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John Cook
1-Sep-2005, 15:08
It is time to plan the festivities for yet another Labor Day long weekend.

I have been watching the misery in the South on television this week whilst at home with my wife, taking the week off.

I have also seen the news reports indicating that the increased gasoline prices are the oil companiesí method for discouraging potential customers while they try to figure out how to produce more.

The warning speech from our President this afternoon was, ďIf you donít need gasoline, donít buy itĒ.

Having lived through the oil embargos of the 1970's I can tell you that waiting in line for hours and then engaging in a fistfight just to get the two-gallon limit of gas is unpleasant. Especially for those of you who now commute half way across the state to work every day.

High prices donít begin to compare with shortages.

So perhaps the real patriotic thing to do this Labor Day vacation weekend is to sit in the back yard and be thankful we still have one. For those in apartments may I recommend the local park.

I couldnít believe that blonde twit on the Weather Channel this afternoon, trying to drum up enthusiasm for a nice long road trip to the beach on Saturday.

This would be an excellent time to do landscapes of our own land behind the house. I would be too embarrassed to join those merrymakers on the interstate who are exacerbating the problem.

Letís all raise our plastic glasses of iced tea in a salute to aluminum chairs and Kingsford charcoal.

And of course, a prayer for and a donation to our fellow citizens would very much be in order.

Mark Sawyer
1-Sep-2005, 15:23
A wonderful thought, John. Pauls Strand and Caponigro, after photographing in far corners of the world, returned to their own familiar backyards to do some of their strongest work. Now is a most apropos time for us to consider the same...

David A. Goldfarb
1-Sep-2005, 15:29
http://www.echonyc.com/~goldfarb/temp/4.jpg



I'll certainly be traveling to any locations I'm shooting at on Labor Day on foot or in my usual vehicle.

Oren Grad
1-Sep-2005, 15:48
My "escape" this weekend will be a walk around the nearest Audubon sanctuary, 11 minutes away by car.

darr
1-Sep-2005, 15:53
Wonderful suggestion John!
Before Katrina hit this area, this is what my backyard looked like:

http://cameraartist.com/photos/2/68666222/field_of_dreams.jpg (http://www.cameraartist.com)

I think I'll buy some cut flowers to shoot over Labor Day on my patio.

Have a good one,

Ellen Stoune Duralia
1-Sep-2005, 15:59
Absolutely! Use this as an exscuse to "increase your vision" by finding compelling compositions within walking distance of your home. Got a bike? Use it! You'll get some exercise and enjoy the slower pace and you might even see new things; Things that were always there but you missed because you were wizzing by in your car. Don't have a bike? Get one! In every town I've ever lived in, there was always a house with a row of bikes for sale out front - usually lovingly repaired by some retiree who's just trying to drum up a little extra income.

Every little thing we can do to help will add up - thanks for doing your part :D

windpointphoto
1-Sep-2005, 16:47
What do these little rants have to do with Large Format Photography?

RichardRitter
1-Sep-2005, 16:50
I have to work this weekend. Some one sent me a lens to work on and said that he wants me to bench test the lens. I asked what he meant and the reply ďtest it and make sure it works properly you know the type of work I likeĒ. Fine why not. Always wanted to test the Cooke convertible lens. Iíll just walk across the road and on down to the beaver pond. Yes I love my back yard. Photograph it all the time. Some of my best work are the one offs I do around the house.

Mark Sawyer
1-Sep-2005, 17:10
"What do these little rants have to do with Large Format Photography?"

I think most of us would like to think our work, if not doing something positive for our own psyches and for the world, at least has little negative impact. John's suggestion is a reminder that at this point in time, preserving resources, even a little bit from each of us, at least minimizes the negative. And that the mindset acquired from traffic, crowds, and the cost of gas may not be the most conducive to creativity, (though the creative language may be flowing...)

I for one appreciate the thought, the opportunity, and the challenge. There's more to us than discussions of lens histories and developer formulas, I hope...

Bill Hahn
1-Sep-2005, 17:28
>I for one appreciate the thought, the opportunity, and the challenge (Mark Sawyer)

Ditto.

