Richard A. Kashnow Gallery: Blog en-us (C) Richard A. Kashnow Gallery (Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Wed, 04 Jul 2018 19:03:00 GMT Wed, 04 Jul 2018 19:03:00 GMT Richard A. Kashnow Gallery: Blog 120 86 September 11, 2001 Marcia and I were in Manhattan on that infamous day. Shortly after the second plane struck, we rushed to the roof of our apartment building at 1 Central Park West to look to the south. After the second tower collapsed, we watched that large toxic cloud rise slowly from Ground Zero. When I looked at Marcia, I realized she was silently expressing everything I was feeling and I took this picture. We remained in New York for ten more days, immersed in the communal grief and compassion on the streets of that great city.

untitledMarcia in New York on September 11, 2001

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Sat, 10 Sep 2016 23:00:00 GMT
Double Rainbow over Maui A double rainbow is not as uncommon as you might think. The secondary rainbow is the result of sunlight that has undergone two internal reflections (rather than one, for the primary) in the water droplets you're viewing (with your back to the sun). One of the signature features of the secondary rainbow is the reversal of colors relative to the primary, with red on the inside and violet on the outside. Here's a video that explains these phenomena rather well in under four minutes:

On Kaanapali Beach in West Maui, we usually see rainbows late in the day; the setting sun illuminates rain clouds clinging to the West Maui mountains. In the case pictured here, though, I'm looking west at about 8 am; the sun has risen above the mountains behind me and is shining down on a little water vapor over the ocean. With the rainbow arches lower in the sky, it's easier to see that faint second rainbow.

For my photographer friends, here are a few technical notes. I shot the image with a full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony a7R2, with a Zeiss 24-70 mm lens set at 24 mm. Exposure was f/10 @ 1/640 sec at ISO 320. In post-processing, I applied a Nik polarizing filter, which has the effect of darkening the sky, reducing reflections from the ocean surface, and increasing saturation and contrast in the rainbows.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Sun, 04 Sep 2016 04:05:11 GMT
The Silence of the Lambs On the southern coast of New Zealand's North Island, just east of Wellington, the Wharekauhau Lodge overlooks Palliser Bay.

Sunset at Palliser Bay. 2015.Sunset at Palliser Bay. 2015.On a sheep farm on the southern coast of New Zealand's North Island.

The estate includes a working sheep farm which traces its roots to the 1840s.

New Zealand Sheep Farm. 2015.New Zealand Sheep Farm. 2015.

This shearer demonstrated his technique in a cavernous barn, which could have been the set for a scene in Silence of the Lambs.


New Zealand Shearer. 2015.New Zealand Shearer. 2015.Wharekauhau Sheep Farm, Palliser Bay, New Zealand.


Marcia captured the whole process on this short video.

New Zealand ShearerWharekauhau Sheep Farm, Palliser Bay, New Zealand. 2015.







(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Tue, 16 Aug 2016 06:59:05 GMT
Working Man's Lunch. 2011. I stepped out of a hole-in-the wall Chinese restaurant in Lower Manhattan and was drawn to the sight of a hard-working man in paint-speckled jeans and the colors that enveloped him as he concentrated on his lunch.

Working Man's Lunch. 2011.Working Man's Lunch. 2011.Lower Manhattan

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Thu, 11 Aug 2016 16:05:56 GMT
The Marketplace at Karatu. 2014. We had just spent three cold nights in the cloud forest on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, about eighty miles west of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now we were heading to a warmer place, the southern desert of the Serengeti. On our way to a small airstrip near Lake Manyara, we passed through the Karatu District on market day. Our driver was happy to make a stop there; he needed a new pair of rubber sandals made from old tires. I was unable to capture the human vibrancy of this place in a single frame, but I have a few shots of record so I can recall the moment more vividly.

Marketplace at Karatu. 2014.Marketplace at Karatu. 2014.Tanzania.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Thu, 04 Aug 2016 04:05:06 GMT
The Stutthof Death Camp. 2012.  


The Stutthof Death Gate. 2012.The Stutthof Death Gate. 2012.The entrance to the Stutthof Concentration Camp, just east of Gdansk, Poland.

