Last Spring I posted about being all excited by the addition of an iPhone to my gear bag… I have not been disappointed. Sure, I needed a real phone but I bought it for the camera. There is good photography going on in this very portable genre… if the apps are handled well, art happens. It is something you carry in your pocket and it has changed my already odd habit of looking at the world for things I’d like to keep, maybe to share. It makes me self-assign on a very different level.
The lead image here is a section of the Seattle Music Experience… the Space Needle is off to my right in case you go up there… huge, crazy, beautiful planes of metal designed by Frank O. Gehry.
Opera boy and I took advantage of a recent clear, cold day for a walkabout near Powell’s Books. This one was processed in an app called Decim8 and it is an interesting departure from it’s rather straightforward original… I don’t usually go this far with my images but I am liking this one very much.
This stack of bowls was a display at Rejuvenation Hardware… that place is an absolute candy store for me. I never had the nerve to just wander around with my real camera but with the iPhone, I look like every other shopper there taking notes in the showrooms. ;0)
Opera Boy and I wandered a little further in the cold sun and I found this one… that’s him in the hat.
Anyway, these are a few I felt like putting up today… tomorrow, the real business of 2013 begins again and I have other work to finish. The play will take a back seat for a while.
As the days get downright gloomy, Christmas lights and over the top plastic displays start to sprout all over town… it’s fine for driving by but when I come home I prefer a little visual peace. Most of the time, we don’t do any decorating here… the cats would make short work of a tree in my small house and the outside is short on electrical outlets. ;0)
This year, my very talented friend Francoise Weeks was teaching wreath-making workshops… the conversation we had about that sparked a desire to have one, so I asked her if I could buy one of hers. She laughed at me and said no. Then she said she would make me a wreath on one condition… that I take some good photographs of it. My turn to laugh! Francoise is just one of the nicest people I have ever known and we have traded our talents for awhile now.
The textures in this piece are worth exploring… see what you think. Continue reading
I have to laugh every year about this time… there is always a somewhat frantic scramble to get a Christmas card put together and out to the mailbox in time. Sometimes my people call me for a summer session or maybe a September sort of thing but mostly, they wait until pretty much the last minute. By then, the ‘last minute’ part becomes a dance with the weather… I always advise putting a few dates on the calendar so that when it rains, we have a second chance already set aside.
We had a cold, sunny day at the end of November for this session… this favorite of mine was sort of between the takes and I love the way it shows a real, fine family working together to get it done. ;0)
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is always a draw for me when I have a little spare time… sure, it’s crazy crowded and maybe a little too full of tourists but something in me enjoys watching the hustle. Camera-wise, it takes me to other places in my life like the flea market near my apartment in the French Quarter or the older parts of Coney Island… there’s a little ‘midway’ about all of them.
These two ladies had found a less trammelled space for a conversation and coffee. Out that bright window is Elliott Bay and Puget Sound full of ferries and small humped islands… on a sunny day you can see the incomparable Olympic Mountains. I imagine it was a fine view for the silent parts of a conversation.
Me, I just like to watch the world go by.
Apparently, I am an easy mark for any technology, old or new, that gives me a way to see. This last Sunday I had the pleasure of taking a full day workshop from a very talented photographer, Jan Sonnenmaier. She is a woman I have known of for years and I am sorry I haven’t done more to get to know her before now.
Jan teaches an iPhone camera workshop. Keep in mind that for a few years, I have taken a rather dim view of the whole idea of camera phones. I just didn’t get what the fuss was all about. Until now. My new iPhone 4s has more than twice the megapixels of my first pro digital DSLR. Besides the whole file size issue, it also has some of the most nuanced options you might ever hope for. Jan introduces the best apps and goes into the guts to show you how it all works.
Long story short, I now have a small presence on Instagram @joeytallboy and a fantastic array of tools in my pocket… can’t wait to see where it goes from here!
New tools, old tricks, I guess… I joined the ranks of the iPhone Tribes yesterday and while I haven’t done much communicating, you can bet I have been trying to become one with it’s camera. ;0)
In my camera history, I have always roamed my own house and yard to try out any new gear… film, lenses, cameras… it’s a really good way to see how something new is going to translate for me. These are everyday places for me. I am used to the light and the shadows… the moods of my home.
I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised and very happy to have a new voice in my bag!
There was once a sunny day when two friends decided to take a walk about. Ross Hamilton used to wait tables with me at Jake’s Famous Crawfish… we found kindred artistic souls in each other, though I believe he was a true Renaissance Man… many more talents than I will ever have. Ross told me he wanted to take the cameras to this SE Portland switching yard and I will always remember his quiet grin as we stood above the tracks. We gave up the daily contact as we took separate career paths but he was good about calling with a lunch invite or just for coffee. He’s gone now… lost his battle in 2006 but he left behind a world of friends.
There is no way to describe the relief that washed over me when I finally found this photograph after having lost it for about 8 years. I was pretty sure it was in my house still but I sure couldn’t put my hands on it. Of course it came to light when I was looking for something else.
This was taken on a frozen February morning in Winnipeg… it was 1979 and Lon and I had flown in from Boston to catch a total eclipse of the sun. The entire trip was rather surreal… especially standing in a remote and utterly frozen field many miles north of Winnipeg as the light began to take on another dimension. He was able to concentrate on his telescopes and the cameras attached but all I could do was live it. To this day, I can see the light coming across the open spaces… kind of pink and, somehow, about 3 feet high.
That train left at midnight and we were on it, westbound for Oregon. Even though our relationship was on the wane, it was the beginning of a new life here.
Yesterday, Opera Boy and I were 2 of 3700 Oregonians who headed west to help clean the beaches. This happens in March and September of each year and when my Saturday is open for it, we get up early, dress warm and go.
They set up 45 registration stations along our beautiful coastline… that’s 363 miles of beach. Certainly some of it is too dangerous but there’s lots of room for debris to pile up. Beach-wise, it’s an odd thing… constantly looking down, careful of natural vs man-made debris. It can be disheartening to realize how much litter we create… most of the stuff is quite capable of choking the life out of many other creatures.
When we go for a normal day at the coast, I now look around and watch people, hoping they will try to catch that Oreo bag that got away… maybe be sure that the kid’s toys all get collected and put back in the bucket before they head home. We sometimes remember to take a bag with us for the walk back to wherever we came in and we pick up what we can. Can you imagine if everyone did this a little more often?
I have a couple of friends who think this is sucker behavior… why should I clean up after someone else? Well, who the hell is going to do it otherwise? It’s up to all of us.
So what does all of this have to do with the Otis Cafe you might ask? One reward is the clean beach for walking on, even in the rain but the other reward is the stack of buttermilk pancakes on the way home!
About 4 years ago, Opera Boy and I drove to Neskowin very early in the morning… we had a date with an unusually low minus-tide. An old forest that is usually submerged had made itself visible on the beach and word had gotten out. It was interesting and gratifying to see the number of people who made the trek to see it… knowing it would not happen often.
I chose to shoot it with one of my pinhole cameras… the image seems to translate more into a soft history than something sharp and clear. A history of trees turned to ghosts.