Printaphilic Phorum

December 5, 2014

#144 Just Sayin’

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:06 pm

#144  Just Sayin’

Tompkins County friends: Monday 8 Dec and Fri., 12 Dec. ( possibly Mon.,15 Dec. as well) I’ll be showing selection prints from sixty years of doing photography as part of the Alternatives FCU Holiday Market. The show will be nominally open from 9:30am until 3pm closing in the downstairs main room of the credit union. I’m looking for a couple of volunteers, one each day, to spell me at my display so I can grab a bite to eat and make a pit stop. Prints will be for sale, including some inexpensive bargains like “Non Carpe Diem.”

0066NonCarpeDiem

0066NonCarpeDiem

November 29, 2014

#143 I Was Looking For Something Else, But This Is What I Got.

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 3:08 pm

#143 I Was Looking For Something Else, But This Is What I Got.

#142 The Wizard Returns, Then and Now

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay, Thoughts on Photography — printaphilic @ 10:56 am

#142 The Wizard Returns, Then and Now

 

Minus017-01WizardInGarbageland03©WEB

Minus017-01WizardInGarbageland03©WEB

Just a few months shy of 50 years ago I began a project that came to be called “The Wizard In Garbageland.” It was a photoessay about the New Jersey meadows shot mostly during the spring term of 1965 while I was studying ‘photojournalism’ ( a class that had nothing to do with the real shoulder monkey) with the late Joseph Briechtenbach at the New School For Social Research in NYC.

Minus018-17YachtClubDogsGreenPointHoboken05©WEB

Minus018-17YachtClubDogsGreenPointHoboken05©WEB

 

Minus018-85OldBulldog06©WEB

Minus018-85OldBulldog06©WEB–Enduring Mack truck.

I’d wandered around the meadows region with my friend Z. Arktos and our cameras both before and after the New School spring term and it has been our intent ever since to return to work on this again . A half century of life has intervened. Our life ties are now elsewhere. I had no idea at the time that as an august a true photojournalist as Bruce Davidson was working on the same subject at the same time…a minor parenthesis in his vitea.

2112SawtoothRoof©WEB

2112SawtoothRoof©WEB–A feature of old style industrial architecture to maximize natural north  light and optimize heating and cooling by sun and wind.

 

 

Minus018-67SecurityHole03©WEB

Minus018-67SecurityHole03©WEB

The entire region of northern New Jersey east of the Watchung ridge was regarded by sophisticated society as a vast cesspool…a charge not without foundation. The mineral, chemical and biological trashing of the region had proceeded, heedless, for a century. The environmental movement of the time probably just wrote the area off as a lost cause. Near the end of the century Robert Sullivan’s wonderful 1998 account of his explorations, “The Meadowlands,” (ISBN 0-684-83285-2) shows some signs that people were waking up to the importance of the region and we began to hear tales of artists lofts in former slaughterhouses and luxury housing with sunset views of the Manhattan skyline rising from the asbestos laden ashes of the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken.

Minus020-71GreenPointYClongShot03©WEB

Minus020-71GreenPointYClongShot03©WEB

In 1965 I was working with a Leica IIIf with 50mm Summitar lens for B&W (obsolete even) and the groundbreaking Nikon F with it’s awful 43-86mm zoom lens for various color slide films. Almost none of the color slides survived poor storage conditions seemed to actively encourage emulsion eating fungus growth. The B&W negatives, processed in various kitchens and bathrooms, fared only somewhat better. They have required extensive digital reconstruction after scanning.
Looking back at that old student work I’m heartstricken that I, at the time, so badly missed the point. I photographed the pollution, the garbage, the industries, the economic foundations of the metropolitan area, curiosities and such pockets of natural beauty as I could find, but Utterly Clueless, I did almost nothing interactively with the people I encountered there. There were a few exceptions. I realized the omission just a week or so before the term project was due…too late to shift emphasis. Now, much of that society is utterly gone.

Minus026-44NapTimeInRailroadYMCA04©WEB

Minus026-44NapTimeInRailroadYMCA04©WEB

 

Minus018-69GuysAtThePlant04©WEB

Minus018-69GuysAtThePlant04©WEB

During my most recent trip to New Jersey there was no option to go looking for interaction with people. The trip was already drastically over budget for time, money and metabolic energy; I had but hours and half a tank of gas before the need to beeline for home.

 

2075UnderBellevillePike©WEB

2075UnderBellevillePike©WEB

2074NewarkFromBellevillePike©WEB

2074NewarkFromBellevillePike©WEB

 

2076ArtUnderPike©WEB

2076ArtUnderPike©WEB

 

 

 

 

Still the comparisons were interesting. I spent my budget in the town of Harrison, interesting because it was an area I’d under-explored half a century ago that then contained some of the most dense concentration of fundamental industry on which the economy of the greater New York metropolitan area so heavily depended. What will it do now ? Also of interest, then and now, were the bridges connecting the City of Newark by rail lines to New York City. What had become of them…how had they fared ?

 

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Minus023-17RRliftBridges@Kearny04©WEB

 

 

Minus023-17RRliftBridges@Kearny04©WEB  2114HouseAboveRooftops©WEB

2114HouseAboveRooftops©WEB
http://www.en.wikipedea.org/wiki/Dock_Bridge

(spacer)
In the different world of 1965 we were ignored while wandering around such places with our cameras, but on this trip, using a “prosumer” digital SLR and some serious looking lenses, I was thoroughly vetted by a security agent after ignorantly pointing my lens a Federal office building.  After a few initial questions convinced him I was no terrorist this contractors agent was outright friendly and told me lots about the history of the bridge. I was astounded to discover that it’s still considered so vital to the area transport infrastructure that it’s currently undergoing a major overhaul to remain in service another 50 or more years.

2127TrollEyeView©WEB

2127TrollEyeView©WEB

2120PensyRRbridgeOverPassiacR©WEB

2120PensyRRbridgeOverPassiacR©WEB

 

 

 

Not all the area is held so esteemed. Vast areas are in progress of condominization.

