Category - photography
And now, a bit of shameless self promotion:
But… how will you know for sure unless you have a colorful calendar on your wall that reminds you of the fact every 30 days or so?
Oh, sure, that digital thing in your pocket will keep you up to date well enough. But where’s the fun in that. It’s so… one dimensional!
Consider, on the other hand, the three-dimensional, time-warping qualities of these images:
First, they will help you identify the present date. Sure, any calendar can do that, but these calendars also…
…Transport your imagination into a time in the not so distant past (i.e. centuries, not millennia) when great edifices were carved from stone, by hand, and constructed over several decades. Many of which lie in ruin today…
…and through which you are transported into the cosmos and offered a glimpse of the vastness of space and time – in the form of starlight that left its source millions of years ago…as captured by a giant camera/telescope suspended in orbit around the earth.
The images are “Portals of Stone” – rendered in ink, on card stock… a new “portal” every month through the new year.
Just follow the link to see more at…
or follow this easy PayPal button to order yours today:
Last Friday – my 63rd birthday – I re-posted (with some minor edits) the short essay I wrote on the occasion of my 62nd birthday. It was about turning 62 – the age at which my brother had died in 2011 – and the quest to outlive him numerically by turning 63.
That post ends with:
There is much more to that challenge than simply lasting the year.
I’ve got some living to do.
Seeing that line again for the first time in a year caught me up short. It made me wonder: Had I lived up to my own challenge over the past 12 months?
Or had I just gone on with my desultory day to day existence, squeezing nothing more out of my continued presence here on earth than the consumption of natural resources and the production of bodily wastes?
And then I remembered this photo:
That’s me, seated on a bench before the south elevation of Melrose Abbey in the borders region of Scotland.
For so many reasons, that photo answers the question.
I may not have lived entirely up to whatever potential I have had languishing here for the past several years (like, since Book Two went off the rails), but I think I can say that I certainly made some effort, and have some results to show for it.
I mean, I’m pretty pleased with the whole “Portals of Stone” collection that came out of that trip to England and Scotland last spring. I had my first “art show” this fall, and now the whole collection is hanging in an actual art gallery in East Nashville. And I got a check in the mail for one of the pieces last week. Eat your heart out, Van Gogh…
Probably more important than any of that is just the fact that I made the effort. That I saw an opportunity and I grabbed it, and the result was as satisfying and meaningful a two-weeks as I can recall in my life.
I still can’t quite put my finger on what draws me to these medieval ruins, although I can say that the unexpected result – the Portals of Stone – that came out of that trip is maybe the most creative expression I’ve had since… well, maybe since I finished/published Book One – and that’s going back to 2002. Certainly the most creative visual expression in like… ever. I mean, hey, I was 62 years old and for the first time in my life I came up with something that somebody else – actually a couple of somebody elses who have authority in such things – considered “art.”
So, yeah. That happened.
And now the same gauntlet is thrown for Year 64.
Cue the Beatles:
As anybody who follows my Facebook/Instagram feed knows all to well, I had the privilege last week of being the “In-Kind Sponsor” for Barcamp Nashville 2013. All I had to do was photograph the entire day long event. Which, frankly, was a blast.
As I mentioned in a post (before I carpet-bombed my own feeds with photos…) Barcamp has always been something of a landmark event in my personal reckoning, after I attended the first one in 2007 – an event that marked the beginning of my emergence from years of seclusion and book authoring.
Probably because I mark my own involvement with Barcamp from the very first one in 2007, I got the idea early that morning to start asking the people who were working on and attending this year’s event “How Many Barcamps have you been to…?”
The answers appear in the slide show below. Hover your cursor over the top of the frame to see the suspects’ names.
…or the dumbest idea for a camera, ever?
Ming Thein offers some insights on the just announced Nkon Df – a camera that seems to blend all the disadvantages of digital photography with all the disadvantages of film photography.
I think Ming is mincing his words here.
To be honest, I really don’t quite know what to make of this camera… I’m confused. On one hand, there are very sensible engineering choices – the sensor, for instance; but on the other hand, marketing said that you have to have AF and a full digital set of controls and a retro look, so we land up having too many buttons and knobs and a bit of an F3-collided-with-a-D600 appearance to it.
I’m not mincing mine: I think this is the dumbest thing in camera design/engineering Nikon could possibly have offered.
Starting with the same dysfunctional AF array that soured me on the D600 right out of the box.
Ming talks a lot about the viewfinder. He’s talking about an optical viewfinder. But based on my experience with the Olympus EM-1 so far, I think the whole idea of the optical viewfinder is obsolete. I spent a lot of time while shooting the Barcamp on Saturday experimenting with flash settings – flash on, flash off, flash exposure plus/minus – and never had to take the camera away from my eye to make those adjustments because all the info is right in the viewfinder. I don’t think there is any optical viewfinder that puts that much info in front of your eye.
But better than that, each time I made an exposure, it would appear before my eye in the viewfinder. I could tell without ever looking at the back of the camera that I’d gotten the shot and move on to the next one. You can’t do that with an optical viewfinder, either.
It seems to me that some evil twin of Marshal McLuhan is now running Nikon. McLuhan wrote about seeing the future through a rear-view mirror – using new technology to do the work of the old. He wasn’t suggesting that that is necessarily a good thing – but this camera is a classic example of doing just that. It’s taking digital technology and trying to replicate the film camera experience. Jeezus, if you want a “film experience,” just get an F3 or an F100 off eBay.
And the price… almost $2,800?? That’s the same as a D800… which is possibly the finest DSLR on the market.
I’m with Ming. Totally confused.