Analyze the Data not the Drivel

Recent Images

  • A free music and craft festival celebrating immigrants to Idaho was held on the grounds of the Idaho capitol today. One of the bands was Iranian so Mali wanted to check them out. In addition to free music, many vendors were selling colorful crafts from Africa, India, and Indonesia.

  • The Boise foothills are still blooming. I enjoy and admire people that invest time and energy in flower gardens but sadly wildflowers equal or surpass the best of our efforts for free.

  • Brooding skies to the west of Cathedral Gorge.

  • Sometimes you need more than one yellow lawn chair.

  • Last week we spent an afternoon near Lake Tahoe. It was the first time either of us had seen Mark Twain's favorite mountain lake. Tahoe is indeed scenic but I've seen many scenic mountain lakes. The Tahoe region is too developed for me. I prefer my lakes with fewer people. Mali disagrees, she likes all the nice restaurants, tourist shops, hotels, and casinos.

  • My cousins Dean, Dale and baby Darrin in 1965. My aunt Alberta was fond of color coordinating her sons. I'm sure they were delighted.

  • Let's hope that labeling famous spots does not catch on. In this case, the sign adds but it won't work at the Grand Canyon or Jasper. Tim and Helen are sitting beside the convenient color calibration wheel.

  • Mali with Ehsan's mother Pari on the Toronto waterfront.

  • The Harborfront paddle boat pool and surrounding towers.

  • Waterfront white walkers.

  • Tim pointing with the CN Tower. He's benefiting from the sliming wide angle lens edge diet.

  • Ann Morrison Park Fountain. I didn't know there was a fountain in Ann Morrison Park. It's always nice to find a fountain.

  • Me squinting in the afternoon sun above Palm Springs. When you ride the Palm Springs cable car you start in a desert and go up to a ponderosa pine forest.

  • My contempt for political creatures goes way back. I was jaded long before high school and my opinions about the "things" that seek to rule me have only hardened over the decades. It's no coincidence that the two dozen nonentities seeking the Democratic presidential nomination (June 2019) remind you of high school student council candidates. The same slimy little punks that ran for student body positions often transition into big bitch politics with predictable results. I'd had enough of this by the tender age of seventeen so I, along with other bitter cynics, organized a high school campaign to abolish student government by electing a "neutered puppet dictator" pictured here. Our "mouse-ist" campaign, (we enjoyed mocking moronic Maoists), was enthusiastically embraced and we might have elected a dictator if the school administration had not intervened and outlawed our candidate. Proper democracies don't just let anyone run!

  • Tahoe and tree.

  • The Sharon Motel in Wells was a pleasant surprise.

  • One of Hazel's group of kids shots. Here we have Earl, the boy on the left, my aunt Alberta in the middle, my mother in the red plaid shirt on the right and blond toddler Judy sitting in front. Taken sometime in the warm months of 1950. Alberta and Judy are still alive (June 2019). My mother died six years ago and I don't know if Earl is still alive.

  • Wing shots are boring but they serve a purpose: they often mark the beginning and end of trips. This shot marks the end of our Toronto trip but that's not why I made it. My Nikon D7500 and 35mm F 1.8 lens have been acting up. For some reason, this lens and camera combination has been missing exposures by way overexposing the odd shot. It's highly irritating and only happens with this lens and camera. I thought the lens contacts may be dirty but cleaning did not help. Instead of brooding about camera problems, I've endured camera problems for over forty years, I'm going to start shooting more fully manual exposures. Some of my best shots are often completely manual. Auto everything often works well but it turns off the most important camera feature: a thinking photographer.

  • Ass backwards Toronto!

  • Ehsan, in blue shirt, with his father on the Toronto waterfront.

  • An iPhone panorama of Toronto Island from the CN Tower. There are two general tower observation decks. The lower one is "wired in" and the upper is "glassed in." In both cases, you cannot get an unobstructed view. Here glass reflections and distortions degrade what could have been a pretty decent panorama.

  • The Toronto waterfront has a serious condo tower problem. The increase in the number of people downtown has made traffic worse and forced people to go further afield to find decent views like this. Toronto is now just another large annoying city. Sadly it's elevation will keep it above water as the seas rise. The ocean will not cure the Toronto problem like it will fix Los Angles, New York, and other coastal infestations.

  • I look for atypical viewpoints when photographing over photographed subjects like the CN Tower.

  • A sentinel style sculpture near the Congress Towers in Brasilia. Sometimes shooting into the sun to accentuate lens flare works.

  • Alberta enjoying a coke in Phoenix Arizona with Earl in 1949.

  • Exposure accidents can produce images that are far more interesting than properly exposed shots. My father double exposed the Parthenon when we visited it in August of 1969. I am sure this was not what he intended but the resulting superposition of times makes you look twice. When tourists visit ancient sites they are indulging in a bit of imaginary time travel. This double exposure of instants separated by a handful of seconds is of no great value but imagine a camera that could double expose the present with what you could see from this very spot when the Parthenon was first built. The resulting image would instantly become the most valuable photograph ever taken.

  • We stopped at Cathedral Gorge State Park on the way back from Vegas. Rain storms were looming to the north making for an interesting mix of light.

  • I was planning on driving nonstop from Las Vegas to Boise but we were late getting out of Vegas so we stopped at Wells. Mali found a nice little inexpensive quiet motel that was off the highway. It even had a picnic table.

  • Me rocking a plaid jacket and hat in front of Gert's old Nash. Note the tighty-whiteys on the clothesline. Hazel probably shot this slide in late 1955 or early 1956.

  • Negative cityscape.

  • Maryam and Leyla with wind their hair.

  • Me with Tilly hat in hand on the CN Tower glass floor. The tower glass floor is nice but it's not in the same league as the Grand Canyon West Skywalk.

