Latency - The Beauty Of Anticipation
Saturday, August 06, 2011
|Grand Canyon, North Rim, Noblex Pro 175 U, Ilford FP-4|
I am writing this August 6, 2011 and it is 3:07 in the afternoon. My blogs are almost caught up from our trip to south Texas and now stand at Wednesday August 3. I will write in due time the missing ones but at the same time I wanted to write something in real time. It is about now and its exquisite relationship with that word that used to represent the best of potential, of possibility. The word, latency, was adopted by early photographers to explain the concept of the image of reality that was locked onto the Daguerreotype, the Talbot Type, the collodion glass plate and the rest of photography until the advent of the digital camera. This image, not to be seen had to be developed. The word has lost a bit of its shine and is sometimes used in juxtaposition with the word homosexual. Those who are homosexual like to point out, to their credit, that homosexuality is innate and is not a disease that can be “cured” or a way of being that can be “reformed”. The combination words - latent sexuality in our modern 21st century world are words that offer that possibility, a magic word all in its own, of the realization of one’s being.
In a much smaller way, for me, today is a day of anticipating the magic of latency in negatives (four rolls exposed to my Noblex panoramic). I have no idea what is in them since I did not mark them or give them a number. As the negatives wash in my darkroom I will soon fish them out and hang them to dry. Only then will I know to what extent latency has delivered the potential of beauty or not. Perhaps the pictures will be mediocre. But it is the expectation, the waiting which now seems to be in short supply in our world, that with polls and statistics, predicts a certainty that bypasses latency and the wonder of possibility realized or even thwarted.
Curiously many of the more expensive digital SLRs give the photographer the option to turn off the instant replay seen on the screen on the back. The image in the sensor is now latent. But the cat is out of the bag and few if any photographers want to return to a world of uncertainty. They are willing to trade anticipation with the reality of now. What a pity.
The Latent Image, Magic & Cris Derksen
Brother George Klawitter,CSC & Reverend Charles O'Donnell, CSC
Friday, August 05, 2011
|Brother George Klawitter, C.S.C|
I have traveled to St. Edward’s University (part of it was St.Edward’s High School until the high school closed it doors in 1967 to allow the university side to expand) four times in the last couple of years. It was back in 2009 when I noticed a man with a funny hat walk from one end of the old main building to the other. He wore glasses and seemed to have a permanent and content smile. I approached him and asked him who he was. He told me he was Brother George Klawitter, CSC and that he was a professor of English at the university. I sought him out at his office the next day and we had a short talk in which I quickly determined that Brother George:
1. Was a man of few words.
2. Had a quiet sense of humor.
3. His individuality was partially confirmed by his apology for the benefits of owning a Mac.
This past July I saw him walk by and I raised my voice to greet him. He didn’t hear me at first. Later on I saw him again and he asked me, “You were the one who waved at me earlier during the day?” Then he moved on. It seems that to my above list I must add that Brother George is a very busy man with a schedule.
So today I happened to be reading my St Edward’s University Magazine
(Spring 2001 issue) and I caught this:
Klawitter Edits Poetry Book
Brother George Klawitter, CSC, professor of English, recently edited the works of a premier American Catholic poet in an anthology titled The Poems of Charles O’Donnell, CSC. The collection includes O’Donnell’s previously published work, as well as poems Klawitter discovered that have never been published.
Of course I became curious and looked up Charles O’Donnell. From the on-line archives of the American Libraries I found the reference to the book The Dead Musicians and Other Poems
published in 1916. And it was there that I found the following O'Donnell short poem that packs a wallop.
Three mothers met that woeful day;
One as her dead Son pale, one gray
With grieving, and one red with shame:
All called upon one blessed Name.
One from the sorrow of the Cross,
One by the woe of kindred loss,
And one cried out in agony
From shadow of a blacker tree.
One gave the Nazarean birth.
