The Puppet Portraitist

I stumbled on a pretty cool new idea – use a small Lumix LX-5 digital camera but take pictures through the two old Twin Lens Reflex cameras I have. I might even devise some sort of bellows.

The Puppet Portraitist
Has an important job
Take pictures of Dummies,
Politicians and other such Slobs

The Puppet Portraitist
Has too much work
Snooty entitled Puppets
And other Selfish Jerks

The Puppet Portraitist
Changed his rules
From now on only good puppets
He won't suffer fools

(Great Grandpa) Bishop Edward Waddington

WOW – my 7th Great Grandfather is a historic figure in England. Bishop Edward Waddington:

My 7th Great Grandfather – Bishop Edward Waddington – 1682 – 1731

Sunday “grab bag” ….

My Mothers side of the family is turning out to be quite interesting. Exciting genealogy find today.

I worked on puppet theatre set design, music and genealogy. Big fun Sunday! That was after weight lifting and cycling to and from the gym and cleaning the house.

Today I had the burning urge to play the lap steel. Like the bass – where all of a sudden I had a break through and step up in my playing, all of a sudden I “get” the lap steel, and kind of understand how and where to play it. In today’s song idea, which I gave myself one hour to write – the lap steel was almost the entire song. I added a cool Solina background part – just for variety. It was another “quickie”, nut I do find that trying to “speed write” is a kind of fun game that helps improve my improvisation.

I also am very close to finishing the imaginary puppet show set of a Leica and Roleiflex cameras. These things are a lot of fun to build – and I try to use as much pure junk as possible.

Leica Digilux-1
Roleiflex – just started, needs work

Haunted Camera

I received a new Golden Age R1 Active MKIII Ribbon microphone today and wanted to test it against my trusty AKG microphone, the first test was with a mandolin. Turns out, the two mics complement each other very nicely.

The song was just a jam, at first it didn’t sound like a blues song, but the bass line just had to go bluesy – its what worked instantly, and while I had no subliminal or liminal idea for that, I never argue with any of my instruments. They take me where they will.

Speaking of an ethereal spirit in control, while this song could have been called “Haunted Train” or better yet, “Ghost Train”, I already did trains (and coffins!), so lets keep it cameras while we are in this series and mindset.

Camera Eye Puppet Theatre

Rolleiflex, Hassleblad, Argus

As you know, this series of Puppet Theatre is NOT to do puppet shows but a cover for doing still life photography. In fact, the 10 years I did Assemblage art were also to give me something to photograph. I’m now working on a puppet stage set that includes cameras as the backdrop – so it should be fun. Building miniature sets with all of the small pieces is the best part.

Speaking of music – I wrote this song today starting with the Piano. It’s either the first or second time I wrote a song starting with the Piano. I need to do this more – the Piano forces you to really have your music theory thinking cap on. On guitar – you can “noodle” around with chords and write a rock song very quickly – its true – if you know 2 or 3 chords – you can get something going fast – and without knowing theory.

The song is in the key of B – a key I’ve hardly ever used. I also added a lap steel part towards the end. This song is full of firsts for me.

The Piano has a layout that is so perfect for learning music theory and even site reading sheet music. It takes some work – but it is nowhere near as “abstract” as most stringed instruments. The keys are “linear” – laid out in ascending pitch and wherever you start – you can start playing a major or minor scale – with sharps, flats and tonic notes all in line. While I love all of my instruments, I do have a special place in my heart for piano. I think this happened in the 80’s when I heard little piano accompanying parts in R.E.M. songs -like “Don’t Go Back to Rockville”. Those little piano parts made the songs for me.

Best of all – playing chords and riffs on the piano is just plain fun!


Iconic and Inexpensive Argus C3 Rangefinder

Next up in puppet fantasyland will be cameras. Yesterday’s train station photo shoot yielded more good photos than I expected, so using a puppet theatre as a still life photography “stage” is working out great.

Fun fact – I’m having fun trying to compose songs using the Lap Steel. I don’t play it the same as Country players play it. The same goes for Mandolin and Violin – I don’t play bluegrass style. I do respect any style of music with good playing.

Stay tuned for Cameraland.