Thursday, June 23, 2011
I'm back! But I'll be over here from now on. Yup, I have a brand new blog and that's where I'll be from now on. I hope you'll follow me over there because I have a LOT of great stories to share from my trip, as well as all of the regular ole stuff I'm usually rambling about. There will be much more photography and a little less randomness. It's going to be rad. You should come.
Posted by Mercie at 10:36 AM
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I spent the day with my mom on my birthday (which was last month but I just remembered to blog about it. I did the same thing last year. I'm losing my mind). Anyway. After a most delicious lunch on the patio at Il Bambino (and two very large glasses of Chianti), we walked to one of my favorite places in Astoria/LIC: Socrates Sculpture Park. The current exhibition, Vista, is described as:
Vista will explore the ways that methods of viewing and observation determine the assessment and evaluation of an object or scene. The works in the exhibition will employ visual alignment, perspective, and the framing of a site-line or point of view to dictate perception. The show will re-examine themes and ideas that were initially laid out in the Park's 2002 show View and is being curated in response to a reemergence of these topics in current artmaking practices. The Park's location along the East River provides a spectacular view of Manhattan that is the backdrop for all the exhibitions presented at the Park. This show will take particular stock in the Park's location and the outlook that it affords of urban greenspace, iconic cityscape, river and open sky.
So I photographed my view through one of the installations. Neat, right? If you've never been to Socrates, I highly recommend it. The view of Manhattan and the East River are incredible, and the exhibits are thought-provoking and contemplative.
Posted by Mercie at 9:29 AM
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Mmmmm. Biscotti. One of my all time favorite treats. I love it with coffee for breakfast or dessert. It's so versatile. I've wanted to make it for a while, but was patiently awaiting the arrival of my new (and quite possibly favorite) cookbook, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunch Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich. Do any of you own it? Because you should. How can you not like a cookbook that is solely devoted to cookies? Literally every last recipe sounds heavenly.
Almond Biscotti from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunch Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies
2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
3 large eggs
2 T amaretto liqueur or 2 T rum with 1 t almond extract
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 c whole almonds, toasted, and coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly. In a separate larger bowl, whisk the eggs, amaretto, and vanilla until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture and then the almonds. The dough will be thick and sticky. Scrape dough onto the cookie sheet. We your hands and form the dough into a long flat loaf about 12 inches by 4 inches.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until firm and dry. Rotate the pan half way through to ensure even baking. Set the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes and leave the oven on. Transfer the loaf to a cutting board (removing the parchment paper) and cut the loaf into slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Transfer the slices to the unlined baking sheet at least 1/2 inch apart. Toast for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the pan half way through to ensure even baking.
Enjoy with coffee or alone. YUM.
Posted by Mercie at 11:04 AM
Monday, June 6, 2011
Edible Queens contacted me to be the photographer on a story about Iavarone Bros. I was thrilled since Iavarone Bros. is legendary in New York City. They sell their own brand sausages, sauces, and cheeses, as well as numerous European brands. And they have the best subs ever. EVER.
Check out the story!
Posted by Mercie at 12:23 PM
Friday, June 3, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I usually don't use this space to rant, but this particular topic has been chapping my hide for sometime.
While the advent of digital photography has made documenting life available to the masses, it has also spawned the mindset of if you have a digital camera or (gasp) camera phone and can take a decent picture on Automatic, then you can call yourself a photographer. Now I fully support individuals in their creative pursuits, but that is not what I'm referring to here. I'm referring to the people who come up to me and act as if their son's birthday party photos are the same as my professional photographs. It's that mindset that has changed the value of photography as a skilled art form and that angers me. It angers me because I work really really hard to make my photographs. I study and analyze and obsess over them (probably to my detriment). To me, photography isn't simply snapping a decent picture with your camera set to Automatic. It's about seeing. It's about knowing how to use your camera in any situation. It's about capturing a moment. It's about making art. It's about finding a new take on an ordinary situation. And that takes patience and skill and talent and most importantly, a unique eye. So this malarkey about photography being something anyone can do really. chaps. my. hide.
Sooooo. Now that I got that out of the way, here is what I was originally planning to write about.
I study photography as much as I participate in photography. I can spend hours looking at and thinking about one image, wondering why the photographer chose that specific point of view and what was left out. Aside from the technical aspect of photography, for me the hardest part of photography is what to keep in the frame and what to leave out. Below are a few books I've been reading and studying the last few months. I highly recommend all of them, for those who are interested.
Annie Leibovitz At Work by Annie Leibovitz. I've mentioned before how much of an influence Annie Leibovitz had on me. She was the first professional photographer I took note of when I was younger. While I appreciate all of her work, it's really her early work from the late 60s and 70s that fascinates me. I love that this book tells a story behind each set of images, especially those taken on the 1975 Rolling Stones tour. Dude. Can you imagine?
Photo-wisdom by Lewis Blackwell. Every few months my friend, Sean, and I get together and talk non-stop about photography. He's the one person in my life who is as passionate about the art as I am. So when he recommended this book, I didn't hesitate. Similar to Annie's book, the photographers featured tell about their influences, inspirations, adventures, and so on. It's a fantastic compilation.
Richard Avedon: Portraits by Richard Avedon. What appear to be simple portraits against white backdrops are in truth raw, complicated, intimate snippets of his subjects. He is a master.
Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967 by Tony Shafrazi. A few weeks ago I watched The Cool School, a documentary about the L.A. art movement that began in the late 1950s. It was fascinating and further fueled my obsession with Dennis Hopper's lesser known career as an artist and photographer. His work ranges from quietly honest photographs of anonymity to sophisticated portraits from behind the scenes of 1960s Hollywood. His range is incredible.
Posted by Mercie at 11:59 PM
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Thank you all so so much for participating. I loved reading your reasons behind choosing your favorites. It means so much to me that my work inspires you.
AND as a special thank you to those who entered, you will receive 30% off your total purchase in my shop until Friday, May 27th! A pretty sweet deal, my friends.
Posted by Mercie at 9:35 AM