Weblog Archives




  Saturday   April 9   2005

the end of democracy

The Big Fix

Let's face the facts. The game is over and we -- the "reality-based community," the believers in genuine democracy and law, the heirs of Jefferson and Madison, Emerson and Thoreau, the toilers and dreamers, all those who seek to rise above the beast within and shape the brutal chaos of existence into something higher, richer and imbued with meaning -- have lost. The better world we thought had been won out of the blood and horror of history -- a realm of enlightenment that often found its best embodiment in the ideals and aspirations of the American Republic -- is gone. It's been swallowed by darkness, by ravening greed, by bestial spirits and by willful primitives who now possess overwhelming instruments of power and dominion.

A gang of such spirits seized control of the U.S. government by illicit means in 2000 and maintained that control through rampant electoral corruption in 2004. The re-election of President George W. Bush last November was a deliberately shambolic process that saw massive lockouts of opposition voters; unverifiable returns compiled by easily hackable machines operated by avowed corporate partisans of the ruling party; and vast discrepancies between exit polls and final results – gaps much larger than those that led elections in Ukraine and Georgia to be condemned as manipulated frauds. Indeed, a panel of statisticians said last week that the odds of such a discrepancy occurring naturally were 959,000 to 1, the Akron Beacon-Journal reported.

The copious documentation of the Bush fraud keeps growing. Last month, experts using actual machines and returns from the 2004 election showed Congress how a lone hacker could skew a precinct's results by 100,000 votes without leaving a trace. More than 40 million votes in 30 states were cast on such computer systems, BlackBoxVoting noted.

In 2002, Raymond Lemme, a Florida state government inspector, took up Curtis' charges, which included other corruption allegations involving Feeny, Yang Enterprises and a Yang employee charged with peddling military technology to the Chinese. In June 2003, Lemme told Curtis he had "tracked the corruption all the way to the top" and that "the story would break in a few weeks." On July 1, 2003, Lemme was found dead in a Georgia hotel room, just across the Florida border.

Local police ruled that Lemme, a happily married man eagerly planning his daughter's wedding, had suddenly decided to slash his wrists. At first they said there were no photos of the death scene; but then the pictures turned up on the Internet and were confirmed as authentic by the embarrassed police. The photos clearly contradicted the original suicide report on several points -- presenting evidence, for example, that Lemme had been beaten before his death. The investigation was reopened after Curtis' Congressional testimony -- and then abruptly shut down after local police spoke to a never-identified "someone" in the Florida state government.


 09:09 PM - link


Charles Lindsay


  thanks to RangefinderForum.com

 09:05 PM - link


US lawmakers regret voting for Iraq war
Some Republican lawmakers in Congress concerned about hidden cost of Iraq war despite good news.

US Representative Walter Jones, a conservative Republican, does not hide his anger when he says bad information led him to vote for the Iraq war.

"If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn't have voted for that resolution. Absolutely not," he said Thursday in an interview.

His comments reflect concerns of other Republican lawmakers in Congress, and polls show a lingering debate over the reasons for going to war have hurt the administration even as the Iraq operation shows signs of success.


  thanks to Antiwar.com

Bad information led Representative Jones to vote for the war? Excuse the fuck out of me! Anyone with the ability to think knew what was bad information and good information. Dumb fucks.

 08:56 PM - link



Bill Levitt, the father of mass-produced US suburban homes, stated that no man who owns his own house can be a communist. From the looks of it, the Soviets agreed. In the ideological climate of the day, capitalist cities were regarded as products of the chaotic development of exploitative societies, and the qualitative differences between center and periphery as expressive of social inequality. Consequently, socialist architects were tasked with the development of a new form for the city; one structurally tuned to the new, socialist lifestyle.