I'm old enough to remember the gas lines of the 70's - but they didn't bother me, because at that time I
didn't own a car, and walked everywhere (or took a bus for longer trips). (A quote from Steven Wright: "Everywhere
is within walking distance - if you have time.")

I still have 4 sheets unexposed from shooting last weekend. Now to find worthwhile ways to expose them....

-Bill H.

Bill Hahn
1-Sep-2005, 17:32
...around the house...

Mike Butler
1-Sep-2005, 18:06
I'm with you John,

I just got back from a trip to southwest South Dakota. The weather was almost too beautiful for a black and white guy (nothing but cloudless blue skies), and I could literally see the price of gas rise before my eyes as I drove back.

On those long, lonely stretches across the Big Empty, I found myself alternately analyzing cost-per-shot expenses and daydreaming about tabletop shots and tending my own garden (for potential macro shots, of course).

And I was counting my blessings that I had a home to return to.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
1-Sep-2005, 19:22
"What do these little rants have to do with Large Format Photography?"

Little rants?!!? Gosh, I'm so sorry that we are bothering you with our discussion regarding the fact that some of us might want to do something to help, however insignificant it may seem to you. I'll bet you're one of those people acting like a fool at the gas pumps - one of those who has the audacity to bitch about gas prices for your precious car while others have lost EVERYTHING.

You are a schmuck, Mr. Peterson!

(to the rest of you, I apologize for my outburst - I just couldn't keep my 'little rant' to myself)

darr
1-Sep-2005, 20:00
Ellen: You go girl!!

Ralph Barker
1-Sep-2005, 21:03
Great idea, John. I'll be wandering around what appears will be my new home in Rio Rancho, NM, just north of Albuquerque, anxiously awaiting the close of escrow around 9/16, so I can start building a new darkroom. Regardless of location, though, Labor Day should be one of the least laborious days of the year, I think.

John Z.
1-Sep-2005, 23:07
Compositions of shells for me in the yard or garage this weekend. You can learn alot by 'back yard' photography. Certainly helps to find a bad shutter or lens problem before going on a trip; kind of like 'working out' photgraphically.

mark blackman
2-Sep-2005, 03:04
"The warning speech from our President this afternoon was, ďIf you donít need gasoline, donít buy itĒ.

This from a bloke who diverts a 747 to fly over New Orleans for publicity shots?

I must agree with the sentiment though, too often we (& I include myself) will travel long distances on the off chance of getting a decent photo, when we are surrounded by numerous opportunities in our own neighbourhood. If you regularly shoot landscapes why not try some LF portraiture? Macro work? Street photography? Try a night shot of your own home?

Calamity Jane
2-Sep-2005, 03:39
Too late - entered a Cowboy Action match in Minnesota weeks ago - go there every Labour Day - 3-1/2 hour's drive - hope there's no problem getting the truck filled up. Packing the 4x5, some Delta 100 and some E100G. Going to try to find time to get some shots of the Cowboys all dressed in their Sunday best.

Since I am fairly new to LF, I do a LOT of shooting around home while I am working on my processes and techniques. One of the nicest transparencies I have is a 4x5 macro of a Dandilion. I got the camera right down in the grass and snugled up to one. Shot it at about double normal size on E100G and was really impressed! It sort of came out as "a bug's eye view" of the Dandilion and the surrounding grass and certainly put a common sight into a context I had never seen before.

I stayed home last weekend, I'll stay home next weekend, but now it's time to hit the road.

Ya'll be good!

Steve Hamley
2-Sep-2005, 05:30
I appreciate John's comment and I've done some backyard shooting for mostly testing reasons, but I probably won't take his suggestion. Why? I live about 50 miles from the Smokies, and grew up here. Places like Tremont, Elkmont, Greenbrier, and Big Creek are "home" to me, and watching the seasons change is a big thing. The gas to get to Tremont will cost me around $16 and to the others about $20 round trip. I don't consider this an extravagant per day expenditure for holiday weekend "entertainment". The Blue Ridge would cost approximately $50 - $60 depending on where I went, but I'd also car camp and get two days out of it.

Another option if you want to travel is double up with a friend and split the gas if traveling is in your plans, and I may well do that.

