GREETINGS FROM MONTAUK . . .

The latest & greatest images, excursions, missions, musings, projects, products . . . from Ric & the Hat Trick.

on The Flatiron Building

The great Beat poet, Gary Snyder, recently was quoted saying, “Like most writers, I don’t educate myself sequentially, but more like a hawk or eagle always circling and finding things that might have been overlooked.” It’s the perfect metaphor for my story,

“Upon Reflection: TIME AND THE HISTORY OF MY OBSESSION”

The Flatiron, Blue & Gold

I can almost remember the sensation of my eyes enlarging at the sight. Long ago, flipping through an issue of LIFE magazine I turned to a full-page color image of some moody and mysterious New York building. It was not the Empire State which usually was what represented the metropolis back then. No story accompanied the picture. It was just the image (one of the things I loved about LIFE) and a caption. That was my introduction to the Flatiron Building. Like so many, I became its captive.

The photograph was made in 1904 by Edward Steichen, a great early pioneer of photographic art, portraying the building, which had only been completed two years prior, in anything but a documentary fashion. I ripped that page from the magazine. And I still have it. Long afterwards, I learned that the image’s color was added to a traditional B&W platinum print by Steichen via a chemical process (of which there are only two variants). His original prints remain iconic examples of the photography’s power and reside in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

When, decades later, I accidentally moved to New York I sought out The Flatiron as if on some romantic pilgrimage, or a quest to locate the holy grail. At that point in history, with the area no longer the posh corner of Manhattan that it had been during the glory days of the Progressive Era, the building was a bit dingy and in a somewhat decrepit state. Yet the architectural design still maintained its singular, grand and iconic presence.

My sense of it came of course complete with the romantic notions dispersed through decades of chamber-of-commerce-esque versions of history. That history was rose-colored to say the least. “Great men doing great things building a great country.”

The Flatiron is generally considered the first skyscraper given that it’s design and construction were made possible by the recent invention of the modern elevator. It anchored the southwest corner of Madison Square Park. (This was at first confusing to a “Memphis boy” like me as the “Madison Square Garden” I grew up with watching tv or reading the sports pages and located far uptown was but the antecedent of not one but two predecessors that had held court cater-cornered from the Flatiron on the Park.) Only a few blocks up Madison Ave had lived J.P. Morgan while a few blocks down Broadway on 20th St. had been the home where Teddy Roosevelt was born. A few blocks further still below was Union Square. The sense of historical magnificence is sustained by how so little, from an architectural standpoint, has changed around Madison Square.

Looking to inform my own developing eye for photography, where else would I go for inspiration than the scene of that Steichen “Pictorialist” image I had seen as a young man? Like many a young photographer, I was hoping to recreate an inspiring composition. But carriages with drivers in top hats having been replaced by modern buses and taxicabs didn’t quite connote the vision I was looking to define. And I also realized that the trees and the bare limbs were key elements to the photograph. I learned this upon finding that they were no longer there. And so I walked around the area “location scouting” for my own compositions which, ultimately, was my goal. This is how I discovered the juxtapositions of the flag and clock on what had once been the famous Fifth Avenue Hotel as well as “heroic” statue on the north end of the Park. That statue actually had been placed before the Flatiron was built and was executed by the famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens with a base created by the notorious architect Stanford White.

These discoveries of course led to other less heroic lessons about New York and its “great men.” But that’s a different story. Meanwhile, even 30 years after my first Flatiron exposure, with once again it being a major attraction and the neighborhood back to posh, it still remains for me and now seemingly everyone else, a fascination. Indeed, I still cannot pass without acknowledging it, if only for a silent reverie. I will pause to observe the goings-on that swirl around it like the hat-detaching wind vortex its construction created and which led to the expression “23 Skidoo”. I recently counted no less than 50 people on one single corner, cameras & cellphones pointed skyward clicking away as they tried to get their Flatiron.

When I made my images behind the statue of Farragut, with him seeming to gaze upon the building and realizing he had been a naval officer, I imagined the Flatiron as a great ship, sailing silkily up Broadway. With now my own gaze upon it having lasted decades, long enough to see much that has come and gone in the passage of the light hours, it seems like the Flatiron indeed is a ship of time sailing silently through the course of history. And so, as with Gary Snyder, I continue circling back, fascinated and intrigued as ever, still looking for what image(s) I may have overlooked as it skittered by me in the gusts of my awe.

