Thursday, January 31

Sexy Shop

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My idea in the streets of Florence was to find a moment that had no fixed connection to reality. Here in the vault of Italy's most cherished cultural legacies, where to find something that was physically Florence, and yet disconnected to its legacy?

Well, okay... could you have seen this coming? Huh? Is this a surreal pillow in the face? In the epicenter of elegance, tacky lives! And of course it advertises in English. Sheeze.....


GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, 10/8/07, 5:55 PM: Lens 17-85mm, Focal Length: 17mm, Exp 1/40@f/3, ISO 400, Metering Mode: Average, Exposure bias 0, Camera RAW

And here's the original as my Canon saw it...

Wednesday, January 30

Colored Shadows

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How much of nighttime’s life
Is arranged by cities
To happen in public
And lit to be not only
Felt, scented, and heard
But seen in color?

Sealed inside by night and winter
Suburban people
See little beyond
The inside’s reflections
On their windows
After sunset.

In New York City
At night outside
You squint.

GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, 1:22 AM: Lens 10-22mm, Focal Length: 16mm, Exp 1/80@f/3.5, ISO 800, Metering Mode: Pattern, Exposure bias -0.67, Camera RAW

Again remember that I do not work with a tripod. Too cumbersome for me. Another reason I prefer wide glass. To each his own, eh?

Tuesday, January 29


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Bogan peered at the fading image from the box and again tasted the stink of cigarette smoke and spilt beer. He recalled that Yosarian in his white shirt and apron muttered something in a spitting language and jerked from the camera with a movement so quick it was no movement at all. Yet that woman didn’t seem any more bothered by the lens than a stone by a creek.

“Yeah,” Bogan muttered recalling that while she wasn’t beautiful, not even pretty, that she looked as if things would happen anywhere she was. And where she was that night twenty years back was Pulaski’s Saloon. He remembered she shook his hand. “Clammy hands,” he frowned and recalled thinking “clammy hands and people who own them make me edgy.”

And while he scanned it for fresh clues, seeing the picture again brought Bogan back there to that spot instants before Pulaski’s got leveled by the bomb.


I have just discovered something disconcerting. Last week my MacBook Pro crashed for the second time in ninety days. Apple placed yet another hard drive into it (even though I offered to pay the difference between the second hand value of this 1 year old machine and the present model) and in all of the time it took to get it reconfigured (or once again configured) I prepared the image above on that machine. OOOOPS. I only just discovered how terribly out of calibration the reconditioned MacBook is.

The image I now see is nowhere near what I intended. I guess I should take it down. I lack the time or energy to begin it again from scratch (since minor tinkering won't fix it) and I apologize to everyone for posting it in this shape. In the past I frequently composed images on that machine which has a 17" monitor capable of high quality graphics. I have just recalibrated it and can understand how far this... and the image I posted of Grand Central Station last night are from my standards. AAAARGH!

Pity.... Lemme think upon removing it. If it disappears, you will know why... OK?

Monday, January 28

Grand Central, NYC

AARGH! As you can see by looking at my January 29th post, my MacBook Pro crashed for the second time in 90 days. Since it remains under full warranty - apple once again has replaced the hard drive. Since the monitor was only recently calibrated, and since I spent so much time with it this week, I prepared this image below, and the image from the 29th on that MacBook. Now I see why many of the people who have looked at this image on various forums were underwhelmed. It in no way represents the graphic that I worked upon and thought I was posting.

I have just recalibrated that machine, but I simply lack the sizable time to redo this image. So it is effectively lost. I think I shall leave it as both a warning re. what not to do, and a double warning about buying a MacBook Pro.

I offered to pay Apple the difference between the second hand value of the damaged machine and a new replacement, and they would not consider my offer even though this is the second time in 90 days they repaired my machine. Needless to say, I no longer have faith in it.

With that said, here is the original posting about which I am bummed. I reeeeeeely liked the way that I thought this image would look to you. Sorry.

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Grand Central: bustle, glimmering. Fast, dim, hectic, bright, a portal place.

Many of you know that I don’t do tripods. But the blur of infinitely replaceable people going, coming, held between here and somewhere… That’s why this central is grand. And what I thought needed capturing within its cavern.