The Stutthof concentration camp was built in a wet, wooded area east of Gdansk (Danzig), Poland. It was the first camp the Germans built outside of Germany and the last to be liberated by the Allies. Our cousin, Chaim Kuritsky, was among the few prisoners who managed to survive imprisonment in this place of unbearable brutality. We visited the site in 2012 when I was helping Chaim publish an English translation of his memoir, To Survive and to Tell the Story.


(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Sun, 31 Jul 2016 19:06:53 GMT
"Fallen Leaves" at The Jewish Museum Berlin. 2012. "Fallen Leaves" at the Jewish Museum Berlin. 2012."Fallen Leaves" at the Jewish Museum Berlin. 2012.This image is a detail of an installation called Shalekhet (Fallen Leaves), by Menashe Kadishman. The work is an unstable assembly of more than ten thousand unique iron plates, in one of the five "voids" created by the museum's architect, Daniel Libeskind. Visitors are invited to walk on the plates, an uncomfortable experience which releases a shattering cacophony.

This image is a detail of an installation called Shalekhet (Fallen Leaves), by Menasha Kadishman. The work is an unstable assembly of more than ten thousand unique iron plates. Visitors are invited to walk on the plates and experience a sense of imbalance amid a shattering cacophony. The Jewish Museum Berlin was designed by Daniel Libeskind.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Sat, 30 Jul 2016 06:19:58 GMT
An outdoor market in Saint Laurent du Var, a suburb of Nice. 2009. Saint-Laurent-du Var. 2009Saint-Laurent-du Var. 2009An outdoor market in a suburb of Nice, on the French Riviera.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Sat, 16 Jul 2016 05:51:43 GMT
Black Cat in Tel Aviv
After sunset, near the Carmel Market, a black cat appeared in a defensive stance. I captured the image with the Sony a7R2, 85 mm, f/160 @ f/2, ISO 4000.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:47:06 GMT
Shooting Mona Lisa This is the scene around the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris. If you want to be alone with a Da Vinci, visit Genevra at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Please see my earlier blog post on that:

Shooting Mona LisaShooting Mona Lisa

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Thu, 15 Oct 2015 17:33:58 GMT
The Face of a Lion On a long hot drive through Tanzania's Serengeti, we encountered this male lion, his face covered with flies. To see what he would look like on a better day, I gave him the benefit of a treatment with Photoshop's spot healing brush.  Lion in the Serengeti. 2014.Lion in the Serengeti. 2014.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Thu, 20 Aug 2015 05:00:47 GMT
From the Archives: Gerhard Dieke. 1965. Gerhard Dieke. 1965Gerhard Dieke. 1965The prominent physicist, a few days before his death; in the hills near Aberdeen, Scotland. Gerhard Dieke was a prominent physicist whom I met at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland during a summer school in 1965. A few days after I made this portrait, he died unexpectedly in his sleep. 

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:55:13 GMT
Leonardo da Vinci in Washington, D.C. Whenever I visit Washington, I'm drawn to the National Gallery of Art, where I seek a few minutes with Genevra de' Benci, the only portrait by Leonardo da Vinci on exhibit in the Americas. The throngs that block your view of the Mona Lisa in Paris are not to be found here. You may have a few minutes nearly alone in the gallery. 

untitled-2untitled-2 untitleduntitled

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Mon, 16 Mar 2015 00:04:23 GMT
Cheetahs in the Serengeti. 2014.

On an all-day drive in the heat of the southern Serengeti, we encountered several separate groups of cheetahs, comprising eleven individuals, each one a distinctive and beautiful embodiment of speed and grace. The cheetah population in sub-Saharan Africa is designated as "vulnerable to extinction," due in part to loss of habitat. We learned that the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute runs a cheetah watch campaign to track sightings of individual cheetahs, identified by their spot patterns, so we're sending these images to them, along with our notes.
(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:30:05 GMT
To Survive and to Tell the Story Chaim Kuritsky. Tel Aviv. 2013.Chaim Kuritsky. Tel Aviv. 2013.My oldest first cousin survived four years of brutality at the hands of the Nazis, an ordeal he chronicled in his memoir, To Survive and To Tell the Story.

Chaim Kuritsky was twenty years old when the Nazis invaded his home country of Lithuania in June 1941. His mother was my mother's sister. She was killed that summer, but Chaim survived the war and documented his ordeal in a memoir of stunning detail. An English translation is now available on Amazon (

Chaim is 92 now and lives with his wonderful family in Tel Aviv, where he posed for this picture earlier this year.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Wed, 30 Oct 2013 06:11:21 GMT
Mar Saba from the air. 2013.  

