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single woman # 32 / tourist picture (single cat) ~ one of these things is not like the other

diner and a screen ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
our cat, Edison-Ron, enjoys the view (iPhone picture) ~ Newcomb, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 03:39PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

ku # 1314 / diptych # 159 ~ back in our real world

late day light / birch ~ Rist Camp / Newcomb, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
PM / AM views from porch ~ Rist Camp / Newcomb, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

After dealing with the NorthEast interstate madness (Mass. / N.J. / PA.) for the better part of 14 days, Rist Camp is the perfect soothing / restorative tonic for regaining one's senses. In fact, when returning from Philadelphia on Sunday PM, a cheer (accompanied by clapping) went up from those (Hugo, The Cinemascapist, and The Landscapist) in the car as we crossed the Blue Line into the Adirondacks. The Cinemascapist was also heard to explain that "living in the Adirondacks has spoiled me living in or around a big city". Ditto from me.
Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 10:14AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis | CommentsPost a Comment

civilized ku # 2966-67 ~ chillin' out

rink waif ~ Marlborough, MA. • click to embiggen
The wife and the fireplace ~ Rist Camp / Newcomb, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Returned from hockey tournament in Philadelphia directly to Rist Camp, my primary residence for the next 5 weeks. I will be driving to my real home in the next 2 days to fetch my computer and accessories so I can work and post entries. Back at you soon.
Posted on Monday, August 17, 2015 at 04:15PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

ku # 1309-13 / diptych # 158 ~ can you hear what I hear? can you see what I see?

tidal mash ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
surf ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
same dune - different lenses / light ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen

In yesterday's entry I linked to an essay by JÖRG M. COLBERG in which he emphasized his desire to view pictures which create a "dialogue". That is, by his definition, "... the dialogue someone’s work has (or attempts to have) with everything else."

What I infer from that statement is that Colberg is looking to find a meaning which is implied / suggested beyond the obvious literal observation of a picture's referent - what Roland Barthes deemed as a picture's punctum: the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. OR, what I describe as a picture's illuminative quality (as opposed to its illustrative quality).

Much has been written about a picture's meaning, its illusiveness, its malleability, and, in the case of the academic lunatic fringe, its preeminence (meaning over visual) in the act of picture making. While I place absolutely no stock in the ALF's preoccupation / fetish, re: meaning, I certainly agree with notions of meaning to be found in a picture as illusive and malleable.

All of that written, I have a question .... it seems to be a significant part of the human condition to look / search for meaning (why are we here / what's the meaning of life, etc.). In light of that fact, it would appear that many bring that approach to the medium of photography. But the thought occurs to me that perhaps we are asking too much of the medium when it comes to the idea of meaning. Which thought does by no means that I believe meaning in pictures is not possible.

In fact, I still and always will believe that the best pictures are those which, in addition to their visual merits, ask questions and/or introduce the viewer to something (s)he finds challenging and/or thought provoking to at least some extent. How far one can take that idea, re: deliberately creating intended meaning in a picture (the WOW factor really doesn't qualify as meaning), is, IMO, open to very legitimate question (other than pure outright propaganda).

And, of course, no matter the picture maker's intent, meaning wise, the viewer can assign to a picture any meaning (or none at all) (s)he can conjure up inasmuch as what the viewer gets out of a picture is very dependent upon what that viewer brings to the picture viewing table. After all, stupid is as stupid does, and, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art.

FYI, in the same dune diptych the pictures were made from about the same vantage point but with different lenses. They were made approximately 45-60 minutes apart. The sky over the ocean at the beach can change rather quickly.

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 09:05AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

tourist picture / civilized ku # 2965 / diptych # 157 ~ conversation / dialogue

clan picture makers ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
bike ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
late day beach haze ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen

Just read a good opinion essay, The Conversation of Photography, on Conscientious Photography Magazine. The essay is a good read and addresses issues that will probably be of interest to many.

Issues such as: "... so many genres of photography have become so stale", and "Contemporary photography has become too comfortable ...", and "... it can’t just be a rehash of things we’ve seen a gazillion times already ...", "What I’m interested in instead is the dialogue someone’s work has (or attempts to have) with everything else."

