Author Archive

Rainy Night Dock / Weather or Not, Expect the Unexpected

Rain Dock Soft_1443

Rainy Night Dock, Deerfield Beach, FL 2014

I haven’t posted for a while, because I have been laid up due to a couple of surgeries. When I do post, I often look for an image that relates to an event, season or mood I am in at the time. Although I actually enjoy inclement weather personally, and for photography, a dreary, rainy night sums up my situation (and has for some time).

On one of the last nights I had actually been able to go out to dinner, a casual dockside dining experience was cut short by a South Florida rain storm. Although the outdoor patio was closed to diners, I used a bit of an overhang to capture a moody image of the scene. The rain was so intense, it was blowing the door closed and I was barely able to shoot without my camera getting soaked. Notwithstanding, sometimes the worst conditions can result in the best images. Using a soft filter and shooting the scene in black and white, I like to think I created a moody, timeless image from a scene that many would avoid.

Moral of the story, don’t let some unexpected weather keep you from creating something….  unexpected.

One of a Kind / Commemorating a Very Special Young Man

        Lone Tree at Sunset crop                     z api1L8F7ITH

Lone Tree at Sunset, 2004                                    WMC TICU Private Consult Room

z api 1       z api2QZ85CH5

WMC TICU Lobby / Lounge                                      Commemorative Plaque

I have participated in more than a dozen Gallery Exhibitions around the country including a Solo Exhibition in NYC. I have been published in most of the major Fine Art Photography magazines and have enjoyed the support of some of the legends of the industry. All that means a great deal to me…but recently I had the honor of participating in a project that not only will make the lives better for the families of those that will find themselves at the Westchester Medical Center TICU (Trauma Intensive Care Unit)…but was created and dedicated to an incredibly special young man, Evan Lieberman.

That some of my work graces the walls of this beautiful, and more importantly, calm and functional space. is truly special. Built from the tireless efforts of Evan’s family through Evan’s Team which they created in his memory as a group effort committed to helping the community they hold regular events such as mud runs, golf tournaments, poker nights and the like, raising funds so that along with the Westchester Medical Center, they have created a comfortably practical and contemplative space for the families of TICU patients.

My image above, which is part of the project, is entitled Lone Tree at Sunset. It is especially appropriate to have been included in the project because Evan Lieberman…was truly one of a kind.

Images of WMC TICU © Ben Cotten 2015.

Blue Skies / Lightning Strikes / Following the Storm / Towering Inferno

FL EvergladesRiver of Grass, Florida Everglades 2009

Fl Everglades Lightning FINALStrike Right, Florida Everglades 2010

Wildfire, Florida EvergladesTowering Inferno, Florida Everglades 2007

I don’t know how many of my 1,000 plus regular followers and 40,000 viewers to date, actually read what I post. My goal has always been to get the work out there and the text is just my way of venting…and providing some insight into the images, the process and the places.

Anyway, those that do read my words, have probably noticed some cryptic references to my health, especially over the last few years. To that end I post, what I hope will be, one of my final downward metaphors. The beautiful blue skies of the Florida Everglades (River of Grass), the oncoming electric lightning storm (Strike Right) and finally, the resulting significant burn of the Towering Inferno caused by the lightning. These subjects vaguely hint at what this one of earth’s inhabitants has been dealing with for some time.

Soon embarking toward some new roads on the map of my life, here’s hoping that the steps I take are in the right direction and lead to more blue skies in the future….even with the inevitable clouds present…. I’ll gladly take it.

In the meantime, I will continue to post from my existing body of work and hope you all enjoy it.

Categories: Everglades, Landscapes, Nature

Twin Towers – 9/11 – Never Forgotten – Remembering and Rebuilding

Twin Towers BW Nik

Twin Towers, Never Forget

Unable to Post my usual 9/11 tribute yesterday, better late than never, I do so today. Three of my own fond memories of the Towers include this (never before published) pre-digital image I took from a New Jersey hotel room; having an elegant business dinner at the Windows on the World and a wonderful tourist visit with my buddy JC and Goddaughter Ari.

To say that the buildings, their occupants and the first responders will never be forgotten…is an understatement for the ages.

10 NYC WTC Memorial 6050

                                                             WTC Memorial, NYC 2013

Here in their place, as I have posted before, the WTC Memorial and new One World Trade Center tower rising to the Heavens, to always remind us of our loss….and our determined spirit to rebuild.

WTC_Tower One 6009_edited-1

Rising to the Heavens, One World Trade Center 2013

Seen Again, but Through Different Eyes / Falling Water

Multnomah Falls OR

Multnomah Falls, OR 2009

In my humble opinion, the Pacific Northwest in one of the most beautiful places our country has to offer. From spectacular granite cliffs, to sand dunes to majestic waterfalls cascading through dense, green foliage. Back in another lifetime, I went there when I could, to re-charge my batteries through the peaceful energy Mother Nature provided in her most spectacular locales.

The 620 foot Multnomah Falls is the most well-known of a series of 77 waterfalls that dot the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. There are only three higher falls in the nation and Multnomah is arguably the most beautiful of those. A trail from the famous Multnomah Falls Lodge (built in 1925) climbs up the side towards the Simon Benson Bridge and then winds further towards the top. Due to 25 years of spine issues, although I have been known (on a good day) to head down a relatively level trail, this uphill battle was not one that I took on.

Instead, I tried unsuccessfully to capture the entire falls, including the zig zagging upper part, in my frame. The bright light at the top of the image is from the setting sun which also prevented me from properly exposing the entire falls. Finally, using a wide angle lens and a tripod, I cropped out the majestic lower falls and slowed down how the eyes see the water movement, which I could only do after the sun had slipped almost entirely behind the mountain. The smooth cascade and deep green surroundings transforms this visual capture of an iconic place from the usual scenic shot into a Fine Art image.

As my analogies have gone for some time, for those of you who actually read what I say, this also exemplifies the downward fall I have been experiencing with my health. After a very long battle, hopefully my future posts will begin to elicit some hope in that department. We shall see. …Either way, I have captured some serious magic in my time, in my images and in my mind.

Reign O’r Me (The WHO, Quadrophenia)

Alligator Alley Rain _9495_FINAL_3

Slanted Rain, Florida Everglades 2012

With the remnants of Erika, we are seeing a great deal of rain in South Florida. It’s better than a Hurricane.

Often, we can see the storms as they approach. This one was out in the Florida Everglades a.k.a. the “River of Grass.”

Categories: Everglades, Landscapes, Nature

Somewhere Over the Rainbow… Way Up High

ENP Rainbow thru the Clouds_5054_FINAL 1000w

 Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Florida Everglades, 2013

E.Y. Harburg wrote the lyrics sung by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz.”Somewhere over the rainbow..Way up high. And the dreams that you dreamed of…Once in a lullaby”

I wonder if this is what he was writing about. (Graduated Neutral Density Filter/Tripod for the photographers).

Now, if I could only get out there and catch some more of them…or at least find that Pot of Gold at the end of it.

Categories: Everglades, Lifestyles, Nature

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