Sunday, 29 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Three Bridges Using Three Media
CREDIT: © John Crossley/AmericanSouthwest.net
WHERE: Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, USA.
WHAT: natural rock bridges in photographs, paintings, and virtual reality movies
MAPS: Blanding & Natural Bridges National Monument.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Over the last two  days we have looked at early monochrome pictures of Edwin Natural Bridge, and then a modern color picture of the now renamed Owachomo (we use the NPS spelling) Bridge. A good point to begin a virtual exploration of the Natural Bridges National Monument is the NPS (National Park Service) web site. There are sections for local area exploration, the Owachomo Bridge, the Sipapu Bridge, and the Kachina Bridge. The Horsecollar Ruin, abandoned by the Puebloans about 700 years ago, is interestingly documented.
Photographically we were faced with a difficult choice for today's feature. We wanted to illustrate all three bridges with pictures from the same photographer and web site. Yesterday's photographer Phil Armitage has two pictures, Owachomo and Sipapu, but alas does not have one of the Kachina.
Eventually, on balance, we decided that AmericanSouthwest.net had the best online gallery of all round pictures, with all seven shots giving clear views of the bridges, including the Owachomo from both above and below. The thumbnail strip shows our selections, but the site is worth visiting for the whole area.
Pictures from above or below is not just an arbitrary and inconsequential choice where the three Natural Bridges are involved. Many 'tourist pictures' (not intended as a pejorative phrase) seem to be shot from the scenic drive-by (maybe we should invent the phrase 'scenic drive-by shooting' as a photographic pejorative), whereas to get any real sense of the size and form of the bridges requires more proactive action.
Anyone of a photographic persuasion who is planning to visit may benefit from checking out the UtahTrails.com hiking notes. The DreamBreeze.com web site features Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina pictures that offer viewpoints very different from the usual angles.
Our headline promised three media. Following our review of the photographic media, we investigated the medium of painting. Jan Kirkpatrick, a Boulder, Colorado, based artist has three landscape sections: abstract, mountain, and desert. In the last section we found three water colors of the Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina bridges. When you visit Jan, we recommend a visit to her growing wild flower section.
For the third medium, we discovered two sites offering virtual reality panoramas. For the USA and Canada, the 360Geographics.com web site offers geographic services, and QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality) panoramas. If you have the resources necessary to run these files you may pick a location by map on the home page or text list. We were interested in the Natural Bridges section, where you may view the Owachomo, Sipapu, and Kachina bridges in 360° detail.
Another of our favorite web sites is Don Bain's VirtualGuidebooks.com where there is a section for the Natural Bridges National Monument with 360° QTVR panoramas of the Owachomo, and Sipapu from the canyon rim, and from the overlook on the trail, plus interesting associated features.
Finally, during the research or this feature we found an Owachomo picture that we thought was spectacular, part of the Em-Productions.com web site.
Saturday, 28 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Humpty Dumpty Name Change Snafus
CREDIT: © Phil Armitage/PhilArmitage.net
WHERE: Natural Bridges Nat. Monument, Utah, USA. WHAT: name change confusion.
MAP: Blanding & Natural Bridges Nat. Mon. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." ['Through the Looking Glass' by Lewis Carroll - Ch. VI: Humpty Dumpty.] One of the useful things about names, carefully considered and generally agreed names at least, is that they help to avoid confusion. From arbitrary name changing to confusion is but a small step.
Yesterday's feature, 'The Case Of The Missing Bridge', was an example of such confusion: the only pictures of what we knew as the 'Edwin Natural Bridge' that we were able to find were monochrome and taken around the early 1900s. Today we were able to see a modern color picture, from Phil Armitage's Natural Bridges National Monument page, of what we thought was named 'Edwin Natural Bridge', but only after we Googled this paragraph on Utah.com to discover our confusion:
"If early Indians named the bridges, then those names have been lost. Non-Indians first named them President, Senator and Congressman, in order of their height. Later explorers called them August, Caroline and Edwin. When the park was surveyed in 1909 the bridges were renamed: Sipapu is a Hopi term meaning place of original emergence; Kachina is named for nearby rock art which resembles the symbols often found on Hopi kachina dolls; Owachomo means 'rock mound,' a reference to a feature on the bridge's east side." So 'Edwin Natural Bridge' is now named 'Owachomo Bridge'.
Not only are there three bridges, but there have been at least two name changes! This national monument was the first to be established in Utah, and contains the second and third largest natural bridges in the world. Tomorrow we will visit the bridges and the surrounding area, using photographs, paintings, and virtual reality panoramas.
Friday, 27 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: The Case Of The Missing Bridge
CREDITS (L to R): © NGS/NationalGeographic.com, Picture of the Day.
© Cleveland State University/Watson Bridge Book Collection.
© Utah State University/E.B. Olesen Photograph Collection.
WHERE: San Juan County, Utah, USA. WHAT: natural rock bridge.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
In a local book store we saw a 'coffee table' book containing photographs of Utah. Among the blazing color renditions were some monochrome images from around the beginning of the 20th century. One in particular we thought we had seen before: it was a picture of a posse of horsemen on top of a natural rock bridge. However, our memory was of just one rider leading a couple of pack animals, but we are at that certain age when our memories are less reliable than formerly. We took careful note of the location given in the caption, Edwin Natural Bridge in San Juan County, and returned to digital base for further investigation.