One brought the pardoned thief to earth,
While of that hopeless one begot
Was Judas the Iscariot.
On the net I found an article on O’ Donnell in the Notre Dame Magazine (the brothers, nuns and priests of Holy Cross, have CSC after their name and they teach and have taught at Notre Dame and at St Edward’s University and also in a string of Holy Cross high schools in the US) written by Jacqueline Vaught Brogan in 2003. CSC stands for Congrégation de Sainte-Croix. It is in French because the order of Holy Cross was founded in Le Mans in the 19th century. One from their order, is one of Catholicism's newest saints and also Canada's first Canadian born saint, Saint André Bessett who was from Montreal. The article on O'Donnell is longish but interesting. It is here
The Saint and the Brother from Montreal
Daisy Duke, Daisy Mae, Rebecca & Mike East's Truck
Thursday, August 04, 2011
|Mamiya RB-67 Pro SD, 50mm, Ilford FP-4 |
In 2010 when Rebecca and I were riding with Mike East somewhere in La Mula in his Santa Fe Ranch, Mike, uncharacteristically talked. Talking is something that Mike keeps at an absolute minimum. He asked Rebecca, who was 12 at the time, “Do you know how to drive?” Rebecca’s negative was followed by Mike’s question, “Would you like to drive this truck?” Rebecca did just that and she drove for a long stretch for something like 30 minutes. In many ways Mike’s Toyota Tacoma has been an important element in my granddaughter’s growing up.
This year, more than ever Mike’s truck seemed to signal a drastic change. This year Rebecca did not accompany us on our work trips to La Mula with El Borrado in the back seat. She was too busy until early hours of the morning with her iTouch and facebook. Rarely did she get up before 10:30. By then we were long gone.
When I suggested to Rebecca that she might want to pose again with Mike’s truck in a repeat
of last year’s shot she was willing. But I got a bit more than I bargained for. When I took an iPhone snap to show here what I was going to do with my Mamiya RB-67 she said, “I look just like Daisy Duke." I told her she reminded me of another Daisy, of a younger version of Daisy Mae Yokum (née Scragg) from Li’l Abner. When Rebecca asked me who Li’l Abner was I stopped my association right there.
|Mamiya RB-67 Pro SD, 250mm, Ilford FP-4|
I showed Rebecca’s mother the picture of her daughter inside Mike’s truck. It was in colour and she frowned at the sexual connotations that were perhaps implied. The iPhone picture did not show Mike’s gun as the phone’s lens is not as wide as that of my Mamiya’s 50mm. The picture in the cab is exactly as we found Mike’s truck except that I brought from the back his lasso. The gun is the one Mike has for emergencies involving the frequent confrontations with rattlesnakes in the bush.
For me these pictures are of portraits of a girl 13 about to be 14 who is adrift in a terrible world full of icons, role models (good and bad) and her confusion is channeled with in this case of a role model Daisy Duke who in the long run may be a better one than the Daisy Mae she does not know anything about.
|Mamiya RB-67 Pro SD, 90mm , Ilford FP-4 |
Erik Satie, A Crashing Bird & My Pornographic Swimming Trunks
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
|Moab, Utah |
In preparation for our trip to south Texas we had our Malibu serviced, I purchased two new tires and I made sure the car was spotless inside and out. We tried to make the back seat (a spacious one we were to find out) as comfortable as possible for our granddaughters. I asked their father to make sure the laptop he was providing us with had a headphone splitter so that the girls could watch films without fighting. And I prepared a program of films which I thought might please both. There were four Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies and the three Lassies with Elizabeth Taylor. Rebecca had shown some interest in a Raymond Chandler graphic novel so I brought Robert Altman’s 1973 The Long Goodbye
. I also prepared an extensive assortment of music CDs including many jazz ones that had been Rebecca’s favourites in the past.
But the films were never seen and I really never played music until the fateful day we left Moab, Utah.
