Ever So Slightly Crushing It

One day last year. At least I think so. I’m loving the ‘mosaic tile’ gallery option on WordPress. It only took me years to notice it. So I might go back to some of my older posts with lots of images and put them together in this new (ahem) and exciting way. 😉

Their Night


Thank you, once again, to Tollie and the master witchy hostess, Marjorie, for another incredible Halloween party! We promise to dress up next year! Promise! L1067122-EditL1067116-Edit L1067179-EditL1067239-Edit L1067136-Edit L1067216-EditL1067102-Edit L1067222-Edit L1067163-Edit L1067129-Edit L1067158-EditL1067104-Edit L1067272-EditL1067093-Edit

Memories of Rio

P1000690BSAs I’m typing this, Russia and Belgium are scoreless in the 82nd minute in the stadium in Rio. Yes, I wish I was there. The afternoon we went to Corcovado was incredible. Finding my scattered images from those days is, however, an incredible pain. Anyway… GOOD LUCK… to Team USA later today as we take on Portugal! Happy Sunday to everyone.

Dirt Surfing

One of my favorite shots ever. From a powdery warm winter’s day in Los Angeles quite a few years ago. Reblogged from Aug of 2012 because so few people were visiting my blog back then!


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Finally, get your Leica M-E review here!



Today, it is the digital Leica M-E that embodies the philosophy of the M-System in its purest form. – Leica Camera AG



From the get go I should point out that this is as much a love story as it is a review of a piece of photographic equipment.

Yes, I love the Leica M-E. But this is the love of someone who owned a Leica M9 for over a year and who put 24k shutter clicks on that first full-frame Leica digital rangefinder. I did not like my M9. I don’t like YOUR M9. (I’m kidding, I don’t know your M9)

Almost from the moment I first held my M9 something seemed to be not quite right. I’d been shooting an unused silver M7 for about four months, a camera that Ken Rockwell likens to a gun. I…

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Cheerleaders: A Love Story

Reblogging this one from last August. Hope you all enjoy it!


When I first started shooting women’s basketball, the instructions from my boss at the publication were to not just bring back action shots from the floor, but shots of fans, cheerleaders, the band, etc. Everything and anything that would capture the atmosphere in the arena.

But he made it pretty clear that what he really wanted was cheerleader shots. That should be perfectly understandable; it’s an online publication, he needs traffic just as much as any other online publication does. And pretty girls equal heavy traffic.

No better place on Earth than to fulfill our need for click bait than the campus of USC, where the cheerleaders are icons of youth, beauty, energy, and style. I’ve seen a lot of cheerleaders, but USC’s “Song Girls” (that’s right, they don’t even call them cheerleaders) are in a class all their own.

But these fabulous ladies strut their stuff at Rose Bowl…

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Fujifilm X100: The Only Digital Camera I Own

When some kind soul likes an old post of mine from back in the days when clicks around here were rare… well… if figure that’s enough of an excuse to reblog the darn thing!

Oh. I don’t own this camera any more. Oops!


A life-long dedicated Nikon man, I bought my first Nikon digital camera back in the very late 90s. That was the very cool indeed and twisty Coolpix 950.

When the D70 hit the camera world like a cyclone in 2004, I got my first Nikon DSLR, along with a gazillion other people. From there I got a D2Hs to shoot sports. Not my favorite camera in the world, I replaced it with a pair of D80s. The D80, with its D2x-lite sensor, was and still is one of my favorite cameras ever.

But once you get used to a pro body in your hand, you can never really be happy with a consumer-grade camera again especially when you’re using your gear in pro-settings and putting it all through the wear and tear of celebrity rope lines or basketball baselines.

So when the D3 came into existence, the first full-frame digital…

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Details: Sheri’s Apartment


When Sheri moved back from Maryland she had an apartment she didn’t like for a year. Then she got to work finding a place back up closer to where she used to live. Finally found the neatest little one bedroom in Beverly Hills. Built probably back in the 1930s, the owner was meticulous in keeping up the details of the place. Sheri was always finding things to perfectly accent her environment. When she first moved in she told me to bring a camera over to take some pictures.

All shots taken with a Nikon D3 and a 85mm 1.4 Nikkor D.

Sheri’s details…, a slideshow on Flickr.

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Sheri’s Wedding

Remembering a great day in our lives…


Just remembering one of the happiest days of my adult life. The wedding of my best friend Sheri just five years ago. I’m not a wedding photographer but she didn’t trust the one she hired so she told me to be sure to bring my gear.

Good thing, he was a hack. She loved my shots and everybody was happy. All pictures were taken with a Nikon D3 and either a 70-200 2.8 Nikkor VR or the 24-70 2.8 Nikkor. Would give anything to go back to that day.

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Sheri Wilson Dines 1958-2012

One year ago today.


We lost Sheri at 12:20 am, Tuesday, August 28th, 2012.

Bernadette and I were with her on Saturday, my birthday, and Sheri was comfortable and serene. She commented that I’d lost weight. I have and so I showed her; walking away from her bed and turning around. “Wow,” she said, almost just mouthing the word.

I came back to her side and trying to be as cheerful as I could told her that I was getting a lot of looks from the young ladies. She muttered something unintelligible.

So I got real close, put my ear just inches away from her lips, and bathed in her pretense of disgust with me; the reality check that was the basis of our friendship, one last time.

“You’re not getting any looks from young ladies.”

And that was the last thing she ever said to me. One last dose of reality.

Sheri knew…

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Pictures: Do you take them or make them?