So how to do that with no visible means of support?

Here’s my try. And your verdict is?


This is my second go at Grand Central Station and a companion piece to the first which you'll find by clicking here.

And for those of you who enjoy seeing the original, here's what I came away with on my Canon disc.

Sunday, January 27

Her Cup

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Unless she moved
He’d fill it soon
In the midday
Glow that
Held her

Saturday, January 26

Infra Green Photography

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You've all heard of infra-red pictures, right? Okay... so howzabout infra-blue, infra-yelllow, or infra-green?

I wanted to make light pour like syrup. So I took my tiny Morris Minor out to the Southern End of Lancaster county where the light does that.

You want to learn a big word? I just did, it's synesthesia. To some folks it's a harmless but perplexing psychological disorder. They can hear color, or taste feeling, or see music or... well you get the idea. Artists use synesthesia as a technique. And turning light into syrup is an example, um I think.

I bought this Morris from a tobacco dealer in that part of Lancaster County where the Amish still grow a lot of tobacco. It's a very small car. About as small as my 1934 Ford Coupe that I showed you last Thursday night. But I didn't turn on the synesthesia then. If I strip it away the scene looked a lot less romantic. More like this...

I like infra-green. You? Lemme know, K? And by the way, anybody know what year this car was built?


By popular request... Okay... here's my Morris at home...

Friday, January 25


Earlier this week I wrote about my MacBook Pro crashing for the second time in about 90 days. Once again the internal Seagate HD experienced a catastrophic crash. The first time this happened I was in Florence, Italy - but I'd backed everything up meticulously. Still it was messy and took endless hours first working through diagnostics with Apple on the phone (it's a fairly new machine and under full warranty), then I sent it in, got it back and spent the best part of a day reconfiguring everything.

When it happened again this week I was unhappy... very very very .... unhappy. On the phone with Apple, I first requested a new machine. They refused. I then offered to pay the difference between the used price of my machine (a 17" MacBook Pro - BTW) and the latest model. After all, I could have received that used machine price if it had not crashed as a result of their problem.

They refused and wanted to begin the telephone diagnostics again. I refused. They then asked that I schedule an appointment at a distant Apple Store with a 'genius'. I refused and demanded they send out a box. They did. They also promised that they would replace the entire machine if it went down again.

It was gone from Monday until Wednesday while they once again discovered the toasted HD and put in another Seagate. But I cannot put aside the necessary hours until tomorrow to retro fit everything on it.

Oh... this time I had NOT backed up key data. I lost two folders. One involved interview notes for an article which I cannot reschedule (I am a writer and a magazine editor). The article is lost. The other involved an equally important set of notes for a marketing program I am constructing. It is also lost.

I have first to copy all of my key info from my home MacPro to the laptop. That puts both machines out of service until the procedure is finished. It took several hours last time. I've started that process, but I suspect that I shall have no useful computers when I arrive home, nor will they be usable tonight. So.... NO POST here today. Damn!

I'm doing this post on my Mac Mini here at my business office. Hopefully all will be fixed in time to do a post here at ImageFiction tomorrow (Saturday).

Still, the whole thing has me spooked about trusting my laptop again. Apple apparently has a quality control problem. Others have complained about this Seagate drive but neither Seagate nor Apple will admit to a problem.

Warning, if you want top-of-the-line cutting-edge performance... buy a Dell or an HP... you'll save a lot of money and gain confidence if you avoid Apple's best laptop machine.


Thursday, January 24

My 1934 Ford Coupe

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It's been a while since we've visited the sand dunes of E. Dennis Massachusetts at sundown. Recently I got a new, old, car. Look at this pristine 1934 Ford coupe I bought this Christmas from a guy who owns a convenience store in Pittsburgh. It's a pale lemon/cream with two seats and a stick shift on the floor. Better yet, it was kept so perfectly since its manufacturing, and driven so little - that it's needed NO refurbishing. I was able to take it from here in Lancaster to the sandy dune road with no difficulty at all. It's astonishing how quickly we covered that 350 mile distance.

Okay, the sunset's a tad over the top, but it overcomes the chill of January don't you think?