Today we found the answer: there are at least three well known pictures of the bridge; one with a host of riders; one with just a single rider as we remembered; and even one without any riders! The immediate discrepancy between our memories and the picture in the book has been resolved, but a deeper mystery has been revealed.
We were unable to find a modern picture of the Edwin Natural Bridge anywhere on the web. It is inconceivable that such a huge landscape feature could have disappeared without at least some record of its passing, if only of how it had tragically collapsed under the weight of all those horses and riders! If it still exists it is inconceivable that it has not been visited and photographed by hordes of tourists.
Tomorrow, with a dramatic flourish reminiscent of those Perry Mason TV programs in the "The Case Of The Missing…" series, we will reveal what happened.
Thursday, 26 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Tale Of Two Bridges And A Stile
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Cornwall, England. WHAT: the patina on ancient landscapes.
MAPS: Luxulyan Valley, & Treffry Viaduct; and the village of Stithians.
Thumbnail clicks  pop-up larger images.
During yesterday's visit to the Sceptred Isle, we passed a remark about landscapes that were 'overlaid by the rich patina of time'. In recent weeks Charles Winpenny at CornwallCAM.co.uk has visited a number of locations with just such a patina. We chose two of the locations he visited: the Treffry Viaduct in the Luxulyan Valley; and a clapper bridge and stile near the village of Stithians.
The viaduct will delight the connoisseur of bridge engineering: it not only carried the Par Tramway across the river, but also carried Carmears Leat (an open watercourse conducting water to a mill - OUP, electronic Concise Oxford v.110) whose waters turned the Carmears Waterwheel to raise the trucks on the nearby incline. Charles refers to the book 'Around The River Fowey' by Bob Acton* (ISBN 1873443021), which describes the route taken by Charles, and provides historical detail.
The ancient, and you may notice rather care worn, clapper bridge and stile are similar to many other crossing arrangements found throughout the United Kingdom. We are sure a learned treatise could be written discussing historical influences, regional patterns & variations, and the social & economic significance of both stiles and clapper bridges. Motorized travellers already the intriguingly named WetRoads.co.uk, which is devoted to the Great British Ford (shallow place where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle - OUP-CO again), but we have been unable to find an equivalent for pedestrians in search of safe crossing places.
* Local guides by Bob Acton are often marked as out of print by booksellers, so we give here an unchecked but frequently found address: Landfall Publications, Landfall, Penpol, Devoran, Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6NR Tel: 01872 862581 publishers of Bob Acton's Landfall Walks books featuring local history in Cornwall.
Wednesday, 25 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Call Of The Green Shimmering
CREDIT: © Don Burluraux/NorthYorkMoors.com
WHERE: northeastern England. WHAT: cross country walk in the North York Moors.
MAP: Osmotherley. Thumbnail  clicks pop-up larger images.
In southern Utah it has been drizzling gently from overcast skies for four days now. The cliffs that demarcate the edge of the Colorado Plateaus have taken on the slightest of green hazes, something like the green shimmer over the hawthorn hedgerows in northern England before the Spring is really underway. We were reminded that it has been a while since we featured some favorite web sites in the United Kingdom: we decided to remedy that by calling on Don Burluraux at NorthYorkMoors.com for a walk over the green sward near his home base.
Don's latest feature is a photo record of a moorland walk from Osmotherley to Thimbleby, by way of Over Silton, and Nether Silton (content may change by the time you visit). These landscapes are overlaid by the rich patina of time: visit Don to learn about Sir George Orby Wombwell, who died in 1913 in his 81st year, the last surviving member of the charge of the light cavalry brigade at Balaclava, in the Crimea, on 25 October 1854. That savage battle, a disaster perhaps better forgotten, was in the same month as Don's gentle 2002 walk 148 years later.
Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: African Safari On Your Desktop
CREDIT: © Theo Allofs/TheoAllofs.com
WHERE: Africa. WHAT: wild animal safari pictures.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with a larger image.
While researching creatures for yesterday's feature, our breath was taken away by a Theo Allofs picture entitled, ' Searching Eyes, Leopard on Termite Mound at Sunrise, Namibia, Africa'. At first we thought it might even have been a graphic rather than a photograph in the strictest sense. Closer investigation revealed that it was indeed an optically recorded image from the real world… but more real than real, in the sense used by some early surrealists. Our thumbnail links to Theo's exhibit in the Afterimage.com gallery, which was the largest version of the picture that we were able to find: we advise that you stand well back after hitting the link!
On Theo's own web site, the leopard appears with eight  other pictures (each of the pages has a slide show control), in a gallery entitled 'African Safari. Check back to the home page when you have finished looking, and there are nine more galleries of breathtaking pictures available from the Fine Art Prints item in the page sidebar. Prints are available for purchase.
Monday, 23 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: All Creatures Great And Small
CREDITS (L to R) with picture titles: AfterimageGallery.com/
© Steven Sellars, 'Apple Eyed Ram';
© Elliott Erwitt, 'New York, 1946', (courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery);
© Ted Orland, 'Gate and Guard Dog, 1975';
© Greg Dimijian, 'Male Hippopotamus Guarding Territory, Botswana, Africa, 1991'.
WHERE: Dallas, Texas, USA. WHAT: online 'Creatures' photo exhibition.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
We have visited AfterimageGallery.com before, to view one of Adriel Heisey's prints. The gallery was established in September 1971, making it one of the oldest art galleries in the world devoted exclusively to photographs, claims the web site.
