Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Art Department’ Category


By Paul Goldfinger, Photography editor @ Blogfinger.  Original post  2013. Ocean Grove, NJ.

I found this “Season’s Greetings” photo card at a flea market/art show.  I was intrigued by it.  Clearly the work  was by a serious artist. The name George Hukar sounded familiar, and a Google search revealed that he was a photographer and painter from California.

George  (c. 1895-1975) was a founding member of the San Dieguito Art Guild. He taught painting and photography  and he published an article about dark room work in the 1940 Christmas edition of Popular Photography . (Note the cover below.)

It is a bit of a “leap of faith” to believe that the George Hukar from the San Diego area is the one who made my 1931 holiday card, but I am going to assume that it is so.

This is not an ordinary “Season’s Greetings” card.  It actually is a limited-edition  hand-made silver-gelatin photograph which was sent as a card in 1931.  I suspect that George Hukar was known to his friends as someone who would send out an original work of art each December.

The color of the print indicates that he tinted it with some darkroom chemical (toner) such as selenium or a variant of  sepia or gold.  The lighting makes the image. The model’s face is made dark using a darkroom technique called “burning.”

Perhaps this image  was the inspiration for “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”  I also like the idea that George would make his own Christmas cards in the darkroom. I have been doing that myself, in small limited editions,  inspired by George’s work, although I have never photographed a nude subject other than my kids bathing in the kitchen sink.  (That would be when they were very small.)

George Hukar's article is mentioned along the left side.

George Hukar’s article is mentioned along the left side.

Years ago, when all photographs were black and white, there were many creative things that could be done in the darkroom. George Hukar’s article in Popular Photography was called ” Studio Tricks,” so I can see why he did so well with this photo card.

Editor’s  note:  The post above is originally from 2013, and since then we have heard from others who knew George Hukar.

In 2018 we  said this:

In 2013 I spoke to a woman from the San Dieguinto Photo League in California. But she had no record of this photo, however, we could verify George Hukar’s roll in the League.

Today  (4/29/16) we got a comment from someone who recognizes our George Hukar as the artist  who did the Christmas photo card.

Then, re-posted on September 15, 2018, it’s not every day I get to write about photography, solve a photo mystery, and post a nude on Blogfinger. We did get some additional information then.

July 28, 2020.  We just received the following letter from Chrystal Snyder who is in Tempe, Arizona where it was 115 degrees yesterday, and 109 degrees today.

Hello, Paul

I just happened upon your Blogfinger post from 12/26/2013 that mentioned George Hukar of the San Diegito Art Guild. George was a friend of my father, Dick Snyder. He became an informal “uncle” to me and my sisters from the time he moved to San Diego in about 1960, becoming a key part of our extended family.

George was part of the Taliesin Fellowship in Spring Green, Wisconsin, in the 1930s. Through Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, George became a student of the teachings of Georgy Gurdjieff. I heard many stories of his time at Taliesin during my childhood.

My dad and George were friends and fellow commercial photographers in Chicago in the 1950’s. I haven’t seen the 1931 Season’s Greetings card you posted so I can’t confirm whether that one is his. I can say that George was a wonderful mentor to me. I spent countless hours with him in the darkroom and countless more roaming the city, the beach, the zoo and botanical garden, studying light and shadow and getting lost in the thrill of capturing a composition that expressed my own slant on the world.

Chrystal included a rare old photo of George.

Thanks for an unexpected opportunity to relish memories of a beloved friend and mentor!

Chrystal Snyder

Thank you Chrystal for adding to our collection of George Hukar information…a far cry from picking up a photocard at a flea market.

Paul @Blogfinger.net






Attn Grovers:  You will recognize the name Tali Esen Morgan, the long time musical director in Ocean Grove.  His beautiful house stands today on Abbott Avenue, the Tali Esen Morgan House.

Here is a link you might enjoy:    Tali Esen Morgan House OG

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Tony Soprano on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ. c. 2000. All photos by Paul Goldfinger taken from the TV. Tony Soprano on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ. c. 2000. All photos by Paul Goldfinger taken from the TV.



Sopranos (L to R) Paulie, Hesh, Blank, Christafuh, Sylvio (Steve Van Zant)

Sopranos (L to R) Paulie, Hesh,  Big Pussy, Patsy, Christafuh, and Silvio on the Asbury Park Boards.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net. from our series on the Sopranos at the Jersey Shore.


Late in the second season of the Sopranos, Tony is having nightmares. He is under the care of Dr. Jennifer Melfi, his shrink.  The scenes on the Asbury Boardwalk portrayed a dream sequence with a talking fish over by Convention Hall.

The weather that day in June was a rare spring snow storm.

