Analyze the Data not the Drivel

Recent Images

  • What are you suggesting?

  • Stained glass in a Rio cathedral.

  • Looking west over the Mediterranean Sea near Beirut's Phoenicia Hotel in 1968.

  • Catch of the day. I was impressed by the size of some fish in markets. The catfish look more sad than appetizing.

  • Magnified bling.

  • A Pantanal dusk cloudscape.

  • Jacob on the observation deck of the Cataraqui Conservation Area Outdoor Centre. The conservation area was close to our Kingston house and we spent many hours hiking, skating and drinking hot chocolate in the Outdoor Center.

  • Me in full hoser regalia. If you don't know what a hoser is well that's to bad ehh! (Click here) for the hoser anthem coo-ooo-koo-koo-koo!

  • I have more fun hacking around with Improvised Imaging Devices (IIDs) than regular cameras. Some time ago I foolishly bought a cheap Best Buy macro addon lens for my iPhone. I didn't expect much and I didn't get much. The cheap plastic lenses were a nightmare and the damn thing barely fit the phone. Last night while fiddling around with my jeweler's loupe I wondered if I could shoot iPhone shots through it. The answer is yes. The loupe vignettes like a vigilante, (call the alliteration police), but parts of the image are very sharp and the magnification is high. This picture is a collage of test shots. I am amused!

  • A Cusco street light at dusk.

  • Beely, after Beelzebub, liked lying on my bookshelf. One day his "Ok Boomer" expression got my attention. I still have some of these books (2019) alas poor Beely was hit by a car in Glenburnie Ontario about five years after this picture was taken. I buried him in our garden with his favorite food bowl. Like many cats, he never missed a meal.

  • Me crossing a stream in the Canadian Rockies. I cannot remember exactly what trail this was but I remember running into a newly married couple. The husband was a recent Russian immigrant to Canada. He approved of Robin William's portrayal of a Russin in a recent film. Old photographs rattle and twist out memories: it's part of the fun.

  • Merging images with similar themes and applying extreme tone and color shifts might yield something appealing.

  • Today we took a short cruise through parts of Death Valley. In our short trip, we set a few records. Our car's thermometer hit a new high of +50C and my GPS hit a new low of -80 meters while standing beside this sign. In my scuba diving days I never went below 200 feet so this is an all-time (non-cave/mine shaft) record. You can go lower in Death Valley. The lowest point in the valley is around -95 meters but reaching that point requires hiking and I wasn't up to a hike in the +50C heat.

  • Going down the Yukon River: man of the woods.

  • Fishing in the Pantanal was a delight. Not only were many of the local species tasty they also had oddly colored markings. This "Zero Fish" (I just made that up) is a good example.

  • A Peruvian woman working her wool. She was sitting near ruins letting tourists take pictures of her for tips.

  • My ACS dorm room desk.

  • Shooting through a jewler's loupe at a tiny, less than one centimeter, sized walrus carving. Improvised Imaging Devices are just plain fun.

  • Blue and white Manus hotel patio tiles at night.

  • Frankly I haven't made up my mind.

  • My cousin Dale's wife holding baby Ian. Snapped near Seattle Washingston in 2000.

  • Me with my two cats Beely and Stippy.

  • In December of 1974, I made my only trip to Cape Canaveral to visit the Kennedy Space Center. It had been only two years since Apollo 17's return from the Moon but the space center already had the decrepit feel of an abandoned ruin. Rockets, like these, were being turned into sad lawn ornaments. By 1974 the public had lost interest in space exploration. Many saw the effort as a giant waste of money. The left despised and reviled the program largely because it succeeded. Americans walked on the Moon, Soviets did not: an embarrassment that helped spawn idiotic, "it was all done in a sound stage," conspiracies that are still circulating. It's been a long fifty years but we are finally coming out of our self-induced space exploration coma. In the next ten years, somebody, (probably not Americans), will finally return to the Moon.

  • One of Hazel's road trip Kodachrome slides. She snapped this shot on a family trip to Glacier National Park in 1949. The low bridge is the main subject but she managed to squeeze in the old car as well. Hazel often included cars and people in her scenic shots. You can question her composition but here I am restoring a blurry and scratched seventy-year-old slide because I find it interesting.

