palm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 25, 2012 by schwitters57

tall grasses

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 17, 2012 by schwitters57

Kauai: A Photographic Tour of the north shore

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by schwitters57

The Hawaiian islands are so completely exotic and alien to the rest of America that it’s hard to describe what might be the most compelling element.  I loved the odd symmetry that you find in the leaves of plants – the flowers that are as big as your hand.

When its not sunny and beautiful, it’s gray and moody.  The clouds constantly encroach, creating an ever changing backdrop of weather possibilities. Best of all, the islands are roughly 2,500 miles away from any continent.  You are just out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Francisco: a photographic visit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by schwitters57

Golden Gate Park in early morning when the fog is everywhere. This park is a unbelievably  beautiful. The landscaping and tree specimens are hand-picked and scrupulously maintained.  It was created in the 1890’s and stretches from the Pacific Ocean into the center of San Francisco.  Visiting the park is a great way to get to know the city.

 

 

The Conservatory of Flowers

 

 

The Carroussl at the Children’s Playground

 

 

Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

The dome of City Hall

 

 

Interior shot of the dome

 

 

The staircase in the main hall

 

 

Golden Gate Park spider web

 

 

don’t know these flowers

 

 

Nasturtiums

 

 

 

Japanese Tea Garden

 

 

Budda

 

Tidal pool abstracts

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 31, 2012 by schwitters57

To walk to Queens Bath on the north shore of the island of Kauai, you must cross a huge stretch of tidal pools along the shore.  Each pool is its own little world, very different from the next pool just an inch away.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 24, 2012 by schwitters57

check this out!

Diane Arbus: March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 20, 2012 by schwitters57

 

When I was eleven or twelve years old, someone gave me a copy of Matthew Brady’s photographs of the civil war.  They were absolutely fascinating–grotesque and riveting all at once.  It seemed quite profound to me that I could look so intently at the dead–and not just those who actually were dead, but all of those men staring back at the camera, making a connection across time with those who looked back.  I read somewhere about aboriginal peoples refusing to allow their pictures to be taken for fear that one’s image was indelibly connected to one’s soul, and one’s soul would be consumed by the camera.  Captured, as it were.  What an absolutely wonderful notion.  And why not?  It could be argued that the most beautiful among us are, in fact captured by cameras, by mirrors, seduced by their own beauty.

 

The next photographer to catch my attention was Diane Arbus.  Her work is very much straight on photography.  It’s in black and white, although I’m surprised that Ms. Arubs did not work in color, because her subjects were all about color.  Interestingly, she chose to work within a square frame, using a medium format camera.  Composing inside a square is much harder than composing within a rectangle.  It’s simply more forgiving. There is less space to work with, and  composition has got to be exacting for the image to be successful. While Ms. Arbus’ photographs were  presented in such a straight-forward style, the images themselves were anything but ordinary.  Dwarfs, giants, mentally challenged . . . the grotesque was  what she chose to portray.  To see an image of her, a delicately beautiful woman, you have to wonder what had happened in her life to draw her to this sordid fascination.

 

 

 

 

Norman Mailer was quoted in 1971, the year that Ms. Arbus took her own life,  as saying “Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.”  Had Norman seen this photograph?

 

 

The images that spoke directly to me are the children playing on the grounds of an institution:

 

 

 

 

And especially this picture:

 

Arbus experienced “depressive episodes” during her life similar to those experienced by her mother, and the episodes may have been worsened by symptoms of hepatitis Arbus wrote in 1968 “I go up and down a lot”, and her ex-husband noted that she had “violent changes of mood.”  On July 26, 1971, while living at  Westbeth Artists Community in New York City,  Arbus took her own life by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor.  Marvin Israel found her body in the bathtub two days later; she was 48 years old.  (Taken from the Wikipedia Website)