2099CondoizationHarrison©WEB

2099CondoizationHarrison©WEB

At least in the hours I could explore, all traces of working waterfronts seemed utterly gone.

 

 

 

Minus020-04CommercialVesselOnHackensack©WEB

Minus020-04CommercialVesselOnHackensack©WEB–~1970. “Black Cloud” of ‘St. Pete’, FLA  ? What was her cargo ?

In past years of riding commuter trains from the suburbs further inland across the meadows to Ferry crossings to Manhattan made me familiar with some of the basic industries. The ferry boats are long gone; you take “the Tubes.”

 

 

 

 

 

Minus026-35GravelBargesOnHackensack03©WEB

Minus026-35GravelBargesOnHackensack03©WEB

Minus025-72StacksAndTanks06©WEB

Minus025-72StacksAndTanks06©WEB

Minus018-75AbandonedPRRferryTerminalJerseyCity01©WEB

Minus018-75AbandonedPRRferryTerminalJerseyCity01©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this place my grandfather and great uncle loaded lumber on a one horse buckboard and hauled it to a building site in Nutley.Minus026-50KoppersCoke03©WEB

 

Minus026-50KoppersCoke03©WEB

2147FuelStorageOffMcCarterHwy©WEB  In this place my grandfather and great uncle

loaded lumber on a one horse buckboard and hauled it to

2068AbandonedIndustrialSpur©WEB

2068AbandonedIndustrialSpur©WEB

2142RootsEatConcrete©WEB

2142RootsEatConcrete©WEB

a building site in Nutley, NJ

2153WarehouseBecomesParking©WEB

2153WarehouseBecomesParking©WEB

 

 

44BasculeBridgeOpen©WEB

44BasculeBridgeOpen©WEB — Open, abandoned, maybe never to be used again.

It’s clear that many of these industries were environmental bad actors. A great deal of labor strife accompanied their prosperity. The often nameless and incomprehensible forces of the economy move on. Clearly the financial world feels that society needs the condo housing which is taking over the area. All the people will still need jobs…what will they do in the future when all the basic industries have moved off shore and there’s a great Red Bull of a sports stadium where the jobs used to be. ? Sell hot dogs ??

 

Minus026-36FireIn YardDunnage05©WEB

Minus026-36FireIn YardDunnage05©WEB

Minus020-57AlongPennzyMainline06©WEB

Minus020-57AlongPennzyMainline06©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minus026-61MainlineThruMeadows02©WEB

Minus026-61MainlineThruMeadows02©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minus022-67Lanterns02©WEB

Minus022-67Lanterns02©WEB

 

‘Nuff for Now: another job calls me away.                                               Next Post: There’s a really extensive piece in the pipeline about industry in the New Jersey Pine Barrens from colonial and revolutionary times forward.  It may be weeks before it’s finished.

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2086PipelineParallelPike©WEB

2086PipelineParallelPike©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 31, 2014

#141 markets, Markets, MARKETS

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 11:50 am

#141 markets, Markets, MARKETS

Agoraphobia is the fear of markets, also exposed places and crowds. It can be pretty darn incapacitating. It seems to be the bane of almost everyone who wants to think of themselves as an artist.

      http://www.tedorland.com/artandfear/

 

We have to spend enormous amounts of our psychic energy on marketing when we’d really much rather just be making the art and having people enjoy it. Somehow we should magically be supported (economically) without having to face the hassles of marketing nor the fear of rejection that comes from showing our work in competition.  Some of this fear isn’t groundless. In most markets there are big fish. Often they get that way by eating the small fry…maybe us. It’s not paranoia when they are really after you.

 

©2102RemakeLegoResaleMODWEB

©2102RemakeLegoResaleMODWEB

 

I started becoming agoraphobic during a college years summer job as a gopher for a Wall Street firm whose practices were, to say the least, shady.   The CEO narrowly escaped a three year term on federal securities violations by copping a plea that blew the whistle on even bigger fish…who probably also copped pleas. I came away convinced that no small fish should EVER enter some kinds of markets.

When it became apparent that buyers where not coming, searching under bushes and rocks, to pay high prices for my work, I was forced to start confronting my own market fears and to begin actively studying markets of all kinds…used cars, apartment rents, labor, collector cameras, software, commercial real estate, agricultural commodities, prescription dope, mining futures, corrosion resistant metals.

Not all are easily studied…six years later very bright economists are still trying to decipher the details of funny money mortgage derivative scams and hustles.   My own studies of markets haven’t been helped much by reading classic works about them. Mostly, that stuff is pretty theoretical and abstruse. I’ve needed to get real, so on a fine autumn morning I strode forth in the vastness of the Englishtown, and Collingwood, New Jersey flea market arenas.   My favorite local flea market, FOUND in Ithaca, is dwarfed by these Temples of Stuff.

 

©2101GlareOfMorningWEB

©2101GlareOfMorningWEB

Englishtown is almost as daunting as the Cancha of Cochabamba, Bolivia, where I hadn’t sufficient command of Quechua or local Castillano dialects to carry on complex negotiations. Some markets transcend language…you point…you count on your fingers…the vendor shrugs her shoulders, strangely colorful paper goes from hand to and somehow a transaction happens. Microsoft standard English is not the dominant language of Englishtown.

  • ©2118MetaphysicalRetailWEB

    ©2118MetaphysicalRetailWEB

     

  • ©2109AsianCarvingsOldWEB

Certainly, for me, the fear level is lower when I’m the potential buyer. Little need be at risk, as opposed to selling in such markets when sudden turns of the weather can damage kilodollars worth of my prints, and the very rental of space and finance charges make for a high ‘break even’ line. When just wandering in flea markets it’s possible just to enjoy the day and watching the people. I did have some wonderful conversations with vendors. The guy selling these asian carvings claimed to be a complete neophyte, first day vendor.   The works appeared to be very old and clearly hand carved. Neither of us were knowledgeable enough to even guess what era or culture they came from. He said he’d gotten them as partial settlement of a bad rental debt. He thought they might be really valuable and worth the price of the market table just to see what he could learn about them by talking with passers by. Caveat Emptor…was the guy on the level ?   Who knows ?

