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The Napa Valley Wine Train is a nice day outing on an old train converted to rolling restaurant. It trundles slowly up the valley along Highway 29, from Napa to St. Helena and back, passing winery after winery on the way, while you sit back and enjoy a gourmet lunch or dinner, and spend time enjoying the wine tasting bar if you so choose. Passengers can stop and take a winery tour along the way as well, returning to the train for the return to the station.

It’s a pleasant day’s outing. We had a guest from out of town over the weekend and decided to enjoy a nice day’s luncheon this way. Well worth it: good wine, good food, great scenery, and good friends to enjoy the time.

– Godfrey 2013

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Another photo from my WPPD set, taken on a walk through Guadalupe River Park.

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2013

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2013

 

– Godfrey, May 2013

Airplane #1

Celebrating Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day!
April 28, 2013

The doctor performing my annual eye exam this year saw something in my right eye. A thin film or membrane, a ripple in the retina at the macular region. My eyesight checks out fine, corrected to 20/20, but she worried about it and felt it should be looked at more closely by an opthalmologist.

The new machines available for eye examination are truly remarkable. I went to Kaiser as they have all the machines including the deep retina tissue scanner that was recommended. I normally don’t like going to Kaiser very much, they’ve not been particularly effective at curing ills although they’re always ready to treat patients with some new drug or another. But for this kind of examination procedure, they’ve got the right bits.

A jovial male nurse led me to this room, subdued the lighting, and put the relaxant into my eyes. It takes 20 minutes or so to do its job. I couldn’t help but pull out the X2 and shoot a few pictures of the space and the equipment in the dim light. There was an eerie quiet heaviness to it that appealed to me, I wondered if the camera could catch it.

The retinal scanner was run by an Asian technician. “This is an expensive machine,” she said, “The other one in the next room needs to be serviced and that alone is going to cost $25,000! It’s a good machine, though: I took the training and was certified, it’s easy to operate.” The machine scans not only the 2D in plan view but allows looking at the layers of tissue as well. It takes about 90 seconds to do the job.

Back in the subdued lighting of the first room, the opthalmologist entered. She was a personable and pretty woman in her early thirties. “Here’s the tissue in your left eye, which is very healthy and normal.” All the layers of membranes, these infinitesimally small things a few cells thick, were laminated evenly in the macular region. “And here’s the problem your optician saw that we wanted to check on..” The image of the right eye macular region is mostly the same as the left, but in the center there is a depression of the bottom most layer and a slight widening of the gap between the layers; it’s lost the smoothness of the left eye’s appearance.

“This is very light degradation,” she said. “It’s just age related deterioration. Your vision is still easily correctible to 20/20 so there’s nothing to worry about, and likely won’t be for a long time, but we’ll keep an eye on it.”

“How long?” I asked, after we joked around about my becoming-old age and she in her thirties. She had a good sense of humor… “Oh, so you mean that when it actually becomes time to do something about it, I’ll likely be 90 years old and so decrepit anyway that it’s hardly worth doing anything then anyway?”

With a twinkle in her bright eyes, she said, “Uh, yeah, that sounds about right. If you’re that kind of cynic …” And she laughed.

I laughed too. “I can deal with that. Thanks. Maybe some medical miracle will fix it then anyway, you know?” And we both laughed. I thanked her and left to go back to work.

I can wait. I’ll see what happens. Life is good: enjoy it while you can.

– Godfrey, October 2012

I continue to go to the cafe. Why? Well, first off because it’s a great place to work when I’ve gotten antsy at my office desk … somehow the buzz and movement of people at other tables, their conversation, lets me concentrate and focus on my own work better than sitting in the quiet, lightly dusty feeling library of office cubes.

Second, because there’s a middle school down the street one way and a Tai Chi studio down the street the other way.

Today is my birthday. A moment to reflect. I like where my work is going: the past couple of weeks I’ve pushed through to a couple of new epiphanies and ideas there. I like how my photography is developing: as I’ve moved to simpler, smaller, lighter cameras with less capaabilities, as my time to do photography has decreased, I’m spending more time looking and thinking in the making of photographs. Story—or the ‘imagined story’—in the work has become much more important to me.

Look deeply, imagine more broadly, see more clearly. These seem to be the right cues. More book ideas have surfaced.

