Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why I Love Cows

Last Sunday's New York Times featured an article about how the entire town of New Lebanon, NY was transformed into the set for Ang Lee's Woodstock-themed film, "Taking Woodstock." The townspeople raved how meticulous and considerate Lee's crew was throughout and after the filming. The only folks who were less than impressed were the cows, who--thoroughly un-awed by the celebrities in their midst--posed only reluctantly for the filmmaker:

Mr. Lee’s famed perfectionism was occasionally on display. Sandy Dawson, Mr. Dawson’s daughter, was drafted as a cow wrangler, and Mr. Lee wanted her cows to pose just so.

“Cows are cows,” Ms. Dawson explained. “In the morning they were very happy. Then after lunch it was hot, and cows like to lay down after lunch. We had to physically push them to stand there. They wanted them by this post or that post. And Morgan, he’s a big steer; after a while he was rolling his eyes, like: ‘I’m not doing this anymore. I don’t want to be a movie star, I’m done.’ ”

Cows don't like posing in hot weather. They like a nap after lunch. They don't care about their 15 minutes of fame. To which I say, You go (or don't go if you don't want to), girls (and steers)!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If I had to pick one video that purely and succinctly sums up the way I most often view life, this may be it.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Nazaré is a seaside town on the coast of Portugal. The town used to be known more as a fishing village than a beach resort, so now it's a combination of the two, with perhaps the beaches winning out. Fresh seafood is displayed in all the restaurant windows, and packs of fisherman's wives can still be seen roaming the town in traditional dress and selling their wares while their husbands are out to sea. There's a touch of tacky honky tonk along the main drag, but the narrow residential streets haven't been much touched by tourism aside from the abundance of restaurants--many quite empty when we visited in late spring. Like many of my favorite photographic destinations, it wasn't the notable architecture that attracted me, but rather the colorful everyday details of people's lives. I tend to take dark photographs, so Nazaré was a welcome change of pace since it forced me towards a lighter, brighter palette. I loved these lived-in yet secretive (most residents were out of view) streets and would have been happy to spend days (alas, I had just one) photographing them.