A Lifetime - Spring to Fall
Saturday, July 13, 2019
|Rosa 'Buttercup' 13 July 2019|
It was sometime in 2002 that on an idle day (perhaps a
weekend) I looked at my Epson flatbed scanner and wondered what I could do with
it with a plant from my garden. I chose the Bourbon rose Rosa
I might have had beginner’s luck or simply, perhaps, fate rewarded me for not
scanning my genitals as many have done before me (and after).
Rosa 'Reine Victoria'
After that startling first try I thought about the
consequences. I came to the conclusion that if I scanned the rose (and then
other plants from our garden) at 100% size and if I was careful in getting the
colour right the resulting image when I added the day’s date would be an
accurate recording of the plant in
Vancouver’s growing conditions.
Since then I have scanned hundreds of plants. I scan them
all as TIFFs. At the beginning I used 1600 DPI as my choice of scanning size
but then a few years after I found out that 800 DPI was more than enough to
enable me to make very large inkjet prints.
When people see my framed scans they marvel. They
congratulate me for the photograph. I correct them and tell them that they are
scanographs and that I am a scanographer. They rapidly lose interest. There is
no doubt in my mind that if I were a young man with a desire to make money I
could make the rounds of good hotels and sell my scans. They would be safe bets
for rooms in this troubled century.
One of the added pleasures of scanning the plants in our
garden is that when I make the rounds I can almost talk with my plants. They
vie for my attention and perhaps I then think, “Yes Rosa ‘Buttercup’I should
scan you today as previously I did so when you were partially closed.”
In the case of the flowers of my Hosta
‘Hirao Majesty’ which
I previously scanned a few weeks ago you can now see how that elegant bud
transformed itself into what you see here today.
Hirao Majesty II
|Hosta 'Hirao Majesty' 13 July 2019|
Scanning our flowers and plants much like photographing
people more than once (with years in-between) brings the advantage of recording
change. But change in a plant, particularly a rose is change in the lifetime
that is only a few months long.
The Cowboy & the Gringo
Friday, July 12, 2019
|Camerino Urbina AKA El Borrado & Yours Truly the gringo|
coloq. Extranjero, especialmente de habla inglesa, y en general hablante de una
lengua que no sea la española. U. t. c. s.
coloq. Dicho de una lengua: extranjera. U. t. c. s. m.
Bol., Chile, Col., Cuba, Ec., El Salv., Hond., Nic., Par., Perú, Ur. y Ven.
estadounidense. U. t. c. s.
Ur. inglés (‖ natural de Inglaterra). U. t. c. s.
Ur. ruso (‖ natural de Rusia). U. t. c. s.
6. m. y
f. Bol., Hond., Nic. y Perú. Persona rubia y de tez blanca.
coloq. Lenguaje ininteligible.
de la Real Academia Española (RAE)
A gringo has not always been a naive American tourist. In
my Argentina of the 50s and even the 60s a gringo was a city born and living
dweller visiting the interior Pampa. This gringo did not know how to ride a
horse or have any inkling on how people not living in a city lived in the camp,
from Spanish campo or field, (as Anglo-Argentines of my ilk called those ranch
Almost 10 years ago my wife and our two daughters drove
our 2007 Chevrolet Malibu to south Texas and stayed with my former St. Edward’s
High School classmate, Mike East who has a very large ranch called the Santa Fe.
I was allowed to shoot anything I wanted and the cowboys
(most of Mexican extraction) all proudly posed for me.
The fact that I spoke very good Spanish did not make me
less of a gringo in their eyes. But if they had any opinions on the matter they
kept it to themselves. Those Mexican cowboys were polite.
My favourite of them all was Camerino Urbina also known
as “El Borrado” or the hazy one because of the lovely gray colour of his eyes. Watching
him ride a horse was no different from watching a prima ballerina dance. His
clothes fit well and with his ramrod posture he was elegance at its best.
After I snapped this picture of him he suggested he take
As a photographer who is always behind my camera I am not
usually keen on this idea. But I was so thrilled that this man would want to
photograph me that I consented.
Perhaps the one feature of what I am wearing to note is
my Australian hat. In Vancouver’s Expo 86 I was assigned to photograph then
Provincial NDP Leader Dave Barrett at the Australian pavilion. The Australian folks
would not lend me the hat. I had to buy it for the photograph. I figured that a
hat worn by Barrett would be just fine for me and I believe I plunked $120 for
Your Feet - and upon the waters, until they found me.
Thursday, July 11, 2019
As a portrait photographer I am always centered on the face.
