Analyze the Data not the Drivel

Recent Images

  • My grandmother Hazel ambushed so many people in the bathtub that you could almost mount an exhibition of her tub shots. Here I am getting ready for a bath while my sister Aileen finishes hers. The red stain on my nose is real. I probably ran into something. I was a wild rambunctious kid.

  • Scrambled egg space.

  • Metal nudes dream in botanical gardens. Some images respond better to the deep dream model than others. I have manipulated the output of the model because it wasn't sufficiently strange.

  • New years resolutions.

  • Hotel de King.

  • More Raw Therapee piddling. My D7500 camera tends to screw up exposures of scenes with extreme blacks and whites. It definitely doesn't do as well as older D5100 and D40 models. In this case, the highlights were overexposed. I decided to see what Raw Therapee could recover. Quite a lot as it turned out. Always shoot raw, check your histograms and master raw development software.

  • Looking mostly east from a sixth-floor overlook balcony on the Simplot building in downtown Boise. Snow fell overnight and the mountains to the north of the city were brilliant in the late afternoon sun. The courtyard below has a nice little amphitheater and the old tractors scattered around the block make nice ornaments.

  • Ah, the good old days when you could sprawl nude on comfy tables and people thought it was "cute." Well, for me, those days are long gone. If I were to appear nude in public these days I would be rightly arrested for disrupting the narrative. Please note that I was a pre-Pampers infant. My poor mother didn't face the first world dilemma of disposable diapers versus washable cotton. It's a good thing infants are so adorable because frankly there is a smelly case to be made for infanticide.

  • The Jump building in downtown Boise from the fourth floor Simplot building sky bridge. The Simplot and Jump buildings are among the more interesting structures in Boise. Both have architectural and landscaping flourishes that are atypical of your usual cheap corporate filing cabinets filled with cubicles and compliant drones.

  • Wynn Tisdale snapped this Instamatic shot of me standing on the sidewalk in front of my paternal grandparent's house in Livingston in 1967. Wynn was one of Helen's lifelong friends. Wynn took great care to date and label her pictures. Working with her fifty-year-old prints is a pleasure.

  • I had to resist the urge to remove my dad's face from this old snapshot of me holding a 35mm Signet rangefinder camera in Edmonton in 1970. Photobombing was a thing long before the word "photobombing" was a word. I got started with 35mm photography with that old rangefinder. It was old in 1970 having first belonged to one of my dad's uncles, then my dad, and then me. I used it until 2003 when the shutter finally froze. I wish I had held onto it. Old cameras make great decorations.

  • I have inherited hundreds of prints from my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The vast majority of these images are unlabeled. I don't know most of the people and I can only infer rough dates. Hence, it's a delight to come across pictures that have descriptions on their backs. This shot was taken around May 12, 1917 - more than a hundred years ago. To quote the handwritten note on the back, "Here is a picture of Robert and Verna taken in front of the house we live in. I think it is very good for an outdoor picture, don't you? They were just in their school clothes and a man came along and took it." Street photography was in its early days in 1917. Film speeds were ridiculously slow, (12 ASA was considered fast), and lenses were rarely faster that f 3.0, so shutter speeds were long: 5 to 20 seconds or more. You had to hold a pose to get good results. In this picture, Verna moved her eyes. They didn't have red-eye in 1917 but blurry-eye was legion.

  • Don't get me started on unlabeled old photographs; it's one of my bugaboos. I strongly suspect this is a portrait of Howell Cobb Davis 1851 - 1921. He looks about fifty so I am guessing this portrait was made around 1901. Whoever he was this man was important to my great-grandmother Minnie Raver. This is one of her oval framed portraits that hung on her walls until her death. After Minnie's death, my grandmother Hazel stashed the portrait in her hoarder's basement where it stayed until my mother stashed it in her storage closet. When I got ahold of it the frame was gone but the image was still too curved to scan with a flatbed. This is a macro shot of the curved print. Howell was the father of Minnie making him a great-great-grandfather. The only thing I know about Howell is that he moved his family in a wagon from the south (Georgia) to Montana after the US Civil War. Apparently, he made Minnie walk most of the way to lighten the load for the draft animals. According to my mother, Minnie complained about her forced march for decades afterward.

  • Stacking and aligning bracketed frames of Mali napping on my star pillow.

  • I rather like how the deep learning model picked up and amplified my mood in this image. I look far more depressed than I actually was. Click for the original image. I’m just an actor playing the role of my life.

  • Blue dispersion.

  • My aunt Alberta and uncle Bill Drake around the time Bill finished his chemistry Ph.D. Bill had a distinguished career and rose to high levels in a major chemical company. He died suddenly of a heart attack in Korea in the middle of a business dinner. I last saw Alberta the week my mother died. She is now living in Ohio with one of my cousins.