©2109AsianCarvingsOldWEB

 

 

©2108BrightMexicanSkullsWEB

©2108BrightMexicanSkullsWEB

I think that some of the proliferation of flea markets, particularly during fair weather has to do with the fun of human contact.   This makes me a litle less afraid.   Some of it results from people just trying to generate a little cash, but also, maybe, to cope with the excesses of our Religion of Stuff.

 

©2121PanoramaOfStuffWEB

©2121PanoramaOfStuffWEB

For a couple of decades a great deal of our collective political discourse has been… ! in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary !…steered by the notion that the operation of free markets by natural laws of economics will fix all problems.

Bullshit, methinks.   Free markets are usually figments of imagination and even when they are approximately free   ( ? compared to what ? ) they are still propelled mostly by thoughts and feelings of people…six billion or so of them with often little overlap of beliefs and assumptions.   You’re claiming there are natural laws governing this ?

Go figure.

I did…and figured I had only enough cash left in the budget to buy a few used music CDs…one jewel case turned out to be empty…was the vendor a crook ?…I’d only bought the label…caveat emptor all over again.   My bad.     I had a fine negotiation over a set of classical guitar strings with a senora whose command of proppa English (cf. Minnesota Fats) was better than my Spanish. I ended up buying a set of top of the line performance strings for just nickels more than the going rate for cheap practice sets. We concluded with considerable good will and smiles.   On the way out I discovered to my surprise that New Jersey, the Garden State is not completely paved over with malls and oil refineries.   There is still commercial agriculture and it’s harvest season.

 

©2110LocalOnlyApples

©2110LocalOnlyApples

How ya’ like dem apples ?

When I die, bury me low… Where I can hear da petroleum flow

A sweeter sound I never did know… den da rolling mills of New Joisey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nuff for now…bread’s raising and needs kneading.  ? How do I get some dough outta dis ?                  Next post: at least two more posts in the pipeline from my recent trip to New Jersey.

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October 22, 2014

#140 Maybe I’ll Get Back To Trying To Make Sense Of It All, But Now…Off to New Jersey

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay — printaphilic @ 8:10 pm

#140 Maybe I’ll Get Back To Trying To Make Sense Of It All, But Now…Off to New Jersey

Before the Columbus Day weekend I took a nearly week long trip for field operations in New Jersey, both in the town where I grew up and in southern parts of the state which inspire the locales of my photo-roman in progress, and stock for editorial themes.  Altogether I shot about  3  gigabytes of pictures and made volumes of audio notes.  It will be a while until I can process and publish them all in small packets.

One primary reason for the trip was the gathering of the Montclair High School class of 1959 for our  55th reunion.  I avoided these reunions for years until I went to the 40th and discovered what fun it could be.  I’ll try to get back in the swing of regular posting with a few pictures colored outside the lines from the reunion.  One of our classmate spouses  (plural ‘spice’ ? ) took bazillions of pix of our people in various groupings, so I decided to follow the school of “Silent Witness,”  where no people appear.

We’ll start with a view everyone from any Montclair class will remember…

 

EdgemontMemorialWEB

EdgemontMemorialWEB

 

 

 

©1978FormerSmallBusinesSitesWEB

FormerSmallBusinesSitesWEB

 

…But who can recall what local businesses got their modest start in these garage bays.

…Boys who played little league ball…Can you remember the old backstop that  once was here ?     Which was your team and position ?

LittleLeagueBallFieldTodayWEB

Where were you going when you passed thru the Walnut St. underpass?

 

 

 

UnderWearyErieWEB

UnderWearyErieWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reunion itself was drenched in memory and it was truly fitting that the committee  chose Eagle Rock Park, which overlooked the devastation of 911, and has a collection pointers to that tragedy,  for a ceremony recounting the names of classmates who have pre-deceased us.  We are of an age when they become more frequent and numerous.

 

Origina911SteelAtEagleRockMemorialWEB

Origina911SteelAtEagleRockMemorialWEB

The reading of the names and sounding the gong…this time for our own.

ClassOf1959At911MemorialWEB

ClassOf1959At911MemorialWEB

MoreNamesInBlackStoneWEB

MoreNamesInBlackStoneWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The banquet space, a former speakeasy resurrected from ruins, looked out to that spot where people watched the New York skyline, and the world, change forever.

It’s a very classy place today…classy enough for our class of ’59 to talk,  feast and PARTY.

©2047ViewFromBanquetHallWEB

ViewFromBanquetHallWEB

 

©2049WonderfulDeeJayWEB

WonderfulDeeJayWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would you believe our DeeJay could get these old fossil bones of mine out on the dance floor for “That Good Old Rock an’ Roll Music.”    He did, and more.

 

 

‘Nuff for Now:    I’ll be trying to post on other aspects of the trip as time goes along. Perhaps I’ll even get back to trying to make sense of it all.

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July 17, 2014

#138 “OH, Well….”

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 1:44 pm

#138    “OH, Well….”

To satisfy an urge to Get Outta Dodge  on the 4th of July this year I gave into a long standing desire to visit the Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredeth,  NY.    Upstate New York WSKG listeners will know the name from their nearly saturation public service announcements and it seemed like a special event there for the Fourth might be just the escape I needed.  I went.

This museum is a visual feast and I strongly recommend a visit,   particularly to families whose children are in the very curious phase when they want to know everything about the world and are not yet afraid to ask a bazillion questions.