To mark the occasion the gallery requested over forty photographers to send in pictures selected by the gallery for a themed exhibition entitled 'Creatures'. The exhibition was mounted on 15 September 2001. All forty two entries are available online at a generous viewing size: other galleries and individual photographers might take note, then check to see how their own presentations compare.
Many people pitching prints costing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, imagine that sales are going to be affected if they show anything larger than 25Kb or 250 pixels on the web. Worse, the images are often disfigured with ugly copyright symbols or other dross, the idea being that visitors will not download the picture to save themselves money. The really bad news is that they are correct, sales are affected: the images are so unappealing that prospective purchasers lose interest!
We selected four images from across the three  online gallery pages, to be featured in today's thumbnail strip. Our choices were determined by a common theme of humour, and were not in any way made to indicate ranking of the exhibits. We did think that one image stood out even in this exalted company: tomorrow we will feature the photographer who took the picture, along with the particular image, and you may be assured that he has many others of an equally high standard.
Sunday, 22 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: The Vickers Vimy Flies Over Java
CREDIT: © James L. Stanfield /NationalGeographic.com
WHERE: Java, Indonesia. WHAT: replica Vickers Vimy biplane.
MAP: Indonesia. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
We featured the Vickers 'Vimy' aircraft once before, but never the less we are delighted to do so again. Looking like something out of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' in this picture, a replica biplane flies over the jungle and farmland of Java, Indonesia. Visit the NationalGeographic.com source page article for more details, an explanation of the plane's appearance, and to download as desktop wallpaper after clicking on the magnifying glass below the picture.
Saturday, 21 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: All About You Are Losing Theirs
CREDIT: © Zohrab Markarian/AtlasTours.net
WHERE: Jordan. WHAT: Jordanian Royal Family photo albums.
MAP: Jordan political, and interactive tourist attractions.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Recently we visited Petra, Jordan, the 'rose-red city half as old as time'. We return to Jordan to look at the royal family. The CIA World Factbook summary contains this sentence to describe the reign of King Hussein of Jordan (1953-99), "A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts." No mean achievement!
Our headline was inspired by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), from the opening lines, "If you can keep your head when all about you /Are losing theirs…" No doubt by consulting official sources we would be given information of a more rose-red hue, but generally in the West both the king and his son, King Abdullah II who succeeded him, are seen as successfully treading a difficult path in a difficult time and place.
The Jordan based tourism operator AtlasTours.net provide detailed information about the places they offer as destinations: we wish more commercial web sites followed the example. The web site also features a photo gallery containing pictures of the king take by Zohrab Markarian. Our selection includes the king with his wife, Queen Noor, and presenting his son Abdullah (sometimes spelled Abdallah, now King of Jordan himself, whose mother was Princess Muna Al Hussein), with his parachutist's wings.
Friday, 20 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: San Francisco Waxing Wanes
CREDIT: © San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate.com
WHERE: San Francisco, USA. WHAT: newspaper archive earthquake pictures.
Thumbnail clicks pops-up source pages with larger images and picture information.
The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper has recently installed an $8 million pagination system, and is one of the last US daily papers so to do. The newspaper's own online columns carry the story, written by staff writer Dan Frost. CreativePro.com columnist Gene Gable has an article explaining in lay language the technology behind our "Waxing Wanes" headline. Gene's opening sentence seems to sum up a common work place experience, "In every profession people date themselves by the work practices or technology in place at the time they entered their chosen field."
The paragraph's closing sentences, "In the rest of our lives we tend to want to minimize our age and experience, but in things work related, longevity is a badge of honor. That is until you become a cranky old whiner." made us flush uncomfortably. We hope we have transcended cranky whining, even if only by switching from a smokestack industry to a digital career, though we have been known to articulate condemnations of white-socked juveniles in any position of responsibility.
A trio of film makers is shooting a documentary about the passing of an era, entitled 'Pressed for Time: Documenting the Last Days of the Newspaper Printing Trade', which you may learn about on the dedicated web site PrinterHistory.com.
Like the 'Sydney Morning Herald', which we featured recently, the 'San Francisco Chronicle' is not afraid to 'share the wealth' by opening its photo archives for online browsing. We selected the archive for the earthquakes of 1906 and 1989, and from the extensive selection of photos we chose the four pictures in today's thumbnail strip. Images of the stoic survival of the people, and the regeneration of the city, appear alongside pictures of wholesale death and destruction.
Thursday, 19 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Water Landscapes Of Blue & Gold
CREDIT: © George MacArthur Henke/Art-Exchange.com
WHERE: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. WHAT: fine-art photos of worldwide subjects.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
The work of Santa Fe based photographer George MacArthur Henke has been featured here on a previous occasion, when we reported on the process of having some original film images turned into fine-art prints. The final step has now been taken in process of bringing the work before a wider audience: George now offers twenty two prints across four     sections on the Art-Exchange.com web site.
As it turned out, our choices for today's thumbnail strip have a watery theme. The locations are disparate, however: we think the golden light pictures may both show Camden Harbor, Maine, the center left lake is in Yosemite, and the center right pond is in Alaska. Other featured locations are as far apart as George's Santa Fe home base and New Zealand. Prices for 13x19 inches giclée prints, on archival paper, are $300 with larger sizes available 16"x24" for $400, and 20"x30" for $625. In addition to stunning landscapes, another specialization of George's is garden photography, but you will see that for yourself when you visit.
