Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An Autumn stroll in Lone Fir

Monday, October 29, 2007

Two views from the Morrison Bridge of Waterfront Park in Autumn.

Same tree with ferns, color and black and white.

Lone Fir Autumn.
More Scarlet Passion Flower

Sunday, October 28, 2007

While out on an errand today I found this great drafting table just sitting on the sidewalk for pickup only a few blocks from my house. I couldn't believe someone would just give this a way so I went to the house to ask and sure enough they were giving it a way. It will make a great table for doing calligraphy.
I am always on the lookout for fiberbased photographic papers. Here is a sample of some of the types I use.

Cleaned the darkroom this weekend.
I put up this pegboard to help organize my work space.
It is hard to take a picture of the inside of my darkroom because the dimensions are only 6 x 5 feet.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Favorite Horror Films. This has got to be the most ambitious poster for the 1956 film. I only wish I could find a more detailed jpg file on the internet. I prefer the Philip Kauffman 1978 remake which so impressed me the first time I saw it I sat through a really bad Japanese ripoff of Star Wars just so I could watch it again. It is probably quibbling but I believe that Jack Finneys short novel 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' came after Philip K. Dicks short story 'The Father Thing' which just so happens to be about a boy who suspects his dad is no longer his dad and finds a discarded husk of his poor Dads body at the bottom of a barrel in the garage. It is also interesting that the phenomenon of people thinking that someone they know is no longer the person they know is an actual mental condition called Capgras Syndrome. Both the 1956 and 1978 adaptations of the story are great films each molded in to the time period they come out of. The 1956 version suggesting the Red Menace mentality of America in the 1950's and the 1978 version making fun of the pop psychology human potential movement of the 1970's.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tales from the crypt. In the spirit of the season I've posted some suggestions for what I consider hair raising reading. Truly disturbing expeditions in to the dark inner regions of the human psyche by writers who wrote about horror from an internal perspective. True horror fiction reveals that what is really frightening isn't what's outside on dark nights but what's inside our minds and hearts even in the realms of day. These our writers who really have explored the darker aspects of human experience and had the gift to explain it. Unlike mediocre talents like Stephen King and Clive Barker whose pedestrian imaginations can only create cheap carnival ride imitations of fear that don't begin to even scratch the surface of the real thing. Here are a few writers who actually made the journey and lived long enough to write about it.

Jim Thompsons' 'The Killer Inside Me' was published in the 1950's. A pulp novel about a small town sheriff who commits two pointless murders is a disturbingly accurate portrait of the mind of serial murderer. A person devoid of empathy. Thompson was an underappreciated writer of his time who worked with Stanley Kubrick as a screen writer on some of his earliest films but was denied the credit he really deserved.

Joyce Carol Oates.

A favorite of mine from when I was first introduced to her writing in
College I consider her one of the great dark geniuses of American Gothic fiction. I find all of her books truly horrifying in their depiction of the dark inner life. For me no other writer has come closer to writing a nightmare. Books like 'Wonderland', 'Them', 'Son of the Morning', 'Bellefleur', 'Bloodsmoor Romance', as well as her short fiction are the very definition of haunting.
Shirley Jackson a dark and delicate genius of gothic fiction.

It bothers me a lot that she is primarily known for 'The Lottery'. Her work is so much more then that. Her novel 'We have always lived in the Castle' is a masterpiece of gothic themes; family secrets, repressed sexuality, obsession, alienation all told from the perspective of a sweet natured psychopath. I read it for the first time when I was only 10 and it impressed upon me at an early age what really good writing is. Jacksons novel 'The Haunting of Hill House' was given a wonderful film adaptation in 'The Haunting' by Robert Wise in 1963. (forget the 1999 version)Julie Harris captures the Jacksonian heroine perfectly a lonely tortured soul longing to be a part of something. I imagine Jackson was a kindred spirit of other great souls of her time like Dorothy Parker and Sylvia Plath whose pristine minds were too pure for this world.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Interurban Electric Rail Car Line between Portland and Oregon City
I grew up in Oak Grove south of Portland in a house that was right next to this rail line. It was the first built and last operating Electric Rail line in the Willamette Valley. I've circled the line here showing how it was just one of many electric rail lines built connecting many areas within the Willamette Valley starting in the 1890's and continuing to 1958. A early and far superior version of MAX. This particular line built by the Eastside Railway Company in the 1890's was the first interurban electric rail line in the United States as well as the longest distance electrical transmission at the time. Our home was near the Silver Springs stop. I wonder about the St. Therese stop between Courtney and Oak Grove. I recognize all of the other street names but that one. We walked along the rail lines as a shortcut to School and I can remember that it was a common site to find parts of old glass insulators along the rail bed. The old rail line is still a public right of way and you could probably walk or bike most of it from Oregon City to Portland and look for any old evidence of rail line that once was there. Above is a picture taken in 1969 along Arista Dr. South of Concord Blvd showing the rail lines.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Autumn in Lone Fir I spent a couple hours in Lone Fir today to try to use up some color film I have in two of my cameras and capture some of the bright foliage.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another flower picture.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mom and her Tomatoes 1965 & 2005

