Analyze the Data not the Drivel

Recent Images

  • “Pull my finger!” I love these white guys meeting the Indians statues that you find all around the US. The artists commissioned to create these public works often put WTF expressions on native faces. In this statue, the native looks like he’s just got a good whiff of great white explorer body odor.

  • The grounds of the Boise Botanical Garden used to be the Idaho prison garden. The inmates grew a lot of their food on these grounds. To keep them from running off guard towers were erected around the property. The towers still exist but they’re no longer staffed. Plants do not flee!

  • A 360 degree panorama of the Sun Valley area near the Hemingway Memorial. I am constantly surprised at how natural these extremely warped images can look.

  • 1383 East 5935 South, Salt Lake City, UT. We lived in this split level house in the early 1960s. Hazel snapped this Kodachrome slide in the summer of 1962. For years nobody could remember where this house was but Hazel’s hoarding came to the rescue. Hazel saved all the letters ever sent to her and when she died my mother collected them. When my mother died the letters passed to me and while reading through them I found the address of this house.

  • The view from my bedroom window at 5208 Lansdowne Drive in Edmonton. I shot this Ektachrome slide in the winter of 1971. The sun is rising in the east and glaring off one of the towers in downtown Edmonton. I rather doubt I got up early to shoot this picture. I was probably up all night and just going to bed. I’ve always liked this unremarkable picture; it’s associated with many memories.

  • This is the first house my parents ever bought. It was in Casper Wyoming. My dad recalled the house was on Dahlia Street. We lived here when I was in the second grade. It was a long time ago but I have many fond memories from that time. My first dog, Patricia, followed me home from school here. Later she gave birth to eight Collie-German Shepard puppies in the basement. I remember my dad flying a kite in Casper’s notorious never ending winds from our driveway. I collected horny-toad lizards in the hills around this house. I also crawled through a long drain pipe under a nearby mall’s parking lot with a friend: a stupid dangerous thing to do. My grade school gang threw rocks at cars on the sparsely populated roads; drivers were not amused but we were never caught. Casper was before my younger brother was born. My dad was often away working leaving me with my sister and mom. It was in this house that I dropped a weight on my mother while she was cleaning a small closet. She cried; it was the first time I ever saw my mother cry. My grandmother Hazel snapped this Kodachrome slide sometime in 1959. Without this mundane picture, it’s unlikely I would remember much from this period. Save your pictures; they’re parts of you.

  • I’ve been meaning to check out the bookstore at Boise State. So far we have walked around and driven through the campus.

  • One of Mali's many pictures of me taking pictures. She's documenting the work of a very minor artiste!

  • An interesting bird of prey sculpture in the falconry museum.

  • Downstream from the Brownlee Dam. The Snake River is the Idaho-Oregon border. Idaho is a straight-laced anal retentive nutty religious state while Oregon is a dope smoking hippie infested low rent California. The two states are good neighbors. When Mormons need pot they sneak over to Oregon. When strung out Oregon hippies need discrete rehab they visit Idaho.

  • Another wide angle lens test. I don’t shoot a lot of “this is how we live” shots. I must maintain my artistic conceits you know. We live on this suburban street. Suburbia in large cities is often associated with punishing time consuming commutes on crowded ill-mannered highways. This is not always the case in smaller western cities and towns. It takes me a good eight minutes to get to work. I’ve timed it.

  • The "Devin Stone." Found beside a blue memorial stone.

  • The Idaho Capitol Building. I usually check out capitol buildings within a few days of arriving in a state but for many reasons, I didn’t get around to Idaho’s until today. The building and surrounding grounds are distinctly low key and low budget compared to other states. Also, there is absolutely no security on site during the weekend. You can wander in and around the building without being harassed or scanned. I like the fact that Idaho doesn’t feel the need to spend gobs on public buildings. In my opinion, capitols should be as unpleasant and uncomfortable as possible for as Mark Twain once observed nothing is safe when the legislature is in session.

  • Helen in the Boise Botanical Garden.

  • Me beside the Hemingway Memorial. I am now slightly older than Hemingway was when he killed himself. You collect souls as you age. The other day I estimated that about one-third of all the people I have gotten to know are now dead. Soon we will all join Hemingway.

  • Ruth, Miriam, Sharon and Aileen on the porch of Conlo house in Barbados. We rented Conlo house from about the middle of 1978 to the summer of the following year.

  • The front door of 5208 Lansdowne Drive Edmonton in 1970. We moved into this house shortly after moving back to North America from Iran. Except for two years in Tamale Ghana and eight months in Denmark, I lived in Edmonton from late 1969 to 1986: roughly 15 years. This was the first of four addresses.

