Finally! Fresh from Hamcation, with a full compliment of radio portraits—and a new website—the Hamateurs Project is ready for viewing. Our antics in Orlando rendered quite a few amateur operators who were kind enough to pose for us, and the results are really pleasing. Take a look at the face of amateur radio today.
Jim Hall, the accomplished musician and giant of jazz guitar for over 50 years, passed away last week. I'll miss his signature sound, gentlemanly countenance and appetite for a ripe joke. I've photographed Jim many times—our final session in his Greenwich Village apartment was to document his guitar collection.
The images below were taken at a sound check at the Village Vanguard in 2005. It's not likely we'll hear this style of music played with such individualism, which, apart from the man, is what we'll miss the most.
Everyone, at some time, is bound for home. What awaits there is unknowable; what might be glimpsed, unforeseeable. But the future—ours, theirs, yours—is inevitable. And I promised myself I would not look away when it presented itself. So my homecoming, the last I would have with my mother, was spent at her bedside in a long goodbye that I want to hold on to the only way I know how. See The Waiting.
One of the goals of Thomas Witherspoon’s not-for-profit Ears to Our World (ETOW) organization is to deliver self-powered world band receivers to schools and communities in developing regions, for education, disaster relief, and lately, to help communities with visually impaired children. These hand-cranked radios let children and families in areas without much infrastructure hear educational programming, news and health information, along with music and the arts.
This summer I had the opportunity to travel with Thomas to Belize City, where he deployed a few dozen such radios to children participating in a summer camp held each year by the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) in coordination with the Belize Ministry of Education. The council hosts children from all across Belize, with educational activities, arts and crafts, computer training, and being a tropical country, plenty of outdoor activities.
As photographers, it is sobering to meet people with visual impairments. Our art begins with seeing; it is the very first step in our workflow, if you will, and without vision how can we produce, much less edit or appreciate, our work?
What buoyed me throughout was experiencing the relentless optimism of children, their natural ability to look beyond what we could consider impediments, to grow and expand their world, and simply have fun at being kids.
For Northfrkd.com I had the pleasure of photographing an artist whose work runs a range of mediums, but who always returns to the sea for inspiration. Cindy Pease Roe was heavily influenced by time spent in Northern California boat yards, and since returning to the Northeast has been plying nautical themes in watercolor, oils and intriguingly, in scultpure made from washed up beach plastic.