Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Analog Awesome in the Mail! (And randomish things)

Today I received the most amazing bit of analog awesome in the mail with an exhortation to seek the solace of the type bar and platen. And so I did, with a recently acquired Smith Corona Silent Super. The loop script looks fabulous with NOS silk ribbon I found at an estate sale last month. First, the card:
Nerdgasm! Photography and typewriters in one bit of awesome.
Thanks to the mysterious Typospherian from the Phoenix area who inspired me to do a first run with the new ribbon. This photo is going on the pin board in my office at work.

Yep, I finally got one! It showed up BIN on ebay and had been sitting there for two days. Maybe I will get lucky on the last Holy Grail Fractur machine. Or I will win the lottery.

This blog has been sadly neglected as I post my photography on Google+. The hit counts are based on some assumptions that only Google's data geeks understand. I assume that anytime an image is clicked on that counts and perhaps being refreshed inside a community does as well. Either way, last night when a number appeared on my profile page I was just shy of 2,000,000 views. It is only a digital ghost town to those who do not post and interact.

Interestingly enough, a Polaroid connection is one of the things that has kept me busy was attending and participating on a panel at the BuildWell 2014 conference located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The keynote speaker was John Warner of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. His career as a rock star chemist started with improving process and chemistry for Polaroid.

Normally, sustainable building policy is hatched in never-ending meetings in dark and poorly ventilated conference hotel spaces. This conference was an exception to the rule.

Everything is still brown and dead in Kansas. I hate/envy Californians.
It was a whirlwind trip featuring a loud and nasty turboprop to Denver and an unexpected Japanese toy exhibit inside the San Francisco airport. I had trouble leaving and took plenty of photos with my new traveling companion, the Fujifilm X100. Here are a few samples. There are more images on my G+ collection. San Francisco 2014

Hello, spinning blade of death! United did a bait and switch and changed planes from a regional jet to 1940s turboprop technology. The view was cool, though.
Kitty exercises mind control. All shall walk like her. Obey the Kitty.

Fly the friendly skies! These carnival ride parts might be better than a United regional plane. They might be better with luggage. My bag took more abuse in one round trip than in 30+ before.

Pay no attention to the robot army. Robots are your friends. Mostly.

Me, after United delays and crap planes arriving eleven hours after leaving home in Kansas City. I will avoid United like the plague if at all possible. Live trips will be replaced with webinars and Hangouts given the sorry state of air transport in general.

Well, this entry took a couple of unanticipated twists. It was good to bring the blog back to life. I am lurking on the Typosphere. Busy is a regular state of being with two teens and work. Teen one will start the college search next year. Life just blurs along and I shoot street and candid because it makes me happy.

Thanks for reading!

Obligatory Copyright statement: The words and images here are mine and mine alone. Please share the Google love by resharing, +1s, comments and linkage. Image borrowing without attribution is stealing. Beyond digital copyright issues, I has friends among the giant robots and Kaiju. You have been warned.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Other People's Lives: Confessions of a Kodachrome Voyeur

I must confess to a morbid fascination with other people's lives as revealed by their analog representations. It is no secret that I enjoy rummaging in thrift stores and antique malls. Inevitably, I run across cassettes and sorters full of slides. Rendered in the Kodachrome and Ektachrome transparencies of old, strangers look particularly exotic and engaging.

Recently, I ran across a collection of slides offered by an ebay liquidator http://www.ebay.com/usr/shesmidas She had scanned each at fairly high resolution. The image that first caught my eye was of a mother and daughter peering into an Olivetti typewriter store window display.

Pretty amazing, huh? This is a wonderful image, even for those who are not typewriter obsessed. And I am totally, madly in love with the look of Kodachrome.

Having realized that the collection had some very solid street images from around the world, I started copying away. And then I had a very odd realization...

This was the same girl...


And the same Mom... and that must be Dad who was normally on the other side of the camera. I know that reality well as there are few photos of me floating around.





So, is it good or bad to watch a total stranger's child grow up? My favorite photographic form is the art of the wandering snap known as street photography. I am constantly capturing strangers as a window on culture. But this seems different.

Certainly, it is different in an amazing way. This family trotted around the globe when flying cost a small fortune and flight attendants treated passengers like humans. Put in Dad-the-photographer's shoes, wouldn't I want people to enjoy my artistic work after I am gone?




We've spent the last sixteen years in the fast-forward maw of parenthood and are increasingly aware of how quickly our eldest will be off to college and a life of her own. Seeing a stranger's child grow up even faster on Kodachrome is just kind of weird.




Why do I look? Well, I am in love with all things photographic. From a purely clinical perspective, these images are a clean glimpse of another time. The look and feel is something I enjoy emulating through software editing tools like DxO Filmpack. But as a parent, it is hard to be entirely technical when looking at these images.

In photographic terms, this was a pretty amazing life. Picture perfect and lived, at least partly, in exotic places worth commemorating in permanent, analog form. And to be able to practice the art of street photography...





There are always vacations sometimes the family came along for the ride...




But eventually, the child grows up and starts moving on...




 Until the boyfriend becomes part of the life of the family... 


  And the baby is all grown up. Just like that. *click* *click* *click*



Photography is the art of storytelling. This random story is fascinating and made me contemplate my own life and family. The best photos are the ones that help us relate to our world or at least slow us  down enough to think.

I am also curious by nature. Who were these people? Did they live good lives past the late 1960s? How did all of these slides, a family history writ large, end up in the hands of an ebay seller?

