PictureJULY 17, 2015
Friday, July 17, 2015
5:00 - 9:00 PM

Drinks start at 5:00
Burgers on the grill about 6:00
Orioles@Tigers on 5 screens at 7:05 PM
at The Palisades VIP Lounge  |  5th floor
212 Washington Ave  |  Towson, MD  21204

Let me know how you like your burgers by sending the form below.

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PictureMatt (2015)
My friend, Matt, asked me take a photo of him for his LinkedIn profile. Naturally, as I do with every project I know too much about, I turned it into a major production.

I've worked with Matt since 2012. He is a smart guy in his early 20s, New York Italian, who's good at soccer and likes to travel, and he recently started a LinkedIn account.  He's never been too interested in social media, and I don't blame him. He knows what he likes, and posting photos of lunch every day is not part of his routine.  But, he has reached an age, and a level of career advancement, where he recognized the drawback of not being in control of his own online presence.  So, he asked for my help.

Declaring a disdain for social media does not make someone immune from the negative effects of not having an online profile.  Matt works directly with clients every day. He regularly meets new clients, or their staff, on site or online. Those people are using social media platforms to learn about my friend.  When Matt leaves their office, ends a call, or responds to an email, the person he was helping is going online to find out who they are working with.  

The absence of any content says as much about a person as any messages or photos that are posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the rest. An online profile shows others that you are connected. For those of us who have a few decades of experience on Matt, it's the equivalent of having a number listed in the phone book.  It adds legitimacy.  And these days, people expect to see a picture of your face--preferably with a gentle smile.  Posting a proper profile photo is as important as putting on a clean shirt and matching socks before going to work.  It doesn't have to be fancy or elaborate. It doesn't even have to be expensive. It just has to look decent--like you took a bit of time to do it right.You wouldn't go to work without brushing your hair or tucking in your shirt, so don't post a selfie for your profile photo.

So, I offer the gallery below as "The Seven Faces of My Friend, Matt." These are my creative vision of how I see Matt, and my photographic interpretation of how he appears to me, and to others.  The first one is the darkest, but it's not dark. I see it more as thoughtful and somber. I added a soft glow to the image.  It's the kind of photo that he might use as the author's photo on the inside cover of a book jacket. He has shared a book idea with me, but I won't reveal anything here.  The second one, top right, is more serious. I used a high key treatment. Except for his brown eyes, I brightened all the dark areas, but retained a high contrast. I could see this used for his corporate head shot when he is running his own company. Nobody at his firm will wearing ties.  The next one, second row down, left, is the happy, bright blue shot.  Like most people, Matt has an unnatural smile when he knows he's being watched, or photographed.  So, for this shot, I had just told him to scratch something...private.  CLICK.  I got the shot.  This shot is of the Matt I know telling jokes around the office.  Next, second row, right, is a wide shot. This is how Matt would look on the big screen, in a movie about a team of young engineers who are working fast to save the world from destruction, and Matt is showing the calm confidence of an effective team leader who knows they will succeed. The next shot, third down, left, is how Matt would look as your professor in the computer science lab at MIT or Stanford. He is friendly and confident, but just a bit uneasy about whether or not everybody realizes that he is the youngest one in the department and wonders if he belongs there.  He does.

The last two, the square ones, are formatted for his LinkedIn profile. I created the black and white version as an artistic alternative to the standard color head shot.  I also like this one because it most reminds me of how Matt looks like Derek Jeter.  Well, maybe he doesn't look a lot like Jeter, but it's just all the discussions about Jeter and the Yankees that make me think of that.  This is the face of a guy who has never known what it feels like to have his team out of the playoffs for three years in a row.  This is the face of New York confidence.  

And the last shot, the square one in color, is how you will see Matt online. It's how I see him every week: bright eyes, wry smile, scruffy chin, and looking straight at you.  This photo does what a profile photo is supposed to do. It shows people what you look like if they were to meet you in person on a regular day.  It's not when you are dressed up for a special occasion and it's not when you are on vacation enjoying drinks by the pool.  So, I extend my gratitude to Matt for allowing me to share these photos, and my thoughts, with you.  If I have honored Matt, and embarrassed him a little, then I consider this project a success.

If you need a new profile image for LinkedIn, or any of the other sites, please ask me.  It takes only a few minutes, but it's time well spent.

The 5th clue in the 2015 FREE PHOTO contest is "L"

The second letter of the 2015 FREE PRINT contest is "L"
After I delivered my jury selection questionnaire form to the Baltimore County courthouse, I noticed that the monument to the Baltimore County police was in a direct line with my building.  That Maryland flag is almost directly where my bedroom is.

