Iron & Air Magazine

Motorcycles are my passion.  Especially vintage European motorcycles.  I've been riding most of my life and recently started doing multi-day touring.  As a kid, I recall leafing thru my dad's motorcycle magazines, looking at beautiful glossy photos of killer motorcycles and reading the articles that were often written with a lot of technical detail.  Flash to Iron and Air, a magazine founded by a bunch of like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts from Manchester, New Hampshire who thru their love of custom motorcycles and motorcycle culture, took their fresh aesthetic and created what I'd call a mag that's not-your-dad's-motorcycle-magazine.  Not that the classic mags aren't cool, but the I&A folks created something completely fresh and different to the genre.  Gorgeous imagery, tasteful writing and an overall aesthetic that's cool and not pretentious.  Since following them a few years ago, I'd always hoped to have a chance to contribute to the magazine.  My wish came true a couple years ago, when they featured one of my motorcycle shoots on their web journal.  Then a few months later, their Editor, Adam Fitzgerald, asked if I could shoot a feature for their Issue #17.  I was over the moon and jumped at the chance.  This feature was going to be more than just pretty pictures of motorcycles, it was to be a story about a former aerospace engineer who's created, Widow Jane, which happens to be some of the finest Bourbon North of Kentucky this country's seen in years.  Daniel is a soft-spoken, yet incredibly focused dude who doesn't do anything less than 110%.  When he's not working on Widow Jane, or his proprietary dark chocolate, he's flying a vintage Russian fighter plane or riding his incredible one-of-a-kind Keinocycles custom-built Vincent.  

The story took me to the Widow Jane mine in upstate New York, where the water for Widow Jane is sourced.  We spent the day in the mine and sampled chocolate and bourbon at Daniel's house which is across the street from the mine on a beautiful sprawl of land that spans acres along the river.  I also spent time with Daniel at the Widow Jane distillery in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  

I'm so honored to be a part of Iron & Air and can't wait to shoot another feature for them.

Jaffa Fishermen

When I visited Israel, I wanted the opportunity to shoot portraits of folks that ordinarily weren't in the spotlight.  The awesome folks at Kinetis pulled some strings and got me access to the Fishermen of Jaffa Port, and from what I was told, these guys don't often if ever grant photographers permission to shoot there. Not only did I get the opportunity to shoot them, but they wrangled 20 fishermen for me.  The guys were surprisingly older than I'd imagined - some of them into their 80's.   Real salt-of-the-earth folks that have been fishing these waters for generations.

Once I started shooting, Sado, the union manager began wrangling fisherman for me in rapid succession.  I imagined I'd get the chance to shoot a couple guys and next thing I know I've got fishermen coming at me left and right.  I ended up shooting over 20 fishermen's portraits over the course of an hour and a half.  I realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I had make the most of it.  I had to slow my mentality and make sure that I was creating a cohesive body of work and decided early on that I would make a full-body photo and close-up photo of each of the men.  That way I could have a contextual portrait and one of their face.  

All of the images were shoot with natural light with a Canon 5DMKIII and 85mm f/1.2.  I positioned the men about 20' in from a large open garage bay door.  The light outside was very intense, but nicely diffused into the space and lit the men really well.  I shot pretty wide open because I wanted to blow out the background that was very busy.  

The guys were all good sports and I had a blast doing the shoot.  I felt honored to be in their space and wanted to respect the space and their tradition.  When my time was up, I was spent.  Directing and shooting over 20 subjects in a short time frame is intense.  Afterwards, we strolled down the boardwalk to a café and had a fantastic lunch.  I had the fish entree :)

[Click the images to advance thru the gallery]

Special Olympics Swimmers

I had a lot of fun attending a practice session with some local Special Olympics swimmers.  These men and women were stoked to pose for portraits - and some of them really hammed it up.  I look forward to working with them again! Some more background from their coach and my good friend, Carey Bertolet:

Michael is a really accomplished swimmer--he's Brooklyn's best competitor.  He went to the State Games this past year--he goes a lot actually as he has been active in the organization a long time.  Everybody in the organization knows Michael.  He competes in the 50 m free and 100 m freestyle and has tons of medals from the regional and state special olympics meets.  Michael and I race across the pool once during every practice and he's tough to beat!  He's also a really good bowler.

Oluu is sort of the baby of the group--he's still a teenager (he's 18 or 19) which makes him younger than the other regulars.  He keeps his mom super busy taking him to swim practice and the million other activities he's always involved in around town.  Oluu is probably one of my 'most improved' over the past 1 1/2 year.

Michael and Oluu both live at home.  The other guys you met--for the most part--live in group homes throughout Brooklyn.  Frantz and James are both musicians--they play in a band Melodic Soul.  Frantz is a total ladies man and James is hands down the hardest worker on the team.  They both compete in events at the Special Olympics Aquatics meets and both have won a bunch of medals.  It probably is worth noting that Frantz always knows the name of every girl that's in the room.

Jill lives by herself and works 5 days a week for the Board of Ed.