About artandfossils

I am a fine art photographer living in upstate New York. After a career of image making in NYC I happily transitioned from the city to a quiet country road tucked away in the woods between the Hudson River and the eastern edge of the Catskills. My interest in photographing industrial archaeology ( a look into the recent past) gave way to new project that has captured my energies. I live atop a vast trove of 350 year million year old fossils - primarily Devonian Period marine invertebrates. As I continued to trip over them I became entranced with their beauty and excited by the photographic possibilities inherent. Five years into the project and I continue to see open ended opportunities to explore visually, learn more about early life on this planet, and spend lots of time hiking the woods with hammer, chisel, and camera.

092117: Back to Work

Round Top, NY 2012

Septembers have usually been busy and exciting times for me. Shows, travel, and new projects have generally been the focus of my posts ever since I began this blog in 2011. As my regular viewers know, if its Thursday there’s a new story waiting. Unfortunately, other matters have intruded and, as a result, the past month or so has had me focused elsewhere.

Mushrooms 2011

Due to a misdiagnosis well over a year ago, my partner, Cindy, has been hit with Lyme disease with a vengeance. It’s been harrowing and disturbing. Fortunately, she is ever so slowly on the mend. And as she progresses I will be able to get back on schedule.

Coral on Canvas 2012

As a way to break back into some creative work, I’ve picked out images for today that were taken in previous Septembers – but never worked until now. So, in a way, these are fresh new pieces. Definitely an odd mix, and quite varied.

Tea Set, New Jersey 2012

And, yes, the sofa and chairs were covered in plastic too.

Parking Garage, Spoleto 2013

On this day four years ago my solo show opened at the Florence Museum of Natural History. It was a wonderful occasion and allowed us to travel the countryside in the days that followed.

San Gimignano 2013

In the shadows of this wonderful hill town, as the sun set, we finished a day of Tuscan fossil hunting. Some of what we found appear below.

Gastropods, Tuscany 2013

Sea Shell, Maine 2014

Maine 2014

Our view to the East. We fell in love with Maine on this trip and now return annually – not only for the local beauty but also to shoot the coastal rocks such as the image below.

Coastal Rock, Maine 2014

Bearded Rocks, Lake Champlain, Vermont 2015

Isle La Motte, home of the famous Chazy Reef geological site, is another favorite. An important annual event celebrated there is Teddy Roosevelt Day in honor of his visit in 1901. In fact, the annual celebration is being held this Saturday the 23rd with a full day of activities. If you are anywhere in the vicinity make plans to visit. As they say it’s fun for all ages!

For information and directions for this year’s event clock here – Teddy Rooesvelt Day.

Donald, Isle La Motte 2015

Our dear friend Donald posed following the historical recreation.

Gastropod, Isle La Motte 2015

Coral, Catskill, NY 2016

Sunset Over the Catskills 2011

A slightly different journey today. I hope you liked it. I’ll try to be back soon.

Thanks for the visit.

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081717: Fresh Fossils

Today’s post is all fossils. I know that some of my viewers are particularly interested in fossils, while others prefer to see other type images. I try to strike something of a balance, especially since my work generally is more dimensional than a single subject.

My time is short today so I’ll just leave you with this new batch of images.

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Since I am finishing with two (partial) trilobites I thought I’d follow up with a few recent drawings of trilobites from a new series I am currently working on.

These are charcoal and chalk. Each is approximately 2×3 feet in size.

They are more “generic trilobites” as opposed to any specific type and they are fun for me to explore!

 

Thanks for the visit. Enjoy the eclipse next week wherever you are. And remember to follow viewing instructions carefully.

080317: Looking Out (and Looking Back)

Today’s opener was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft last year. It has been exploring Saturn and many of its 62 moons since its arrival at Saturn in 2004. Currently the spacecraft is in the middle of its “Grand Finale,” as NASA refers to its ultimate and final stage – plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere next month on September 15. It has treated us to previously unimaginable sights and still has six more weeks of transmissions.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21046

Above are the first three drawings ever of Saturn and made by the observations of Galileo over 400 years ago. July 30,1610 was the first one (top) with slightly better results for the other two as he continually refined his telescopes.

We’ve come a long way – this pic taken from behind Saturn looks back at Earth (the dot center right). The beauty and importance of these and many other images, to me, cannot be understated.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17171

This trio of craters, also shot from Cassini, reside on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20011

NASA’s image libraries are full of these wonderful and fascinating images and are all easily  accessible online.This one above is from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and shows part of Mars’ south pole.

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21639/erosion-of-the-edge-of-the-south-polar-layered-deposits

And last in this series is a picture of our own Grand Canyon taken from the International Space Station by a student controlled EarthKam camera!

