The Ramada Inn I'm staying at tonight in southwestern Wisconsin apparently used to be called The White House. There's a small dome, and Presidential portraits adorn the lobby. George HW Bush is perched above the coffeemaker, and here's Bill Clinton, looking young, but a bit dejected that I've decided to vote for Obama.
© uncle kjm
While on Maui, I spent a day with Dick and Eiko, old family friends, who I hadn't seen in many years. They were close friends of my parents when they were all in their 20's, and later, our families took vacations together. Dick told me some nice, old stories about my Dad - how he helped them get settled in Minneapolis, about many hours fishing with him, and about his generosity.
It made me think of the picture above, made this past Christmas. The three fathers of these kids, along with myself, all grew up within blocks of eachother in the same neighborhood. We're lifelong friends, and talking with Dick got me wondering if there might be a similar conversation 40 years from now - between one of these kids and one of us - telling old stories about their dad as a younger man...
Unfortunately, I spent my last 3 days in Hawaii becoming increasing sick with some type of achy flu bug (and still feeling bad on day 5). I missed out on spending time with the relatives, and didn't even make it to the family store. But it was nice to catch up with cousin Millie and her husband Curt, whose couch became my home. Millie was sorting old photographs from her mother's many albums - the smiling woman in the center photograph, above, is my greatgrandmother Matsu.
In an odd and intriguing move, the Library of Congress, sooshers to the nation, have started to post pictures from their collection of photographs on a flickr page. There's no telling if they're also working on a myspace account, but I'm all for wide access to historical pictures. It's fun to poke around in the collection, and a search for "Tule Lake" came up with this quite lovely photo, above. Likely shot with a Speed Graphic, it's appealing graphically, and the washed out color is lovely - but there's also something suggestive about the of body language of the Japanese American internees...
Labels: don't miss it
© pedro guimaraes
I love this photo by the photographer Pedro Guimaraes. Pedro is a Portuguese photographer and the photo is from a series called, "It's A Fake World." The (straight) picture was shot at The Window Of The World theme park in Shenzhen, China, where some of the world’s wonders are reproduced at smaller scales. Pedro is represented by 4See.
As an aside, what if one were to accidentally step on the President?
Labels: i love this photo
On a trip to Alaska many years ago with Andy, we were preparing for a short jaunt into Denali National Park for some backcountry camping. At the visitor center, where you obtain the frighteningly deeply scratched bear-proof food containers, the park service requires you to watch a safety film. Andy and I snickered at the film's backpacker, who was dressed in a late 1970's outfit, and walked through the tundra yelling, "Hey, bear!" in order to warn of his presence. Funny thing is, once you're actually out there in bear territory, you find yourself shouting the same call (albeit in cooler clothes).
I'm in Ireland right now, and it struck me as I left the Shannon airport for points north, that I've been driving on the right side of the road for about, well, 25 years. Driving on the left is an odd sensation, and I've thought about the usefulness of that film in Alaska. So everytime I get into the car, and at odd intervals while driving, I'll shout to myself, "Left!" And because there can be sheep in the road, ocassionally, "Sheep!"
I'm here for an airline magazine, and when on assignment, I'll never post images here prior to their publication. But I'll still shoot pictures for myself, like this one, above, of a random piece of linoleum in the village of Roundstone. If it were a map of Ireland, I'd have started somewhere above the lowermost diamond, and am now out of sight above. Hopefully driving on the left.
Labels: travel tales
© derek stroup
I love this photo by the photographer Derek Stroup. His pictures from this series look a bit like paintings, and remind me of a flatter, photographic Wayne Thiebaud cake. They contain both nostalgic subject matter and an oddly futuristic presentation. Stroup works his mouse on photographs of candy bars and bags of potato chips that he buys at his local convenience store, and I love that. Don't we all have early memories of buying candy bars at some local drugstore counter? And, of course, the all-powerful and recognizable corporate logo is something that intrigues me and influences my own work.
Of the work, Stroup says, "I am curious about this moment of suspended recognition. With labels, we instantly assign these objects to their proper category in our mind. With labels removed, there is a moment when our categorical impulse is suspended. It is similar, but different from, the sensation of encountering a foreign language. These photographs seem like pictures of sculptures—perfect objects that don’t exist anywhere in the world. "
A small, limited edition book of the work is available through Printed Matter.
Labels: i love this photo