This new city type would be instrumental in the substitution of individualism and privatism with collectivism, and would eliminate social segregation. Large volumes of studies, norms and standards were dedicated to the design of typified projects for dwellings, with matching furniture and household equipment. Today, Russian urban space consist almost entirely of concrete panel houses of but a few types spread across the entire nation, making most cities - and interiors - look alike.


  thanks to Street Photography mailing list

 08:36 PM - link

torture r us

Gobsmacked by history

Living in a country whose soldiers literally get away with murder, in which beating a man to death is called "involuntary manslaughter," and only radicals dare to use the words "war crimes," I found myself gobsmacked by history today:

In the annals of law, the case of Masatomo Kikuchi is all but forgotten.

The former Japanese prison guard was tried by the Allies after World War II for war crimes. In 1947, a U.S. military commission, citing the Geneva Conventions and customary international law, convicted him of compelling prisoners of war to practice saluting and other military exercises for as long as 30 minutes when they were tired. His sentence: 12 years of hard labor.

Just try to imagine the warbloggers' reaction if an American were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for forcing Afghan or Iraqi prisoners to salute for 30 minutes when they were tired.


 08:31 PM - link

car art

The Old Car Manual Project


  thanks to J-Walk Blog

 08:28 PM - link


U.S. Report Sees Gasoline Prices Moving Higher Still

The government projected on Thursday that gasoline prices would surge even higher in coming weeks and remain high through the summer, a forecast underscoring both the economic effect of the sharp rise in energy costs and growing political risks for President Bush.


 11:00 AM - link


Fredrik Ödman Photography


  thanks to The Cartoonist

 10:57 AM - link

the church of child rapers

This really pisses me off. Cardinal Law flees the country one step ahead of the law for his role in covering up the raping of boys by priests of the Catholic church and is given a place of honor by the those in power in the church.

Cardinal Law, Ousted in U.S. Scandal, Is Given a Role in Rites

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign in disgrace as archbishop of Boston two years ago for protecting sexually abusive priests, was named by the Vatican today as one of nine prelates who will have the honor of presiding over funeral Masses for Pope John Paul II.


 10:50 AM - link


guido fink


  thanks to flux+mutability

 10:45 AM - link


Chinese begin to worry U.S. Militarily
Officials say equation has shifted in event of a Taiwan crisis

While the American military is consumed with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, global terrorism, and the threat of nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, China is presenting a new and strategically different security concern to America in the western Pacific, as well as to Japan and Taiwan, Pentagon and military officials say.

China, these officials say, has smartly analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the American military and focused its growing defense spending on weapons systems that could exploit the perceived weaknesses in case the United States ever needs to respond to fighting in Taiwan.

This rapid military modernization is the major reason President George W. Bush has warned the European Union not to lift its arms embargo against China.

A decade ago, U.S. military planners dismissed the threat of a Chinese attack against Taiwan as a 160-kilometer infantry swim. Now, the Pentagon believes that China has purchased or built enough amphibious assault ships, submarines, fighter jets and short-range missiles to pose an immediate threat to Taiwan and to any American force that might come to Taiwan's aid.


  thanks to Drudge Report

 10:38 AM - link

camera contests

A month ago, I discovered the Classic Camera Contest hosted by David Richert. I was disapointed that I discovered it too late to enter. But all is well with the world. David is hosting another classic camera contest:

50's Contest Rules


1) All camera models must of been made during the years 1950-1959

2) New pictures taken between April 5, 2005 & June 15, 2005. Contest will stay open for entries till July 1, 2005.

3)The theme, I liked Dean Matsueda idea "I think in honor of your birthday and age, how about a "50" theme. Something broad enough to allow our creativity to run wild and yet something that ties all the photographers, cameras and images together. 50 could mean a picture of something from the 1950's, 50 objects in a shot, something that's worth USD$50 or 50 in whomever's native currency; etc." So 50 it is the picture has to relate to something 50 use your imagination.

4) No digital fakery - after scanning very minimal Photo Shop editing.

5) One picture per camera plus a picture of your camera. Lets make this more than just a contest, lets show off our "Classic Cameras" at the same time this helps pass on information.

6) No more than 3 entries per person (3 pictures 3 different cameras)


Here is my choice of weapons for this contest.

A Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model, an Agfa Isolette II, and a Meopta Flexaret Va. Actually, those are my only 50s users. Interesting that they are all 6x6 square format. I still need to do some work on the Agfa to loosen up the focus ring and plug bellows holes but there is plenty of time. Now that the Speed Graphic is back together, I can start taking the Agfa apart. I know what I want to shoot with the Flexaret. I need to think about what to shoot with the others. Although I do plan to use the flash on the Brownie.

 10:32 AM - link


Black Thursday 2005: A Coup d'Etat Begins Today in Mexico

In the hills outside of Mexico City, the temperature rose above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, heating the political pressure-cooker that, today, Thursday, April 7, may boil over beyond the city limits of the capital and even the national borders.

The world may learn today that the work of the Mexican revolution is unfinished. Eighty-six years ago this week Mexican revolutionary General Emiliano Zapata was assassinated in a State-plotted ambush, on April 10, 1919. Eleven years ago, also at this springtime of year, leading presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated on the campaign trail, in Tijuana: on March 23, 1994. What President Vicente Fox, together with his former adversaries of the once-monolithic PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for seven decades prior to Fox’s 2000 electoral victory), are attempting today is nothing less than a pre-emptive coup d’etat: a political assassination, dressed up in legal technicalities no more serious than a parking ticket, to remove Mexico’s leading presidential candidate from the 2006 contest.

At 9:30 a.m. (Central Time Zone) Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador will address a multitude in the Zocalo, the village square of this country of 100 million Mexicans, a crowd that as of 7:30 this morning included at least a million of them...

From there he will go to the hall of the national Congress, in the neighborhood known as San Lázaro, and address the legislators, who will then debate and vote on whether to strip him of his political rights to run for president based on the thinnest of technicalities.

The rest of the country, awakening under this punishing heat wave, will watch the speech on television. Mexico’s mass media, which for a week has been a gaggle of “all Pope all the time” networks, last night pushed the death of Pope John Paul II – a pope that visibly loved Mexico and came here repeatedly - aside: John Paul is big news but today it is Andrés Manuel and his crucifixion at the hands of Pontius Fox and and the high priests of the PRI that spike the ratings, like the thermometer, into the red zone.

Unable to play and win by the rules of democracy – a word that supposedly means that the people decide their destiny – Fox and the PRI (urged on from Washington from the very day that Condoleeza Rice, in January, took the helm of the State Department) are likely to win a battle today – a vote in Congress – to declare López Obrador guilty until proven innocent and rob from the Mexican people the right to vote for him – he now towers 20 points, at 44-percent in the polls, over his nearest rivals – to be their president next year.

And that – as a 12-percent crash in recent days of the Mexican stock market presages – will set in motion a political war dance with steps already planned by Mexico City’s activist (and strategist) governor. López Obrador is ready to go to jail and lead the fight from there. And much of Mexico is declaring its will to, if need be, join him behind bars by launching what would be the country’s first-ever campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience.


  thanks to James Wolcott

 10:13 AM - link

red fed

My dream of a red FED is closer to reality. One of the denizens of the Rangefinder Forum, Fedzilla_Bob, had an extra set of leather coverings for a FED 2e that he got from Aki Asahi. I traded one of my leather wrist straps for it. I tried some citrus smelling paint remover on the vulcanite but that didn't do much. I will have to get something more potent.

 10:06 AM - link


Higher mortgage rates to bite

Whether or not rising mortgage rates cool the housing market, they're going to put a multi-billion-dollar dent in consumer spending -- and soon.

That could have big implications not just for housing, but for U.S. economic growth, economists said.

Mortgage debt now stands at record levels, having risen $1 trillion last year alone, and dwarfing other types of consumer debt, like credit cards. Homeowners have turned the equity they have in their homes into a virtual ATM, supplementing their household cash flow through additional mortgage borrowing.

Rising interest rates will not only raise monthly payments on millions of loans. It could close that ATM for many households unwilling to refinance again at higher rates. And without that ready source of cash, there will be less money to spend on everything from clothing to appliances.


  thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!

