So March is the Month of Photography here in Denver which is sponsored in part by the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. As a volunteer I was sent to photograph the RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Not very difficult - take a few pictures then scram!. Unlike a lot of galleries this place is huge. Here are some of the photos
SPECIAL NOTE. - this blog entry was from over a year ago that somehow never got published. I am publishing it now to show how things can change. I originally took this photograph in April, 2000 at a garage sale. I liked the sentiment it expressed as everyone has at one time or another said they’d like to be in charge and things would be different.
Fast forward to 2021 and this amongst a few other Dr. Seuss books have been decommissioned but the Dr. Seuss Foundation - they weren’t selling well and there were distinct racist overtones in the book. The book was NOT banned as I erroneously posted to Instagram but taken out of circulation. I am not sure how I feel about this. How are people in the future gonna know that this type of publishing was acceptable into the 21st century?
This was my entry into CPAC ( Colorado Photographic Arts Center) members show. I was selected so I felt like I had won even though I didn’t. Only one photo sold so I shouldn’t feel bad about not selling my photo. To be truthful I spent too much on the framing and therefore if I sold it I would be a -$50. Not selling means I get to keep it.
I just scanned this one in again today ( roll 377) and it was shot on a high end point and shoot - Hexar with 35/2 lens. Just shows what you can do with a good point and shoot.
Awhile back I wrote about the Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant specifically THE INFINITY ROOM. The Infinity Room ( room 141 within Building 771) was so contaminated with Plutonium that the Geiger counter needles all pegged at infinity. I have since learned that Building 771 that contained Rom 141 ( Infinity Room) was decommissioned and NOT left in place. I was under the impression that Room 141 was left behind so I am glad to get the facts. At one point Building 771 was considered the most dangerous enclosure in the world. Now I would think the Chernobyl Sarcophagus wins that title. All this being said I still consider Rocky Flats to be dangerous if this and future generation forget what lies in the dirt below the surface.
This is a great book about Ralph Carr who was the Governor of Colorado when WWII broke out. Prior to that he was the Attorney General of Colorado, Water Rights Lawyer. He was plain speaking, genuine person as has ever been a politician. He was fluent in Spanish as many of his rural clients could only speak Spanish. He gained noteriety as Governor for resisting the internment of Japanese descendants from the West Coast. From Wikipedia:
Following Roosevelt’s issuance of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, the War Relocation Authority decided to resettle Japanese Americans from the West Coast into internment camps in the interior of the continent. One camp was Amache near Granada, Colorado. Carr took a unique position among Western governors, who largely adopted the popular anti-Japanese sentiment of the period.
The governors supported internment of all Japanese, whatever their citizenship, and also objected to locating internment camps in their states. Carr, on the other hand, opposed interning American citizens, depriving them of their basic rights as citizens based only on their racial background or the citizenship of their ancestors. Unlike his peers, Carr endorsed the federal government’s incarceration program for non-citizens and agreed that Colorado should accept its share of the evacuees and treat them respectfully. He also underscored the broader context of war against several enemy countries in order to downplay the struggle with Japan that could easily be seen as a racial conflict. When he volunteered Colorado for housing Italian, German, and Japanese relocated from the West Coast, he said:
They are as loyal to American institutions as you and I. Many of them have been born here–are American citizens, with no connection or feeling of loyalty toward the customs and philosophies of Italy, Germany and Japan. … I am not talking on behalf of Japanese, of Italians, or of Germans as such when I say this. I am talking to … all American people whether their status be white, brown or black and regardless of the birthplaces of their grandfathers when I say that if a majority may deprive a minority of its freedom, contrary to the terms of the Constitution today, then you as a minority may be subjected to the same ill-will of the majority tomorrow.
In one speech to a large and hostile audience, made up primarily of worried Colorado farmers, Carr said of the evacuees:
They are not going to take over the vegetable business of this state, and they are not going to take over the Arkansas Valley. But the Japanese are protected by the same Constitution that protects us. An American citizen of Japanese descent has the same rights as any other citizen. … If you harm them, you must first harm me. I was brought up in small towns where I knew the shame and dishonor of race hatred. I grew to despise it because it threatened [pointing to various audience members] the happiness of you and you and you.