Steve

Ben Calwell
2-Sep-2005, 06:17
I'll be waiting for the yearly September appearance of a garden spider that always spins a web across my basement window. I plan to use my rickety 8x10 and junker lens to try and capture "Charlotte's" silouette (sp?) in the window frame against a naked light bulb at dusk.

John Cook
2-Sep-2005, 06:55
Steve, I donít think itís about the cost of petrochemicals and whether we individually can afford to purchase them.

The object is to reduce non-essential fuel consumption by an amount equal to the current manufacturing shortfall to prevent shortages.

It would be handy, over the next few months, to have gasoline to drive to work, gas and oil to heat our homes this winter and a hot meal and hot shower once in a while.

By all means, travel and enjoy yourself this weekend. Thatís what holidays are for.

I would just gently suggest finding a way to reduce your total consumption 20% or so in all areas, as this thing progresses through the autumn and winter.

My wife, for example, is planning to begin car-pooling with a coworker next week. Together, my family purchases only about 20 gallons of gasoline per month for our shared minivan, and havenít been on a commercial airplane since 1986, so it is difficult to find much ďfatĒ to cut.

Wonder if Iíd look too silly, balding and portly at my advanced age, on a Harley? Or perhaps a Vespa, with movie-director wrap-around sunglasses?

Ciao, baby!

Ellen Stoune Duralia
2-Sep-2005, 07:09
Hey Steve (and anyone else who have already made plans to travel this weekend), I'm not saying that you shouldn't enjoy the trips you've already planned. And it's not about the money you will spend at the gas pump. I'm only trying to point out that if you can do everything you can to save gas, then it will help everyone. The less we use, the more we will have for when we REALLY need to drive somewhere and conservation will help keep the costs down. Make sense? Plus, we have many volunteers who will need gas in order to help Katrina victims. We need to make sure they can get it so they can continue to help. That's all :)

These situations bring out the worst AND the best in people. I've been amazed at how much folks have done to try and help the thousands who are now forced to start over with nothing. I looked at Craigs list and saw many, many ads posted by people opening their homes to strangers, knowing that their new roommates will likely be guests for months.

Here at home, I was touched by my 9 yr. old son who, like most kiddos today, is obsessed with having the latest video games, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, etc. While we are striving to teach him how to handle his money (that he gets from relatives for holidays and the allowance that we give him), he is still just a kid and will spend his money with wild abandone if left to his own devices! You know, the ole' "it's burning a whole in my pocket" syndrome, ha ha. Well, this morning before school, he came to me with all of his money and asked if it would be okay if he donated it to the Red Cross, even though he is supposed to save half. I asked him, "what about that game you've been saving for?" He informed me that he decided he didn't need it anymore and that he'd rather help. Gosh, if a mother's heart could burst...

Brian C. Miller
2-Sep-2005, 07:37
"Wonder if Iíd look too silly, balding and portly at my advanced age, on a Harley? Or perhaps a Vespa, with movie-director wrap-around sunglasses?"

Harley: Wear ragged clothes and leather, you'll fit right in. I live across the street from Thunderbikes Northwest, and there's two other Harley shops close by.

Vespa: You have to remember to wear loafers and make sure that the Vespa has that wierd hospital-like light green color.

John_4185
2-Sep-2005, 08:01
FWIW, I rarely drive. At only sixty years-old, I am anxious to keep in shape, so I ride a bicycle throughout the year here in the tropics of Minnesota. My mate, Molly, is asthmatic and I am adding an electric-assist hub to her bike for those times she finds herself miles from home and suddenly weak or just weary.