Are we missing something here? The gallery software seems to demand clicking backwards and forwards from index pages to display pages for any progress to be made. Display versions of our featured pictures may be reached, as usual, by clicking on the thumbnails. Below, we provide direct links to all the display pages:
Wednesday, 18 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Desert Southwest Floral Farewell
CREDIT: © Jack Dykinga/SonoranDesertNP.org
WHERE: Sonoran Desert, USA and Mexico. WHAT: desert flora in bloom.
MAPS: trans-border Sonoran Desert, & USA sub-districts.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images and picture details.
"We have created an organization to study, advocate, preserve and defend this place. Forever. And we need your heart and your wallet." runs the tag line on the SDNPF (Sonoran Desert National Park Friends) web site, which contains 'A Citizen's Proposal' for a projected National Park. The area was designated as a National Monument by outgoing US President William J. Clinton in January 2001. There are other initiatives, such as the Pima County, Arizona, 'Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan'. The SDNPF web site carries an Esquire Magazine article from December 1999 entitled 'Leave Something Behind' by Charles Bowden that makes interesting reading about the feelings people have for this special place.
We have been looking at the Desert Southwest of the USA over the last several days, and before we move far away to our next location, we thought a look at the flora of the Sonoran Desert would be a good way to wind up our visit to the present location. The SDNPF web site also has a photo gallery containing pictures of the desert in bloom. We selected four images for today's thumbnail strip.
You may also enjoy visiting Michael J. Plagens, the 'Sonoran Desert Naturalist', for more pictures and specialist information about the plants of this region.
Tuesday, 17 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Back To Earth Among The Navajo
CREDIT: © Kenji Kawano/ArizonaArts.org
WHERE: Navajo nation, southwest USA. WHAT: the Diné people.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images. Pop-ups are self managing: there is no need to close a pop-up before clicking another thumbnail or number, or linking elsewhere.
If all the flying around has made you dizzy, then come down to earth with us among the Navajo people of the areas that we have been flying over in the last two days. ACA (the Arizona Commission on the Arts) has several travelling exhibitions, and yesterday we mentioned 'In the Fifth World: Portrait of the Navajo Nation' and Adriel Heisey's pictures for that exhibition. Those who are not dizzy may enjoy another fine selection of twenty one Heisey photographs:
Those are new links from us, and although  is familiar, it is presented on this occasion at 90° to the orientation in which we have seen it hitherto. Today, however, we concentrate on the work of Kenji Kawano, who has seventeen online images, of which thirteen are linked here, with the remaining four images linked as our selections for the thumbnail strip at the head of this article:
Ironically, Kenji is Japanese, the very nation that the Navajo Code Talkers were deployed to frustrate during WWII, when their native language, impenetrable to non native speakers, made such a huge contribution to the American war effort. The Kennedy Museum of Art web pages at the Ohio University web site contain an article on Kanji's exhibition, 'Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers'. Both Warriors and Fifth World are available as books, here linked from the Amazon.com web site.
Monday, 16 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: ART & ARS In Ancient Landscapes
CREDIT: © Adriel Heisey/AdrielHeisey.com
WHERE: Desert Southwest, USA. WHAT: ancient landscapes.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
Yesterday we looked at ARS (Archaeological Remote Sensing), which uses aerial photography for scientific research. Today we look at similar resources, but ones that are additionally used for artistic expression in the fine-art photography field. In this context the name Adriel Heisey is in the forefront: Adriel was flying planes before he was old enough to hold a car driving license, and his aerial images of the southwestern deserts of the USA are both beautiful and inspirational.
If you live in southwest Utah, you may see a travelling exhibition of Adriel's work, entitled 'Mindscapes', that is running in Cedar City, UT, from January to 05 March 2004. There will be an Artist Reception at 7:00pm on 04 March. Details are available on the SUU web site (including other concurrent exhibitions), with an overview of the exhibitions contents from CU Museum web site. Adriel is well represented on the web: we thought the most appropriate course was to point you to places where his images are displayed, and places where his work is used as part of a wider interpretation.
Adriel's own web site, at AdrielHeisey.com, details his current work — In The Fifth World: Portrait of the Navajo Nation; and Under The Sun: A Sonoran Desert Odyssey. The site Events page has details of the 'From Above: Images of a Storied Land' exhibition running in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 09 May to 31 August.
The NationalGeographic.com web site has two Heisey related resources: Sky-High Over The Sonoran'; and Flight Over Four Corners. Both resources are extensive, and worthy of an extended visit for them to be fully appreciated.
The AfterimageGallery.com web site features the five images that appear in today's thumbnail strip. The first Heisey image we ever saw was 'Two Arroyos, Navajo Nation, Arizona' that is unfortunately not available as a web resource, but which was used on an exhibition flyer postcard we are unable to show for copyright reasons. The second Heisey image we saw was on AfterimageGallery.com, a very large image entitled 'Navajo Sheep Camp, Summer, Chuska Mountains, Navajo Nation, New Mexico, 1992, which we commend to you if you have the necessary viewing resources.
The AridLands Newsletter (issue No.50 Nov/Dec 2001) has an article entitled 'Etching The Desert, written by Adriel and illustrated with four     sets of multiple photographs. If you have ever looked at a petroglyph, and in doing so felt a connection with the past, you may respond to Adriel's comments when he describes his own feelings, "The mood of mystery about them is powerful. They titillate our deepest urges to make meaning."