Here's another view I took a few minutes ago where I keep it parked here at my studio. It looks, I think, more impressive on Cape Cod - don't you agree?

Ooops... the caption on this picture is wrong... should read 1932. Sorry!

Wednesday, January 23


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An acne
On the face of
Ancient wisdom
Pop-media erupts

Ruinous rumor
Toss-away trends
Contentious conjecture

Speckling truth with
Goo fatted bumps of

Tuesday, January 22

The Limits To Photography

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Where’s he coming from and how long has it taken him to arrive here? Where’s he going, and has he time left to get there? From the light can you tell? Has he a day ahead of him, or is he racing an oncoming night?

My camera can only seize the midpoint of an unknown tale. Even with all the power of my tools the still image blocks my ability to do more than shape your thoughts and emotions. Here is a peculiar and poignantly eloquent moment of a bicycling man in the light of an angular sun. An instant in time, arrested and acutely realized in an extraordinary setting with all the intensity that I can command.

But his story, like all stories, will pass through life’s complications until it’s resolved. I’m not sure that a photograph can ever resolve stories. And if it can’t – can it tell them at all? Or do photographers instead pump story ideas into your imagination machine?

Simply put, this image is theatrical, or cinematic, but I wonder if still photographs can ever be theater or film. Hmmm…..


Today's image kicked up a deep discussion on an important forum. There were allusions to the enhancements which I did to try to create a story. Here's what went into my process.

I recall standing at a Florentine street corner that was historically ornamented by stunning medieval v artists. I was wondering what I could bring to this place when I saw him coming down that hill to the left and I immediately began to take pictures... four, five, six. But the pedestrians packed my frame, each with their own stories to tell. So, I decided that I'd choose one of the images and use the others for parts later on to cover over the other people with doorways and fountain, and roadway. I don't work with a tripod, so I tried to stay as still in the location as possible and to take a number of shots.

Here above is the original of my bike rider. You can compare it to the final image above to see how I tell... not so much the man's... but my story in which he stars. Like any dramatist, I enhanced the palette, lighting, textures, angle, and emphasized the linear perspective to create the illusionist art that photographic story tellers do (whether in advertising, photojournalistic,or pure fictional imagery).

I'm pleased with my image and with the narrative it illustrates in my mind.

Monday, January 21


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Shot on the Roman streets where, after all, antiquity is little more than a set for The Play. Girl meets, gets, loses, and maybe gets boy again? Here's where the, um, rubber meets the road?

Okay, the movie camera's running... go ahead - set the scene, explain the details, write the dialogue.

Whew... after yesterday's rant - it's good to be back in the theater where life isn't so much about details as it is filled with them.

Sunday, January 20

Fabulous Fotos - NOT!

To Everyone Whose Sites I Normally Visit: My MacBook Pro has crashed and will be gone for a week to the Macintosh repair shop. I do my site visits on that machine while I am near to wife/friends/people. I do my images up here alone on my "good" machine. So.. I hope until the laptop returns, you will forgive my absence from popping around?

And now for the rant-of-the-day...

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HATE IT! HATE IT! HATE IT! HATE IT! HATE IT! HATE IT! - when I do this. See this perfectly exposed night time shot? See that it's perfectly framed? Perfectly colored? See the perfect reflection shimmering across the Tiber in down-town Rome? See how the composition is a textbook square? With textbook inner framing of the leaves? See how the mass of the boat in the lower left just balances what I think is Hadrian's tomb lit against the night-time sky? See how controlled, how .... how... perfect, perfect, perfect every little detail, including the color palette is?

And now see that it adds absolutely nothing to our package of ideas? The feeling's been captured a zillion times by anyone passing this point with an Instimatic. GRUMBLE!!!!

So why the hell did I waste my time taking this thing? And I've got dozens and dozens of images like this on my Italian discs. Why do we feel a compulsion to repeat what others have done at least as well? I could have walked forty feet to a tourist store and bought dozens of postcards with this view. Why is it that our own imagination becomes stunted at moments like this? All that I saw was what others saw more times than your Hollywood star goes to rehab.

