ChatterLog January 2012


Capricorn, the Mountain Goat

So here we are, our first bulletin for the year 2012, the month of January and the sign of Capricorn. Hmmmm…. What to talk about? Some of you may recall in last January’s ChatterLog, we referred to Capricorn as the Sea-Goat, which it is, because in Ancient times Capricorn was depicted with the head and body of a goat, and the tail of a fish. And don’t forget last month, we had Sagittarius, the Centaur, with the head and shoulders of a man coupled with the body and legs of a horse. The origin of Capricorn as the Sea-Goat, or Goat-Fish dates back to the Babylonian times when the amphibious God Oannes, or “The Antelope of the Subterranean Ocean” would emerge from the sea to teach the lawless people insight into letters, science and art, in essence to teach man the “art of civilization” and then at night, he would return once more to the ocean depths to rest. Interesting stuff, and from there the amphibious Capricorn evolved into our resilient Mountain-Goat, because they have the ability to cling to the side of the cliffs and climb to the craggy mountaintops!

Two years ago we talked about Capricorn’s association with “structure” so if you see a big bridge, building or edifice, chances are it was built by and/or named after a Capricorn. Their position in society is of great importance to them, but if you get in their way, don’t expect a warm, fuzzy hug, that’s not who they are. It is noticeably cold at this time of year because it is after all, the season of Winter – so then why expect this sign to be anything other than cool and reserved? Capricorn says, “I use, I use anything and anyone around me to survive.” And they do. It’s nothing personal – it’s just what they do. They need that control for their physical survival, never mind the cost. Think of Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts who repeatedly cried, “Off with their heads” and you get the general idea!

John Tenniel’s illustration of The Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

So based on this cool Capricorn characteristic and the time and season of year, our theme for this month is simply “Cold.” We’ll deal with “Hot” when we get to the Fire sign of Aries! Opposite Capricorn we have the Watery sign of Cancer, whose emotions flow and run as deep as the ocean itself, but with Capricorn, the Water (and therefore the emotions as well) has been cooled down and literally frozen – the emotions are now crystallized. With Cancer, think of a waterfall, and with Capricorn, think of a glacier! The Watery Cancer will weep for weeks and cry buckets of tears but the Capricorn works hard to “keep their cool” at all costs! If they allow you to see their emotions, then they have lost that precious control, and for them that means they have potentially lost the battle, perhaps the war.

Glacier Bay, Alaska © Randy Boverman

If we look at a globe or world map, there are five major circles of latitude, including the two Arctic Circles, the Equator and the two Tropics, that of Cancer and Capricorn. These two Tropics are also connected with our two Solstices, Summer and Winter, and what are known as the Northern and Southern Lights. The Winter Solstice in December marks the shortest day of the year as we enter into the sign of Capricorn. Interesting to note that while the Northern Lights are known as the Aurora Borealis, the Southern Lights are known as the Aurora Australis. You’ll notice in the southern hemisphere that the Tropic of Capricorn runs right through the continent of Australia, so surprise, surprise, this is where we get the name. My sister is a Capricorn, and she has always had a thing about Australia – now we know why!

Illustration Showing The Tropic of Capricorn

All signs of the zodiac without exception have both pros and cons to them, and it is up to us to find a balance between those. Sure, a Leo may be considered selfish, but they also have the biggest heart of all the signs. A Cancer can be moody, but they are some of the best listeners. So what about our Capricorn, the Goat, the sign who is so determined to survive, they will hang on to the side of a cliff, or mountain, if they have to. The Capricorn is a very driven and ambitious sign, they don’t just want to work like the other Earth signs, Taurus and Virgo; these guys want to leave a legacy behind them and to be recognized for what they have done.

Capricorn, The Mountain Goat

As I mentioned, Capricorn is a very dedicated sign, so whatever they dedicate their lives to, you can be sure they make their mark in their profession of choice. We find many politicians in this group, so here are a few familiar, and very driven examples of shall we say, “notable” political leaders – starting with African-American Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, British Prime Ministers William Gladstone and David Lloyd George, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and how about former U.S. President Richard Nixon, Chairman of the Communist Party of China Mao Tse Tung and Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin. A pretty “driven” group, wouldn’t you say?

