Were I a polygamist, I'd wish to marry all these women.
In the year 2000, accompaniwed by Anne Adams Helms (daughter of Ansel Adams) and husband Ken, my wife and I spent a weekend in the Oxford home of Dr. Mike Weaver and his wife, Dr. Anne Hammond. At the time, Dr. Hammond had just completed her D. Phil. dissertation, a work on Ansel Adams, later published by Princeton University Press as Ansel Adams: Divine Performance. As a Professorial Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford Universitry, Mike has had a most dfistinguished career, teaching literature, film and photographic history.
Scholar, Intellectual, Humanitarian, Karine is also the great love of my life. This image was done recently, in May, 2020, to celebrate her 76th birthday.
Many years ago, my insightful primary care physician, Dr. Michael Smith, said very wise words: “We doctors know very little about nutrition, so I’m going to refer you to a wonderful nutritionist. Her name is Laura Knoff. I owe them both. When I first went to consult Laura, I was in really poor condition. Tests showed that my vitamin and mineral reserves were at a pathetically poor level. I also turned out to be resistant to dairy and gluten. Within a few months, there was a noticeable turnaround. Laura also gave me really wonderful advice on fats.
For all the years that I've taught photography, had my work exhibited and published, I've been followed by someone who has been both compimentary and naive, saying "I love your work. What kind of camera do you use?" My usual response is to say "Imagine saying something similar to a novelist. "Loved your book. What kind of word processing program did you use?" I'd like to reassure my wonderful women friends that such a statement is invariably uttered by a man. So here at long last is my answer. Good luck.
As a little boy walking on an Indian Ocean beach more that 70 years ago, I was told that if I held a larger concave seashell to my ear, I would hear the sound of the ocean. Unsurprisingly, I did, though I might have had the same effect from holding any vessel to my ear while strolling at the edge of the waves. Later, when a friend acquired a violin, I wondered whether the music played on that instrument would so permeate its being, that careful listening could detect those distant sounds.
Karine came into my life over 32 years ago. She brought along her great intellect, a sense of humor and a deepy loving heart. We have a quite wonderful marriage. I live every day with the person I love and admire most.
About Five years ago I received an email message, commenting favorably on one of my articles, from Paul Sanders, former Picture Editor of The London Times. He also sent a link to his friend, Valda Bailey, who also wrote. For these past five years, Valda and I have been corresponding frequently and deeply about art and life, ambitions, family, travel, culture and just about everything else. This correspondence has been an important part of my life, and letters from Valda are always an occasion.
Our friend Vasudha Dalmia, pictured in front of a statuette of Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, art and music. The background is my photograph of the sheesh mahal (hall of mirrors) in the great fort of Amber, Rajasthan. See following portrait for bio information on the sitter.
Vasudha Dalmia was born into a family of major Indian industrialists. Having decided to be a scholar of literature and drama, she received her doctorate at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. She arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area to take up the position of Chair of the Department of South and Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. During her years in Berkeley, she was a frequent guest in our home, having so much in common with my India scholar wife Karine.
Our dear friend Annie (Dr. Anne Hammond) came to visit from her Oxford home. She is a literary and art scholar married to another, Dr. Mike Weaver, Senior Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford University. At one time they were joint editors of the academic journal, History of Photography. I had the privilege of reading Annie's D. Phil (Oxon) dissertation: Ansel Adams: Divine Performance shortly before her graduation. Annie brought us a gift, a beautiful recording of Bach's Mass In B Minor conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
I’ve had a difficult health history, but I’ve also had remarkable physicians. My primary care doc for over thirty years was the remarkable Michael A. Smith, MD, whose wide-ranging understanding of health through many cultural-scientific perspectives not only helped me, but also led to significant referrals. One of those was to Nephrologist Robert Doud, MD, whose knowledge is greatly complemented with the caring he displays to his patients. Seeing Bob is always an occasion for the pleasure of connection.
Here's the story. Karine and I live in Paris. Our friends, the Wrights of California, call to let us know that their daughter wants to visit. Shortly afterwards, the magnificent Gina arrives and becomes my model. One day, walking under the sructure of the Eiffel Tower, I see the picture I want to craft. The year is 1925.
For the 32 years since we met, she has been the love of my life, my intellectual partner, my dance partner, my teacher for relating well to all those we encounter. I love her graceful physicality, the sweet kindness of her temperament, her generosity of spirit, her laughter and her hugs. I love the sound of her voice, as well as the content of her speech. Is it possible to love to infinity and beyond? I do.
My neighbor Neel comes by every once in a while to help me solve often intractable problems.
James Rehmus, MD and his oncologist wife, Esther, were participants in a National Geographic Tour of Rajasthan led by Karine and me. Jim was also kind enough to write the Foreword to my book Light And Recovery: Vaulting The Walls. He left the practice of medicine to become a painter, and that's how I chose to represent him.
The poet is my friend Lindy Hough. whose last anthology was titled Wild Horses, Wild Dreams. A word on iconography: I placed her head in the clouds; shaded the right portion of her head in monochrome, to suggest the perfect darkroom of the cranial chamber where great ideas are born, here represented by a colorful image of the right hemisphere of her brain, and the rare, beautiful orchids of her work.
"Emergence of Woman is a triumph!  The layers of history and natural history (texture of stone, classical edifice, dream-coloured leaves) and the two ‘views’ of the main subject, seeing and being seen, make this an image of past ‘emerging’ into the present.  With the figure looking out through a screen of bubbles (that are so instantaneous!), constantly on the edge, the pure water-tension, of dissolving into mist."  - Anne Hammond, D. Phil. (Oxon)  
Richard Goldstone and I were students at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He in Law, I in Politics. He later became the Chief Prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, before being appointed a Justice in the South African Constitutionnal Court by President Nelson Mandela. The portrait of him was originally made when he and his wife came to visit my wife and me in our home in California.
After a weeks-long hiatus on the nether reaches of the creative cycle, I seem to be emerging once more.
A Bay Area resident, Gina is pictured here in San Francisco's Mission District, known for its public murals. For more on the model, see the following image in the Portraits Gallery, "Gina In Africa."   
By lovely chance, Gina came into my life and volunteered to be my honorary granddaughter. I was happy to accept. Gina is elegant, talented, intellectually curious, enthusiastic, and exudes affection. I decided to portray this UC-Berkeley undergraduate against a rendering of the  warmth of the African landscape, which I remembered from my youth.
Taking a solarized image of the harp of her piano, separately titled "Synesthesia," I superimposed a partially translucent image of my friend Anne Adams Helms sitting at the piano, trying to decide which music to play.
Read THE GREAT INDOORS  https://medium.com/click-the-shutter/the-great-indoors-b893e207286c
My friend Miriam in her hundredth year.
My Niece Thaileah acting a part with the image of a street in Nazareth as the background. I had made that image of Nazareth as a teenager, almost sixty years ago. The contrast between the ancient grey stones and a young, blue-eyed, blond woman in a red scarf were an irresistable combination.
To this image of myself and my designs, I've added a portrait of my mother, made when she was 19, on the verge of leaving Latvia for a life in South Africa, where I was born. Here she is portrayed looking through the "yolk" of an elongated "egg" toward her son, her only fertilized egg.