This is a quintessential shot. I got it before I knew what I was doing. (As in, I do now?) I’ve seen hot air balloons now/before. I have not been to the event in Albuquerque. I’ve been to Albuquerque. My bucket list. But I did spend time around balloons enough to know how they work and how they can malfunction. This was my first encounter. The fire is cool. Ha ha. As in, it’s neat! I’ve posted its mate years ago. But as I scan and edit my slides, this image still stands out as a favorite. No, I do not want to go up in a balloon. That is not on my list of buckets.
They were called radio DJ’s shock jocks. We had Howard Stern. Whatever was gross and inappropriate was fair game. It was a very rapidly tiresome schtick. I guess SF had their own version. There’s a fine line between taste and tasteless. If you are Republican stop reading here. Otherwise, I don’t get in many pictures. Don, the guy by the car, took the pic. He’s not very good (photographer). But who cares? There, that’s me in a rare true to life photo in front of a monument to man’s constructive ability. “Look, ma. Wish you were here.”
How did I know this image would work? It was Paris and the Eiffel Tower at night. Night shots are devilishly hard. They are surprisingly easy. Lighting is tungsten (mostly). Film is balanced for daylight. Light bulbs throw off enough light that they mimic daylight levels of light. The lighting difference from foreground to background is tough to compensate and balance. It’s still slide film at this point. Digital can handle the situation much more easily. My archive? I was able to locate the original slide I posted before without too much pain. Gee! It’s good/lucky to be organized (somewhat). For most the eye/brain is fooled and compensates for daylight and tungsten differences. But the reality of print leaves a distinct discernible difference. Did any of this make sense? Someone I know keeps asking me this. And… I get it.
I am so fascinated that I got this image. Actually, there are two. The other slide was a wider angle view of this painter at dusk. He was on a bridge (duh) and I was on a tour boat on the Seine. Yes, the lighting was near impossible. And I did not ever see the painting until I developed the slide. Voila! You might think this as an out of focus shot. I’m impressed that I got anything at all. See in the dark digital cameras might well to better now. To me this was a one of a kind image that I had no right to get and I got it by sheer luck. There was some skill. I was there. I pressed the shutter. Hey! I can smile and talk about it all this time later.
Digital? Now? Yes, this shot would be way easier. And then again it would challenge most people. Not too many people would try it. Even fewer would have noticed this shot. To be honest I had no idea what I would get. Serendipity.
If you’re ever in Paris do stop at Angelina’s. Maybe it’s still there? It was in the guide book. I don’t read guide books. Someone else in our group had this place on the “to do” list. It is the home of the “Mont Blanc.” That would be a meringue cookie over a chestnut cream covered in chocolate or maybe it’s the other way ‘round. But the total package is worth the trip. I still dream about it. There is nothing like it in America. Chestnuts generally are not considered too much except roasted in NYC in the winter in Central Park. I’ve had a connection to chestnuts since I grew up in West Virginia and my mother used them in chestnut stuffing of her own concoction. I still make my stuffing that way. I’ve got the recipe (Mont Blanc) but it’s something you dream about but never get around to making yourself. I shall continue to pine. I hope Angelina is still there.
The second image is an extra. My edit came across the contents of the hotel safe in Paris. What would you keep safe? Stuffed animals and framed prints. Of course! My kids?
Who is the dominant force in the relationship? It started as always. The eldest. Close closely, he followed his older sister and all of her instructions and games. I first noticed the schism when Jules wore black and Dave wouldn’t. It all grew “testy.” He could drive his sister mad with frustration. Men! Lately there is an armed truce. They are separated by east and west coast. They are similar yet won’t admit it. I watch and observe. At this stage one can’t interfere or repair or do anything. Was I this way when I was younger? It’s always been my game. I guess I have never looked to myself to see. How much responsibility do I bear? We counted the number of Xmas presents to be sure there was equality. I simply watch myself to not stir up jealousies now. It’s fascinating. I don’t know how this will end.
I’ve been scanning old slides. Paris. All the iconic buildings are there in my collection. I can’t name most of the buildings now. I took pictures of the hotel room. Don’t’ laugh. And people? The kids? Family? A small percentage. What’s valuable this many (decades) later? Answer: The kids and family and friends. But not the trite pictures of standing in front of a monument to document – “Look ma, see where I am, wish you were here too. “No, it’s the intimate moments. I didn’t get too many. I’ve been blitz scanning after leaving off in 2013. So far, 2000+. Yes, it’s a long slow painful process that no one modern (digital) will ever have to do. The upshot? Too few of the slides are really keepers. Sad. I took a lot of documentary pictures of not much value now. The pics that make me smile are the ones of the kids when they were…that little?
Paris fashion? Paris in the springtime – it was a song. “I love….” There are a few photos of me going back in my archives. It’s interesting to see me before I was gray haired. It’s fairly obvious that I handed over my camera to document myself. That grey Domke bag was actually used completely. You know? Like I actually wore it to death. There’s something to be said to wearing your jeans until they wear out instead of having been manufactured “worn out.” I wore my signature khaki pants and fleece jacket. Not much has changed except that now I use a black camera bag and have gray hair. Me worry? Nah!
We went to Milton. We went to Milford. They both start with “M” so it’s easy to confuse. Really!? Well, if you are map challenged, and your memory is sort of shot… Milton was a trip to the curmudgeony clock maker. Good, but gruff and no nonsense. He hates amateur clock fixers (like me). We got a watch battery. Great! Then on to Milton. No! Milford. We’ve been to Milford. Ha! Confused? Hey! You got no skin in the game. Anyway, we’ve been to Milford before…. Spring. Red bud. Picturely. Yeah, I know it’s not a word either. Fun?! That translates. We had a long sit in a coffee house (warming). It’s the longest I’ve sat in a month (in one place).
To see the “arches;” it was on my bucket list. Half hearted. But yup! We got to the park about an hour before dusk. Right at sunset we arrived in the parking lot nearest to “Delicate arch.” It’s the emblematic arch on all the photos. You can hike (too late and too chilly) or you can get a view a short walk from the parking lot. It was a long telephoto lens shot. I was disappointed not to get closer. Oh well. But then… looking at the shot, it seems I did come away with an image. And I got the sunset glow. Well, ok! You take what you can get. It was better in retrospect. Decent!
The other quintessential image is balanced rock. It is solid and not reinforced as the strata might suggest. The minerals that leached through the rock gives it a stratified look. To me it looks like they used concrete reinforcement. But no. At some point it will fall over. Everything changes over time. Hey! I saw it before it keeled over. Yay!