Essays / tag / ramblings

Twilight falls upon the City. New York becomes this wondrous place when Helios takes his chariot beneath the horizon and the stars like diamond dust fill the skies.

The people who live and work here bustle about, the City taking a deep relaxing breath as it heads from twilight to an obsidian night.

Like fireflies the leviathans along the great avenues begin to flicker and glow, their light filling the void with amber and blue.

The people look up into that brilliance amazed the garish beauty of it all, enthralled by the spell the City weaves in neon and sodium light.

 No matter where in the City, no matter the business the Night becomes a new and different form of life.

 The windows of the great stores on Madison giving a floor show for all who wish to see.

All the while people live their lives with their friends, 

And begin their journeys home 

The cars filling the streets looking to escape back to wherever they need to be 

Slowly the streets empty 

And the color finally washes out to a soft white 

A different magic begins to fill the Night now 

One in which retrospect of the day that has passed begins to fill our thoughts 

The urgency to find sanctuary heightens as we look for that safe haven until the Sun rises again 

We wonder if we shall be abandoned and forgotten in the fading glow 

Perhaps a late show to chase away the feeling of isolation 

As all the places begin to become lonely 


We all escape 

Except me. I’m a ghost. I am alone.


In this edition of “What’s In My Bag” I’ll go over one of my favorite toys, my “Frankencamera” setup for stills using a Pentax Q.

What’s Actually In The Bag

Let’s first start with the bag itself, my old Dome F-803 Messenger Bag. It’s an old bag, so old the strap has worn off so I went and purchased a military bag strap made of the same canvas at an Army/Navy surplus. As you can see besides the strap, this bag has lasted me about twenty years! The F-803 is usually a 6 pocket affair that comes with an insert to make the main compartment a three pocket setup. I’ve taken the insert and use it in my F-802 that you’ve seen in the previous edition of this series.

The rig itself is from an old Sunpak Slave flash as well as an IKan cold shoe. The video light is used as a focus assist light in this setup while the three F-18 flashes have diffusers made from tracing paper sandwiched between plastic from a clear plastic folder and held on by gaffer’s tape. To trigger all this I use a Pentax 2P Hot Shoe Adapter that has a pass through to allow the flash mounted on the hot shoe of the Q to fire as well as a PC Port with a splitter to connect the other two flashes via sync cables. Basically this whole rig cost at most $80 from parts that are readily available In another article I’ll go over shooting with this rig and how I post process everything.

Enjoy the tour!

This little video goes over what I carry each day in my daily camera bag. This is basically what I have with me when I walk around daily, and whenever I do documentary photography. For the most part the why's and wherefore of the individual cameras and digital gear are covered in earlier articles here about mobile photography. Just click that tag on the left and you'll find them. The only thing I really didn't talk about was the bag itself, the Domke F-802.

I love Domke bags. My old F-2 and F-1x have been with me for a couple of decades along with the F-803. The way these bags are made out of military grade impregnated canvas is just bulletproof. Outside of a Pelican Case, nothing is better than a Domke. They may not be as flashy as say a Billingham, but they do the job well and for the most part are designed much like the cameras that were around when Bill Domke created the bag when on the staff of the Philadelphia Enquirer, to last a lifetime.

As far as the large number of notebooks I carry, what can I say. I do use them heavily, and have a fetish for Moleskin notebooks specifically. There is just something about a well crafted little notebook like the ones they make. Something very Zen, much like shooting film on an old Leica Rangefinder. To be honest that is why I love shooting documentary (or euphemistically "street") photography. I don't shoot it to get into Time Magazine or anything like that. I shoot it to document the world I see and in all honesty to relax and almost meditate. I try not to worry about much when I shoot street and while for time and cost primarily shoot this work digitally, on occasion I will break out one of my old film cameras, many of them without built in meters and shoot the old fashion way, f/8 and be there as well as Sunny 16.

Enjoy the video, and do read the articles that go in more detail about the items I carry.

Working on three new articles for all of you to enjoy. Look for them soon. In the meantime here is a nice little photo to enjoy. 

Yeah I know, I'm a bit behind but I have an excuse! I've been shooting at New York Fashion Week for WWD (Womens Wear Daily). I promise new content soon! In the meantime please enjoy this shot from the only show I actually went to because I just love this designer's work and of course it was her 50th anniversary in the fashion industry, Betsey Johnson....

Oh before I forget I added a new gallery for my new art project. Please donate to help me make this project come true!

This week part 2 of my article on working with legacy glass on MILC's will be up along with hopefully part 1 of my Pentax 645Z article. In the meantime I am right now starting to get together a new personal project called Instant and hope that all of you out there support it with a small donation :) Here are a few images from my experimentation for this project....

Just a quick update folks. I haven't added an article in a little bit as I've been a bit busy. That said however I will have great content soon for you all including a two part on using old lenses on MILC's and a special educational article on shooting tethered with the Pentax 645Z. I will also be giving you all a review of Polarr, a new image editing app that is similar to Snapseed 2.0 and works nicely in conjunction with it.

In the meantime some nice test images shot with my Samsung Galaxy S5 and processed using Polarr and Snapseed.....

I wish I could show you all what I shot today. Unfortunately it was client work and must wait before it is featured here. Today was a physically difficult day to shoot. It was humid, hot and the clothing was winter outerwear. This entry will be brief, but I will share a location scouting shot with you all......

Concrete canyons and caves of steel, the sun rises on spinning wheels.....

While freelancing for WWD prior to that outlets purchase by PMC, I had the honor of shooting what few knew at the time would be Ralph Rucci's final collection for the brand that bore his name. Shortly after that show Ralph would step away from his brand. I wish I had known myself, I would have tried harder to get even better shots.

That day I spent most of the time prior to the show speaking to my friend Jonas about his adventures as a much smaller giant in a Formula Ford running around Spa and saying hello and discussing food as usual with Rosina. I think we spoke briefly about eggplants and anchovies.

One day maybe I'll discuss how much I'm in awe of Ralph. He's always been cordial and pleasant, and honestly he never really needed to be to me. Whenever I meet him I remember a scene from Babylon 5 where G'Kar talks to an archaeologist on how an ancient race near some world does not even register the nearby humans in so much as to them we are but mere ants. Something far beneath even their subconscious notice. In truth I feel like the ant in that story whenever I meet him.

Here is a little of what I saw that day on September 6th, 2014. From what I can tell from hints he has dropped on his FaceBook he is working on something new. I can't wait to see what this Giant who walks among us will do next.

Backstage #ralphrucci #nyfw

A photo posted by Sandy Ramirez (@photonutz) on Sep 6, 2014 at 9:48am PDT

Just a quick entry now that the site has been redesigned and all my various online outlets consolidated to here. If you are looking for my work over on Blogger, I will not be publishing there any longer. Trying to keep all the sites together is just too much work. This is why I chose this new design for my site. 

Today every website needs a blog to give insight to the company,  service provider or artist that the site represents.  Why make those interested in what I do and say go to several different sites just to figure out who I am and what I represent? It is quite liberating not having to worry about updating 3 or 4 different sites at once. One site to rule them all!

After updating and finishing the redesign I went out for some snack cakes and coffee and had my Galaxy S5 with me. I quickly in the fading twilight saw two wonderful things to shoot. The rail crossing and the sky....

Nature provides the best fireworks. Happy Independence Day folks!