I'll tell you why... Because our imagination leaves us at these moments. It's as if a mass of photographic ghosts suddenly SCREEEECH all together with such din that they overwhelm our own ideas and feelings. It makes me want to cover my ears and scream...

Instead... I take their picture rather than my own, and come home and grumble.....

The moral: When it isn't your idea in the viewfinder - Don't trigger the shutter.

Saturday, January 19

What's Left

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I wrote about Jeff Curto's teachings yesterday. It's worth a trip to iTunes to download his free course on the history of photography. I've listened to it once through. Now I've discovered that I can pick lectures randomly and listen to them as I work on my own images. The repetition helps the ideas sink in.

It was one of those ideas that fathered this image. I seem to recall him saying that painters start with nothing and have to edit everything onto an empty canvas. But a photographer starts out with everything and then edits reality away. We start through framing, then use whatever craft we can master to identify the singular idea and feeling which we want to communicate.

That was precisely my challenge as I looked at these Roman windows. By the way, they don't seem to have flies in Rome or Florence. I never once saw a screen on a window. And I guess that's why they use their windows a lot more than we do. People seem routinely to lean out and peer at everything. Here in Lancaster City, it's rare to see folks hanging out and watching or carrying on conversations with passers-by. And look at how those windows were cut into that wall. They are poked everywhere.

The idea which I've left then? A lot more than light passes through a Roman's window.

Friday, January 18

Triple Threat

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My friend Chris is a world traveling photographer, writer, and editor with an easy sense of humor. So the question... how to candidly capture all of those talents in a bigger-than-life illustration for an article about him? Hmmmmm.....

Thursday, January 17


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Professor Jeff Curto in his on-line podcast of a course on Photographic History wondered when a photograph is made. Is it, he mused, when the shutter is tripped? Or is it when the artist says it is made?

Look here at this woman I found on the street not far from Rome's Trevi Fountain. I took one exposure through gaps between the heads of maybe ten or fourteen people. She was part of the street theater which surrounds many of the city's most popular sites. The day was warm, her costume hot and perhaps an authentic reproduction of 17th or 18th century pomp. In a lot of ways she was a mannequin. Oddly there seemed something poignant about the way she made her living standing there in the fading sun of a late fall afternoon.

I knew that I felt something as I looked at the mysterious veiled woman. And I wanted to tell that feeling to you in this image.

Which makes me wonder something farther about Jeff's question. I wonder if the photograph is made when it communicates? If that's the case, then it's not me who finally decides it's finished but... you.



Wednesday, January 16

See That Stop Sign? Huh? Huh?

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Agfachrome was my favorite slide film. I liked the drama of its reds and the way it cranked up the intensity of its palette. There seemed to be the subtlest kiss of gold in the whites and it always processed about a quarter stop under, giving it overtones of shadowy romantic mystery.

Is it still available? Doesn't matter to me now, I'll never return to film. But just as memories of early rock will influence the way I hear music to always, say, set me hunting for the interplay of the bass drum and the electric bass. So will the memory of what Agfachrome could capture set me searching to capture its memories and feelings in my current photography.

So here I've lathered that Agfa nostalgia atop of one of photography's debates. When we make our images, do we express reality or distort it? Attack it? One thing's clear though - we certainly diddle with reality when we filter it through our imagination. I guess that's why Ansel Adams always insisted that we don't take photographs... we make them.

My object here: When I saw this barber on a break in his doorway, I imagined him on the set of an Italian opera. I'm told many were set on these streets of Rome, so it seemed as if stage lighting should spot the barber and enough of his surroundings to clearly place him in an ancient, yet modern place. And it was this theatrical sense of place which I wanted to present to you. So? How my doing?


WHAT'S ODD ABOUT THE ROMAN STOP SIGNS? Look at it carefully. Now it's an Italian sign so... Why the heck is it in English? They all are! Both in shape,color, and words - they are identical to American signs. Know why? Lemme know.

Tuesday, January 15


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"So?" her friend wonders.
"Hmmm,: she murmurs. "Hmmmm..."

