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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

Last Weak  |  Index  |  Next Weak

Weak XVI

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16 April 2017

gratuitous image

No. 461 (cartoon)

Sometimes I feel so stupid.

Only sometimes?

17 April 2017

Almost Killed by a Newspaper

When I was a twelve-year-old Boy Scout, one of my job descriptions was to help little old ladies cross the street. Or maybe that’s just a popular myth. In any case, I never helped anyone of any gender cross any thoroughfare.

My, how times have changed.

These days, I save the life of perhaps one person a week on average. It’s always the same person: someone who’s mesmerized by a hand-held glowing screen and oblivious to traffic.

Today, things changed. I pulled an elderly Chinese man from the path of a speeding delivery truck. He wasn’t looking at some electronic device; he was walking into a busy intersection with his face buried in a newspaper.

Almost killed by a newspaper! Imagine that ...

18 April 2017

(1+1)>10

Stephanie said she loved Keith Richards’ response to the question of whether he or bandmate Ronnie Wood was the better guitar player.

“We’re both pretty lousy, but together we’re better than ten others.”

That sounds like a very romantic notion, but it’s one I can’t appreciate. In every other aspect of my life I love collaboration and partnership, but when it comes to creative pursuits I find the idea of anything other than being selfishly in complete control to be anathema.

When it comes to art, I can get what I want.

19 April 2017

The First Ten-Thousand Photographs

Once upon a time, Henri Cartier-Bresson opined, “Your first ten thousand photographs are your worst.” Given the period in photographic history, he was probably referring to putting two hundred and seventy-eight rolls of film through a Leica or perhaps eight hundred and thirty-four rolls of film through a Rolleiflex.

It’s a nice quote, but the number is off by at least an order of magnitude in the era of digital photography. I’ve made over a thousand photographs before noon while testing a shutter, and the latest still camera can make ten thousand exposures in less than seven hours.

I don’t think there are any reliable formulae for creative growth, but I have noticed that I rarely see a good photograph by anyone over the age of six that’s been made by anyone who hasn’t been working assiduously for a least a decade.

20 April 2017

Hope Springs Eternal!

The average distance from the Earth to the Sun is about five hundred light-seconds. In practice, that means the sun could have exploded eight minutes ago and I wouldn’t know about it for another twenty seconds or so.

That fact comforted this morning when I did something so incredibly stupid that I found solace in the possibility that I might be momentarily immolated.

Hope springs eternal!

21 April 2017

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A Pale Imitation

The evil corporate tycoons who discontinued Rainier Ale a year ago have marketed a new adult beverage with a similar name, Rainier Pale Mountain Ale. It’s a cruel hoax, a scam, a travesty, a crime against culture, a fraud, a con, a cheat, and worse.

I could go on, and I will.

The perfidious swindlers reduced the alcohol content by over twenty-five percent, doubled the price, and replaced the lightweight aluminum cans with heavy glass bottles unsuitable for hiking or cycling. The alleged brew was designed by accountants to please investors, and has no relationship whatsoever with the real, extinct Rainier Ale.

A pox on imposters! Feh.

Rainier Ale is dead, long live Rainier Ale!

22 April 2017

Another Afternoon Wasted

Two or three weeks ago I wasted an afternoon researching the best way to digitize my old prints and negatives before concluding that I’d probably never go back to archiving and publishing the fine photographs—if I do say so myself—I made decades ago.

This afternoon I did either better or worse, depending on one’s perspective.

I saw a lovely Linhof view camera for sale at what appeared to be a very low price, and I remembered how beautiful a contact print is. I looked around and found that I’d come across a very good deal. I went on to check on film and paper prices and was shocked by how expensive conventional analog photography is. Each exposure costs at least a couple of dollars. (Actually, double that since I need to make a duplicate exposure in case one negative gets damaged.)

And then there’s the darkroom. Ah, the darkroom. Each print requires several tests; that takes a long time. For example, since photographic paper gets darker when it’s dry, I have to use a toaster to see how the final print will look. When I finally arrive at the right exposure, I then have to spend at least an hour and a half running the print through various chemical baths, washing, and drying the precious object.

The precious print is the problem as well as the solution: what do I do with this lovely little piece of paper? I scan it and put the digital image on the Internet, that’s what.

I enjoyed wasting the afternoon with literally selenium-toned fantasies; it was a pleasant waste of time and a reminder of why I haven’t been in a darkroom in over a quarter of a century.

Here’s the punch line: I have a wonderful Sinar view camera in a box less than a couple of meters away; I haven’t even seen it in years.

23 April 2017

The Three Things About Chilies

I just read a twenty-nine hundred word extract from Bob Holmes’ book, Extracted from Flavor: A User’s Guide to Our Most Neglected Sense.

Yawn.

Here’s my summary: people who like chilies appreciate the taste, smell, and warmth. That’s about it.

I just saved you about fifteen minutes of reading; that’s plenty of time to make a habañero quesadilla and enjoy it with a beer or two.

Scorchio!

Stare.

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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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