Broken Wagon

This one requires a little set up. It was 1987 and I was teaching programming classes at a company called PSDI in Cambridge, Mass, in the Boston area.

On the weekend I took a photo pilgramage trip to Lowell, Mass, birthplace of Jack Kerouac. I saw his inspiration for Dr. Sax, and just what it would have been like growing up there. But while crossing a bridge over the Merrimac, near an old mill, I saw a Radio Flyer Wagon, frozen in solid ice on the river.

For me, that was the image that has always stuck with me regarding Lowell.

Kerouac (and my father born in the same year a month apart) would have turned 100. I’m glad to see there were quite a few mentions of this anniversary.

Last night
Last flight
Radio Flyer
Solid Ice

Merrimac
Lowell Mass
Mill Town
Ti Jean

12 Stations
Oblations
Dr. Sax
Notations

Dharma Bums
On The Road
Vue Girard
Very Odd

Ode to Arthur Fellig

Here is the song on the Volt 276 with EQ and effects:

And here it is on the Volt 276 without EQ or effects (but with its onboard “vintage” mode):

They called him Weegee
The name of his game
Was Street Photography
You really should see it

High society
Gala affairs
Scandal sheets
Devil may care

Lowbrow Bowery
Gypsies, Tramps and thieves
Real life captured
Beyond belief

Fact or fiction
Is it really real
Scenes on film
History sealed

Another era
Another time
The fleeting moment
So sublime

Life is just
Imitation of art
We are characters
In a play with a part

Chorus
New York City
Late Night scenes
Real life
Humanity

in a nutshell

  • Weegee was one of the most iconic American photographers
  • He had an eye for reportage with a very humanistic approach
  • His reportage also was quite an artistic expression

discussion

New York City has always been intense and the stories told there are legendary. People from all over the world have moved there. It is a global melting pot and always has been. Weegee was one of many extraordinary characters. His photography and cinematic work inspired many others. His photographs grace all of the photo art books.

theme

Art and life can many times and many ways be one in the same. Humanistic photography is many times not too pretty looking, but it is real. At first it can even be shocking, but then the humanity oozes out. Weegee was a master at this.

conclusion

I’m finding that writing lyrics and music about quirky American historical characters is great fun. All seem a bit wacky at first glance, then you see the humanity in their souls and they become unlikely folk heroes.

Shades of November

High above the telegraph wire
A Winter Moon that does inspire
Familiar, and as I remember
I saw the same thing in November

I never liked January
It always seemed bleak to me
But now I've opened my eyes
To this beautiful new surprise

Every month has it's gems
Just look round the bend
Take your camera and look
Round every cranny and nook

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

Radio Twin Lens Reflex

Radio Twin Lens Reflex
All the hits
All the time
The greatest scene
On the ground glass screen

Radio Twin Lens Reflex
First lens
Second lens
Watch the parallax
Get The KNAC!

Radio Twin Lens Reflex
The music
Of our lifetime
So far away
Until we play

Radio Twin Lens Reflex
Automatic reaction
Makes us happy
Radio Photo romance
Get up, let's dance!

Have a Beaux Arts New Year!

Seek Beauty and Kindness in the New Year – and may Peace be With You!

Beaux Arts Lamps, San Francisco
Beaux Arts in English
Means Fine Art
Which is the best thing
For a Great New Years Start

I've been a Computer Geek
In my long career
But my secret love
Has been Art and Music all these years

"Don't quit your day job "
I was told
I listened (and glad I did)
Cuz life (seems) bought and sold . . .

My joke on "The Man"
Is my "other plan"
Art was always in my Heart
That's how I stuck it to the man!

Anyway,
Have yourself a great year
Filled with Art,
Peace, Love and Good Cheer!

My Top Three Favorite Assemblage Photos

This was much easier to choose from as compared to the Nature photography. The best thing about Assemblage is how what you end up building is better than your original idea. This usually happens when you have “happy accidents”. Many times an original idea doesn’t pan out because it feels forced.

The bookshelves were a big surprise. I used these tiny books sold on Amazon and glued everyone on an old varnished oak bookshelf made from an old scientific lab measuring device. I have more dramatic photos but this is the best close up.

The piano was also an old oak wooden scientific instrument case. This puppet was the perfect piano player because she looks like my piano teacher way back in the 80’s. This piece is tied with the bookshelves, but I’ll keep it at three images.

Most of my Assemblage pieces end up being photographed and then recycled. These three pieces won’t be recycled because they are the best and are keepers.

Ill post my plans for next years “art theme” in an upcoming post.

A Way of Seeing

Freeman Patterson lives in New Brunswick, Canada. Many years ago I read several of his photo composition books. He encouraged me to photograph what is in and around my immediate surroundings and see how it changes year by year.

I’m glad I’ve always remembered his advice and books. It’s amazing what unfolds when you look right under your own nose.

Satellite Constellation

It's warmth and beauty
Like a Satellite Constellation
Surrounds me
Comforts me

Just yards from my bed
The Smoke Tree
Has sugar plum foliage
Dancing in my head

Five leaf pedal power
Color clusters
Bathe mine eyes
Like a bed of spring flowers

More Tales From The Smoke Tree

Some entity
Is trying to keep me happy
Maybe that entity
Is the Smoke Tree

A fascinating species
Cousin of the Sumac
Sumacs from my youth
This memory takes me back

Newton, New Jersey
Youthful days in the woods
Next to our house
In our neighborhood

We used sumac branches
As swords
With garbage can lids
As shields for Kings and Lords

3000 miles away
Also near Route 80
Funny how a highway
Defines me

But I digress
Isn't it funny
What a tree can do
When I reminisce