 

©1895TheBandUpdated-WEB ©1896MelodySection-WEB ©1898Rhythm&SlideSteel-WEB ©1901Green&SeasonedHORO-WEB ©1915StepdownGearing-WEB ©1918ImpressionMillMotion-WEB ©1920StillLifeMill-WEB ©1923ShakeMaker-WEB ©1926Bearings&Stops-WEB ©1932PedestalLinkage-WEB

 

©1934FeedRollerDrive-WEB ©1935EdgingCut-WEB ©1936Products-WEB ©1941BaggingStation-WEB ©1943BaggingFunnel-WEB ©1842TheChampion-WEB ©1845ModTeIceSaw-WEB ©1848DeeringSickleBarLinkages-WEB ©1849BroadBeltDrives-WEB ©1850ShadesOfRust-WEB ©1852OutfeedRollers-WEB ©1855HorizontalTurbine-WEB ©1857Winnow&SievesDeTAIL-WEB ©1858Winow-WEB ©1859BarrelHead-WEB ©1861FireProtectionMOD2-WEB ©1863OneHoler-WEB ©1866AxleCouplingDetail-WEB

 

 

I was really inspired to try to capture some of the visual richness and complexity of the remains of this mill and the society and individuals who built it.  For this I used two cameras;  A 1952 Auto-Rolleiflex K4a  which shoots only 6 cm square format film in period appropriate black and white.  I’ve not yet processed this film as I’m waiting to accumulate enough rolls to justify a processing session.

The other camera was a currently available  Canon G-12...an advanced amateur point and shoot digital instrument which can make both ordinary JEPG files and Canon Raw CR2 format of surprisingly good technical quality.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/G12/G12A.HTM

Imagine my dismay when I got home after a wonderful day to discover that the Canon had been configured only to make small JEPG files suitable only for e-mail or low resolution web posting.  Administer dope slap !   Why didn’t I check for that ?    Dumb,  Dumber,  Dumbest !

Even though these pictures are not suitable for any print publicity or other professional applications I’d like to share them anyway.

 

Each of these pictures has a story attached, but I’m afraid I’m on deadline for next week’s Ithaca Artist Market.  The friendly volunteer docents at the museum can answer your questions much more knowledgeably than I could,  so give your self a treat.  Visit this museum and ask LOTS of questions…you’ll learn about a universe close to home, but very far away in time and style.

 

That’s all for today,   Folks…gotta get my nose back to the grindstone.

Next Week:   Friday 25 July ’14, I’ll be in booth 21 at the Ithaca Artist Market from about noon until they shut off the lights at night.   I’ll have LOTS of new work to show and will offer  some smaller, lower priced editions.  Please visit…bring money.

Next Post:   It will be a few weeks until I post again.  After the market I’m still hoping to poke my nosy lenses into waterfronts north of the border, starting in Saint John,  New Brunswick, Canada.

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June 21, 2014

#137 Adirondack’s, June ’14

Filed under: Just gotta say it., Thematic photoessay, Thoughts on Photography — printaphilic @ 7:14 pm
©0944MorningMistWEB

©0944MorningMistWEB

©0950OlympicTrainingLakePlacidWEB

©0950OlympicTrainingLakePlacidWEB

#137    Adirondack’s,   June ’14

There’s been a lot of water over the falls since I last put up a substantive post here.  Life has been a succession of putting out metaphorical fires…collapsing vehicles, financial hassels, health concerns, seasonal agri-busy-ness and trying to prepare for the unknown in a future of inevitable change.   There’s also been existential angst regarding the place of a photographer in a world where the supply of images rapidly approaches infinity and the price approaches zero.   Is my art of photography still in me ???

Thanks to grants from a private Boston collector and arts patron,  and from family,   a few expeditions this season are now in the realm of possibility.   My dying old expedition partner, Ove the Volvo, was collapsing of terminal rust when one day I returned from a trip to town and found Silver Dragon, a younger,  far less rusty,  Volvo wagon waiting in the drive…challenging me to get off my butt and out in the fields with full camera gear.

I’ve wanted to work further on my series about working waterfronts and have a powerful hankering to see Halifax harbor…so rich in shipping history in the passing century.   But,  I needed to field prove the new vehicle before taking off for a foreign country, so I decided on a shakedown cruise to the Adirondacks of upstate New York where there is rich material on the theme of industrial archaeology.    I got some clues from online research,  set a timetable and budget and took off…to see if my Art of  Photography was still in me.   I’ve come back with more than 330 digital files, half an hour of audio notes and seven rolls of B&W film.

Now I have to see if I can make sense of them.   WAY !! too many to post in a coherent narrative.  

The art of photography to me has mostly meant going out exploring in the world, rather than making something to hang,  framed, on a wall.  Going out exploring in the world means something rather different to a 73 year old fossil like me, with crappy ball joints and almost no discretionary funds than it would to, say,  a kid on a trust fund just out of J-school or say,  Don McCullen setting off to a war zone leaving a wife and three kids depending on him coming back alive with the mortgage payments.   Peeps at the Maine Photo Workshops used to say of photos   “the negative is the score…the print is the performance.”    To me hearing the music in the inner mind means going out in the world and seeing what you see.  You write it down with expensive techie tools.    So, where’s the music ?

Road Log Transcribed — Adirondack’s, June ’14

Friday the Thirteenth, June 2014. 10:00:00 am start log Trip to Daks. Miles 257,799.1 trip miles 546.1. WX cloudy w/intermittent light rain. 10:23 am 7818.0 spring @ Lisle fill water bottles. !0:51 7822. 4 food and fuel at Whitney Point. Sawmill twixt Whitney Pt. and Green. Green antique mall out of business. 12:21 7850.1 Clear Bainbridge.

Walton… Delaware County Fair will be 11-16 Aug this year.   Old armory is now a night club.   Back streets Walton very like Bay Head. 1:50pm clear Walton. Agriculture seems prosperous in Delaware County in the lush late spring.

©0738DelawareMemoryLaneWEB

©0738DelawareMemoryLaneWEB

©0754BrickDetailWEB

©0754BrickDetailWEB National Guard Armory

©0757NightclubBarWEB

©0757NightclubBarWEB

©0743NewPavillionFrameWEB

©0743NewPavillionFrameWEB

 

3:36 Roxbury. visit cousins. 5:45pm clear ROX 7826.0 northbound on Rt-30. 7:10 pm stopped Amsterday for fuel. 7:35 7997.5 stopped roadside. no camping 8:03pm 8010.7 Stopped on shore Lake Sacandaga…poor, exposed campsite. abandoned. Sat 14 June 05:10 am 8017 Awake at visitors information center parking lot on Rt-30. My question was “Where can I find a good, free campsite ?” High wind and torrents of rain…no one was there to tell me to move on. Very cozy with rain on roof. Morning WX cloudy but not raining — minor road washouts on Rt-30 — rivers very high. Stopped @ Wells for equipment discipline. Sunrise 6:02am. —

©0761SmallHydroAtEssexWEB

©0761SmallHydroAtWellsWEB

©0763DistributionSmallHydroWEB

©0763DistributionSmallHydroWEB

©0771FloodgatesWellsWEB

©0771FloodgatesWellsWEB

Small scale hydro raises hackles of energy vs conservation advocates.   Compared to high sulfur coal it’s a saint.   From a salmon’s nose view it stinks.    Seems like a soluble problem in civil engineering.