David Chase created the series which had six seasons and 86 episodes, and it ended in 2007.  There were over 500 New Jersey locations during the Soprano years.  Steven Van Zandt (Silvio) is an actor and musician from New Jersey and is a member of Springsteen’s E Street Band. Despite his name, he is Italian and he grew up in Middletown after the age of 7. Perhaps he had something to do with the Asbury location.


Soprano. He was from Westwood, NJ, and he died in 2013.

James Gandolfini portrayed Tony Soprano. He was from Westwood, NJ, and he died in 2013 of a heart attack.  Re-post from 2016.


VINNIE PAULEONE and the Ba Da Bing Orchestra



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Central Park, 1969. By Paul Goldfinger © Silver gelatin print.

Central Park, 1969. By Paul Goldfinger © Silver gelatin print.


By Paul Goldfinger, Photography Editor @Blogfinger


My photo was taken of Central Park after the 1969 blizzard.  I climbed to the top of Mt. Sinai Hospital and took the picture with my Pentax Spotmatic 35 mm single-lens reflex camera which a friend had brought back from Korea. I only had one lens, a 50mm.  I made the print in my darkroom using traditional wet/chemical methods .

Years later, as I learned more about photographic history, I admired the work of André Kertèsz, a Hungarian born photographer who lived in France and then came to America where the third phase of his career elevated him into the ranks of the most famous fine art photographers.

He and his wife moved into a 12th story apartment overlooking Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in the early 1950’s.  He loved to shoot images with a telephoto lens out the window at the park. He especially  enjoyed snow scenes.


From Photograph Magazine via Swann Galleries, New York.

From Photograph Magazine via Swann Galleries, New York.


When I saw his image (above) from 1954, I was struck by the similarity  to mine. But my photo was not derived from his, since I was unaware of him in 1969.  At least I don’t believe I ever saw his work before.

But art always owes a debt to the work of those who came before, and that is why artists must study the history of their genre in order to build on the past.  The influence of one generation of artists onto later ones is sometimes unconscious on the part of those who may be borrowing without even realizing.

Because of our two similar images, and I am not comparing myself directly to Kertèsz, I feel that there is a kindred spirit—a connection— that somehow exists,  and that is something that is both weird and exhilarating.

Have any of you artists/writers out there  (and there are some in Ocean Grove) ever felt such a relationship?


JENNIFER THAYER  (This song was featured in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair and sung by Noel Harrison)


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Jack Bredin’s latest work: “Doo Wop on Main”  2021. Photo by Rob Bredin.


THE RONETTES:   “Be My Baby.”


Hey Jack:  Did you sing this song to Jean when you were teenagers and did you have a falsetto in those days;  and a DA, peg pants, and a hot rod?

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Days in Ocean Grove. Historic ice cream parlor. Paul Goldfinger photo. Tri-X film and a silver gelatin darkroom print made by me.



Portrait of Eileen. Film (Tri-X) darkroom print by Paul Golfinger. ©



Camelia River in Ft. Myers, Fla. Digital photograph. December, 2019. There are many variables which go into the appearance of this image. It is seen here only as a digital file made with my Leica Monochrome 246, although a paper print is possible if a negative is made (purists do this) or a digital printer is used. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©


By Paul Goldfinger,  Photo editor @Blogfinger.net

Years ago I did only color photography. I did well making pretty pictures, some of which wound up winning contests and being displayed internationally by Pfizer Labs.   But I got bored with it and decided to do black and white photos. Eileen got the job of documenting our family’s history in color.

So I took courses and learned how to create high quality black and white prints in the darkroom.  That was much more challenging and rewarding than merely sending the film to a lab. Half the battle with black and white negatives becoming fine prints is in the darkroom.

Some of you who have been interested in fine-art photography know that most of the greats of the past worked only in black and white.

I became a Leica B&W photographer, one of a specialized group that used those fabulous German cameras with their remarkable lenses.  Many of those professional artists were photojournalists, becoming expert at street photography using those small and unobtrusive 35 mm cameras. They bridged the gap between news and fine art.

Remember Robert Capa?   He was on assignment for Life Magazine.  He took his Leica along when he landed with the first wave at D-Day.  There is a remarkable story about that.  Here is a Blogfinger link:

Robert Capa lands on D-Day


One of Capa’s D-Day images. He won a Pulitzer for this courageous work.


Cartier Bresson carried his Leica under his raincoat while sitting at cafés in Paris. All of a sudden he would stand up with his camera and take a picture.  Then sit down and get back to his espresso.   He called it the “decisive moment.”

So for years I only did B&W, although there were some exceptions.  Basically I preconceived my photos by looking at the world in black and white.

A great debate eventually developed over which was better:  film or digital, but that became academic since high quality digital color and black and white images could now be obtained.