Other parts I usually ignore but I am
aware that hands are most important. I have a tendency to incorporated hands in
my portraits. Feet, on the other hand are so far away from the face that I
ignore them. If anything I believe (or used to) that feet are uncommonly ugly.
In particular the feet of graceful ballerinas are a mess. Few dancers will show
you their feet. I have been lucky (unlucky perhaps?) to have seen the feet of a
few famous ballerinas.
My mother had beautiful legs and feet. She told me that I
had inherited them. Some years ago on a travel magazine assignment to Florida I
had to photograph and write about an exclusive resort. I was offered either a
massage or a pedicure. I have always been shy about massages so I chose the
The pedicure gave me an opportunity to write miles of copy.
I was placed in a long narrow room with about 10 other women. They were talking
about intimacies that made me blush from head to feet! When the pedicurist
mentioned loudly that I had beautiful feet for a man of at least 60, the women
congregated around me and oohed and aahed. I kept blushing from head to feet!
As a dare a woman at an Exposure Gallery exhibition in the
beginning of this century told me, “If you think feet are so ugly why don’t you
try to photograph them and perhaps change your mind?”
This I did.
I found Lalita an Italian server at the Number 5 Orange. She had the body of Sophia Loren. I asked to photograph her. I took some photographs in my studio but then we went to Lynn Canyon. When I told Lalita's boss, Tony Ricci that I had photographed Lalita's feet he was incredulous. Lalita's pictures are in this blog. If you have patience and wait until the end here you can get a glimpse of the rest of her.
The basic unit of
measurement of accentual-syllabic meter. A foot usually contains one stressed
syllable and at least one unstressed syllable. The standard types of feet in
English poetry are the iamb, trochee, dactyl, anapest, spondee, and pyrrhic
(two unstressed syllables).
empezado a andar por un París fabuloso, dejándose llevar por los signos de la
noche, acatando itinerarios nacidos de una frase de clochard, de una bohardilla
iluminada en el fondo de una calle negra, deteniéndose en las placitas
confidenciales para besarse en los bancos o mirar las rayuelas, los ritos
infantiles del guijarro y el salto sobre un pie para entrar en el Cielo.
Your Feet – Pablo Neruda
When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the doubled purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
they found me.
Tus pies- Pablo Neruda
no puedo mirar tu cara
de hueso arqueado,
pequeños pies duros.
que te sostienen,
y que tu
ellos se levanta.
y tus pechos,
duplicada púrpura de tus pezones,
de tus ojos que recién han volado,
boca de fruta,
amo tus pies
tierra y sobre
viento y sobre el agua,
que me encontraron
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pigeon toe, also known as in-toeing, is a condition which
causes the toes to point inward when walking. It is most common in infants and
children under two years of age and, when not the result of simple muscle
weakness, normally arises from underlying conditions, such as a twisted shin
bone or an excessive anteversion (femoral head is more than 15° from the angle
of torsion) resulting in the twisting of the thigh bone when the front part of
a person's foot is turned in.
Fortune has been on my side in showering me with the opportunity to meet and photograph women of unusual beauty. I can remember thre in particular. The first was my wife Rosemary. I saw her (walking away) in Mexico City leaving a school where she taught English (and so did I but I had never seen her until that moment). What I saw was perfectly straight, very long blonde hair, a micro mini-skirt
and the most beautiful legs I had ever seen (before that they were my mother's fine legs).
A second woman I also saw from the rear. She was at a Ballet BC rehearsal. This was a woman with dark hair in a bun (a dancer what do you expect?). She was waddling away from me most gracefully (imagine a duck from the Paris Opera Ballet). I touched her shoulder. She turned around and I asked her who she was. "I am Sandrine Cassini. I am new here. I started at the Paris Opera Ballet when I was 14."
A third was and is Kethryn Petersen who walks gracefully and most straight. But then how would you explain this shot?
References in classic literature (Web Page here
Well, if we've lost the road we must find it,' said
Nikita curtly, and getting out and stepping lightly on his pigeon-toed feet he
started once more going about on the snow.
Keggs was a man--one must use that word, though it seems
grossly inadequate--of medium height, pigeon-toed at the base, bulgy half-way
up, and bald at the apex.
HERE was Burnley's pigeon-toed but enormously effective
Leighton the day for left-back's namesakes
Skeletal, almost pigeon-toed in its awkwardness, it looks
unassuming, but in 2006 its introduction was a design achievement.
the daughter begins to walk, it is apparent that she