Buying software is difficult. You've got to match the tool to the job. And of course everyone's hunting for the killer application. Most importantly it's got to be powerful, easy to get into and manipulate. Flexibility's crucial... but overall you want it to be user friendly and totally interactive. I wonder, are boys still more into software than girls? Well, perhaps in this case "into" is the wrong word? Maybe boys still like to play with software more than girls. You know how they like games.

The thing is that the fastest software still has the least code. It's efficiency seems to erupt from its simplicity and ease of access. I wonder just what job these two have in mind? is this application fast enough for these Roman chicks window shopping at the train station shop? And will it cover their essential... um... needs?

Men frequently miss the point that Passionata Lingerie is a tool store. Right?

Now for a rant... Imagine if those two up there in that image were men! Yeah, two guys standing in exactly the same positions, trading studious comments, as they studied that poster. If they were guys, women would have a name for them, right? It'd be, "PERVERTS!"

Hmmmm... is that fair? Just? Heh - heh - heh..... In fact as I watched this scene the guys looked at the window but with sly sideward glances, while the gals were totally involved. But.. but... isn't the entire object of this particular piece of, um, software supposed to be focused like a rifle shot at men? Yet if we look... I mean really LOOK! ... LOOKOUT, Buster... You... You... PERVERT!

Life's a puzzlement, eh?

Monday, January 14

Almost A Portrait

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There were two important photographers who quarreled from almost half a century apart. Alfred Stieglitz said the job of the photographic artist was to patiently wait for the moment of equilibrium. But Robert Frank said, no, wait for the moment of revealing disequilibrium. Huh?

So what is the decisive moment, eh? The people doing artistic takes on reality today seem to insist that reality is hidden and it's their job to make images that reveal it. Okay... okay... I can kind of follow that. But what about the equilibrium stuff?

Yesterday I posted my feelings about a memory that was encapsulated within a reflection of some trees along the Arno River in Florence, Italy. Here are those same trees today, or at least their reflections taken a moment or two later. But this time I decided to try to capture an oncoming reality that's still hidden off to the left... Here's a brilliant Florence October morning at that instant between disequilibrium and equilibrium (or at least I think it is).

Now, what do you think?

Sunday, January 13

Escape From Reality

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Have you noticed the photographs that are more about feelings than about things?

In Florence on the 12th of last October I watched the morning light paint trees on the Arno's western bank. The city was in drought so that the water's surface barely shimmered beneath the veneer of reflections.

This dreamy effect wasn't about trees, river, or city. And it drew me to record something quite different from reality. Probably, I realized, I’d never again be here and the moment would soon dissolve into a misty memory. So how to capture what would become a vague smudge of rippling glitter afloat on a river of recollections?

Here’s what I thought I’d recall when time dissolved away the context.

Saturday, January 12

What Izzit?

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Here's a parking lot across the street from the entrance to Pompei. And here's a car that's not as old as the ruins - but, is it new? We were moving along with no time to stop and examine this thing. Now I wish I'd at least looked at its name. It looks like a fun four door. But it also looks as if it could get pretty crowded in there, eh?

Anyone know what this thing is? Or for that matter, how to track it down on the search engines? It looks to be totally illegal in the United States, land of the MONSTER CAR! Many of you know that I drive a VW Beetle. The Beetles I saw in Italy looked like large cars next to things like the one I've posted here. And this wasn't the smallest. There are cars there which have motorcycle licenses and are banned from driving on the turnpikes because, I suppose, they are so tiny?

This one is a honey. I'd trade in my VW for something like this. Only I have no idea what this thing is. Help anyone?

Friday, January 11


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I wonder. When the Smart Cars arrive in the U.S., will the parkers get away with this? Thoughts?

Thursday, January 10

Something Unusual

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So many of you on different forums and in email have commented upon yesterday's image that I decided to do something unusual for me. i'm posting a raw, un-enhanced, right-outta-my-camera, photograph.... YIPES!

This is a slightly different angle of yesterday's image. I was somewhat wrong in my description yesterday. Apparently the water still flowed from left to right down to the pond. But the twin trenches seemed to fill a small lake around this structure. See how the kids could have sat on stones on either side. And see how four, not twin sets of steps led down to the water. I imagine children may have waded into the water around the pool as well.

