A photo I didn't take, a story I want to be told.

I wish I could say I took the photo below, but I did not. It was taken by the uber-talented photojournalist Zoriah Miller (Please visit www.zoriah.net to see his excellent work, and consider financially supporting tireless photojournalism). It's a wonderful candid image of Jerry Delakas, who's run a newsstand in New York City's East Village for the past quarter-century. It's a great portrait of a purveyor of a rapidly disappearing facet of life, when so many get their news from websites and Twitter updates.

Why am I posting this? Because New York City, through its network of red tape and bureaucracy, is threatening to toss Mr. Delakas' piece of the American Dream from Cooper Square like so many discarded newspapers, and that's a shame. It's a shame to see things like this happen to a small business owner.
Mr. Delakas was willed the business license by the owner, who died several years ago. He's a neighborhood fixture, and runs the stand seven days a week.
So, all this to say, I'd encourage you to visit www.savejerry.com, look at the photos and read Jerry's story, and sign the petition to allow him to keep his business, his livelihood.
In a NY Daily News story earlier this spring, Larry Schultz, who lives across from Mr. Delakas' stand, said: "Jerry's here rain, snow, sleet, blistering heat. ... He's just a real important part of our community. We think the world of him.

Positive negatives

While digital is my primary form of image capture, I still like to shoot film every now and then. In a society saturated by immediate results, there's something satisfying about capturing an image and having to wait to see the results.
All of these images were shot on a Vivitar V2000 with either a 28mm or 50mm lens. In both cases, the film was pushed, resulting in the graininess. Pushing film can yield some interesting tones. In this case, most of these images had a slight reddish tint. Some of the images have some dust spots. I wasn't going for technical perfection. I knew what I wanted to achieve, and I feel I met that goal.
This first one was Kodak Gold 400, pushed to 1000. I made slight levels adjustments in Lightroom, but otherwise this is straight out of the camera. I love the bokeh on the Vivitar when it's wide open.

This one was from the same roll, but I converted it to B/W in Lightroom. Reflected in the windows of the new LAPD headquarters is the classic Los Angeles City Hall.

This was a film capture from shooting a set of images for my friend Perla (see that post here). Again, pretty much straight out of the camera.

Bare branches in wintry northwestern New Jersey. Kodak Gold 200 pushed to 1600.

Manhattan's Flatiron building, also Kodak 200 pushed to 1600.

Empire State of mind

New York City. Hot or cold, it's one of my favorite cities. On Jan. 4, it was bitterly cold. Still, it was a great day to wander city streets, see the awesome Flatiron Building up close and shoot some wintry portraits with my friend Perla.

This first shot of the Flatiron was a happy accident. A bit overexposed, and a wicked sun flare. Doesn't matter. All the things "wrong" with this image make it for me.

I'm still working on my freelensing technique. It's lo-fi and it's fun. This was shot on the High Line, an old elevated subway track near the Meatpacking District that's been converted into a landscaped walkway. Lots of greenery and places to sit, and great views of the waterfront.

One of the things I love about shooting in cities is the way you find light where you don't expect it. This shaft of afternoon light was like a pillar of warmth down in the cold, shady canyons of lower Manhattan.

The High Line runs right under the Standard Hotel, which makes for a nice, modern backdrop. Add a little off-camera flash, a little angling and a model who's willing to take off her coat on a 30-degree day, and you've got a recipe for success.

When it comes to post-processing, I try to keep things simple. This image is an example of that. Most of the magic was seeing some great, golden light reflecting off buildings and finding the right place to use it.

They take parking very seriously in New York, as the sign indicates.

Sometimes you need to back your subject into a corner. Literally. I couldn't have asked for a better contrasting background.

Speaking of contrast, it makes for great background detail. It's even better when it plays off one of the colors your subject is wearing.

Think you need a tripod to take good photos? Not always. This is a shot at 1/10 of a second, handheld. It was simply a matter of finding something against which to brace myself (in this case a fire hydrant) and stilling myself. There's a nice bit of blur in the foot and vehicle traffic, but the hotel sign is still in focus.