And then we have what I like to call some of those “heavyweight Capricorn actors.” I use the term “heavyweight” because when you look at this group, that’s what they are! Consider all of the contributions they have given us – and these are just the politicians and actors! But it is also a perfect word to describe these people because Saturn, the ruling planet of Capricorn is by nature heavy, and their metal is lead, the heaviest of all the metals. Let’s start with Humphrey Bogart who gave us such classics as Casablanca with Ingrid Bergman, Key Largo with Lauren Bacall, and The African Queen with Katherine Hepburn, to name but a few of his fine films and female collaborations, followed by one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men Cary Grant, now who doesn’t love Cary Grant and movies like Arsenic and Old Lace, Bringing up Baby and The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, To Catch a Thief with Grace Kelly (classic and classy!), An Affair to Remember with Deborah Kerr, and North by Northwest with Eva Marie Saint.

And then we have the voice of Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones, Sir Anthony Hopkins who delivered the chilling Hannibal Lecter, followed by Richard Widmark, Robert Stack, and one of my personal favorites, Denzel Washington in such movies as Glory, Mississippi Masala (loved that movie!), Philadelphia, and Training Day, which was the one he won his Oscar for, but it really should have been for his portrayal of Malcolm X, and like him or not, I’m including Mel Gibson who brought us Braveheart, Mad Max and the Lethal Weapon series, along with Val Kilmer, Kevin Costner, Lloyd Bridges, and actresses Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Faye Dunaway, Diane Keaton, Dyan Cannon, Susan Lucci, Sissy Spacek, and entertainers Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman and Gypsy Rose Lee! Phew!

And as usual, we wish all the Capricorns Happy Birthday this month!

ChatterQuote January 2012

Way back when I was in college, I was introduced to a beautiful book called “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran. It became “one of those precious books” and a mainstay in our family. My mother always had a copy by her bed and we asked our uncle to read a passage from the book at her funeral, which he did. Khalil Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer, who wrote many books, but “The Prophet” is perhaps his best known. It has been translated into more than forty languages and was one of the best-selling books of the twentieth century in the U.S.

Khalil Gibran 1883 – 1931

A Capricorn, born January 6th, 1883 in Northern Lebanon, Khalil Gibran received no formal schooling as a child due to the family’s poverty, so he learned about the Bible and the Arabic and Syriac languages from the visiting Catholic priests. His father was a gambler, unable to pay his debts and was later imprisoned for embezzlement, so Gibran’s mother decided to follow her brother and emigrated with her children to New York in 1895. They settled in Boston where Khalil learned English and Art. Through his teachers he was introduced to avant-garde Boston artist, photographer and publisher Fred Holland Day, who subsequently encouraged and supported Khalil in his creative endeavors. The first exhibition of his drawings was held at Day’s studio, at which he met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, a respected headmistress, who then became an important and perhaps his closest ”Spiritually intimate” friend until he died in 1931 in New York City.

So before I forget, here is this month’s quote, taken from what else, “The Prophet.” And in keeping with this month’s theme, the sign of Capricorn is connected to and concerned with “control.” They are the ones who “enforce the laws” of society – J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI was a Capricorn, for example, born January 1st, 1895. Interesting to note that Sagittarius writes the laws, Capricorn enforces them, and then Aquarius breaks them! So our quote comes from the section in the book where he talks about “Laws” – and I get the impression that he’s telling Capricorn to ease up on the control!

People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?

ChatterArtists January 2012

So with this month being associated with the sign of Capricorn I decided to show you some photographers who shoot jewelry and timepieces. Last year we showed images of seniors, and the year before we featured architectural shooters, and some of you may recall that 2 years ago we also gave you tips for cleaning jewelry – why? Because Capricorn is Earth and connected to everything that is in it – natural resources, rocks, crystals, minerals and gems. Also interesting is that most photographers who shoot jewelry also have images of watches in their portfolios as well. This may seem obvious but consider this, the Planet Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn, and Saturn is connected with time! And if any of you want to be reminded of those tips for cleaning jewelry, they’re archived on the blog under January 2010

John Parrish
First up we have industry veteran John Parrish, represented by Quitze Nelson in Texas. I remember Quitze’s name back when Paul Aresu was one of my clients at Black Book, and she now also handles Atlanta photographer and my buddy Iain Bagwell, who some of you may recall from our “Food” newsletter last summer. Small world. But back to John! It’s always a tough choice when we have to select just one or two images per photographer, but Quitze mentioned that the “colored stones” had been getting a lot of attention lately – so here they are…

Cyndi Long
You’ll notice that most of the jewelry shooters appear to be men, but whom better to photograph beautiful jewelry than a woman, eh? So I am very pleased to be including Cyndi Long, who is based and represented by Happy Artists in Dallas, TX. And be sure to check out her yummy food images as well!

