Photography is one of my extracurricular activities. My uncle Mike taught me how to use my first camera – a plastic Kodak Brownie – when I was five years old. Today I use a pocket-size Canon PowerShot S110, a Nikon D7000, a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone, and Photoshop.
I first traveled to India in 1979. Since 2006 my family and I have made five trips to India, including a year-long stay in an ashram/orphanage in Varanasi. Click
here for a video of me discussing my India photographs. Click here and here for illustrated newsletters that I prepared for the ashram when I returned in 2011.
A wandering Hindu ascetic in Varanasi. He’s wrapped in a burial shroud taken from the public cremation grounds along the Ganges River.
Boats gathering in Varanasi to watch a nightly religious ceremony along the Ganges River bank.
The pink princess and her lady in waiting preparing to perform on stage. The occasion was the 2011 founding day celebration at Bal Ashram orphanage in Varanasi.
Children watching their peers sing and dance during Bal Ashram orphanage foundation day celebration, 2011.
A man worshipping at sunrise in the Ganges River, Varanasi.
Amit – a four-year-old recent arrival – meeting with two seated gurus and their attendants at Bal Ashram in Varanasi, India.
Some of the boys we lived with during our year at Bal Ashram. Suraj, Soham, Samyak, Ravi, Deepak, and Shiva.
Ravi, Amit, Santosh, Deepak and Soham playing at Bal Ashram in 2006. I visited them most recently in February 2018. They are still thriving as teenagers.
Boys sleeping at Bal Ashram in Varanasi.
Poling up the Ganges River, Varanasi, India
Sunrise over Mt Kanchunjunga in Sikkim, north India. Two weeks later my wife, daughter and I trekked more than half way up that 28,000 foot peak., the third highest in the world.
22,000-foot Mt. Pandim under moonlight, with our tent in the foreground. Sikkim, north India.
Cricket match outside Kalimpong monastery in Sikkim.
Young Tibetan Buddhist monks in a monastery school in Sikkim.
Moonrise during an overnight camel trek in the desert outside of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, northwest India.
Children waving as we row down the Ganges River in Varanasi.
Surreal and Art Portfolio
You are what you eat
Al and Suzanne’s Scottish Highland cow, Montague, Massachusetts.
My 13-year-old and 52-year-old selves collaborate across 39 years to produce a combined self-portrait.
Tree in a meadow at Hampshire College – my alma mater – in Amherst, Massachusetts
Out of my head
Afternoon sun in Escalante Canyon, Utah.
Autumn in Leverett, Massachusetts
One of the small ponds adjacent to Atkins reservoir in Shutesbury, Massachusetts.
Lily pads in New Salem, Massachusetts.
Sonoma Ashram labyrinth under moonlight
Autumn sunset scene reflected in a rain puddle, Northampton, Massachusetts
Photo shoot in a Brooklyn schoolyard, 1973. This was before Photoshop. I made the composite in a darkroom, using two negatives.
The right to bare arms in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. Again, this isn’t Photoshop magic. It’s a single shot.
Finding a guru.
Meadow in Leverett, Massachusetts.
Anatomy of a Photo Shoot
This is a photo of my reflection in a mirror. At the same time if depicts the dreamscape of my imagination while taking the photo.
This looks like a photomontage. It’s not. It’s a single shot of late afternoon clouds reflected in the display window of an antique store in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts. I had the camera on a tripod with delayed shutter release, so that I could jump in front of the mirror (from outside the window) during the 30 seconds when the light from the setting sun across the street was right.
This is a photo that I snapped casually moments before setting up and taking the accompanying “My Reflection” photo. This one depicts what I imagine other people strolling by the antique store were seeing.