Monday, September 1, 2014

Que sera, sera

Well, I have no email and I just checked Flickr. Yelp, I can't log on. I guess that is what you can expect when you are stupid enough to remain an AT&T customer for over ten years. Very disgusting. I have tried every combination of user name and password that I have used over the past ten years and none of them work. Now I wait for them to snailmail me a temporary password.This has been going on for a year but it is getting much more frequent.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Life is Good

When I got home from the zoo my modem had decided to kick the bucket. Red lights were blinking all over the place. The zoo post was done from ChickFilA. Fortunately I had thought the modem had died some time ago and purchased a new one. Then I discovered that it hadn't so the new modem was still boxed and I was prepared. As usual I don't want to read instructions so I have fiddled for a couple of days. Now I am back in the real world--or as real as my world gets. Not only that I am being allowed back on Fickr so all is right with the world.

However I did notice that no one had noticed that I wasn't there. That probably should tell me something. 

Addendum: sorry about the misstatement. I have corrected it to read "I am being allowed back on Flickr."

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Zoo

A very good bad day. Meaning that I really enjoyed the day even though I messed much of it up because I approach life very sloppily. Now I would much prefer to say lethargically or even lackadaisically because to a degree they imply at least a mental dexterity that might in the minds of some readers offset to some small degree the laziness my sloppy behavior. I have no direction nor any desire for direction. I do as I have done and with that I am happy—although I am concerned about the sloppy part.  

Case in point the trip a couple of months ago to Calvert. Packed up my Olympus and arrive well over a hundred miles away with either no media card or dead batteries. Not sure now which it was but had not Clayton loaned me his second camera I would have come home with no photographs. That was not the first time, nor has it been the last. A couple of weeks ago Debi loaned me a media card when I left mine on the card reader at home.

Alcy has a camera club assignment of ‘animal kingdom.’ I no longer need to shoot for camera club assignments but I will frequently go along with her so I might as well. We chose to go to the zoo for ‘animal photos.’ On taking my camera out of the bag I discovered that I had no media card (what a surprise), but having only spent four days shooting with Debi since I borrowed the card from her during which I had forgotten to return her card, I realized that it was in a pocket of my bag. Great I could take photographs! The card was only 4gb and Debi already had a couple of files on the card so I ran out long before I would have liked but that was okay. I did have around a hundred and fifty photographs which was better than not having any.

We spent five hours at the zoo. My knee was hurting beyond belief but I persevered—the last part without photographing. Arriving back at the car I discovered that my camera bag had tilted over and the fresh 16gb card I should have been using was laying on the floor of the back seat. Well, I was in no condition to go back and try it again. My bad for not checking.

At home I downloaded the card and since it was Debi’s, I deleted my file from her media—only to discover later that in the transfer I had only grabbed part of the photographs—about half were gone. My bad. I really didn’t need animal kingdom photographs anyway. But that was this time—next time it might be much more of a disaster. So you can see that lethargic or lackadaisical really are not as appropriate as simply—sloppy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

More Eureka Springs

Downtown Walk

Early Morning in Neighborhood


Eureka Springs

Debi invited me along to help celebrate her sister's thirtieth birthday at a party in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In the back of my mind there seems to be a connection regarding when a woman invites you to meet her family but in my senility I couldn't remember what it was so I said okay.

It was a short and very fast trip but enjoyed it very much. Debi wasn't too upset when I equated Eureka Springs to Gruene on steroids (private joke). Enjoyed meeting her family and friends. Stephanie's sons had rented two cabins on Spring Street not far from downtown. Would loved to have had some time to do more exploration of the town. I did get a chance to make a couple of walks near the cabin for photos. Unfortunately after the almost twelve hour drive home I left my camera in Debi's car to I do not have all the images yet.

On the way up we stopped in Durant Oklahoma to see the World's Largest Peanut.

The Cabin


The last is the pièce de résistance that sells the Gurene comment.
The Area


St Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church

Seemingly Unending Parade of Volkswagens


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Breakfast and A Story About Old Person Getting Excited!

First, I went to my usual Chick for breakfast and as I often do I ‘found’ a breakfast photo that I couldn’t resist.

Now for the story—or as Harvey would say, the rest of the story.

