I have been going to Cape Cod once, twice sometimes three times a year since I was 3 or 4 years old. For most of that time, actually up until this year, we have rented the same set of cottages on the beach in North Truro. Over this amount of time, I have watched a beach, a town and even science change by the ocean. I remember as a kid taking a flattened cardboard box and going to the dunes in P-town and sliding down them as if it was a snowy hill. Dune buggy tours used to go through the dunes as well until they slowly closed off due to erosion. Basically, the beach grass was being killed from people walking on it or the buggies driving on them. The beach grass, they found, was what keep the water and wind from blowing and washing the sand into the ocean. Kind of an important role being that the lower Cape is all sand.
The amount of stores, restaurants and galleries on Commercial Street in P-town grew exponentially in the time the I first walked the street, with only 2 or 3 stores still remaining from when I was a kid. But what keeps me going back is not the amazing food, the landscape or the light. What I find most amazing is that after all these years is that what ever beach I go to on the first day that I am on Cape or even my first walk to the beach in the morning, I do not know what I am going to see. One year there are sand flats at low tide, the next they are gone. One morning the fog is so thick you can’t see next to you and the next is so clear you can see into 50 miles into Plymouth. I love walking to the water at 6 am and seeing what the tide brought in from the night before: Skate egg cases, dead bluefish, trapped skates in a pond of water waiting for the tide to come in a set them free. One morning we came across an entire beach of a dead squid. Head over to the ocean side and see whales clearing their lungs on the horizon or schools of feeding blue fish 2 feet from shore.
This year was no different. We walked about mile east at Head of the Meadow beach to see a thousand Grey Seals resting on two sand bars just off the shore. With the fog and few people around, it seemed that we were transformed to a land thousands of miles away. The sound of the ocean and the bark of all the seals at once felt like you were watching National Geographic in real time. What ever was happening in the world at that moment became meaningless. I was watching nature. As we headed back, all I could think of was how was Cape Cod going to top this next year?
What does this have to do with my photography? Well, everything. Most of my personal photography projects either began, was influenced by or ended with images from the Cape. Sky/Sea was conceived even before I owned a camera. The light, the landscape and quite simply, the feeling I get when I am there is awe inspiring. The geographical and the cultural history is amazing in itself. Writers, Artist and Actors from Thoreau to Hopper, Mailer to Motherwell all have not only spent time but created many works of art here!
Now that I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, the contents of my packed car for the trip up to the Cape has changed. Cameras, tripods, boxes of film have been replaced with toys, car seats and diapers. I can no longer spend sunrise to breakfast time and late afternoon to sunset walking the Cape with my 4 tons of equipment photographing what I see. Nor can I spend the entire day on the beach watching the water, starring at the horizon and thinking about whatever. But in a way, something more important is happening. I hope that the sense of awe that I have for lower Cape Cod, starting with my first trip when I was 3 or 4 will be passed on to my kids. Having them see seals and humpback whales in the wild will hopefully impact their view of nature and the environment the way it has for me. Whether its the sand bars, the beached squid or the whales, one minute its here and the next it can be gone; its fragile. Passing this along to them is more important and longer lasting than a photograph the I miss because of them!
Back in the day, when Time Out New York just started out, I used to photograph for them a few time a month. One of the assignments that I had was to photograph new restaurants that were opening in the city to accompany a review. So I got to go around NYC and photograph the chef, their food and then have a great meal for FREE. Some restaurants survived, others didn’t. But I did and I got to meet and photograph some of the great chefs we know today such as Mario Batali, Jean George and Lidia Bastianich.
I also had to shoot a few photo illustrations that were a bit more loose. One of my favorites was a piece entitled, EYES ON THE FRIES. My brother, Ian Saladyga, played the role as the EYES:
Well a few weeks ago, I had to dig out my bag of food photography skills and photograph a menu for a new restaurant that is opening in Washington DC called Banh-Mi. The shoot took place in NYC at the owners amazing apartment in the lower east side. We shot about 25 different dishes and individual plates, and just like back in the day, I got to eat some amazing food! If you never had a Vietnamese sandwich, they made the best that I have tasted. Below are a few of the pics.
