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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Okay, this post would/should follow the post of Feb 14. I got ahead/behind myself. And I remember Ginny’s admonishment. “More people.” But I’m behind on going into the/my archives. Soon…she jokes there are pictures decades old that she is still waiting to see.
When I took these slides they were quintessential images for me. They were framed by my (then) father in law and remained on display for many decades. Pictures fade. I printed and framed these slides many years ago. The dunes faded to a monotone. The house (print) has faded to near ghostly. Kodak paper – it fades with exposure to light over time. Unfortunately, I (Kodak) printed in a format they had at the time – 8X12. It’s an odd sized print. Fortunately, there is someone who will print it. I can frame it again. My darkroom (no more) went with the last several moves. I Photoshop now. Luckily, my index system allowed me to find the (digitized) images in about five minutes. Amazing. The slides were taken back in 1981. Would you believe the house is gone? It was in a park/preserve and the house has since gone away. I visited decades later and discovered that this circumstance can never be again. I was sort of shocked that I could not return and that things change. I don’t know why I was surprised. I returned to the spot and the picture (house) was gone? I could never recreate the atmospheric conditions. So, why was I shocked? At least I got the slides. They are all stored away at the moment. Luckily, I digitized them. Crazy. I found the files/slides in a few minutes. ? Yeah, I did it with my database. There are too many images (>400k) to just cull. Lightroom would never be able to save me. Over the years, first on index cards, then Microsoft Works, and now Excel. My file system allowed me to track down the appropriate image in minutes. Neat! I wish I had digitized a few friendships too.