Mar Saba is a 5th Century Greek Orthodox monastery in the Judean Hills east of Bethlehem, on the edge of the Kidron Valley. This image was taken from a helicopter at low-altitude, with the Canon 5D Mark III and a 70 mm lens; exposure was f/9 @ 1/2500, ISO 1000.
Mar Saba from the air. 2013.
I have long wanted to see this place again, having first encountered it during a 1997 off-road traversal of the desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. 
(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) israel mar saba Wed, 08 May 2013 14:21:49 GMT
From the Archives: Blue Angels and Mount Tam 2005. With the Blue Angels flying overhead this morning, I was reminded of another clear October day, seven years ago, when I was able to photograph them over the Golden Gate against the iconic outline of Mount Tam.

Blue Angels and Mount Tam. 2005.

(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Blue Angels Sat, 06 Oct 2012 17:20:45 GMT
How to overcome aperture anxiety A few of my friends are comfortable using their DSLRs in Auto or Program mode, but they're intimidated by Aperture Priority and other shooting options on their complex cameras. In this post, I'd like to send them a message: You have permission to shoot in Auto or Program for 80% of the images you capture. Program mode is preferable when you want to change the flash settings or the ISO, but in either of these modes, the camera will do a good job of selecting aperture and shutter speed settings that work well in most lighting situations.

But sometimes you have a vision for the photograph that the camera's processor can't discern. Perhaps you want a shallow depth of field to enhance a portrait, or you want to freeze the action in a sports scene. For these situations, I'd like to help you overcome your anxiety by offering the simplest explanation I can produce.

I'll begin by reminding you of an obvious analogy between your camera and the human eye. Because of the complex physiology of the eye, this analogy is limited, but I think it's useful here if we don't go too far. Think of your pupil as an aperture that controls the amount of light (per second) that is focused by your lenses onto your retina (the sensor). Your eyelid acts as a shutter; when it's closed, no light can enter; when you blink quickly, you simulate a fast shutter speed. It should be intuitive that you will need a wide aperture at low light levels -- and maybe a slow blink.

I don't think it's intuitive that a wide open aperture leads to a shallow depth of field and that a small aperture provides a large depth of field; let's just stipulate that for our purposes. So for that portrait effect you're seeking, set your camera to Aperture Priority and select a setting like f/2.8 or f/3.5 or even f/4. Set your ISO at 200 or 250 on a bright day or 400 or 800 or 1600 if the light is dim. In Aperture Priority, your camera will select the shutter speed necessary to give you a good exposure.  (For simplicity, let's save Shutter Priority for another day.)

To get a feel for the relationships among aperture, focal length, and distance of the subject, try playing with a depth of field calculator. I just downloaded an app, Depth of Field & Exposure Calculator, that shows me that if I'm photographing a friend at a distance of ten feet with a 105 mm lens at f/2.8, the depth of field will be less than six inches. If I focus sharply on my subject's eyes, I should be able to keep her whole head in focus, but just barely. The depth of field is the range over which an acceptably sharp image will be produced. Try pressing the preview button on your camera just before taking the picture. This will allow you to look through the lens at the pre-selected aperture so you can see the depth of field you're going to get.

We've glossed over a few technical terms that must be dealt with, however briefly, to ensure your aperture anxiety does not recur. The focal length of your lens is the distance over which a collimated beam of light is brought to a focal point. You're familiar with this because you used to play with a magnifying glass to burn holes in paper. When we say that the aperture of a lens is set to f/4, we mean that the ratio of the focal length to aperture diameter is 4. Now that I've said that, you can stop worrying about it. The only thing you have to remember is that there is an inverse relationship between aperture diameter and f-stop. f/16 denotes a smaller effective aperture (or entrance pupil) than f/4. 

There's a story about Arthur Fellig, a great New York street photographer of the 30s and 40s, whose pseudonym was "Weegie." He was usually the first press photographer on the scene of a grisly crime scene and his stark black and white images were almost always technically good. When asked about his successful technique, he said "f/8 and be there."


(Richard A. Kashnow Gallery) Aperture Priority aperture anxiety Fri, 08 Jun 2012 03:40:33 GMT