Saturday, June 23, 2012

Holy Shiprock.

  I tiptoe around Shiprock like I'm in a cathedral but other folks relate in other ways.  Its a spectacular climb, I'm sure.  This guy climbs to the summit in 1 hour and four minutes and makes a video along the way.  He's not much on surveying the scenery but you do catch some glimpses.  It's quite a video.

  I've been at Shiprock a lot by myself and it's a watchful and careful experience.  I can hardly imagine the experience of going to the very TOP of it by yourself.  Mind-blowing.  Starts in the climbers cave on the West side.  I've got some rock climbing experience in my resume, including some free solo.  I've hardly considered climbing Shiprock.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A summer of shooting and buying stuff.

I'm keeping a cold studio and full film holders.  Stacking up processed but unproofed film.  Mostly neighborhood things.  My Shiprock trip a few weeks back was cancelled by high winds.  Summer can be a terrible time out there.

  In the meantime I am selling old stuff and buying newer off ebay.  Added a couple of lenses and unloaded a ton of old stuff.  Looking for little bits and pieces and getting some old equipment repaired.  I upgraded my Nikon film camera that I will never shoot again, still hanging on to Hasselblad.  I have a full case of Deardorff lenses, three 5X7 bodies, (one waiting on a new bellows), and the 8X10.  Rifle team is taking up almost every weekend between here and the first week in August.  Flying to and from Camp Perry this year and planning a quick Shiprock run in August before school starts again.

  Today I received an old case for the 8X10.  It was really old and decrepit.  When I opened the lid dust rolled out.  Outside I knocked lots of dust and dirt out.  Plan to rip out the insides and paint it while inside and out.  Really awful, but might be just right for the Deardorff and some holders.

  Mat cutting.  A couple new prints up in the house.  Showing portfolio wherever I can.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Passion for photographs, continued:

The cheapest collection ever, the un-famous and random Langham Archive.  Another ebay purchase.  It's a bad idea, because none of them are worth the very little bit I pay for them as soon as I buy them.  That's a bad rule to break.  I use them in teaching and love having them on display around the house, but they aren't worth anything to anyone but me.  Luckily they are cheap, so I'm not over-damaging my budget.  Fascinating to me to see images and think about how the photographer did them and the folks or places involved.

Could any image be, well, stoopid-er than a posed "weather" shot sent in from the suburbs by an amateur?  This wonderful set-up night flash image of a local kid, tea kettle, frozen water and foggy simply wonderful in intent and execution.  What humor, nerve and technical skill!  I hope the photographer was the toast of the neighborhood!  February, 1966 from Wisconsin. 

The Soledad Mountains, looking North toward Mojave, California, December 1934.  Notes on the back say it is 12:10, 1/100th of a second from 4000 feet with an A1 filter.  Scattered clouds and light haze and dust.  The photographer is flying and shooting, so I assume he is holding the stick between his knees with both hands on the aerial camera.

Another aerial shot.  A Phantom RF-4C overflies elephants on the Plain of Jars, Vietnam in 1966.  Official US Air Force photo service.

A moment in Boston, Mass, 1964 as a fireman struggles to retain balance after being struck by a bursting fire hose.

Posting comments on blogs

Several folks have up captchas where you have to print the word or TWO words to post a comment to prove you aren't a robot.  It's usually undecipherable to me, and after you try a couple of times, and fail, you have to re-type your comment, et.  I notice there are very few comments.

  All in all, I'd just as soon have the robots.  Several sites are missing my comments because I can't get past the test.  I do read the King's English and have a working knowledge of arabic numerals.  They just can't be solved.

  Len Kowitz, this means YOU.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Blind Beggar of Saigon, 1974.

My photo-junkiness on display.  Even as a wirephoto- not a silver gelatin print, I couldn't resist this image off Ebay.  (9.99, free shipping, modern life.)  What a perfect metaphor for any artist: blind, beggared and groping your way through your life, dependent on the help of others.  Hoping for daily bread and enlightenment.

  I would have a 10-image-a-day addiction right out of the old newspaper archives on Ebay if I indulged myself.  I love art, ESPECIALLY inspired photographic art.  I'm not posting the other 17 I bought.  At least not at present.

  Back to our beggar:  Tragedy like this was common in Saigon in 1974- right before we left and the bottom fell out.  Caption notes that the streets were full of South Vietnamese Army veterans crippled in various ways.  Here he is kneeling on a pad at a traffic sign, cup wired to cane, bag by side.  Lifting his face and hands.  What would he make of a comfortable American with internet, credit cards, Toyota, spoiled dog, et paying homage to him nearly 40 years after this photo was made, (probably without his consent or knowledge.)   He's long gone by now, only scattered memories and this image.  Or maybe he lives hale and revered in the bosum of his family.  Humans are surprisingly tough, resourceful and work well together very often.  Either way, God bless him and his and God bless the photographer who noticed, focused and plucked this moment out of the flow of time.