29 March 2008

"The 10-minute portrait..."

I had to make a "quick & dirty" portrait yesterday of a man who I thought had a wonderful face and character. After making the "safe" images and the two of us talking with the reporter in the hallway of an upstairs barbershop, he said something (I don't remember what it was now) and I just knew I could step in a little closer make a few frames from about a foot away. A rainy and overcast day helped a lot too, as a sunny day would've made the light too harsh for a portrait like this. Sure, I asked him to look out the window and gaze down the street, but I really like this portrait. I also like walking into an assignment with just one camera, one lens, and even taking the flash off to make an image like this. Quick. Simple. Clean... -cg.

Robert Jordan (49) pauses at the hallway of Tremendous Cuts barbershop in Newburgh, NY on Friday, March 28, 2008. Jordan is a former crack-cocaine user and convict, who's turned his life around. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

24 March 2008

"Go There..."

"Been there. Done that. Got it on film..." *(well, you know what I mean...)

RED SQUARE. MOSCOW, RUSSIAN FEDERATION. June 9, 2005. In Moscow during my fourth trip to Russia, preparing to leave on a two-week Trans-Siberian Railway journey across the country.

VLADIVOSTOK. RUSSIAN FEDERATION. June 19, 2005. Touching the marker at the endpoint of the Trans-Siberian Railway, 9,288 kilometers (5,771 miles) from Moscow, after completing an 11-day journey on trains across the Russian Federation.

WASHINGTON, DC. Sept. 14, 2004. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where the words, "I Have a Dream" are engraved into the marble, at the spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous speech in 1963.

HARTSDALE, NY. May 19, 2004. During the annual birthday pilgrimage to the gravesite of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) and his wife, Betty Shabazz.

21 March 2008


A brief look at some of the religious ceremonies, rites, festivals, temples, churches, people & religious architecture I've photographed throughout my career... -cg.

Stations of the Cross. Newburgh, NY. March 2008.
Stations of the Cross. Newburgh, NY. March 2008. Stations of the Cross. Newburgh, NY. March 2008.
Stations of the Cross. Newburgh, NY. March 2008. Stations of the Cross. Newburgh, NY. March 2008. ecgchurch1.jpg Good Friday. Mombasa, Kenya. April 2006. Pastor Installation @ Harlem, NY Church. April 2007. Pastor Installation @ Harlem, NY Church. April 2007. Senegal. Nov. 2006 Nairobi, Kenya.          January 2004
Images from top: Venice, Italy 2002, Newburgh, NY (7), Mombasa, Kenya 2006, Harlem, NY (2), Senegal 2006, Nairobi 2004, Thailand 2007.

15 March 2008

"Just a little more basketball work this week..."

Photographed Cory Quimby as our paper's HS Player of the Year earlier this week. A good kid to work with and a heck of a player. I thought adding the tool belt & hard hat was a nice touch, as that's his game persona - a real hard working, blue collar kind of player. Now that I'm occasionally working with an assistant for these kinds of assignments; for future assignments I'd really like to photograph these kids out on location at their favorite schoolyard or backyard court in the nice light... -cg.

09 March 2008

*More on remotes... (Part II)

After putting up a remote camera three times this week for HS & college basketball, I decided to take a look at some of my older work shot with remote cameras, particularly pro & college basketball. (More like digging thru old CD's and external HD's searching for file images. some of these images were made with film cameras BTW...) -cg.
*(older remotes.) NJ Nets vs. L.A. Lakers. Meadowlands Arena. Feb. 2001. *(older remotes.) NY Knicks vs. Washington Wizards. Madison Square Garden, NYC. Feb. 1999.
*(older remotes.)  NY Knicks vs. NJ Nets NBA Playoffs. Meadowlands Arena. April 2004. *(older remotes.) Duke vs. St. John's college BBall. Madison Square Garden, NYC. Jan. 1999.

06 March 2008

*More on remotes... (or I realize now why the joints in my fingers, wrists, knees & hips are sore the last few days...)

A few images of the setup procedure for installing a backboard remote camera. Also dug out a few of my old remote images at pro / college games through the years & will be posting them here soon too. Enjoy. -cg.

Backboard Glass Remote. SUNY New Paltz, NY. March 2008. Backboard Glass Remote. SUNY New Paltz, NY. March 2008. Backboard Glass Remote. SUNY New Paltz, NY. March 2008. Backboard Glass Remote. SUNY New Paltz, NY. March 2008. "Packing up..." Middletown, NY. Saturday, March 1, 2008. *(the gear layout here is from the Saturday games at SUNY Orange, where I made the first backboard remote image on the following post. After breaking down all this gear myself, and hustling back to the office a few blocks away to make deadline, I decided to hire an assistant for the same set-up on Tuesday, and the above sequence of the set-up. -cg)

02 March 2008

Backboard remote on strobes for HS basketball tourney. Middletown, NY. 1 March 08.