Before the turn to bicycling, and until a disabling injury, I built and rode this scooter elearning.winona.edu/jjs/butcher.jpg (http://elearning.winona.edu/jjs/butcher.jpg)

(See, On Topic - it's a picture. :))

-- retro john

windpointphoto
2-Sep-2005, 09:35
Gee Ellen, guess I got told. I bet your 9 year oldís heart is just bursting that his mother can talk with the big boys by calling people names and rant. Nope, I donít complain (the correct and polite word that you have confused with a female dog) about gas prices. Iíve got the most fuel-efficient, older vehicle I can use for my business. Itís just the way things are right now. I remember McDonaldís hamburgers being .12, fries a dime, and movies a dollar. Prices go up. I do think weíre being gouged, but 3.00 instead of walking 40 miles is still a good deal. Other countries have been paying high fuel costs for a long time. As for my not knowing how people feel losing everything, I worked in a career of pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency care. I have seen over a thousand people including children and babies lose the ultimate ďeverythingĒ, some of whom died in my arms. As a volunteer for the Red Cross Iíve helped the victims of disasters. I didnít object to the topic, just the little sideline rants. Oh yeah, you go girl!

Michael Veit
2-Sep-2005, 09:57
I'll be staying home to save gasoline this weekend too, though that's just because I can't afford it and NOT out of any sense of civic duty. Bush can appeal to my sense of civic obligation just as soon as he starts talking about windfall profit taxes for the oil companies -- no reason the sacrifices of difficult times shouldn't be shared by all, right?

Kerik Kouklis
2-Sep-2005, 10:04
Leonard, now that you've given your CV as a giving, kind-hearted and selfless soul, can you please point out the specific "rants" that you are referring to?? I just re-read the posts prior to your first one, and I can't for the life of me figure out what the hell you were talking about! And how sweet and caring of you to use Ellen's son to bludgeon her. Nice work. Must make your grand-kids proud.

Steve Hamley
2-Sep-2005, 10:45
John and Ellen,

Actually I am a Harley rider, have two of them including an antique 1957 FLH Hydra Glide that they made less than 150 of that year. That 43 mpg looks pretty good commuting to work, but the 12x20 won't fit and they shake my rangefinders out of cal, so Smokies photography travel is not in the equation.

To each their own way to conserve and contribute - and we have a fund set up at work for contributions to the Red Cross.

Cheers,

Steve

P.S., everyone play nice now...

windpointphoto
2-Sep-2005, 11:08
Kerik, Here's the little rants that have nothing to do with photography:
I have also seen the news reports indicating that the increased gasoline prices are the oil companiesí method for discouraging potential customers while they try to figure out how to produce more. The warning speech from our President this afternoon was, ďIf you donít need gasoline, donít buy itĒ. Having lived through the oil embargos of the 1970's I can tell you that waiting in line for hours and then engaging in a fistfight just to get the two-gallon limit of gas is unpleasant. Especially for those of you who now commute half way across the state to work every day. High prices donít begin to compare with shortages. So perhaps the real patriotic thing to do this Labor Day vacation weekend is to sit in the back yard and be thankful we still have one. For those in apartments may I recommend the local park. I couldnít believe that blonde twit on the Weather Channel this afternoon, trying to drum up enthusiasm for a nice long road trip to the beach on Saturday. I would be too embarrassed to join those merrymakers on the interstate who are exacerbating the problem. Letís all raise our plastic glasses of iced tea in a salute to aluminum chairs and Kingsford charcoal.

BTW, what does CV stand for? I'm not up on every new and old term. I try to set a good example of behavior to other people to my grandchildren. I try not to call people names and use "bad" words. I simple meant that children such as a 9 year old learns by example. Ellen wrote the post and brought her child into it. I just wonder if she let's her 9 year old read them and see the language she uses.
For that matter, do you?

Steve Hamley
2-Sep-2005, 11:18
John's original suggestion was to shoot landscapes in the back yard, certainly not off topic or a rant IMO, but then everyone has one. I've done it before and will do it again, maybe or maybe not because of gas prices/availability. I like John's contributions to the forum and hope he keeps posting more stuff (and Ellen too!).

Steve

Paul Butzi
2-Sep-2005, 12:20
BTW, what does CV stand for? I'm not up on every new and old term. I try to set a good example of behavior to other people to my grandchildren. I try not to call people names and use "bad" words. I simple meant that children such as a 9 year old learns by example. Ellen wrote the post and brought her child into it. I just wonder if she let's her 9 year old read them and see the language she uses. For that matter, do you?



for someone who was complaining about "What do these little rants have to do with Large Format Photography?", you seem to spend a lot of time ranting about things other than large format photography.