In my case, before Blogfinger,  I continued to do only film work and I built a darkroom in my 1880 OG house. It was historic because photography was invented before OG was founded. Remember Matthew Brady during the Civil War?

But when Blogfinger began, I saw that digital images could look spectacular on the Internet.  That’s when I closed my darkroom.  No more hours breathing in chemicals, on my feet, and no more matting, mounting and framing prints.  And I entered a color phase once again, along with B&W.

I like to display my images on BF or by having digital black and white prints made by a fine-art lab, usually in small sizes and then I dry mount them on photo mats.  This way they can be placed on a shelf without any glass or plastic….just the basic  image which can be picked up, changed,  and moved about easily–very retro and satisfying.

But now, as Blogfinger becomes more artsy, I am going back to the days when I shot mostly black and white.  It takes some getting used to by the photographer and by those looking at those pictures.

I think black and white images generally  contain more richness, soul, subtext, subtlety, and spirituality.  And it takes me back to when black and white was all we had, kept aloft by all those S’s.

And now I have to figure out how to get the most out of a new digital camera that only takes black and white images. I sold my film cameras—there is still a market out there for them, and the pendulum is swinging back somewhat.  Art students are learning how to do darkroom printing, sometimes pursuing historic materials such as light sensitive gold or platinum.

Below is the latest M series Leica digital camera–the “Monochrom.”  It is purposely designed to look like its ancestors from the 1930’s, but it is incredibly complicated with software menus out the wazoo.

I have one, but it will take time to excel with it.  You will be seeing more black and white on Blogfinger, but feel free to submit color images if yours are very good.  I will too.  I still have a fine color camera for the 4th of July parade and other “color-essential” events.


Leica M “Monochrom” digital camera. 2019.  High speed Leica 35 mm. lens “the Summilux-M.”



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Cindy Sherman, 1979. ©

Cindy Sherman, 1979. Untitled.   ©  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Photography Editor at BLOGFINGER.net.  Re-post from 2016.


The new ICP  (International Center for Photography) at 250 Bowery will open the inaugural show on June 23.  50 artists will be exhibited for a show called “Public, Private, Secret.”  It is about “privacy in today’s social media driven culture.”

Cindy Sherman was born in 1964 in Glen Ridge, NJ.   She has had a very successful and innovative career and is best known for her images where she dresses up and roll plays,  photographing  herself, as in the photograph  above where she is polishing her toe nails.  Other themes include her series on black and white movie stills and on exploitation of women.


TONY BENNETT.  “Have You Met Miss Jones”  from the Complete Improv Recordings

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By Paul Goldfinger.

By Paul Goldfinger. © 2014


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By Paul @Blogfinger.net

I met Teri Causey at the Sanibel Art Show in Southwest Florida in 2014.  Her work is very fanciful, and we enjoyed viewing her gallery at the outdoor event  on Sanibel Island.  This image is painted on wood and finished with marine varnish. I scanned  it from her business card, which explains the name on top.

If you go fishing, you never know what you might catch or who’s doing the catching.   But there’s nothing fishy about Teri’s work.  —-Paul   @Blogfinger



Editor’s note:  We now have two shops downtown OG that feature mermaids. And we met a mermaid in Firemen’s Park in 2017.  Here is a link:

Grover mermaid. Click here

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Outside courtyard at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris. Nothing new under the sun.  Paul Goldfinger ©. Tri-X collection.  Click on image to enlarge.

The Musée D’Orsay is an art museum on the Left Bank in Paris. It has a large collection of Impressionistic and Post-Impressionistic masterpieces.

Those bare breasted women in the image above, probably early 20th century beauties, are relaxing in the Paris sunshine, proudly displaying their loveliness.   And the other three women,  the warm blooded variety of today, are enjoying their company without evident embarrassment.

The photograph above shows that nothing changes—that everything old is new again.


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Chihuly centerpiece in front of the Conservatory at the BBG. Photo by Hope Moraff, special to Blogfinger.net.

This show is not a typical gallery display.  It is a garden exhibit showing the works of a remarkable artist, Dale Chihuly, whose glass sculptures are internationally known.

The current show at the Bronx Botanical Garden will be around only until October 29, but it is worth a trip into the Bronx, even if parts of that borough look like a third world country.


Eileen Goldfinger photograph. October, 2017. © Blogfinger.net

The BBG is a spectacular place, and the Chihuly show is available in two formats, one in daylight and one at night.

Eileen Goldfinger photo of glass balls individually made. ©  Blogfinger.net

We visited for the daytime exhibit which displayed 20 Chihuly installations interspersed around and within  the gardens, and everything is within walking distance.

The presence of this georgeous colorful art presented in a natural environment is remarkable.

Chihuly exhibit. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger ©. Blogfinger.net

EMMA STONE AND RYAN GOSLING  from the soundtrack of La La Land.

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