Wednesday, 20 March 2013

closing in on 10 years...

i have moved this blog which is becoming more and more irregular as it limps toward a decade
google is too invasive
feel is smaller is better.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

on the charlotte-essex ferry

want an umbrella?  buddy asked from his machine on the ferry.
no thanks the rain will stop soon
i wasn’t talking to you but to the young woman.
his wife asked what i was going to do because of the rain
get wet.

the windows closed i went for shelter. noticed their maryland number plate.

when the rain stopped and they opened their windows.
so where in maryland are you from?
seeing a hesitation. mentioned where i grew up.
- know there area
where my mother lives
live close by
that i went to friends
-we have a nephew there
but i went in the stone age.
you’re young i’m 75.

as we were docking and saying good bye. he introduced himself as d.h.
h.? i went to school with a.b.
our niece.

Friday, 20 July 2012

so here i am in an area that has what i tend to look for. water and because of that ferries and  boundaries. i went without saying that i would enter my manifest destiny way of thinking and go out and make use of this.

the plan was to hire a push bike. ride down to the ferry at charlotte, cross into new york at essex, bike up to port kent, then take the ferry back to burlington. it would be a bit difficult but within my range of possibilities - some 60 odd kilometres - the unknowns here would be hills.

everything went pretty smoothly, hired the bicycle with out a problem a hybrid - i haven’t been on a road bike in a long time and those thin tyres make nervous. the geometry was a bit relaxed which caused a bit of a problem on hills but that was granny gears are for.

hot but it didn’t seem to be bothering me. biking down to the ferry, kept passing these sites that i remembered from the last time and didn’t get a chance to document. the motel and hotel row along shelburne road, which wasn’t the most pleasant of roads to bike along. it seems that burlington like to end bike lanes at the most inappropriate moments. there was an apiary along bostwick road. a ball park and beach in lake road. beaches here are about as inviting as the rock strewn ones along the south coast of england. here though the rocks are bigger and sharper.

at the ferry, waiting, i rethought everything. i could make do what i had planned but that would mean racing up the east coast of the lake to make sure that i caught the ferry - the cycling equivalent of making time - telling myself that i would return to make the snaps the next day.

was still undecided on the ferry ride. 

in essex, wanting something cold, and using the post office the enforced slowing down - a great milk shake and a litre of water downed, a walk through an art gallery, a minor ride along the coast - had me decided to return on the charlotte ferry and make the snaps that i saw on the way down. 

my legs spasming may have had something to do with the decision.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

at the end of last year when i was stubbornly holding to the “all film all the time” tenant, bought a resesky/recesky/recesky build it yourself twin-lens camera kit. really couldn’t go wrong as the kit cost $10 with shipping included. thought about taking it to rio.

well actually i could go wrong as the kit came with broken parts. thought the camera cool as it was yellow until i realised that the yellow wasn’t light safe. wrote the company i bought it from and received replies that had the appearance of being run through google translate.

gave up. it was only $10. i re-gifted it.

found the same camera on another sight but this time it was all black - less hipster but functional i was hoping. for the luxury of having a camera that actually worked there was a surcharge of $2.00. again shipping was free.

was trying them out as i was having a hard time using dianas and holgas. to me it seems a bit odd to pay more for the film that is used in a camera than the camera itself and it was pretty much getting down to that. 

saw blackbird fly cameras - in colour - but again $110 this seemed destined for the urban outfitters set. like the blackbird fly camera i had qualms with the resesky/recesky which to make it more marketable was called the holga resesky/recesky it seems that holga is needed to add validity to this type of camera. the main one being that it makes vertical snaps. the instructions say that there is an eyelevel finder built in but my chinese isn’t what it used to be and cannot seem to be able to figure out how to use it.

put the camera together a month ago but it sat. it sat with film in it until bored and knowing that i would be away from film i tried it out. the excuse was to add more options to my class in the autumn as the gulf between technologies grows.

it was like having a diana again. because  there is no film counter, i had to watch this spinning dial on the side. i even had to remember how many snaps i had taken. the spinning dial works sort of. if i press down on the back while advancing the film it functions perfectly. if not there are long periods before the dial moves. needless to say the spacing between frames can be highly varied. it leaks light - occasionally - not like the true dianas - not the lomography ones. but it was rare. no need to tape up the cameras.

frames can be overlapped. there is a nice vignetting. apertures can be changed but the lens has to be dismantled and placed back in the camera  which could effect the focus if one actually tried to make the focus calibration accurate.

i am used to a wide angle lens so the more “normal” focal length was a bit claustrophobic for me. i could see the camera as a documenter of things.

bought two more.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

this was to be an “all digital all the time” wander. there have been postcards traded over the subject of the suspicion of digital, all writing saying that while we all use it, something simply doesn’t feel right. since i was only here - here being vermont - for three days. i reckoned that i would take only bostinha the sony - well and the charger, the extra compact flash card.

the idea behind this was to see if prejudice became truth. taking bostinha would mean no hassles with x-rays, lighter baggage and that i could make a complete piece while i was here.

since there isn’t really an object with digital, i downloaded i-photo to have another option for mini books. the logo on the back cover for made on a mac is more subtle than that of my publishers overwhelming logo.