In a period of reflection right now. So it’s fitting it seems to reblog some pieces from last year. Hope they are new to you!



Honestly, I’m not sure there’s two opposing camps out there. I think the way it usually goes is some poor unsuspecting chap says he likes to take pictures… and then, invariably, someone wearing a much more expensive watch says he doesn’t take pictures, he makes them.


Then the first guy smiles and shrugs and says yes, of course, and then looks at his feet. The party’s over for him. He doesn’t even know what the other guy is talking about.

Make pictures? What does that even mean? What’s the difference between taking a picture and making one? Are they really two different things? How come I don’t know this?

The reason he might not know it is because there are so many instances in life where others hang onto information as if it’s a proprietary asset. Or, just as likely…

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The Accessorized Male, Two Versions



Cali-fk’n-fornia, Man

Since so few people actually were visiting 50lux.com in the early days, and yet that was when I posted some of my better older images and stories… I’ve decided to REBROADCAST some of my better efforts. If Mad Men and Breaking Bad can do it…


This is a very different picture of people in a car than probably anything else I’ve ever captured. In many ways.

When I saw it and shot it, I didn’t really expect that it would have the glow that popped up on my D3’s LCD. But sometimes light and a piece of glass like the legendary 85mm 1.4 Nikkor D combine to create something that goes beyond what we could reasonably hope for when we snap that shutter.

It is of a place and of a people. California, and Cali-fuckin’-fornians. There they are. I got them and I’ve brought them here to show you all, like pretty tropical birds in a zoo. Only, in this case, it’s just an old T-Bird, but whatever.

That’s the stereotype right there. Straight blond hair that’s sun and saltwater bleached to go with that classic black California license plate. But of course!

You know…

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Of Human Signage

There’s a virtual proliferation of small businesses in Los Angeles who deploy people dressed up in all manner of costumes into the streets to act as human billboards. I have to say, as a former member of the United Steelworkers of America Local 1211, I find this to be very dehumanizing. In Los Angeles? Where you are judged by what luxury car you drive? You really are that desperate and heartless to use people in this way?

Oh well. If you’re thinking I’m not doing them any favors either, it’s an infinitesimal fraction of eyeballs that will see these pictures here, believe me, compared to the tens of thousands that drive by these people in a few hours. But I think if you’re in other parts of the country or world and you’ve never seen this… well… I think you should.


High on Tri-X in LA

Mysterious young woman, augmented by gesture, sunglasses, a raincoat, and the most iconic film since Kodachrome.

No comment. 😉

My First Weekend with the M9


Some pictures from a trip to Chicago a few years ago. It was my first chance, really, to use the Leica M9. Ah memories. With the 35 Summarit 2.5.



Grand Opening: M Salon – Rodeo Drive

Just showcasing some early days Leica M9 event photography I did with the truly can’t miss Leica 35mm 2.5 Summarit, the only lens I could afford to mount on Leica’s $7000 full-frame digital M at the time I bought it. (Did I say the word ‘Leica’ enough in that sentence?)

The M Salon is a fantastic palace of beautification in the Rodeo Collection in Beverly Hills.

Couldn’t resist using them here with a name like M Salon! Seemed highly appropriate if not naked pandering and click-baiting.

Actually I plan on using 50lux.com in the future as a place to publicize similar such events around L.A.’s trendy and beautiful westside and to showcase the images I make at these events with Leica cameras and lenses, especially, you guessed it, the incredible 50mm 1.4 Summilux-M ASPH.

But hey, come on. Look at that opening image here in this post. Do you believe that was made with a 35mm lens? And the ‘lowly’, ahem, 35mm 2.5 Summarit?

Enjoy the images and Flickr slideshow of all the pictures taken with the M9 and a Nikon D3 with the 85mm 1.4 Nikkor D!









Hello world!

“”Someone had written something in the fresh snow. Who could it have been – the milkman, a boy, some stranger? And what would he have written – an obscenity, a calumny? What the stranger had written was: Hello World!”‘ – John Cheever

Just now feel the need for one of these great free and freeing FREE WordPress.com blog spaces. I had one up and running during the last election cycle and loved everything about it.

Okay, I built my first web site in 1998. My first photo-website, drivebyla, back in 2001. blah blah blah. I’ve ventured into the full-fledged photo web hosting/archive services. I even had a WordPress.org site with a fancy theme that was integrated into the photo archiving site. And yes, snore, I’ve got a Tumblr blog. (Seriously, I like Tumblr just fine.)

So I’ve been AROUND, if you know what I mean. But I’ve come back to WordPress.com because it feels right and I guess I never progressed in terms of making something more ‘robust’ and substantial actually click for me. (Or for anyone else, which really was the larger problem.)

I love this. I’m a photographer with lots of pictures to share. But I have WORDS, too. Pictures AND words. And as much as the photography is important to me, the words are even more important.

How it feels to bring my thoughts into a writing and publishing interface, how intuitive and easy it is to make the layout of text look the way I want it to look… how effortless this all needs to be in order for me to feel like coming back regularly and punching out work? These things all come free to me here on WordPress.com, but they are priceless. It all feels right and right from the start.

So keep looking here and look out! I’m going to use words and pictures to tell many stories that I’ve been wanting to tell for a long time but never felt comfortable enough with whatever interface I was using to actually get it really going.

WordPress. Thank you. You helped me get my voice out there with a classy polished presentation during the 2008 Democratic primary and now I’ve come home to change the subject from politics to everything else under the sun and a whole lot more.