May 3, 2011 3

CITY 2010: September-October

By in Photopalooza, Rochester, Roundups, Work

This is the fifth post in my series of selected work done for CITY Newspaper in 2010. Be sure to check out the previous posts: PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I don’t know if that necessarily translates over into my work, or if that means I spend more time outside and less in front of a computer. In any case, Fall brought 2 great cover story assignments (CSA farms and a local Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house restoration) and a bunch of cover story layouts. Not to mention all the prep for ‘Best Of,’ which won’t show up until November. These posts are apparently weighing on me as this one took two whole months to put together. Only November & December to go, though! The end is near!

Building the Arts
September 1 | Cover story layout for Tim’s article on the RBTL’s plans for a new theater complex. The layout isn’t the greatest thing ever, but I was happy with the feeling of the construction-tape header and the circular pull-quotes.


Dining room
September 1 | Joey’s Pasta House, in Penfield. The first time I photographed this building it was a barbecue joint. It made for a mildly surreal experience to be back, photographing an entirely different restaurant (although both the food and staff were much nicer this time around.)

Student Survival Guide 2010
Student Survival Guide | Cover illustration for the annual Student Survival Guide. Since I don’t know many young college students, I put out a casting call and ended up photographing Amy Ruby, a relative of the Treible-clan (Hi!). Digital alterations to Amy’s outfit, hair, held objects, and a digitally illustrated background (including the clouds, from scratch, which were fun to do) were drawn in later, as well as all the text and layout. Although I had a great time basing the buildings off Jetsons backgrounds, Amy made me feel really old when she told me she’d never heard of the Jetsons or the Flinstones. What is cable good for if not to show old cartoons?!

Farmer Erin Bullock

Farm apprentice Beth Altemus

"Choosing the Food Less Traveled" 1 "Choosing the Food Less Traveled" 2
September 8 | Shooting Becka’s excellent cover story on CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms felt like the most natural thing in the world: memories of my rural upbringing, a lot of my farming past at Genesee Country Village & Museum, and a lot of my more recent culinary interests all rolled into one. Farmer Beth was so humble (at times seeming honestly surprised that I actually photographing her farm) and her fellow workers so helpful that it was a joy to shoot. The late-summer sunshine and green fields didn’t hurt, either. I could’ve shot there forever and been perfectly content. The story was rounded out with shoots at the South Wedge Farmers Market and a roving CSA-delivery van, the Good Food Collective. I also did the story’s page layout and put together a SLIDE SHOW OF ADDITIONAL IMAGES.

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September 8 | Chris’ article on the state of walls lining the Genesee River required a photo of a … wall. I also wanted to show the river and part of the Corn Hill neighborhood that was being affected, so I found a view I liked from across the river on Mt. Hope Avenue, lay down on the pavement walkway, and held the camera under the fence as close to the water as I could get. I don’t think that amount of work comes across in the photo at all, but that’s how I shot it. Maybe it’s time for some new lenses…

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September 8 | There’s only so much I can do when photographing art shows: I don’t want to (or can’t) photograph the pieces all straight-on, but I also don’t want to too heavily skew of crop works and change the way they were meant to be viewed. In the end, I try to find some middle ground. This was another excellent 1975 show, “The Worst is Yet to Come,” this time at Booksmart Studio with work by Don Pendleton and Mark Penxa. It deals largely with “the decay of communication and culture,” which is something I think about every week, so I found the show (and Becka’s excellent article where she brings in some of her own experiences) fascinating.

Chimney Bluffs
Fall Guide | Rachel, Kevin, Adam & I took a half-day-trip back in late Spring to check out the Chimney Bluffs State Park (I’d never been before, that I could remember). It was a great way to spend an afternoon, but for reasons I don’t remember I didn’t have a camera with me. Rachel’s let me use her little Kodak point-and-shoot, and I took a dozen photos and probably 2 dozen short videos with it. One day I’ll do something with the videos, but one of those photos ended up being used in CITY’s Fall Guide for an article on local outdoor spots to get that “Fall feeling.” Extensive post-processing hopefully hid the Spring-disguised-as-Fall illusion for most people.

September 22 | LEFT: Wiki, a pit-bull-mix at Lollypop Farm, for an article on pit-bull adoption in the city. RIGHT: Brockport Trustee Carol Hannan, speaking about what the dissolution of the village could really mean.