Sebastian Valdez, #41, left, and Cory Quimby, #44 right, of Minisink reach for rebound during their Section 9 Class AA Championship game against Newburgh Free Academy at SUNY Orange in Middletown, NY on Saturday, March 1, 2008. Minisink defeated Newburgh 60 - 57. Times Herald-Record/CHET GORDON

Strobist info & other tech talk: Nikon D-1X *(yea, I still use my old digital Nikons) with a 14mm F/2.8 Nikkor AF, mounted with a Bogen Magic-Arm & Superclamp behind the backboard glass for this championship series game. Four Dynalite Uni-Jr.'s lit the gym, that were clamped to the top corner railings of the bleachers the night before for earlier games. The whole rig was fired by Pocket-Wizards. I also shot from the floor with 2 other bodies, one short, with an 70mm - 200mm f/2.8 AF & the other with a 300mm f/2.8 AF to shoot the other end of the court. Game time exposures were: ISO 800 1/250th. sec. @ f/3.2 - 3.5. Note: This image was from the marquee game at 5PM. There were three other championship games played prior to this game, which meant I was in the gym actually turning on the house lights myself, and up on a ladder, 8 hours before tip-off of this game. Breakdown time of the strobes & remote rig was about an hour & this image still made deadline for the paper. -chet.

*This image took ONE YEAR, 3 DAYS & 8 HOURS to produce. Here's the Why & How: After we'd lit up the gym at SUNY New Paltz (NY) with four strobes for last year's HS Sectional Playoffs, I knew I wanted to make the effort to mount a remote camera "behind the glass" for this type of image, and have been talking about doing just that with a colleague at work for a year. *(that's the One Year part). I've been mounting remotes for basketball for years, both at the pro, college & even HS level, but those cameras were all making images under the venue's available light at high ISO's. This was the first game where I actually had the full assortment of gear & probably just as importantly - time - to mount a backboard remote, and also have this camera separately fire the four studio strobes mounted up in the corners of the gym. Last Thursday afternoon I met with the college's Director of Communications, and the assistant Athletic Director in the their gym to explain what I hoped to accomplish. Showed them samples of my earlier strobed sports & images made at NBA games with remotes & handed out business cards, etc. The DOC (communications guy) formally worked at West Point for years in their SID (sports information dept.) and understood immediately the importance of strobing arena games. (that's the 3 Day part). Finally, I had to arrive at the gym approximately three hours before the start of the first noontime playoff game in the gym. This image was from the marquee game played at 5PM. *(that's the 8 hour part), as I was in the gym at 9AM, literally 8 hours before tip-off of this game. I shot a few tests with this camera from the earlier games, and grabbed a ladder at halftime to pull the card to make sure everything looked OK on my Mac. The college maintenance guys, HS Tournament officials, coaches & fans who arrived early to see me up on a ladder, working behind the backboard to install the remote camera were all supportive and enthusiastic. That meant a lot during my set-up time.

*Oh yea, "Go (very) early. Stay late. Get the uniform dirty..." -cg.

01 March 2008

Operation Smile's World Journey of Smiles Photo Exhibit. NYC. 28 Feb. 08.

*My First NYC Exhibit...
It was really something special to attend the opening reception of Operation Smile's - World Journey of Smiles Photo Exhibit opening in the city on Thursday evening. Op Smile means mountains to me, and it was very, very good to see old friends & colleagues, and meet some new ones. *(Not to mention wearing a favorite suit & looking like a "grown up" for the night...) Thanks so much to all the fine people in Norfolk, VA at Op Smile who've offered me all the wonderful international missions through the years: Founders Bill & Kathy Magee, Lisa Jardanhazy, Leila Hemaiden, Katherine Taylor & Marc Ascher. You all do exceptional work and I am always honored & humbled to get your call for another mission...

Photographers Chet Gordon, Shiho Fukada & Marc Ascher during the opening reception of the Operation Smile Photo Exhibit at SplashLight Studios in New York on Thursday, February 28, 2008. The exhibit featured images from 27 Operation Smile volunteer professional photographers who participated in the organization's 25th Anniversary initiative World Journey of Smiles last November. The exhibit at Splashlight Studios is open to the public Feb 26 to March 3. The opening reception is Thursday, February 28th. 7:00 - 10:00PM. © Photograph by Keith Bedford.

Portrait & celebrity photographer Liz Brown of NYC made portraits on a digital Hasselblahd of attendees during the exhibit as a fundraiser for Op Smile. Thanks Liz! -cg.