The radio was turned most of the time as both girls had their devices (an iTouch and a MP-3 player) that gave them the music they wanted. I asked Rebecca to help me with the navigation and she was to tell me what Dolores (the name we gave our GPS) was planning for us with a couple of miles of heads up. But that rarely happened and I would say, “Rebecca, what is she saying?” Rebecca would look at me and remove her earbuds and say, “What did you say?” I could not seem to convince her that navigation was not something you multitasked at. This meant that Dolores would tell us, “ Make a u-turn now,” at the precise moment we were entering a freeway.
Occasionally Rebecca would find a good country and western station and would comment that the music was perfect seeing we were in Montana, or Arizona. I agreed while noticing that most of the music was about the good times past and there was even a song that began something like, “Am I the only one who wants to have fun tonight?” Country and Western music seemed to be one subject Rebecca and I agreed on.
One morning as we left the beautiful town of Moab which is surrounded by warm reddish brown mountains, some very close I decided I would play some music as the mountains changed to parched but beautiful plains. I put in Rebecca’s most favourite, Erik Satie’s Gymnopédies. But she never noticed. The earbuds were firmly implanted. Suddenly there was a loud thud a bird crashed and died (I was driving at the speed limit of 80mph) on our windshield. The landscape was beautiful as was the music but somehow the bird’s death felt not only unnecessary but almost obscene. You don’t need to go as far as saying, “All those children that are dying of starvation in Somalia. That’s proof that God does not exist.” A bird, uselessly dying on my Malibu’s windshield is powerful enough.
An hour later I could no longer resist and I had to stop the car to snap with my iPhone the huge and close windpowered electric generators. We had seen these almost every day in our drive through the United States. They seemed to be a purely fresh and beautiful as any of the Gymnopédies we (I) had been listening to.
|Idaho Falls, Idaho|
Rosemary and I told the girls that the day was going to be a very long driving day and that we would attempt to make it to Butte, Montana. The route was a longer one to the one we had taken on our way south. Rosemary had suggested we see different things and go by another way. We told the girls that to ameliorate the long drive we would try to stop somewhere for a nice dinner.
We found that in Idaho Falls (not to terribly far from our final destination of Butte) there was a restaurant across the street from the falls. That is where we had our dinner. I crossed the street to check out the falls and noticed two old ladies sitting at a beautiful park bench. I looked at the falls and counted many. I told the ladies (I was confused I would find out) “ I see here more than two falls.” They replied in unison, “Twin Falls, Idaho is in that direction. That’s a different place.”
I took some pictures of the girls by the falls. They seemed to be serious or sad. They had not really noticed that morning’s bird. Perhaps my melancholy had rubbed on them. It was, I found out soon dispelled at my expense.
We were soaking in the not too hot tub of our less than stellar Butte, Montana hotel (the hot tub was injecting cold water in that place where our backs lose their name, if you know what I mean). We were in a tub which in spite of the water’s temperature dichotomy the mood was raucously funny. We were in a tub with four biker chicks all tattooed and chatting with Rebecca and asking her about Vancouver. I decided to get out and try the pool which according to Lauren was extremely cold. I put my toes in it and agreed and returned to the hot tub. Rebecca and the biker chicks were all laughing. Rebecca said, “You need to buy a new pair of swimming trunks. These are so bleached that we can see everything.” I retorted with, “Well, Rebecca do I have a nice bum for my age?” Her answer with another laugh was another question, “What kind of question is that?”
All is ample proof that in spite of birds crashing onto our Malibu’s windshield, God exists and Rebecca might just enjoy Erik Satie again some day.
Early Morning At The Santa Fe Ranch, Texas
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Friday night at St. Edward’s High School was special. I was a boarder and this meant that on Saturday morning there would be no 6:30 bell waking us up for prayer and breakfast. It meant I could watch my favourite TV programs including Have Gun – Will Travel knowing that in the morning I could glory in the luxury of staying in bed. But four years of getting up early taught me that there are things that happen in early morning that are special and one can miss them if one oversleeps.