So, I returned to the courthouse plaza the next day at sunset for some photos.  I love the architecture of my building and I think the brickwork looks particularly appealing at sunset.

I offer these photos not as architecture photography, but rather as my artistic interpretation of a building I enjoy looking at. I made these photos to reflect my vision of line and color. I emphasized the shadows, which are strong at sunset.

Location is also a strong element in these images. I placed the building within the context of an urban community. The police monument represents the connection to local government. The parking garage represents the concentration of population. The street lam represents the pedestrian qualities of the neighborhood. The small house in front of the glass office building (reflecting the image of the Palisades) shows the evolution of the community over time. 
PictureHarley-Davidson motorcycle parked in the Overbrook neighborhood of Philadelphia.
I'm trying something new this week. If you buy this photograph, I will throw in a new Harley-Davidson coffee table photo book, for FREE, as a special thank-you.  

Harley-Davidson, by Pascal Szymezak.

I have two reasons for making this special offer, so please tell me if either reason appeals to you.  

First, I want to see if a FREE BOOK giveaway works as an incentive to sell my photograph of this motorcycle.  I don't question the quality of this image. It's gorgeous.  But, this promotion might be useful to get more people to even notice that it is available.

Second, I think having a book to match the photograph will add enjoyment to both of them.  The photograph is something to be enjoyed daily, from across the room, or in passing while doing other things.  The book is to be enjoyed in-depth, while seated and comfortable.

If you would like the FREE BOOK with the purchase of this photograph, send me a message with the type of print you would like to order.  CLAIM YOUR FREE BOOK

24" X 36" frame, under glass, with double mat

LARGE PRINT                        $35
17" X 25"   (specify luster or metallic paper)

MEDIUM PRINT                      $25
13" x 19"  (luster only)


FREE 2-DAY Delivery in Baltimore-Metro area.
Philly/DC/Wlimington/Harrisburg:  $20 delivery

Outside of mid-Atlantic region, send me your ZIP Code for a shipping quote.

Head shots are a specific style of portrait photography.  I have made plenty of portraits, but I haven't done formal head shots for a working actor.  There are 24 images here. Can you tell which ones are mine?

I selected, cropped, and edited all of these images, so they represent my collective vision of making head shots.  But, 10 of these images are not my original photographs. They are stock photos, which I licensed to use for this project.  Can you tell which ones are mine?  

I am offering head shots to 12 people for a $15 sitting fee--and that includes BRUNCH. A set of head shots should not cost you several hundred dollars.  My mission as a photographer is to make high-quality photography available to everybody. 

I am an excellent photographer, and I have a gift for capturing wonderful expressions in people's faces.  But, head shots are a new addition to my business, so I am making this offer at a price that just covers my expenses.  I will create your head shots at a high level of quality worthy of any New York theater or LA studio casting call.

The tentative plan is to hold the photo sessions at my building in Towson on a Saturday morning from 10 AM - 1 PM.  Each session will be 15 minutes. I will be set up for both indoor and outdoor poses and I will take as many shots as we can fit in 15 minutes.  

Sitting fee and light brunch:    $15

Processing and digital delivery of proofs (4 poses minimum):    $10

Hi-res digital images ready for printing:    $25

8x10 prints (satin/gloss/luster): $5 each or a set of 10 for $35

16x20 prints: $15 each or a set of 4 for $50

5.5x8.5 Promo cards/z card
editing/layout/proof delivery: $30
Set of 25 cards:               $12/set

DELUXE PACKAGE         $149
(SAVE 20%)
-photo shoot
-hi-res digital images
-8x10 prints (set of 10)
-16x20 prints (1 each of 4 poses)
-promo cards (set of 50)

So, if you would like to reserve one of the 12 available spots, let me know.  

BONUS: The first 3 people to pay in advance via PayPal get the DELUXE PACKAGE for ONLY $129.
Picture30% OFF All Existing !nventory

FREE DELIVERY to Baltimore /Phila/DC/Harrisburg/Frederick

Holiday Delivery in MD/DC/VA/DE by December 24

Framed photographs at 24x36 and 24x30 ready for hanging in your home or office.

$175 TOTAL includes tax and delivery of existing inventory
Email: danielroz@yahoo.com    Phone:  443.824.4644
$75 OFF (reg. $250)  |  payment via PayPal or cc

PictureThe Maryland Youth Football state championship game for 10U
I don't presume to be a sports photographer. And, I don't have plans to become one.  But, I chose this picture as an example of my artistic vision when I do photograph sports.  My son, Joshua, is #90 on the red team. He is in the middle and has the blue sleeves.  So, I took my good camera (Sony A550) and my long lens (70-300mm Sony G) and went to the game.  I found myself spending more time and attention framing shots than I did actually paying attention to, and enjoying, the game.  It was actually a rather exciting game.

