All posts in Photography

Travel Photos 1998 – 2010

I’ve traveled a fair amount while shooting documentaries. Here are some photos I took along the way.

“Good Night, Margaret”

“Good Night, Margaret”
By Rick Gershon and Catherine Spangler

When Margaret “Muffi” Lavigne and Chris Plum, both with muscular dystrophy, met at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Conn., their lives took an unexpected turn.

Chris and I have been friends since high school, and I contributed FOUR shots to this beautiful film, from Muffi and Chris’s wedding last October.


Here are a few anaglyphic 3D photos from the Erie Canal, Joshua Tree National Park, and the woods in Connecticut — so break out your red and cyan glasses.

I took them with a normal single-lens camera, which is surprisingly simple with stationary subjects. To do it:

1 – Take the left frame, then lean right about 2-3 inches and take the right frame. This works for something that’s at least 6 feet away — if closer, make the distance between the frames smaller.
2 – In photo editing software, desaturate both images (keeping them in RGB mode), then copy the first (left) image and paste it into the red channel of the second (right) frame. Sometimes it works to keep the images in color, especially if there are mostly greens and yellows, but classic black-and-white gives better results.
3 – Turn on visibility for all channels, but keeping only the red channel selected, move it to align the section of both images that you want to appear at screen-distance.
4 – Crop the edge where there’s no overlap, and selecting all channels, adjust the brightness-contrast / levels / curves so it looks good while wearing dark 3D glasses.

Viola — 3D! There’s also a free program called “Stereo Photo Maker” that DIY Stereoscopic Makers swear by, although I’ve never used it: Requires Windows.

For more do-it-yourself 3D, check out Eric Kurland’s site.

Soho From Postworks

I just wrapped an editing job at Postworks in Manhattan. When I was there last year at this time, my edit bay had a dramatic view of Soho and Tribeca.

Monkey Picture of the Day – Dispatches from Dharamsala

[The following posts were written in Dharamsala, India, in Feburary, 2007, while shooting Tibet in Song.]

Hello from India

Hello from India. I’ll write more when I get a chance, but here are a few pictures in the mean time.

1. My room at the guest house in the middle of town. It’s the door on the left. It’s a rooftop room.

2. The view from the rooftop outside my room, with part of town on the left and below, and mountains above.

3. The monkey that wouldn’t let me get my pants down from the clothes line one morning.

4. A monkey mom and baby (you can only see its hand).

5. Beware of Dog, also in Tibetan.

6. a view of mountains from the pine forest where I took a walk yesterday.

The town is McLeod Ganj, the upper part of Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama.

More Photos

Hello, All

More photos from McLeod Ganj.

1. The street outside the guest house, which is one of the main streets in town.

2. Two streets going up and east from the taxi/bus area at the top of the street. It’s Tipa Road and Bhagsu Road, for those with a map.

3. Tibetan woman hanging laundry to dry.

4. St. John’s in the Wilderness Episcopal Church, est. 1852, about 1km or so down the hill from town. I went there to check out their bell. It’s a Mears & Stainbank (aka Whitechapel), 1915, with the inscription “SOLDIERS OF CHRIST, ARISE / AND PUT YOUR ARMOUR ON.” The bell was in a cage on ground level, as it had been stolen once, and had no clapper for ringing. Meanwhile, I could hear the Buddhists blowing horns at the Dalai Lama’s temple on the next ridge over.

5. Monkey picture of the day. They stole our oranges.

Dogs on the Roof

Today’s Monkey Picture features something I haven’t quite figured out: Dogs on the Roof. These dogs live on this roof, and I’m not sure what scraps they expect to find when sniffing around. In case I hadn’t mentioned, dogs bark thoughout town 24 hours a day.

Monkey Mountain


Today’s picture features dramatic light. Monkey is at bottom of frame. Actually, I took this picture earlier, during a very brief moment of sunshine. It’s been completely cloudy and cold since then.

Monkeys in the Mist

Still raining. Less cold. Monkey pictures.

1. This is at the Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts (TIPA). There are two monkeys in this picture. Find them if you can.

2. Wet monkey

3. Moving monkey

4. Dry monkey

5. Clouds clearing out of the valley for about an hour around sunset. Then more rain. Yellow buildings at the far top left of the picture are TIPA as seen from the center of town.

6. Answer to picture #1.

Into the Woods

The rain cleared yesterday morning, and I had a chance to take a walk through the woods above town. Monkeys abound. There were times when I was surrounded by a dozen of them, and didn’t stop to take a picture. I had been warned that they’ll attack. It felt ominously Wizard of Oz. They weren’t bothered as long as I kept walking, but I don’t think they like cameras. In any case, I got a few close up shots. That accomplished, I’ll now limit monkey pictures to the extraordinary. I’m not sure how I can capture them swinging rooftop to rooftop Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon style with my camera. It’s amazing. I’ll see what I can do.

In other news, Tibetan New Year (Losar) is on Sunday, so kids are setting off firecrackers all over the place. It’s insane. I don’t mean insane like “crazy and festive,” but insane like “not sane.” They buy explosives, light them, and they blow up right in the middle of the busy, narrow street. Some launch sparks all over the place, and some go BOOM. I’ve been too busy plugging my ears to get any photos of that. I’ll see what I can do.

today’s photos:

1. a monkey in the woods

2. a monkey mom and baby on a former house. Judging by the surroundings and age, it looks like something the British built when they settled McLeod Ganj as a hill station in the mid 1800s.

3. a house with terraced yard (for farming in the summer) half way up the mountain. The whole hillside is like this. The town is actually either Dharmkot or Bhagsu, which is the neighborhood past McLeod. Populated mostly by Gaddi Indians (the original inhabitants of the area) and a bunch of Israelis, who come to chill out after their mandatory two years in the army.