26 June 2011

Same-Sex Marriage Law Passes in New York. 24•June•11

Back in 2004, during my time as a photo-editor at the NY Daily News, I covered the first gay weddings in the country performed by a then 20-something mayor, Jason West. It caused quite a stir nationally and even internationally, as the small village green was a media circus... ~cg.

NEW PALTZ, NY. JoAnne Still (left) and her partner Mary Mendola (right), both of Accord, NY rejoicing together after their wedding ceremony performed by Mayor Jason West (far right) in New Paltz, NY on Friday, February 27, 2004. © CHET GORDON / THE IMAGE WORKS

*(This from the New York Times): ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.

24 June 2011

"Pomp..." Graduation Week. June 2011.

It's graduation week here in my newspaper's coverage area. After the college ceremonies from last month have become almost a distant memory, we're still faced with the one of the busiest weeks of the year documenting numerous commencement ceremonies during this next to last weekend in June. I'll post more of my select images from the four schools I've covered this week. Stay tuned... ~cg.

Alyssa Fortino waits to enter Eisenhower Hall with her classmates prior to James I. O'Neill High School's 2011 Commencement Exercises at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY on Thursday, June 23, 2011. CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record

18 June 2011

"The Company You Keep..." NYC 13•June•2011

Yours truly on the right joining photographers Daniel Morel (L) of Haiti and Tatiana Cardeal (C) of Brazil, outside Nations Cafe, in the shadow of the United Nations on East 49th. St. and 1st. Ave. in New York, NY on Monday, June 13, 2011. Morel is the 2011 World Press Photo Award winner for his coverage of the Jan. 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. © www.chetgordon.com/blog

Here's an older post I've relinked to my longtime relationship with Daniel, including working with him two weeks after last year's devastating earthquake in his native homeland, Haiti:

Image © Daniel Morel/Photomorel, courtesy of the photographer.

My longtime friend and colleague, Daniel Morel has won two World Press Photo Awards in the 2011 competition held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You may know his iconic image above as Daniel, a Haitian photographer created the first images after the earthquake struck in Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010. His images were seen around the world in the days following the devastating earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people, and left upwards of 1.5 million people homeless. His images ran in newspapers and magazines around the world, and were broadcast on international TV news channels as well. Daniel was awarded a 2nd. place in News (Singles) for the image of the woman crawling out of the rubble (above) and a 1st. Place in News (Stories - below) for a collection of his images just after the earthquake that first day. I've known Daniel for nearly 20 years, after our first meeting in Haiti back in 1993, on my first international shooting assignment with two other colleagues. I caught up with Daniel in his Port-au-Prince hotel last January, two weeks after the earthquake, while I was there working for longtime client Operation Smile. ~cg.

Oloffson Hotel. Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Saturday, January 30, 2010.

Portfolio editing w/ Daniel in my apartment. Newburgh, NY. May 2008.

15 June 2011

*"Building a Picture..." 14• June•2011

Ken and Jeannie Veltz in the backseat of their 1982 Mercedes Benz 240D outside their Cold Spring, NY home on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. The 60 year-old couple, both established musicians and married for 36 years, and now grandparents, are taking off on a cross-country tour in the car, reminiscing their days as a touring band. CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record

A lot times you go into an assignment (usually a portrait) with a specific idea or a few finished images already in your mind, and somehow without warning circumstances beyond your control as a photographer can ruin even the best laid plans in an instant. Fortunately, this wasn't the case yesterday in Cold Spring, NY where I'd gotten an assignment to photograph a longtime married couple and established musicians, who now as grandparents were about to embark on a cross-country tour on singing dates, just as they'd done years ago in their career. When I read the assignment ahead of time, and realized that the word people had an idea that photographing them in or around their old Mercedes diesel might be nice, I knew there would be a few opportunities for some decent images. One factor would come into play immediately though - the subjects attitude and willingness to understand what I had in mind by setting up two camera strobes on stands outside the car - one aimed into a shoot-thru umbrella, and posing them in the back seat of the sedan. Finally, the real kicker was utilizing my Nikon fisheye lens, which I occasionally use as a remote for overall views of stadiums and / or landscapes, and unique views in sports but rarely, if ever for a formal portrait. This all changed when I crawled into the front passenger seat, twisted around and was able to make a few images, encourage them to change their poses a little and even embrace. Arriving when the interview was still going on enabled me to know them a little better, which in turn allowed me to ask questions about their career, etc. when I actually began shooting. Besides all this, I was trying to keep my shooting time down to a few minutes, because there still were some serious rain clouds hovering over the area, so I know I needed a few usable images as quickly as possible, just in case we were hit with a downpour. I remember assuring Ken and Jeannie they were great and the story / pictures weren't so much about the car, as it was about them. It was just an all-around fun shoot, and we all managed to spend about a half hour at the reporter's apt. nearby to have coffee and swap stories on our careers too. *(Remember though to always be aware of all those little things you can't control in doing this work and to just plain have fun when you can...) ~cg.

14 June 2011

"The East Side." New York, NY. 13•June•11 6:48PM

NEW YORK, NY. An elderly man with a walker is helped out of a taxi cab on East 49th. Street in New York, NY on Monday, June 13, 2011. © www.chetgordon.com/blog

12 June 2011

REWIND - Images from the Archive.

BERMUDA. Street scene in St. George, Bermuda on Sunday, October 10, 2010. © Chet Gordon/THE IMAGE WORKS

REWIND - Images from the Archive.
A showcase for some of my favorite images here on the blog that aren't particularly in the working portfolio. Look for this occasional feature where I'll highlight a single image that's meant a lot throughout my career. Enjoy. ~cg.

07 June 2011

*"More HS Playoff Baseball..." 7•June•11

This is why I like utilizing long glass for sports; no matter the event, venue or level of competition. Peak action, fast shutter speeds, relatively clean or out of focus backgrounds at wide apertures, nice light... (yea, I was 'sitting' on the shortstop and sort of guessed right when he dove for this line drive right toward me as I was 30' or so past first base up the right field line with my trusty 300mm and a 1.4 tele-extender welded on.) Just like we used to do down at the big ballparks in the Bronx and Flushing, NY... ~cg.

(3) - Livingston Manor shortstop Ken Fisk (#14) dives but can't make the play on a ball hit by Tim Steffens (#9) of Smithtown Christian during the fourth inning of their New York State Class D regional final at Pine Bush High School in Pine Bush, NY on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Livingston Manor defeated Smithtown Christian 5 -3. CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record

05 June 2011

"A Little HS Championship Baseball..." 4•June•11

Kingston winning pitcher Jared Jensen (#22) reacts after making the final putout to end their Section 9 Class AA Championship game against Valley Central at SUNY New Paltz in New Paltz, NY on Saturday, June 4, 2011. KIngston defeated Valley Central 4 - 1. © CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record

04 June 2011

*For Gil...

"Winter in America."

It's been a week since musician Gil Scott-Heron has passed away at 62. Heron was certainly much more than a poet and songwriter whose infectious tunes just had a way of staying with you, even after nearly 30 years. He liked to call himself a "bluesologist" and I'd heard in one interview he said, "I'm just a piano player from Tennesee..." I'd written about his passing last week here on the blog, including the article that appeared in The New York Times. Listening to radio programs, reading some of the other testimonials to him and listening again to some of his past interviews, it is time to post this multimedia piece which I began putting together about six months ago. All the images were made here in Newburgh, NY, encompassing my coverage on the streets the past few years, although I'd had the soundtrack in my head for much, much longer.

I've wondered what Gil would think of the piece utilizing his words & music, but just a day or two ago I realized he'd already seen it - all over this country. ~cg.