Preservation Jazz Hall is a place where history has piled up and I think photography is a kind of a pile of history, too. Everyone has their own version of a place so each history may seem a little different but if you put them all in the pile, it blends into itself and comes down to us of a piece.
Someday soon, Opera Boy and I are going to travel to New Orleans for a visit. It’s been 40 some-odd years since I lived in the French Quarter but parts of it rush up behind my eyes with such clarity that it is hard to ignore. When he decided that it was our next destination, I got the scanner out and pulled some of my favorite images of the Quarter from the early ’70’s.
This one was from a hot October night at Preservation Hall… it was crammed with steamy people and nobody cared because the music was so fine!
Of course there will be a camera in my hand when we go… hoping against hope that it hasn’t become it’s own little theme park… hoping to catch a glimpse of my younger self on the avenue or looking out a window. Someday can’t come soon enough. ;0)
I added this and a handful of others to my website… now that I have a Personal Work section, even I get to visit them more often. Maybe I’ll see you there? ;0)
As the Winter Solstice nears, there is a long and mournful sound that drifts across the river on December weekends. I usually stop what I’m doing to go stand on my front porch to listen… there is no sound like it!
Steam trains were an occasional treat in Virginia when I was growing up. My dad used to go looking for them whenever he heard they were going to be rolling through the valley.
Here in Portland, we have a great group of people who run the Oregon Rail Heritage Center and during the holidays, they run two trains from Oak’s Park to OMSI and back on the weekends… about a 45 minute ride.
I was all set to go yesterday with my camera but the skies turned a dull grey and the rain began to sneak in around the time I wanted to go. Meh.
Instead, I dug these out from December of 2006… I still have a couple more chances ahead and there is a different vantage point I want to try. ;0)
If you decide to go, get your tickets ahead, grab your kids or friends and be sure to bundle up… it will be cold but I think you will have a great trip!
I may try a ride next time but I love watching this slice of another time from the outside… trying to imagine it almost a hundred years ago.
If I have my facts straight, this is the Empire Builder and it is from 1929.
For me, road test is my description for taking a new camera or lens out into the world to see how it performs. It is the second step if you count the first step being the one where I shoot around my house in an utterly familiar environment. In the road test I try for something brand new… something I can’t predict too well.
The new camera is a Lumix GH4 by Panasonic… a snappy little camera with a lot of muscle under the hood. So far, I am very, very pleased. Yesterday found me at Fort Vancouver for the first time. I have been on Officer’s Row a gazillion times but never had a chance to go into the fort. This image was taken in the blacksmith’s shop in natural light and I couldn’t be more pleased. The only caveat here is that Adobe doesn’t support RAW files for this camera yet… the workaround for now is to shoot RAW + large JPGs and save the RAW files for later. That means that as nice as this version looks, I can’t wait to get my hands on the RAW file and see how it flies!
My unending thanks to Mark Toal, the Panasonic rep who has given me so much of his time and information… I have been looking for something small and fresh for a few years and he suggested I look at this line.
Ultimately, this little camera is going to take me places I want to explore… sure, I could pack my Nikon bag but sometimes it seems like too much to carry… like it’s too much work. Since play is what I’m after, I may extend the road test for awhile. ;0)
As in last week’s post, I am running an image from a recent wedding in Wasco. I was the second camera for Randy Kepple, my esteemed and wonderful friend. I don’t shoot for other photographers… still getting the hang of of it, I am not used to hanging back. With Randy, I try to keep out of his way and still bring him images he can use… this one was something he was shooting from a different angle and I lined mine up in a fashion that Amy and Juston might like. This is another of my mixed-tech shots. Digital camera focused on the viewfinder of a Kodak Duaflex from about 1950. It takes a little time and a few tries for the best focus but I love the feel of it… new becoming old and made to last for a very long time.
Jill and Michael had their 6th anniversary a couple of days ago… she posted this photo to Facebook and I was reminded how much fun they were in front of my camera. Wonderful people, crazy in love!
Spontaneity is the word during portraits. My job is to put people in a good looking space with the best light possible… what they do from there is what makes or breaks the work. I never try to pose much beyond that… I want them as real as they can be, recognizable to themselves and their friends. Having gotten to know Jill a little better over the years, I’d say this would give you a very true sense of the relationship. ;0)
I think I am just in a mood to go to the beach today so my post for the week reflects an unanswered wish. ;0)
You may recall this couple from an earlier post. Ali and Anthony had one of those lucky days at the coast… October, mostly rain, but then this beautiful window of soft light right when we needed it. In this photo, we had just finished the private camera time and were heading back to a houseful of celebrating friends and family. I’d like to think Ali was facing back to the scene to try to stitch it into her memory. It’s hard to keep any of a wedding day in your mind and that’s why the photographs really count.
I think we have had four sunny days this month… I know we played hooky for two and did much needed yard work for two. Today might be one more. Our weather is a real tease this time of year but I am always grateful to live here. A few days ago, Opera Boy and I went to Woodburn to see the Tulip fields. Of course it wasn’t one of the sunny days, but tulips aren’t around all the time. I have tried twice before to be there when the fields were full of color without too many people… this time we got it right.
I took my Nikon with my 60mm but I also took my Kodak Duaflex, circa 1950, for a very different treatment. The next four images are from a merging of old camera and new camera… I hope you like the look.
The sky was as much a part of the show as the flowers… we only got a little rain but we sure were a muddy mess when we got back to the car!
In my post last week, I was talking about taking the time to do some good portraits. Well, in this one, Erin and Rob had to stay still for the 12 second exposure… they did pretty well. I used a Pinhole camera, a beautiful wooden box with a tiny hole in it so only a pinhole’s worth of light gets to the film. That makes it a slow process but a special one. From there, I have to scan the negative to make it compatible with the rest of the wedding images.
My summer clients get the chance to try the non-digital approach for some of their portraits… I can’t always use them so I don’t make any hard and fast promises but when the conditions of light and time are met, we can make images from another time and that can be a wonderful thing.
I come to every wedding ready to document the entire day… the things requested and the many pieces I see that make the story. The random parts that appear in front of my camera, the ones that make my senses sing, are the ones I live for.
This little procession up from the damp beach in Gearhart… ecstatic mom on the rise and the Oregon Symphony guy waiting for the couple and their furry companion to pass… I couldn’t have planned this in any way… just have to track it through the eyepiece. It is a very favorite image of mine and I can’t imagine the day without it.
“Keep a third eye watching behind you. You never know when you’re making a memory… they will wish they were here together again someday…”