©0773AidenHouseWEB

©0773AidenHouseWEB

©0776AidenStructureWEB               8:10 am 8099.7 @ MacIntyre Furnace

©0820NippleArchWEB

©0820NippleArchWEB

©0793VegetationInvasionWEB MacIntyre Furnace was the prime first target of this expedition. It combines my interest in industrial archaeology with funky places and history.   Just finding the location would not be trivial to anyone denied the convenience of internet search.  It’s  on a dead end road, both economically and geographically.  The history of the mineral riches of the area open a huge ball of wax involving three generations of exploitation and social power in society all the way to the later president of the USA, rough rider Teddy Roosevelt.  I haven’t yet run down all the good links…but I’ll include a few later in the post for those of you curious.

 

 

 

 

©I-802-50NippleArchConstructionlMacIntyreFurnace010204WEB

©I-802-50NippleArchConstructionlMacIntyreFurnace010204WEB

©I-802-48ConstructionDetailMacIntyreFurnace0102WEB

©I-802-48ConstructionDetailMacIntyreFurnace0102WEB

There was a substantial early 19th century village to support smelting iron at MacIntyre Furnace.  Only buried traces remain evident to skilled archaeologists.  The region later became the property of an exclusive private club…The Tahawus Club…Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was a guest.  The club still exists…still very private, but parts of it’s real estate holding passed to the Adirondack Park and are administered by a conservation organization, Open Spaces.

©0916TahawusLowerWorksWEB

©0916TahawusLowerWorksWEB

The ruins in the village now on maps as Tahawus are now a heavily deteriorated ghost town … fascinating…but must be explored with some common sense regarding its dangers.

©0831YouWereHereWEB

©0831YouWereHereWEB

Ghost towns are fun…stimulate the imagination about times long lost.

©0836RuinInteriorWEB

©0836RuinInteriorWEB

©0827ClubCampStreetWEB

©0827ClubCampStreetWEB

©I-802-60PumpHouseAtTahawusCamp03WEB

©I-802-60PumpHouseAtTahawusCamp03WEB

©0840OldFrontPorchWEB

©0840OldFrontPorchWEB

9:40 am clear furnace for trailhead ‘R’ to Henderson Lake. Remains of club era village heavily deteriorated. Due to previous heavy rain Hudson river in thunderous flow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©0857UpstreamHudsonRiverSpateWEB

©0857UpstreamHudsonRiverSpateWEB

©0883SaturdayNiteBathWEB

©0883SaturdayNiteBathWEB

 

Pure luck found me the remains of village housing on uphill side of Rt-25, and pump house / generator site behind village.

No safe or legal way to get to mine remains. Too long (~7 miles) to hike in along D&H r.r. tracks. More internet research in advanced would have helped.

©0786D&HsignalVaultWEB

©0786D&HsignalVaultWEB

 

1:35 pm 8100.9 clear trailhead area.

©0895OreSampleWEB

©0895OreSampleWEB

 

The mining operations started with iron in the early 19th cent. and were later revived to smelt lead, which proved uneconomic due to contamination from what later proved to be titanium…worth far more as metal and as TiO2, white paint pigment.  Long story…  Abandoned mine machinery was evident until a few years ago when the potential liabilities moved the current owners to fence the mine sites and forbid access.

©0903StripMineEntranceWEB

©0903StripMineEntranceWEB

©0913YouDontWannaKnowWEB

©0913YouDontWannaKnowWEB

3:50 pm8155 Tupper Lake downtown looks tired and down at heels.   Didn’t stop this time.

©0927VernacularStyleWEB

©0927VernacularStyleWEB

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©0937DewDropThruFloorWEB

 

©0920BrokenWindowCurioShopWEB

©0920BrokenWindowCurioShopWEB

 

4:30pm Walkabout Saranac Lake. Fuel.

 

While looking for sitdown dinner and a brewski I stumbled into wonderful party at WateringHole. The scholarship fund of Golf Club was having a private fundraizing BBQ. I got into the line and made a donation…got chicken BBQ, beef BBQ, pork BBQ, poached salmon, new potatoes, corn on cob, cole slaw and a brewski for $7.50 less than the Jackson I’d budgeted for dinner on the town. Great Fun and moldy oldies from the DJ. Got accepted because of my Reese Jones Inc. gimme cap. When party broke up walked the town until knees gave out.   Too many pictures to post and stay on topic.

©0925PartyPartyWaterholeWEB

©0925PartyPartyWaterholeWEB

9:00 pm Campsite behind apartment block on Main St. Bothered by leg cramps and (quiet) rock & roll from bar until 3am.

 

Sunday 15 June ’14 Fathers Day. 6am up after decent nights sleep except for leg cramps. 7:15 Keene NY 8215.7 stopped for equipment discipline. WX cloudy with beautiful mist in patches on mountain slopes.  Passed right through Lake Placid; the whole town is just Sports Nutts…but had to admire the bicyclist training on the mountain slopes.

Sun breaks through. 8:00am 8226.7 on Rt-9n northbound somewhere east of Keene spotted a strange facility roadside surrounded by partial fence but not showing any signage — many wells drilled and capped. AC power and telecommunications on site–low buildings collapsed. ? What WAS this ?? ~ one mile north of Elizabethtown.