Flatiron, Now and Then with Berenice Abbot

If you or someone you know would like your very own copy of one of my images (hint hint-they make great gifts), you can order them by going up to the menu & looking under “Hat Tricks For Sale” or just by clicking HERE.

Postscript: a shout out to @austinkleon & his ever-entertaining, ever-inspiring newsletter for bringing the Gary Snyder quote to my attention.

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Where Did the TIME Go?

In the #maproom employing the Sandometer to explore the infinite mystery.

In the #maproom employing the Sandometer to explore the infinite mystery.

March 1, 2019 — an opportunity to take stock and note that the #1 item on my list of New Year’s resolutions — to commit to a project of photographing every day until the end of January (entitled #maproom) — resulted in being so inspiring that I doubled my return. Alas, originally inspired as I was by the brilliance of the light that streams in during the early Winter it is time to face the reality that, as it does every year, the sun has moved on.

The good news is that, after over 2,600 images made, I have over 100 selects — explorations in close-up tabletop photography while using existing (i.e., constantly shifting light) and coming up with compositions and/or word ideas on the fly can prove quite the challenge.

Yet, while there always will be something going on in the Map Room, the time for the next photo project has come. Fortunately, ideas are already formulating. If nothing else ONE assignment is obvious: to compile the selected images into a book/calendar/set of prints, etc, which will include, enticement/enticement, a few images not yet posted. Therefore, I humbly implore you to stay tuned.

You can best see the latest work by scrolling through my page on Instagram @rickallaher.

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Sad Passage - Bruno Ganz

Hat Cave Art
Hat Cave Art

From days gone by when one could collect movie posters without it costing an arm and a leg, I managed to purchase a few. They all met two qualifying factors: a) I had to have really thought highly of the film and, b) the posters had to have intriguing artwork. I still have five of the posters, four of them full-size. Two of the five were movies starring Bruno Ganz and, sadly, he passed away this past week. What I always liked him was that he had a great on-screen presence yet he was very understated. I think the first one I saw him in was the great Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (1979). I saw this film because, like so many, I was captivated by the work of the wonderfully bizarre, charismatic Klaus Kinski who portrayed Nosferatu and who Herzog had a notoriously near-murderous director/actor relationship with. Ganz played Jonathan Harker and while he wasn’t the centerpiece, he was central. As German filmmakers were very cutting edge in those days, another director I heard about was Wim Wenders. His work attracted me due to his interest in the great American director Nicholas Ray (Ray directed James Dean in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE but if you want to see a TRUE strange classic it’s his underrated and overlooked JOHNNY GUITAR that you need to check out.) Even as Ray was suffering the effects of the cancer that killed him, the young Wenders went to New York to include him in a film that starred Dennis Hopper and was the first Ripley-charactered film I ever remember hearing of ‘THE AMERICAN FRIEND’. It co-starred, who else?: Bruno Ganz and happily I grabbed a French version of the big one sheet.

That was a time in New York where there were real movie houses that catered to a variety of distinct tastes — and in that era there really were distinctions. I loved these films. Such different perspectives on filmmaking from what we were spoon fed in America. Wenders and especially Herzog (who never seems to stop moving) are still turning out great work. But it was Wenders, who worked with Sam Shepard to make the great PARIS TEXAS with the late Harry Dean Stanton and Kinski’s daughter Natassia as well as the same AMERICAN FRIEND cinematographer, Robby Muller, who would go on to make one of my all-time favorite films: WINGS OF DESIRE. Ganz starred in this incredible black’n’white, surrealistic, spiritual film set in Berlin about a guardian angel who comforts dying people even as he longs to become human himself. It is a classic that tops the list of many a critic as one of the greatest films of all time.

Unfortunately, movie poster prices had increased too much by the time I saw this one & I never snagged one of those. I regret that, because it would a beautiful addition to my little collection. But I still have Bruno’s here. Even if he’s now gone from human to angel.

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

A Moment for Light Reflection

Adventures In the Map Room

The power and potential of memory is on full display in Alfonso Cuaron’s current film ROMA — my personal choice for Best Film this year. Perhaps it was finally having the opportunity to see that film this week that led me today in the #maproom towards some Light Reflection.