 09:51 AM - link

the speed graphic is a user

I've moved my Speed Graphic from the "Users to be" list to the "Users" list. It's ready to take pictures. If I only had some film. That's next. Then I will have to find someone to process it.

I had a friend who is a leather worker make the strap and then I glued some polar fleece on the inside of the strap to make it a little more comfortable. I'm excited about using this big rangefinder.

J and C Photo have the 3.25x4.25 film. But they insist I send them money. I'm working on that. I'm going to be using Efke 100. I have a lab in Seattle lined up that thinks they can process 3.25x4.25. I also need to make a light tight box to send the film in. Then there will be pictures!

Here is a picture of the strap for my Burke and James installed. Tracy did a great job.

 09:45 AM - link

  Wednesday   April 6   2005

we are a military with a country attached

US military spending out of control

What would you buy with $419.3 billion if you had the choice?

Well, one really good first idea might be to give about $69 to every woman, man, and child on God's earth. If the taxpayers of the US were to do that, just imagine what a change that donation might make in the lives of the most impoverished of our fellow humans! In a mid-size village in Africa, people could pool their money together and get a good ways toward producing a safe drinking-water system for everyone. Or, every 20 families (= 100 people?) could club together and hire two pretty good additional teachers for their children.

Or... or... or... There must be thousands of fabulous ideas for how to spend such a sum of money!

Instead of which, the Bush administration is proposing sinking $419.3 billion into purely military goods and services in Fiscal Year 2006.


GAO report: U.S. defense spending could skyrocket


 10:01 PM - link


The Russian Photography Collection
1917 to 1945

Mikhail Grachev. For the Front, c. 1942.


  thanks to RangeFinderForum.com

 09:55 PM - link


American Media...
by Riverbend

About a month ago, we were treated to an interview on 20/20 with Sabrina Harman- the witch in some of the Abu Ghraib pictures. You know- the one smiling over faceless, naked Iraqis piled up to make a human pyramid. Elizabeth Vargus was doing the interview and the whole show was revolting. They were trying to portray Sabrina as an innocent who was caught up in military orders and fear of higher ranking officers. The show went on and on about how American troops never really got seminars on Geneva Conventions (like one needs to be taught humanity) and how poor Sabrina was being made a scapegoat. They showed the restaurant where she worked before the war and how everyone thought she was “such a nice person” who couldn’t hurt a fly!

We sat there watching like we were a part of another world, in another galaxy. I’ve always sensed from the various websites that American mainstream news is far-removed from reality- I just didn’t know how far. Everything is so tame and simplified. Everyone is so sincere.

Furthermore, I don’t understand the worlds fascination with reality shows. Survivor, The Bachelor, Murder in Small Town X, Faking It, The Contender… it’s endless. Is life so boring that people need to watch the conjured up lives of others?

I have a suggestion of my own for a reality show. Take 15 Bush supporters and throw them in a house in the suburbs of, say, Falloojeh for at least 14 days. We could watch them cope with the water problems, the lack of electricity, the check points, the raids, the Iraqi National Guard, the bombings, and- oh yeah- the ‘insurgents’. We could watch their house bombed to the ground and their few belongings crushed under the weight of cement and brick or simply burned or riddled with bullets. We could see them try to rebuild their life with their bare hands (and the equivalent of $150)…

I’d not only watch *that* reality show, I’d tape every episode.


We Can't Remain Silent

At dinner on a rainy night in Manhattan this week, I listened to a retired admiral and a retired general speak about the pain they've personally felt over the torture and abuse scandal that has spread like a virus through some sectors of the military.

During the dinner and in follow-up interviews, Rear Adm. John Hutson, who is now president of the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, N.H., and Brig. Gen. James Cullen, a lawyer in private practice in New York, said they believed that both the war effort and the military itself have been seriously undermined by official policies that encouraged the abuse of prisoners.

Both men said they were unable to remain silent as institutions that they served loyally for decades, and which they continue to love without reservation, are being damaged by patterns of conduct that fly in the face of core values that most members of the military try mightily to uphold.

