|The Ghost In The Tenderloin|
rage, fright, confusion and madness. Why is this man here? What are the circumstances that led to him living on the streets? What is it that he wants to say?
Although the subject and I never shared words, his face and expressions display a story all their own. He is "the Ghost In The Tenderloin."
Do you journal when you visit new places or photograph new subjects? If so, what about?
I journal sometimes, but not always. I typically take notes on what I was feeling at the moment. I ﬁnd that I journal more when traveling. I travel a great deal and have been fortunate to have explored over thirty countries on six continents. I love being out at odd times day or night photographing and experiencing the world in fascinating places.
I enjoy photographing people but I wouldnʼt say I prefer it. I equally enjoy photographing nature. Some of the most joyous and creative moments in my life have come through photographing nature. The vast awesomeness of it all inspires me.
Since I started taking photographs many years ago, I have been continuously motivated to go out and capture what I see. Iʼm always looking to project the contrast beauty of everyday life. In terms of early inﬂuences, Robert Frank, Eugene Smith and Sylvia Plachy stand out. There is a very real and vivid quality to their work which inspires me.
What place that you've photographed could you return to over and over again?
Vietnam. Because I've worked for [a number of years as a flight attendant], it's allowed me to travel anywhere for free. The people in Vietnam are warm and friendly and I loved the food! I was able to see Danang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City--much of North and South Vietnam, which I traveled by the Reunification Train system. I photographed Halong Bay by boat. There are more than 300 islands in the China Sea.
I've felt very safe wherever I've been...I just make sure I research the places I go first to see what areas to avoid and try to blend in wherever I am. For example, while in Kuwait I tried not to stand out by wearing [the traditional head gear].
Do you use different cameras for different picture-taking scenarios?
A number of photographers still swear by the Canon AE-1, which I still have. Using it, I really learned the mechanics of the camera. It's a film camera, and I love the graininess and richness of film, as well as the darkroom process. The Nikon SLR 5000D [digital camera] lenses allow beautiful images, though sometimes with digital, I feel like I'm cheating!
Many people take pictures, from amateur to professional photographers. What do you believe makes a photograph “art”?
An artistic photograph must have substance and must engage the viewer. Art begins with the ability to successfully bring to fruition a concept in mind. In the case of photography, an image. The photographer has a concept in mind and then creatively brings this vision to life through [his/her] skills using the tools of [his/her] craft. How well the ﬁnal product works is dependent upon the artistʼs ability to communicate [his/her] craftsmanship.
One may have advanced technological skills but lack creative vision, or one may have an interesting perspective but lack the necessary technical skills to bring the image to life.
Yes, Iʼve been featured as an artist with Janice Hall [Designs] Gallery in Palm Springs. I also recently displayed a series on my journey through India with Starbucks in San Francisco. Iʼm currently working with First American Title Corporation in San Francisco. They have hired me to install photography in their downtown ofﬁce space with images of San Francisco and the Northern California landscape. When dealing with corporate clients, I typically send out the images and have them professionally framed and matted.
When working on personal projects, I enjoy using old weathered distressed window frames. I have the images matted according to the size of the frame. I love the look of the distressed wood. In addition to the image, it, too, has a story. Many of my images are available via my website.
Have you taken an interest in ﬁlm making? If so, what particular kind of ﬁlm making most intrigues you?
We ﬁlmed in Palermo, Sicily and Rome in January 2009. Andy was able to gain access to Alfredoʼs old apartment in Palermo. A photograph of Alfredo stood on his bedroom dresser. He was smiling for the camera wearing a white and blue striped jacket. A happier time in his young life, perhaps.
At the end of ﬁlming I was presented with a gift. It was Alfredoʼs white and blue striped jacket from the photograph. I have it hanging in my closet and every time I look at it I think of Alfredo and his story.
Unfortunately, production on the ﬁlm has been delayed for quite some time while Open Eye Pictures seeks additional funding for the project. Hopefully, it will come to completion in the near future.
What are some of the upcoming projects you have in mind?
Iʼm always traveling and documenting my explorations, and Iʼm always fascinated by exotic locations and different cultures. Then I began to unravel a fascinating story right in my own very back yard. After my 95-year-old grandfatherʼs passing in February, I began looking into my Hungarian/Scottish ancestry on my fatherʼs side of the family. It grew from there and I began to research my motherʼs Irish/German roots. With the blessings of technology, Iʼve been able to trace our ancestors back hundreds of years.