Reflecting is also a path to understanding, acknowledging, learning from and adapting those influences that have been encountered along the way into one’s own work. Certainly reading the review in yesterday’s NYTimes regarding the upcoming Frida Kahlo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum took me back further to something I’d learned from the outstanding 2002 film FRIDA directed by Julie Taymor with a brilliant performance by Salma Hayek about the trailblazing artist: rather than be overcome by circumstances, she conquered them by such acts as treating her plaster torso corsets (necessary after a near-fatal bus crash) as canvases for beautiful art. This along with studying the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat taught me this: anything and EVERYthing can be a canvas. This approach has been influencing my process and approach in my recent personal projects, especially the collaborative work with my distant relative from Mississippi, who I’ve yet to even physically meet, R. A. Smith (more on R. A. at a later time).

A nod must also be made to the influence of a little book I read, STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST, by the ever interesting Austin Kleon

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Further Adventures in the #maproom: Employing a RAY GUN (or, an appreciation for David Carson)

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F is for FAKE:

Following my last blog post, one of my photos therein received a comment from a friend who, doing his usual bit of detective work, pointed out the following:

There is one genuine M and one fake M. Possibly also one genuine O and one fake O.

I’m sure my friend’s comment was written in a humorous vein. Indeed, I chuckled. Unfortunately, the word “fake” has become a fighting word in our sad times. “So,” I said to no one in particular (since no one was there) “instead of my solution to a problem being seen as a ‘sly-te’ application of a theory wherein necessity becomes the mother of invention, I am reminded that barely nowhere can I go to escape the scourge of our times.”

Yet, forget that. Instead, let me twist this situation around and pay my due to a true master of invention (and other “fake” characterization) none other than one of my cultural ‘heroes’, @DavidCarson.

There must have been something in the water, the air or something else back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s as there was a whole earth-shattering moment there with regard to creativity in the cultural sphere of the Western world. For perspective, Ronald Reagan was president . . . but I surely don’t think he had that much to do with it. More specifically, I’m speaking of touchstones like Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message”; the collaborations of Brian Eno with David Byrne and The Talking Heads; the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat; AND the aforementioned Mr. Carson. While the first two groupings were blowing up music, and JMB was blowing up art, the not-quite-as-household famous Mr. Carson was blowing up graphic design. In an almost trade-world-ish little publication called TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, he was breaking ground. To be totally honest, at that time I was trying to find gainful employment and, with the exception of “Bush of Ghosts,” most of this was flying way over my head & beyond my radar. I didn’t get up to speed with most of this work for years . . . in some cases, decades.

But forward into the past. As Brian Eno has said, the word “Genius” is really a bit of misguiding terminology. He prefers his own word: “Scenius.” He argues against the popular notion of a solitary soul slaving away in the dark, unnoticed and isolated from all around until, “Eureka!,” there comes a “Eureka!” “Scenius” properly refers back to a more accurate “something in the water” idea. I.E., there was much coming-together, cross-referencing, & historical/cultural funneling down. There was a group channeling of the spirits, as it were. For instance, in the case of Basquiat experts talk about how much-ignored was his education in the history of the arts via his mother’s influence, and how his style reflected his love of hip-hop (his close friend was Fab Five Freddy). Regardless, the flow comes to an apotheosis and Basquiat, along with the others mentioned above are examples of touchstones.

Regarding David Carson, I have no idea how the flow reached him but like the others his work remains standout. I first became aware of his work in a magazine in the ‘90s of which he was a founder: RAY GUN. It blew my mind & yet, not knowing anything about publishing or art/design, I had no idea how singular was his contribution. The impact was stunning. One didn’t so much read the magazine as LOOK at it. The only thing I can relate to what the experience of RAY GUN was like was via yet another Eno interview: his take on song lyrics. He ventured that, in pop/rock/contemporary music they really weren’t that important — that what made a song standout was the combination of the music/key lyric phrases/production/sound and their impact as a whole that amounted to a sum greater than the parts. When I thought about it, it was true: while my favorite songs were embedded in my brain and being I really had little clue as to a lot of what most of them were talking about. I FELT them more than I understood them. To me, Carson seemed to take that approach with magazine copy. After all, there were SO many magazines. Who really read them? In fact, in one famous instance, he apparently thought so little of the questions and answers in an interview with Bryan Ferry that he printed the entire piece in Zapf Dingbat font. Incredible. And from what I can deduce, none of his style was attributable to computers & software. His style preceded that development & instead came along organically from an analog manner of layout. Yet what he did wasn’t random. It was a method. It was a vision. Naturally, due to the strength of his labors, it became imitated. Sadly, therefore, it eventually was diluted and distilled until it was a fad that came and went. Of course, they shot the messenger.