Oh yes: a moment’s pause in respect for Neil Armstrong. May his footstep on the Moon continue to lead the way.

– Godfrey 2012

Relatives in town yesterday. We went to the amusement park. I remember this ride from when I was about that size …

I remember the sensation of flying, and of being able to control my flight. But only within the constraints of the ride—You couldn’t get hurt. It let imagination run free and made the fifty seconds of flight seem a day long.

Last photo of the day. Sometimes the best.

– Godfrey

Little passion plays … 

I decided to go see the latest Batman film this past Sunday morning and found the time had been shifted from 9 to 9:40 am. So I hung out at the local Starbux and had a quick bite and a cuppa. 

The little girl fussed and cried every time momma tried to sit down and have a sip of coffee. They ended up leaving, daddy running back from the car to pick up the coffee and pastries. “Pay attention to me, not to your breakfast!” 

Batman was great. Closest to the Dark Knight graphic novels from the 1980s I’ve seen yet. 

I’ll get away from this cafe shooting yet, it’s just so seductive and rich a field … grin. 

– Godfrey

 

Thursday was Book Signing Day at ModernBook Gallery. 

A frenetic couple of weeks leading up to it. I hand-made about seventy takeaway cards. An intense and anxious drive to San Francisco on Thursday … traffic at a crawl most of the way. Late arrival. But then — A wonderful time! So many people came by, looked, made positive comments. Friends stopped in. People bought books! 

Early in the event, I handed my camera to my partner and told him to shoot the event. And be sure to get a picture of each and every person offering a book with their books. I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I’ve watched this over and over again … 

Today is packaging day. Between pre-orders and sales at and after the event, only two of the thirty-six books I stocked up on are left. I’m almost done packaging … next I’ve got to do the postage. One job at a time … but I think I’ll head out for a little respite and dinner. 

New work, new ideas, are calling me. I’ve started on the next book.

– Godfrey

Photographically speaking, about the only thing on my mind at the present time is the book signing event at ModernBook Gallery tomorrow evening. So imagine my delight when my friend Mark Roberts (a fine photographer and a professor teaching Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts) sent me a book review! 

Ways Together

Waystogether-bookcover

“Godfrey DiGiorgi’s Ways Together is, appropriately enough, the kind of photo book you’d want to peruse while quietly sipping a cappuccino at your favorite coffee shop. The coffee shop has become one of the common gathering places of our time and it’s fascinating to observe how people use it for solitude as much as for socializing. In fact, the digital interconnectedness of our society now makes it difficult to tell by looking which is the intent of the people in these photographs — which is of course part of the point. The theme of isolation versus contact is nicely played out throughout the book, which progresses through sections titled “Apart”, “Alone”, “In Private” and “Together”. The images progress from one theme to the other and yet maintain a common look and feel that makes this a unified work rather than a jumbled collection of works with a theme applied post hoc.

Though coffee shops are often jam packed with people, crowded and noisy, the photos on display here were obviously taken during relatively quiet hours. And the resulting photographs, too, are “quiet”. They speak clearly but they don’t shout. We need more of that these days, I think.

– Mark Roberts – Photography & Multimedia
  www.robertstech.com 

Thanks Mark! 

(Mark is also the head honcho behind the PDML Photo Annual, now in its fourth year. Check it out by going to his website and looking through the books section. It’s worth it! 

Hope to see some of you at ModernBook Gallery on Thursday evening! 
Just in case, here’s the address again:

ModernBook Gallery
49 Geary Ave, San Francisco, CA
Book signing event!
August 2nd, 5:30-7:30 pm

– Godfrey
The book is done, pre-orders for signed copies have been brisk. And of course, my mind is already moving forwards, further along. Art happens now, in the moment; exhibition and presentation always happens in the past. Art is always abandoned, never finished. New work leaps out of somewhere I cannot know. New things surface to my eyes, the next book project is already on the table. It is carrying a working title of The Drum … 

But the book signing and reception is coming up next week! 

Waystogether-bookcover

Ways Together

Come to the reception and book-signing!

ModernBook Gallery
49 Geary Ave, San Francisco, CA
August 2nd, 5:30-7:30 pm

I’ll be taking pre-orders until Thursday, write me at godfreydigiorgi@me.com for details. 

I hope to see you at ModernBook Gallery … ! 

– Godfrey