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Thank you and Hurray for Petaluma…

March 30, 2016

Thank yous, and we love Petaluma… Giving credit where credit is due. In closing my March window display in our independently owned bookstore Copperfields it is time for acknowledgements. Copp…

Source: Thank you and Hurray for Petaluma…


Thank you and Hurray for Petaluma…

March 30, 2016

Thank yous, and we love Petaluma…

Lydia in Grandma's Prom Dress

Lydia in Grandma’s Prom Dress

Giving credit where credit is due. In closing my March window display in our independently owned bookstore Copperfields it is time for acknowledgements.

Copperfields, thank you for hosting local artists such as myself and community nonprofits. We love having you here, I hope you feel our support as you give us yours.

Petaluma, love this town. Last week my dog Bailey spotted our letter carrier Sean Lanham and raced us across the street to say hi and get the treat she knew he would have. With his smile and chuckle, I got one too… Sean offered he had seen my window at Copperfields and it was great. He further exclaimed, “the photographs are wonderful, they always are, but, the design is really great, too!”

How true, for that I thank my friend and former assistant Richard Wilson. He is an artist, a retired graphic designer and a man of immaculate style and taste. Richard gets credit for gently (sometimes not so) pushing me to fine design. We have now designed and installed a number of exhibits over the years. While I make the photos, together, we select what to show. This window in particular is his vision, from the design element of the black carpet, to the arrangement of the pieces to the placement of the books and signage.

I would be remiss in not crediting another former assistant, Lydia White. Yet another talented artist and designer and master of the web. She created my current website along with new logo that I am incorporating into my materials. She also sat for me numerous times, a muse extraordinaire. I often felt her signature could be under the photos along with mine.

My current interns, Beatrice Pool an up and coming photographer and Sarah Willits a recent high school grad and fine young woman heading off to school in England soon. Your help in getting tasks done, schlepping and organizing is greatly appreciated.

To the many venues who have hosted my work,

the people who have helped frame, haul and install

to the people who have appreciated the art,

to the many who have been the subject of my photography,

I thank you many times over.

My best,




Artist Proofs and Print Sale

December 9, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 10AM – 5PM and Sunday December 13, 12-4PM.

Dignity on the Street

“Dignity on the Street”                                                                                         Unlike many I met, I do not have his name, no email address, he had no English, with my little Italian, smiles, eye contact and gestures, we understood each other…deeply!


What is an Artist Proof?

Silver gelatin or pigment prints often made as reference to make bigger, yet, many stay that size. Also known in the trade as work prints, sizes vary from 5X7 to 11X14. These are good prints to great prints. Many have areas I would change in a larger print, but, honestly, I show them to other photographers who wonder aloud, ” what is wrong with them, they are beautiful.”

What will be on display?

Italy! I have started making prints from my recent trip, both B&W and color! I am very excited about this work; from street photography to portraits of people I met along the way. You will get to know them, too. Maybe even a scenic or two.

I am also opening up my archives from four plus decades of “Travels with Rollei” Photos from Boston, Mexico, Hawaii, various other travels to right here in River City.

How much do they cost?

Most of the 8X10 Artist Proof Prints will be $75., this weekend only!                 Also 11X14 Artist Proofs Prints that range from $95 – $150.                                         Many are available in larger sizes or may be ordered at 30-50% off!                                       All prints are archivally finished.                                                                                  Again, this weekend, only!

Come visit, while you are out and about at the various local shops and craft fairs or simply trying to stay out of the holiday rush. Stop and say a quick hello or relax and spend as long as you’d like in the peaceful environment of my downtown studio. Come browse through the work, talk art (or Giants trade rumors), and you KNOW I have stories to go with each and every photograph.

I am excited to share my vision and craft with you. My gift to you and this time of holidays and sharing.

Peace, Health and Happy Holidays, to All!



Cristiano Pagnini - Jeweler

“Cristiano Pagnini – Jeweler”, Many whom I met were working, they were as generous with their time as I was respectful of it. Quick, yet, meaningful portraits.

In today’s world…

November 7, 2015

Following up on my previous post of people making photos of each other and/or selfles. People have clearly become reticent to engage with strangers. Once was the day people would ask others, excuse me, would you please take our picture”. My first impression of the Spanish Steps was wow, look at all the tourists, look at all the mobile devices in use, what a beautiful place, truly a surreal scene. In my street photographer mode I made this photo of these two young Scottish tourists, she had just taken his picture posing as she is here, in the Sunken Boat Fountain. I decided to offer to make one of the two of them, if they’d like. I did that from time to time, and most often was ignored or, no thank you. …

Scottish couple, Spanish Steps, Italy 2015 Rome-62-Email

He looked at me a bit taken aback and, said, “OK, but I’ll chase ya.” (Imagine his lovely Scottish accent) Amused and a little taken aback myself, I replied, “Ok, but, I’m sure you’ll be able to catch me.” Still not completely assured (we are all warned about scams and pick pockets, right?) handing me both of their phones, he repeated, “I’m tellin’ ya, though, I’ll chase ya.” As I fumbled with my Rollei around my neck, my Lumix wrapped around my wrist, I began to put one of the phones in my breast pocket, to which, he repeated his refrain. I smiled and said, “Ya never know, I may be faster than you think..”