IMO, the essay has a good deal of food for thought.

civilized ku # 2951-64 / people ~ some things are worth saving / a lament

my favorite ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
new neighborhood / old neighborhood ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
new "cottages" ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
traditional cottages ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
friendly people ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen

Let me state my bias right from the start ... the top picture in this entry is one which depicts my all-time favorite Jersey Shore rental (after 20 years of rentals).

As I have written on many Jersey Shore entries over the past 20 years, one of the things that I most dislike about the place is the creeping conspicuous consumption (aka: nothing exceeds like excess) which is, IMO, destroying the physical infrastructure of an earlier era of beach culture. The infrastructure to which I am referring is that of the traditional shore vacation cottage.

Every year, more and more traditional cottages are being leveled and replaced by extravagant McMansions. Structures which seem to have little to do with beach culture as opposed to the drive / need to demonstrate that, metaphorically writing, my dick is bigger than your dick.

That written, my question is this ... what is it about the ultra-wealthy that causes them to not understand and appreciate the notion of simple pleasures? Why must everything in their lives be so over-the-top? And, in the case of the shore culture, why, in their drive for conspicuous consumption, do they not appreciate the "indigenous culture" of the places that they so eagerly and thoughtlessly bulldoze out of existence?

It wouldn't surprise me if, sometime down the road, someone / some agency decides to preserve the last remaining vestige of a traditional cottage street as an outdoor museum of sorts. A place where the despoilers can remark about how "quaint" things once were at the shore. Although, most likely, to a person, they will also be pleased that, thank goodness, it isn't like that anymore and wonder how anyone could possibly manage to live / vacation like that.

I would be remiss in not relating that, during my walkabout while making these pictures, the only place there were people on the streets and porches were in those neighborhoods comprised of traditional shore cottages. The "rich" enclaves were devoid of any traces of human outdoor activity. Apparently they have no interest in mingling with the hoi polloi.

The 2 people in the friendly people picture actually took the initiative in starting a conversation with me*. I learned from the woman that their traditional cottage (albeit renovated) was purchased by her mother in the early 50s. And assuming (a valid assumption gleaned from the conversation), that the other person on the porch is her son, it is encouraging to think that their shore tradition might survive for at least one more generation. Perhaps even more, inasmuch as the visible evidence of children on the premise (absolutely no evidence of the same in the "rich" enclaves) suggests that there may be hope for even another generation of survival for a traditional shore cottage.

Then again, there's always the possibility that some despoiler will show up at their door with an outrageous wad of cash and make them an offer they can't refuse.

* I can only imagine the "conversation" I might have encountered if one the despoilers had seen me picturing their structure.
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 09:48AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

ku # 1308 / diptych # 155 / kitchen sink # 32 ~ back home and the sink is calling my name

dune ~ Stone harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
night ~ Stone harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
leaf and fly ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Back home from the Jersey Shore for a short stay. Thursday, it's off to Philadelphia for a hockey tournament and from there it's back to Rist Camp for our annual 5 week sojourn. So, instead of unpacking we're washing stuff and repacking it.

While at the Jersey Shore, I am usually out and abound late in the day when the heat has reached (for me) a tolerable temperature (playing golf is the only exception to the rule). Around the six o'clock hour the beach is practically deserted, usually the light is getting interesting, and the time is right for making beach pictures. Hence the dune picture in this entry.

Maybe next year I'll get up early and explore / picture the early morning light. I'm certain that that light will be interesting and the beach quite deserted as well. Although, getting up early after a party each night (the clan doesn't know when to call it quits) might be a bit of stretch. Then again, next year Hugo and I will getting our own little cottage so that we will be able to take breaks away from the maddening crowd.

triptych # 21 / pano / ku # 1307 / civilized ku # 2950 ~ the end is nigh

RGB swimming ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
Kelleher family migration to beach for clan picture ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
dune top ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen
poolside moment ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • click to embiggen

It was Woody Allen who said (in the movie, Sleeper):

"I'm what you would call a teleological, existential atheist. I believe that there's an intelligence to the universe, with the exception of certain parts of New Jersey."

I have no doubt that I'm in one of those "certain parts of New Jersey" of which Allen was speaking. That's why I am so grateful that, in 12 hours, I'm outa here and on my way back to civilization where I'm fairly certain there will be at least a minimal amount of intelligence.