Ellen called you a nasty name. I wouldn't have agreed with the name she used when she made that post, but your behavior since certainly has convinced me she was right on the mark.

John_4185
2-Sep-2005, 12:21
Steve,
The 1957 FLH Hydra Glide was rare? That's what my bike was before chopping. Bummer, eh?

Mark Sawyer
2-Sep-2005, 12:59
CV is short for Curriculum Vitae- an extended version of a resume.

Steve Hamley
2-Sep-2005, 13:36
jj,

The FLH was the high compression model and rare. The FL was the low compression model and common. The only difference was the pistons and the cranckcase serial number designation (FLHXXXX vs FLXXXX). Maybe the FLH intake valve was 1/8" bigger, can't remember. Anyway, most of them ended up chopped but fortunately mine escaped.

Steve

Mark_3632
2-Sep-2005, 14:05
Ansel Adams tell Dorthea Lang, in a letter, that he would travel the world and pphotograph when he was no longer facinated by the Moss growing on his side walk. I am sure it is not a direct quote but I always liked it.

If I did not have to drive this weekend I would not. Two cars have to go but only one is coming back. WooHoo cuttin the insurance bill, registration bill, and fuel bill in half with this trip.

I'll be in the backyard of where I am going though.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
2-Sep-2005, 14:26
Wow JJ - you built that?! Wow! That is one heck of a 'scooter'!

And Steve, I can just see you on the Harley! Too cool :D I'm always telling my husband he should get one; He rented one in New Orleans on our wedding trip (we got married on a balcony on Bourbon St. so the current state of NOLA and the rest of the gulf that got kit with Katrina is particularly heart-breaking) and he really enjoyed it.

I'm not a motor bike rider myself but I am inspired to use the gas situation as an opportunity to resume my bike riding. Used to ride quite alot years ago but I got out of the habit.

Now as for my outburst... again, I have to apologize. Even to you, Mr. Peterson. I'm not usually prone to such behavior but I'm also human and very direct; Sugar coating is not a skill I have developed.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Glenn Thoreson
2-Sep-2005, 22:27
John, your idea is a good one. I never get on the highways during these long weekend holidays anyway. I prefer the path less traveled. Or not traveled at all. Always have.

Richard Ide
2-Sep-2005, 22:47
Nice work of art JJ

Brian C. Miller
3-Sep-2005, 00:35
Ansel Adams tell Dorthea Lang, in a letter, that he would travel the world and pphotograph when he was no longer facinated by the Moss growing on his side walk. I am sure it is not a direct quote but I always liked it.

Does anybody have an example of AA photographing moss on the sidewalk? He seems to messed about with just about everything, but I haven't seen one of sidewalk moss. One AA book I'd really like to see would be of his experimental photographs, including the most spectacular failures.

Joe VanCleave
3-Sep-2005, 10:19
BTW, I prefer the term "rantletts", rather than the more common "little rants".

Ralph, welcome to New Mexico. I'll have to perhaps touch base with you when you get settled.

I've been a "lurker" here for a while, never posted.

Nice group of folks, good discussion.

Me, I'll be doing some LF pinhole work, probably around the house or neighborhood. Or break out the Speed Graphic - my only bona fide LF "camera".

Or, I can pack it all into the trunk box on the back of my Suzuki Intruder trike, and still get low 40's mileage.

John Cook
4-Sep-2005, 07:51
Just a wee progress report, as I continue my photo safari about the back yardís nooks and crannies.

Neighbors on two sides have chosen to grow their vegetable gardens adjacent to my tall fence which borders our property. This morning I discovered that several plants have climbed the fence and sprawled well onto my lawn.

Being unfamiliar with the finer points of cucumber jurisprudence, I am uncertain whether harvesting a few of these morsels on my property will result in a visit from the vegetable police.

But Iím very tempted to weaken and degenerate into a life of crime as the luncheon hour fast approaches on an absolutely lovely late summer morning.

I wonder which salad dressing Bonnie and Clyde preferred?

Paul Butzi
4-Sep-2005, 11:52
John-

A recently passed law, generally referred to as "Weston's Law", allows you to harvest those veggies and eat them provided a) they're really in your yard, and b) you photograph them first.