Oversleeping on Saturday mornings was a luxury that in my mid 30s I could no longer indulge. It was about that time (until I outgrew them with age when I was around 59) that I began to get horrible and debilitating migraines. One of the triggers was oversleeping on a Saturday after a week of work and stress.
This morning I woke up at 9:30. I had to get up in the middle of the night to placate a right knee arthritis pain. Pain killers drug me and keep me sleeping beyond what I consider adequate sleep. Fortunately oversleep no longer triggers migraines and I was able to function normally for the rest of the day.
During our week at Mike East’s Santa Fe Ranch I rarely overslept and in most days I tried to get up before I would hear Mike’s spurs jangling down the hall at precisely 6:30.
One day I got up at 5:45, shaved and I was out the door but not before turning on the large chandelier in the equally large living room. I went out the kitchen door and I was enthralled by the quiet and the mist that seemed to be coming up at the near horizon. The wild turkeys surprised me with their chatter (or is it gobbling?) and the fact that they were sleeping up in the trees. It was amazing to see how well they can fly when they have to.
It was still a bit early for el Quineño to be up and sweeping the garage floor, feeding the many little dogs that Mike has to keep the snakes in check. Quineño is called that because he worked at the King Ranch for many years. He is a tad younger that I am and his approach to life is a much happier one than mine. He is always smiling and when he saw Rebecca this year he immediately told me how much she had grown from last July. He told me, “Rebecca es una señorita!”
After snapping my iPhone I went inside in time to say to Mike, “Buenos días.” We were ready to get into the truck with El Borrado
, to go and get a couple of horses for the trailer. We were headed for La Mula for a day’s work of cutting of the testicles of young bulls. This was an experience I had had as 9-year old back in the province of Corrientes. It was to be as equally brutal, and more so because of the 40 plus heat, but this time I had the knowledge that some things are necessary if we want to enjoy an occasional Quarter Pounder.
Meteors, Meteorites, Bolides & Music Lessons
Monday, August 01, 2011
|Meteor Crater (twice!) Noblex 175 U, Ilford FP-4|
Reading music is like having another language in one’s mind. I knew nothing of this until as a 16 year old boy I was accosted on my way to supper at the cafeteria in my school at St. Ed’s in Austin, Texas. I was waylaid by Brother Edwin Reggio, CSC who told me, “Alex I need a alto saxophonist in the school band. You are it.” I tried to explain that I wasn’t interested or that I did not know how to read music but to no avail. The very next day I had my first music lesson and I soon was an efficient alto sax player who could read music in a slightly better than primitive level.
I do not play the alto saxophone nor do I remember half of what Brother Edwin taught me about reading music but there is no doubt in my mind that I am a better person than I would have been by simply having those music classes.
You can imagine how upset Rosemary and I were when Rebecca told us some years ago that she was going to abandon her piano classes. Part of the problem was a lack of incentive at home from her parents.
I asked Rebecca to sit down and I told her that the very least she could do was to show up at her class and tell her teacher (a youngish Russian) that she was going to quit. I told her that wasn’t going to be the one to tell him. She acceded to my request.
On our way to her last music class I tried a different tack. I asked her, “ Supposing a meteoroid where to enter the atmosphere and hit our Audi on the roof. What would happen?” She answered that we would indeed be pulverized. I asked her what the possibility was that this would happen. Her answer was a perspicacious one, “It is definitely possible but not too probable.” I then told her that there was a mathematical science called statistics that studied this sort of thing. I then asked her what were the statistical possibilities the she would study the piano again in the future. Her answer was what I expected, “It is possible but unlikely.” I sad nothing and waited. Then from the silence of the back seat she said, “I have an idea, instead of having a class every week why don’t I have one every two weeks?”