Today, however, when I open up my copy of his THE END OF PRINT, like when I re-listen to “The Message”, or the Eno/Byrne “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” or stand at the Broad Museum in front of Basquiat’s Untitled (Skull) these works seems as fresh, new and as fully impactful today as in the ‘80s. The more I look/listen to all of this work, the deeper the waters run and the more complex they get. Yet another key ingredient to all this work, for me: the sheer attraction of them. On the surface all of this work is FUN. They pull you in. And then they let you go to town.

Now, how did I get onto this? Returning back to my humble little #maproom project, it initially was inspired one recent morning via my passing through my dining room and coincidentally noticing the winter light shining across my map-covered table. Collections of some of my ‘stuff’ was strewn there — one such set was a mish-mash of industrial era typewriter keys which I’d always wanted to incorporate into something, somehow. Out came the camera right then, & one thing led to another. Now, the light at this time of year moves VERY fast. Working alone and close up to these things means moving quickly, cutting some corners. But it’s fun. In a project of this nature, however, eventually I was bound to ‘paint’ myself into a corner. I wanted to use a word that had, “damn!,” multiple uses for a single character — something a set of typewriter keys does not have. I could have taken more time and put up my tripod and taken multiple exposures and then loaded the images into Photoshop and blah and blah and blah. And it would not have looked “fake.”

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Which leads us to understanding that this method is the biggest fake there is. Not to mention being a total kill-joy. After many years of that approach, experience hyper-sped me to leap-frog right over that “solution”. Instead, my mind recalled how I’d always gotten a kick out of Carson’s font substitutions — upside down 7s as Ls, backwards 3s for Es, etc — and, boom, I moved directly to what I learned from him: “who gives a damn? Let go & just have fun.” Therefore, I “faked” it. I employed a zero as the second “O” and an upside down "W” as the second “M.” No big whoop, just a subtle substitution and yet “Bonus”: It perhaps does make someone take a second, closer look. “Hey! That’s not a REAL “O”!

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Necessity is the mother of re-invention.

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Oh, one other thing. That word “fake.” It also recalled another of my cultural heroes, Orson Welles, and his abecedarian entitled film. Yes. “F is for Fake.” No matter what character you use.

Adventures In the Map Room
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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Adventures in the Map Room

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I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions but so far I’ve kept to mine: working every day in the #maproom” for the month of January, inspired by the #winterlight. That’s a good thing. Januarys can be bleak: The buzzing energy of the Holidays is over; the decorations get taken down; the trees tossed; my Hither Hills neighborhood in Montauk empties; and, dramatically, the brevity of daylight is matched only (in the Northeast) by the harshness of the weather. Yet now after two full years of living full-time here, I’m beginning to better adjust to the seasonal rhythms and take advantage of the opportunities. So, while it seems as if one’s main goal for January is merely to survive, this year I was able to turn that around. Coincidentally, this is exactly what @AustinKleon is discussing in his blog today “Beyond Survival Mode” . Once you can get beyond surviving & onto the part of living in the moment, it allows you to immerse yourself in what’s right in front of you — which, interestingly, leads to another Austin post on the great Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Mary Oliver, who recently passed, titled after one of her poems: “You Do Not Have to be Good”.

For instance, this is how I managed to switch my perception of an annual condition from a negative into a positive: on clear days, the winter sun, at its lowest position in the sky, pierces blindingly through my front windows, ESPECIALLY in what I call “The Map Room” (a smallish, supposed ‘dining’ room that I’ve hacked into a more colorful study space via the use of a lot of inexpensive nautical charts & some basic carpentryt skills.) This year, I recognized the bright beam-like rays of beautiful contrasts that appeared between the gaps of my curtains for the incredible eye-candy they offered. Rather than treating this as a condition to struggle against, it became a situation to dive into for what has become endless visual possibilities. The result? I’ve now been rewarded with a really fun and idea-generating Natural Light Lab. The dividends of advise proffered by the late Mary Oliver are many: “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

It’s only January 18 and therefore still a work-in-progress. More to come. Stay tuned.

Adventures In the Map Room
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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Happy New Year, 2019!

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Happy New Year!

Into the Hat Cave with Art, Commerce & Wabi-Sabi

2019 has hatched & we are on our way — hopefully not IN our way. There’s much work to do (what else is new!); new plans to unfold; the road is stretched out ahead (though the destination is not always clear) and that’s part where fresh, unseen adventures are to be had. For me, a lot of the adventure TRAVELING will more metaphysical than actual: now that the “Hat Cave”, my home studio, is pretty much up & operational one big goal is to follow up on the notion to do more work with still life and motion capture in the service of both art AND commerce.

