Capturing a Moment

A bride stops and looks directly at me and right into my lens.

This past summer I had the pleasure of doing a casual photo shoot in New York City with professional photographers Rick O. and Darrin Hackney. Me and my son, Thomas, joined Rick, Darrin and budding actor Nick Pollifrone in and around NYC on a beautiful, but hot, Saturday in June. Nick was our subject as we tooled around Grand Central Station, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and various subway stations and city streets. We spent a lot of time in Central Park. No lie, we must have counted a dozen or so wedding sessions going on there which I found out later is normal. Here is a shot I took of Nick;

Nick P. Checking out the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC.

At one point Nick went to change his clothes while Thomas, Rick, Darrin and I waited in the shade near Bethesda Fountain. We waited quite a while and while we waited we watched wedding brides and grooms with their photographers walk by. At one point this couple stopped right in front of us. The light coming from above was perfect casting nice shadows down the steps and onto the couple right in front of us as they readied themselves for a series of pictures by their hired photographer. As he snapped away so did the four of us! Why not….maybe we’d capture a moment. I can hear my gang’s shutters clicking away to my right as I lifted my camera to my face with my finger on the trigger. I just watched the couple through my viewfinder and waited for the right moment to fire. The groom casually started to lean on the pillar in front of me and to my left. The bride moved in close to her man and as she settled herself for a series of photographs she glanced right at me and smiled. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a good thing I was ready. My finger pressed the button and I ended up with the image you see above. As it turned out I captured a very tender moment.

As I navigate my way through the process of learning photography I find myself shooting lots of photos. Plus, this is advice that I hear and read about all of the time; Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. This leaves me with hundreds of images to scan through to see the results of my efforts. What I’ve come to realize is that there is one thing that the better photographs all have in common. I didn’t see this at first but it dawned on me this past weekend after I shot a local School of Rock performance and ended up with the image below. This image, too, captures a moment as the singer finishes the song and is completely wrapped up in the ending of a perfect performance. I now understand that this is what all photographers strive to do. I’m a beginner with photography so I wasn’t aware of this goal. But now I do. And now I really look through that viewfinder and observe what’s happening around the scene all the while ready to fire that trigger to capture a story telling moment.


Best of Season Performance

This singer just nailed Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry.

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More Information…..

Rick O.

Darrin Hackney

Nick Pollifrone

Thomas Valenti

Fairfield School of Rock



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Dr. Paul Indman and Ansel Adams – How it all started…
Dr. Paul Indman

Ansel Adams discusses the finer points of photography during his workshop at UCLA.

The above picture was taken many years ago. Second from the right is Ansel Adams. This shot was taken during one of his photography workshops at UCLA. You can see one of his images hanging on the wall behind him. The person all the way on the left is Paul Indman. He is now a reknowned Ob/GYN located in northern California. Dr. Indman is also an avid photographer who takes some amazing shots. You can see his stuff here;


I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Indman through work back in Februay, 2012. We spent a good three days traveling together and had plenty of time to get to know one another outside our “regular” professions. He mentioned to me that in addition to being a doctor and a guitar and mandolin player that he was into photography. While on a rather lengthy airplane ride I asked Dr. Indman to give me an overview “lesson” on photography since I knew nothing about it. He pulled out a piece of paper, a pen, and the in-flight magazine. He spent the next two hours discussing with me the various elements of photography using a manually operated camera. He made charts and graphs on the piece of paper and then showed me images in the magazine that visually explained his points. For example, he explained the effects of a wide open aperture versus a closed one and showed me how the background could be in focus or blurry. Interesting, I thought as I nodded my head as if I understood what he was talking about.

As he was schooling me on the many different adjustments that one can make in order to capture an interesting moment photographically it occured to me that my son Thomas (then 11 years old) was going on a 12 day Alaskan cruise during the ensuing summer. It also occured to me that I had somewhere in the house a Canon 350D with an 18-55mm lens. So, I decided to take this new knowledge that Dr. Indman was giving to me home to suggest to Thomas that he learn photography. This way he can take something other than point and shoot snap shots of the beautiful Alaskan landscape. Thomas enthusiastically agree to learn. And he started to shoot. You can see his stuff here;


As Thomas was learning I decided to upgrade his camera to a Canon 500D. I then started to learn along side him and obtained a second 500D for me to use. We learned together. All along the way I kept Dr. Indman up to date on how we were doing. Both Thomas and I have come so far from the initial mysterious ways of the manually operated dSLR. I now shoot with a Canon 600D. Thomas shoots with a Nikon D7000 because, as he often tells me, “I’m a better photographer than you!”. Either way, Dr. Indman has complimented both of us on our progress. We still have a lot to learn and develop. But my point is this, this website (and Thomas’ website) would not exist if it weren’t for the spark that Dr. Indman provided earlier this year. His initial push and his continued enthusiasm for our efforts have been perfect motivation for me and my, now 12 years old, son.

And, in an odd Six Degrees of Separation way, I somehow feel connected to Ansel Adams!

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Welcome to my new website where I display photographs that I take from time to time. Check back often to see what’s new. Those new images will be in the “Galleries” section. However, I will update the “Enter Site” selections here and there. The “About Me” link gives a summary of me and the motivation behind the development of this site.

Thank you for visiting. Please come again.

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