while there were doubts and glances over at the other lads until we were in the machine heading for the airport coach, i realised that i had used digital for sometime now and really don’t have any problems with the image quality. it only changes my work as it is in colour. i do have to get used to that brittle sharpness equal to an mp3 file when one is used to vinyl.

it was fun when staying with the lyngberg’s in denmark - having that slide show of what i had done that day.

i felt like such and adult at the airport. not worrying about film not having to explain to the tsa while watching them swab them for explosives.

that all ended.

i thought that i would fit in now but no again behind the times. everyone i saw was using their phones for snaps. while we were wandering burlington awaiting the room to be ready. i was doing the usual. no culture shock. i tend not to look at the back if the camera while i am making snaps. a pity as it seemed that a camera dial had moved from raw to some sort of flower setting. set it back.

a while later wondered why the exposures seemed long. the iso setting had magically been changed.

going into lezot, i hid bostinha.

film or digital rob said as i entered. sheepishly -making sure that the bostinha was well inside my bag babbled on about being film but reluctantly making the move as it is becoming a rarefied world. was saying all of this while drooling over the leica m7 used in the showcase.

i have to be careful now as i see myself becoming the home for wayward  35mm cameras. almost picked up a sweet nikkormat last week, here there was a black olympus om2sp - which i didn’t care for at the time due to the longer time lag - i found myself fondling the bankcard.

feeling guilty being there with bostinha, i continued my babble the way carnivores, justify their penchant for meat in front of me.

so ok this was a mistake, still i was going to make these mini books do all the work from here and have them sent out as if they were postcards and antidote to postagramme

ah well no, i actually couldn’t afford that as both my publisher and i-photo make multiples they would have to be sent to me and then sent out.

that’s fine change is good. i can deal with this.

i now remember the evening ritual when i was heading north of sixty and when following the coastline of the st. lawrence and the atlantic. even though i would find a room relatively early, the next four hours were consumed downloaded, labelling and dumping files as well as recharging batteries. in fátima i would dump the film number the rolls and go to bed.

i forgot about all the peripherals that make supposedly digital so easy. i didn’t so much run out of file space but battery power. worryingly i watched the percentage drop.

it seems like with digital i like everyone else. five files on the laptop nothing being done with them. there is no distance from the event to look at them coldly.

again the illogical aspects of my qualms show. with film i make the snaps, number the rolls and then go out and do something else because of the primitive aspect of the medium makes me delay work - i did notice that the bath in the bed and breakfast has no windows…  while the same can apply to digital it really doesn’t. the fact that it can be seen immediately - think polaroid and not looking at it for days after the snap was made - and thus guilt builds when they are left to sit.

they are sitting though. i prefer to be out instead of in front of a laptop.

one more nail in the digital coffin…

sky schmutz from the sensor

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

the main concern in returning from baltimore was the choice. fast and expensive via the tollways, or slower but free via mid-state ohio and indiana.  I-81 through virginia had been deadly . i knew that i wasn’t to see anything along the interstate but i had to make time. i sort of had to do the same thing returning to the pissoir. i felt that i was back to those days when we would have to get up at 4am to beat the traffic and make good time

there was an added wrinkle to the choice. i would be more bothered by taking the more direct and costly route if there were constant construction. i chose the southern route.

i have to stop hurrying and i could get a slew of timbits in columbus. the added incentive of the southern route is the bypassing of the onslaught of boredom when between cleveland and south bend. it only becomes better at south bend as i then can start to count down the miles until i am out of the state. the southern route has hills, it only barely bypasses cities. like wanting to follow the blue ridge parkway through virginia one day i want find time heading to baltimore to drive the national pike. the national pike, the blue ridge parkway, routes with names. two long delays that at first irritated me then allowed me to slow down more. at least i wasn’t paying for the privilege of sitting in a tail back if i were on the tollways.

with the forced slowing, i diverted. left the interstate at columbus and took a series of state roads to the the lincoln highway fort wayne. rounding columbus headed into a strong thunderstorm that slowed traffic again but the storm passed quickly. although it didn’t seem so as traffic didn’t stop, it must have been a strong one as we at times had to dodge branches.

now on the “blue highways” i was passing things interesting. once again i had to force myself to switch from making time to making snaps. quite a few u-turns along state road 117 heading into lima.

thought myself very lucky as i would come across these drive-ins that were closed. thought it must have been bad luck to have these close as they were in such good state.

entering lima and needed gasoline, i thought it strange that gas bars would be closed so early in the evening as was the walmart, the dunkin donuts, the mcdonald’s.

finally caught on. that storm that slowed me down a bit slowed down lima and really everything between and fort wayne a great deal. power outages everywhere. finally found gasoline on the west side of fort wayne - knew there was power here as the queue for the mcdonalds stretched down the highway. but people were talking about the outage the way that bodega bay talked about the birds.

when i finally get myself to slow down, i really do go to extremes. now i was stopping for anything that had potential. the only reason that i made it back to the pissoir by 1am was when it finally became dark and all i could do was drive - through another thunderstorm.

Sunday, 1 July 2012