I took my first self-portrait in 1962 in a hotel room in Baltimore, Maryland. I caught a foul ball at a baseball game and decided to take a photo of myself contemplating my prize, which unfortunately did not come out in the photo; instead you see just me looking down at the ball in my hands. I don’t remember how I set up this photo, if I had a timer or a tripod. But I do know how much has changed in the 59 years since that photograph was taken.

Since that selfie back in 1962, I've become aware of the beauty in the world which I took for granted all these years. I like to photograph people, nature, sunsets, shadows created by celestial bodies, and man-made structures. The thing I like most about photography is the ability to stop time. I prefer to take pictures of people in their natural habitat, going about their business, because of the purity in the nature of the task. I find these images more interesting to look back on after many years have passed. Photography has taught me to be patient and to become cognizant of the beauty in the mundane.

COVID-19 has forced us all to stop and it’s been a real drag! I’ve occupied most of my time rearranging things in my apartment, listening to music, catching up with friends, and taking photographs, of course. Taking photos has been my escape to a happier, simpler time. I am an introverted extrovert, and photography has helped me cope with distance and detachment.

My first self-portrait in a hotel room in 1962, after catching a foul ball at a baseball game in Baltimore. Baltimore, Maryland. 1962.

Before the pandemic, the ritual of shaving every three days was dreaded. During the pandemic, it became a welcomed chore and a time to reflect. Bronx, NY. 2021.

Watching a CNN segment on vaccines in my living room. Bronx, NY. 2021.

Separating my washed clothes before placing them in their respective drawers. Bronx, NY. 2021.

My philosophy audio tapes and headphones in the music room. Bronx, NY. 2021. 

I am not a TV person. But I am hooked on “60 Minutes,” “Face the Nation,” and the History Channel, which I record and watch later. Bronx, NY.  2021. 

My night table is stacked with my dream books and notebooks to jot down my dreams before I forget them. Dreams intrigue me; it must be the Sigmund Freud in me. Bronx, NY. 2021.

Listening to philosophy audio tapes with headphones brings me a quietness that calms my anxieties. Bronx, NY. 2021.

Listening to Jazz on Optimum Channel 894 before going to bed. Bronx, NY. 2021. 

Looking out my apartment window, I see the building that houses the Russian United Nations diplomats residing in The Bronx. Bronx, NY. 2021. 

Notes on my door. While in the Army, I was stationed at Fort Dix, NJ from 1963-1965, where they posted a schedule of the next day’s activities. This idea came in handy during the pandemic to plan my days. Bronx, NY. 2021. 

Before the pandemic, I never stopped to look at my surroundings, much less at my reflection in a puddle of water or my shadow. Bronx, NY. 2021.

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