Tag Archives: flowers

Old School Photography

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Perhaps the most meaningful personal shoot of the year comes every December. We sit down and talk about what the year meant and how to capture that in a photograph. How to express where we were at that time. I shoot the annual Ann Street Studio holiday card photograph in the same format each year, on a 4×5 film camera with black and white Ilford film.

This year’s image crossed continents twice from start to finish. It begins in France, taken in the afternoon light of Provence with flowers I bought at my little town’s Saturday farmer’s market. After I framed the flowers just so, I used two magazines to manipulate and block the natural light of part of the background and on some of the arrangement while the shutter stayed opened for 30seconds. I shot somewhere around 15 plates with variations on lighting and exposures then packed them up and brought the sheets of film back to New York with me to be hand processed at LTI.

As always, I took the processed film and contact sheets to my favorite darkroom lab in Boston which I pilgrimage to every winter and spent two days hand printing the set of 200 on Ilford warm tone fiber base paper.

I brought the final 200 back to France with me and spent days by the window light addressing each one, some with added personal notes, to be mailed out all over the world. It is a long process but one that brings me great joy in a digital age. To give someone a physical object you made with your heart, soul and abilities is like having a small piece of me in your home. The sense of pride I feel when people send me photos of the image framed in their home makes me feel grateful that I am a photographer. However, for the most part I don’t know what people do with them. I like to imagine someone using one as a bookmark to later discover again years from now. I like to fantasize a child or grandchild will come across one decades from now in an old box and feel a connection to me or at least to who I once was. They don’t have to know me personally but I hope they know my work.

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Below, in my beloved darkroom in Boston. 

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Below, back at home in France addressing each envelope. 

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The text that accompanies the print:

This is a limited edition fiber print of a simple bouquet of flowers  was photographed in the afternoon light of Provence in the South of France. Shot on 4×5 black and white film, this image was hand processed, printed and pressed but the artist.

We believe if you take away the color of a photograph, what you are left with is the life it represents. In “Ranunculus #8” the delicate bouquet was captured at different stages of bloom and in an array of colors wrapped around each other as a representation of all ages and races of humanity. The past year was uneasy and sometimes heartbreaking for many around the world and this photograph represents 2016 as a reminder that we are more beautiful when we all come together. The falling petals are the tears we may have shed but are caught by another in an act of love. We hope you join us in our belief that it is the differences in us which make life an endless gift of discovery and enriching beauty to be celebrated.

We thank you for coming along on our journey and hope that you cherish this print as a way to say thank you for an amazing year. Each bring is signed, numbered and dated.

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“Ranunculus #8”

See 2015 here.

See 2014 here.

See 2013 here.

See 2012 here.

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Images of a Weekend

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For all the horror that winter brings in Manhattan, she certainly makes up for it in June. The city is happy, the energy is good, and behind every turn awaits an explosions of flowers, artists, farmers market harvests, and the sparkling sunlight. The Hudson glitters like a canary diamond and, for once, even the garbage trucks seem to hum quietly to themselves while lovers quarrels are called to a truce in place of strolls through the park in all the quiet pleasures of life.

I went to the farmers market, I walked Riverside Park, I explored Gotham Market and learned that rice crispy treat ice cream is a thing and it’s amazing. I started watching the 2nd season of Chef’s Table (one of my all time favorite food shows) and enjoyed my new Diptyque candle that smells of home cooked Madeleines. This I photographed {above} with my Monica Rich Kosann locket and a memento from one of the sweetest moments of the weekend — when I stumbled upon a poet writing poems for donation which he bases on any theme you told him. I asked him to make me a poem on Provence and this is what he wrote…

The image need not be imagine

it’s beautiful as it is

The people need not be questioned

they’ve an honest way to live

Give to the land and in return

the land gives back to you

It’s funny how we go so far

to learn the truth

-Lynn Gentry

“Provence”

Riverside Park

June 11th, 2016

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Natural Sculptures

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A few years back I met Bess Wyrick. She was doing a floral instillation in Gramercy Park’s Rose Bar — a giant hanging skeleton made from white flowers. I had always thought about flowers in the sense of arrangements but never really in the form of a live sculpture. There is something I really love about the idea of creating art that can only last and be appreciated for a short amount of time before its organic nature recycles back into the earth. An amazing example of that is in the whimsical work of Patrick Dougherty which blows me away.

Whenever Bess is in New York we try to collaborate. Most recently I asked Caroline to come by the studio and pose for me, something we have been doing together for years now. Bess, being the sculptor she is, created this spring garden nymph moment around Caroline’s delicate body which, to me, is reminiscent of the fleeting weeks when we get to dance under the pink shade of the cherry blooms before nature moves on to the green gardens of summer.

This May I’m going to be heading out to L.A. to spend a weekend retreat at Rose Story Farm (remember how we had roses shipped from them for this beautiful shoot?!) with Bess doing a workshop on flower arranging and creative expression. It’s going to be a lovely group of women, so think about joining us if you out in L.A.! More info on the workshop can be found here.

Happy Spring!

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Dying Flowers

Still life of dying flowers photographed by Jamie Beck at Ann Street Studio

This weekend I was gathering up all of the dying flowers in their arrangements around the studio to throw away and be replaced with new, young, fresh varieties I would pick up on my errands about town. As I pulled these out of the vase I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful they were in their delicate paper thin skin, and how sculptural the leaves had become. To me, they took on the form of dancers, if dancers were caught in a gust of wind and then frozen in time at that perfect expressive moment…

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more natural beauty…

Butterfly & the Bell Jar || Winter Flowers || Simplicity || Forever Roses



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