Analyze the Data not the Drivel

Recent Images

  • 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.

  • Gert, the man looking directly at the camera, with a friend by parked cars from an old Kodachrome slide by Hazel. Like many of Hazel's old slides, I don't have an exact date or location. My best guess is that this picture was shot in northern Montana during a trip Gert took with his friend to Glacier National Park. I think this because I have another slide showing these two men and cars on the Going to The Road in Glacier. The original slide was underexposed and damaged. There were thousands of spots, scratches and other blemishes. I scanned the slide twice. First for highlights and again with the lamp brightness set very high for shadows. I stacked the scans, blended the exposures and then applied my cleanups.

  • Is it graffiti or art?

  • Heceta Head Lighthouse and light keeper house. The coastal fog was just lifting as the lighthouse came into view. We watched sea lions in the surf below until the light improved.

  • The Portland Saturday Market is a delightful freak show. People are wearing everything from elegant designer clothes to urine-soaked sleeping bags. It's like Halloween for adults.

  • Me looking out over Crater Lake from the Watchman peak lookout. I'm wearing my typical toodling uniform, camera bag check, Tilly hat check, blue Carthart over-jacket check, white nylon retouching gloves, (they are surprisingly warm and allow you to manipulate camera controls), check, Tin-Tin hair check. Mali often complains about my "style." I don't see the problem.

  • The Portland Sky Tram runs from nearby streetcar stops to OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University).

  • Cyclists passing by Portland park pillars.

  • Looking north over Crater Lake.

  • 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.

  • Customer 34.

  • Early morning sunlight falling on the southwestern rim Crater Lake Watchman overlook. You can make out the Watchman tower on the summit of the highest peak.

  • Crater Lake deep blue.

  • Saturday Market catch of the day.

  • One of Mali's iPhone panoramas taken from OHSU. The haze is obscuring the mountains on the horizon but the fall colors make up for it. The Portland Sky tram connects riverside streetcars to the OHSU hospital in the hills. Usually, hospitals are not tourist attractions but this is Portland where weed and weird rules.

  • Mali posing on stairs above the river walkway. The “Un-Cruise” boat in the background sums up my feelings about cruise ships; they’re basically hotels you cannot leave without drowning.

  • Base relief details on an interesting Portland park pillar statue.

  • Phanton Ship island.

  • 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.

  • Ellis Island Registry room.

  • Overdressed for Portland.

  • Early morning sunlight falling on the northwestern rim Crater Lake Watchman overlook.

  • Chilling by the fountain.

  • Portland Sky tram.

  • Every trip needs a final shot. This is my last picture from our brief Oregon road trip. We took a long detour to visit the Painted Hills and we weren't entirely sure it was worth it. The hills exceeded my expectations. Even in mediocre mid-afternoon sunlight, they put on a worthy show.

  • On Saturday we walked along the Portland waterfront park from the Saturday Market in Old Town to the Portland Sky Tram. Portland is a city of many bridges.

  • A Crow walking near a man sleeping in a Portland park.

  • The Phantom Ship island in Crater Lake. This small island contains some of the oldest rocks in Crater Lake. The ship rocks are around 400,000 years old. Most of the rocks around the caldera are much younger with some dating to the time of eruption around 7,000 years ago: geological babies.

  • 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.

  • Resist the urge to purge. I shot the four frames that went into this panorama back in 2005 with my second digital camera a four megapixel Minolta S404 that only produced jpegs. Four megapixels seems incredibly lame by modern standards but I can state without a hint of equivocation that I have never seen a bigger improvement in image quality than when I went from a one megapixel HP to the four megapixel S404. My next jump to a six megapixel Nikon D40 improved on the S404 but not as much as the jump to the S404. The same holds for the jumps to sixteen and twenty megapixels. I remember trying to stitch this panorama with 2005 software. It didn't come together. Today I dropped the frames into the latest version of Affinity Photo and this popped out. Panorama software is much better than it used to be but it still requires inputs. As I said, resist the urge to purge.

  • Crater Lake Wizard Island.

  • We had a nice little tour of the Heceta Head Lighthouse. The volunteer guide went over the history of the lighthouse. She covered its construction. how lightkeepers were recruited, and the Fresnel optics. The Fresnel lens is quite valuable and hard to replace. When the lighthouse was first lit over a century ago it burned a bright kerosene lamp. The light was turned with a wind-up mechanism very similar to what you see in old grandfather clocks. The lighthouse is still in use though it's now fully electric. On clear nights it's visible twenty-five kilometers out to sea.

  • Sitting by the fountain near the Saturday Market.

  • Run like Hell indeed.

  • I have a tendency to pixel-peep when processing my raw images. I compare multiple shots at full magnification and pick the "sharpest" image to work with. Sharp images are not necessarily good images. Sometimes you want soft and sometimes the weather only gives you soft. This is one of my favorite shots from our recent Oregon trip; it breaks my implicit conventions.

  • Canonical Portland.

  • Portland waterfront selfie.

  • The Painted Hills are one of the most heavily photographed sites in Oregon. It's easy to see why.

  • 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.

  • An old been there and done that picture from my one and only visit to the Bay of Fundy. The original slide was way underexposed. I scanned it twice pumping the light way up to get as much shadow detail as possible but as you can see film cannot be pushed like digital images. When reading old predigital photography books and articles you will come across the phrase "blocked shadows." Well, this is an example. I fiddled with this image to see what I could extract - not much it turns out.

  • Just look for the building that looks like it escaped from a modern art museum.

  • Heceta Head Lighthouse.

  • Sky tram shadow.

  • Oregon coast. We didn't plan on visiting the coast but decided enroute that it's just wrong to visit a coastal state without seeing the coast.

  • One of the many bridges spanning the Willamette River in Portland.

  • Portland Willamette River waterfront park.

  • Mali under the Watchman tower overlook.

  • Looking north down the Willamette River in Portland.





Powered by SmugMug Log In