Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm on a Billboard

So I'm not on one personally, but a photo of mine is.

Take a look...

Napa Valley Ag Preserve Billboard - Photo by Jason Tinacci

The billboard on St. Helena Highway in the heart of Napa Valley celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve, the first ag preserve in the United States.

"In 1968, Napa Valley vintners and others in the community had the forethought to preserve open space and prevent future over-development by enacting the nation's first Agriculture Preserve. Since its adoption, not one acre of land has been removed from the preserve. This land-zoning ordinance established agriculture and open space as the "best use" for the land in the "fertile valley and foothill areas of Napa County." Initially the ordinance protected 23,000 acres of agricultural land stretching from Napa in the south to Calistoga. Today, more than 30,000 acres are contained within the Preserve."

Learn more about the ag preserve at

About the original photo
Jason Tinacci's photo on Napa Valley billboard

The photo was taken on a cool winter morning in February 2007. The sun rising over the Vaca Mountain Range on Napa Valley's east side was beautifully diffused by the morning mist. No PhotoShop trickery was used on the original image.

What do you think? Do you like it? Would you use a print of it to line your birdcage? Subscribe to the blog and you can leave comments.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Surfing with my 90 year old grandfather

Surfing the web with my grandfather

Imagine the things a 90 year old person has seen in his or her lifetime – wars, the great depression, more wars, invention of the TV, presidential assassinations, economic booms and busts, the Internet! Of course I’m oversimplifying all that one can experience. I haven’t even mentioned the lifetime of family and friends one loves and loses in the span of ninety years.

This July my grandfather Louis turned 90 years old. I can’t begin to tell you what he’s seen and done in his lifetime, but the cliff notes version would include a few items in addition to everything mentioned above. He was born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, became a soldier during WWII, is the sole survivor of a wartime plane crash, worked as a coat maker, cheered the Yankees through several world series, raised a family (he’s a great grandpa twice), goes to the gym nearly everyday, and has stories galore that never tire no matter how many times you hear them. Again, oversimplified.

On a recent trip back home, I had what will be one of my lifetime’s most cherished moments… I sat on the stoop of grandpa Louis’ house and showed him the Internet. Mind you, the fact that we were using a laptop – no wires, no power, yet connected to some phantom source of amazing information, was in itself incomprehensible. It wasn’t hard to see that he had the same sheer fascination a child experiences during a magic show.

Click to see the ship manifestSo there we sat that humid Brooklyn afternoon surfing the web while the el train rumbled on its tracks a half block away. The first stop on our Internet voyage was the Ellis Island website to look up our relatives that passed through before 1924. Louis has a fascination with the genealogy of our fam so I knew he’d appreciate this. Imagine the amazement as he viewed a copy of the passenger manifest of the ship his father sailed upon, showing information like his dad's occupation (listed as peasant), who he was staying with, and how much money he had in his pocket on the day he landed in the United States in 1903. Add to that the names and photos of the ship he and other relatives sailed upon, and you have one flabbergasted gramps.

To round out our day of surfing, I showed him Google Earth’s aerial view of the very porch we were sitting on, followed by several towns of our Italian ancestors. His speechlessness spoke volumes about what he had seen over ninety years and about the world and today.

When the batteries on the laptop had run down, we sat watching the world pass by our stoop, and I couldn’t help think how it would have been more believable had I pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

Thanks, grandpa.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

On your mark… get set… Blog!

Blog, I’d like you to meet my reader. Reader, I’d like you to meet Blog.

Now that we have the formal introductions out of the way…

Welcome to my first blog entry. I’ve decided to establish a blog as a forum to write about my photo experiences, thoughts, client work, and to provide a home for a fun new project – photo of the week.

First, I’d like to say that I know you all lead busy lives, get oodles of emails, and I won’t be the least bit offended if you wish to be removed from this mailing list. Please let me know with a quick reply saying “Remove me” if that’s the case. No hard feelings.

If you do feel like hanging on for the ride, then you have some options:

1. Enter your email in the "Subscribe Via Email" box on the right to receive new posts and view the Photo of the Week from the comfort of your own inbox. You will only receive one email per week.

2. Subscribe to the RSS feed to read new posts in your favorite RSS reader. Click the "RSS Feeds" link in the right-hand column.

3. Or at your simply visit at your own leisure.

So speaking of the Photo of the Week project… I gotta be honest, my original intention was to shoot a photo-a-day, but that’s quite a challenge unless you want to see photos of my dog five days out of the week. I wouldn't do that to you.

Back in photo school at ICP in New York, one of my most challenging classes was Roll-a-Day with Harvey Stein. We’d have to shoot one roll of film everyday, develop the negatives and make at least one print to show from each roll. Try that for 4 months! You will no doubt end up with a bunch of crappy pictures.

Hopefully, I'll post much more compelling images each week.

I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy!


And now your first image... Click to read about this photo.

Surfing with my grandfather

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