Eye on the Sky

Self-portrait (Photo and copyright by Edmund P. Klein)

February 1, 2010

By Claire Sykes

Ed and I met kayaking last September. Some months later we got together for the first time, and as we were walking from his downtown apartment to Southpark Seafood Grill, he mentioned that he was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York. Which one, I asked, thinking, what are the chances?

Turns out, his father had to have known my grandmother, who owned and ran a women’s clothing store called The Bertonne Shop, at 41 North Street in Middletown, New York, the town where she single-handedly raised her four children. I think that coincidence has bonded Ed and me for life, along with all of our mutual interests, not the least of which is photography.

In Ed’s upscale bachelor pad with the bright-red sofa and chair, his Rothko print and spotless countertops, I noticed some unframed photographs, all of them of clouds. I’ve always loved cumulus, cirrus and nimbus. So I asked him to send me a few, along with a few words. Here they are.


I don’t remember exactly when I started taking pictures, but it was with an old box-type Brownie with a fixed lens and just 12 photos to the roll. Film was expensive so you really had to look hard before you took a shot. I think that approach still stays with me today.

"Ocean Clouds I: Passing over the beach at Pacific City" (Photo and copyright by Edmund P. Klein)

"Ocean Clouds II: Passing over the beach at Pacific City" (Photo and copyright by Edmund P. Klein)

The first thing I look for when I frame a shot is composition and then, if a person is involved, a revealing look that fleetingly crosses the face, or a gesture that connotes an underlying attitude.

"New York Dawn: Another day begins over the city" (Photo and copyright by Edmund P. Klein)

"Yin, Yang: Ethereal cloud, stolid skyscrapers" (Photo and copyright by Edmund P. Klein)

I don’t think I have one particular thing that I like to photograph. It’s all light, shapes, textures, color and sometimes movement. I think the challenge is to capture the meaning of whatever it is.

"Columbia River Odalisque: The lush northern bank resembles the outline of a reclining nude" (Photo and copyright by Edmund P. Klein)

Words © by Claire Sykes. All rights reserved.
Images © by Edmund P. Klein. All rights reserved.

See Ed’s take on roller derby, right here at Velvet Sofa Salon.

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 11:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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