Thursday, October 30

A Test

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So I wondered whether instead of asking if an image was pretty... well whether instead it should make us consider how we might best live our life.

Uh-huh, that's a another reasonable test of art, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 29

And Then Came The Senator

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Pennsylvania is a battleground state in this Presidential election. When our local TV stations take advertising breaks there are, like, frequently three minutes of the senator's ads in a row. It's as if everything is being brought to us by Him. The whole world and everything in it are sort of a gift he's giving us. It's an unusual kind of experience, you know what I'm saying here?

So anyway, when he stopped by for one of his many speeches, I stood there surrounded by buddies, each taking pictures of Him. The crowd was enthralled. We all snapped dozens of images. But strangely when we compared them later... Well, it seemed hard to make out anything sharp. For that matter in lots of the pictures all we got was glowing light. But as far as any details... Nope. Just grainy impressions.

My equipment's worked fine since... What do you make of that?

Monday, October 27

You've Seen This Before But....

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See this? Yeah, I posted it before during the Summer, just click on the keyword "sailing" below to see the series. That's not the point. Fun is the point.

Steve wasn't posing here. I was standing in the gangway to below decks, taking picture for so long that I became invisible. Now I like it that this mid-afternoon picture is something that we can do today that used to take me a bank of lights to create back in the day. But that's not the point either.

The point is that Steve's just had a major birthday. So I took the image over to Dave at Poppit Studios and he blew it up for me to a size that would get big-time attention. The idea was that Rita and I would invite Steve and Maria to dinner at a top of the line restaurant. And we'd arrange to get a table off to the side last Saturday night where we could prop the image against the wall behind a covering. And of course we'd rip away the cover during the meal, and well... embarrass the hell out of him... heh heh heh...(Okay, women won't get this... but to men it resonates, right guys?) Think of it as a really big Birthday card.

So Dave, he blows it up... and up... and up... to FOUR feet by SEVEN FEET!!!! SEVEN FRIGGIN FEET!

You should see it. It is tack sharp (where it is supposed to be tack sharp) and the colors ROCK! And I invited my buddy and partner Steven and his wife Julie so we could carry the thing and.. and...

Well Dave doesn't own a truck at Poppit Studios. And we couldn't get the print into any of our cars. Or into our station wagon. And well, what the hell to do? The practical joke careened back on me! How to give it to him when I couldn't take it out of the printer's studio?

Meantime Dave was so proud of it that he set it up right by the door of his place (the guy owns massive printers, and cameras, and even a large device that will computer-cut images out). In fact he offered to have it cut Steve out of the big image as a stand-alone figure. Have you noticed, or imagined, that he's life size in the image? I took it with my old Canon 20D and you can count the hairs in his mustache... it's that detailed. Imagine what my new 40D will do... but I digress.

So what to do? Well finally my colleague Tammy, the layout artist at my magazines brought her huge RV over to Poppit and last Friday we got it to my house. So.. we changed plans and had a dinner party for the six of us.

During cocktails my partner and I went upstairs and hefted the thing down the steps et voilá .... we swung the thing around to reveal... "Heroic Steve At The Helm".

Great reactions... Everyone loved it. Super fun... BUT.. BUT!!!!!! He couldn't get it home. The BILLBOARD is sitting in our living room. YIPES... Didn't see that coming.

Steve's first reaction was, "Holy S**T, that thing will cost a grand to frame!" Um, well, yeah. It's printed on a fairly solid substrate so it stands up by itself. But what do you do with this .. object the size of Romania?

I suggested he take it to his plant, frame it in busy golden gilt, and put a tiny plaque engraved... "Our Founder". Mount it right behind the receptionist, right? Get her a tiny sailor uniform.... Somehow Steve isn't crazy about my suggestion. Particularly my plans for installation of track lighting. Pity.... Some folks don't have enough imagination, huh?