The CenterForDesertArchaeology.org has an article on the Chaco Culture National Historical Park', which introduces the archaeology of the location in yesterday's featured picture, and adds five      Heisey images of the Chaco Canyon ruins. Pueblo Bonito is featured in image number , and is probably the most striking evidence of the structure and organization of these ancient cultures.
The Images Of Arizona program from KAET-TV/Channel 8 (part of Arizona State University) offers nine        Heisey images (we have omitted two images, duplicated earlier in this feature).
We realize that today's feature may have been heavy going, especially if you decided to follow all the links to the resources that we have given. We considered spreading the feature out over several days, but thought that might defeat our object, which was to provide a coherent guide to the Heisey resources online. Our links are by no means exhaustive, there is even a band named 'Rachel's' that used Heisey images for an album entitled 'Selenography'. We hope readers will return to dip into this feature, visit the resources, and then be inspired by the body of work from this artist.
Sunday, 15 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Archaeological Remote Sensing
CREDIT: © Philip Greenspun/Photo.net
WHERE: Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. WHAT: ancient cultural site.
MAP: Chaco, NM. Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.
The GHCC (Global Hydrology and Climate Center) — a partnership comprised of organizational elements from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), the State of Alabama's Space Science and Technology Alliance (SSTA), and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) — provides integrated scientific understanding of the Earth system to enable better decisions improving the global quality of life.
One of the tools used by the GHCC is ARS (Archaeological Remote Sensing), which was used at the Chaco Canyon site in northwestern New Mexico to discover the existence of ancient roadways, otherwise invisible from ground level. Tom Baker has an aerial archaeology web site, which discusses locations and techniques for the technology.
The site, a National Historical Site with World Heritage Status, has been the subject of over a century of study of the Chacoan culture. Following the 1977 discovery by Anna Sofaer of the Sun Dagger, a celestial calendar of the ancient Pueblo Indians, interest intensified. The calendar marks, with precise light patterns, the summer and winter solstices, the spring and fall equinoxes, and the nineteen year cycle of the moon. This recording of sun and moon extremes makes the site unique.
Today's feature picture is Chaco Canyon, taken by Philip Greenspun, the founder of Photo.net. Philip has a photographer's guide to New Mexico. We thought the picture conveyed just the right atmosphere for this exciting place.
Saturday, 14 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Watchful Eye On American Farmers
CREDIT: © Andrew Sacks/AndrewSacksPictures.com
WHERE: Michigan, USA. WHAT: online agricultural photo book.
Thumbnail clicks pops-up source pages with larger images.
Andrew Sacks is a Chelsea near Detroit, Michigan, based photographer who specializes in industrial, agricultural, and family subjects. When we visited his web site we particularly enjoyed an online flip-book entitled 'Ready For Spring: the new season on America's farms', which gives an insight into the lives and experiences of a diverse range of American farming operations and farmers.
The book is also available as a 4.4Mb movie in QuickTime format: this has much larger pictures and more readable text, but unless you possess sufficient technical competence to arrange a download to disk (so that the frames can be shown individually), we think you will find it a very frustrating viewing experience. After we had downloaded to disk, we found the flip-book thoroughly enjoyable: the frames are said to be 'comps' (a graphics industry term meaning 'compositionals', indicating very low resolution pictures), but in this medium they are entirely satisfactory.
There are five main galleries linked from the home page: Agriculture, Family, Industry, Historic, and Globes. The images in our thumbnail strip are (L to R):  Minnesota farm family in wheat field;  hog house consultant;  cutting irrigated alfalfa, Dodge City, Kansas; and  strawberry farmers, Fresno, California. The Historic gallery contains four sub galleries from the 1960s, and Globes contains a number of different map images of the Middle East. We especially liked one of the pictures in the Industry gallery called 'Neon Email Sign', which we thought would make a very compelling sign to hang outside an Internet café!
Friday, 13 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: A Rose-Red City Half As Old As Time
CREDIT: © Jane Taylor/Jane Taylor Photographs
WHERE: Petra, Jordan. WHAT: ancient 'lost' city. MAPS: Jordan, and Petra.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with descriptions and larger images.
Jane Taylor has lived in Amman, Jordan, since 1989. Her eight online galleries range from Italy, through Turkey, Syria, Yemen plus the island of Soqotra, and Jordan from both air and ground. Petra is so special that it rates a gallery of its own, though it is only a city not a country. Jane has listed pages to be added for Iraq, Eqypt, and Saudi Arabia. The Books section lists Jane's own works, including collaborations with luminaries such as Laurens van der Post for 'Testament to the Bushmen'.
The pictures in the thumbnail strip show (L to R):  Siq, a cleft in the rocks that forms the main entrance to Petra;  aerial view of the Monastery;  portico of the Treasury; and  aerial view of the Treasury;  the Treasury. Click the links or the thumbnails to go to the source pages with more detailed information.
There is a tradition of Europeans visiting various parts of the globe to 'discover' places that were not lost in the first place. Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (1784-1817) was one such, travelling on behalf of the British African Association to become, in 1812, probably the first non-local to see the city in three hundred years. The archaeology of Petra is certainly not finalized, as this Washington Post article makes clear. NationalGeographic.com offers other views of this amazing place.
