… on… the macro verse….

I’ve long been fascinated with macro photography.  It’s so hard to do it right.  And I’m usually too lazy to carry a tripod around so I’ve never really bothered.   But lately, as my previous post shows.  I’ve started getting into the so-called groove of close-up and macro imaging.    I still don’t use a tripod – all handheld – so the number of useable images are limited.

This morning was a beautiful frosty December morning and I decided to go to a local park close to downtown and only about 5 minutes from my apartment.   Here are two of the images I was able to use from this morning along with two new haiku.  Hope you enjoy them.

Les Bébés Congelés

Frosty mornings
Inhale a crispy frozen breath
I gasp, in love

Whiplash wind storm
When I am lost you bend me back
See what’s behind

Whiplash Bend

The music moment is provided by the Tindersticks.    Their song FROZEN from their recent album – The Something Rain.

… on… my disappearance….

Identity presence existence metaphysic existential reality:
these are the issues.

“Life is an illusion and we trick ourselves into thinking and believing it’s real.”           ~ mobius faith diaries

When I took this photo (below) I was fascinated by the door handles, lock and chain. But as is often the case – after I got home and started processing the image I realized something quite disturbing. I was standing directly in front of these doors but nowhere in the image. No reflection of the photographer. Where had I gone? Where was the photographer? I suddenly began to question my existence for some reason. I began to doubt all that I thought I knew was real. I just could not fathom…. logic told me that when someone is standing in front of an object that is casting a reflection that person should be part of the reflection. But here, the glass doors were reflecting the street behind me but showed no interest in reflecting me – the reflected image was not interested in my narcissistic obsession. Okay so this is the stuff of nightmares. I actually did have a nightmare about this the night I processed this image. There had to be some logical explanation. There was NO “photoshopping” of this image to remove my reflection. I had simply disappeared at some point in time between the time I pressed the button on the shutter and when the shutter closed again. This was during the day so there was no time-lapse – I was shooting at full speed.

Locked Between Two Worlds

I noticed the crack/space where the two door meet. Had I disappeared into the crack of dark space. And if so how come I have no recollection? If we cease to exist do we have no recollection of what came before? If we cease to exist on this plane do we just start some other existence with no remembrance of the existence we had when we were mortal corporeal beings? Had I crossed some astral plane to the other side of the doors and was looking out? At one point I did actually wonder if I was looking out or looking in thru these doors. One can see the windows in the vacant dark space which contrast with the reflection of the street. But again, I began to question – is this a reflection of the windows or reflections of the street?

Your music moment today is provided by Khôra featuring their track ONE IS THE OTHER from their album Silent Your Body Is Endless on my favorite Canadian Label (Constellation Records).

***The truth of the matter – destroy your illusions – reflections have a way of bending.  And that’s exactly what happened in this image.  As you can see in the photo there is a space between the doors which means they were not sealed tightly shut.  They were bowed out slightly reflecting the sides of the entrance and the street behind.  The doors were bowed out enough to allow me to stand in the crack or space between without being in the reflection.   You can figure out exactly how much if you measure the angle in the reflections which seem to close in behind me.  Also logic tells me (and you hopefully) that there is no entranceway like this that narrows then gets wider as you get closer to the door.  Think of a theater – outside on the sidewalk the entrance is wide and then funnels you into the doors not the other way around.

Bottom line.  I no longer have nightmares about getting lost and disappearing.  I CAN understand, appreciate and enjoy when it does happen.  🙂

… on… knock, knock….

Behind caged bars
restless heart, fearful mind
murmurs of changeKnock Knock

This image is one of the not-so-hidden spaces in downtown Akron.   Just on the other side of this building is South Main St.   And it is adjacent to the Akron Civic Theater.   This entire area has been under a slow renovation for several years.  Just behind me is the popular LOCK 4 of the canal which runs through this area. It is already repurposed as a wonderful outdoor entertainment space with live jazz, blues and gospel over the warmer months.  When I peered though the windows on South Main and between the bars through the cracks in the plywood I did see construction lighting and various clean-up tools as if this structure is under renovation.   I just hope they  don’t tear it down like they’ve done other historic buildings downtown.

Your musical moment to help digest this post is provided by FORQ (yep it’s pronounced fork). The track is titled THE HARD WAY from their self-titled album.

… on… autumn compositions….

Dream a little dream
Live a large life full of love
Die with grace and peace

Pollock Inspired Nature

New blooms in spring
a carnival of life takes flight
Autumn sees it die

River Runs Through It

Grace to suffer
One season flows into another
Life without end

*****todays music moment features Syd Arthur This English band from Canterbury are often described as psychedelic jazz but I think it’s got more of a progressive rock feel.  The band’s name is from Hermann Hesse’s 1922 novel – Siddhartha.  Phonetically similar to Siddhartha the changed spelling to Syd Arthur is a nod to the bands primary influences of Syd Barrett and Arthur Lee.  This track is INTO ETERNITY from their 4th album APRICITY.   Enjoy.

… on… signs of autumn….