Remember they had no pumps so this was fresh clean spring water. I do wonder what that projection is atop the structure. It appears to be metal. But someone told me that no metal objects survived the thousands of years that Pompeii was buried. Perhaps it was added in modern times (the uncovering of this city began in the 1700s).

You can also see the liberties I take with my images here. The lighting in this shot was identical to yesterday's. This is a tad like the magician showing how the lady was sawed in two. Oh well, what do you think?

Wednesday, January 9

Stairway To

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You'll find this stone structure in the garden behind a home that's been dug free of Vesuvius's wrath. It sits on a grassy island covered by a canopied strip of grass and vegetation that's about 40' long between two channels that are each about a foot deep (marble lined).

At one end up to the left there may have been a small waterfall filling the channels which ran down the length to flow into a fish pond at the right end. This toy marble structure of steps and patios sits halfway between the pond and the waterfall and the steps in the foreground apparently led down right into the water.

How big was it?

Take a look at the dead leaves on either side of the steps. They are not from some mutant giant tree, but normal oak leaves. I imagine children sat on the stones in the foreground, their feet in the water and played with soldiers or dolls on the steps probably loading them into toy boats which would be cast adrift to find their way into the fish pond. It mimics the action toy trains of today. Kids could start their boats on either side of this thing (the steps on the other side of this structure were identical, also leading into the water) or maybe farther up by the waterfall, and watch them flow and sail on the current down to the pond. Maybe they'd race them in the separate canals. They probably had toy furniture that sat on the patios, perhaps this was a wonderful outdoor dollhouse or boy's fort (accounting for some of the scrapes on the decks).

I'm guessing the structure's at least a couple of millennia old. A backyard play set on a lush garden strip under a canopy for the kids behind a warm, seaside mansion under an endless summer sky. You can sense the ghosts of the children who, thanks to Vesuvius, never became adults. Well, I could... kinda... especially in that light. And this garden strip was surrounded first with a grape-trellised patio and beyond that a tiny orchard filled with fruit trees.

It looked so new, as if made for children just yesterday... but it was a long time till that yesterday, huh?

There's a poem here, I wish someone would write it.


Incase you missed this in the comments below, Michael McMurma created...

Blogger mcmurma said...

The stone here speaks in whispers
and echoes, full of laughter
of the waters revealing glances
and softened reflections
on the smiles of a hundred children
splashing by.

Drinking water from a common cup
we shared a bread
with the taste of honey
and strolled together
towards the twilight, dancing
in the company of fireflies.

No, they were not her children
or mine
but their smiles are ours forever.

Tuesday, January 8


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Some say that everything comes from everything else. Which, they say, means that everything has a reason. Which leads me to conclude that while everything might have a reason, not everything is a reason.

Okay, let me unsnarl all of that with an example. These images come from The Roman Coliseum. The thing’s a weighty devil. Look at its intricacy. Over two thousand years ago this complex thing was erected with such precision that what you see here still stands as firm as a mountain. Heavy construction like this is common now. We see similar ruins of buildings all around that were built in the last couple of hundred years.

Those seem to come from ideas you can see up there in those images. The reason that we can build what we’ve got are the child of that Coliseum, right? Um, not so fast. We’re left with a couple of questions before we can make that leap.

First, where’s the proof that the information about construction and design was passed along over those thousands of years. Did our contractors look at the Coliseum and magically understand how to replicate something that massive, that complicated and huge? Which makes you wonder if the Coliseum’s creators somehow created our modern buildings or whether something else happened?

My second wonder’s not about the reason for our own buildings but the reason for the Coliseum in the first place? At least our designers were able to look at the ruins in my images. But what did the Coliseum’s contractors look at?

See, I agree that our modern buildings have a reason, and that the Coliseum has a reason. But did the things that caused the Coliseum cause what we build? Or was the line of communication savagely and irredeemably disrupted by the Dark Ages?

And what the heck caused people to build the Coliseum without ever seeing anything like it? While it’s easy to conclude that the reason we have our modern Coliseums was that big pile of attractive rubble in my pictures. After all they sure look similar, huh?