I am excited to announce that one of my photographs has been selected to be part of a group exhibition at the Silvermine Art Center. The title of the show is “Crossroads.” Here is an except from the prospectus for the show: “As a metaphor, ” to be at a crossroads,” refers to any turning point with an unpredictable outcome (the literal meaning of a crisis).”
The photograph of mine that is in the show is entitled “Caos” 2010 and is part of an ongoing project titled “Balance.”
With the world’s attention on the human impact on the earth, is it not relevant to directly include the human form in contemporary landscape photography? If the earth’s ultimate survival now relies on human intervention to prevent it from becoming a lifeless world, shouldn’t today’s artist reflect that thought? This image is part of a series that attempts to answer these questions. We are now at a “Crossroads or a tipping point, were if we do not begin to change what we are doing, their may be no turning back. This photograph represents this point. How much energy does it take to move, keep warm or simply to communicate?
Dr. Tracy Fitzpatrick was invited to be the guest juror for this show. She is a curator at the Neuberger Museum of Art and an assistant professor in art history in the undergraduate program and the Masters Degree Program in Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism and Theory at Purchase College.
The opening reception is Sunday July 31, 2011 from 2pm to 4pm at the Silvermine Guild Gallery.
I hope to see you there!
Last week, I was photographing a 60th Surprise B’day party in an amazing apartment in the city. After the big surprise, the guest were to head up the stairs to a wrap around deck about 50 flights up in the air for diner. Just before the party was to begin, while I was shooting some decor photographs on the deck, we noticed a rainstorm over NJ which looked like it was heading north.
After assuring the event planner, Gallia Batt of Food Design, that it looked like the storm was heading north, I finished photographing the decor and headed inside to photograph the guest arriving. About 30 minutes into the party, the beautiful view outside the window disappeared into white oblivion and torrential rain came down. Needless to say the outside party was not going to happen.
After the big surprise, I noticed out that same window that a rainbow was in the sky. From that point of view, it looked like an everyday nice rainbow that you see a few times a year. Even though I thought it was not spectacular, I headed back to the deck to take a photo for the clients. Once up there my jaw dropped. It was a full rainbow, I mean a double rainbow, start to finish over Queens. It did not look real! The photo below says it all:
If you have been following me on Twitter, you know that my shooting partner, Jordan Matter and I photographed the 2012 Women’s Olympic Crew Team for a fundraising Calendar. I could not have written a better behind the scenes account than what Jordan wrote on his blog. So with a quick cut and paste here it is:
25 Beautiful Women and 2 Frantic Photographers- How We Photographed an Olympic Calendar in One Day
Months ago I was contacted by the US Women’s Rowing Team to photograph their 2012 Olympic calendar. I immediately called my partner, Jeremy Saladyga, whose gifts for lighting and visual concepts never cease to amaze me. We envisioned black and white portraits highlighting the women’s strength and athleticism. We also knew we had to take photographs of the women in action on the water, which of course had to be at sunrise. This was going to be a long day.
The day before the shoot we traveled to the US Rowing training facility in Princeton, NJ. I dragged Jeremy kicking and screaming to a couple of Dancers Among Us shoots, and then we were off to meet the team. They welcomed us with a lavish BBQ, which very well may have been the most intimidating meal of my life. We were surrounded by disarmingly nice and extremely athletic women over 6 feet tall.
After the welcoming meal, we headed over to the team’s weight room to set up the backdrop and lights for the next day’s portraits. We requested a model to test out the lighting- they sent us Olympic gold medalist and cover girl Susan Francia.
ON THE WATER
We headed back to the hotel for a few hours sleep, but instead we tossed around ideas late into the night. The schedule for the shoot was nearly impossible. We had only two hours on the water, and we had 6-8 shots we wanted to get. That meant a photo every 15 minutes, including travel time. Much of the calendar will likely be these rowing shots, and we needed at least a day to get it right. Instead, we had two hours. Jeremy and I were each on a boat with a bullhorn. We were shouting directions to try and coordinate and photograph eight teams, while also making sure we didn’t get in each other’s way.
Photos by Sabine Pallat
Somehow it all came together. Before the sun rose over the bridge at 5:00am, a stunning orange hue lit up the sky. We screamed, “Someone grab a boat and get in the water. This is our light!” It was go time.
