Frank Petronio photographer


Tammy x 2, a wonderful model, highly recommended, based in Northern New Jersey. 

When the weather is this gloomy and cold the goose bumps are ridiculous to retouch. Also I don’t like the idea of distorting the Hell out of the color temperature but otherwise the reality is people look worse than pale. True I haven’t been shooting much but finding a pleasing and believable flesh tone without green shadows in it is proving hard, I think the phones tend to emphasize green more than most good monitors. At a certain point I just need to step away and move on, maybe return after I grow detached. Or be a putz and convert everything to B&W and call it “art” like most togs. 

What I do like is the hiking boots photo (far more than the latex swimsuit). I like that she’s dirty with forest debris and looks healthy and natural. This is something I should run with and do more of ~ hikers and outdoorsy people, even less attractive types, you simply don’t see many photos of people actually in the woods (and the photos you do see are of crazies doing hyper X-games shit which isn’t the norm). Same with shooters (they tend to run paranoid because of the jackels in the media), I just have to find people who are willing and not be so shy about asking. 

We were shooting in a quarry, trespassing to be honest. But some other trespassers came by and reported us for photographing a potential minor (not the case, she’s an adult mother of two). Twenty minutes later eight cops pulled me over and investigated, no issue and I understand why they want to be careful but still it was annoying and a bit of overkill. I guess it was a slow morning and they wanted to check out the pretty girl?

Probably the safe bet.

Nola and Nettie Harris

I arrived at 10pm but had to kill a few hours because she was nodded off.

Spring 2015 I traveled to New Orleans and met up with Nettie Harris at 2am for an all-night stroll and photoshoot. We visited the levee where she grew up, then wound up at one of the old cemeteries (think Easy Rider). Her boyfriend tagged along, he was the brother of Nettie’s true love who was the father of her first child, the one who suffered birth defects and died. That guy is doing a 25-year prison term so Nettie eventually hooked up with his brother once he left law school because he was accused of rape by his crazy former girlfriend (supposedly). Both Nettie and Dave were using heroin, she was stripping in the Quarter (this was after she acted in HBO’s Treme and True Detective). Dave overdosed and died but not before impregnating Nettie. I took the only photos of them together. I haven’t heard from Nettie for a couple of years now, she’s dyslexic so it’s hard to communicate but she still has some social media activity. 

French Quarter

Waffle House 4:30am

Dawn on the Levee behind her childhood home

It’s her thing, making the most offensive photo possible, I think it’s funny.

Dave drops his needle

Now I suppose you could tell me about your struggles and problems but it’s more than likely I won’t consider them all that bad. 

(I’m also in a documentary that was done about Nettie but it’s been in production for years and I don’t know if it will ever be released.)

Nettie in HBO’s True Detective


Now that I’ve done a little shooting with the fancy 6.5 Creedmoor rifle maybe I’m getting a little black-pilled over the whole enterprise. Perhaps it was more fun learning about the techniques, shopping for all the gear, and assembling everything. Now I’m wondering to what end? I know this will make me a better shooter, like choosing to ski on ice rather than powder, but it’s also a huge pain in the ass. Traveling to shoot at a long distance range, being anal over all the details, not forgetting anything… it’s a lot more work than driving a few minutes to shoot my pistols at the local range. 

Right now I have about 1200 rounds of decent factory ammo. I’ll shoot a few hundred at my class and then if I go to matches or drive out West to shoot in the desert I can burn through the rest of it. And by Fall I should have a pretty good handle on the basics of precision shooting. And frankly I’m wondering if I don’t just treat this like a college semester and a defined course with a final exam and an end date? Maybe I just shoot this it up and see where I’m at, get to a hinge point where I decide whether to dig deeper ~ start reloading, shoot out the barrel (it’ll take 2500-3000 rounds to reduce performance) and buy something even fancier ~ or ~ simply sell it and go back to shooting my 223 rifle at normal local distances (>300 yards) without the rigamarole. The loss on resale is the cost of my college course, fair enough. 

Lately I’m black-pilled about things in general, purpose - politics - people especially, but I find myself dreaming more about simplifying than increasing complexity. My attention span is shortening as I age out, I like reading and learning but I also tend to avoid both for some reason. I do well on long drives and thinking alone “in my head” but I’m having a hard time writing with the same clarity. So I return to old habits and haunts, safe in doing what I know how to do well. Which isn’t horrible, after all that’s how practitioners and artisans get really good at something. But I’m unsettled, not that I want contentment or satisfaction because that would be really boring but I can’t quite decide what’s next for the wealth of choices. 

In other words it’s the same damn feeling as being 19 but with more aches. 


“While most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or “Red America.”

~ Ross Douthat, NY Times, 7/18/2010


I’m healed enough that I can walk 100 yards out to hang targets and being a calm day I took the opportunity to zero my Howa Bravo 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. The Vortex Razor Get II 4.5-27 scope was easy to adjust, after bore sighting it only took 5 rounds to set the zero stops. Hornady 140 ELD-Match ammo worked well. I played with all the toys including the Magneto Speed chronograph, Leica 2000-B rangefinder and Kestrel 5700 Applied Ballistics environmental meter. The mystery math seems to have worked!

I can see how this gets addictive but then again, once you get a good result there is a temptation to stop right there, sell everything, and walk it back to plinking with the inexpensive Ruger 10/22. (I get the same way about cameras ~ several times I’ve sold nearly all and committed to shooting a brick or two of film through a Nikon F100 and 50/1.8 prime lens for a couple of months.) (Bricks are 20 rolls of 35mm film, how it used to be sold.) 

My leg is still swelling quite a bit and I have to do a lot of rehab to get my strength and range of motion back but I’m making good progress. I was scheduled to do a long range shooting class this weekend but I’ve postponed it as I don’t want to slow the class down or be distracted by becoming exhausted halfway through. 

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