©0955StrangeRuinsElizabethtownWEB

©0955StrangeRuinsElizabethtownWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving right along, folks…

Westport has a distinctly shoreside feeling–might be Wellfleet or Point Pleasant. –

©1010ExhibitHallEssexCountyFairWEB

©1010ExhibitHallEssexCountyFairWEB

©0977PrivateEssexFerryWEB

©0977PrivateEssexFerryWEB

 

 

The Essex county Fairgrounds has lovely architecture.  It seems mostly devoted to race horses,  but other endeavors are represented.  This lovely building if for floriculture.

Village of Essex south of town might be Rt-89 along west shore of Cayuga. Town feels New England. Ferry service to Vermont is privately owned..friendly people. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a ferry service in the private business sector.  I guess this counts toward working waterfront.

 

My second major objective was to get a look at some of the historic battlegrounds along the Champlain lake shore.

©1045ChamplainBridgeWEB

©1045ChamplainBridgeFromSiteFrenchGunEmplacementsWEB

©I-803-16BritishParadeGroundCrownPoint01030405WEB

©I-803-16BritishParadeGroundCrownPoint01030405WEB

Battlefields from French and Indian and Revolutionary wars – The French had artillery command of the water side but the British threatened with a battalion of infantry.  The French demolished their fort and withdrew.     The British built one uphill, much stronger that commanded all approaches.   American revolutionaries could probably never have taken it if not for an accidental kitchen fire which spread to detonate the British powder magazine which breached the walls,  rendering the guns silent and the fort untenable.  A mere company of rebels displaced them and captured over a hundred cannon for our new nation.

©1045ChamplainBridgeWEB

©1045FrenchGunPitsChamplainBridgeWEB

 

©I-803-08BritishWaterWellCrownPoint01WEB

©I-803-08BritishWaterWellCrownPoint01WEB

©I-803-12ReinforcementBritishRampartsCrownPoint0103WEB

©I-803-12 ReinforcementBritishRampartsCrownPoint0103WEB

©1072KilroyWasHere1870WEB

©1072KilroyWasHere1870WEB

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©I-803-20BritishQuarterssAtCrownPoint02WEB

 

 

 

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©I-803-18BritishBarracksAtCrownPoint01WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:08 pm @ Ticonderoga S.P. boat launch…may do later…need rest now. Fathers Day bass fishing tourney in progress. Snazzy boats ! … cost pro’lly a modest home for a working class family.

 

 

 

Fort Ticonderoga overpriced even with senior discount… had to pass it up. Faulty navigation out of Ticonderoga landed me in Whitehall, NY during a fire dept training exercise. Lucky mistake…good photo opps.

 

©1091ThreeInchNavalRifleWEB

©1091ThreeInchNavalRifleWEB

©1096WhitehallStylesWEB

©1096WhitehallStylesWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©I-803-26NavyMemorialWhitehall05WEB

©I-803-26NavyMemorialWhitehall05WEB

The town of Whitehall’s claim to be the birthplace is the U.S. Navy is not undisputed.   Note beer can frame right declaring someones attitude to the navy

©1105UssTiconderogaTimbersWEB

©1105USS TiconderogaTimbersWEB

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©1101SchoonerSkeletonWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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©1106 SternPeaceSignMODWEB

 

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©1106SternpostWEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After WHitehall I had to backtrack to Lake George. Fuel. Lake George very Disneyland…worse than Wisconsin Dells…no sense of humor at all.

First attempt at campsite was posted…second attempt had every mosquito, black fly and tick for miles around competing for a bite of my ears.  MytThird try, way down Rt 10 but still in Adirondack Park, was ideal. Very sheltered and quiet Monday 16 June ’14 6:20 am Good nights sleep !!!

Saw good photo opps in Little Falls industrial neighborhoods, but passed by because not on plan…no prior research.

I took a look at Herkimer…not for the diamond mine, but for the nostalgia of McCoy model airplane engine factory.  Not thinking straight. I had no idea where to look. Looking for photo opps in Frankford, NY was totally unproductive.

I was so  mentally exhausted…good night sleep not withstanding…that I couldn’t think straight. Got highway hypnosis and decided it safer to abort the last day of the mission and head for home. 9:15am fuel @ Norwich 10:48 am.

258620.5 absolute miles in driveway at Slaterville Springs. Close log. 821.4 miles. fuel cost $138.38. ca. $46 cash out spent for food, BBQ donation, map, and many cups crappy coffee. Silver Dragon performed flawlessly, but too many miles driven for too few hours productive photography.

De-Briefing   Rollieflex damaged in accident with dog leash toppling tripod. Too little advanced internet research. More than 330 digital picture files. Should have taken Canon G-12 for backup and a backup exposure meter for the film cameras. Three rolls 6 cm film before Rollieflex shelved.  Results mixed…mostly underexposure.   One and a half rolls 35mm black and white backups look good. One and a half rolls infrared… spotty quality mostly due to underexposure. It would be wonderful to have a navigator/logger for company. Knee and hip joints limit hiking ability. Mental fatigue a worse problem then in previous years. If I’m going to Halifax I need to budget more rest time and pick  more direct routes to limit car time.

What’s the point of all this anyway ??   real photojournalists get paid ( peanuts )…over the hill wannabes like me get grants.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it, but I’m going to have to find real income streams.

I’ll be at the Ithaca Artists  Market again this year.   Friday 25 July ’14 from 2 pm to dark at Steamboat Landing.   Some prints including some not shown in this post will be available then and there.

-30-

For the curious who’d like to dig further into the ball of wax:   use these starting points.

http://www.aarch.org/archives/leeman/060331VLPTahawusClub,Pt.2.pdf

http://www.adirondack-park.net/history/mcintyre.mine.html

http://www.historiclakes.org/crown_pt/furness.html

 

Way enough for now…I’ve been working on this post for a week.

Next Post:   is going to have to somethin more modest.