What do you do with a 24 foot square heroic image? Steve told me that "It ain't my problem!" He's right. It was fun, but I'll probably throw it away tonight.

The moral to all of this? A four by seven foot portrait might not be the best idea. Bummer.

Sunday, October 26

When Christmas Came

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Today's the deadline for entries to a holiday juried show at the Lancaster Museum of Art. It's open to all media. the constraints? Images must have to do with the holidays, and the region. I decided to go very small here. This image is printed on a 5X7" paper. The jpg loses a lot of the impact of the print. Not sure why the dynamic range of jpgs are so lightened when I shift from rgb to srgb. Anybody know? At any rate the original pops better than this image does here.

Hoping for the best but frankly, I'm not certain that this really captures everything I'd like. Unfortunately I forgot about the deadline, only remembering late on Sunday. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, October 21

Creepy Guy

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A Halloweenie....

I found parts of this guy at Governor Palin's rally last Saturday. Somehow his essence (changed to protect the innocent) felt right at Pigeon Point, huh?

Monday, October 20


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Saturday, October 18

Sarah Came Today

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This morning Sarah Palin came to Lancaster. 10,000 folks poured into Clipper Stadium. I wonder how you recover from this sort of thing? I mean Mrs. Palin. If this is the high point in her life, how will she handle the end of her fifteen minutes of fame? There were jumpers in the crowd. You've seen them at rock concerts. People who look as if they are well past the point of having to go potty. They're so excited that they leap about in place clutching their signs or autograph books. Every so often they scream. The same thing's happening at Senator Obama's rallies. It's exciting to watch all of these people so wrapped up on an enthralling moment of ecstasy. It spits all over you, as if a water sprinkler's come on and abruptly you're all covered with the stuff. There were two gorgeous young women, probably college age, standing against a fence. Each had such a wonderfully warm smile in the golden fall sun. And each wore a pink badge with simple text that read.... "It's A girl." And after he speech the crowd sighed into her. They were gentle yet demanding. They wanted to congratulate, to thank, to weep, to laugh. They wanted autographs and they wanted her to smile at them.

Before I went there this morning I met three friends who are hairstylists. The women are all Democrats and were staunch Hillary supporters. Now they are supporting Sarah. They each hope to see a woman in the White House. It is much their dream as Obama's promise resonates with my African American friends. One of those women said, "She's so bright Ted. She's raised five kids, been on television, been a mayor, now she's a governor. She's tangled hard with her own party and she's negotiated with the toughest oil companies in the world. And yet the supporters of Obama claim none of this is important. Everything we've dreamed to be able to do, she's done. And they dismiss all of it, even though their guy's done none of it. He's never met a payroll, never done a budget, never run anything. They're treating her... like... like... a girl. Well, she's more than that, so are we. And... and... have you seen her smile. It doesn't hurt," the woman said to me with a strong look on her face.... "Doesn't hurt that she's beautiful. Right?"

Thursday, October 16


As promised, I've taken this one down.

Saturday, October 11

The News

Yep the news is distracting. However the value that we place upon things has not changed, just their monetary descriptions. Only for those who have valued stuff for its price tag... only for those people is the present situation truly alarming. My wife, my dog, our home, our friends, these photos... and so much more are worth no more or less to me at this moment than thye were a moment ago and will probably be worth more in the moments to come. Maybe I'll find a way to express this as an image, perhaps not.

There's an economic expression which is worth understanding just now. It's "The Monetary Veil". Too often we categorize things by their position on a dollar/euro/whuddever scoreboard. Even people, wondering how much someone makes for a living. Sometimes we're fortunate to pierce that monetary veil and see the reality on the other side.

We'll leap this financial chasm that's appearing in front of us on the TV and in the papers. But as we steel our nerves to jump, it's valuable to look around at everything on this side and see it denuded from some monetary number... and actually value the worth of the things beneath that coverlet before they're all tricked out once again in price tags.