© Cyndi Long

Robert Tardio
Next up is photographer Robert Tardio, who is represented by the lovey Janice Moses. I have known Janice for a long time and she has always been one of my favorite people in this industry, so I am thrilled to finally be showing one of her talent in this first bulletin of 2012. Robert’s beautiful, bold work focusing on fashion accessories and cosmetics speaks for itself really… what can I say?

Eric Kulin
Eric Kulin is a Boston-based photographer, represented by Katherine Hennessy of Kate & Co. Besides his extensive library of still imagery that includes jewelry, product and food, Eric also shoots video, and is a keen fisherman, so be sure to check out both his and Kate’s websites.

Greg Neumaier
I found Greg Neumaier on and was particularly taken with his series of jewelry images using dark, foliage as the background. Greg is both based and represented here in New York by Anyway Artists Management, so as always, be sure to check out both his and his agency’s website. He shoots a wide range of still life and product, including liquids and edibles!

ChatterNews January 2012

James L. Neal
Some of you have been reading my newsletters for a while now, or maybe this is your first time, either way you will have noticed that I weave my studies in Astrology into and throughout the entire ChatterBulletin. Not only is my theme and ChatterLog article based on the sign for that month, but I also tie the Astrology in to the type of photographers we feature, the quote, recipe and tips, and it is fascinating how it all comes together like a beautiful tapestry every month.

Now, if any of you have an interest in having your own Astrological Chart along with a full personalized interpretation done by my very own teacher, from whom I have learned so much, or perhaps you are interested in learning more about the study of Astrology, then please contact me for more information. To read about his consulting services and client testimonials, please go to:

Aurora Australis

Center for Photography at Woodstock
Photography NOW- Call for Entries
Deadline to enter is Friday, January 20th, 2012

For more information please visit:

Woodstock A-I-R
Deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

For more information please visit:

Black and White Spider Awards
Black & White Spider Awards Closing Deadline has been EXTENDED to Friday, January 20th. Don’t miss the last chance to enter the 7th Annual Spider Awards.

For more information please visit:

ChatterLab January 2012

My latest article to go live on Agency Access’ Blog The Lab, is all about what images I find eye-catching, and what gets my attention. I gave three examples, one of which was “Humor” – in other words, make me laugh and you already have my attention – and I showed an image from British photographer David Stewart, whose work always has me chuckling…

To read the entire article, click here:

© David Stewart

ChatterTip of the Month January 2012

Tips for Healthy Teeth & Gums

The sign of Capricorn rules over our bones and teeth, so for this month we are bringing you some tips for healthy teeth & gums. Ironically, the Planet Saturn, which rules Capricorn, is also connected with the 2 toothless stages of life – infancy and old age, and if you recall, Capricorn is the sign that prefers the company of either young children or seniors – guess they really do identify with the “toothless!” But for those of us who still have some teeth – here’s this month’s tips. And don’t forget you can also clean your jewelry by soaking in a glass of warm water with a couple of denture tablets!

Toothache is generally the result of tooth decay, or cavities. When the outer enamel of the tooth gets damaged, it allows infecting organisms to enter the tooth, resulting in inflammation and pain. If a tooth is over sensitive to hot, cold or sweet things, the nerves in the tooth may be inflamed due to advanced decay, and you may need to see the dentist if the pain persists for more than a couple of days. One wonderful natural remedy for a toothache is Oil of Cloves (can also substitute with Oil of Peppermint or Cinnamon), which can be applied to the area using a Q-tip. And if you don’t have any of those oils handy you can simply bite down and suck on a couple of regular Cloves from your kitchen spice cabinet. Keep them between the teeth in the painful area until you feel it beginning to ease. Cloves are a natural analgesic and antiseptic and have long been used to fight bacteria and tooth decay. They are the dried flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree belonging to the myrtle family. And believe it or not, I have a couple of Cloves in my mouth as I am writing this, because one of my teeth has been hurting – it really does help too!