 

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January 6, 2014

#136 Another Quickie In The Cold

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 8:38 pm
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1651NeighborsFence©WEB

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1658PorchWindowJan2014©WEB

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1654IcemanRunneth©WEB

 

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1662Lights12thNight©WEB

December 23, 2013

#135 A Quickie, The Rutabaga Curl 2013 at Ithaca Farmers Market

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 2:50 pm

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December 18, 2013

# 134 Relearning the Craft. Part Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — printaphilic @ 4:02 pm

# 134 Relearning the Craft. Part Two

As committed as I am to some of the benefits of analog film photography even I must face the facts that the digital realm offers some advantages and is dominant in the current melieu and markets.    Most particularly, working in color in the digital realm is vastly easier than was possible in dye coupled silver processes.  Anyone who ever personally went thru the precision tedium of home processing color film and put hours into “ring-around” exposures to calibrate a batch of color paper before getting a worthwhile print feels no nostalgia. We do feel some awe for those craft adepts who mastered processes like carbro printing or dye transfer. Younger digital natives who’ve never been thru the agonies of the vintage color methods can hardly imagine the reverence for the craft that veterans still hold.  This post is mostly for those with little direct experience in digital post processing

Not that that should make a difference. The object is to make pictures, and technologies do change their characteristics with time…some of these changes are even progress.

Some aspects of the digital realm take the craftsmanship out of the direct hands of the artist and put it into the marketplace of corporations. This was true even in the film era. Almost no one coated theie own film stock or printing paper when you could get a reliable product in a yellow box from Rochester, NY, USA . Technologies like automated C-41 processing removed a tiny factor of personal craftsmanship to hugely gain convenience and consistency…a price well and willingly paid as it allowed the photographer to spend more of their effort on the semantics of picture making and less on process tedium.

In the digital realm however almost everything in the intermediate steps between picture conception and a finished monitor screen or print passes thru digital manipulation by firmware and software that are layers below the knowledge and direct control of the artist. A few people mess with source code, but mostly…almost entirely…the intermediate steps consist of menu choices in camera or post-processing software packages or printer setup options. The craft is mostly done and dictated by code jockeys almost all of whom work for proprietary vendors. The artists choice of crafts depends largely on where they spend their money…spend two months mortgage payments on a full featured post processing package from Claymore Software or contribute to some cool GNU public license program that does almost everything the big kids do for a small good faith contribution.

Image

©0867IkeaLuminenscenseMOD14WEB© Spooky…the sub terrainian parking garage of an Ikea complex.                                                How to make the picture as spooky as the place ?

The big post processing package has unquestionably been Adobe Photoshop. There are, today, some useful alternatives but everything is still measured agains’t Photoshop. It reamains to be seen whether Adobe will commit hari-kari by replacing it’s older business model…”you buy it, you own it” with their recently announced “limited term rental license” model where you have to keep feeding the meter to prevent the program from auto destruction.

I’m not a digital native and have never been software savvy, but I am realistic and still try to make my peace with industry standards. I was floundering in Photoshop 2.5 once day in the 1980’s when a 20 something year old kid sat in the sunshine on the front stoop of the Maine Photographic Workshops editing the code that would become PS 3.0. That issue became the standard taught at the National Press Photographer Association members seminars. The kid became ten times a millionaire. I still have my three floppies, each holding the code for one of my favorite images.

For years I’ve post processed images in PS 6.0, purchased for me by the professor of a laboratory I supported. Written and ported for Win 98,  it still works in WinSys7.   I recently legally purchased the full CS2 package and have set out to re-learn the craft…making pictures in this corner of the digital realm.

A visually interesting place, but the picture as recorded in camera is dull

©0030OldSiding4WEB©

A basic manipulation...slightly cropped, rotated to feel more level, contrast and saturation slightly juice up.

©0030OldSidingMOD14WEB

The place was visually interesting, but the image as recorded by the camera seemed dull…what to do ?     Simple Photoshop manipulations;  very slight cropping to concentrate the mind. Contrast and saturation slightly augmented.   The result has  neither more or less information  but higher impact.  The weeds in the foreground look wrong, as if hit with an on-camera fill flash.   This doesn’t really work.

©0033TowandaBeanery4WEB©

©0033TowandaBeanery4WEB©

(The diner)

©0033TowandaBeaneryMOD

©0033TowandaBeaneryMOD2

©0033TowandaBeaneryMOD14WEB©

©0033TowandaBeaneryMOD14WEB©

An unsatisfying picture.  I liked the retro diner, but couldn’t steel myself to go inside and ask ” Would the owner of the Subaru please move their vehicle so I can get a period feeling in a photo ?”   I started with the basic menu of photoshop adjustments.   I tried the sepia approach to get the feeling , but never got the color exactly right   After tinkering excessively I tried the vast array of filter menus settling on “solarize,” a digital simulacrum of the film Sabbatier  Effect.   It might have made a cool graphic if that modern Subaru wasn’t there.

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©0065LostCrossingOfSuzyQ4WEB©

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©0065LostCrossingOfSuzyQMOD14WEB©

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©0065LostCrossingOfSuzyQMOD24WEB©

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This picture deserved a lot of attention.   There’s a  fine 6cm B&W negative of the site taken on the same expedition.  I prefer it, but I’m trying to learn the craft in color and it was an adventure simply getting my creaky 72 year old frame down into the valley of the Susquahanna to reach the remains of the long abandoned river crossing on the defunct Lewisburg & Tyrone R.R.  at Lewisburg.  There’s many a story here for the railroad historian or industrial archaeologist.  It takes six such truss spans to cross the river.   They are nearly lost to human attention.  The  sun soaked river was lazy that day. ( Suzy Q can be a bitch when riled !)   Even the fish were loafing. The top left frame is more of less straight as recorded in camera. The top right  is a monochrome version crafted not by the ‘de-satuarate’ and colorize options, but by the more elaborate channel mixer adjustment menu when enables tinkering with the curves of each color separately.  I liked this version, but the rusty truss…visual star of the show…tended to recede behind the foliage of the mud bank in the right foreground.  I also wanted a color rendition which might not be true to nature as seen on site at the time, but rather evoked the emotional feeling of the lazy, dusty day. This feels successful, the colors were considerably re-balanced in the adjustment menu, then delicately desaturated.  The backstory of this picture is worth googling.