In 1845 John William Burgon, later Dean of Chichester (1819-1888) joined the stream of visitors that has been heading for the site ever since. Afterwards he penned one of the best known couplets in the English language, the last two lines of the following quotation, from a hard to find and otherwise forgotten poem:
It seems no work of Man's creative hand,
By labor wrought as wavering fancy plnned;
But from the rock as by magic grown,
Eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,
Where erst Athena held her rites divine;
Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,
That crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;
But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,
That first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
Which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,
Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
A rose-red city half as old as time.
Thursday, 12 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Apples, Pears, Onions, & Grapes
CREDIT: © Craig Scoffone/Craig Scoffone Studios
WHERE: San Jose, California. WHAT: product shots & landscapes.
Thumbnail click pops-up source pages with larger image.
We visited Craig Scoffone's web site primarily to see his landscape work, but more of that in a moment. Craig practises in several photographic disciplines, and we first visited his 'Product Photography Portfolio '. The juxtaposition of apples, pears, onions and bottled, fermented grapes delighted our sense of the whimsical.
Realizing, as a former sensei of ours liked to say, that we were not there to enjoy ourselves, we repaired to the 'Fine-Art Landscape Gallery' to undertake the serious purpose of our visit. We had been intrigued by Craig's description of these images as being available for 'personal or corporate collections of stunning wall decor'. Each of the twenty one images on offer do have an amount of abstraction to them. Perhaps having figurative tastes ourselves, we are unaccustomed to thinking of photographs as 'decor', but we can see that as a valid function.
While anyone purchasing for themselves might reasonably be expected to pay due attention to their pictures, we can only hope that those who stroll the corridors of corporate power will pay attention. At the time of writing, suitably mounted and framed Cibachrome 20x24 inch prints are available at $675.00 per title, plus applicable shipping & tax. The page says 'Print editions are 25 deep per title', which is an expression we had not heard until now. We took it to mean all prints are in limited editions of twenty five, though no mention of numbering is made.
You may also like to check out Craig's 'Commercial Headshots' and 'Fashion and Glamour' galleries. The curious will probably discover for themselves that all the resources mentioned are hosted on a server that is also used to host Craig's 'Fine-Art Erotic Photography' web site: entry to this is restricted by password.
Wednesday, 11 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Who Were Those Red Cloud Chiefs?
CREDIT: © Library of Congress, American Memory/Edward S. Curtis archive.
WHERE: North America. WHAT: record of Native American culture.
Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
The work of Edward S. Curtis is not without controversy. For this introduction, however, we simply draw your attention to the Library of Congress 'American Memory' resource on Curtis's work 'The North American Indian', published in a limited edition from 1907-1930. From the available 2,200 images we chose a portrait of Jack Red Cloud. Studio size monitor users may enjoy a high-res version You may like to start your browsing of this extensive resource with the Edward S. Curtis In Context special presentation. Son of Red Cloud (1822-1909), Jack Red Cloud (1862-1928) became Chief of the Oglala Sioux at the Pine Ridge Agency during the last years of his father's life. You may see other Dakota-Lakota-Nakota Nation chiefs on the DLN Human Rights Advocacy Coalition web site.
They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one - they promised to take our land… and they took it." -- Chief Red Cloud.
Tuesday, 10 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Pantechnicon Of Satirical Talent
CREDIT: © Eric Hands/EricHands.com
WHERE: London, England. WHAT: early 1970s 'Private Eye' personalities.
NOTE: ALL four thumbnail clicks will pop-up the same source page with a slide show.
In the early 1970s, the British satirical magazine 'Private Eye' was home to some of the wittiest and most entertaining people in the country. The magazine's staff photographer from about 1970 to 1976 was Eric Hands, who shares some portraits from those heady days through his web site. In the thumbnail strip we feature some personal favorites (L to R): Peter Cook; Barry Humphries as housewife and super-star Dame Edna Everidge; Malcolm Muggeridge; and Willie Rushton.
Visit EricHands.com to see other portraits from the counter culture that eventually became part of the establishment in its own right. That truckload of humorists and writers from almost thirty years ago, some now departed and sadly missed, seems more like a glittering pantheon looking back. If you are familiar with their work, you may still hear echoes of their styles reverberating down the years to the present.
Monday, 09 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: The Longest Crinkle-Crankle Wall
CREDIT: © Ian Davey/SuffolkCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Easton, Suffolk, England. WHAT: distinctive wall-building class record.
MAP: Easton, Suffolk.Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.
Well built walls should not fall over, but sometimes the terrain that they stand upon increases the likelihood that this may happen. The familiar buttress is the most common way to overcome this risk, but another method is to build a wavy wall: these are known as crinkle-crankle walls.
Another benefit, said to favor this form of building, is that the brickwork absorbs heat from the sun, encouraging plant growth on the sheltered lee side, where the warmth is then radiated overnight. At Wroxall, in the English county of Warwickshire, there is a wall that is attributed to Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723), the architect of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The semi circular Wroxall bays are an elaborate form of crinkle-crankle wall building that might seem to support the radiant heat claim. Two pictures from 'Bill' Burgoyne's web site clearly show both sides of the wall.
It is claimed that the world's longest crinkle-crankle wall is located at Easton in the English county of Suffolk. Webmaster Ian Davey from SuffolkCAM.co.uk went there to shoot an interesting photo-set, which provides the picture for today's feature. The wall is the most notable survivor of the Easton Hall estate: the English seat of the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton was demolished in the 1920s and shipped to America to be rebuilt on a ranch. So far we have been unable to track down the details of this event.