So, time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. “The Egg” is Project One. It’s an ostrich egg that for decades has been a prized “objet” of mine. Of course, that begs the question as to how & why do I continually find new ways to drop it, break it and, like with Humpty Dumpty, try to put it back together again. This time, though, rather than feel the tragedy I was able to see the opportunity. This ability was revealed to me a few years ago while doing some old-school analog reading (I’ve always found that I’m much more likely to find something interesting to learn simply by turning a page in a newspaper than is the case when flipping thru digital news feeds where we are spoon-fed whatever some algorithm determines we’ll be interested in.) In this instance, I stumbled upon the mention of an author, Leonard Koren, and his series of small books, in particular “WABI-SABI - for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” which I proceeded to acquire & read with eye-opening delight. Wabi-Sabi can most easily be correlated to ‘patina.’ It is the added value brought to something or someone by virtue of the visual physical transformation that occurs over time. Something invisible is added when there’s a story that can be seen lurking beneath the surface. And so, the broken egg became a story and a photograph because sometimes the broken thing is more interesting than the perfect thing.

Okay, now where’s the glue?

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

"I Don't Believe in Role Models, But . . . "

“I don’t believe in role models, but you’re mine!” Tori Murden McClure - 1st American/1st Woman to row across the Atlantic

“I don’t believe in role models, but you’re mine!” Tori Murden McClure - 1st American/1st Woman to row across the Atlantic

What do you do when you meet a true life action adventure hero? Here’s what happened.

One of the shows at this year’s NAMT Fest 30 was a musical by Dawn Landes & Danny Goldstein appropriately entitled “Row.” It presented the story of Tori Murden McClure the 1st American & 1st woman to ROW solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She accomplished this on her 2nd attempt as her first go came to an end when she came across a little thing called a hurricane. Tori might have stopped after that 1st try, but, from the age of 15, she had lived in Louisville &, as life would have it, she was introduced to a local by the name of Muhammed Ali. When asked what he thought about stopping or trying again, his response, as she tells it, was “Do you want to be known as the woman who ALMOST rowed across the ocean?” Yet finally succeeding wasn’t enough: she then decided to take up skiing & went on a little trip to Antartica & skied to the geographic South Pole. In case you’re counting that was about 700 miles. After the 81-day 2,962 mile trip across the ocean you could say the ski was nothing but a little jaunt -- except that she also became the 1st American and 1st woman to do that.

Her rowboat was named “Pearl” and she wrote a memoir called “A Pearl in the Storm.” She might’ve taken a much-deserved rest after that but having a BA in Psych from Smith; Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School; J.D. from the Univ of Louisville School of Law; & MFA in writing from Spalding Univ, she just steamed on ahead & became President of Spalding U. The what’s, the why’s & the wherefore’s are all laid out in the thrilling piece of musical theatre “Row” for which she & her husband volunteered to build the one single set piece required: a version of the “Pearl”. And Tori actually came to the NAMT performances which is how I met her. When that happened I could only think of what Sir Charles Barkley once said: “I don’t believe in role models. But you’re mine!” And of course I asked if I could get a couple of photos.

#montaukphotographer #celebrityphotography #performancephotography #theaterphotography #musicaltheatrelife #musicals

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.

Love and Happiness in the Fall

Love and Happiness in the Fall

For two weeks in October since 2009, I’ve documented the annual festival of new musicals for NAMT. When this year rolled around, the added dimension of the fest’s 30th Anniversary Gala - #NAMTFEST30 - brought the realization that I’ve been the official photographer for a full one-third of all of them. A bit daunting of a thought that’s been, and it proved motivation to take stock.

