in the canal behind the house not more than ten yards away. So the birds are hard to avoid here in Sarasota. I have put together another video slideshow of birds I have met.

This is the second slideshow/video I have created and any feedback would be appreciated. Enjoy!

Siesta Key Drum Circle

Here is another video slide show of photographs I made from a few trips to the Siesta Drum Circle at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota (also included are a couple of photographs from Nokomis Drum Circle in Nokomis). Mari and I met sixteen years ago at a weekly event called Dance Freedom in Cambridge, MA and the drum circles down here have a similar flavor to them where anything goes dance wise. Although in the case of the drum circles here there are more watchers than participants. This drum circle according to their web page (www.siestadrumcircle.com) began twelve years ago.

I have seen a number of videos on the web (mostly through YouTube) of the drum circle. My hope is that the photos I made give people a different persecutive of the event and capture some of the energy. The sound was captured with my Canon G10 and edited and enhanced with Apple’s GarageBand.

Maji

I met Maji many years ago up north in Boston. Maji was one of the first participants in Dance Freedom which was a dance organization begun in 1968 in Cambridge. Dance Freedom is a smoke free, alcohol free, barefoot dance environment where any kind of dance is acceptable (as long as it is non harmful).

 

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Maggie, Lorna & Tony

I met Maggie, Lorna & Tony through Debbie (my sister-in-law) who had been dog sitting for Karen & Tim Stark. The dogs were very cooperative as long as treats were involved. The video is a homage to William Wegman who had videoed first his dog Man Ray and than later included Fay Ray.

What he did with getting them to move their heads had always tickled me and here in this video Maggie and Lorna revised the rolls of Man Ray and Fay Ray.

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Positive Change

10 Months ago Mari and I arrived in Sarasota to a whole new beginning. We have decided to stay at least for another year. We are going to permanently leave our studio up north. A place I have been in for over thirty years and Mari fifteen. Pack up thirty years of accumulated stuff and move in to our own place in Sarasota.

After being here 4 months, the Sarasota Herald Tribune did an article on me in their monthly magazine called In Style. Now Positive Change has also published an article on me in the recent March issue, which Mari wrote. What follows is the text of the article.

 

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Mineola* – A Pleasant Place

June 6. 2010
It has been a long time since my last entry. A lot has been going on. Nothing on photography, but much on lifestyle changes.

First, Mari and I decided we were staying in Sarasota. We needed to find someone to take over our studio in Waltham, MA and pay a key fee so we would be able to make the move work. We found someone who was actually already in the artist community.

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Mineola Journal 1-3

#1 Heron & Spoonbill

Since I purchase a new camera (Panasonic Lumix GH2) I have been making videos with this remarkable camera. These “Mineola Journals” are short videos taken in our backyard (Mineola is the street we live on). Our backyard ends at Phillippi Creek which is a long meandering creek the empties into the Gulf.

#2 Anhingas

We see Anhingas often in the creek. They have no oil in their wings like other water birds and so they have to dry them off in order for them to fly effectively.

#3 Reflections

Late in the day, with the sun low in the sky, interesting patterns form on the opposite shore.

Refections are so difficult to communicate through still photos. Video really is able to capture the mood of moving reflections.

Mineola Journal 4 – 6

#4 Great Egrets

Great Egrets are very commonly seen in the creek. They appear very tame and will walk right by with no concern. We also see Snowy Egrets and Cattle Egrets.

#5 Manatees

We do see Manatees quite often in creek off our backyard, but all we usually see is their nose coming up for air and a little bit of wake. On this day there was a lot of action happening because they were maiting.

#6 Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Herons are a very common presence here. Sometimes they will stand for hours in the same place doing nothing but standing and preening. As you will see, one of the Great Blue Herons had some kind of mouthful.