Sunday, November 29, 2009

Faith on Film: Preparing for Advent

As we prepare for Advent and Christmas, a tiled image of St Mary from Mission San Juan Capistrano, California.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Things Out of Place?

A Sequoia in the Desert? Why And How?

Planted to commemorate a visit by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt for the opening of the first automobile road crossing the Sierras, we do find a Sequoia in the Eastern Sierra Desert. Fed by a natural spring it is thriving. although the 'un-natural' growing situation has resulted in 'Christmas Tree' shape not typical of the Giant Sequoia. With no competition, it is also growing faster than a Sequoia normally would. This is a mere Baby at less than 100 years old.

See me in front of the tree (above) for scale.............

The right shape for a Christmas tree, I wonder if anyone has thought of decorating it?

How often in Life do we find 'Things Out of Place'?

For my Blogger Friends in the US, hope you didn't over do the Turkey Yesterday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Celebrating our national harvest festival, and excuse for gross over-eating. I know, you thought Americans always over-eat. But you haven't seen anything until you've experienced Thanksgiving.

We're having friends in for dinner.....Christmas Holiday Shopping Season in America starts tomorrow AM.

And please don't do this to our animal friends during the Holidays!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Apollo 11 Landing Site Revisited

Just a brief Hello on the day before a holiday....more tomorrow.

Check out more Apollo 11 in our 40th Anniversary Year of the Lunar Landing. Recent images of the landing site.

Hoping to be released early from work today..........

Monday, November 23, 2009

XD-11 Focal Plane Leaf Shutter

The Minolta XD-11 is sometimes referred to as "the best camera that no one wanted". Designed for the professional market by a company that didn't market well to professionals. John wanted to see the Focal Plane Leaf Shutter, which is a rare feature. I've never seen it in any other SLR camera although it may exist (does anyone out there know of another brand or model?). Leaf shutters are slower than modern focal plane shutters, but have less vibration; do not distort moving objects; and can be synchronized to flash at any shutter speed. They are usually incorporated into the lens, not the camera (e.g. Hasselblad), and are common in Rangefinders (e.g. Paxette and Canon G-III, Leica B-type lenses, and my prized Mamiya 6X6 Rangefinder).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Faith on Film: Welcome to My Favorite English Church

The Cathedral Church of St Andrews in Diocese of Bath and Wells, is my favorite English Church bar none. I fell in love when I first saw the inverted arch in my Art History textbook.

The Arch has four side and supports the Crossing tower. It was designed this way after problems supporting the massive crossing tower at Salisbury

Beneath the crossing tower...facing the Altar.

And one must pose the question: Is there a stairway to Heaven?

Outer Wall of the The Bishop's

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who Lives, Who Dies....Cameras I mean, not People!

Recently two of my camera friends have passed away. The Canonet I was told is not worth fixing.......Many available on the market if I really need one. But there are many other cameras on my wish list ahead of acquiring another one.

So you tell me, do I need to find another Canon G-III QL?

My greater dilemma is the Minolta XD-11. Said to be one of the best cameras Minolta made. The film advance mechanism is failing. I am going to send it out for an estimate. I'm somewhat optimistic about its prognosis.........

Oddly both have Leaf Shutters. An expensive option for relatively inexpensive cameras........

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Distant Hills

From my Prison the distance the Oakland Hills, taken from the Prison Lunchroom at Alcatraz.

I actually think of this as a landscape more than a scene from prison.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Celebrating New Blogger Friends and Followers!

We reached the milestone of 25 followers and added a few more Blogger Friends since our last update.

Thanks to all my new photo friends!

Cyanotype contact print. The Original is 8X10 made from a Lith Film negative and lots of sunlight.

Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, California.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ending a Week of Remembrance........

With a Poppy of Flanders from my garden this past summer. The symbol of Remembrance of WWI in Europe.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Rastas Meet A Real Buffalo Soldier

Ending a nearly a week of remembrance, I am reminded of the day my father spoke to our Rastafarian Neighbors. In general they were regarded as a nuisance in our neighborhood. So when they moved into the house next door my Father was not pleased. Mostly because the kids ran around everywhere, including our yard, and my Father worked at night. So he needed to sleep part of the day, not easy when your neighbors are continuously blasting the street with Reggae.

But one day, he heard them play Bob Marley's 'Buffalo Soldiers'. So Dad called over the fence to them and asked about the song. Then he introduced himself as a real Buffalo Soldier.

Now in case you didn't know, there were real U.S. Infantry and Cavalry Regiments of African-American soldiers, given their name originally by the Plains Indians, who thought their hair resemble that of the Buffalo (American Bison).

He spoke often of his time training for Desert warfare in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Donald and I had a chance to visit a few years ago. The 10th Cavalry was one of the original regiments and the most famous Black Regiment from the American Indian Wars (~1866-1885), and served under General John J. 'Black Jack' Pershing's during the Spanish American War (1898).

Can you guess why he had that nickname?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Faith on Film: Pisa 1946

Finishing up Father's Italian Campaign with his photos of the Basilica at Pisa.

I have no idea what type of camera he used. If anyone has any idea what camera a WWII American soldier would have carried, Please let me know.

For gorgeous photos of Basilica visit I Love Old Cameras, a new blog I'm following......

The leaning Tower is in the background. I decided NOT to retouch my Father's original photos.

As they say, 'there are no atheists in a fox hole' I also have the New Testament and Book of Psalms that my Father carried into battle.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Father Always Remembered the Children

Father and his friends with two Italian Children and a not too happy sheep.

