I was going through my collection of “curious bits” the other night. Flotsam and jetsam accreted over the course of years … photographs, poems I wrote, stories, clippings from the news paper, all kinds of stuff that go as far back into my personal history as grammar school. Through high school, into my first, second, third, and then fourth college career, and beyond that. Scribblings and notes from all over the country, and the world, as I wandered.

There’s the tattered original copy of the O Lucky Man! poster I made when I canvassed friends at UCSC’s Kresge College to petition to bring this strange movie back for a second showing. The Dorian-Grey-esque sequence of all my high school and college ID cards. The high school commencement program that I’d quite forgotten included my own poetry … a touch strained it seems to me now. The etching that Dawn Fredericks made of me as I sat reading in the Windham College library one fine Saturday afternoon in the late Fall of 1978, in Putney, Vermont. Photos of the burned rubble of our science plane from my time at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab… 

Whew. It’s a trip to get into these things. 

Felipe forebore to look at bits of it with me. And asked, “So when are you going to scan this stuff before it disintegrates?”

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Back again to Anacortes, Washington, in October of 2008. A great town that is! I rose every morning and walked, made photographs. The smell of the salt water, the docks. The sounds of bouys and sea birds, the hammering of metalworks in the shipyard. I’m enjoying going through these photos and working on them. 

One of the mornings was quite foggy and I remember coming upon this wall of vines in my walk. They emerged from the wall into my consciousness as if from under water, the effect I’ve tried to express in this rendering. Great depth, the tendrils of leaves brushing the surface of perception, almost translucent in the soft morning light. 

I remember this moment, and all those moments of curious bits, with crystal clarity, as if they were just a day away. It takes but a moment of seeing the artifact of the moment … in a photograph, snippet of scribblings, whatever … and the whole experience awakens for me to relive. I made two prints of this photo β€” they are delicate, sensitive, things that are aging already as they dry overnight. Things … 

I responded, “These things must remain perishable, locked in their time, and no attempt to scan them will suffice to grant them immortality. Their essence, their existence, is made more real by the probability of their disappearance. They are meaningless without my thoughts, and spur my memories to go beyond the Present.”

I’ve been reading too much Zen philosophy, I fear… or I need to read more.

β€”

Workshop Notes 

Next up in my workshop series at the Media Center

Photoshop: A Simple Approach 

This two-session workshop focuses on learning how to get the most from just a few of Photoshop’s tools to achieve great results: Levels, Curves, Layers and Masks. We will examine organizing your files and how to work efficiently. You’ll be introduced to methods and concepts for sharpening and printing. No prior Photoshop experience required, an interest in Photography essential.


Offered at the Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, California, USA

For more information and registration see the website

http://www.midpenmedia.org/ 

Or call Dave Sorokach (650-494-8686) at the Media Center

Or email me directly if you have questions.. 

http://www.gdgphoto.com/contact.html
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