I received an email from an on-line vender that got my heart pounding— then it squashed it like a flattened roach. Most of my adult life I have wanted a genuine old timie 'portrait lens' (there are several makers but I usually group them into the single term...Pinkham and Smith) but just couldn’t bring myself to purchase one because most of what you see available are as Pinkham and Smith as I am—fake, and I simply do not use the Sinar nearly as frequently as I probably should.

Yes, old people should not live in the past but I was born seventy-five years too late and that is where I prefer to live--except for digital photography, and computers, and cars--well a few things I would want to take back, like leisure time. My time machine would need to be, on a minimum, the size of a Allied Movers eighteen-wheeler.

Well, when I received the email today that a company was (crudely) reproducing a portrait lens with a Nikon mount. I started palpitating, could my dream possibly be coming true—until I saw the price, $599. Hey, it’s a brass tube with two doublet lenses and a waterhouse stop; probably manufactured in Russia or China—what about that could possibly justify six hundred bucks. It's probably the 'carefully placed lenses,' Wouldn't a dab or two of super glue and an o-ring have sufficed? I’ll stick with the Lensbaby, at least it's not a one trick pony, and leave said vender to their obviously yuppie clientele.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More Crucifix

Clayton Gardinier when out to shoot with Alcy and I today. It was hot and heavy showers were passing through so we felt limited to shooting indoors. The closest place was the antique store on 2920. Alcy, of course, shot flowers. I haven’t seen Clayton’s work yet but as usual I shot my current passion--crucifix. It is getting difficult to find new ones so I often try to get a different take on ones that I have shot before, such was the first image below. Fortunately they sometimes get moved to a new location. I think this might be an improvement over my previous attempts on this particular piece so I am pleased with it. The second image is a new crucifix which is okay, but I am not overly excited about it.

However, the shot of the day was the third. I do not know if this would be considered officially a ‘crucifix’, it is, but it is mostly a rosary. One of the ‘rules’—my self-determined and self-imposed rules--is doing the crucifix as ‘found object’, objet trouvé.  I will not tell you that I never move or rearrange—although it is extremely seldom that I do and what I do is very minimal, but there are times when it has to be done. (Confession, case in point: on the second image I did flip the price tag over since for the series tentatively called ‘the price of Christ’ having the price showing in the photograph is part of the concept. I am not sure that is ‘cheating’ since I really disturbed the price tag in no other way—it remains where it originally lay.) For me the image has much more significance if I photograph it as found. The concept comes from Hattersley’s discussion of finding Christ in all aspects of daily life.

There is just a certain serendipity in found objects that can not be planned without becoming superficial when the symbolism of objects work together and they often do. When they do they strengthen the symbolism—or at least they do in my mind. That significance may only come across to me but I feel that it is important to the process even if I am the only one who knows it.

The rosary was found in a booth where a new tenant is moving in. It was not yet ready for business so the entrance had been taped off to prevent entry. Fortunately the rosary was on a table next to the isle. The chance of finding two such dissimilar objects, a religious artifact and a carpenter’s tool, which had such a strong symbolic connection to each other struck me as being very powerful. For anyone who might not grasp the connection, Christ was by profession, a carpenter. Even though the point of view was extremely limited and I really didn’t have the best camera and lens for the shot, I had to take the photograph. I suppose it is possible that the two objects were placed together by intent, but there was really no indication that the two objects were placed together for any reason other than simply by accident. The table was laden with all sorts of objects from dinnerware to picture frames—the booth was a classic scene from a moving day, everything in disarray including this table.

I have no idea whether anyone else will find any significance or value in this photograph, or even care. I never know that about any of my photographs. But, like the dead bird in Port Arthur, this one photograph made the entire day worthwhile.

If I could only come home with one photograph every time I go out to photograph I would be one happy camper. They don't normally come this close together. Just on  a lucky streak.

Addendum: Would love to have comments on the third photo from anyone that connects to the symbolism of the objects.

Curious about the gold oval frame—is there any connection or symbolism that can be identified in the frame; does the arcs of the dinnerware tie the frame into the composition sufficiently, or is the frame simply out of place, an anomaly that draws too much attention to itself?

What about the major lines; do they radiate upward, or do they simply carry the eye out of the photograph. Would it have worked better if the apex of the triangle created by the rulers had been at the top of the image rather than the bottom?

How do you read the size of the ‘crucifix’ within the image; is it discovery or is it simply too small to be sufficiently significant? I was limited by my equipment but would it have been better to have worked closer to the crucifix?