I made their picture with both phones, handed them back, they were grateful and we then proceeded to have a lovely and protracted conversation, about their being young and trying to figure out their lives, to California, to the possibilities there are beyond the small town in Scotland they live. We talked about the Republican debates (they had watched online the night before), to what a great time we were all having in the magnificent country of Italy. By engaging, we all left with strong memories of that time and place. And, greater perspective about what life is like for others in other parts of the world. And, for me a heck of a story and picture.

Yes, keep your eyes open as you travel through life, new and interesting people and things are everywhere.

The magic happens when one least expects it.



Being a Street Photographer in Italy

October 21, 2015

In Italy I worked as the photographer I am in several different ways. I believe the most significant photos I made were of people in context or people putting the place and times in context. As the street photographer, often I would engage people and make a quick portrait. Even more often I photographed the world around me, as I happened upon it, fleeting moments or situations as they evolved before me. Within this work my ongoing series of people and their mobile devices was fed a steady diet of opportunities. From people hanging out, as we find here, on their phones, in a group, and yet, where are they?  And, then, of course, people photographing each other or selfies or both. Here are just a few examples of the color work as I begin to make sense of the work i produced. And, then, of course the Black & White work, yet to come has its own power and dynamic. I just published one of my favorites on Instagram, you may follow me there at murrayrockowitz.



2 Phones, Italy 2015 Perugia 9-2-4-15-267-Email

Students hanging out in the street in Perugia, Umbria, IT.

Italy 2015 Firenze!-83-Email

A local stopping to check in (they are quite adept at flying through traffic on their bikes on their phones), surrounded by tourists in Firenze.

Italy 2015 Rome-9-Email

Getting it just right in Piazza Navona, Roma, IT.

Italy 2015 Rome-158-Email

So excited to be at the Coliseum, Roma, IT

Italy 2015 Firenze!-621-Email

Hi! Here we are in Florence atop the Duomo…Firenze, IT

Asian Couple, Italy 2015 Rome-122-Email

OMG! No we don’t really remember all the places we went, but, we have pictures of us there….The Forum, Roma, IT

Oh the times they are a changin’….

August 15, 2015

They are changing, they have changed.

I have spoken to this, taught about it, experienced it, and yet, today, it hit home that much more. In my preparation for Italy for 3 weeks I picked up two more memory cards for what I assume to be at least twice what I need. For me, that means I will be carrying 4 -16 GB cards. Right, for many steeped in digital, I can hear, your kidding, you are traveling for 3 weeks with ONLY 64GB of memory? Well, for me, and the camera I use we are looking at just under 4000 raw images, that is a lot in my world.

However, the point is, I bought these two cards for a mere $20., once downloaded and backed up, we reformat and ready to go for another 4000 photos. I have on order 30 rolls of Tri-X 120 which will make 360 exposures for $180., also a lot for me. Rollei has to eat, too.

Brothers Rastetter (1 of 1)

The Rastetter Brothers, Sometimes you find them in your own “backyard”.

Why?!? You ask. For B&W photos, there is still nothing like film and silver prints. Also, with my dear Rollei, I engage in a different way then with young Lumix. Even on the street, there seems to be more intention, the images are more studied, even while spontaneous. When I engage with people, in addition to my gift to schmooze, working with such a camera is a calling card. It commands respect, it grabs peoples’ attention and intention. Together, we connect with our subjects in a substantial and considered way.

So, people, those out there with your seflie sticks, I am on my way. I may be photographing you while to are absorbed in yourself, most likely with my Lumix, however, don’t be surprised if I engage with you and seek your permission to ‘make your portrait’, selfie stick and all. Do not worry, engaging with strangers is OK. It used to be the norm, as in, “Excuse me, would you take our picture?” That is correct, once upon a time people engaged with each other, with complete strangers, sans the insulation of one’s own little digital world, it is a good thing.

SF Giants Opening Day 2014-170-Email

Waiting for the ferry, while being somewhere else. .

See you on the road, I’ll be the guy with that machine around his neck, you know, “grandpa had one of those”, “I learned on a rollei”. Although, if rollei is in my bag, me and little Lumix may be working away, without hardly being noticed, all three of us can be quite stealth, when we want..

Smile, or not!

A presto!

Why Have Prints, Period?

October 17, 2014

Prints are important and beautiful.

A commissioned portrait made at Ariane's home.

A commissioned portrait made at Ariane’s home.

Beau, in my studio.

Beau, in my studio.


Laurie and I met Judith on Hawaii. We bought copious amounts of fruit, had a great conversation, and THEN I asked if I could make her portrait. In the interim she took a call, perfect!

Laurie and I met Judith on Hawaii. We bought copious amounts of fruit, had a great conversation, and THEN I asked if I could make her portrait. In the interim she took a call, perfect!

I was recently gifted the opportunity to remember why  I do, what I do. I accepted an invitation to make an altar at the Petaluma Arts Center for El Dia de Los Muertos.  Yes, I make photographs many of which are portraits. History, family, memories! I have family photo albums, not folders on the desktop (computer), but physical albums of photos, pictures from throughout our lives. I used my photography along with portraits and photos from the first half of the 20th Century of relatives, some i never met, but, they are my people, and I have their faces and names or at least who they were.

El Dia Altar-1-Email
Read more…