  • Literate geometry.

  • The Boise River flooding. The snows in the mountains are still melting. The rivers will probably run high for another month.

  • Mali and Maryam beside the Payette River.

  • One of the prized exhibits in the Museum of Falconry. This gold plated trophy was awarded the gentlemen that reintroduced falconry to England after it had been banned by Cromwell. The Round Heads did not approve of falconry. They viewed it as a degenerate sport of the idle drunken rich, which to be fair, was a pretty accurate assessment. Hate the player, not the game!

  • Mali’s niece Maryam is visiting. Maryam is our first visitor in our new Idaho location. To show her a bit of the state we drove up to McCall Idaho and then looped over to the Snake River at Brownlee. The dam’s spillway is going full bore right now. So much snow fell in the mountains last winter that all the rivers are high or flooding. The spillway agitates the water enough to form small soap bubbles. The Snake and its tributaries flow through numerous towns and agricultural areas. When rivers encounter people they, unfortunately, pick up pollutants. We are a filthy planet destroying species. A few kilometers downstream the soap bubbles disappear but of course, the offending containments remain in the water.

  • I’m testing a wide angle 10-24 DX lens. At 10mm the field of view is about 100 degrees. I’ve always enjoyed the depth of field wide angle lenses afford. Things are in focus from nearby too far away. This is our backyard. We haven’t done anything with it but mow the grass with a manual push mower.

  • Sunflowers and wind turbines.

  • Freak Alley building art.

  • Abstract carp.

  • The Hemingway Memorial near Ketchum Idaho. I enjoyed his short stories and novellas but did not care for his novels. Hemingway, like many prominent artists of the first half of the 20th century, was conflated with his work. He didn’t create the image of the wandering writer, journalist, lover, and all around rogue, but he completely embodied it. His celebrity was so complete that many would be writers of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s took on Hemingway airs. Our modern feminist dominated age delights in tearing down masculine figures and Hemingway’s style is now denigrated as dead white male “rape literature.” Incoherent hysteria aside it will be interesting to see if his work endures. I suspect some of it will.

  • We checked out the outdoor Boise Farmer’s Market this weekend. It’s a fairly decent farmer’s market. The land surrounding Boise is agricultural and the market reflects that. There’s less tourist oriented “vegan artisanal” food and more just plain food.

  • The front yard of 1983 Downsview Drive. We lived here from 1987 to the mid-1990s. I believe I lived in this house longer than anywhere else so far.

  • The first rule of art museums is: art museums should look like art museums.

  • Rock balls rock!

  • Council cougar. You sometimes see better art in parking lots than galleries.

  • The Museum of Falconry on the grounds of the World Center for Birds of Prey was a real surprise. This small world class museum is filled with all sorts of material relating to the practice and ancient history of falconry. People have trained many species of birds of prey over the centuries, falcons, hawks, and eagles have all been used. Falconry is now an umbrella term for using trained birds of prey to hunt. This is a decorated bird blind. Falconers often put blinds on their birds to calm them down. Hey, if you’re going to wear a garment it should be stylish: raptors really rock Prada.

  • Mali has a knack for shooting oddly composed pictures of me. I keep telling her to compose, the full body, the half body, or the face and she keeps ignoring me. This is not the full body or the half body. Despite the accidental composition the expression on my smug face is completely revealing.

  • The crest of a large sand dune in strong winds is only a few grains wide. It’s rather amazing such large structures have such delicate edges.

  • On a rock promontory overlooking the Snake River just north of the August 21, 2017, eclipse centerline we found this painted rock memorial. Beside it, we found another rock labeled “Devin.” I presume they refer to the same person. I don’t know what happened to Devin but evidently, the Snake River canyon meant a lot to him and his family. This is a fine example of doing a memorial right. No human edifice is as grand as the river canyon we found this rock in. This small blue stone might be making pharaohs jealous.

  • Freak Alley is a graffiti free for all zone in downtown Boise. The alley is more popular than mainstream galleries and museums and when the skies are clear and the sun is shining it's not hard to see why.

  • Botanical garden fish. Now I know why people keep carp. They’re living abstract art.

  • While driving home from Sun Valley I stopped to capture Soldier Mountain playing with the afternoon light and sky.

  • The small Redwash oil camp house we lived in from 1963 to 1965. The houses are no longer located in Redwash. They were sold off and moved years ago. I don’t know whether this house even exists anymore. This snapshot was taken by my grandmother Helen in early 1963. For years I looked for a decent picture of this house and last summer while going through Helen’s old photographs I found a series of Kodacolor prints taken in Redwash. Many prints from that time had dated edges. This print was made in April 1963.

