Saturday, December 31, 2011

one autumn eve

none goes along this way but i,
this autumn eve

- basho

Friday, August 26, 2011

the single best invention of life

interesting confluence of thoughts today on my morning hike. steve jobs has been in the news, with the usual slew of articles, quotes, retrospectives and the like. i came across some excerpts from a stanford commencement address he gave in 2005. decided to follow his advice - in admittedly a little way - here. i've been sitting on a number of shots from various old cemeteries i've visited as part of my berkshire wanderings for a few years now. these cemeteries are fascinating to me - being in one evokes curiosity, memories, emotions, and eventually a special kind of quiet. i've never shown any of these images, based on my own observations that people just don't like to be reminded of the whole death issue, in spite of all that we know to be true. maybe the best invention of life, but not high on list of photo subjects for most. here's one of my favorites anyway. 

jobs had the courage to talk about death as a part of his personal story and as a motivator and seemed to me to speak to the truth of it - with his buddhist perspective shining through. a couple of the quotes:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true."

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

musical immersion

is what any time in new orleans is about, but even more so when you go there for the jazz and heritage festival. the people, the food, the music, oh my. the city is consumed by celebration as much as it is still consumed with the aftermath of katrina (with much justification, sadly). we were there with friends, and made more (of the local type), who kept us focused on what was most important - who to listen to, and when, and what to eat, and where. nice. the last morning, we wandered the french quarter, making a point of staying at least 2 streets away from the notorious "bourbon" when i came across this music store. reflections such as these are always a challenge, but when you get it right, they can be rich with layers of images which blend the real and the reflected realities in ways that help to show "not simply what something is, but also what else it is". my favorite quote is from miles davis: "do not fear mistakes. there are none."

Friday, April 8, 2011

as cold as it looks

found myself in rockport, ma this past january. it was between storms, which was lucky, but it was squeaky-snow cold. walked the pier and around the harbor before the wedding we were attending. had a fabulous brunch with friends at the tiny "red skiff" diner. in real life this dinghy is red, and reminds me of that day. in black and white, it's just cold.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

where were we?

yep, been awhile. been immersed in the wonderful world of revenue-generation, which has put a bit of a crimp in my photo life, at least the "standard" version of it. i've certainly tried harder to make the most of my opportunities, which mostly means just going with it, instead of fighting. the composition above is a great example. we were with some friends in Carmel to celebrate the new year. did i want to go to Point Lobos or Garapata or Big Sur? You bet. did i? nope. we all went tourist on Monterey. all 8 of us. we walked out onto the coastguard pier, and on the way back, i noticed the painted markers. not on the way out. in any event, i noticed they all had weathered in interesting ways, so started to shoot them. got to the 8th, and a young boy was fishing right in front. waited for him to move, but he didn't, so i went with it. turns out he made the whole series! a friend asked if i had taken these. he was surprised, because it's not like me. is now! nice.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

patagonian daredevil

while everyone else was hunkered below decks on what was admittedly some fairly rough waters, Bill Ellzey was on deck trying to get another shot or two of the fabulous light...if you're considering a photo workshop this year, i recommend you get in touch with him. he's headed down to patagonia in april for the fall foliage show, and as you can see, there's a bit more than red leaves on the agenda. when i went in '08, i came back with new friends, great memories, and a book's worth of images!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

my all-time favorite analog imaging system

came back from the optometrist late last year with a clean bill of health, and this showed up in my email shortly after (one of two!). reminded me that this was my sensor. DR is awesome, color reproduction is fabulous, subtle tones, no color casts, etc., resolution is perfectly matched to the lens and the processing pipeline, and is more than enough for the standard output target. and, of course, it does video! while the processor might not be as fast for other tasks than it used to be, on the imaging front, it works perfectly well. and thankfully i haven't had an urge to upgrade at all -  not even the slightest far. i'm perfectly satisfied. yeah, sure, the sensor isn't exactly aligned properly, (design is fine, i suspect a manufacturing defect) but nothing that lenses can't that i've simplified on the  single still image digital backup/augmentation front, hopefully now i can focus on what this system does best: see. something that a camera can never do. i'm thinking that's the best way to improve my photography this year.