But, for me, the work began the next day when I loaded all the shots into the computer to discover what I had captured.  Unlike a skilled sports photographer, I took many wide shots in the hope of capturing something interesting in the frame.  And, I saw that I had a lot to work with. For each of the shots in the slideshow below, much of the work for me was in cropping the image to focus on a particular aspect of the game.  In the first shot above, I did not like that the referee in the top right corner is cut off. I would have preferred the cut him out all together, to focus only on the players.  But, the boy just below that referee adds visual interest and also proportional balance to the image, so I cropped the referee to reveal just his hands, which I thought looked good. Cropping at that horizontal line also emphasizes the 40-yard-line at the top edge of the shot.  With Photoshop, I could have cloned out such an unwanted element. But, personally, I don't care for Photoshop. It's far too complicated for what I need.  I've got nothing against heavy alterations, though. I just do so with Adobe Lightroom, which isn't as good at removing objects like a person.  But, overall, I use the cropping to tell a story with the photo, which is different from most sports photography, which usually has a documentary purpose.

After I cropped the image to reveal a story, I made artistic decisions about how to enhance each photo.  For this slideshow, I intentionally created a variety of enhancements, because these photos will be shared with family and friends who have an interest in the game.  I've got my plans to sell these as fine art photography. However, there are a few in the set that have potential.  For this picture above, I just printed it on metallic photo paper at 8.5 x 11 and it looks great.  I could easily print it larger, at 16 x 20, and any parent with a son in that group would enjoy having a copy to frame and display.  Some of the shots in this set are intended as nothing more than documenting parts of the game, such as the opening coin toss and the team group photo at the end of the game.  But, even when documenting a sporting event, I make an effort to create a work of art.  One example is the vertical shot of the 4th-down play.  Yes, they were successful on the conversion. But, for artistic reasons, I like how the 10-yard-line divides the frame vertically and the down marker fills the bottom-third, the referee fills the middle-third, and the players fill the top-third, thus following the rule-of-thirds. I enhanced the contrast on some shots and played with the color saturation on others. I game some a soft look and others got extra sharpening, depending on the mood of the image.  I hope that, as a group, you find them to be artistically interesting and pleasant to look at, even if your son wasn't playing in the game.

Joshua's team, the Bel Air Terps, lost to the Huntingtown Canes with a final score of 14-13. I particularly like the shot of the scoreboard showing the final score and the girl in the white jacket leaning over the railing.  I don't know which team she was supporting, but that ambiguity is part of the story of that shot.  The photo shows a close score and the people at the railing could be either happy or disappointed.  It works either way.

PictureSt Louis Clarksville, MD
This image from St. Louis in Clarksville, MD, is one more for my series on Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

I chose this image because it is so distinctive.  For this series, I choose photographs for each church that represent a balance of artistic beauty with distinctive documentation. 

I have a special interest in St Louis church because it is the location of my first participation at mass as an adult Catholic.  That was in 1991, but this picture shows the newest building, which was built in 2006.  It represents contemporary design and architecture at the beginning of the 21st century.  I composed this image to make it immediately obvious that it was a contemporary church. Also, these distinctive lines should be easily recognized by any regular parishioner at St Louis Church.

PictureGeese on the soccer field at St Louis School in Clarksville, MD
So, how can this photograph protect you from the Ebola virus?  It can't. Seriously, you thought I was going to tell you some magic cure?!?  This blog is about photography.  If you keep reading, however, I will tell you about vernacular photography.

Much of my work can be described as vernacular photography.  And, in my case, the vernacular subject is life in suburban America in the early 21st century.  I make photographs of familiar, common, everyday buildings, people, and scenes.  In my photographs, you will see things that you immediately recognize as familiar.  But, as works of art, I include elements that will inspire you to continue examining the picture and to start asking questions.  Where is that? How did you get that? Or, they might inspire you to retrieve a memory and share a story of your own.  "This reminds of the time I...."  "Oh, I remember when we went there."  "That looks just like the one near my house."  My photographs capture the vernacular of suburban America, as differentiated from rural life, urban life, or life in other countries.

In the case of this photograph, the row of expensive custom homes (in Clarksville, MD) behind the soccer field is probably immediately familiar.  If you live in the Mid-Atlantic region, you might not even notice that this style of architecture is different from styles common in New England or the Southwest.  And, you probably immediately recognize the soccer (or lacrosse, or field hockey) nets.  Even though you can't see buildings besides the houses, you probably automatically assume that I was standing near a school or rec center when I captured this shot.  Yes, it was a school.  

