Spring unfolds slowly, still pinched in the cold vice of winter

March 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

A few scraps of stuff rescued from the trash . . . a piece of corrugated cardboard, a bit of milled metal from my father’s workshop, and a hibiscus blossom. Cold and windy here for the past two days. Snow and freezing rain predicted for later in the week. But the work of photography goes on and produces its own spring.

On Sunday I could actually walk out onto the deck without freezing

March 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

It seems like most of my posts for the past several months have been complaints about the winter. But on Sunday, it was actually possible to spend a few minutes on the back deck enjoying the sun. It’s great the way the light comes strongly from the southwest on these spring afternoons. Of course it did snow a little today, before it turned to rain, and more snow is predicted for Wednesday, but this is New England, and next week it could be 80 degrees! Nice to be able to get outside with my camera, and not have to shoot through the window, which has pretty much been my vantage point since Christmas.

So much has happened since these pictures were taken

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

There is a marker on the base of the camera I used a few weeks ago to take these pictures that says “Designed by Olympus in Tokyo.” In fact, all the cameras I use were either designed or manufactured in Japan. Several of them are sitting here on my desk as I write this, and I wonder where the people are tonight who drew up the plans for them, machined the parts, assembled them, took the boxes out to the loading dock, and issued the payroll checks.

I’m quite addicted to camera news on the Web, and often check several times a day to keep up with the latest announcements about new equipment. Things move very quickly, and just since January there have been well over 100 new cameras. But now the news is about damaged factories, workers injured, and new products postponed.

It’s so easy to get carried away by wondering if the latest Olympus has a really sharp lens or whether that new Ricoh will work well in low light. But tonight the chatter of obsession has gone quiet as I realize how grateful I am to these people–whose lives are now in turmoil–for providing me with equipment that feeds one of my deepest needs.

It’s hard to know what to say, or to whom, in the face of a disaster of this size, but every time I pick up a camera (which I do every day), I think about the people of Japan and say thank you and send wishes for strength.

Prayer for Japan

March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Prayer by da_yama
Prayer a photo by da_yama on Flickr.
@浅草寺(Sensouji Temple Asakusa Tokyo)
I am the administrator of a group called “Ricoh CX” on Flickr, for people who use this brand of camera. Ricoh tends to market much more heavily in Japan, so a lot of the participants are Japanese. As you can imagine, there is almost no activity on this group tonight. But there is this shot from a member whose Flickr name is da yama. As with all Flickr accounts, I don’t know his real name, just a handful of facts–male, engineer, likes Italian food and culture. Here is his entry for today–his prayer that the lives of many people will be saved. To which I add my own. I don’t speak Japanese and it seems that a lot of participants in the group don’t speak English, but over the time that the group has been in existence, I feel like I have gotten to know each of them through their pictures, and the terrible events in their country have hit pretty close to home. So tonight I’m sending best wishes out to da yama, ashiachiko (pictures of Japanese architecture and countryside), KKOHEII (incredible food), Yutaka Kanoi (strange and beautiful blue-tinted landscape details), Toshiya-1048 (black-and-white flowers), and so many more.

What could be funia than this?

March 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

There was an article in the New York Times today called “Photo Editing Online, Easy as Pie.” It listed a bunch of places you can go on the Web to make greeting cards and collages or to make it look like your sweety is on the cover of a fashion magazine. How could I resist? So I went to a site called Photofunia.com and saw that among other things (like putting an ornate gilded frame around your picture) you can make a photograph look like it was taken around 1898. It’s basically just overlays and stuff you could do on your own, but it’s nice to have it done so quick and easy. Are we having funia yet? Oh, yeah.

This document may be damaged. Continue?

March 6, 2011 § 4 Comments

I like going back into old files of photographs I shot in the past, looking for pictures I overlooked at the time . . . things that perhaps didn’t interest me or pictures that I didn’t have the technical skill to make presentable.

Last night, I was looking through a file of pictures I took on a Palm Pilot during a trip via Metro North to New York City a couple of years ago. As I opened up several of the pictures to work on them, I got a message that said “This document may be damaged. Continue?” So of course I continued and found some really interesting things. I don’t know what happened, but somehow these pictures got cut up electronically and put back together like collages. I really like them. I wish I had a camera that would do this all the time!

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