The other buildings in Easton perhaps fall into the architectural class of 'quaint', though in this context we do not use the term disparagingly. Happily, thus far, Easton seems to have avoided the fate of gentrification seen in some Cotswold villages, and in other sought after locations, which then deteriorates into theme-parkification and what is claimed to be tasteful commercial exploitation. Visit the SuffolkCAM.co.uk current page (content may change by the time you visit, but the 07 February 2004 item should by then be available in the archive pages) for a tour of this corner of Old England.
Sunday, 08 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Images Stand Out From The Crowd
CREDIT: © Misha Gordin/bSimple.com
WHAT: 'conceptual' photographic image manipulation by traditional methods.
Thumbnail click pops-up larger image on source page.
In an age when image manipulation may be practised by anyone with access to a personal computer running Adobe Photoshop, we are reminded of the presumably apocryphal critic who sighed, 'This book could have been written by anybody, and probably was!' All the images on the Misha Gordin bSimple.com web site have been assembled and printed in a traditional darkroom.
Perhaps if learning 'analog' manipulation was a requirement for being let loose to perform digital manipulation, we might see fewer of the visual travesties that presently masquerade as art at all levels of attainment.
Many of the pictures we regularly feature here are straightforward representations of place; we would hardly even describe them as landscapes, at least not in the same way that works by such luminaries of the genre as Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, or Michael Fatali, are photographic landscapes. When we were pointed to photographic resources different from our usual offerings, we wondered if we had fallen into a comfortable rut of complacency in our selections. Perhaps our readers would like something a little more piquant, thought provoking, or even downright challenging?
The house of photography holds many mansions: Misha Gordin explores what he calls 'conceptual' photography. The image we chose for the thumbnail that acts as a visual introduction is Crowd 51 from the '1990-2000' gallery, one of four available from The New Crowd section of the web site. Much of Misha's work has the edgy quality seen in the work of Diane Arbus, Helmut Newton*, or Robert Mapplethorpe*. If you would like to try really edgy, we recommend the Doubt gallery. [Thanks to Jenny Cockshull for the lead to this resource.]
*EDITOR'S NOTE: the resorce linked for Helmut Newton contains some mild nudity. Our policy is never to show anything directly on our pages that is not 'family friendly'. However, we do from time to time link to resources not in that category, though as with today's link, we try to select the 'minimum' level to make the point. We will wecome any reader response, in either direction, to help us to determine the best policy for our web site.
Saturday, 07 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Search For The Ship 'Hunchback'
CREDIT: © Terry Foenander/US Civil War Navies
WHERE: United States of America. WHAT: research for both navies in the Civil War.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.
For reasons we will not go into here, we were looking for information about an American Civil War ship named 'USS Hunchback'. Our search led us to an essay by researcher Terry Foenander, who even identifies both the First and Second Assistant Engineers who were aboard the vessel.
The DNNHC (Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center) offers eight historical images related to the Hunchback, seven of them by Matthew Brady. Also on the DNNHC web site may be found a brief history of the Hunchback, and an article on the naming of vessels. Readers further interested in Civil War pictures may enjoy the Library of Congress 'American Memory' Selected Civil War Photographs collection of 1,118 images, with an additional 200 autographed portraits in the James Wadsworth Family Papers).
Friday, 06 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Stagecoaches, Cog Rail & Donkeys
CREDIT: © Old Colorado City Historical Society/History.OldColo.com
WHERE: Colorado Springs, USA. WHAT: stagecoaches, cog railway & mules.
MAP: Colorado Springs. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images on source pages.
The OCCHS (Old Colorado City Historical Society) has an archive of vintage local photographs under the title Photograph File. We chose the two images on the left of the thumbnail strip from the Stage Coaches section, and the two on the right from the M&PPCR (Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway) section.
The pictures [from L to R] show:  Stage Line up North Cheyenne Canyon [courtesy Pikes Peak Library];  Colorado City, 27 June 1936, Old Fort and Stockade Dedication;  14 October 1891, famous Hook photograph of a burro named 'Marshall von Blucher' [courtesy Jim Bates collection]; and  1891 Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, an engine built in 1890 [courtesy Jim Bates collection].
The modern M&PPCR web site claims the track to be highest cog railway in the world, and the highest outright in North America. The outright highest railway in the world contenders are in Peru, and Tibet, subject as usual to some qualifications. Local resident Michael Coletta has pictures from a visit to Pikes Peak by the vehicle trail, and another for some mining industry survivors, the feral donkeys of Cripple Creek.
Thursday, 05 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Coast To Coast In 118.908 Meters
CREDIT: © Matt Frondorf/Kodak.com
WHERE: USA. WHAT: 3,004 pictures from coast to coast.
MAP: USA. Thumbnail clicks pop-up postcard sender with larger images.
Matt Frondorf drove from the Statue of Liberty, New York, to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California. Every mile his auto rigged camera shutter fired to take another picture. With a little trigonometry Matt determined that in 3004 shots numbered 0-3003 (plus No.3004 for the victory picture), he had recorded the whole width of the continent, from sea to shining sea. With 35mm film images at 36x24mm we reckon that the USA measures 118.908 meters (390.137 feet) across!