I had been mulling this post for a month and was finally moved to action by reading this post from a fellow Google+ photographer: http://www.enlightphoto.com/views/2013/10/14/a-photographic-life-and-then.htm  This professional took on the task of helping a family sort through many thousands of slides left behind by another pro. Unfortunately, the photographer took the encrypted passwords for digital storage to the grave. That is a mistake I'll need to avoid.

Maybe I am hopelessly voyeuristic. Either way, I'd love to read your thoughts and opinions on this post. In the last month, this blog kicked over the 60,000 hit mark with precious little attention from me. I very much appreciate people like you who stop by and actually read all the way to the end.

Please share the Blogger love. There is a handy Google +1 button on this page. You can also find me on Google+.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Evening on the Streets

This post is subtitled The Many Joys of Street Photography

Alleyway Buskers: Power and Light by an Old Pickup Truck

I've riffed before about my love of photography, cameras and vintage lenses. But once again, I will step upon my Blogger soapbox to proclaim my love of street photography. I shoot almost anything that moves and a few things that don't, but street is just a sublime experience.

Bright Lights and Halos
When wandering with my camera, it's like I am a raw nerve. I walk, I watch and I react. Much of the normal noise in my head just goes away as I do and be. It is the proverbial 'Zone' of hyper-focus. My wife can attest to the fact that I will often forget to eat or drink on my forays. I've gotten better about that.

Tales of a Lonely DJ
As with all things in life, some evenings are better than others. All of these images came from one extraordinarily fun and interesting First Friday art walks in the Kansas City Crossroads District. This was the last evening before the leaves turn and we contemplate the long, dark months of winter ahead. It was pleasantly hot, but the vibe was super mellow despite the huge crowds and the buskers and other street characters were out in force.

Ah, less talk, more photos.

 Music, music, music...

Old Time Music with Gallery

And here is the scene inside the gallery. The art is being observed.

 
Which ones are stuffed?


This is the scene across from the Leedy-Voulkos gallery; the current center of the Crossroads.




The Fae of the Wildwood specialize in mirth and merriment.


Really, she is the most mirthful of the bunch. I can't blame her for glaring a the camera.

Just Another Faerie



Actresses in Character
Random Factoid: The majority of these photos were taken with a Sony NEX-6 fitted with a '60s era, Thorium doped Pentax 50mm f1.4 lens. Yeah, this sucker is radioactive! With the addition of a Lens Turbo, it acts like a 54mm f1.2 lens. Very handy when there is little to no light. I enjoy the challenge of working with a manual focus lens.

The street outside the old Arts Incubator building gets turned into a massive party. Some schmuck in a car didn't quite figure that out and became stuck between a dance party and a board crew taking back the streets.




And here is the Leader of the Pack! Yes, that is a Big Wheel. Best not to ask.




On a perfect summer evening, I can even be entertained by human statue mimes. Really, they were awesome!

They were more creative than the average buskers. An excellent entertainment value!


Street photography is exhilarating and somewhat exhausting. The thrill of discovery keeps me moving, and moving and moving until the crowds start dying out and the last Lonely DJ loops some really lovely tunage. The next day, I get to remember how many hours I walked in search of the visual buzz. I hope I never actually get too old to enjoy evenings on the streets.

But enough of my musings - bring on the random slices of life... starting with machines gone wild!






And moments of total randomness...


With moments of normalcy - who doesn't love cold treats on a hot summer night?





I can never get enough of reflections. Layers are the best.

 And so the evening ends. Thanks for coming along for the ride!





 Musings on the archaic concept of Copyright: While the concept seems lost in this digital age, the content on this blog, unless stated otherwise, is Copyright Dwayne F. of Vintage Technology Obsessions. Please participate in our sharing culture. There is a handy Google +1 bar at the top of the page. My personal images and random musings also live on G+ at Me, on Google+

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Where did the Summer go?

My kids go back to school on Wednesday and this blog is crying for attention.

What exactly does that sound like?

Yesterday, we were in a weed pulling frenzy next to the privacy fence. The neglected Golden Retriever next door gave up barking after I tossed a couple of sticks over for it to fetch. Then - here comes the pathetic part - it sidled up to the fence and looked through a crack with one sad eye and whimpered piteously while wagging its tail. The poor thing was just happy to get any attention at all. And we are not dog people.

The blog sounds exactly like that.

On the bright side, Google has still been getting my love with posts to G+ photo communities. It's fun, but I miss the long form and the Typosphere. You know - the long form I have not had time for because I have been on G+... and Twitter... and LEEDUser... and that pesky thing called work.

In the spirit of keeping this poor blog alive and breathing, I'm sharing a few snapshots from our July and August thus far. We traveled. I kept a daily journal on a fabulous Olivetti Lettera 22. I took a ton of photos from Fourth of July in Colorado to a County Fair in Kansas. We watched a ton of the reborn Doctor Who as we started to catch up with our daughter's awesomely geeky friends.

So, here we go with a whirlwind photo tour of the last six weeks, give or take. It's like an old-timie projector slide show, but not nearly as cool and analog.










So there you have it. We spent over a week in south central Colorado in the town of Crestone. We ate amazing food and got to visit the farm where it was grown while seeing their Yak herd. We hiked, and soaked in hot springs and miraculously bickered minimally considering we were living together constantly for over ten days. We saw amazing art at First Fridays and at the Nelson-Atkins galleries with a bonus appearance by a Devo cover band. I got to see a demolition derby and spend time street shooting on the carnival midway.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty great six weeks!  As always, thanks for looking!

P.S. I have started a hashtag on Google+ by the name of #whatisthetyposphere  You know what to do.