The shoot was incredible! The women were extremely efficient, the water was wonderfully calm, and the light was absolutely beautiful. Our greatest success was that neither Jeremy nor I fell into the river. We were a little behind schedule, but we got all the shots we hoped for, and even some we hadn’t anticipated.
We rushed off the water and headed to the studio. As we arrived, three women were in place and ready to be photographed. Several more were finishing makeup. And this was just the first group. I finally understood the expression, “out of the pot and into the fire”.
When we discussed the studio schedule with the crew team the week before, we laid down the law! “We absolutely cannot shoot more than 15 women. That is the very maximum. We have to light each woman individually, come up with a concept and pose, make sure their hair and makeup look great, and direct them in front of the camera. The process can take a long time to get it right. We prefer only 10 women, but 15 is the max.”
They scheduled all 25 women.We rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
Some photos came together organically and others had to be constructed. Many of the women have won medals in past Olympics, and we insisted on including them in the photographs. We wanted each woman’s portrait to be unique, and it became increasingly more difficult to come up with a new concept every time. Often the women would aid us with suggestions.
“Show them how high you can jump.”
“Look at the muscles in her back.”
“She can do more push-ups than both of you combined.”
25 women and seven hours later, we shot our last portrait. We are proud of each one. I am thankful they scheduled everyone and forced us out of our comfort zone. After all, they know something about pushing beyond your limitations.
The day was exhilarating and exhausting. We rarely stopped shooting from the moment the sun rose. We were surrounded by athletes at the very top of their profession, and we were determined to rise to their level. It was as close to the Olympics as we will ever get, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
Hope to see you there!
Silvermine Guild Art Center’s most recognized juried competition, Art of the Northeast, is opening on April 16th and goes until June 3rd and I am happy to announce that one of my photographs has been selected to be in the show.
This years juror is Tom Eccles who is the Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
My photograph was selected from thousands of all different types of media from the Northeast (from PA to ME).
Here is the image that was selected:
I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to participate in a group show at the Artplace Gallery in Fairfield, Ct. It is titled “Guy Show.”
Here are the curators own words describing the exhibition:
“We selected these ten artists for their professionalism, clarity of vision as well as their ability to move beyond limits set by traditional art,” says Gerald Saladyga, who is curating and organizing the exhibit. Saladyga is a member of ArtPlace and has curated exhibits on religious art, art and AIDS and redefining “landscape” in art. He notes that The Guy Show is not about “male issues” but about the direction male artists are now moving in.
And yes, the curator is my father, Gerald Saladyga.
The show runs from Feb 1, 2011 to Feb 26, 2011.
Here is one of the four images in the show.
I am please to announce that I was invited to be a part of the group exhibition “Artist as Curator” at the Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven, Ct. The opening will be on July 11, 2010 at 3 pm. An artist talk will begin right at 3pm. The group show includes 22 artists working in various mediums. I will be showing 2 photographs from my new body of work entitled “Balance.” One of the two images that are being shown is posted below. The show will run from July 1 to August 8th. I hope to see you there!
This weekend, January 8-10, 2010, I am participating in a group show in Bedford, NY. The Bedford Art Show, in its 37th year, will be taking place at the St. Mathews Foundation Room. Over 30 local artist including, Leslie Giuliani and Torrance York who are both members of Silvermine Guild of Artist, will be participating. Some of the proceeds from the sale of work at the show will be going to 12 local charities which include, The Abbot House, The Bedford Hills Correctional Facility Children’s Center, The Caring Circle of Hospice Care and Hopes Door.
Each artist will be showing two framed works that are priced under $1000 and up to 25 matted portfolio pieces which should priced considerably less. I am showing two framed photographs, seen below, plus 5 8×10 matted prints from my Sky/Sea series (priced at $200 each) and 5 6″x9″ prints ($150 each) from a yet to be titled series in which the below photographs belong to.
The address is 382 Cantitoe Street, Bedford, NY and the hours are Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from noon till 4pm. Also, on Friday night their is a Champagne Preview Party from 6:30 to 9pm. The price/contribution for the preview part will be a minimum of $125 per person and it will be collected at the door.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or Leslie Henshaw at 914.234.3694 or email email@example.com
Hope to see you there!