"Restoring a 'Rochester Treasure'"

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September 29 | I don’t actually know a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright. I know the very basics: Famous architect. Sharp, bold lines. “Falling Water.” But that’s about it. I’ve never studied him or read a lot about him, so before going into a house he built for a client in Rochester, I did a little bit of research. Turns out he was something of a genius, but a bit of a dick, and not always the most practical (which seems typical of geniuses). The FLW-designed house over on East Boulevard features some gorgeous windows, very cool “hidden” gutters, and a crazy open-yet-blocky first floor layout where all the rooms are at different levels. Fran & Jane opened their under-construction house to Tim and I, and our afternoon tour was fascinating. As the couple are trying to restore the house as closely to the original blueprints as possible, the amount of work being done was mind-boggling. Hopefully, someday, I’ll get to walk around the product when it’s complete! CHECK OUT MY SLIDE SHOW OF PHOTOS

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September 29 | Pizza Stop is one of those mythical restaurants I’d always heard about: tucked away on a weird street, limited hours, always filled with regulars who don’t share the secret because the food it too good to get popular. I’m not a pizza fan, but when I finally tasted it, I had to agree that it was actually worth the hype. Then, out of the blue, they expanded and a second, easier to find, normal-hours-keeping location sprung up in Webster! And lo, the taste was just as good as the original! Again, since I’m no pizza connoisseur, you don’t have to take my word for it, but the barbecue wings and bacon-garlic white pizza were some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Queue'd Up
October 6 | Photo-illustration for the ImageOut cover story. Due to lots of difficulties, this shoot was more last-minute that I like ’em to be and required far more post-processing than initially meets the eye. So much, in fact, that I gave it its very own blog post when it ran.

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October 13 | I love churches. I acknowledge their sense of awe, community, and respect, but mostly I think they have really interesting architecture and often neat lighting. The Parsells Avenue Community Chuch was a really nice, moderately-sized church (as far as traditional churches go) to photograph, with a cool old organ (the reason for the article) and a really nice pastor.

October 13 | Politics completely aside, both Matt Zeller (LEFT) and Tom Reed (RIGHT) were really fun shoots, as far as 10-minute shoots with politicians go. Both were very humble, easy to work with, and laughed at the same bad jokes of mine. Tom was very nice and gave me complete control to move him wherever I needed to, while Matt told me stories about his campaign so far in between swapping other bad jokes.

October 13 | Tala Vera, a new Cali-Mex restaurant on State Street, downtown. Their salsa tasted very fresh.

East High
October 20 | When I think of going to school, I immediately think of big lawns out front, autumnal trees, flag poles, and school bells. Because, as my roommates tease me, I grew up in the Fifties. East High School, sandwiched between Main Street and Atlantic Avenue, doesn’t have much in the way of that imagery going for it, but I tried to use what it had. (It’s actually a very cool building, architecturally, and I’d like to shoot more of the inside of it someday)

Sad Mario
October 27 | Poor Mario Daniele. It’s hard not to feel for the guy: he bought some land, he wanted to build stuff, but an eagle just happened to take up residence so now he can’t and, to him, his land is now useless. Plus, strangers showed up, fenced off his land around the eagle nest, and posted signs, all without his permission! Regardless of whether or not you’re for eagle conservation, it’s a pretty shitty thing to happen to someone and anyone can relate to feeling like their property has been stolen from them. For this shoot, I was to meet Mario (local restaurateur) at his Webster/Penfield restaurant, Bazil. I showed up to find it closed, but a black Lexus with tinted windows eventually rolled up. He rolled down the window, confirmed it was me, and then said simply to “get in.” After texting Adam that I was getting into a dark car with a stranger, destination unknown, Mario and I drove up to his eagle-infested property, right onto the trail, Lexus through the mud and field and everything. Wearing his suit and dress shoes, we hiked up to the tree line so he could show me the signs and fence, agreed to pose for some photos, and we talked about the situation. The large photo (above) was taken as the sun started to go down, and he naturally just looked that upset over the whole situation (apparently the extremely slow governmental bureaucracy was really what was getting him down). Since it was strange to finally meet someone of a local celebrity-businessman, and go hiking with him, on our way back I asked what his days were normally like and, given the opportunity, what would he ideally like to be doing. “Honestly,” he said, “I like doing business. I’m not one to put my feet up and watch football. I like closing deals and making things happen.” It was an extremely surreal afternoon.

That’s it for this installment! Come back soon for November and all the dog show photos from “Best of Rochester 2010”!

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3 Responses to “CITY 2010: September-October”

  1. Katie says:

    Mario is the definition of “doleful” in that picture.

  2. Catherine says:

    I had no idea there was a FLW house in Rochester! I’m definitely going to read the article and check out all the photos when I have a chance.

  3. Matt says:

    Katie: He so is. That’s pretty much my favorite photo of mine that’s never run.

    Catherine: It’s not open to the public; it’s a private residence, but it’s pretty interesting! Weird angles, floors all being purposely uneven, and really neat “hidden” gutters!

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