civilized ku # 3590(still life)-92(sports) ~ sorta chained to my desktop

(embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • µ4/3 / 100-400mm equivalent lens

(embiggenable) • µ4/3 / 100-400mm equivalent lens

The first photo book, NEW ORLEANS, of my 3 book train trip trilogy is being printed. Working on book 2, Chicago.

Getting this all together has been a time-consuming challenge. My first edit resulted in 238 "keepers" divided into 3 folders - New Orlean, Chicage and Racine. Next step was to process/convert all of them into snapshot quality pictures. Then came the sequencing edit for the New Orleans photo book followed by adding the snapshot border to each picture. Finally, The book was put together and ordered.

Now it's on to the Chicago book followed by the Racine book. And then, finish the prep work for my July solo exhibition at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.

In between all the train trip work, I have been able to get out and do a bit of sports / action picture making at the behest of my grandson Hugo, the lacrosse goalie. As a high school freshman, he was a 2nd line forward on the varsity hockey team and is currently the starting goalie on the varsity lacrosse team.

civilized # 3589 ~ what complexity?

George Washington bridge ~ NYC, NY (embiggenable)• iPhone

There has been a fair amount of angst being aired on TOP, re: complexity of digital cameras. Nothing new, the complaint has been around for quite some time and, whenever it rears its head, my response is wonder what the fuss is.

While it is certainly true that digital cameras have become ever so menu items rich, they are, iMo, complex to operate only if the user makes them so. The same could be said of Photoshop. However, since my first venture into the digital picture making world, I have been keeping things simple. Not by deliberate intention but rather by the manner in which I use a camera.

I have always, analog or digital, wanted my camera to be set-it-and-forget-it in order to be able to concentrate on the the aesthetics side of picture making. In the analog world, that meant setting the aperture and shutter, focus and get on with it. In the digital domain, I follow essentially the same routine.

I am able to keep it simple because I have set image capture parameters when I first acquire a camera ....Manual Mode, auto WB, neutral color, AF+M focus, RAW files .... and that's the way it remains. I occasionally adjust the ISO and that's about it. In some situations, I make a small +or- shutter speed or aperture adjustment relative to what the auto exposure indicates in order to protect highlights or shadows.

My intention with this M.O. is to get a good RAW file which can be processed using Photoshop-after conversion using Iridient Devloper-to achieve my desired result. My processing technique uses the same few tools for nearly every file.

So, for me, from start to finish, it's simple is as simple does.

civilized ku # 3585-88 ~ wall-worthy?

all pictures ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

When making pictures on vacation / a trip, it's easy to make a lot of pictures of the I-was-here variety. It's also possible that some of those pictures will look and feel like "serious" pictures. That is, pictures which are wall-worthy, independent of their on-vacation origins.

As I work through the editing of my recent train trip pictures, I am consciously looking for wall-worthy pictures which are "serious" in look and feel. Which is not to write that some of the I-was-here pictures won't end up on the wall. Some will. And, in all probablity, those pictures will be more "liked"-not a criticism, just an observation-than the "serious" pictures from the trip.

Without a doubt both types of pictures will incite a question or two. For the I-was-here pictures, the question will be, "Where was this picture taken?" For the "serious" pictures, the question will almost most always be, "Why did you take that picture?"

Both are good questions. One is much easier to answer than the other.

FYI, the egg shells and grizzle picture was a made arrangement. The woman will umbrella picture was made in New Orleans while the wife and I were sheltering from a downpour. The passersby picture was made while sitting in a bookstore window killing time before our classic Chicago steakhouse dinner. I made over 20 such pictures. The wife in a doorway picture was made in the Art Institute of Chicago. It just might be the best portrait I have made of her. I also feel that the picture transcends the typical portrait picture.

civilized ku # 3580-84 ~ pictures pictures everywhere

Lake Michigan ~ Racine, Wisconsin (embiggenable) • iPhone

the L train ~ Chicago, Illinois (embiggenable) • iPhone

Lafayette Cemetery ~ New Orleans, Louisiana (embiggenable) • iPhone

Wingspread ~ Racine, Wisconsin (embiggenable) • iPhone

Johnson Wax bldg ~ Racine, Wisconsin (embiggenable) * iPhone

Back home and trying to figure out how I am going to handle the approximately 700 pictures I made on our 3,000+ mile trip. I used the iPhone camera module for 99% of my picture making and, for 97% of that time, it performed quite admirably. For the othere 3% it performed adequately.

My challenge will be to edit down, from all of the pictures, to a reasonable number of pictures to make photo books. Books ... because, due the number of pictures, there will most likely be 3 books, one for each segment of the trip - New Orleans, Chicago and Racine.

On this trip, if I had not been trying to "be in the moment", as opposed to picturing the moment, there were opportunities to make enough pictures to make books of some of the individual places we experienced. One such place was Hobnob, a traditional / classic Wisconsin Supper Club in Racine, Wisconsin right on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Everything about it was straight out of the late 50s/early 60s (opened in 1954) - the atmosphere, the decor, the menu, the drink menu and the service (at a true supper club, 2-3 hours for the meal / experience is standard). If I hadn't been in the moment (thanks to the wife's "encouragement"), I could have easily made 20 pictures for a photo book. More's the pity, but the wife was happy so I was too.

civilized ku # 3573-79 ~ moving on up the line

all pictures ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

riding the City of New Orleans train / observation car to Chicago


Pulled in to Chicago yesterday morning in the pouring rain. Dropped luggage at AirB&B and went to the Art Institute of Chicago - some pictures tomorrow.

