counter customizable free hit
About This Website

This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

>>>> Comments, commentary and lively discussions, re: my writings or any topic germane to the medium and its apparatus, are vigorously encouraged.

Search this site
Recent Topics
Journal Categories
Archives by Month

Photography Directory by PhotoLinks

Powered by Squarespace




In Situ ~ la, la, how the life goes onLife without the APADoorsKitchen SinkRain2014 • Year in ReviewPlace To SitART ~ conveys / transports / reflectsDecay & DisgustSingle WomenPicture WindowsTangles ~ fields of visual energy (10 picture preview) • The Light + BW mini-galleryKitchen Life (gallery) • The Forks ~ there's no place like home (gallery)


civilized ku # 4009 ~ here, there and seemingly every where

nifty little building as seen through a dirty window ~Albany, New York • click to embiggen

Yesterday, Saratoga - the wife for the races, golf form me - then on to Albany for over night - the wife had Federal Court case. Back to Saratoga after court - the wife goes to the NYC Ballet performance, I buy a shirt, cigars, drink scotch and kill time waiting for The Cinemascapist and Hugo to arrive after which we will pick up the wife and proceed to Boston for, you guessed it, hockey.

More pictures from Albany / Saratoga tomorrow after the 8am hockey game.

Ireland / Scotland # 42-43 ~ RAW FILES / In Search of the Perfect Picture

Amsterdam airport ~ Amsterdam, Netherlands • click to embiggen
View / Dunottar Castle ~ Stonehaven, Scotland • click to embiggen

During our departure from Scotland - airports and all - the wife picked up a book, RAW SPIRIT ~ In Search of the Perfect Dram, for me to read. A book which I wish I had read before our trip but one which is driving our return to Scotland next year to rent a castle and visit the Western Highlands and islands.

The book (non-fiction) in question, by Iain Banks* is ostensibly about Banks' quest for "the perfect dram", or, if you prefer, the perfect single malt whisky (aka: scotch). However, while Banks - a Scot with a taste and a hankerin' for the "water of life" - does visit many of the distilleries of Scotland and gives the reader his opinions on their whisky expressions, his other musings on subjects such as cars, politics, personal anecdotes (lots of high jinks) and travels around Scotland comprise the larger share of the books's pages. I found it to be a very enjoyable read and it led directly to my purchase of the single malt which impressed Banks the most (fyi, there is no "perfect dram" in his opinion), 21-year-old Glenfiddich Gran Reserva.

That written, in addition to being the inducement for a return trip to Scotland, it is also the inspiration (and final kick in the butt) for a project I am have been kicking around for quite some time - writing a book about photography.

I have been kicking this can down the road for quite a while due to the fact that I had not been able to come up with a schtick - an approach to the writing style - for the book. I most certainly did not want to write a how-to book, gear book, or any other such trope. And while a monograph of my biggest hits has a certain appeal, I considered that approach to be rather impractical for a number of reasons.

Enter RAW SPIRIT ~ In Search of the Perfect Dram....

Reading that book made me realize - not that I didn't know this before - in a very vivid manner that I have had a very interesting life in photography. Like, who would have thought that I would stand in front of an elephant with my arm up to the elbow in her closed mouth, or, having a (different) elephant roll over to vacate its bowels, or, that I would ever learn how to hypnotize a chicken, all in the name of making pictures ... to name just a very few of my who-would-have-thought commercial picture making activities.

Then there was the almost serendipitous manner in which I discovered the medium and somewhat unconventional path I took to learning it. Like, say, my time spent as the personal photographer to a US Army 2-star general.

And, as anyone who has followed The Landscapist over the years knows, I have had much to IMO write about the photography medium and its apparatus. Amongst many, topics ranging from reviews of gallery exhibits / picture books, picture making genres (very opinionated), and other miscellaneous musings about pictures, picture making and a few things technical. My blog is a veritable treasure trove of material waiting to be rummaged through and edited into a cohesive (yet rambling) whole.

The thought which has also been planted (by the wife), writing schtick wise, is that I - like Banks' travels around Scotland - hang the whole thing around my wanderings around The Adirondacks in search of the perfect picture - a travelogue component.

Last, but certainly not least, the book would be illustrated with many of my "perfect" pictures.

So there you have it. To be certain, it's a challenging and time intensive endeavor. However, I won't stop making pictures and I won't stop posting entries (on my about to be launched new-version Squarespace platform).