"At some point," said General Cullen, "I had to say: 'Wait a minute. We cannot go along with this.' "


UN Monitor: War on Iraq Has Doubled Malnutrition Among Iraqi Children

The war in Iraq and its aftermath have almost doubled malnutrition rates among Iraqi children, a UN specialist on hunger has told the world's major human rights body.

Acute malnutrition rates among Iraqi children under five rose late last year to 7.7 per cent from four per cent after the ouster of President Saddam Hussein in April 2003, said Jean Ziegler, the UN Human Rights Commission's special expert on the right to food.

Malnutrition, which is exacerbated by a lack of clean water and inadequate sanitation, is a major child-killer in poor countries. Children who manage to survive are usually physically and mentally impaired for the rest of their lives and more vulnerable to disease.

Acute malnutrition signifies a child is actually wasting away.


Just another day in the projects

This exchange is between two former warrant officers, one who is embaraasingly dumb, one who is not.


Army reservist witnesses war crimes
New revelations about ongoing brutality at Abu Ghraib.

Aiden Delgado, an Army Reservist in the 320th Military Police Company, served in Iraq from April 1, 2003 through April 1, 2004. After spending six months in Nasiriyah in Southern Iraq, he spent six months helping to run the now-infamous Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad. The handsome 23-year-old mechanic was a witness to widespread, almost daily, U.S. war crimes in Iraq. His story contains new revelations about ongoing brutality at Abu Ghraib, information yet to be reported in national media.


 09:49 PM - link




  thanks to RangeFinderForum.com

 09:36 PM - link

Settlements and settlers bulldozing two-state project

Two phenomena-- both intimately linked to the settlement-implantation project that was Ariel Sharon's most serious commitment throughout most of the years since 1967-- are now combining to undermine any chance that a viable two-state outcome might somehow be plucked from the dense demographic intermingling now existing in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

The first of these phenomena is the Israeli government's determination to go ahead with constructing 3,500 new housing units in the crucial "E-1" area between East Jerusalem and the (already illegal) Israeli mega-settlement of Ma'ale Adumim-- a decision that Ha'Aretz describes as a "provocation".

The second is the growing prospect that militants among the angry settlers in both the West Bank and Gaza might now escalate their violence in protest against the government's planned Gaza withdrawal to the level of something approaching an inter-Jewish civil war.

These two developments are connected-- in a number of ways. One is that you can realistically assume that the Israeli government's announcement at this time of its intention to proceed with the E-1 construction-- plans for which have existed for several years already, but not hitherto been implemented-- was designed in part to "reassure" the great bulk of Israeli settlers who live in the West Bank that the big plan to continue settlement-building there will continue, even after the withdrawal from Gaza.


Israel 'is sealing off Jerusalem Arabs'
Palestinians accuse Sharon over go-ahead for 3,500 homes linking settlements with capital

Ariel Sharon told the Israeli parliament yesterday that he would press ahead with the construction of thousands of homes to link one of the largest Jewish settlements with Jerusalem, despite US concern that it would jeopardise the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.


U.S. says Israel must give up nukes

The State Department yesterday called on Israel to forswear nuclear weapons and accept international Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all nuclear activities.


 09:32 PM - link


Turning the Pages


  thanks to BookNotes

 09:20 PM - link


'Emergency oil plan' required in view of coming shortages

Financial Times
The report circulated to governments (...) suggests dramatic measures, such as reducing motorway speed limits by 25 per cent, shortening the working week, imposing driving bans on certain days, providing free public transport and promoting car pooling schemes.


Oil Surges After 'Spike' Prediction
A Goldman analyst says crude could reach $105 a barrel in 2007. Other experts are skeptical.