No Access

Leaves are Falling

Swimsuits exchanged for flannels

Signs of Autumn

I’ve been a fan of composer, musician Jia Peng Fang (Chinese: 賈鵬芳)
for years. He’s from China and plays a traditional folk instrument called the Erhu (Chinese: 二胡). I find the mournful sound soothing as the Summer drifts quietly and slowly into the sunset and Autumn rises in the cool crisp morning. May this new season bring many blessings to all who read this.

http://www.jia-pengfang.com

***fyi – Artist website is very interesting with great pictures, videos etc –  but only language options are Chinese or Japanese – however, you don’t need to understand the spoke/written language to understand the language of beautiful music – so check it out. 

… on… protest….

Protest songs have always existed in one form or another.  But with advances in technology and a growing expendable cashflow in the 20th century the role of the protest song changed and became popularized and politicized.  Ever since the 60’s and early 70’s protest music has been part of the main stream and has been a unifier of a necessary opposition. That tradition continues even today. Here are some protest songs from…

then…

…and now….

RESIST!

Resistance is NOT futile!

… on… isness….

I just came across a note I had written to myself that read “Stop taking what you call “life” so seriously!!!” I find that I need these reminders to bring me back to what’s real.

The bottom is a place where we can start to separate reality, from our man-made dramas that only exist in our head. When we start to see clearly, we begin to laugh instead of lament. We can enjoy this short journey of life, instead of asking “Why?” or” What do I do now?” or “Is there even a point?” The questions fade, as we no longer need answers because we are only engaged in what “is”.

~ Matt Pryor

Anatomies of Pain #6

Again, natural light. I like the suitcase on the bench. after the aquarium closed this place was used for a time by the Cleveland police department to train police dogs. No doubt sniffing out cocaine hidden in suitcases was on the training agenda. The file cabinets on the left were filled with police files.

… on… my town…

Some new images of my town…. to start the year…

… on creatures in the emotional stratosphere…

We are NOT alone…. even when we think we are someone or something is watching…. get used to it….

River On The Rocks #4Roots Monster

a fitting soundtrack – STRATOSFEAR from the eponymous album by Tangerine Dream. Still one of my favorite TD albums.

…on right left, left right…

Where do you stand? To the left of things or to the right?
I came across this sign while exiting a parking deck(car park). What the signs didn’t tell me is that if I turn right I would only lead to a dead-end and no real exit. I got to thinking about that: Isn’t that the way of the “far right” – always leads to a dead end? So, I think it’s best to be left of center. I have leftist leanings – truth. “You can find me, left of center…”

Story Of Our Lives #46

…on football…

Okay so this is indirectly about football.  No footballs were abused, hurt or damaged for this presentation.

This location in Akron, Ohio USA is called The Rubber Bowl.  It was the football stadium for the University of Akron.  Seating 7,000 souls this stadium was built in 1940 into a hillside – right next to Derby Downs (home of the acclaimed Soap Box Derby World Finals).   This stadium was in use until 2008.  There are rumors and speculations about reviving the stadium and while some events had been planned for here as recently as 2015 they have all been cancelled due to concerns about the condition and safety of this space.

The University of Akron team is known as AKRON ZIPS.  Their mascot is a kangaroo named Zippy which in 2007 won the national competition as MASCOT OF THE YEAR.   Nicknamed the “ROO” you can often see in advertisements and slogans like “Fear The ROO”.

Where did the ZIPS get their name?  Akron was, in it’s heyday, the undisputed “RUBBER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD” as it was home to the largest rubber tire manufacturers; Goodyear, B.F. Goodrich and Firestone.   B.F. Goodrich company also dabbled in side product lines like rubber footwear.  Those footwear lines were known as Goodrich Zippers (sometimes advertised as ZIPPS).  There was a zipper on the top of the shoe/overshoe instead of laces or straps.  There was also supposedly a tire line called zippers by that same company although I have found no evidence for it at this time.   When the University of Akron was searching for a name, in 1927, for their sports teams the name Zippers was proposed – inspired by the footwear line by B.F. Goodrich – and it stuck.  In 1950 it was shortened to ZIPS by the Athletic Director for the University.

A personal connection:  I played (alternately) trumpet and tuba in my high school marching band.  During my junior and senior year (Fall 1976 – Spring 1978) in high school our band traveled to the Rubber Bowl for a regional marching band competition.  This usually happened in the spring.   While we never won – I did come away with a fierce impression of this place being extremely windy and cold.   The day I took this photos (May 15, 2016) was no exception.  In fact, we actually had snow later in the day with temps in the mid/low 30’s F.    The day of this post is a different matter entirely.  Since May 27th we have had temps in the high 80’s F.

***The two previous posts featured some of the graffiti currently found in this location.


….on poetica….

This image was taken recently at the abandoned football stadium known as the AKRON RUBBER BOWL. I’ll have some more shots of the stadium itself in the next couple of days.

Rubber Bowl 10 smlr

….on re-texting our lives….

More in the ongoing series of images of signs….. today a side-by-side view of the same image.  Only one word is changed.  You already know my fascination, interest, obsession with textual content in images and art.