Kodak host the record of the journey on a web site under the title 'Taken On The Road: American Mile Markers'. You will need Macromedia Flash installed to operate the Picture Viewer, and Apple QuickTime to view the movies: many modern systems have both of these softwares installed by default. The site is browser platform/version sensitive, but if you have the two required softwares installed, then those links should load the features. The thumbnails are from the Picture Viewer series.
The thumbnails (ordered from right to left, to conform with the east to west convention) are start to finish and the quarter points, which are mile markers equivalent to images numbered     .
When we first began to research this item, we had doubts about the suitability of the source material. However, the more we accessed the resources the more interesting they became. We suggest that you first of all select the 100 mile resolution in the Picture Viewer to get an overview of the journey from the accompanying synchronized map: the 25 mile and 1 mile resolutions can be used later to fill in the finer details.
Wednesday, 04 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Human Spirit Nourishment Center
CREDIT: © Peter M. Adams/Windgrove.com
WHERE: Tasmania, Australia. WHAT: spiritual regeneration center.
MAP: Tasmania. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger image.
Peter Adams created Windgrove on the island of Tasmania in Australia as a… well why not go and find out for yourself? Did you know that experimental kittens, restricted to exploration of their environment at the behest of their siblings, suffer delayed learning and development? We always try to do what is best for you! Now cut along there… [Thanks to Carmel Glover for the lead to this place.]
Tuesday, 03 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Old Water Blasts from The Past
CREDIT: © as detailed below/DoDFire.com
WHERE: various US home military bases. WHAT: vintage fire fighting appliances.
Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
On a recent visit to DoDFire.com we saw the Bush planes (US President George W. and Florida Governor Jeb), but neglectfully failed to feature the host web site's core subject, which is military fire fighting. We realized this while preparing the feature about Achorage, Alaska, civil aviation fire fighters, so we are making amends.
DoDFire.com ran a photo competition for June 2003, wherein we saw these venerable fire trucks. The winning competition entry was by Jimmy Sanders, driver/operator with MCAS Cherry Point FD, entitled 'FF Joe Smith and myself drilling with our high-rise packs at the dept.' Though not displayed in the thumbnail line-up, we have included it as a pop-up, because there is not much joy in winning if your picture is ignored!
The other pictures (L to R) are:  1923 Stoughton Community Firefighter, owned by Bill & Carole Killen, which was the Antioch, Illinois, Fire Department's first motorized fire apparatus, on active service 1923-1949;  1942 Ford, Class 525 pumper, 500 gpm, 150 water in a 1951 picture from Grenier Air Force Base, New Hampshire, submitted by Ted Heinbuch;  c.1930 Selfridge ANGB FD, submitted by Max Corning;  believed to be a post WWII photograph, submitted by Aaron Ledsome, showing Fire Station #1 at Kelly Field, San Antonio, TX. This, and other two other pictures submitted by Aaron, may be seen on the competition web page, and the originals are currently displayed in the Lackland AFB FD. The antique engine on the left was apparently being used as a billboard for fire prevention awareness.
Our thanks to the DoDFire.com web site, and all the photo competition contributors. Our own local fire department in Hurricane, Utah, maintains an old much loved appliance that makes gleaming appearances at local fund raisers.
Monday, 02 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Rescued From Burning Or Drowning
CREDIT: © John Gomes/My Alaska!
WHERE: Anchorage, Alaska, USA. WHAT: airport fire & ice rescue.
MAP: Anchorage. Thumbnail clicks pop-up source pages with larger images.
The SmugMug.com photo-sharing service is featured here for the first time, through the galleries of John Gome. John is a retired police officer/firefighter who has lived in Alaska for the past thirty eight years. That accounts for his special interest, and his presence taking pictures when the Anchorage airport emergency services were doing training exercises for fire & ice rescue. If we ever achieve our ambition to visit Alaska, should we fly into Anchorage we will feel more comfortable in the knowledge that these guys will be on duty should anything untoward occur!
John has eleven galleries ranging from these journalism galleries, through animals. to one of our own favorites featuring images of a spectacular aurora borealis display.
Sunday, 01 February 2004
Pix Of The Day: Prof. JK Lacock & Braddock's Rd.
CREDIT: © Frank X. Brusca/Route40.net
WHERE: Pennsylvania & Maryland, USA. WHAT: road history of the early USA.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.
The history of the development of the road system in what is now the USA makes a fascinating study. Our favorite resource for this study is Frank X. Brusca's 'America's Golden Highway™' Route40.net web site. After reading the historical background page, we chose the section on Braddock's Road, as researched by Harvard professor John Kennedy Lacock. This is a Route40.net exclusive: for the first time Lacock's photographs have been merged with his text.
The article is in six parts, profusely illustrated with postcards made from photographs commissioned by Lacock from Ernest K. Weller. The example we have chosen is 'Lacock Postcard No. 15. St. John Rock, Big Savage Mountain, near Frostburg, MD', from Section 4. Perhaps had we had the benefit of the Internet during our own school years we might have avoided the imprecation from history tutor 'Spike' Morlin that we should become plumBers… yes, he pronounced the 'B"! For years we have been accused of telling tall tales, but thanks to the Internet we are able to say that the facts have been recorded in a 04 November 2003 news release," The citation… notes that his teachers at Carlisle Grammar School suggested he become a plumber." Our own citation must still be in the works: we will let you know when it arrives!
|. . . . . . . . . . . . |
. . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)