  • Sitting on my front porch with Beely. Beely was a contracted form of Beelzebub. Is there a better name for a black cat? I lived at this Edmonton address from late 1979 to 1986. It was the first house I bought and I took a financial bath when I sold it. Real estate took a dive in Edmonton after we moved in. In the long run, this loss saved me money. I learned long before the crash of 2008 that real estate doesn't always go up.

  • Mali on the Capitol Bridge. South Capitol Boulevard runs north to the Idaho capitol building which is visible in the distance. Capitol buildings are usually among the first sites we visit but we have yet to visit Idaho’s capitol.

  • Black light rocks.

  • The normally dry brown hills around the Snake River on the Idaho-Oregon border are preternaturally green because of unusually wet spring we are enjoying or enduring depending on how you feel about rain.

  • Peregrine profile. The World Center for Birds of Prey was instrumental in bringing peregrine falcons back from near extinction. Peregrines are what my friend Bob used to call “charismatic megafauna.” Only the most depraved and vile of human beings would not miss these majestic birds. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the “uncharismatic microfauna.” The Earth is going through a human induced mass extinction event. In a few short centuries, we have driven thousands of plants and animals to extinction. The damage is already irreversible. Welcome to the Anthropocene; it’s only going to get worse!

  • A wide angle 10-24 DX test. Wide angle lenses usually distort rectilinear features. This can be corrected with software but I often like the look.

  • The view north from near the top of the first large dune south of the Bruneau observatory. Beyond the observatory the Eagle Cove campsite is visible. Many members of the Boise Astronomical Society were camped out there for the annual Messier Marathon. Most of them were in rather nice trailers and expensive RVs. I only had a small hiking tent. The older I get the less tents appeal to me. A little trailer would definitely be a little more comfortable for star parties.

  • This morning we drove over to Huntington Oregon to scout out possible August 21, 2017, eclipse watching locations. This panorama is a flattened 360 degree Google App image taken about one hundred meters north of the eclipse center line on the Snake River. The Google Maps images do not fully convey how steep the river canyon walls are or how bad the little riverside road is. I expect thousands of people will try and get to this location on eclipse day. There is plenty of room in the canyon and along the hillsides to accommodate many thousands of people but unfortunately, the riverside road is narrow and there is no room to park on the river side. In places, the road is washing into the canyon. One stalled car could cut off access to this location. The good news: it’s a very scenic canyon and the sun will be high enough in the sky to clear the steep hills. If the weather is clear it will be a total mind blow!

  • Red, blue and green.

  • This image is a tone-mapped panorama of five frames taken near the Hemingway Memorial in Sun Valley. I didn't like the colors so I split toned the image and pushed the greens to the max to get that bright infra-red foliage look. About the only thing I don't like about this image is the loss of detail in the blown highlights of the clouds.

  • Kleiner Park geese. Canadian Geese have cute chicks but they quickly grow into chicken-sized ugly goslings. Mali is fond of them when they're tiny and when they're adults but doesn't care for teenage geese.

  • The iPhone fake bokeh effect can work well with flowers. The color purple is difficult for SRGB: it requires a wider gamut and calibrated monitors. I would have expected such devices to be common by now but they are not. I am hoping that 4K and higher resolution monitors will bring wide calibrated color spaces to the masses.

  • The ACS boy’s dorm. I spent three years in various rooms of this building. One night I climbed out one side of my room’s window, scooted over the narrow ledge, and then climbed in the other side. Aside from setting off bombs, it was just about the most stupid thing I did at ACS. In a parallel universe, I fell and killed myself.

  • Me on the Capitol Bridge in downtown Boise. Wide angle lenses are good for old farts; they make us look like we are far away.

  • Polished rock spheres: natures modern art.

  • Downtown Boise and the airport from the World Center for Birds of Prey hill. I shot this scene with both my 60mm macro lens and my 70-300 zoom telephoto set at 70mm. The macro utterly crushed the zoom when it came to edge to edge sharpness. Macro lenses are designed for close up shots but they are often your best-performing landscape lenses.

  • The city of Boise looking north from the World Center for Birds of Prey. The birds of prey center is highly rated on Trip Advisor and makes all the “best of Boise” lists. After visiting I can see why. It gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

  • You don’t expect Terra Cotta statues in Meridian. This is a test of the iPhone fake bokeh effect. Basically, software isolates the primary subject and applies a blur to the background.

  • Wind blowing sand off the crest of a Bruneau dune. Despite the strong winds the sand was not being lifted very high off the ascending slope. I still thought twice about exposing cameras to the airborne grains.





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