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/space-stations-earthkam-sees-the-grand-canyon

As I said, NASA has endless libraries worth perusing. Also, my favorite non-NASA sight you might want to visit is  Planetary Landscapes – daily posts of images from here on Earth and elsewhere!

One last note: Saturday, August 5, will be the fifth anniversary of the explorations begun by the Mars Rover. It continues to chug along the surface of the planet, sending back wonderful and astounding landscape images of Mars – Images – Mars Science Laboratory

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All this thought about outer space got me to break out my collection of pulp Sci-Fi magazines. The stories age great. The cover images make me dream of being aboard a spaceship exploring the wide universe. I think it’s my way of coping with the depressing news that we witness daily – especially the science related cutbacks, the dissolution of important government functions ranging from climate change to research of all kinds, etc.

The two  “Thrilling Wonder Stories” are from 1951 and 1952.

The three remaining magazines, “Amazing Stories,” are from 1947 and 1948.

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So, from the faraway future to the faraway past – I had to toss in a few new images of the very old – 387 million years ago (give or take a few mil!) – Devonian invertebrate fossils from the neighborhood.

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Science matters.

Thanks for the visit.

072717: A Walk in the Woods

The past few days have seen an explosion of mushrooms. A brief walk in the woods  turned into a fine shooting opportunity for me. I’ve learned from past experiences that mushrooms grow fast when the conditions are right. Fortunately my ever so flexible schedule allowed me to take time to explore.

I know little about mushrooms. I do know that they are fascinating to look at.

To show how quickly they grow please note the image above. Then take a look at the image below. these images were taken 24 hours apart.

That fly was not the only flying insect around. The fresh rains and heavy humidity helped to create whole armies of mosquitos that made thoughtful and deliberate camera adjustments luxuries I could not afford!

I was particularly struck by what I think was such a wide variety of mushroom types in a relatively small area.

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I also happened to run across a plant whose leaves (or fronds) were the size of a baby elephant’s ears! I couldn’t resist bring them back to the studio. These are a few of the studies that resulted.

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Who knows what the surrounding forest might yield next?!

Thanks for the visit.

072017: In The Beginning

Today’s opener is one of my very first fossil images, shot way before I ever considered any possibilities of obsession! I had just finished my previous project, the black and white urban landscapes that appeared here a few weeks ago. That one was shot with a 4×5 view camera. So I thought it only made sense that the fossils would be dealt with similarly.

Was I ever wrong! It was such a painstakingly slow, deliberate, and cumbersome process. Had I continued that way, I can assure you, my fossil obsession would never had occurred.

And that would have been a shame. These fascinating, ancient objects have become vehicles for many wonderful experiences. It’s been more that ten years since I took that first picture.

During that time, the images have been shown in galleries and museums here and abroad. Cindy and I have met some of the nicest and most interesting people imaginable. And our opportunities to learn and grow have been deeply enhanced.

All thanks to these remnants of life from hundreds of millions of years ago!

The rest of today’s images are some of my earliest work, all shot digitally and reworked this past week.

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Thanks for the visit.

071317: An Unusual Time

Another day, another bombshell report. I turn on the news each day and think to myself that this political nightmare we find ourselves in will soon come to resolution. And each day I scold myself for my naivete. This is going to take a long time to get clear of.

So I immerse myself in my work, finding my photo libraries to serve as useful and important distractions from the news of the day. Today’s opening image started me off on the right path. This very lyrical (and even poetic) image of a partial gastropod, found at one of my most favorite places, Isle La Motte, Vermont, led me to piece together this somewhat disparate selection of images.

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This final image is a playful variation on the opening one. A partial mirroring seemed to provide an intriguing alternate image.

That’s it for today. Thanks for the visit. Enjoy this beautiful summer (it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye!).

070617: Mixing It Up

A while back I used some of my mixed media drawings as backdrop for my fossil images. It was fun to experiment with and seemed to infuse a bit more “life” into these ancient objects.

Now that I am in my new studio (with lots more room to move around in) I’m busy working with more drawings and once again returning to that intermixing of “art and fossils!”

Here are four new ones (in order from the top) – crinoid ossicles, coral, tree roots (or branches) from Gilboa, and a single brachiopod (below).

I didn’t stop there with the drawings. The garden provided me with more opportunity to play with these new backgrounds as this next group of images shows.

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The garden also provided me with another subject and three different ways to play with this sprig.

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I’ll close for today with a few of the aforementioned drawings – all mixed media pieces – charcoal, chalks, wash, etc.

Trying to find fresh new ways to explore!

Thanks for the visit.