He lost his bid for Senator in 1942 to Democrat Ed Johnson otherwise known as ‘Big Ed’. While researching this article I came across this little tidbit about Johnson:
He was perhaps best known for presenting a speech on March 14, 1950, on the Senate floor, criticizing the extramarital affair of actress Ingrid Bergman, who was, at the time, married to Petter Lindström. Bergman’s affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini became a cause célèbre as a result of Johnson’s speech, forcing her to relocate to Europe for several years. Johnson then proposed a bill where movies would be licensed based on the perceived morality of the actors/actresses and stated that Bergman “had perpetrated an assault upon the institution of marriage,” and called her “a powerful influence for evil.”
I would like to think of the Senator as ‘BigAss’ Johnson!
These are the predictions for this weekend. I’m writing this on Friday morning so there’s a little time to get things prepared. Because I’m a Type A person I’ve charged up whatever can be charged in the house. Made Vicki go to the store and get human AND dog food. Both vehicles are fueled should we need to go somewhere. Most importantly for my blog readers is that I’ve charged my camera batteries so that I can take pictures
After a very unimpressive Saturday nite, Snow-Zilla is now making it’s presence known
Yesterday got my 2nd Pfizer shot. While my arm hurts, it feels good to have this behind me. Soon no masks but you will have to start to wear pants!
Harman owns Ilford the legendary film manufacturer. They brought out their own point and shoot plastic camera. It’s reusable so you can refill it will any film you want - best to be ISO 400 or higher. They provide two rolls of Kentmere 400 which is similar I think to HP5+. So the camera and two rolls for $25 is not a bad deal. The images below clearly have their faults but the images have an endearing appeal.
This photo covers that dark shadow that was the Rocky Mountain Arsenal:
Weapons manufactured at RMA included both conventional and chemical munitions, including white phosphorus (M34 grenade), napalm, mustard gas, lewisite, and chlorine gas. RMA is also one of the few sites that had a stockpile of Sarin gas (aka nerve agent GB), an organophosphorus compound. The manufacture of these weapons continued until 1969. Rocket fuel to support Air Force operations was also manufactured and stored at RMA. Subsequently, through the 1970s until 1985, RMA was used as a demilitarization site to destroy munitions and chemically related items. Coinciding with these activities, from 1946 to 1982, the Army leased RMA facilities to private industries for the production of pesticides. One of the major lessees, Shell Oil Company, along with Julius Hyman and Company and Colorado Fuel and Iron, had manufacturing and processing capabilities on RMA between 1952 and 1982. The military reserved the right to oust these companies and restart chemical weapon production in the event of a national emergency.
They were also the source of man made earthquakes in the 1970’s when they were injecting waste liquid down a deep hole causing slippage underground! As toxic dumps go this one is not at all bothersome as compared to the Rocky Flats Wildlife Preserve - a place that I’ve been once and won’t go back again. They did a crap job of remediation AND buried 40 ft below the surface in the middle of the preserve is a room so toxic with Plutonium that when the plant was in operation NO ONE was allowed to go in that room after a certain point in it’s operation history - Takes 240,000 years to decay once - that’s some seriously frightening shit.
That being said I went to the Preserve today and found it amazing. From where I live you have to go thru Commerce City which is one of the armpits of Colorado. Refineries and other shit. But once you’re there at the preserve all that melts away and it is absolutely glorious. I am a Bison Fanboy and love seeing these great beasts.
This is a graph of who is refusing to get vaccinated. Pretty much what you would expect - White Republicans not wanting to protect themselves and others - selfish to the core. In a Darwinian sense I’d like to think that this would be a point of their extinction. Unfortunately their stupidity extends to others around them that are likely to be innocent collateral damage.
We’re always being told Do Not Leave In the Sun! Well I found something that you can and must leave in the sun - this pocket sized USB charger that recharges with a small solar panel.
