Upon almost every visit to my Grandmother, she would hand us a photo album, and tell us "You have never seen this one before". There were about five albums stored under her TV, and yes, we had seen all of them. She loved to narrate the album, but in a rather singular way: "He's dead, she's dead, he's dead, he's dead, he's dead, she's dead, she's dead". Occasionally, she would stick in a statement of "He wanted to marry me" (ever want to find someone and say "You don't know how good your life has been?"), but mostly, it was the life state of the people in the picture, and since she was in her 90s, most of them are dead. We never got names or stories.
O.k., some people consider looking through other people's pictures Less Than Exciting. Most of these pictures, however, I think will be of interest or at least curiosity to many people, at least those who manage to find these pages.
First of all, me. This was taken in the Summer of 1998. I was going to satisfy my Ice Cream urge, and one of the girls who worked at the Dairy Queen across the street rather unexpectedly announced that I was one of their favorite customers, and pulled out a camera, and took my picture, and had it hanging up in their window (along with a lot of other people's pictures, I wish to add) all summer, but she also gave me a copy.
Now, here are some baby pictures of a child I call "Leena The Cute". She is the daughter of my friend Suhair and her husband, Steve. This is one remarkably cute child.
These pictures were taken with my "new" Mamiya C220, a medium format Twin Lens Reflex camera, not that you can see any of the remarkable picture quality of this camera through the Internet. The first batch is from my first roll of film through the Mamiya, and the results were so remarkable, the day after getting the film back from the processor, I purchased something like $600 of accessories.
On this occasion, Suhair and I had gone out for lunch. We jokingly referred to it as Leena's First Date. Suhair took this picture to bug Leena with when she reaches the teenage years. As you can see, we were holding hands on the first date. Both Suhair and Steve decided her first date was a lot less stressful than they would have guessed.
Then, I broke out my camera...
Leena1 - First picture. Leena is about 5 months old in these pictures.
Leena2 - Suhair dressed Leena up. Observation: Leena doesn't like to be dressed up!
Leena3 - Leena still playing along with us.
Leena3a - Closer-up: LOOK AT THOSE EYES!
Leena4 - She's getting tired of the fancy clothes and the flash.
Leena4a - LOOK AT THOSE EYES!
Leena5 - Much better. Back in "street" clothes, and not only looking cute, but also happy!
A month or two later, I took the following pictures
Leena6 - This is Leena and her grandfather. Leena: 6 mo. Her grandfather, Lafi, turned 80 years old that day.
Leena7 - A close-up of Leena-The-Cute, demonstrating that one should always remember the 1.5" of parallax on a TLR. Not visible in the scan is the detail the photograph shows of Leena's denim coveralls. That camera is incredible.
Leena8 - Leena and Suhair, her mother.
LGMamiya - Many people would think me crazy for doing this picture in any way but with Photoshop and a scanner, but this is the Real Thing. After noticing how gentle Leena was with things she was looking at, I put a defective lens on my Mamiya C220, and handed it to her. This picture is the result. Damage done to the camera: A couple finger prints on a broken lens. It was very much worth the chance. The only "disrespect" she showed the camera was to gently push it over, as she wanted to see the bottom, too. (Picture taken with Minolta X700)
Ah, if only I had my camera! But wait! I did have my (at the time) new digital camera! After a little fumbling for the camera, then pulling over to the right lane to let the truck catch back up to me, I managed to take these lousy pictures. I show these pictures not to demonstrate my skill with a camera, but rather to show someone's wonderful sense of humor. Forgive the picture quality, but first priority was safe driving, not composition. And come to think of it, I'm not sure of a really good way to photograph something as small as a toy 'dozer on the back of something as big as a 60ft. flat bed trailer and really make it work. (perhaps medium format, blown up to 10x8, feet, not inches...
- Picture of the 'Dozer on the back of the trailer
Tonka2.jpg - Picture of the truck and trailer. There's a dot there on the trailer, that's the Tonka.
Tonka3.jpg - Rotten picture shot out the passenger side, but it shows the bulldozer.
Tonka4.jpg - After I pulled exited the freeway to go to a client, the truck followed me out the exit, and I managed to get one last picture at a traffic light, probably the best of the bunch.
Many years later, a friend shows me
I'd love to say the following picture was the result of being prepared for anything. It wasn't. Actually, I was just taking pictures of my parent's cat, Shadow, and unknown to me, I got a classic. I didn't realize what I had until I got my pictures back from the processor. I sat and laughed in the car for several minutes when I saw it, too. I managed to get a picture of Shadow telling me exactly what she thought of getting her picture taken.
(Click the kitty to see a bigger view)
August 7, 1997, when driving up the 11 Mile Rd. exit ramp from I-696, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye which looked a little strange: The yellow stripe and a board in the road. Now, that's not necessarily strange, but this yellow stripe didn't go UNDER the board, like it should, but instead our hardworking road crews simply painted OVER the board laying in the road. I went back with my camera and took the following pictures:
BOARD1.JPG -- The board in place
BOARD2.JPG -- Another view
BOARD3.JPG -- The board removed, showing that yes, the paint was NOT on the road!
I picked the board off the road, and still have it as a unique conversation piece. I'm trying to figure out if I did a public service by picking trash off the roadway, or if my picking up the board with the road paint on it was defacing the road markings, and thus some sort of crime.
I have to wonder what would have happened if it were a dead possum in the road. They still probably would have painted it. I, however, would NOT have picked it up and taken it home.
(new) After I wrote that, a friend of mine sent me this picture. Warning! Don't click there if you are excessively squeamish or easily nauseated. No idea where it came from, who took it, where they took it, etc. Can't even vouch for its authenticity. Ah, well. You will note the apparent city and state text on the picture -- problem is, I have seen the same picture WITHOUT the added text some time before this version was sent to me. The picture also shows more trees than I would have guessed as common in Arizona.
Under the category "Let's Experiment", Mike's makeup was glow-in-the-dark stuff. I, of course, have several black lights, so I wanted to see how photographing the glowing makeup would turn out under black light. Answer: Better than expected...
MIKE-BL.JPG (lit ONLY with a black light -- very long exposure, I'm surprised it is as non-blurred as it is. Credit for exposure is completely due to my Minolta X-700... I had little to do with it other than hitting the button).
MIKE-BLN.JPG (lit with a mix of black light and "normal" light.)
As many know, Halloween is my favorite holiday, or at least it was until I moved to a house where the kids won't come. So, my mother does most of the Halloween stuff in the family now, and I go over to my parent's to hand out candy. Mom outdid her self, yet again, this year. Here is a picture I took Halloween night, 1997. Have I ever mentioned my love of high-power flash (through a long, convoluted path, my quest for an electronic flash lead to my life in computers)? This shot was made in total darkness with my Metz 202. Note one of the down-sides of high-power electronic flash -- it pumps out so much light that the infamous ability to "stop motion" is limited -- the white blurs on the picture are raindrops... it was raining all day. I expected the raindrops would be more "sharp"... wrong.