  • I'm pretty sure the pigeons around Harborfront do not consider "perch pikes" friendly. It amuses me that the geniuses that design buildings often fail to consider urban wildlife. When the new Toronto police headquarters opened architects raved about its "reimagining of art deco" but the building's biggest fans were pigeons. They loved all the roosting nooks with great city views. Within weeks the building was covered with pigeon shit and shortly afterward ugly pigeon barbwire was everywhere. How's that for reimaging art deco? It seems the same issue is in play here.

  • Ghazal on the Toronto waterfront. Ghazal is a delightful intelligent opinionated child. She's the first grandchild on both sides making her in her daddy's words "a real princess."

  • Ghazal in a Toronto Harborfront paddle boat. We don't know it at the time but if we are fortunate enough to have loving parents and a supportive family age five is darn close to peak human happiness.

  • Hazel snapped this shot of me running about in my pajamas in 1958. Hazel's camera had basic fixed focus settings: basically close-up and infinity. The close-up setting produced nice bokeh which has been very helpful when restoring these old slides. If the background is blurred it's easy to hide scratches and other defects with median blurring without changing the character of the image.

  • Gert kneeling on grass in 1948. The more I work with my grandmother Hazel's Kodachromes the more I appreciate her talent for impromptu people pictures.

  • My first mother-in-law loved to cut back brush at her cottage. As she got older the task of bushwacking fell to other family members and inlaws. Here I am firing up a bush massacring chain saw while my useless black dog Charlie crouches in the foreground and my kids aimlessly wander in the background. I have fond memories of all my dogs with the sole exception of Charlie. Charlie was a pathetic creature. My daughter picked him out of the pound as a reward for enduring a painful medical test. Charlie bonded very tightly with my first wife and suffered severe separation anxiety when she wasn't around. Once he chewed up the Venetian blinds in our sunroom. Chewing the blinds was bad enough but he cut his mouth while doing it and then bled all over the house. Charlie was a freaking joy.

  • Mali and John above Lake Tahoe.

  • While driving from Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas I kept seeing "Burros on the Road" signs. I wondered if this was a problem or if somebody got tired of deer and elk signs. It turns out that burros do get on the road. This fellow was happily blocking traffic in Beatty and inspecting cars for handouts.

  • Programming with three fondly remembered pets: my black cat Beely, (after Beezelbub), my stray dog Lady, and my tabby cat Stippy. Beely was killed by a car in Ontario, Stippy died of pancreas failure, and Lady disappeared. I suspect one of my dog-hating neighbors got rid of her. I'm sure you've run into "pet parents" that fawn over their animals like they were extra special crown princesses. I loathe such infantile sentimentality but I must confess I've had deeper relationships with some cats and dogs than many people. I regret treating my first dog poorly but I don't regret beating up schoolyard punks or celebrating the demise of personal enemies. If you don't enjoy the misfortune of your foes you're lying to yourself. We are nasty naked apes and if we forget or deny this we will never control or master our savage side. I expect human beings to understand this but I will give cats and dogs a pass.

  • Observation decks are frequently glassed in. This is a problem for photographers. Shooting through fingerprinted nonoptical glass always degrades the view. Sometimes I just give up and include people in the foreground.

  • Empty red chairs enjoying the view.

  • Helen and Tim enjoying curbside beverages.

  • Helen and Tim visiting the CN Tower.

  • We took a quick weekend trip to Toronto to meet the family of Mali's niece Leyla. Leyla is sitting between Mali and her husband Ehsan, the gentleman in the blue shirt on the far right. Mali last saw Leyla in Iran over thirty years ago. Leyla was about four then. Now she has a five-year-old daughter Ghazal, the child in the center of the frame. Until this trip, I hadn't meet Leyla or her husband. I enjoyed meeting them and Essen's parents, also in the frame.

  • Toronto City Hall at night. This image is an HDR time exposure experiment. I stacked five two stop bracketed frames and tone mapped the result. I like the light but there are many problems. While I was smart enough to use manual exposure for the bracketed shots I foolishly let the camera autofocus between frames. To get the best results each frame should have exactly the same focus and aperture settings and of course, it helps to use a tripod rather than bracing your camera against benches and hoping it doesn't slip.

  • Helen in her first Halloween costume.

  • When the light is right any landscape can put on a worthy show.

  • Reading to Helen in our Glenburnie Ontario house around 1989. Note that I am reading the Three Little Pigs a classic "othering" tale about pinky white pigs enduring home invasions by a big bad black wolf. Of course, only the industrious, (not on welfare or looking for handouts), pig foils the rapacious wolf. And, you thought it was a harmless little children's story; woke up people!

  • Looking west toward the California side of Lake Tahoe.

  • Me looking into the afternoon sun above Lake Tahoe.

  • Another HDR stacking experiment. Three exposures with a wide angle zoom merged and tone mapped. There is so much wrong here that I am uploading it to a new exposure experiments gallery. So far I am not impressed with stacking. I've had better results with plain old fashioned film time exposures. I will keep at this until I produce something that doesn't appall me!

  • Do chained blue waterfront chairs yearn for freedom?

  • Mali, Pari, Sedi, Ehsan's father Ghazal and Ehsan.

  • Leyla, Mali, Maryam, and Sedi in the York Cemetery near Mahin's grave.

  • When shooting lots of moving people with wide angle lenses you often have to wait a bit to keep your edges clear of "half people." I still had to remove two half people to clear the edges of this shot. Reality is overrated!

  • I've been up the CN Tower three or four times but this is my first been there done that shot.

  • Maryam with Ghazal on a Toronto waterfront bridge.

  • Blue chess reflections.





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