Saturday, November 25, 2006

It didn't take a day in San Francisco for us both to conclude that we should chuck everything and move back to The City. Talking with friends about real estate and rental prices brought us back to reality. We'll find another way to spend more time there sometime soon.
Photos from the trip shot with my old cameras are in five photobucket folders where they may also be viewed in slideshow format:(opens in new window)
At Night
Around Town
Bodega Bay

Sunday, November 12, 2006

San Francisco, 1970; My Beautiful Life We are on our way back for a visit. Hope to have more to say and show in a couple weeks.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


I've recently begun making cyanotype prints of some of my favorite images on watercolor paper. The cyanotype process is an antique print making technique which uses light sensitive iron salts in place of the more common silver gelatin. The cyanotype emulsion is hand painted on the paper, which is then sandwiched together with a negative and exposed to the sun for a minute to produce a contact print.  Development and fixing of the Prussian blue image is accomplished with a few minutes wash in slightly acidified water.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Many of my images that I like best come from the simplest cameras.
I'm not entirely sure why that is; possibly the simplicity of the system gets me better focused on composition. I acquired this old Agfa-Ansco box camera recently at a cost of two dollars. It is the oldest of my box cameras, probably dating from the mid to late 'Twenties. The camera is made largely from wood and cardboard; in spite of the simple materials used in construction it is put together very precisely. The seams of the parts are so tight that there are almost none of the usual blemishes on the viewfinder lenses and mirrors. This is the only old camera I have in which the core of the film take-up spool is made of wood. The picture of the Rio Grande was made from Dead Man's Curve, not far from our home. The others were taken in the old village of Doña Ana north of Las Cruces.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I get to most of the local car shows around Las Cruces. These photos are from Saturday's Lions Club Show at the Plaza in Mesilla. The event is scheduled on the one day of the year when rain is almost guaranteed. According to one of the organizers, if the Lions Club didn't have bad luck, it wouldn't have any. There were less visitors to the show than might have showed up on a sunny morning, but the enthusiasm of the car owners was not noticibly dampened. The first shot shows a mural on the hood of a truck that is in a currently popular photo-realistic style. The cameras were the Pentax Spotmatic and the Kodak Retina IIc.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

While Margaret was attending a conference in Albuquerque, I took a morning walk through the bosque beside the river, then through the botanical gardens and on to the zoo. Photos of my excursion through the Albuquerque Biopark were made with several of my old cameras, including the Kodak Retina IIa, the Pentax Spotmatic, and the Olympus 35 RC. Albuquerque has done a great job of preserving the cottonwood forest beside the river, and the botanical gardens and the zoo are fine places to spend a weekend.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

After an August-and-a-half of rain we are starting to dry out. Our property is carpeted with yellow cowpen daisies, much as it was when we first moved here.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Several weeks of heavy rain brought flash floods and created a swamp on the flats below our house. A thousand toad chorus was soon followed by a million tadpoles. Late-blooming wildflowers sprang to life everywhere, most in white or yellow.

Monday, August 28, 2006

My pinhole photograph of a balloon ascension in Las Cruces has been published in the September 2006 issue of The Sun magazine. If you request a free trial issue at the web site, it is likely that you will receive the current one with the photo.

This is an image that scales up well; a big enlargement of it will be displayed in an exhibit of my pinhole work in February at the Rio Grande Theater Gallery in Las Cruces.( I have cancelled the pinhole exhibit. )

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The image of the old Ford and its companion '24 Dodge was made with my pinhole camera. The location was the parking lot of a church in Radium Springs. Free bbq sandwiches, green chiles in the beans, and classic cars. What more could a guy want? A few days later I used the pinhole camera to make a series of pictures of the front end of a mile-long train between Hatch and Rincón.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The monsoon season has arrived early in the Southwest this year bringing clouds, coolness and a little rain. More photos can be viewed as a slideshow. The first two in the slideshow are from my pinhole camera. The rest were all shot with my favorite little folding camera, the Ikonta 520.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Three more images from the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash box camera. During the decade of the 1950's millions of blurry photos were snapped with this camera because people didn't know that they needed to make an extra effort to hold it steady due to the slow shutter speed, probably about 1/30th of a second. The little push-on filters and close-up attachments also greatly extended the camera's capabilities.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My favorite subject from my favorite box camera. Margaret used to be very resistant to my efforts to photograph her, but I wore her down - took about thirty years. There is some discussion about the photos and the camera (the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash) at the Nelsonfoto site.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I was recently given a Kodak 35 Rangefinder model; I cleaned it up and took a few pictures with it. I also took another look at my earlier viewfinder model, Kodak's first domestically produced 35mm camera dating from 1938. I did a little more work on that camera's shutter and put a roll of film through it too. Both these cameras make extensive use of features developed originally in Kodak's medium format folders; they incorporated inexpensive synthetic materials and construction processes which resulted in low cost. Both models came with a variety of lenses and shutters; the Anastigmat Special lens on my Kodak 35 is as sharp as any lens produced in the 1940's. I've added a page to the Vintage Cameras section of the web site with some more comments on the Kodak 35.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This picture of a 1950 Chevrolet was made with a Kodak Retina I of the same vintage. Clicking on the front page image will open a new window displaying a photo of the same car at an Alamogordo car show; it was made with a Kodak No. 2 Folding Hawkeye Special, dating from about 1930...My grandfather had a car similar to this when I was a teenager in Seattle; not quite the same, though. His was a cream and brown business coupe with just a platform in the back rather than the seat, and his also lacked the fender skirts, headlight eyelids, and window shade of the deluxe model pictured...The car before was a green 1939 Chevy coupe; he gave it to me when he got the '50 model, and I proceeded to tear it to pieces, and never got around to driving it -- he must have thought I was nuts...I think my grand-dad's last car was a black '56 Chevy two-door -- very sleek looking with its shiney chrome trim. He was a Chevy guy.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Much of my photography is done with old film cameras, most of which require some attention before they will produce pictures. My latest project is the restoration of a simple little 35mm camera, the German Finetta. I've added a one-page article about the camera to the Vintage Camera section of the web site.

My project to document local wildflowers is moving slowly due to the ongoing drought. I'm still hopeful that the summer rains will bring out more of the poppies and other varieties that we see here in good years. In the meantime, I found this stand-in at a local pottery shop in Mesilla.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I am collecting this year's wildflowers into a folder. The flowers will be displayed chronologically as they appear. It is a dry year, and it is uncertain what flowers will be seen, and in what numbers. We will see.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The featured image on the web site portrays Margaret's new love, her violin. Clicking on that image on the site's front page will show her playing the instrument. After just a couple lessons, she is already producing some nice sounds. The violin and the following images in the series were done with the pinhole camera that I have been working with over the past year. More images from the pinhole camera can be viewed by going to the site's pinhole gallery.