Word and Image

Travel

Sunset – Grand Canyon

How often does that opportunity arise? To demonstrate how mellow I’ve become… we ate a leisurely dinner in El Tovar. It was a superb meal. We finished just as the sunset was in progress. I would have set up with a tripod in an ideal spot if it were years ago. But I have become more of a photo opportunist. If the situation presents, otherwise I am content to let life happen. So, I got color. My sunset was not a sweeping vista. We had an excellent meal overlooking the canyon. Dinner with Colleen was priceless.

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Kingman

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AZ. There are conservative republicans. The base. See: picture window. We stopped because the internet described a quaint diner that was gluten free and vegan friendly. Not! Who knows? Colleen saw the window and grimly declared we would not eat in the neighboring diner. Guilt by association was too much. Ever agreeable to my dear wife, we moved on. Is this what republican food looks like? They were too busy to even notice we left. Or would that be (alt) right?


Timing

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When I go to a tourist attraction I do my best to avoid the crowd. An oxymoron? Well, I do my best not to have people cluttering my picture. I can do this for the most part. But the time to be there is offseason. When? Not April. But December works. The only thing is that it is cold! Your choice. I was happier cropping out tourists in April.

DSC02238Quintessential shot? It’s a big hole in the earth. You really can’t do it justice shooting from the rim. There are lots of photobooks in the bookshop. Sunrise/sunset shots are nice. I’m still searching for a better shot. Otherwise, pick one at random. They are all spectacular.

_DSC8096-2Jump? This is a trick my kids taught me. You look like you are jumping out over the Grand Canyon. Isn’t that grand? Bend your knees. You look higher. (They neglected to mention that part.) And you need a willing photographer. Colleen does not like heights. She objected (strenuously) all the while she was shooting. Hey! I was the test dummy.


Kolb Bros

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I’m a photographer? The Kolb brothers were daredevils that filmed the Grand Canyon. Their feats were something to make the heart faint. Colleen is the reader. She read and told me about their exploits. The wood home/studio was perched precariously on the canyon rim.

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The railroad and Harvey company tried to compete and put them out of business. They commissioned Mary Colter to design a stone building on the trail ahead of the Kolb house. Tourists would stop there first and miss the Kolb studio. And to make things worse the company put their mule waste station upwind from the Kolbs. Yup, a shitty situation. The Kolbs prevailed and the building stands. Who knew the histories and how they intertwined? I should read more.


Long ride

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Cross country – coast to coast – DE  to CA – it’s a long ride! But how far? Most folks wouldn’t even think of it. It’s too long a drive. Boring! And you can fly and be there in hours. Well, TSA, airport parking, delayed flights, cancelled flights, baggage restrictions, and the new nickel and dime policies whereby you might even have to pay for seating and carry-on bags. No food or worse, terrible food. Yup, I love to fly. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a veteran flier by now. Drive? It’s long! And it’s boring, you go blind and fall asleep. Nope, there is the option of stopping when you want and doing side trips as you like. Besides, we are in no hurry. Meander. Stop on a whim. See things. Find things. Discover things you never saw before. Or, find yourselves in a place you’d rather not have found. Hey! It’s an adventure.

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6000 miles at 61 mph for 101 hours. It’s doesn’t seem quite right. But that was the number. The speed was pretty good. It means all that stop and go in LA was balanced against 85mph in UT and AZ. And we have done more miles >8000 but we spent some time in other cars. By the way, this was a rental. I decided not too go overboard with my own car.


Shuffleboard

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Jules was born in Manhattan. City kid. She did not like grass. In bare feet she hated the feel of grass. It was quite a surprise to me when she refused to step off the shuffleboard court. And then I realized what a wonderful baby sitter we had. Put her on the court surrounded by grass and no need to worry that she’d run off. It didn’t last long ‘cause her mom didn’t trust to fate. I had to keep watching Jules like a hawk.


Hot air

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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.


Shock jock

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.”

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Nightime

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.


Paris painter

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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.

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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.