NOTE: If you want to read my take on the causes of this economic malais.... In my other - real - world, I have a published article on the causes you can find if you Click here

Wednesday, October 8


There's a difference between the artist and craftsman. "The artist," it's said, "Does not picture things as they are."

And here's the virgin image directly from my FlashCard... Comments?

Monday, October 6

Heart Flutter

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Okay, given the financial news, howzabout some Jazz-Age romance? Huh? Huh? Time for escape...


For those who like to see the starting points, here are the virgin images from my FlashCards. The auto is from the gift shop at the Vanderbuilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY. The blonde was in a glass case at an antique dealership in Adamstown, PA.

Sunday, October 5

La Passione Di Santa


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And why the title? Well let's go deep, okay? The etymological origins of the word "passion" lie in the Latin passus (stemming from pati, patior- "to suffer [to happen]", in the passive sense).

Now it's clear, huh? As Christmas decorations and carols appear on the earliest days of October (this one in Hyde Park, NY)... It's The Passion of Santa!

BTW: Although they work cheap, there is no evidence anywhere that Santa Clause actually likes elves. Actually their whacky little voices are so hard to understand – it's a little know fact that bending to hear their tiny prattle damaged Santa's back.

And here's my erratic convention... The virgin image posted directly from the FlashCard. Comments?

Saturday, October 4

Just Before It Came

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Went to Hyde Park, New York this week. It's just east of the Catskills. You probably know it as the Vatican of the Democrat party in America. It's where FDR and Eleanor lived and got buried. The American taxpayers have preserved both of their homes (they didn't live together, but that's another story). Pilgrims to Hyde Park are just this side of death. They have memories of these people and their dog. Look, I'm not a young puppy myself, but among the tour groups trembling their way through these MUSTY buildings... well, I'm The Kid!

Hyde Park, like a lot of Appalachian Pennsylvania and New York towns, seems encased in amber. You peer through a golden shell to see things that were everywhere at a time just a tiny tad before the memory of sixty percent of most Americans. It's a clean, Stephan-Spielberg-sort-of-place where the buildings look like sets for pictures of restored vintage cars.

Hyde Park feels like grandmother's living room – outside. You can barely smell the moth balls.

It wasn't clear how best to show The Eveready Diner. Above I teased out a romantic pano but then there's a grittier way, this one taken at 1600 ISO to make the noise explode along with the blare and glare of the morning sun careening around inside of my lens to zap up the contrast. Dunno which evokes the essence of this place. Above I feel the 1940s-50s floating into view, and here the place is clad in a harsher light of the moment. Where's the truth lie? Perhaps somewhere between stark and warm? You call it, K?

NOTE: I am an economist. It's what I do all day long. Some weeks ago it was apparent that the world's financial institutions were at ghastly risk. As you all know now, that risk is upon us. In that period between recognition of potential disaster and its first encroachments... I have been seeing commonplace things as potentially temporary. Existing in borrowed time as the storm built.... Standing here, innocently unaware and doing business as usual... Just before IT came. This is not a happy picture. I am not happy just now. I am developing a nostalgia about... not the past... but the present which seems so fragile as I look around. A storm is coming, and people go about their days, unwarned and unprepared. On top of it we have a bitter election in America. Its shape frightens me even more.

Thursday, October 2

Fish Girl

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Can we evolve down? Have we evolved up? Hmmmm.... There's this belief that we've reached the top of the evolutionary chain. Okay, let's buy that for sake of argument, okay? And since the Darwinian thing is all based upon natural selection and genetic adaptation – well – does that assume that every species always goes one way? Well, no. Any one can slip, right?

And anyone can get a step ahead.

I guess all we can assume is that we humans have got an edge. For the moment.

Although every now and then I meet someone who makes me wonder if, just possibly, we're already slipping some. And I'm going to bet you've also met them... right?


Want to see the virgin image from my FlashCard? Here you go....