But… but… but… Did we have to relearn everything needed to do it? Where’s that learning come from? Where’d it come from originally?

Hmmmm… it seems to me that this Coliseum and ours might have a reason. And it might be the same one. But it’s not clear that Roman building was the reason for ours.

Is it?

Monday, January 7

Um, Unusual

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This actually looks intriguing printed 19" long. It's rich in subtle details, texture, and wispy color. I think I have found a limitation to the internet, eh? Darn.

Sunday, January 6

Slip Together

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Can a skeptic savor a dream?
Can a disciple scrutinize one?

Saturday, January 5


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You’ve seen this Piazza Della Retunda before here last November 19th.
There’s a reason I aimed high for this image, which was the same reason I aimed low back then. Last time I wanted to capture the people who crammed the square around me as this sun set. This time it was the Pantheon which somehow spoke of its two millennia of almost continuous use.

Optimistic solidity… That’s what I felt from the ancient temple. Look at that architectural bridge. This design has one leg here among the classical buildings going up in every important world city… and the other among the Caesars. Even the type font along the arch seems formally and elegantly modern.

I wanted to get all of that into this moment between a Roman day and night – a moment which the Pantheon has shared about 730,000 times!

Put that into perspective: the average business computer lives about 1,100 days while each of us get about 27,000 sunsets. After seven hundred and thirty thousand sunsets, what’s astonishing isn’t that this place is so old, but that it still feels so hopeful.

Friday, January 4

Rome Guy

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Designed to catch
Girls eyes like
Jump Street Johnny
He hopes in
His coolness that
He is hot

Thursday, January 3

Help Is Near!

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Romans they say
Are twice as
Likely as Yanks
To use cellphones...
Oddly perhaps, I've
Discovered how.

Wednesday, January 2

Touched By A Ten Foot Pole

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Reality, um, sucks. An artist has no use for the stuff. Or better yet, art is what happens after the artist gets through diddling with reality. See the name of this blogsite up there? See the "Fiction" part?

As some of you know I'm in a caged-bash-match with the Organic Photographers. Those guys figure that every image should look precisely the way they saw it through the range finder. As world renowned photographer Craig Tanner's made clear on his blogsite (see Point #7)... If you want to make a living as a commercial photographer today, you'd better master PhotoShop since the clients don't want reality, they want their idea of perfection. THEIR IDEA....

Or as LensWork editor Brooks Jennson argues, we never demand that musical composers imitate reality. How would they do it? If music had to sound exactly like nature, every clarinet would sound like a nightingale. Every piano would have keys to reproduce the growl of an ugly motorcycle muffler. You ever heard birds singing the Ave Maria? Wild One? I Wanna Hold Your Hand? Stairway To Heaven? Dude Looks Like A Lady? Or anything by Britney Spears?

The fountain I found in Florence last October has sat on its street corner for some four or five hundred years. I liked his face. I didn't like the tourists trooping past, the scooters gassing his eyes, or the general din of rush hour. They were there, but now they are not.

Yesterday I posted a girl sitting in a doorway that was slashed by a pole. Originally I kept the pole as a compositional device. Lots of people didn't like it. I tried another take with it removed. Usually I care a bunch what other people like about my stuff... But while it may influence future efforts I rarely change an existing effort. But iit sounded interesting to see the pole-less result. Afterward, others, seeing the pole gone felt nostalgic for the "reality" of the pole image. What I really wanted to do was get folks interested in the story behind the girl in the doorway.

But she got touched by a ten foot pole.

I think the pole won, the girl's story lost. And today I've posted another highly stylized take upon reality which is: image fiction.

Is there a moral to this story? Hmmmmm?

Tuesday, January 1

Door Girl

<- Click here
The bar's door
Opens to the street
Where she sits
All day



Critics have written to me that the pole in that image above distracts them. Hmmmm.... I envisioned this composition from the moment I exposed the frame as a square. But the square format is so impersonally angular that it seemed to me the pole broke the plane into two softer areas that then balanced themselves in terms of dynamic weight. Yet, what I want to communicate here is best described in the words I've placed next to the picture above. So how about I try it without the pole? Does this re-worked image better communicate my questioning idea to you?