Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Phallic Traffic Boys

I like them. I call them traffic boys

Most of the phallic posts I've seen signal the edge of the road where people seek to control vehicular movement; some traffic boys guide the movement of people through gates. Traffic boys were selected as a photographic theme during our last European vacation in September of last year.

These integrated traffic boys are working at a crosswalk in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France.

I found this stone boy guarding the edge of a WW I monument in Florac, France.
The stone traffic boy seems to be keeping company with the artillery shell.

This cylindrical stone traffic boy guards the walk in Amsterdam's commercial district.
A XXX traffic boy appears on my January 23rd posting.

This handsome fellow sports the official croc and palm tree crest of Nimes, France.

The phallus falls apart in Bergen, Norway where a blue ceramic ball marks the edge of the town square.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Delight and Awe

The good thing about the overload of photo editing that I have to do is that, every once in awhile, I find some real gems to view and contemplate. Take this view of my son, Adrian, for example. The picture is nearing 25  years old yet, when I review it, I am reminded of the human capacity to experience delight and awe in the simplest of personal discoveries. 

Viewings such as these make me want to give things away, unburden myself, and break the habitual droning in my life. How else can one prepare for such delightful surprises?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Big Sale, part I

On Saturday Pam and I went to downtown Sarasota at the farmers' market to get some peppers and watch dogs sniff butt and tow their masters and mistresses. Afterwards, we stopped by Womens' Exchange to see the Big Sale, 75% off on select items. Justice (below) was a little too big for my kitchen apothecary. So I unzipped the trusty little Kodak camera bag which hangs on my belt and started checking price stickers.

Oh, you don't know how I wrestled with myself over this blindfolded woman. Appearing to me on January 24, 2009, she seemed to be a good omen needful of rescuing and exhibition somewhere in my cluttered workroom.

I think that's a load of Orange Peppers she has in the basket.
Roasted Peppers give me the shivers.

Big Sale shelves started to look like a nest full of hungry birds.

Big Sale. Ceramics for plants. Small ticket items.

Not sure if I'd use the five-holer for roses or breadsticks.

Big Sale, part II

I began to enjoy the asymmetry of the shelf displays. The items were perused, handled, settled back down on the shelf, slightly askew. That imbalance seemed to give the viewfinder more opportunities to frame the subjects. 

I could have spent hours in Womens' Exchange photographing a raft of everyday items primed for new ownership via the price sticker. But it was Saturday and we had other work to do.

These three alone escaped the burden of the price sticker.

I'm really confused about the difference between cherubs and angels vs mothers and babies.
I like the statue, but tell me, what is happening here? I mean
in addition to the Big Sale price sticker?

These elegant fellows almost made it to my book shelves, but they reminded me of
"hear no evil, see no evil" a little too much.
I'll bet they are gone when I get back there tomorrow.

I had to sneak in another self portrait when I saw this mirror.
As far as I know this is the real me: Big Sale Ger.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Iconic Relief

I found another great source for viewing good photography on the World Wide Web. Google account holders can find hot links to photographer's web sites via a group called Photo Fridays. Each Friday the members of the group are given a brief challenge to submit photos that reflect that challenge. This week's challenge: Iconic.

I made a quick sweep of my iphoto files, going back 6 months, looking for imagery that might fit the challenge. Awk! It was a  good challenge to stir the photographer's gray matter; I only found three images that fit.

Barack Obama showed up at my wife's birthday party in November. 
Our friends were happy to pose with his doppleganging cut-out.

Here's a XXX traffic boy and a bicycle wheel that seemed to symbolically register the great cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam.

And one last iconic visual stared me in the face as we prepared to return to the States from France in September.

Now back to the good photography via Google. When a member of a photo group submits a photo reflecting the challenge, they can post a hot link to the site where the photo was posted. Hence, a long hot list of posting photographers' sites appear only one click away from a delightful series of stimulating photographs.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Progenitor Frog

A decade ago I needed to change my life. The rise of computing and stock photography houses made photos very inexpensive for local agencies.  I couldn't produce imagery that cheaply.

I needed a transformation. Maybe a new career. But what? Eventually, Nature helped me decide to get involved in living my metaphor. 

When I walked out the door one morning I found a batch of freshly laid frog eggs surrounded by frog semen in the shallow end of my swimming pool. What could be a better metaphor for a transformation? 