  • Mali on an ice throne.

  • A man and donkey heading into the afternoon light on the road beside our first Agha Jari house.

  • Frank and Helen's 40th wedding anniversary: February 14, 1962. The people in this old snapshot have long since died. I remember some of them. They were all good friends and neighbors of my grandparents. Starting on the lower left side of the front row we have Wynn, Frank, Helen, Ig and in the back Ruth, Lois and Martin.

  • We went for a little hike in the mountains above Boise yesterday. It was a glorious crisp day and the slopes were festooned with red berries: my favorite autumn color.

  • One of my sister Aileen's Instamatic slides of the Iranian countryside. The Instamatic was a basic fixed focus camera but you could get decent shots with it.

  • Your library is complete when you wouldn't mind being incarcerated in it.

  • The first sunset of November was above average.

  • I recognize two people in this 1924 photograph. The second woman from the left with a white tassel necklace is my great-grandmother Minner Raver and the man on the far right is her brother Bill. I suspect the woman seated in the middle of the group is Minnie's mother Elizabeth Fulk. If so this is the best picture I have found of this great-great-grandmother. Elizabeth died in 1925 so this would have been one of the last pictures of her. I know this photograph mattered to my great-grandmother because she put it in a curved oval frame and hung it on her walls for many years. I recovered the curved print from my mother's collection and snapped a few macro shots of it today. The image is still curved and cannot be scanned with a flatbed. It's in poor shape and was probably never all that good but it meant a lot to Minnie.

  • I am practicing bracketed HDR stacking for the upcoming total lunar eclipse. There are many ways to do this. When working with many frames it's overkill to work with RAW. Here I converted the original frames to JPGs and then merged them with the Affinity HDR tool. Reducing to JPG saves huge amounts of memory. Because you have images spanning a wide tonal range you don't sacrifice much in the shadows or highlights.

  • The red bull dreams of blue.

  • Jacob, Ruth, and Helen on the edge of the Drumheller Valley in southern Alberta. In the summer of 1995, we drove across Canada to attend a kids paleontology camp that dug for fossils in the famous Drumheller dinosaur beds. Helen and Jacob both enjoyed pawing through bentonite clays looking for fossilized bone and tooth fragments. On this same trip, we visited the acclaimed Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology which at the time was the finest museum of its type that I had ever seen. I'd say the "reconstructed" Dinosaur National Monument Museum in Utah is now in the same class. After visiting Drumheller and Calgary we drove south into Montana just in time to witness the death of my maternal grandfather Gert. He died unexpectedly during our visit turning our cross-country trip into a funeral trip. I have enjoyed or endured, many road trips but this one stands out.

  • Hazel snapped this shot of me taking some of my first steps in 1954. I am continually amazed at the durability of Kodachrome slide colors. The original slide is as bright and colorful as the day it was shot. It's a shame most photographers dropped Kodachrome for far less stable color dye emulsions like Ektachrome, Fujichrome, Agfachrome and so on. The past was not magenta tinted but you would never know it based on looking at old decaying dye based chromes.

  • Sun Valley Snow Sun.

  • Frank and Evelyn at the Royal York in Toronto December 2002.

  • Aileen in a green dress with my mother in 1967. Probably taken in one of Margo's apartments, (Margo was one of my grandmother Helen's sisters), she was the only one that would have had an illuminated painting of sheep on the wall.

  • Bogus Basin bokeh berries.

  • Hazel snapped this Kodachrome of Janey, Evelyn, Alberta and a fourth girl that I do not recognize somewhere in Glacier National Park around 1949. All four girls have their hands in their pockets. I doubt this is an accident. However, it happened this is a great composition. The sky is dramatic, the busy kids in the water and on the beach add movement, and the four girls are all projecting "sullen teenager." You can only fault the focus and that's probably due to Hazel's basic camera.

  • Slow shutter speeds and camera rotation turns the world into a giant abstract art museum.

  • Beryl with my daughter baby Helen. This picture was shot in Beryl's Toronto house in the fall of 1987. Beryl was one of Marion Dubin's best friends. They were together as college students and stayed in touch until Marion's death. Beryl lived well into her nineties. I, along with just about everyone else, really liked Beryl. She was a warm and friendly person that treated everyone as a dear old friend.

  • Northern Ghanaian sunsets in the rainy season could make your day. I shot this one in the backyard of my second bungalow.

  • High purple door.