  • "Collagial," (it's a word I just invented), image recycling.

  • Jacob and Helen in front the Macbride Museum of the Yukon.

  • Kingston red gun battery tower roof.

  • One of the many churches in Cusco Peru. I thought it would be easy to find the exact location of this building but I haven't found a door and wall that exactly match. I suspect this is a side door of the main cathedral but I'm not sure.

  • Two ACS girls getting bent playing Twister. I wasn't planning on looking up dresses when I triggered this snapshot. What you see is a happy accident.

  • Symmetry can fix many things including gaudy Christmas decorations.

  • Jacob reluctantly posing in front of a Kingston street mural.

  • The Shadow Knows!

  • Two red-dressed Christmas Helens. Helen Hamilton, Marion's sister, is one of the Helens my daughter is named after; the other Helen being my paternal grandmother. This was our first Christmas in our Glenburnie house. The rocking horse in the foreground was Helen senior's gift to my daughter. My kids rode that hobby horse hard for years.

  • Pat Bowne reclining on a quilt she made in our Edmonton basement apartment that she rented for a few years while she attended graduate school. Pat was a good friend with a good sense of humor. She was a big fan of SCTV's Celebrity Farm Blowup: a skit where celebrities were invited on TV and then blown up. Afterward, the hosts would say, "She blew up real good!"

  • The land around Pantanal Fazendas was flat, wet and green.

  • Me standing in front of the Congress Towers in Brasilia. In 1979 the public was allowed on the roof of the building in front of the towers. On the day of our visit, the sky was filled with dramatic clouds. Subjects would go in and out of shade. I have other shots taken within minutes of this overcast image that are bright and sunny.

  • One of my mother's better Instamatic slides of the Beirut shoreline near the Phoenicia Hotel in 1969. When I look at old slides I cannot help but indulge a silly time travel fantasy. I imagine myself being beamed right back to where this shot was taken armed with a modern high-quality camera. Even a good 1969 era camera would produce a higher quality image. Alas, the only time travel available takes the form of old prints, negatives, and slides.

  • Looking up Third Avenue in Dawson City Yukon. In 2002 many of the historic buildings associated with the gold rush were sagging picturesque ruins. Gold was still being mined in the region but the glory days were long over.

  • On my first solo Europe trip flight, I sat beside a young woman also on her first solo trip. It was an overnight flight and when the morning sun cut through the small jet window it highlighted her profile. She was a good sport about posing and all these years later I still like the result.

  • The Rio Sugar Loaf from the Christ Statue. Rio has one of the more striking locations. Of course, no city, however beautiful, improves a natural landscape they are all scars to some degree.

  • It's been fifty-two years since I snapped this Instamatic Kodacolor slide in the American Community School of Beirut boys dormitory and it kind of surprises me how much I can recall about this forgettable gathering. The event was a get to know your headmaster social. The hawk-nosed man in the middle was the ACS headmaster in 1968. I cannot recall his name and I cannot be bothered to look it up. The fellow on the left was perhaps the best student in the school and the kid with the preppy tie on the right was Terry Gill. Terry was a big history buff; he was particularly interested in European history and had written a long hand "book" about the economics of the continent as a 10th grader. I don't know what happened to any of these people or if they are still alive. The students would be in their late sixties and the headmaster would probably be in his eighties. How's that for "who gives a shit" boomer nostalgia?

  • I was shooting selfies long before the word was coined. I rather like this one. I was on a rocky beach in Tobermory Ontario.

  • Helen sitting on Mermaid Rock at Dog Lake.

  • Jesus Dupont Christopher Halsacous Christ!

  • The two Guthorms meet. Jacob's middle name comes from his great grandfather Guthorm (Gert) seen here in his early eighties. The pictures on the walls and shelves around Gert are his children, grandchildren, and wife Hazel. Gert was universally loved by family, inlaws, and friends but oddly Jacob was the first and only descendant to carry on his name.

  • Bob Blaxley fishing on the coast of British Columbia in 1975. Human beings divide into two camps: those that fish seriously and the rest of us. Bob was (is) very much a member of the first camp. The world would be a calmer and more peaceful place if more people went fishing. Fishing calms the mind, teaches patience and nurtures a love for wild places.