Some other suggestions are to place a crushed clove of Garlic directly on the infected tooth or mouth abscess to help heal and draw out the infection, and another of our old faithful friends is Apple Cider Vinegar, which can be used as a rinse for the mouth to reduce infection and inflammation. Tinctures of either Myrrh or Echinacea also help to encourage healing. Add a few drops into a little warm water and use as a mouthwash. Your gums will heal much faster after any dental work if you regularly rinse with the Myrrh. Coffee has been used to treat excessive mental activity, such as that associated with toothache or labor pains! Onions are used worldwide for their healing properties, and the Red Onion or Allium is used to treat toothaches in children. An interesting one is to split a Fig in half, heat it and apply directly to the infected tooth or mouth ulcer. In fact, the Fig has all sorts of interesting healing properties. Warm Salt Water makes another great antiseptic mouthwash.

Gingivitis or Gum Disease
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums, usually due to an accumulation of plaque and impacted food around and under the gum, and may result in bad breath, as well as bleeding after brushing your teeth. It is a very common problem, especially during pregnancy, and may also result from systemic disorders such as a Vitamin C deficiency or diabetes. So one obvious remedy is to up your intake of Vitamin C and to Floss your teeth at least once a day, after every meal would be even better. Calcium is an important mineral essential for healthy life, in particular for the bones and teeth (and especially in women as they get older), so if you’re not getting enough Calcium in your diet from foods such as Milk, Cheese & Dairy Produce, Leafy Greens, “hard” Tap Water, Salmon, Eggs, Beans & Nuts, then take a Calcium supplement as well. Other supplements thought beneficial for fighting gum disease are Co Q10 and Silica. And again, Myrrh is one of the best things to heal the teeth and gums, either used as a mouthwash and/or taken as a supplement.

Bad Breath
Many health food stores sell Myrrh Gum capsules, which can be taken daily to help reduce bad breath. Not only is Peppermint another natural analgesic and painkiller, it also helps to maintain pleasant-smelling breath – which is why we see most commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes containing either Peppermint or Spearmint flavors. Cloves also help to deodorize the mouth and breath. Many toothpastes, as well as our drinking water, contain the trace mineral Fluorine or Fluoride, which protects against dental caries (or cavities). Interesting to note the repetition of the letters “Ca” in the words Capricorn, calcium, caries and cavities…

Nowadays some toothpastes also contain Baking Soda, but you can easily use regular Baking Soda right from the box either with a little toothpaste, or on its own. Use a little water or Hydrogen Peroxide to make it into a paste, the Baking Soda is a natural whitener which reduces agents that cause bad breath, while the Hydrogen Peroxide also helps to whiten them – well, let’s face it, all whitening products, contain some form of “bleach” – just don’t swallow it! I’m a huge Horseradish fan, but I never knew that brushing your teeth with a little added to your toothpaste not only helps to clean the teeth effectively, it is also a natural antiseptic and kills bacteria and controls mouth ulcers. Now I love it even more!

ChatterRecipe of the Month January 2012

Spinach & Hazelnut Risotto

© David Bishop

As I mentioned before, the sign of Capricorn is connected to our teeth and bones, so they need a diet that is rich in Calcium, which is found in Dairy Products such as Milk and Cheese, Citrus Fruits such as Oranges & Lemons, Nuts, Whole Grains and vegetables such as Potatoes, Peas and dark, leafy Greens. Like all Earth signs, they tend towards a healthy diet and don’t do well with too much spice or sugar. So this old recipe from Rachel Ray not only sounded delicious, but also fit the bill really well for this month. Thanks also to food photographer David Bishop for kindly shooting this lovely image to illustrate this month’s recipe!