That was indeed the plan and the Russian was astounded but went along with the plan when I told him that I would pay him as if Rebecca were taking lessons every week. Rebecca’s father was not too happy supposing I had arm-twisted her daughter. In the end Rebecca did quit but it is my hope that enough music reading knowledge is in her head that I will help her in the future.
The above has all to do with meteoroids and meteorites. We all know that when a bolide or a very bright light in the sky hits the ground the fragments are called meteorites.
A meteoroid is a suggested term for a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's (or another body's) atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteoroid reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart are called a meteor shower. The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteōros, meaning "high in the air". Neither Minor Planet Center nor JPL uses the term "meteoroid".
That definition leaves me thinking so consider:
A meteor is what you see when a space rock falls to Earth. It is often known as a shooting star or falling star and can be a bright light in the night sky, though most are faint. If it hits the ground, it is then called a meteorite and it will leave a hole in the ground called a crater. Meteoroids may range in size from large pieces of rock to tiny dust particles floating in space that did not form planets. Once the meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere and begin to heat up and break apart, they are known as meteors. Meteors are distinct from comets or asteroids, but some, especially those associated with showers, are dust particles that were ejected from comets.
There are several types of meteorites including: stony, carbonaceous chondrites, and iron-nickel. Stony meteorites are named because they are largely made up of stone-like mineral material, carbonaceous chondrites have a high carbon content and iron-nickel meteorites are mostly iron often with significant nickel as well.
|Nikon FM-2 fisheye, Kodak Plus-X|
My confusion led me to look up meteoro in my Spanish language dictionary:
meteoro o metéoro. (Del lat. meteōrus, y este del gr. μετέωρος, elevado en el aire).
1. m. Fenómeno atmosférico, que puede ser aéreo, como los vientos, acuoso, como la lluvia o la nieve, luminoso, como el arco iris, el parhelio o la paraselene, y eléctrico, como el rayo y el fuego de Santelmo.
Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
The above definition does not mention a meteor as being in any way anything that could be solid. As a matter of fact even a rainbow is a form of meteor according to the definition above.
This all leaves me in doubt as to what you call a small body of material coming from outer space that enters our atmosphere.
The folks at Meteor Crater in Northern Arizona bypass the problems and call a spade a spade by saying that a piece of an asteroid plummeted to earth and struck and left the huge almost a mile wide crater. I cannot understand the name though but I will let the matter rest as this whole blog is an excuse to be able to run my unintended double exposure of Meteor Crater.
When we arrived, around noon, Rebecca did not want to get out of the car. She did as soon as switched the engine off. The resulting loss of air conditioning, immediately made her (and us) feel the 40 degree heat. So we entered after paying a hefty entrance fee. Since the original discoverer of the cosmic induced hole had been a mining engineer he put a claim on the place as he planned to mine the hole for valuable metals. The metals never did appear but the family kept the rights to the place so that the US Government cannot establish a Federal or Stage Park. It is the same situation as the Navajo owned and run Monument Valley.
Lucky for us both the Navajos and the family of engineer Daniel Moreau Barringer run both places with efficiency and have invested lots of money in making their geological Mecca modern and attractive.
While Rebecca balked, Lauren seemed to enjoy the crater and she followed me around in the taking of the pictures.
I took a panoramic picture of the crater from a popular vantage point. And then I decided I was going to also use the panoramic camera to get the tourists taking pictures. I soon realized I had forgotten to move the double exposure button from one side to the other (or is that backwards in the other direction?). The resulting photograph is another attractive double exposure that works nicely in probably combining two boring pictures into one and making the result more interesting.
The Grand Canyon - North Rim
Sunday, July 31, 2011
|The Grand Canyon, North Rim, Noblex Pro 175 U, Ilford FP-4|
Even when you think everything should look perfect my Noblex reacted to the slowish exposure and I must have jiggled it at the end and that is why the bush on the right is blurry. But I like this picture and someday it will bring memories to our granchildren, fond ones I hope, of a trip taken long ago with their grandparents.