Friday and Saturday evenings in New Orleans were all about music, music and more music .... blues, brass, ragtime and Louisiana Swamp genres. It was a good opportunity to give the iPhone an after dark run though. With a little processig work, the results are quite satisfactory.

Tonight in Chicago, it's dinner at a classic Chicago steakhouse followed by Chicago blues music.

More pictures to come.

civilized ku # 3568-72 ~ the Big Easy

all pictures in the French Quarter / New Orleans ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Day 3 in The Big Easy and the living is indeed easy. Last 2 days spent exploring - riding trolleys, museums, shops, bars, architecture, restaurants (how much seafood can one eat?) and music - in the French Quarter. One highlight was the Drag Walk History Tour (see our tour guide above) during which we leaned all about the history of women, queers, drag, whores, madams, are: in the Storyville / French Quarter neighborhoods of New Orleans.

This morning we had an intensely creole breakfast. This afternoon it's a bike ride / meander through and around the Garden District. Followed by dinner (more seafood, no doubt) and then a French Quarter crawl for bars and music.

Plenty more pictures to come.

Civilized ku # 5355-58 ~ north of the border

Quebec Aquarium   ~  (embiggenable) • iPhone

Quebec Aquarium ~  (embiggenable) • iPhone

Morning Hugo    ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Morning Hugo  ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Fashion statement  ~ (embiggenable) 8 iPhone

Fashion statement ~ (embiggenable) 8 iPhone

Leaving the Old City  ~ Quebec, CA (embiggenable) 8 iPhone

Leaving the Old City ~ Quebec, CA (embiggenable) 8 iPhone

 Didn’t bring my laptop so I have to post using the Squarespace app which is really crappy. I’m hoping that some pictures are better for you than no pictures. In any event when I return home on Wednesday, I’ll restructure this mess.

civilized ku # 5354 ~ history be damned

Hyde Collection Museum   ~ Glens Falls, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

Hyde Collection Museum ~ Glens Falls, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

Recently the idea of reading books, re: the history of photography, come up on TOP. I was tempted to post a comment but I didn't.

That written, I have given thought to, given my truly vast and comprehensive knowledge of the medium and its apparatus, writing a history of photography. However, I have rejected that idea inasmuch as finding a publisher interested in publishing a 1 page book would be probably be a difficult task. Although I could break it up into chapters but there would still be only 5 sentences....


Photography was invented.
People started making pictures.
People continued making pictures.
They are still making pictures.
Look at the pictures.

.... it's brilliant, concise and gets right to the meat of the matter.

That written, I have several books, re: the history of photography, such as, PHOTOGRAPHY ~ from 1839 to today, published by the George Eastman House, aka: Eastman Museum. It's 800 pages and, coincidentally, I have read less than 5 sentences although I have looked at a lot of the pictures.

That book, like all of the others like it, present the history of photography almost exclusively from the standpoint of the great and lesser known "masters" of the medium. You might think that an 800 page book with 1 or more pictures on every page would have a fair number of surprises, picture wise, but that is not the case. There's a lot of same-o, same-o seen that before.

AND, here's my main gripe about such books ... they, at best gloss over, at worst ignore completely, the greatest movement of the medium, the history of snapshot making. Which, iMvio, is ridiculous inasmuch as there have been more-by an unfathomable multiplication factor-snapshots made over the course of the medium's existence than all of the picture making genres (fine art, journalism, advertising, et al) put together. This fact is understandable since most, if not all, photography histories are undertaken by academics.

Fortunately, there is one book (that I know of) that addresses that omission, THE ART OF THE AMERICAN SNAPSHOT-1888-1978. The book has 294 pages, 250 pictures (drawn from the collection of a single individual) and is divided into 4 sections-determined by era-each with an essay written by a different author. It is chock full of surprises and delights, picture wise, and the essays address the interdependence of snaphot making with each era's culture. The essays are a kinda chicken or the egg exercise inasmuch as they posit the question, did the cultural paradgm of each era dictate what people made pictures? of or did the pictures people made help influence and change the cultural paradgm of that era? The book is facsinating no matter how you look (or read) at it.

In my picture making life, there have been only 2 books which greatly influenced my picture making thoughts and activities. The first was the new color photography (by Sally Eauclaire published in 1981), which surveys the work of then-emerging modern photographers and compares and analyzes their use of color. Long out of print but considered a classic. Used copies are generally available and one bonus of owning the book is that you can read my name in the acknowlegements. The second book is the ART OF THE AMERICAN SNAPSHOT.

If I were to be banished to a desert island (with internet and wifi / cell connections), those are the 2 books I'm bringing with me along with, of course, my iPhone, my iPad, a BOSE wireless speaker and a lifetime supply of Cheez•its. Both books are highly recommended.