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves of Garlic (crushed or grated)
1 medium Onion (chopped)
2/3 cup Arborio Rice
2/3 cup Barley
Salt & Black Pepper (freshly ground)
½ cup Dry White Wine
4 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock (warm)
2 10oz boxes Frozen Spinach (drained & wrung dry in kitchen towel – if you wanted to use Fresh Spinach, again just make sure the water has been wrung out)
Nutmeg (freshly ground to taste)
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (grated)
1 cup Hazelnuts (toasted & chopped)
1 cup Gorgonzola Cheese (crumbled)
Parsley (finely chopped)

Preheat a deep skillet over medium-high heat and add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then sauté the Onions and Garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Rice and Barley (you could probably use all Rice if you preferred but Capricorns do love Barley) and season with Salt & Black Pepper. Add the White Wine and cook for about another minute or so, followed by the first cup of Stock. Cook until the Rice is starchy and almost al dente, ladling in more Stock as needed. Make sure the Spinach has been wrung out in a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture, then separate it small pieces as you add it to the pot. Season with Salt & Black Pepper and add some Ground Nutmeg. Stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve the Risotto in a shallow bowls garnished with toasted chopped Hazelnuts, Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles and chopped Parsley. Yummy!

ChatterEvents January 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 – 6-9pm
APANY Presents: Why We Hire You

@ Calumet
22 West 22nd Street
New York, NY

Cost: APA Members: $10 in advance, $15 at the door; Non-Members $20 in advance, $25 at the door

From the evite:
“What makes a photographer’s style just right for a job? Does the creative team know the photographer they want to use from the beginning of the concepting process? What makes a photographer the one they want to use? What goes into the process of choosing a photographer and who wins?

Andrea Stern, SternRep, will take on the role as your photo rep for the evening. She will delve into the minds of top decision makers to find out how you can increase your chances to be hired. Let’s get clearer together, on how this goes down.”

For more information please visit:

Adorama Winter Workshops

Be sure to check out the winter workshops line-up at Adorama:

ASMP & Copyright Clearance Center Present Free Live Webinars:

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 – 1-2:30pm EST
Examining Compensation Models for Visual Content
Eugene Mopsik, ASMP
Michael Bilbrey, Leo Burnett USA
Joe Wikert, O’Reilly Media

Moderator: Chris Kenneally
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 – 1-2pm EST
ASMP & Copyright Clearance Center Present: Alternate Approaches to Relicensing/Reusing Existing Visual Content
Mari Masalin-Cooper, CCC
Patrick Donehue, Consultant & Educator
Allen Murabayashi, PhotoShelter

Moderator: Judy Herrmann

Live attendance for both of these events is limited, so log in early. All registrants will receive a free recording of the program.

For more information on these webinars please visit:

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 – 6-8:30pm
Art Directors Club Presents: Frank Meo’s Mindprints Art Opening
Exhibition on display Monday, January 16th – Friday, January 20th, 2012

106 West 29th Street
New York, NY

RSVP here:

For more information please visit:

Friday, January 27th – Sunday, January 29th 2012
Join LAND at the 2012 Annual Outsider Art Fair

@ 7 West 34th Street off 5th Avenue
New York, NY

Cost: $20/day & $35/two-day pass

Some of you may recall when we featured some of the artists from the LAND Gallery and Art Center in Dumbo last year. One of my favorites, and the one whose card I purchased, is artist Michael Pellew – and in their latest newsletter, I noticed that Michael had been written up in Paper Magazine –

So I had to show you something from this brilliant new series “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” commissioned by Paper, combining two of his favorite subjects – celebrities and travel. Here we have “Led Zeppelin & Prince (before he was a pop star) in his teens in 1975 would like to welcome you to New York. Led Zeppelin on the IRT subway.”

© Michael Pellew

For more information about LAND please visit:
For more information about the fair please visit:

Monday, January 30th, 2012 – 7-8pm
APA|NY Image Makers Lecture Series: Portraits of the World – Photos by Bruce Byers

@ The Apple Store
401 West 14th Street
New York, NY

Cost: Free (seating is limited)

I have known photographer Bruce Byers for quite a few years now and run into him at many of the photography events around town. Bruce will be presenting his “Portraits of the World” for the Image Makers Lecture Series at the Apple Store on 14th Street at the end of the month, so be sure to check that out.

For more information please visit: