It’s October, Again. Yeehaw!

  • Post category:Art

It's Halloween month and who can resist a couple of animated, Chinese-made, plastic skeleton hillbillies dueling away on their banjos as is their wont?

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New Work: The Geyser

  • Post category:Art

Not only will I write about travel and photography on these pages but from from time to time I'll share my own work. This is The Geyser, from earlier this year. It is a ten minute video of the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park, shot in 4k on a tripod-mounted iPhone 11 Pro Max. I made an earlier version of this video a day or two earlier but it was handheld--the idea had come to me and the tripod was in the care, far away. But that footage was unusable--the framing shifted and moved, changing the entire aesthetic sense of the work. I planned to come back later…

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A Wrong Turn to the Flight 93 Memorial

  • Post category:Travel

There's something wrong with the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. I had taken a wrong turn and was trapped on the wrong highway through the endless forests of Pennsylvania when I passed a brown sign for the memorial. Oh, that's right! I'm near where the plane crashed on 9-11. I'm always on the lookout for those brown signs. No app is as valuable. You approach the building on the edge of the hill on a perfectly straight sidewalk that feels a little like a runway and it leads you to a gap in the high white walls ahead and then to an overlook so you can stand above a field,…

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Gear Review: Still Flummoxed by the Peak Design Travel Tripod

  • Post category:Photo Gear

In my review of the Peak Design Travel Tripod I mentioned that I had lost the hanging hook, the cap on the bottom of the center extension pole, the first time I had used it. I had taken the hook off to extract the hidden iPhone holder and when I then went replace the hanging hook I couldn't get it to fit back in. I was in a hurry, and in my rush it was too much to deal with, so I put the hook in my shirt pocket. When I later pulled my reading glasses from that pocket the hook must have fell into the dirt at Badlands National…

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Books On My Desk: Renaissance Etching, Soth, and Wolfe

  • Post category:Art / Books

Ah, books. Such an old technology yet photography books--art photography books--are in something of a golden age. There is a flood of them, too many to even know all of the titles. I buy my share, although they seem far easier to buy than to actually find the mental space to open them and go through them. I like to set aside a block of time, not just a quick look. A block of time is necessary. A few miles from my home is a colony of elephant seals. They come every winter to breed, to try and avoid the great white sharks just offshore, the males fight each other…

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The Unexpected Goats

  • Post category:Travel

We're in two cars, my daughter's car ahead of me, when they start to hear a noise from the front right wheel area. They walkie-talkie back to us in my FJ. I tell them to pull over at the next exit. The wheel well barrier--what is the word for that part that separates the wheel well from the engine?--was damaged by a prior owner. We tug on it and it is conceivable that the damaged part is being pushed by the wind far enough back to touch the rubber of the tire. We try again. No luck, still the noise. So we stop again and cut off part of the…

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Four Views of Badlands National Park Plus One Surprise

  • Post category:Travel

A quick tour of Badlands National Park is easy, running roughly parallel to I-90 in South Dakota. We started in Wall and headed straight south into the park, then made our way east along the main road, stopping frequently despite our tight schedule.

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Meeting Them at Mount Rushmore

  • Post category:Travel

You don’t see them at the mall because you only go to certain malls, if you go to malls at all. You don’t see them at work, if you go to work, because you do a certain kind of work. You don’t see them at the restaurants, at least not sitting down, because you don’t go to those kinds of restaurants. But you do see them at the gas stations, especially on cross-country trips, because gas stations are all the same, even if the people getting the gas are not. It can be a shock, I know. The bikers and the dude who would be a biker except he is…

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The Trump Shop Bus

  • Post category:Travel

He was all but done for the day when we pulled into the gas station just outside of Spearfish, South Dakota, his "Trump Shop" bus all closed up for the night. Written on the bus were the words "not affiliated with the campaign." Some sort of backdoor PAC-based way to fund Trump's re-election? I couldn't figure it out until I googled it later on. There are a number of buses similar to this all over the United States. The buses have all been wrapped in Trump graphics, all selling MAGA hats, Trump shirts, flags, and all the rest. The Trump campaign has been sending cease and desist letters to some…

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