Archive for September, 2015

The Cat’s Meow (OT)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 18, 2015 by wordsandpixels

As we’re getting ready for the transition between city mice and country mice (Yonkers NY to the Catskill Mountains) we’re all too aware of the most difficult part of the transition. No, not wrapping fine stemware in tissue paper. No, not packing the old 4×5 Speed Graphic so the film holders don’t get broken. No, not prepping the delicate ham radio equipment so it doesn’t get trashed enroute.

The most difficult part of the move is going to be making the transition for our three cats, Elvis, Mary and Amelia, as painless as possible. AmeliaThese cats, not having grown up with our five sons as did the previous feline administration, are skittish even on a good day. So it will be interesting to see what is the best solution. Sticking them in the engine compartment to stay warm (no, don’t reach for the phone to call the ASPCA — just kidding)? IMG_1996Putting them in old cardboard boxes? Hmmm. That’s a possibility. Or rounding them up and putting them all in a big cage, one designed for 100 pound dogs. Now THAT sounds better!

P.S. Elvis hasn’t been photographed with iPhone so I can’t lay my hands on a decent picture of him.

P.P.S. Elvis got his name because we got him from the pound on the birthday of the king of rock and roll.

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Talking Techie — Part II

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 16, 2015 by wordsandpixels

OK, OK. You know who you are. We saw you smiling.

There’s so much talk these days about the iPhone 6S, Or is it 7? Or maybe 8?

Well, just for giggles, we took a photo (yes, I know, I used my iPhone’s built in camera) of the “latest technology” from the year I was born (plus or minus a few years :-).

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Wanna think about something? The so-called “new technology” pictured here made people fearful. Fearful of someone stealing secrets from their phone conversations. Fearful of getting caught out in the proverbial thunderstorm and not being able to call 911 (yeah, they didn’t have 911 in those days, just checking if you’re paying attention!)Fearful about…well, you get the idea. Every time new technology is introduced, people get afraid.

Every summer I helped out my grandpa and grandma on their farm in Bellefontaine, OH. And one of my tasks was to feed the sheep at some ungodly hour, like 0400 hours. What did Robin Williams say in “Good Morning, Vietnam?” (“What does the “oh” stand for in 0400? Oh. My. Gawd”

RIP, Robin. We’ll make sure technology doesn’t screw things up too badly for the next generation. Especially for the sheep…err, people.

More 1948 technology, Hastings, New York, September 2015.
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I Love it When You Talk Techie

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 13, 2015 by wordsandpixels

Proud Papa Department

Los Angeles, CA — September 13, 2015

My son Nathaniel is clawing his way up the ladder of success in H’Wood as a DP. He’s doing great, thank you very much, and there isn’t a father this side of Mongolia who isn’t as proud of his son and his accomplishments.

But a recent project of Nathaniel’s got me to thinking how we used to talk on set decades ago. We threw “tech talk” words around with abandon. “HMI’s. 10K’s. Reverse angle, low angle Steadicam shot.” You know what I’m talking’ about. Yes, you! Stop smiling!image1

Speaking of which, we couldn’t help but to smile when #2 son described what he was up to in conjunction with the attached beast of a film camera. “Sprockets? Panavision? What the…???”

Quote:

It’s more than OK for you to post the pictures, dad.  I should have taken a few more, but was busy prepping.  The job I’m on isn’t ready to talk about, but you can say I was prepping a Panavised Arri Alexa (Records to SxS Cards) with an 11:1 (Zoom ratio 24 -275mm) Primo zoom (t 2.8).  The camera is a high speed body that can do up to 60fps at 4:4:4:4 (color space, pronounced 4 by 4)

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So I guess the moral of the story is the more things change the more they stay the same. Technology is simply a way of telling a story more effectively, easily, without fuss and bother.

Thanks, Nathaniel Miller, up and coming Director of Photography. You are DA MAN!!!!

Playing ketchup

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2015 by wordsandpixels

I had dinner my old friend Eric last night, a college buddy. We went to Queens College in the 1960’s, at the height of social unrest, the war in Vietnam and a whole lotta drugs and rock n roll, but yet during an era that defined our growth. He and I sold a camera bag we invented, called “The System Bag” (pictured at left in a book I wrote on the subject of freelance photography). He has traveled all over the world as an expert on electrical metering systems, and gave me two high-voltage insulators as souvenirs. My bag was empty so I was sorry I couldn’t give him a gift, but the dinner and the time we spent catching up was a beautiful gift for the two of us. Merci bien fois, Eric.IMG_3089

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Back in the Saddle Again (cue C&W music up, fade from black)

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , on September 6, 2015 by wordsandpixels

OK, OK. I get it.

Enough of you have suggested — and strongly is not too much of an adjective — that it might actually be helpful to some folks if I were to resurrect the infamous wordsandpixels.com blog. You know, that desperate gulch of a place where words and pictures come together in the finest tradition of photojournalism and tell a story.

Friends and family know that we will shortly be moving from city environs to those in the wilderness. When (and IF, a big IF) this transpires we are going to build an old-fashioned, hypo smell-in-your face wet darkroom, complete with enlarger, trays and the ubiquitous dry mount press.

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SpeedGraphic

The attached pitchas of 35mm and 4×5 cameras (two of my fav formats) are simply placeholders for future developments in this space.

Stay tuned.