NAMT2018_Gala30

For some background, each year the National Alliance for Musical Theatre receives about approximately 250 submissions for eight slots in its fest. The selected pieces get about 10 days of rehearsal with restrictions on the lengths of each, the amount of props that can be used (none), costuming (none) and length of the performances (50 minutes each)

During my tenure as the NAMT photographer, I’ve worked with three different and wonderful festival directors -- Kathy Evans, Branden Huldeen and Ciera Iveson -- all of whom were present. While each has brought their own individual stamp, the good news is that there is great focus on maintaining consistency and continuity. Every year builds and fosters the sense of tradition, and, as such, there is a very tight formula the festival dances to. For me, after ten years, the familiarity I’ve gained with the parameters makes the job much easier and that much more enjoyable. Agreed, as Chaucer said, familiarity can breed contempt, but, “Ladies and Gentlemen!” such is not the case with this Festival. Each year gathers its own infinitely surprising crop of 8 new musicals that never fail to entertain. Indeed, many go onto great success. For example, in 2013, I photographed an unknown couple from Canada, Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who had entered their effort about a silver-lined side story of the tragic 911 events. It was entitled COME FROM AWAY. Today, that entry is a Broadway smash and Sankoff & Hein were back at NAMT to perform at the Gala.

Documenting the fest means that so many ‘familiar’ faces become friends from around the globe. They arrive every year either to participate or simply to enjoy. There are people like the incredible songwriting team of George Stiles and Anthony Drew from London who have had three shows at the Festival over the years, and who, as they are in NY rehearsing their own upcoming Broadway show, dropped in to perform at this year’s Gala VIP reception -- and somehow in the midst of all their activity they found time to mentor a team new to the festival. Rhys Jennings and Darren Clark also of the UK brought their fun, raucous and sexy yet thought-provoking THE WICKER HUSBAND ( @WickerMusical )-- a blend of English folk music and storytelling in service to a serious consideration of ‘the other.’

Additionally, even as I dash from rehearsal-to-rehearsal and show-to-show, the phenomenal energy of all the effort around me keeps me going without a thought. The shows always incorporate top theatrical talent in support of either novice or accomplished creative talents with an incredible amount of hard work, discipline and dedication. One extra key reason for looking forward to the Fest each year is that there is a tremendous abundance of love and happiness that resonates through the entire two weeks of rehearsals & performances.

While many shows are dedicated to the application of high craft for the sheer joy of entertainment, the Festival is devoted to a tradition of diversity, inclusion, open-mindedness, and the exploration of the full gamut of societal issues, not to mention inventiveness and imagination. Therefore, at least 50% of the shows work on a serious and challenging level both thematically and musically.

As a for instance, XY is a musical by Oliver Houser developed with Hunter Bird concerning the challenges and stigmatization faced by someone born with sexual anatomy that does not fit ‘normal’ gender definitions. What is discovered is still something that relates to timeless universal themes of dealing with our pasts no matter who we are thus stressing the sometimes forgotten fact: we are all human. The play was developed with the participation of InterACT, an advocacy group for intersex children, members of which were present and who I had the pleasure of meeting.

Regardless, whether participating or watching, everyone lifts the entire effort and all involved off the ground providing a unique spirit.

My tenth year, therefore, was elevated yet higher. Many thanx to all of the composers, writers, directors, actors and musicians, stage managers, tech crew members for the incredible and inspiring work; and thanx to New World Stages for the great facility within which to work. One key point: words cannot say enough for the great NAMT team. It’s always awesome to work with you.

For one last bit of perspective -- if I seem to be exaggerating the positive benefits of this event, let me just point out that during the ten days of my involvement this year, all festival participants walked by or were only a block away from the post office in Manhattan where it was revealed in the news one of the many pipe bombs sent by a Trump supporter was discovered; and I ended one day heading home to check the list of victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh to see if there would be anyone I knew having a past connection with the community of Squirrel Hill. These are terrible and dark times for our country and it’s efforts like those at the NAMT Fest that provide a much-needed counterbalance of peace, love and happiness.

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Ric Kallaher

Ric is: • a Professional Portrait Photographer specializing in working with small business owners towards enhancing their B2B online goals via executive portraits as well as images that tell the story of a business with on-site photography of facilities &/or product photography ; • an experienced Events Photographer who spectacularly documents high end awards shows and high-society special events, especially in regard to the People of Advertising, Media, Arts and Culture. • an insightful image-maker with a detailed eye who helps interior designers bring their work to life. • an award-winning wedding photographer who helps couples document their special day. Ric's Photographic Mission: To artfully create strong, provocative & transcendent visual records of meaningful relationships & significant moments. Additionally, Ric is a trained actor and experienced music producer who has often been heard applying his voice over talents to ongoing advertising campaigns. He has been the voice on national campaigns for the likes of SuperValu Grocery Stores, Texaco, Kendall Motor Oil, Campbell's Soups and more. He has even appeared ON-camera in an ad for Comedy Central as a scream therapist. His is represented by Ann Wright Reps.