But then, you notice there is a line of Canadian geese across the midline of the image.  Again, if you are from the mid-Atlantic region, this scene is not surprising to you at all.  Combined with the color of the leaves on the large tree to the right, you recognize the season as Fall.  The geese are stopping to rest on their way south for the winter and a soccer field provides a welcome landing zone.

This photograph also represents some of my favorite artistic elements. I like the symmetry of both color and space in the way the blue sky balances the green field.  I appreciate the perfection of the horizontal horizon of the tree line that separates the field from the homes in the background.  I use a tool in Lightroom that allows me to draw a straight line along that edge and it rotates the image as necessary to make that line the perfect 0-degree horizontal.  But, too balanced would be boring.  The soccer nets follow the rule-of thirds for composition.  They fill the right third section of the image, while the center and the left are open.  That un-balance is also supported by the two large trees to right of center, while there is only one large one to the left of center.

To introduce the story to this image, the geese are present in the line across the center.  Geese are not normally on an athletic field. They are common during certain times of the year, of course.  But, this image would be less interesting if there was a group of kids playing soccer.  You would expect to see kids playing soccer.  There are millions of photos posted on the internet showing kids playing soccer.  Not as many of geese.  And, what I believe is also the artistic element of this photograph is that the overall presentation of the image uses the lines, colors, and placement to create a beautiful picture that keeps you interested because it is familiar, but still a bit new at the same time.

Vernacular photography was a specialty Walker Evans.  He captured images of life during the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration (FSA).  

PictureEighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
This weekend, I return to my ongoing project of creating a coffee table photography book to document every Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Today, I share my work from St. Andrew by the Bay in Annapolis, MD. 
This project presents me with a challenge of balancing competing priorities.  I want the photos to be beautiful decoration, creative art, representative documents, and religiously faithful.  Most important is the balance between fine art and documentary photography.  I want this book to serve as a reference for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which is the oldest in the United Sates.  Such a reference does not exist.  I want to document the status of the Catholic Church in the United States early in the 21st century. I envision a reference that would be valued by churches as well as secular libraries.  But, I also need the photographs to be beautiful and artistically creative.  Achieving this balance means that I need to makes a few concessions at both ends.  The images can be neither overly religious nor completely secular.  
For example, notice image #2 below of the bench.  I would guess that most non-religious people would see this as a row of park benches.  However, member of this parish, and possibly a few other Catholics, would recognize these benches as pew for an outdoor chapel. And, if they look closely, they will see the stones between the pews that mark the Stations of the Cross, a common feature in Catholic churches.
At the other extreme is the photo above, which is a close up of the Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.  Catholics will immediately recognize this iconic feature.  However, I created this photograph with artistic elements to appeal to a broad audience.  I created a steep angle of view from below, as if a child was looking up.  Most adults (taller than 5 ft) would not regularly see from this angle. I also reduced the color saturation and enhanced the sharpness to allow the viewer to attend to the details of wood-carving marks on the statues.  I also adjusted the light to emphasize the shadows created on the wall.  I find it appealing to notice the difference in textures between the wood and the shadows.  These artistic elements would apply to a photograph of any sculpture and are not specific to Catholicism.
A few of the images below represent another balance between art, documentation, and faith.  For the interior shots, I applied a treatment of high-dynamic-range (HDR), which is common practice in current real estate photography.  This treatment eliminates most of the interior shadows and enhances the colors of all of the elements in the photograph. So, I created beautiful images that capture the architectural qualities, but I also included specific elements of a Catholic church, such as the altar, crucifix, and apse in image #4 below. Image #6 below is especially representative of my own artistic preference for balance and symmetry in showing the aisle leading out to the narthex.  This view is well-known by Catholics, and welcomed with anticipation after a particularly uninspiring homily.  
I also chose to capture images with people included. Doing so creates an artistic challenge because I can't have the people recognizable without getting a signed photo release form.  I had a cute shot of a little girl by the outdoor altar but I chose this one of the curly-haired boy because you can't see his face.  The black and white image of the outdoor altar shows the activity of parents delivering their children for morning preschool, but their faces are sufficiently obscured.  I also chose this subdued color treatment, as well as black and white for the baptistery, as a way to add visual variation to this set of images.  As a group, I don't want them to appear too similar to each other.  
So, I hope I have achieved my intended balance of decoration, art, documentation, and faith.  And, I would like to give special thanks to Marie, who opened the church for me and turned on the lights.