Sunday, June 28, 2009

Junk Yards

Years ago, I spent a weekend in the east Texas piney woods in an area known as the Big Thicket. After shooting wildlife and fauna all weekend I headed home. There was a light drizzle and it was fairly cool. I was only thinking about getting home to some warm soup and relaxing for the rest of the weekend. I had to turn on the defroster. You know those days when it is not that cold but the dew point is low enough that your windows fog up. As my side window cleared I saw a field full of old cars, mostly 40's and 50's vintage. I had to stop! I grabbed one of the Canon F-1's and added a macro lens for some close up work. WOW! The rain had made the colors spectacular. I had planned on being home by 3 in the afternoon. I think I made the turn into the driveway about 6 pm. I could not drag myself out of the field of old cars.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Scans

I am really utilizing my spare time scanning older slides on the new Epson Perfection V500 scanner.  I am amazed at the quality I get from this excellent piece of equipment.  Back in 1998, my company sent me to Moscow to help our agent there sell some equipment.  We were successful but my visa was expiring and I had to get back home.  Unfortunately my trip over was in haste and they were unable to get me a flight home so....   ....I had to fly to Paris and spend over 4 days there on company money just walking around seeing things and taking photos.  I had some great adventures since what little French I knew was from being in Montreal and useless in France.  My first morning I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral and tried to get in to the Hotel De'Ville but was stopped by some rude policemen.  It looked like a very swank hotel and I just wanted to look around the lobby.  Later when I got home I learned that Hotel De'Ville means "City Hall" in French.  Crazy Americans!  Later that same day I followed a group down an escalator, put my small backpack thru the x-ray and went into the Louvre for 1/2 a day.  I was amazed the place was free!!!!  The next day I went back and tried to get in the same way and was told that is the employee entrance.  I had to get a ticket for $20 and stand in line to get in.  Ignorance is bliss.  I did figure out the Paris subway system and rode out to the Arch de Triumph and the Eiffel Tower.  The experience there was sublime.  Contrary to what I had always been told, the French people were very friendly toward me and would go out of their way to tell me about things I must see and some I could skip.  I have always wanted to go back but the chance to do so has evaded me.  For the same money I can go to Scotland or Tanzania, places where they also speak foreign languages.

I made it to see the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.  I think hype has a lot to do with the painting.  It was crowded and not easy to view.  There are literally thousands of paintings in the Louvre that I liked much better than the Mona Lisa with no one looking at them. I could have spent the entire 4 days inside and not have seen 1/2 the place.  Amazing!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Epson Perfection Scanners

Just acquired the Epson V500 scanner, the low end of the Perfection series. Been scanning some slides, some old, some not so old and the results are very nice indeed. The shots below are from 1977 in New Jersey where I lived for two years. One is an ice storm near our house where I went out with my golf spikes on to keep from busting my butt and the other is from a place called Jockey Hollow, one of Washington's winter encampment areas where I had been cross country skiing.

Pop Ups!

In this case we are talking about thunderstorms and not anything to do with the internet! We get these from time to time here in Kansas once the heat starts to build and there is sufficient moisture. Monday evening I was working on some images in the downstairs (basement) office when I flipped on the radar and BAM! Sitting right outside was a fairly large pop-up. I ran upstairs, took one look and grabbed the gear. Drove out into the country west of town and took a few images. The storm was absolutely stunning and the colors went from chalky white to the orange of Florida's Best after the sun went down. A couple of shots here:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Teterville and Teter Rock

Rather than sit at home and eat a nice meal, we chose to make a trip out into the gravel road country of the flint hills. The rewards were some nice bird images adding to my "fence post collection" of the critters and some spectacular skies at Teter Rock (Teterville). Teterville was once an oil boom town. Now only a few foundations are left along with chunks of steel and other remnants of a town gone bust. The rock was erected as a prank and has been there since the 30's. It will probably out weather the spray painted love notes that cover the surface.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moody Gardens - Galveston, Texas

After my appointments today I had a couple of hours so I made a quick trip to Moody Gardens in Galveston.  The area is still recovering from the effects of Ivan.  The hurricane left the island devastated.  The signs of the invasive weather are still evident all over the place.  Moody Gardens was inundated with 14 feet of storm surge.  The pyramids were flooded and lots of destruction took place, based on the photos on exhibit there.  The Gardens are open.  I only had a short time so I limited myself to the rain forest pyramid.  Unlike the last time I visited maybe 5 years ago, the birds, butterflies and monkeys are gone, visiting the zoos in Dallas and Houston, waiting on the rebuilding of the rain forest facility.  The plants were there and appeared to be intact although I was told that a lot of reconstruction was needed to get to where it is today.  This fall the facility will be closed and totally remodeled with a bridge walk overhead.  At the end of that project the exiled will be allowed to return from their temporary homes at the zoos.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seattle Skyline - 1947

My uncle was aboard a troop ship returning to the USA from where he was stationed in Korea. I was at his house almost all day Saturday scanning old images. Having recently visited Seattle and seen the skyline from the same basic vantage point I found it interesting the differences since then. I converted my image to sepia for comparison so that the flashy colors don't take away from the rest of the image comparison.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Monument Rocks - More Images

After the trip to the Pacific Northwest I have been thru the rest of the images and found more that I wanted to add here:

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I never pass up a chance to come to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and this was a lucky week. I had the opportunity to visit a great group of people in Langley, BC. Because of air fare differences I flew into Seattle then drove up to Langley. I drove back to Seattle today and decided a route across on the ferry to Port Townsend would be about the same amount of time based on where I needed to be this afternoon. Had my wife's nice Panasonic/Leica with me and took a few shots on the ferry ride. This is one of them.