Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween. Nothing says creepy like a clown.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More photos from an autumn day in Lone Fir.

Apple festival at Portland Nursery.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lone Fir Graves

Autumn in Lone Fir October 2008
I noticed that when I use the lens shade for my nikkor 24mm f 2.8 lens I get this vignetting in the corners. I believe I am using the correct lens shade for the lens and apeture. I like it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Portland October 1972. Top one was taken with a 50mm lens, the lower one with a 135mm. Taken from a parking garage at PSU looking North down 6th. Ave. I'll be reshooting with the same lens and camera combination sometime in the near future and post it here. Should be interesting.

Yesterday I took a very nice walk through Lone Fir enjoying the autumnal foliage with camera and color film. Here is a picture of some in our yard that I took with a digital camera.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some more experiments with gold toning and selective selenium toning
applied with a fine brush.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I have just finished reading the Arthur Waley translation of 'The Tale of Genji' and I am about to start on the Edward Seidensticker translation. It pretty much took me all summer and some of fall to finish it and I read it just about every day. It certainly wasn't boring but it is the kind of work that one sips at rather then devours. The Arthur Waley translation was done in the 1930's the Seidensticker translation in the 1970's. The Seidensticker translation is still in print. I purchased two lovely box sets of both editions and though the Seidensticker version is bigger and heavier it is actually less "wordy" then the the Waley translation and contains along with the text these wood cuts from a illustrated version of the Genji first published in 1650 (as in 307 years ago). The print is also much larger and the pages made of stronger stuff then the Waley publication which I had to handle carefully as I carried it with me everyday and read on the bus.
The Genji was probably written early in the 11th century but doesn't show up in a complete form until 200 years later according to the introduction by Edward Seidensticker. A classic for centuries in Japan it only became available in English translation in the 20th century. Maybe this is why it has such a contemporary tone. Seidensticker notes that Waley may have been guilty of a certain amount of "embroidery" in his translation and that when reading it one may not know in which voice the story is being told; Lady Murasaki or Arthur Waley. I was reminded in reading the Waley version of 19th century gothic romances or the work of Jane Austen. To compare Jane Austen to Lady Murasaki I don't think is so far off the mark because both women "dissect" the nature of love in their writing and are not afraid to confront the reality as well as the romantic ideal. Both also wrote their stories for the enjoyment of their immediate contemporaries oblivious that their stories would be in publication long after their deaths. I wouldn't be one bit surprised, provided humanity is still around in a 1000 years and still reads, they will still be reading Jane Austen just as 1000 years after Murasaki her book is still in print today.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I just finished watching all of the special features that came with this 2 DVD Collectors Edition of one of my favorite films, the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers directed by Philip Kaufman. A year ago I blogged about the movie here. I have always been a huge fan of this film from the first time I saw it and it still holds up very well now 30 years later. The original film and the 78' remake are both marvels of innovative film making that builds a sense of horror with little need to rely on special effects. There is no need for a giant alien monster to rip the head off of the Statue of Liberty and fling it on to the street outside your apartment (as cool as that was). This is not the world ending with a bang, but with a whimper.

Watching the film and listening to the directors commentary you gain an appreciation for how well Philip Kaufman conveys the idea of the story visually. The viewer is aware as the film begins that the world within the film is changing before the protaganists do. This along with the skewed perspective, the creepy sound track, and the juxtaposition of the weird against the mundane makes the film so much fun to watch. You are always aware in every scene of something that is wrong with every picture, something that doesn't belong. A wonderful tension is created as the film unfolds between what the viewer is seeing and the characters are missing. This is often as hilarious as it is horrible as when Donald Sutherlin, playing a San Francisco Public Health Inspector, is walking to work excited about finding a Rat turd in the soup at a fancy restaurant is oblivious to a man in a suit running past him looking nervously over his shoulder or Brooke Adams waking up to see her husband/lover sweeping up the dusty remains of his former self in to a dust pan and then carrying the remains out to the sinister garbage trucks that are waiting for it on the street. It is this sinister quality that has infected the mundane that provides much of the films horror in the early parts of the film and creeps me out more then the web covered fetuses popping out of pods as the film approaches its climax.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pictures taken in the Stellar Cove exhibit at the Oregon Zoo last weekend. Both required a very low shutter speed of 1/8 second. In one case I could brace the camera lens with lens shade right up against the glass to hold it still but the other one I had to tip back a bit and hold by hand. Still didn't come out all that sharp.

Two of my favorite Dinosaurs at the Carnegie Museum. The light was so low for the film I was using (agfa 100) I tried pushing the film by two stops to asa 400. When I got home and started reading about pushing Agfa 100 I found it was not recommended. I tried anyway and wasn't real pleased with the results.
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