What I Did With It: A Shug’s Delight: The Album from the 1990s That Made It to the Internet

A Shug’s Delight


Rich Man’s Country

Needle in the Rain

The Strike

Waitress In A Smokey Place

One Week in New York


Blue Windows

A Man’s Got To

Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey

Hotel Highway



Fly, Little Eagle

Song of the Woods



Composer, Lyricist, Vocalist, Guitarist, Keyboards: James S. Oppenheim.

Recording Engineer, Percussionist, Bassist, Guitarist: David R. Bergstein (DRB Productions).

Recording Location: White Oak, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Copyright Registration Date: August 27, 1990

Technology: TASCAM 4-Track.


Posting Like Crazy — At the Other Place

Fountain, Tudor Place, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., July 2008http://jsoppenheim.com/

I embarked on a rebuild of the studio’s main computer last month, and now with momma and all of her attached children happily sucking down electricity, I’ve had to approach recovering from backups all the data — business administrative, personal, photographic — accumulated since the initial build in 2007.

In the “digital imaging” arena, revisiting some 20,000 files (five-to-one shooting; copies in various formats; ratings from can’t-toss-it-now-but want-to to “Pretty Good!”) makes for a bit of a headache.

Add to that headache that the bulk of the digitized collection was in a single directory on the way to frying my old C: drive (yeah, that happened); and on the return, there are now a dozen separate annual directories plus some odd collections.  My goal is to get the “Wall Worthy” into DNG and TIFF collections.


No matter the art or mode, much aesthetic and business success relates to the artist’s ability to explore themes and produce projects.  Be that as it may, right now “it’s hard drainin’ the swamp when you’re up to your ass in alligators!”

It’s not quite that bad, but there’s a lot to deal with right now — in the box and outside of it.

Snapping off a pretty picture now and then doth not a career make.

For the photojournalists, winning a Pulitzer may “make” a career (or name), but the value of the “one-off manufacture” is notoriety only: all who or have or have left something to look at, from Doisneau to Salgado, have produced a lot on their way to becoming their own brand.

I’d like to catch up but it may be late in the day . . . . although I think there’s some light left in it too.

I don’t know if I have a career or have had one or am having one — hard to tell, all that — but I have made an awful lot of pretty pictures and hope to continue making more of them quite (quite!) soon.

Environmental Portraits

Hagerstown, Maryland traditional country music player and crooner Mike Cunningham.

Mike plays his electric possibly more than his acoustic and had meant for our session to produce a picture of grandpa for the kids — all grown up — for Christmas, but they came out so well, the impact was so good, i.e., his delight so effusive, I’ll be surprised if the prints are not already in frames and hanging on walls.

A horizontal portrait for Mike Cunningham.

Every modern life inhabits multiple environments and roles, but one or two in the overall ecology in living develop and most authentically express the soul of the person.  With that notion in mind, family snaps may hold diverse fragments from a life — we see each other but a little bit at a time and superficially — and we’re lucky to find among snapshots even one to a few that speak for the subject.

As artists by nature construct and slip into the looks by which they would be known and forever suspended lovingly in memory, Mike has been doing his part for a while. 

We had a very good rapport. 

He took direction well.  

Between the two of us, I think we got him.


Production Notes

Field Equipage: Nikon D2x; Nikkor zoom 16-85mm and Nikkor primes 85mm and 105mm (f/2.5 Manual Focus);  Nikon L37C filters; Billingham 335 — the top flap makes a good ground cloth for kneeling (where protection or dry knees may be appreciated) — and Gitzo carbon fiber tripod with an Acratech head and Arca-Swiss quick release plates.

Computing: Adobe Lightroom 3.6.

Printing: HP B9180 with the archival (unrivaled for longevity) Vivera ink  set on InkPress Luster, 11×14 borderless

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