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Thursday, November 9, 2017

A photography discourse


My first camera was a Brownie. I was eight years old. When I was a teenager, my dad passed along an old Kodak bellows. He never mentioned the benefit of a light meter, so I pretty much worked it out myself. The other day I pulled out the phone and framed up a picture.

Laura said, “Kay showed me the nine points of framing a picture, while we were hiking.” I smiled. Two universal truths. The nine points of framing a picture, and ‘teacher says.’ I think I’ve always seen the world as a picture, and the truth of my philosophy, ‘there is no such thing as objectivity.’ It totally is in the presentation. Move a few steps left. Wait for the light to change.

I may get a Moto Z Droid phone, next upgrade. Laura needs a new phone. She has dropped and shattered her <one year old phone so often and badly, it holds its charge barely half a day. It’s under contract for two or three more years. Mine is out of contract in a couple of months. Sounds like she gets mine and I get a new phone.

The Hasselblad feature is still up in the air. It has to live in another pocket and go on the phone. It’s only another 10X, but on a good camera. But, it does not have a eye piece, an essential to finding my photographic world these days, especially in the bright sunshine I like for photography.

Clearing all the old photographs to a flash drive was such an experience. My dad’s work ranged from classically fine to street photography. My mother was a good photographer. Neither one of them showed me how to used a light meter or select depth of field. But, I figured it out. Dad cataloged their work. I’m the only person in the family who gives a damn. So I’ve scanned it all to a flash drive Someone may look, some day, and be stunned.

Now there is nothing in my “Pictures” folder. All my old work is cataloged and on the same drive. I’m starting over. It’s so easy to begin new. Yesterday was a fine, bright day, and I left with the camera, to take some pictures of the red crane down the road.

This is Titus; he lives next door. The picture is a the epitome of using a screen on a bright day. 


Not sure, in the glare, if I had him all in the frame, I said his name, to change the dynamic, and tried again. Even less highly bored dog made it into the picture. I switched over to eyepiece mode and went on down the road.


At enormous cost, a new high school is going up down the road, consolidating all the schools onto one property, the old Quick farm, on Quick road. I tried to take a picture of the red crane last week, from a business directly across from it, across the road. I was told to vacate the property at once. I did. 

Coming back from somewhere earlier in the week, I saw the red truck, the red bushes, the red crane, all about the same color. The motor cycle dealer was not fussed, though I might have produced my motorcycle endorsement for bonafides.


There is a flag up there, not the stars and strips. I pushed the camera to max in hope of capturing and identifying it. But, the wind was not in my favor.


So, I pulled the camera in a bit, to fill the frame from top of the flag to the bottom of the wrecking ball. See the problem? I lost the ball anyway, and did not  do the old photography trick of two or three shots, to be sure. That is one red crane, though.


Then I went on down State Road, down Steels' Corners, across Haas Road and down Wetmore. I needed a day of roads with first names. State Road was Akron-Cleveland Road, before annexation by the big city. You knew it went from Akron to Cleveland. It's how I got to college, in Cleveland.

All the land between Quick and Wetmore once belonged to two farms, the Quick's and the Blacks. Actually, the Black farm ran from Wetmore, across Quick and all the way to Truxell. Tomorrow, good pictures from the shambles the national park service has made of the Black farm.

26 comments:

  1. I'm so happy to see you back in the saddle, Joanne. Your curiosity and discourse on photography is proof that you are getting better. Hugs to you!

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  2. The very first camera I ever used to take a photo was an old Brownie box camera too! Looking down into the viewfinder, trying to keep it steady as you pushed the shutter . . . all my photos were crooked, blurry and/or lop-sided, LOL!

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  3. All my pictures now come from my iPhone. Lazy, I know. I've heard the 7 takes better pics. Wonder about the 8. Nothing is wrong with my 6, but I am intrigued by better photos.

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  4. Joanne, do not rely on a flash drive for anything important. They can fail without warning, or easily get lost or crushed. At the very least, duplicate the photos on at least one more (and I'd make that one a different brand, or at a minimum, a different batch). They are not meant for long-term storage. That's about the limit of my expertise!

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    1. Okay, maybe that was too stiff a warning. Here's the latest word from the on-line guru I use, and it indicates flash drives tend to fail from constant use, not just storage which is what you are using it for: https://askleo.com/can_a_usb_thumbdrive_wear_out/

      Guru does concur, though, that flash drives are susceptible to getting lost, mashed, flushed, washed, or otherwise destroyed because they are so small :) I would still advocate a second flash drive just in case.

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    2. I keep the drives in my Snoopy key fob, on a hook on the side of the desk. I won't buy a drive that I cannot get onto the fob.

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    3. We might have guessed you were this organized! Way to go, J :)

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    4. well this is not good news, I have a couple of hundred movies on flash drives.

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  5. As a young friend tried to show me how to use an EOS camera today I felt totally bewildered - and that was before trying to take a photograph with it...

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  6. You know more about photography than I do, Joanne. I point and shoot.

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    1. You certainly point and shoot in those nine little squares. You're a grand photographer.

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  7. Hari OM
    So glad to see these pictures and your enthusiasm for them... Titus is very handsome - as is that lovely red crane against the bright blue sky! YAM xx

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  8. digital photography has really changed the way we take and use photos. Both bad and good

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  9. I remember having one of those Brownie box cameras. I used to take those single use recyclable ones during my river days until I finally stopped taking one at all. no picture could capture the majesty. at least not ones I took. somehow I came into possession of a Canon but never took to it. too hard for me to focus.

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    1. I live next to the Cuyahoga River and have never had a picture I thought really good. It's always brown, so you have placid brown river. Or, it's in a frenzy, and I've never done a decent job there with a still camera and an angry brown river.

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  10. The dog sunning himself was a joy. What is the secrecy with the red crane?

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    1. No secrecy. The business across the street claimed to be too busy to have my car in their empty lot. It was a building supply business. One wonders...

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  11. I still have my photos on my computer and Carbonite backup for everything. You can copy them to a flashdrive without removing them from your computer.....I also have my Mother's old lovely brownie box camera - very art deco and in shades of turquoise. It was my first camera. Then I had an Arco 70? 76? I had to do distance and F stop....But now I use a Cannon Point and shoot. I appreciate your more thoughtful taking pictures!

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  12. Loved wandering with you and your camera.

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  13. Beautiful blue sky in those crane photos. What a back drop! I am not a good photographer. I'll have to look up the 9 pt framing thing and see if it helps.

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  14. Interesting post. Did you look like a potential terrorist to get the boot? In any case with my little point and shoot I'm the worlds worst photographer thou I use it occasionally on my blog to prove I was in the place I write about...:)

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    1. Haha. 75 y/o terrorist; to skinny to conceal an explosive belt. Someone just woke up on the wrong side and it wasn't me.

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  15. I know nothing about framing or screens or lighting, depth of field is a mystery to me. I just take several photos from different angles, a couple of zoomed shots and pick the ones I like best for posting on my blog.
    I like your triple red photo a lot.

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  16. the flag looks a little like the Confederate flag...does that make sense?

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