I cleaned out several 5 gallon buckets and began raising tadpoles. Of course, the tadpoles turned to frogs and before I knew it I had raised 5,000 frogs. I became Progenitor Frog of Merrimac Drive.

Most of those frogs were released into a nearby transformation pond. My transformation? I quickly found seven years worth of contract work producing nautical charts at home on my computers. Ribbit!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sarasota Beaches

Almost every one you meet around Sarasota, Florida is from someplace else. And sooner rather than later you will find most of them at the beach taking in the sun, the white sands and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

Sunsets are always a draw at the beach (read December Archives, at the right). The placid waters of the Gulf infuse sun bathers and swimmers with a true sense of calm. Strollers, runners and bicyclers run the water's edge at all times of day. Plainly, the Gulf is rejuvenating.

Believe it or not, Sarasota is getting younger. Hahahaha. That's just a perceptual facet of aging, Ger! No, it does seem to have younger residents. Twenty-five years ago I recall we had to drive 50 miles to Tampa just to see young people. Now we've got our own.

The housing market is temporarily down in Florida, but I'm betting Sarasota will remain a tourist mecca in the future. And tourists become immigrants who want to live here for the sun, the sand and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Blue Phase

My photographic point of view has changed drastically since the middle 1960's when I published my first nude studies in Good Photography and Salon Photography Magazines.

Attitudes toward photographic nudes have swung with the national politic; photographic nudes always being more acceptable to the public during liberal times. 

Sensing the return of sunnier days, I believe it's time to review a few of my early photoshop manipulations that portray the human condition sans cloth. These manipulations are part of the Anima series



Gesture 1

Amatao (I love)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dualities: Blue 82

Blue 82 is one of a great number of manipulated images I made while learning Photoshop in the middle Nineties. All digital images are susceptible to a Dualities theme.  Unexpectedly beautiful symmetries result from using Photoshop's basic graphics toolbox. Blue 82 derives from a single, original image.


It's Monday and I'm teetering on the verge of organized photo files. This is also my Monday morning lie. I must tell myself these things to avoid the deep depression that comes with self burial. 

When I began learning Photoshop in 1994 I needed a suitable subject to work on, something to see me through the trials of patience and exasperation.  We had just arrived in a new home and were about to experience life in a 3 br 1957 rambler w/ pool. 

The resultant photoshop collage was PumaSkyLily, a salute to my working wife. I took images from what was happening at the time. (1) landscape pix and (2) pool snapshots were combined while learning the tools and filters of photoshop 2.5. 

Doing what the computer does best, her figure was duplicated and suspended above a filter distorted sky. Lilies twirl above their pads and fill the active four corners. The bird landscape framed the mandala.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Black Vultures

Vultures and bullies abound in the Florida of God's Waiting Room.

The Fisherman

What can any photograph tell you about attactions? By that I mean, how do the visual elements relate to one another? Do they tell a cohesive story?  

Mirrors or windows, our photographs always attach themselves to our Point of View. We know how that works.

Here, it's easy to identify with the lone fisherman. Blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean fill the gap between the individual and the immense cruise line ships in the background. The fisherman and the cruise liners appear to be a world apart and yet, the blue gulf between them contains both the attraction and detachment.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good morning!

In between videocams a while ago, I decided to test an old Kodak 5 mp digital camera at its video settings. This video is a one shot hand held take under normal kitchen lighting. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Myaaka Tower Stairwell

On a recent visit to Myaaka State Park in Florida, I added a few photos to my thematic collection of STAIRS. Here they have a tower constructed of timbers to the height of about 80 feet above the surrounding native canopy.

On the tower I noticed that my gut feeling was the same coming down the stairs as it was going up the stairs. So I paused awhile and watched Pam and Ellen descend the stairs

Look at them descending the stairs. This collage pretty much sums up how I felt watching them leave.

Life is Short

I made this self portrait about ten years ago with one of those little fiber optics cameras that was supposed to connect us all live via our computers. The little camera was a wonderful toy, but it was married to my old, clunky Macintosh. I couldn't take it anywhere. And I couldn't find anyone to field my calls.

So I got bored looking at myself and I gave the camera away.

But I realize now that I had a real affection for that image making cable. The depth of field was awesome. The optics could focus sharply within inches of an object and maintain that sharpness all the way to infinity. The simplicity of it made me  happy.