*A Scottish author. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. In 2008, The Times named Banks in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

Ireland / Scotland ~ fait accompli

Ireland book ~ • click to embiggen
Scotland book ~ • click to embiggen
Outtakes book ~ • click to embiggen

Done at last, done at last. Thank the picture gods, I'm done at last ... or least I think so*.

After what seemed like a blurry-eyed eternity, I have finished processing pictures from our Ireland and Scotland trip. The books are finished and ready for printing - I am waiting for the next 50% off sale at Shutterfly. Otherwise the books,in total, would cost approximately $350USD. The next sale should start by the middle of next week.

Fyi, the books are 8×8 as opposed to my 'normal' 10×10 size. I wanted the finished products to look and feel more like picture albums rather than as books.

Also fyi, here's the project by the numbers ...

The pictures:

  • 1946 - total pictures made on trip
  • 545 - pictures processed
  • 345 - final pictures
  • 239 - pictures in books

The books:

  • 100 pgs / 95 pictures - Ireland book
  • 94 pgs / 91 pictures - Scotland book
  • 59 pgs / 53 pictures - Outtakes book
*It might not be over yet inasmuch as I am thinking about challenging myself, editing wise, by trying to make Ireland / Scotland books edited down to 1/3 - 1/2 the number of pictures - just to see it can be done successfully. The wife will be the judge of that.

civilized ku # 4008 ~ not my usual cup of tea

sunny Sunday ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Sometimes you have to step out of the box in order to say what you want to say.

In the case of today's entry picture, the box I have stepped out of is that of my normal M.O. of processing my pictures to be full-range - no blown highlights / no blocked up shadows) - pictures. With the sunny Sunday picture I deliberately made and processed the file with the intention of lettings the highlight area be blown out / feature-less in order to represent the sensation of entering the porch space and having to squint while my eyes adjusted to the very bright light streaming in the porch doors.

This picturing M.O. is something I have been contemplating undertaking as a project, perhaps under the title of bright light(s). Still not sure if I want to venture off into the picture making land of feelings and sensations (as opposed to straight picture making).

BTW, it's appropriate that I post a picture of flowers inasmuch as I am judging a flower photo competition later today.

kitchen sink # 35 ~ life can be messy

pie goop with fork ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen


triptych # 26-28 / civilized ku # 4007 (ku-ish) ~ neither Ireland nor Scotland

before the storm ~ Mineville, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
porches ~ Mineville, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
porches ~ Mineville, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
various things ~ Mineville, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Lest you think that I have given up making pictures in my own backyard (so to write), there are these recently made (last evening) pictures to contemplate.

It is certainly true that I have not been out and about much over the past few weeks due in large part to the task of working my way through the Ireland / Scotland picture mound o' pictures. However, yesterday I sent out the files for the Ireland book which should be in my hands by next Wednesday. So, that's half a load off my mind and back. Hence, more time to get out and about ....

.... like yesterday evening when the wife convinced me to accompany her to a board meeting in the middle-of-nowhere Mineville (along Lake Champlain about an hour drive from home). Part of the deal was to include dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (it was my birthday after all) which is located about half way back toward home.

In any event, I had about 45 minutes to kill while the wife attended to business. She suggested that I bring a book. I countered with the idea of making pictures, of what I wasn't certain but, quite frankly, if you can't make pictures wherever you are, maybe you should take up finger painting. And, immediately after dropping the wife off, my eye and sensibilities was struck with a number of porches, all of which had flowers and some other decorative accoutrements.

So, even with the inclusion a 15 minute deluge delay, I managed to make picture making hay while the sun (didn't) shined. Next time I'm in the Mineville area, I would like to add another 12 or so pictures to the collection. Or, maybe it's time for a picture making specific outing.

Ireland / Scotland # 39-41 ~ mixing it up

dusk ~ Pennan, Scotland • click to embiggen

dusk ~ Pennan, Scotland • click to embiggen

dusk ~ Pennan, Scotland • click to embiggen

Making pictures at/during dusk is one of my favorite picture making time of day. The key for me is mixing daylight with artificial / made-made light. Although, the window for that combination of light is quite brief so it really helps to have a good idea about what it is you wish to picture.


Ireland / Scotland # 36-38 ~ on and on it goes ...

Amsterdam airport ~ Amsterdam, Netherlands • click to embiggen
Caledonian Sleeper dining/club car ~ on the rails, Scotland • click to embiggen
cleaning house / Granny Kate's Cottage ~ Ardara, Donegal, Scotland • click to embiggen

The end is almost in sight. 201 Ireland / Scotland final pictures and about 50 more to completion. However, it's starting to feel like it will never end.