Venezuela Official Comments on OPEC
Venezuela's Oil Minister Says OPEC Running Out of Spare Production Capacity

  thanks to Drudge Report

A titanic struggle between supply and demand
Oil hit another new high this week and OPEC promised to raise its production by another 500,000 barrels per day to help ease the pain. But with capacity tight and demand continuing to grow, high oil prices may be here to stay

TALK about record oil prices is beginning to get a bit tedious; oil seems to be hitting new highs with the regularity of a metronome. This is, naturally, more than a bit tedious for consumers, who are having to dig ever more deeply into their pockets. More frightening still, it might get worse before it gets better. Last week, Goldman Sachs released a report predicting that oil prices may stay above $50 per barrel for several years. Oil prices obliged by jumping. On Monday April 4th, light crude hit $58 for the first time ever. On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the price fell back by a couple of dollars in response to forecasts of growing crude-oil stocks in America. The market may also have been somewhat reassured by comments on Tuesday from Alan Greenspan, most notably that a big enough increase in crude inventories would “damp the current price frenzy”. But the Federal Reserve chairman also expressed concern that the world did not have enough oil-refining capacity.


  thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!

 02:01 PM - link


aneta grzeszykowska & jan smaga

"Plan" by Aneta Grzeszykowska and Jan Smaga, consists of 10 photographic compositions which are an extremely detailed representations of 10 private apartments. All of them were photographed as if the ceilings were taken off. Such an unusual effect was achieved through the use of a special technique: the overall picture of a room is an aggregate of dozens fragmentary photographs taken from above, and then merged using a computer. This gives the impression as if a scanner moved over the apartments - there are neither deformations nor blurred fragments, the precision of the image is dazzling and the possibility to enlarge it is practically unlimited. Due to its laborious nature, the project took 2 years to complete.


  thanks to Conscientious

Aneta Grzeszykowska & Jan Smaga

  thanks to Conscientious

Aneta Grzeszykowska & Jan Smaga

  thanks to Conscientious

 01:56 PM - link


Riding the Dragon, Soaring on the Eagle
US Economic Decline and the Rise of China

Although such maneuvering will not tempt Beijing to challenge Washington militarily, China's growing economic and diplomatic presence on the world scene is engendering greater confidence among Chinese leaders. For example, U.S. criticism of China's human rights record was uncharacteristically reciprocated by a spokesperson for China's governing Cabinet who specifically cited accounts of prisoner abuse by U.S. military and civilian personnel at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the foreseeable future, China's economic position vis-à-vis the United States and its role in the North Korean nuclear talks remains key to U.S.-China relations. On the economic front, because China's rapid growth has been fueled by a large surplus of exports over imports in trade with the United States, Beijing is not expected to "pull the plug" on U.S. trade short of looming and inevitable armed conflict resulting from a clear Taiwanese declaration of de jure independence. Beijing would like to regain political control of Taiwan without a fight, and to that end China will continue to enmesh the island in a web of economic relations that Taipei will increasingly be loathe to sacrifice.

Like all presidents ever since Richard Nixon "opened" China, George Bush has chosen, after initially hesitating, to try to ride the Chinese dragon--but with spurs on his boots. Having managed to climb on, he cannot get off without the risk of being thrown. For its part, China has decided to soar on the eagle to the sky's limit. Beijing believes that if it can hitch a ride while the eagle economically exhausts itself, China can at last preempt U.S. influence in Asia.


 12:52 PM - link

racing art

Motor Racing Programme Covers


  thanks to The Cartoonist

 12:48 PM - link


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

For what it says and what it doesn't say this article from the Saint Petersburg Times is in a class of its own. If you want to get a sense of what is really going on in Russia right now, but don't speak Russian (ergo: can't read the Russian media) I recommend you read it now. Here are some of the highlights:

Some analysts have speculated that members of Putin's administration have been split over what to do with the spoils of the state takeover of Yukos' main production unit, Yuganskneftegaz. Kremlin deputy chief of staff Igor Sechin is chairman of state-owned Rosneft, which acquired Yugansk after last December's auction, while Medvedev is chairman at Gazprom, which is due to merge with Rosneft. The two companies have openly bickered over control of assets under the terms of their merger.

Medvedev said another problem that endangered Russia's territorial integrity was the insufficient development of sparsely populated Siberia and the Far East. "If we don't develop the east, Russia will not be unified," he said.

