July 5, 2007 - 4:55 pm

Jeronimo Nisa - My fav is the high angle one.But I’m still puzzled at those skateboarders inside a museum (?!?!?!?), and would like to see at least one of the fishing pics.Well done, Mags: they now know who Mags the Photog is! Some people may think you shouldn’t have done that (I mean, interfere with what was going on there), but I’m glad that you’re a person and a woman and not a robot-photographer…

Transforming the Temple.

Images from the Masonic Temple on Mormon Road in Northern Omaha. As usual with construction assignments, I ran into the issue of posed pictures. One of the guys in charge hollered at the head carpenter, “hey, can you come back here and work on this for a picture,” he said as the man was heading towards his car. “No, sir, it’s really ok. If he’s on his way out you don’t have to call him back. I’ll just document the other workers,” I insisted, trying to emphasize the word “document”. This has happened a couple of times now. I’ll go to a construction site and they’ll try to set something up for me. It’s difficult because I can neither take those photos, nor do I want to. I would much rather capture things as they are, rather than contrived scenes.
It’s especially frustrating while I shoot at the College World Series. I am constantly being called from one direction or another, take a photo of me. I had to shoot a feature of kids from the YMCA and any time I pointed the lens in their direction they’d all immediately start posing. Sigh…any solutions?

I was really impressed with these stilt things. I kept asking him if they were difficult to work in, as if the answer would change if I kept pressing him. By the way, he said it wasn’t. “it’s just like wearing shoes.”

Bonus… It caught my eye…


June 20, 2007 - 6:24 pm

Jeronimo Nisa - that’s happening to me a lot too, especially with kids. The only solution I’ve found is to be patient, point the camera somewhere else or just drop it and wait until they don’t give a dam about me. I know, this is not easy when you have very little time to complete the assignment, but it’s worked so far.Thanks for the links you sent!

Baseball mugs. The natural light was really great that day, spilling evenly through the dugout so that I didn’t need to add a fill. I find mug shots fascinating. Their blank serious stares always have me searching…

June 20, 2007 - 6:05 am

Beth Carpenter - love it

June 22, 2007 - 6:51 am

ParkerMB - and there’s that one guy smiling…

A tale of Meatpackers, Albanians, and a bouncer…

There are only 17 meatpacking plants remaining in the area of Manhattan Island south of 15th street and west of Hudson. In the 90’s, investors recognized the potential of the old warehouses, converting them into trendy clubs with names like Ceilo and Lotus, and overpriced boutiques that attracted models and foreign travels. Soon the bloodied aprons and rubber gloves began to fade, replaced with stiletto heals and Louis Vuitton bags worn by hipsters and trendsetters who stand in long lines and pay $15 for a drink.
Only a few hours after the clubs close and the cabs have vanished from the cobblestone streets, the sun rises. As the morning yawns and the sun stretches its golden limbs, the last remaining figures of the forgotten trade make exchanges from the shipping docks of the now fabled warehouses. They are the lone cowboys from a legendary time who were firmly taken by the arm and ushered along, as moneymaking machines moved in.

Marcelleria, where I work, is one machine. In most languages, the name translates to butcher. It was originally a meatpacking plant, then the owners of the restaurant gutted the place, leaving only the hooks and oversized scale. Despite it’s slightly morbid history, I find the place cozy and welcoming.
The staff of waiters are all Albanian men who immigrated to the U.S. between ’97-and 2000. This was a time period in which the once communist party went through an intense period of anarchy and rioting after the economy, which was built upon a network of pyramid schemes, collapsed. Eventually the UN got involved, a series of short-lived socialists governments established a semblance of order, and finally democracy prevailed (we’ll not really, but hey, the looting stopped).
I haven’t met any other Albanians, so I can’t tell if this is a cultural trait, but they are constantly serving (which is of course appropriate considering it’s their job). But, when I sit down to eat diner with them at the end of the night, they are always asking me what I need and immediately get it for me. If I ever try to take a dirty plate of theirs they jump up and grab it from my hands. It’s amazing, as soon as one person has gone to get me a glass of water someone else is approaching me to see if I need any bread.

After work I planned to meet Sara, my roommate, and her friend Courtney, at Lotus, the ultra-trendy club I mentioned earlier. I got off at 11:30, changed into jeans and boots, and walked up the block to join the line that had already formed. Thankfully I was on the guest list. I’m not so assimilated to New York that I’ll pay $20 to get into to a club where the drinks cost $15. There were three levels inside. The basement was a packed dance floor, the main level was a restaurant with a disco ball, and the upstairs was divided into private sections. I made small chat while I waited for the girls to be delivered to the front door. Things were going fine, I was even having fun. Then my phone rang. They had arrived but there was some issue. I took the stairs down, got a bracelet at the front and went out the side exit.
“What’s goin on?”
“Oh, we can’t get in and Courtney’s really go to pee.”
I turned to the closest bouncer and told him that these were my roommates and that they were here for the birthday party. Apparently I said something wrong because this line sent the man into a fit of rude comments. Somewhere there was a misunderstanding. I tried to figure out the problem by politely asking questions, only to be refuted and accused of using my smile and charm to try and get my friends in. “Eh…?” I had no idea how to respond. He wouldn’t look me in the eye, only just told me to go tell it to my “mom, dad, boyfriend, and sister.”
Well… we left. I said goodbye to the group upstairs and hailed a cab.
Still fuming, the phone began to ring, interrupting our venting. “Is that yours?” Sara asked me.
I looked down and there flashed the mobile. “Hello? I don’t know who this is, but I just found this phone in a cab,” I answered.
“Yeah, it’s mine. I left it.”
“Oh, ok. Where are you?”
“Were at Penn Station. Can you have the cab driver come here? I’ll pay for the fair.”
We made plans to drive the lost item to her location, a half-hour the opposite direction of where we were going. Only after five minutes Courtney started feeling sick next to us. “Oh man, I don’t feel good. Can you unroll the window?”
Suddenly it hit her. The chicken she digested earlier in the day didn’t agree with her stomach. I handed my extra bag over, which was unfortunately porous, and we redirected our cab driver to our apartment. Thus, went our night. A lovely string of events that was thankfully only temporary.
The next morning we had pancakes with blueberries. Pancakes always make everything better.