Category Archives: Travel

Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #8

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Photo: Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

 

 

Letters From Prison: Part 8, 2018

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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As I said earlier, in the early 70s I was working for a small TV station in Roanoke. I did a little of everything; ran a camera, directed, produced live TV shows, even introduced late night horror movies on Saturday nights, even filling in for the weatherman on our local news a time or two. It was a real shoestring operation, and when we picked up our paychecks we had to rush to the bank and cash them because those brought to the bank later frequently bounced. The best paid were the engineers, so I went down to Atlanta and took a crash course in electronics at the Elkins Institute, took the government test and got a first class FCC license. Suddenly I was an engineer! In those days the FCC required that an engineer be present at the TV transmitter at all times when the station was broadcasting. Our transmitter was atop Poor Mountain near Roanoke, to get the widest coverage. I got to work there on a “road” that was really just a fire trail. Luckily my car at the time was an FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser with four-wheel drive, a real mechanical mountain goat that could go anywhere. Amazing vehicle that I kept into the late 80s, and was sorry to part with. I retired the Toyota in favor of a Citroen DS21. Eventually I owned seven of these wonderful French vehicles, ranging from early 60s models to my last one, a beautiful sky blue 1972 model, the last year they were sold in the USA. I bought all of the special tools, shop manuals (some in French), and learned to do all my own maintenance. These cars have an active hydropneumatic suspension, that makes them seem alive. The softest ride ever. Jay Leno says his DS21 is his favorite of all his cars to drive. Of the many cars I’ve owned I could say the same. I stuck with the Citroens after they stopped selling in the USA because parts were sold by Peugeot, but then they also pulled out of the USA and parts became harder and harder to get. I ordered from Holland for a while, but finally gave up and sold my last one to a homesick piano tuner from Paris.

I seem to have gotten sidetracked into automotive things. I love a number of things, and cars are just one more. I can’t bear owning any mechanical device without knowing how it works, so all of my cars, household appliances, and cameras have been taken apart and reassembled. My old friend Marty Forscher was the dean of camera repairmen. He ran Professional Camera Repair in NYC for many years until he retired. He told me he taught himself how to repair cameras by completely disassembling a Rolleiflex, putting all the parts in a box, shaking it up, and then putting it back together. I did the same with an old Pentax Spotmatic, and only had a few parts left over!! So I signed up for the old National Camera home study course in camera repair and learned to do things the right way. For years after that I made money on the side fixing cameras. But that ended when cameras became heavily electronified, and required specialized tools and equipment that were brand specific and were too expensive for anyone outside a factory repair service. No room anymore for a generalist mechanic. I did for a while sort of specialize in repairing the Swiss Alpa cameras that were literally built like Swiss watches, but they went out of business and that work dried up. So my sideline of fixing cameras came to an end except for an occasional favor for a friend and tinkering with my own equipment. Today’s digital SLRs are foreign territory to me and too expensive to risk messing up.

That being said, I took to digital very early on and learned Photoshop before there was even a version number. I believe I shot the first totally digital magazine cover (for PIC magazine in London in 1993 or 1994.). I’ll tell you all about PIC next time…..

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Mr. Shell is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-letters-from-prison-7/

 

 

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Venice Beach: Portrait of the Day

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017

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Travelogue: Hamburg 2017

 

Photos and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017

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I have been traveling to Hamburg, Germany for 20 years.  The city in many regards hasn’t changed all that much.  I have stayed in various parts of this very cosmopolitan city over the years, but I find myself on this trip returning to the district of St. Pauli where  all of my earliest travels to Hamburg  began so many years ago.  The Hotel Monopol is located on one of the most lively and exciting night life blocks, the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli’s red light district, where the sound of popular music emanates from a variety of night clubs, strip clubs and regular bars into the wee hours of every morning, especially in the summer months when tourism in Europe is at its peak.

It seems that every time I’m in St. Pauli during the summer months  the traveling DOM amusement park is setup on a huge empty lot next door to the St Pauli soccer stadium.  In the opposite direction I took a stroll to Cuneo my favorite Italian restaurant in all of Hamburg.  It is also the longest continuously operated restaurants in all of Germany, even surviving the bombardment of World War II.  Just a stones throw away from Cuneo is the famous Herberstrasse, where men can shop for a prostitute some of whom stand in front of the local Burger King carefully screening and soliciting men as they walk along the street directly in front of a police station, which apparently was quite busy as the sound of police sirens were heard as often as the music.  Prostitution is legal in Hamburg and on occasion harmoniously  juxtaposed against old  churches in the neighborhood.  There was a very large gay parade traversing through a less seedy part of town. Gun shops freely display a variety of hand guns for sale, symbols of the increasing liberal policies of today’s German government. 

My main reason for this trip was to check in on a large body of photographs that were in storage at a gallery located not far from the Monopol Hotel.  My agent, Ms. Suzaan Talib is presently arranging an exhibition of a group of these works stored in Hamburg. The prints are quite large, measuring 48 X 72 inches and were printed in Stuttgart, Germany in 2002.  No editions.  All one of kind.   See the video below for more details.

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Studio News : Women of Hamburg

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50 Ft. Woman T-Shirt Now Available in Store

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To access the online Store, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/shopping-cart/t-shirts/

 

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Diary: Two Girls From St. Petersburg in Paris

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Two Girls From St. Petersburg in Paris

Photography & Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017

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DIARY: TWO GIRLS FROM ST. PETERSBURG IN PARIS

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I was fortunate to meet Natasha on one of my numerous trips to Paris.  This Russian born model with exquisite taste selected a finely tailored (French) pink lingerie ensemble with a short red wig that fit her angular bone structure perfectly.  It was the late 1990’s, a time in which I was producing a series of pictures for my erotic books and Penthouse Magazine.  I met Natasha through a book shop owner that was located in the Marais district. She was already an experienced model by the time we met, having worked with several prominent French photographers I had come to know. Since she was highly recommended by my colleagues, I was confident our collaboration wouldn’t be in vein. Our first meeting was delightful (she spoke excellent English) as we laid the groundwork for what would become several years of collaboration whenever I arrived in town for a book signing, an exhibit or to make new erotic pictures.  She was a muse. On this particular visit, I checked in to the Hotel Regina, one of my favorite places to reside in the 1st Arrondissement. I was shooting for Penthouse. No expense would be sparred with regards to hotel accommodations.  The suites were expensive, but it was well worth the investment. Bob Guccione, owner, publisher of Penthouse, patron of the arts loved the look of rich, and expensive. He would pay handsomely for that look it if he liked your work and you knew how to deliver the goods.

The suite I reserved at the Hotel Regina featured a view of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre which was just across the street and the Tuileries garden.  It had a small balcony where you could step out and affirm that you were in the heart of Paris, as the motorist sped down the famous Rue de Rivoli into the wee hours of the morning.  It was a fitting setting for what would take place in the elegantly appointed 19th century decor environment throughout the day between Natasha and her friend from their hometown in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Angelina, arrived at the suite with long brown hair tied back in a ponytail. She was new to the city of lights and if memory serves me correctly, I was the first photographer to photograph her nude since she was new to photographers who worked within the erotic milieu.  Angelina was a little timid at first. She felt more confident and at ease with her sensuality when Natasha, an experienced nude model, expertly steered her to the extremes of homoerotic pleasure. 

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To see more pictures from this series, open a membership account, register herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/category/membership-account/

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To access additional Diary entries, go herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/diary-effects-obsessions/

 

 

 

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