  • Termite mounds dotted the Pantanal landscape. Many were bigger than this one. I've seen similar mounds in Africa. The color of the structures vary with soil and termite species.

  • My mother standing beside a gold moose statue on the front stairs of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The year 2000 was the "Year of the Moose" in Toronto. The crazy Toronto mayor, Mel Lastman, got it in his tiny little head that what the city needed was hundreds of cheesy plastic moose statues. Moose sculptures were everywhere and, I am disturbed to report, the public loved them.

  • Ned Prothro, (looking at the camera), and his friend Swedenberg outside the American Community School darkroom in 1969. Ned was one of my best ACS friends. He lived in Beirut with his bitterly divorced neglectful father that let him run wild. You could smell the neglect; Ned's hygiene was bad even for teenage boys. I ignored his smell and joined his wild pursuits. I left Beirut in 1968 but Ned and I traded longhand letters for a few years afterward so I know a bit of his story. Ned was very smart, he was programming in PL1, a now-defunct IBM programming language, in high school and went to MIT after ACS. He didn't adjust well and left before graduating. He kicked around for years, pursuing at least one degree elsewhere, and ended up in Stillwater Oklahoma where he died unexpectedly of a heart attack in his early fifties. Mathematical notes found by his body were about his delusional studies of the distribution of prime numbers.

  • Pantanal jacare caimans have perfected the afternoon nap. They bask in the sun, without moving, for hours and hours. We sat on the edge of the marshes hoping to see them go after something. Our long vigil was rewarded by one of the caimans slowly opening its jaws. The excitement was palpable. The situation was different at night. Throwing flashlight beams over the marshes frequently reflected two bright orange spots, caiman eyes, smoothly cruising the waters. Every hour or so a violent crashing splash could be heard as they caught something in the dark.

  • Way back in the 1970s I read about a new polymerized state of water: polywater. Most chemists thought it was a total crock but being a naive high school student I set out to duplicate the process that allegedly formed this bizarre water. I won't go into all the details but the process required creating ultrafine glass capillary tubes. I had a ball creating the tubes one of which is seen in this improvised microscope shot. I worked diligently for months attempting to replicate the experiments and found nothing. Polywater refused to form. I remember discussing my experiments with my Ph.D. Chemist uncle. He listened patiently and asked me what I had concluded. I told him I was either doing something wrong or polywater didn't exist. In case you're wondering Polywater doesn't exist. This was my first experience of testing authority assertions. The great thing about science: nature doesn't give a shit about your social standing, sex, class, gender, race, religious beliefs, or political inclinations. Reality is not a socially constructed narrative and only ignorant ideological imbeciles (iCubes) think otherwise.

  • Me inside a small Fazenda hut in the Pantanal. We stayed at several Fazendas during our trip. The locals were happy to see us as it meant a few more cruzeiros (now reals) in their pockets. The rustic huts were softened by excellent Brazilian hammocks. The hammocks we bought in Brazil were by the far the best I have ever used. Once you get used to them they are every bit as comfortable as beds. We held on to them and used them for many years.

  • When looking through old negatives and slides I frequently come across shots that jump out at me. This nondescript image of downtown Kingston from the roof of a parking garage is a good example. The negative commanded my attention for the same reason I pulled the camera shutter in the first place. The light is right. It may be illuminating an ordinary brick chimney but when the light is right even the most boring subject catches your eye.

  • Decaying leaves in a rock rain puddle.

  • Room interiors are nostalgia enhancing. This 1987 shot was made in the living room of 1983 Downview Drive in Glenburnie Ontario. I am petting my dog Lady while surrounded by my daughter's toys. The shelves on the left also appear in this interior shot (click here) taken in Edmonton. They, along with the decorations on the walls and much of the furniture in the room were dragged across Canada when we moved east.

  • Holding a cold Pantanal moth.

  • Helen as a toddler artist. She maintained an artistic streak as a grown up. Last month she published her first novel. (Click here) to get a copy.

  • Carl in his Edmonton basement apartment. For many years Carl lived in the basement apartment of Bob's house. His rent helped cover the mortgage and other expenses.

  • The wet red street cobblestones in front of this small Pocone cafe got my attention.




Powered by SmugMug Log In