In all of the times he told us stories about Italy, he always remembered meeting the children.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Colored Officer's Club, Italy 1946

My Father (left) and an un-named army friend (far right) that appears in several photos with him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Army Training: Fort Dix New Jersey, 1942

My Father and his friends prepare for deployment to North Africa. But there's still time for some fun.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009

A Vintage family Photo of my Father at Officer's Training during WWII. Qualified candidates went through 90 days of training, and were thus called '90 Day Wonders'. Think of the movie, 'An Officer and a Gentleman'. My Father served with the Famous Buffalo Soldiers, in a then segregated U.S. Army.

I'll be posting some of my Father's old photos from training and Italy for the rest of this week........

Visit Trojan's Corner, for the origins of our Veteran's Day.

And visit Bristol Daily photo to meet an old soldier, still alive and not quite ready to fade away.........

Veteran's Day Post Coming Soon.....

My Veteran's Day post will appear at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (9:00 AM MST). Yes, I should have gone GMT, But I wasn't thinking that far ahead.

I'm headed to the mountains today for some hiking.

Hug a Veteran Today!

Monday, November 9, 2009

On the Subject of Walls

I had posted something else earlier, but decided on my ride home from work to change today's posting. I was listening to National Public Radio news which was full of the Fall of the Berlin Wall Anniversary.

This wall, near the top of Argentine Pass, taken in the early summer of 2008, during our first visit. We couldn't quite get the Wrangler over the last rock step to the top.

Walls can be good or bad depending on their intent. But since today is all about walls...... I hope you enjoy my, harmless, historic walls from Colorado's mining era.

Here below Argentine Pass in the remnants of the Town of Waldorf, the same wall in B&W and Color.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Faith on Film: The Cathedral of St John the Divine

On a hill overlooking Harlem, can be found the largest traditionally constructed (meaning no steel beams etc, only masonry) Gothic Style Cathedral. I say 'style' because of course it was begun in the late 19th Century, not the Middle Ages.

Dark and brooding inside...................

But a great story, because they had the money to finish the Church all those years ago, but instead spent the endowment helping the turn of the last century poor of New Your City.

A hundred years on, they brought in in stone masons from Italy, to train the local Harlem residents to finish the building. A work still in progress, as is the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Night Moves in the Snow

A view from my front door of a street light and snow laden shrubs. I spent my 'snow days' at home shooting and developing film. So I'll have a lot of new photos to show you over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More from St Louis #2

More from our All Saint's Day tour....and a younger, thinner me. Although the hairstyle is making a return this Christmas.

Also, a younger, thinner Donald. with his favorite Lodge symbol of the Woodsmen.

And below, the pocket 35mm Kodak camera that took these and last Sunday's pix. I never felt safe wandering around New Orleans with a 'nice' camera. In a town where people could be killed for $10, looking too much like a tourist in non-touristy areas was a bad idea. So I bought this camera just for New Orleans.

This camera is a likely descendant of the old Kodak 35mm reviewed recently by The Photophile

Monday, November 2, 2009

What I was doing today………………

I spent an overnight at the famously haunted and historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. This hotel was the Inspiration for Stephen King’s 'The Shining’. After learning the full story behind his stay there, one wonders if he really saw the Hotel Ghost Guests, or was merely having drunken hallucinations. But it was a great story (although not the same story that Stanley Kubrick filmed). Of course I photographed the Hotel in B&W film, but you’ll have to wait for me to develop it before I can share the images.

King almost single handedly saved this historic building by filming his version of The Shining at the Stanley in a 1997 mini-series. The Network paid for a major renovation of the nearly derelict hotel. Today a financially stable private owner has let the Hotel be what it is….a famously haunted vintage Georgian Hotel at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

So what does any of this have to do with Photography? Quite a bit…….read this entry from , regarding the Stanley Brothers' contribution to our photographic art……

"Francis and his twin brother Freelan formed the Stanley Dry Plate Company in 1883 to manufacture dry plates for the photographic process invented by Francis. They sold the company to Eastman Kodak in 1905, as their interest had turned to steam-powered automobiles. They had invented the “Stanley Steamer” in 1896, the first steam motorcar in New England, and formed the Stanley Motor Company to manufacture them. Francis served as president of the firm. The pair actively competed in auto races, pitting their steam power against gasoline-fueled engines and often winning. Using one of their steam cars, they set a world record in 1906 for fastest mile, 28.2 seconds (or 127 mph [205 kph). The brothers sold the business in 1918, having manufactured more than 10,000 “Steamers.” Francis died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident that same year."

So George Eastman did NOT invent the dry plate process regardless of what you might have been told. The Stanley Brothers are more famous for their steam car, but selling their patent to Eastman Kodak made them millionaires (billionaires in today's money). F.O. Stanley built the hotel so his wife could entertain their East Coast friends during their summers in Colorado. Visits were by invitation only! He was influential in getting Rocky Mountain National Park formed; and he repopulated the wildlife that had been slaughtered by a British Aristocrat of less than sterling reputation in the U.S.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Faith On Film: All Saint's Day

In honor of All Saints Day, Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, or what ever you call it in your culture, scenes from of my Cemetery Series.

I'm slowly making my way through tons of my old works. I found some Pre-Katrina New Orleans photos from All Saint's Day, when there are tours of the historic cemeteries. One of Donald's friend loved cemeteries, so we all went together.........

The Catholic Church was actually recording the All Saint's Day Cemetery Service; notice the sound man holding the boom.

Traditionally, in New Orleans you were entitled to your space for a year and a day. After that your remains were pushed to the back of the crypt and into a pit. Nowadays you still only have a space for a year and a day. But I'm not sure where the bodies are sent now......

This is a typical family crypt interior.

Typical modern crypts are built into walls. But families still maintain their individual plots.

A modern family crypt: Boissiere

Final resting place of a wealthier 'resident'.

The unfortunate need for a Police presence. because New Orleans was never a safe place, even Pre-Katrina.