  • I recently learned of DeepAI and DeapDreamGenerator. These sites apply “deep learning AI” techniques to your input images. The results might be interesting. Here I took my mirror head image and repeatedly “dreamed” on it. It seems AI models almost hallucinate like dopers.

  • My greatgrandmother Minnie Raver posing in a blue dress on her 65th birthday. This is a rare old Kodachrome slide that I can precisely date: August 22, 1946. The woman running to get out of the picture in the background is probably one of my great aunts. As I've noted before photobombing was invented long before there was a word for it.

  • There are places that fill our memories. This hill is one of my places. I am looking down on my maternal grandparent's house. It's the house beside the highway in the lower center of the frame with two open garage doors. Before becoming an adult I often climbed this hill. Once going all the way to the top and once almost stepping on a sluggish rattlesnake in the cool morning shade. The house still exists. It's now hidden by trees and has been remodeled. The greater geological contours of the river valley are mostly unchanged and baring the construction of dams or massive eruptions of nearby Yellowstone the valley will passively endure.

  • An update to RawTherapee was recently released. This open source tool is getting better and better. I only applied a touch of sharpening here. A few more years and nobody will miss Adobe products.

  • Aileen around twelve.

  • An early 1963 snapshot of my entire nuclear family. From left to right we have my dad Frank, my sister Aileen in a green dress, me with my propellor headgear and then my mother holding my toddler brother Steve.

  • Here I am indulging myself with confused cultural appropriation. I am wearing a cowboy hat and swinging a tomahawk. In the 1950s I didn't wet my pajamas over alleged PC violations; I still don't. From one of Hazel's Kodachrome slides.

  • This before-after is a good example of how I "restore" old Instamatic 4x4 inch color snapshots. When I put the two images side by side I'm usually disappointed. The restored shot is usually better. It will yield superior reprints and it will display better on screens, but I often prefer the faded and delicate tones of the aged original.

  • Me and Aileen in August 1958.

  • Pure Hazelography. I've often remarked that my maternal grandmother Hazel had an ambush style. She loved nailing people in awkward yet revealing poses. Here she captured Gert, the man in the background slugging down a beer, my dad as a twenty-year-old in the foreground with his baloney sandwich and my paternal grandmother Helen standing off to the side digging into ice cream. The original Kodachrome slide was an out of focus moldy spotted mess that looks like it had been dipped in glue. There were so many blemishes that I resorted to hard median blurring and then painting back parts of the image that required detail. This image is a lovely wreak. I certainly get a kick out of it.

  • Deep dream of a long ago dream.

  • I almost prefer this AI paint job to the original image.

  • Chroma bubbles.

  • More Hazelography: my grandmother shot this picture of her sister Elsie playing in 1947. Hazel and Elsie were wild ladies. Elsie loved to act and starred in many amateur productions. Hazel's tastes ran more toward bowling with beer. Amusement was not an issue with either of them.

  • Helen in her pink outfit in our Glenburnie backyard. She's around two making this 1988.

  • We took in a Steelheads hockey game downtown. I knew there was a minor league hockey team in Boise but I didn't know they played downtown. The CenturyLink Arena is well disguised from the outside. I had walked by it a dozen times thinking it was a theatre. It never occurred to me it was a small hockey arena. Oh, the Steelheads won this particular game.

  • My brother Steve in the midst of his terrible twos. Helen snapped this shot in Steve's Redwash bedroom. Like all two-year-olds Steve was a handful but I submit he was more terrible than most. One of my mother's favorite horrible Steve stories took place in this very bedroom. One day my mother ordered Steve to put all his toys in his toybox (seen here). He refused so she said he had to stay in his room until he picked up his toys. Steve had a fit and about thirty minutes into his confinement a neighbor called my mom and said Steve was throwing everything in his bedroom out the window. When my mother got to his bedroom he was in the process of trying to cram the crib through the window.

  • My brother Steve banging on a toy piano on Christmas morning 1966. My dad snapped this shot in the living room of our first house in Agha Jari Iran. Whenever I think of that first Christmas in Iran I am still impressed that my mother managed to move from Utah to Iran in a matter of weeks yet didn't forget to import Christmas presents halfway around the world.

  • My good friend Carl Sullivan expressing his disappointment at being layed off from his University of Alberta Geology Technician job in the late 1970s. The almost swallowed banana is a nice touch. You could depend on Carl to imbue any occasion with the gravity it deserved.

  • My grandfather Frank watching over my brother Steve in the summer of 1967. We all have fond memories of Frank, at least the dwindling number of us alive that still remember him.

  • Sometimes flash in the face works. I shoved an Instamatic camera in my brother Steve's face back in 1971 and this emerged.

  • Glass bottles in a mirror box pushed hard.





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