Category Archives: Personal

Once again, I traveled light during the 3-day holiday weekend.  I’m talking camera gear, not clothing.  We decided to road trip to Tahoe.  Our place was fantastic and the weather was even better; I’m convinced that Tahoe’s summers are much more reliably gorgeous than its winters.  I brought just my Panasonic GF1 with a 20mm f/1.7 prime lens, a flash, and a battery charger.  I thought that I would eventually miss not being able to zoom with a compact camera, but so far, not at all.  The 20mm lens is incredibly fast, captures great images, and I just zoom on foot!   Here are a handful of favorites.







In moments of self-awareness, I can acknowledge that one of the reasons why I gravitated so strongly to photography is that I love to remember.   In moments of self-honesty, however, I can also admit that not all of my remembering is good for me.  I can’t remember (har har) what set this train of thought into motion last fall, but I have been thinking about this in the context of lots of things going on in my life since then.  Lots of questions come up.  When do I transition from fondly reminiscing about the past to mentally setting up house in it?   When does trying to reference a lesson learned transition into reliving and wallowing in a negative experience?  How often is history rewritten in my head?    Does it all keep me from moving forward?   And, of course…why?  I made a list of what comes up for me when I think about the past.  Ideas about myself, my childhood, my relationships.  There are plenty of dark spaces in those thoughts.  However, this series is meant to depict associations that are mostly joyful for me, although I have both positive and negative associations with them all.  I’m hopeful that this exercise might provide a segue into examining the shadowy corners.








  • LOVE this series. LOVE.

  • steph

    love love love the mouthpiece. i have, to this day, never heard you play. but i love that you love to remember, as i do too. and i’ve asked myself similar questions. it’s hard for me to know where that line is between remembering and regressing, and i find that on any given day, the same memory might affect me completely differently. sometimes that memory is easy, just factual history, while other days it’s heavy with emotion. i think my emotional response to a memory, especially one that isn’t consistently light and fun, largely reflects what else is going on in my life, and the danger for me is when i let my current thoughts/situation influence my perception of the so-called reality of the memory. suddenly i fail to see all the shadows, and focus only on that tiny glint of sun that at the time didn’t offer any light, warmth, or life. but in my altered perception, i’ve glorified it.

    without our memory, our lives lose meaning. so even though remembering can sometimes keep us in a rut, i’d rather wallow in a memory than have nothing in my memory at all. and one thing is certain – everything changes, so the wallowing simply cannot be interminable.

    i think you’re very self-aware. and very vunderwool.

Maryland isn’t exactly a big state.  But when I went home to visit my parents last weekend, my mom and I ended up somewhere that I hadn’t even heard of.  Annmarie Sculpture Gardens in Dowell, MD was our first stop.   Dowell?  Anyone?  Anyone?  The grounds were beautiful and dotted with some REALLY cool pieces.  Somehow I managed to thread the needle between blizzards this weekend, so the weather turned out great, even if it was a little cold for a soft Californian.   Afterward, we kept going south to Solomons, MD, a town so narrow that I could see water within a stone’s throw on each side.  Solomons offered up some great light and a couple of really cool shots (including the seagull, one of my favorite serendipitous shots in a while).

This sculpture is one of the most amazing pieces I’ve ever seen.  These three cubes rotate in the wind.  Each side of each cube is actually flat, gray metal that has been polished with an abrasive to give it a texture.  At the right time of day, as the sun sets it hits a red building that is over my right shoulder.  The streaks of light come from the sun reflecting off of the building’s second story windows.  The red hue comes from the sun’s reflection off of the red wall.  But it only happens when the cube has rotated into the right position.  Amazing.

  • Anita Pomerantz

    Gilman posted a link to your blog, and I found my way over here . . .just had to comment on how GORGEOUS your photos are. I love the last one on this post so so much, but they are all breathtaking. Wow!!!!

    I’m a new parent at Gilman (we just moved here) with two boys enrolled so I also enjoyed the post on that topic ;). But your photos – – just breathtaking.

One of the best things that happened to me as a child was being sent to Gilman School.  Outside of my parents, Gilman laid the foundation for my life to this point, and the further I get from my time there, the closer I feel to the place.  Maybe I just appreciate it more as I get older.  So I was really so excited to attend its San Francisco alumni event last week.  A few fellow alums and I grabbed dinner after the event.  Tim Holley came along.  Mr Holley, as he will always be known to me, is on the left.  He is also a Gilman alum and has been a teacher there for nearly three decades (he’s not really aging).   I also wrote about him last year when I went by the school for a drop-in visit.  He taught each of us African American Literature.  He coached each of us in baseball or basketball.  And he still cares very much about what and how we are doing today.  Sitting at dinner, catching one another up on the guys who weren’t present, listening to Mr. Holley’s remembrances of  less mature versions of ourselves, I kept thinking about how fortunate we were to have teachers like him.  I wish every child had a Mr. Holley at school.  And a Gilman.