Many business leaders who built their empires in the Yeltsin years are increasingly uncertain about what direction Putin's economic policies will take, and they are halting their investments in Russia, he said.


 11:16 AM - link


I found this on a thread at APUG. I want one.

An interesting interview with Richard Cress, at Cress Photo, about flashbulbs.

Flashbulbs — Dead or Alive?

What are the advantages of using flashbulbs?

"The big pluses are they're inexpensive for the extreme level of power they generate. The quality of light is different from electronic strobes. Using bulbs shows details in shadows better. They take wrinkles away from faces. Personally, I consider the quality of light to be far more dramatic."

Where would a photographer use bulbs instead of other types of lighting equipment?

"Train photographers... often use flashbulbs, and there's a large following of photographers that shoot that way, whether they shoot pictures on the fly or posed. Many use bulbs as a direct light source when using an open shutter technique or when shooting different sections of a train at a time. Using Press 25 bulbs, they can light an entire train by simply moving a single flash unit along the length of the train, popping a bulb at each interval. They can put a dozen bulbs in their pockets and do the job without the burden of setting up multiple electronic strobes. Using bulbs makes such a job much easier.

"...The classic camera users-- purists, if you will--want to create pictures that look like the older shots using the original equipment. Voitlanders, Zeiss, and similar cameras come to mind. For instance, Graphlex camera users at several magazines and newspapers have contacted me in the last few months. One editor called me and told me that they wanted to recreate the look of the old sports scenes.


I've done a couple of flashbulb tests with the Brownie. I will do more later and I've got a Kodak flashholder coming that I can use on my Mamiya Universal and other cameras.

 11:12 AM - link

on reading books

A very intersting mini-essay on reading with a killer quote from Niccolo Machiavelli.

As long as I think of these as "texts," they are dry and boring. But there is a key to making them exciting: to remember that they are not texts: they are people--people urgently trying to talk to me, to tell me something very important that they think I desperately need to know. Liza Featherstone thinks that I very much need to know about Wal-Mart's battling to keep its workers down--and their resistance--if I am going to be a good economist, a good citizen. She grabs me and lectures me at length, with excited and animated gestures. Never mind that I have never met her (I do know her husband, Doug Henwood, slightly). She is there, in front of me on the page, and it would be rude to cut her off--not to turn to the next one.


 10:58 AM - link

brownie pics

I finally got my first roll back from my Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model. This is way better then it has any right to be. It uses a two element meniscus lens. This is light years beyond the cheap plastic lens on a Holga. My first subjects were what this camera was designed for — pictures of the kids and grandkids. Then I took some others that were better taken with the Flexaret but were a test for sharpness.

The Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model.
Bakelite at it's finest hour.

Jenny, Evan, and Robyn
Jenny's husband William is currently in Ramadi.

Katie and Mike


Stray Dog (in Coupeville)

Toby's (in coupeville)
They have the best mussels grown right there in Penn Cove

Not really sharp but a hell of a lot sharper then I ever expected. I used an ISO 160 film — Fuji NPS. The pictures of Jenny and Robby were taken in heavy overcast and could have used an ISO 400 film. This camera will take 120 roll film so it gives me a lot of options. I just need to use a 620 take-up spool. All in all, quite a little camera!

update: I just wanted to add that this is a very liberating camera to use. There is no time spent focusing the camera since it is fixed focus and there is no time spent worrying about exposure since there is only one setting.

 10:52 AM - link

a new studio

I only got half way through my posts Saturday when my daughter Katie came over to move her stuff out of my basement. She finally found an apartment and now we have a basement again. It's not a full basement, just a long narrow room. I spent Sunday moving things around and now I have a space to hang some seamless paper with room to move back. This will let me do a lot more. I've wanted a space like this for some time. It's unfinished and uninsulated but that doesn't matter. There is still some more stuff to move to make room for the Tota-light. I will be also be picking up my strap for the Speed Graphic this afternoon.

 10:08 AM - link