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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Photographic Enigma






I am not new to photography, the science of Daguerre, Eastman, Wheatstone, Fox Talbot, Claudet. I am capable in darkrooms, which is the best that can be said of anybody. But with the advent of digital cameras I am once again an ignorant primitive.

It is the Computer Age. This means one can find out anything and clear things up. Above is a picture taken with a digital camera of my stunt double holding one of our grandchildren. By way of clarification I have called my wife Stunt Double for many years for some reason --perhaps because she steps in when babies need proper holding. I forget her real name. But, point is, with a computer I can find out important stuff about her.

For instance, I can type "My Stunt Double" into this computer and translate it into Russian: 2 времени мое затруднение роста. Then I can translate "2 времени мое затруднение роста" back into English, which is "Twice my growth obstruction." Learning doesn't get more exciting than that. But there are drawbacks.

My 35mm Mamiya/Sekor 1000TL SLR camera is only 50 years old and now collects dust. It and the skills it required are obsolete. My wife could never master its intricacies but bought a computerized digital camera and takes perfect pictures every time she uses it. I, on the other hand, have trouble.

Consider the photo above, which I took because a baby needed holding in its composition. This is not a thing one leaves to chance (me), so my Stunt Double stepped in and I was given the digital camera. As you can see, it would have been a perfect photo had not two things happened: house tilted to 45-degree angle; someone detonated an Atomic Bomb right outside the window.

So, wasn't my fault. 50 years ago my elders used to ask me,"Why are you so serious? You are young and should be making an idiot of yourself!" To which I would answer, there will be time for that when I'm your age. Idiots obsolete? I think not, neither is the old Hollywood adage:"There's no economy in a cheap stunt double."  --I mean, 2 времени мое затруднение роста, or do I?

22 comments:

  1. When I was young and uncontrollably wild I assured the astonished and concerned that I didn't want a stunt double and would never need one. Now, with my ravaged back and aching knees from repeatedly stumbling down the mountainside where I live -- I'm eating my youthful words. A stunt double would definitely come in handy.

    I not only need a double who can withstand the impact of my intricate falls, but one who enjoys cooking as well.......Going solo in declining years can be lethal.

    As for digital cameras, I can successfully maneuver one without causing 45-degree angles or detonating bombs. It's a gift.

    If any of this makes sense I'll be surprised.

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    1. I all makes perfect sense, Jon. I hope all your surprises are more pleasant than those inflicted by your mountainside. It is beautiful but you must remember to use a stick. I do. Stunt double, on the other hand, barely touches the ground --you saw how she outruns lightning.

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  2. An odd phrase....could be construed as being short in stature, or embarassed about some physical feature. I'm sure you'll let us know.

    I almost wish you hadn't brought up the old 35mm cameras. I had several...An early Nikon, a Nikkormat, A Mayima C33 75mm viewfinder....took a lot of pics back there and when...got one published in S&S in 67. I miss them, the satisfying 'click' when the lens aperture opened and closed.
    My fave of all though, was a viewfinder. A Leica M3, I had it for 6 months before I sold it. Sigh.

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    1. Mike, when my brother and I were kids, we heard there was an attempt to program Univac as an English-Russian translator and the first transmission was, "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." What the Russians got was "The wine is good but the meat went bad." I just tried it on Google Translate and it yielded, "Дух бодр, но плоть слаба."--which is an exact translation of the English phrase. But stunt double has a ways to go. As to cameras, I learned on a Yashica-A twin lens reflex in high school. Had a huge negative that was fun to work with in the darkroom. Covered a lot of football games.

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  3. I remember playing in a dark room. Lots of fun.
    These days my lazy self takes digital photos and discards most of them.
    And how I would love a stunt double. A cooking, cleaning, remaining upright (literally and metaphorically) stunt double. A wife perhaps...

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    1. Yes, Stunt Double is exceptional, gentle soul with firm sense of philosophical quiddity and steel underneath. Doesn't permit me to give in to the blows I've taken. Makes me want to be a better man. I hope you, as I do, recognize those strengths in yourself too --I know a stabilizer when I encounter one, even over the internet.

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  4. Seems to me I managed to make an idiot of myself when I was young and sadly, never stopped. If you know where I can rent a stunt double I could really use one...it would come in handy for climbing into cars and going up and down steps.
    What a sweet little baby. They do tend to 'tilt your world' don't they?

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    1. Age has brought me to a calmer, more well-defined state of idiocy --ask anybody. And yes, despite its flaws, the photo is one of my favorites.

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  5. I used to have darkroom skills when I was young, too. Just before moving back south, I gave away a boxload of 35 mm cameras and a 2 1/4 camera--I went digital in 2007 and have loved it, snapping away 1000s of shots for the price of one roll of film (I also gave away a bulk film loader).

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    1. Photo processing had its rewards, but was very time-consuming. Haven't got rid of all my gear though --digital may not replace it entirely.

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  6. No matter what you think this is a lovely and loving photo. It reminds me of a favorite of mine. My father is sitting in his easy chair napping. One of his legs is crossed into a figure 4 with the other leg. Cradled in the figure4 is my baby son who is also napping.

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    1. Delightful. Favorite photos often contain tableaux of ease and affection --scenes of effortless interaction.

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  7. "Trainride of the Enigmas" has been included in our Sites To See #437. Be assured that we hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2015/05/sites-to-see-437.html

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    1. Thank you, Jerry. I will put you on the blogroll here as I did on one of my poetry sites.

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  8. I was and will forever be an idiot in one way or another. Sometimes I wish I could have "freeze stop" moment where I get to rethink my next action.

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    1. Indeed, a pause button would greatly improve human social interaction. Is anybody working on this?

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  9. Your posts are a catharsis. They summon joy and often cause me to relish in the beauty of a moment, any moment. Where they asked you 50 years ago, "Why are you so serious?" I get that a lot in this age. And sometimes I'm asking the question.

    A beautiful picture by the way-atomic explosion outside or not>

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    1. Thanks, Tom. We're doing ok, you and me, so long as we remember what joy is.

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  10. I used to take good pictures with our 35 mm camera also. Not so much with the point and shoot digital. I should use the 35 mm more often, because whenever I DO use it, I have to replace the camera battery, the flash battery, and buy new film. But - better pictures.

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    1. There is a calmness to the colors in older photos that I've not been able to match with digital, but it's early days for digital graphics. Fun to see a new technology progress and improve.

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  11. P. S. That is a lovely photo full of tenderness. The best kind.

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    1. Thanks! It helps to keep lovely, tender people around for models.

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