Well since I’ve switched to B&W.  This obsession has been renewed and re-imagined.
I’ve started one series called THE STORY OF OUR LIVES which is simply just photographs of signs with the idea that signs tell our life story.
What do signs mean?   What do they tell us? How do they control us? etc.
I’ve since started a new series which is a spin-off of that.   The new series is about re-texting our lives.    In this new series I am actually re-wording the signs I photograph typically just one word.  The previous 3 images I’ve posted are part of this series.  How does one word change the meaning of a sign?  What happens when we mis-read a sign (thinking it says one thing when it actually says another)?  How much attention to we pay toward signs anyway?  Are signs just the ignored art of our time?

….. on snow…..

I’ve said many times before that Winter is my all-time favorite season…. and I do get a annoyed with people who are always complaining about the snow and the cold.   This winter has been pretty disappointing so far because even though it’s been cold (colder than normal by some reports) there’s been relatively little snow or ice.  There have been many warm-ups. So when we get a trace of snow – usually by the next day the temps have warmed, or it rains and the snow is gone.  Well, finally that past two weeks we had some actual measurable snow ending with 6+ inches on the ground by Tuesday morning last week.  Of course Thursday saw temps rise into the 40’s(F) and then Friday and Saturday and today saw temps between 60-70 degrees(F).    So needless to say, all that beautiful snow is all gone.  But…on the positive side… I was finally able to get out and about for some winter shots while the snow was here.   A few which may be used for my Christmas/holiday cards this year.  So since these may be the only snow shot’s I get this year I hope you enjoy them.   Which would be your favorite to see on a Christmas card?

(p.s. after you click play on the video – scroll back up and click on the first image you will be able to see larger versions while the music is playing)

Naturally I have to have a “soundtrack” for these images and my thoughts on Winter so here is “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind” – words by William Shakespeare and music By John Rutter.  Performed by Julie Gaulke and Simone Lo Castro.

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most freindship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

….on dirty ice….

So I decided to play up the notion of dirty ice. Four images that I envision presented in the following manner. Definitely work viewing in full screen (in my opinion).

Dirty Ice I - IV smlr

… on “thin ice”…

As many of you know visually, I “see” in abstract.   It’s just the way my mind works.  Some people see gorgeous sweeping mind altering landscapes but I like to get to the “nitty-gritty” of things.   Looking at the common in a way that makes people stop, question, and consider what they are looking at and how they feel about it.

Abstraction is often confused with surrealism but it is not the same thing.  Surrealism, in my opinion has more to do with pictorialism.  Surrealism shows easily recognizable things in fantastical setting[s] setting up uncommon and at times illogical relationships.  Abstraction on the other hand tends to zoom in on details to the point that the viewer is not sure what they are looking at.  It purposefully alters either in presentation, or creative manipulates the subject to the point of no return focusing on shapes, lines, patterns and spaces which results in more of an emotional/psychological connection for the viewer.  Even if the viewer dismisses the work as balderdash, crap, f’d up, worthless, pointless, etc,  they still have had an emotional response to the work.

The two series I am posting today are examples of my abstract way of seeing nature.  This latest project focuses on images from a frozen lake.  This first series involves subtle manipulation of the image by increasing contrast, desaturating color etc.  It consists of 6 images simply titled Lake Ice #1 – #6.

The second series is the result of trying to figure out what to do with the “bad photos” from that frozen adventure.  I always try to salvage my so-called bad images.  And that salvage process usually involves manipulating them to the point of oblivion.  This series is titled LAKE ICE EXTREME #1-#9 and tells us some valuable things.

  1. There are more “bad” photos than good ones (that’s why there’s 9 in this series and only 6 in the previous series.)

  2. The acronym for this series is L.I.E.  which basically says that what you are looking at is a lie of the mind caused by extreme manipulation of crop, color and exposure.

  3. While you may not recognize what you are seeing; I think we need to ask ourselves, “What is missing?”, “Does what’s missing matter?”, “Out of sight, out of mind?”, and “How does this increase or change our understanding of nature and the world around us?”  And those are questions each individual has to answer for themselves.

  4. Other considerations are “Why square?” – I was able to crop out a lot of the unmanageable parts of the image and the square crop helps us center our focus (in this instance).

  5. Color is a tricky thing.  If I’d left it natural they all would have been a dirty blue with some brownish tones and white.  When I decided to change the color to make the image a little more disorienting  I was surprised to find that each individual image had its color preference.  For example if the image is green (as in #) it’s because that’s the only color that “felt” right.  Honestly the red/purple/blue/yellow options just didn’t fit.   I always find it amazing how once you get started  the artwork seems to dictate it’s own color palette.   I’m curious if painters and other artists feel the same.

  6. I also envision these 9 images displayed together in the following configuration.

    (you can “right click” then open in a “new tab” to view larger versions of individual images for more details.)

…..on recently….

…one morning while in a foggy state of mind….I wandered the local hills as nature gave visual credence to my mood….in the fog when thoughts are distilled into the fine wine of wisdom, courage and faith….preparing one for action….

[fyi: after you click play for the music – if you right click on the first photo and open in new tab you can view larger versions while the music plays]