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Grandmother in 1971.

My Grandparents; Jaroslav Cernovsky and Pavla Hermankova. I have three pictures of my Grandparents together two formal portraits taken on their wedding day and this one. They were both from Bohemia. They came to America alone when they were only teenagers. I don't know what my Grandfather did, but my Grandmother was a servant for a wealthy family of German Jews in Chicago. They were married in Chicago in 1916. They moved west and settled in the Willamette Valley in Clackamas County. They had 4 children one died of Scarlet Fever (strep). My Grandfather supported his family working as a cabinet maker in Sellwood. The desk my computer sits on is a solid oak mission style table he built himself. At some point in the 1920's my Grandfather began to express strange paranoid delusions and came to the attention of Clackamas County Sheriff named E.T. Mass who brought him before a judge in 1927 for a commitment hearing. The commitment took less then an hour and consisted of his examination by a medical doctor who concluded he was a Manic Depressive type and he was sent to the Salem Mental Hospital for observation. There it was determined that he suffered from Dementia Praecox. After two years there he was declared insane and dangerous and sent to the Eastern Oregon Mental Hospital where he was kept until 1954 when he was paroled. He lived for awhile with his son but never spoke to my grandmother again. Eventually he found work as a gardener for a wealthy Lake Oswego Doctor and died two years later in 1956. As far as I can tell from the official record he never committed a crime yet spent much more time incarcerated then a murderer who was caught by Sheriff E.T. Mass the same year.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Autumn in the Arboretum in blues & golds.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pressed Scarlet Passion Flower. I like scanning these pressed flowers arranged to look like botanical prints. I made some digital prints and they looked great.
Louis Maxfield drama teacher at Rex Putnam in the 1960's and 70's. A great teacher. This is backstage before our Fall Musical which in 1970 was 'Hello Dolly', done the same year of the awful movie version that I think won an academy award .

Rex Putnam High School 1969
I have most of the negatives I took back when I was working on the Annual Staff as a photographer back in 1969-1971. I never printed this one perhaps to save the subjects embarrassment. The negative wasn't in very good shape but I cleaned it up and printed with the cold light and did some minor retouching before scanning and softened up the image a bit digitally. I like it. A wonderful little artifact of 1960's America.

My Aunt probably around 1939 when she was still in High School. While going through a box of old prints of my mothers I found a very pristine negative of a picture she took of her sister. These negatives were of a very odd size about 1 3/4 by 2 1/2. I don't have a negative carrier but I do have a 4x5 glass negative carrier that worked very well. I printed this using an Aristo Cold Light which helps minimize scratches. Considering the negative is close to 70 years old and probably not all that carefully stored it looks very good and yielded a very nice print.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lone Fir Autumn 1987.

Autumn Mt. Tabor Park upper reservoir early 1980's.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Linden Lane house from 1957 gold toned.

Two images of Brugmansia done on warmtone glossy paper one gold toned. I like this image and have been playing with it. I cropped it and tilted the easel a bit so it would be more towards the vertical.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Autumn in the Arboretum. If you are interested in fall foliage you will find no better place in Multonomah County. The next sunny day I may feel a bit of a cold coming on and a need for some fresh air , exercise and I'll take two rolls of color film and see if I am not feeling better in 24 hours.
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