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©0079ValleySoftRunCreek4WEB©

©0079ValleySoftRunCreek4WEB©

©0079ValleySoftRunCreekMOD14WEB©

©0079ValleySoftRunCreekMOD14WEB©

This landscape of Soft Run Creek valley near Belleville, PA  was juiced up by Photoshop color balance adjustments.   The  slightly cropped ‘before’ image is pretty much as recorded by the camera with auto white balance .  It  was not only a little dull,  it didn’t look right for the late afternoon light.  The PS menu allows relative re-balancing of RGB/CYMK  to be applied separately for shadows, midrange tones and highlights.  It’s a lot of power.  The menu  default opens the balance for the mid tones, but in this case I left them pretty much alone, while cooling down the shadows and warming up the highlights.  It’s easy to imagine overdoing this process and photoshop adepts will immediately know that the image has been juiced, but I don’t feel that I crossed the line into graphic fiction;  I’ve merely tried to have the picture more accurately recreate the ambiance of the vista as seen at the time.

©0561HydroRuin4WEB©

©0561HydroRuin4WEB©

©0561HydoRuinMOD24WEB©

©0561HydoRuinMOD24WEB©

This  heavily deteriorated hydroelectric facility below Beebe Lake on the Cornell University campus served to instruct a long past generation of electrical and civil  engineers.   It also, long ago, reduced the dependency of the campus on outside sources of energy. I’ve watched its dilapidation over maybe 35 years.  A technically superior facility further downstream  today fills the same functions, but it remains a favorite spot for camera testing.  On this overcast day with slight mist cast up by the falls the scene was almost entirely monochrome.  I feel fine having enhanced   the picture by the ‘curves” and ‘saturation’ menu’s.

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This next example begins to get to the heart of a positive aspect of photoshop manipulation

©0566AnscoChrome4WEB©

©0566AnscoChrome4WEB©

©0566AnscoChromeMOD14WEB©

©0566AnscoChromeMOD14WEB©

The ‘before’ image on the left was shot very quickly with my tiny “C-team”   Lumix DMC-LZ8  point and shoot camera on full-auto-everything as I was trotting  to keep up with a companion who was striding away.   I was struck by the similarity of the colors on the  theater to colors of a series I shot of children playing in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, in the summer of 1959.   I used Anscchrome 100 Daylight slide film.   It’s been unavailable for decades and the original slides have been lost to the entropy of a chaotic life or perhaps to the dye eating fungi that have destroyed so many old color pictures.    Anscochrome, was an interesting film with a corporate history scrambled by two world wars.   It  produced color renditions nothing  like other color film on the market,  particularly Kodachrome 25 and my old personal favorite the West German Agfachrome 64.   Anscochrome 100 was the first slide film in MY experience that allowed user processing.   The home processing kits didn’t use enough toxic formaldehyde in the stabilizer bath and consequently most slides  have perished.   The Anscochrome color rendition was extraordinarily good at pastel shades in the upper half of the tonal curve while remaining relatively natural in effect.   It was a lovely film which failed in the market onslaught of the Big Yellow Father in Rochester.   Kodak also made some technically deficient  films.

The ‘after’  image on the right was slightly cropped to reduce distracting detail and then severally  treated with subtle tinkering with the curves, contrast,  darkness and rotation of the image to try to recapture the feeling and rendition of Anscochrome as I remember it from 40 years ago.   Perhaps the ‘before’ version is closer…I’m unsure of this one.

I very much wanted to dip into the  menus of photoshop and discover filters that would replicate the characteristics (H&D curves) of favorite film renditions from the craft I worked so hard to achieve in my apprentice and journeyman times.  (Not that I’ve masteedr them… the digital revolution in some ways requires a return to sqaure one…re-learning the craft.)     I’d love to have Photoshop filters for B&W film/Developer combo’s  gone by… SuperXX ,    Versapan,  Royal X pan,   all developed in D-76… Adox KB17 in Rodinol…Tri -X in Acufine… Panatomic X and Tri X in Microdol.  Each of these combinations produced their own graphic signatures  that were part of the grammar of photographic statement.   They were in a sense firmware menu selections in analog craft.   I’d also love to have color Photoshop  filters yielding the slide renditions of  Kodachrome 64,  Agfachrome 64, Anscochrome 100,   Gaveartchrome (from Belgium)  and the house brand 3M slide film sold in many discount stores.  There are a number of color negative films that would also be interesting to have in the filter palettes:   Agfacolor200,  Kodacolor Gold.  Vericolor VPS to name just a few.   A search of the  many photography on-line forums turned up a proprietary professional package of photoshop plug-ins which seems to do about what I’d want these filter to do…except that it costs about seven weeks of my grocery budget.   I’m not sure I’m ready to dive into C code to build the filters I want, so maybe I’ll be forced to learn the sequential workflows that will enable me to gain the same end results.  This is not for nostalgia.  It’s for having quickly available tools to work the visual grammar of digital source files that are shaped…mandated… by the Commanding Canon, the Nefarious Nikon or the Mind of Minolta.   The French Academe had their aesthetic criteria; Cezanne had his. The digital image industry has theirs;  I’m still learning mine.

It appears that I’ve enough material left on this subject for Part Three   of “Re-learning the Craft.” but I feel a need to move on by posting what I’ve gotten so far.     Here’s a parting pair of before and after images.

©1579DellsNatureCenter4WEB©

©1579DellsNatureCenter4WEB©

©1579DellsNatureCenterMOD14WEB©

©1579DellsNatureCenterMOD14WEB©

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There is an internet current term for what I’ve done here:  it’s called  “Polishing Turds !”   The image is basically weak and not very informative without it’s backstory…hiking along a backwater of the Wisconsin River in an environmental education center outside the tourist mecca of  Wisconsin Dells.  It was a nice spot…but this picture really doesn’t do it justice even after extensive tinkering with photoshop Lasso tools and massive messing with the color balances, levels and contrasts of several layers.  The ‘after’  version is somewhat better, but a few minutes further exploring the picture on-site in-camera would have been far more productive than  many minutes of post-process “polishing.”

‘Nuff for now…Part Three is in the pipeline.”

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