I recently posted a Black and White photo of the Denver Art Museum ( DAM) to my instagram account. I then got this reply from them:
I never heard from them, not that I really expected them to. I then proceeded to skewer them on Instagram:
I posted a picture of the Hamilton Building of the Denver Art Museum (DAM) the other day. I got this response from DAM. No they haven’t asked to see my release document. So apparently if you are an artist DAM feels that they can get artist to do work for free. Not even an offer of a gratis pass or year’s membership. They do ask permission which is good but that’s the least they could do. Artist should not have to work for free. And no you can’t use ‘exposure’ to pay for gas or groceries.
In the past I’ve tried to go on their web page to engage DAM in a discussion about their photography department. No place to really contact their leadership or board of directors. So I guess I will use this forum to say your photography department sucks.
I don’t expect to hear anything from them but it’s worth reminding these people about what they are asking for
A suggestion from one of my followers in jest was to start a Prairie Madness Museum. This was in response to getting the trademark by the same name. I did think that if I did have this fictional museum the first traveling exhibit that I would seek it the world’s largest hairball currently residing in Garden City at the Finney County Museum
THEY ALL BELONG - cuz they all happened today. It was one of those days where things ( stars ) were aligned. Today after much angst trying to find a place to get my COVID vaccine I finally got one - of all places my local Safeway! Next I received in the mail a package from Germany that I’ve been literally waiting for two months for. Contains Scala BW slide film and chemicals to develop same. Next started the afternoon of zoom webinars - Jason Lee and an associate talked about their photographic style. Jason Lee has had several careers - notable as the star of the TV show ” My Name is Earl” which I used to watch . He then went on to have some notoriety in the skateboarding world. Now he’s an accomplished photographer whose shooting style I closely identify with. From there it was onto to Zoom presentation by Heart Mountain which was one of the incarceration camps for Japanese Americans during WWII. Finally after my wife lost her $5500 pair of tinnitus reducing hearing aides, I found them this evening avoiding the expense of replacing them. To say the least I’m exhausted but that could just be the dinner time whiskey and COVID vaccine ?
Finally after about a year I’ve gotten the phrase “Prairie Madness” trade marked. A trade mark is an entirely different beast than copyright. As soon as you create something it’s copyright protected. You gain extra protection by registering it with the copyright office. This doesn’t require anything special. But getting something trade marked is something you apply for and can be rejected if it doesn’t meet requirements. The process is complicated and in the end I succumbed to one of the multiple inducements from lawyers to get their help. It cost me a flat $125 to get my application on the straight and narrow. So now I’m free to make all the mouse pads, T shirts I want with this logo - tell me what size you want.
I’ve learned to not be afraid of shooting outdated Black and White film - it works out fine. No adjustments in ISO or development times. This is NOT true of color film especially E-6 slide film. Anyway I found an 8 year old roll of Rollei RPX 25 and shot it. Very happy with the results.
I find dZihan and Kamien to be the perfect music to work at the computer with. Highly recommend it. May not be for everyone.
I just self published a book of my photos that emulate the New Topographic genre. This new way of looking at landscape photography got it’s start in 1975 when the George Eastman House sponsored an exhibit displaying the works of:
The photographers who were featured in the exhibit were relatively young in their careers, including Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore, and Henry Wessel, Jr. Looking at the photos from that exhibit 45 years ago, it seems like current landscape photography wholeheartedly embraces “new topographic” principles.
This is now a series of posts about this amazing tornado photograph taken out by Simla, CO where I was born. I actually have a large print of this in my house. At one point I thought it might be fake but realized it was picked up by National Geographic and they tend to do a good job of vetting their photographs. I just discovered on DPreview that this photo won a travel photography award:
WINNER, BEST SINGLE IMAGE IN A LANDSCAPE & EARTH ELEMENTS PORTFOLIO: James Smart, Australia
Location: Simla, Colorado, USA
Artist Statement: This ‘drill bit’ type of tornado is a rare anti-cyclonic tornado, which happens in around 2% of tornadoes. It touched down in open farmland, narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado as it tore up the ground, gathering the soil giving it its brown color.
Gear and Specs: Canon 5D Mark II 70-200mm lens, F4, 1/90 sec, ISO 100
Just a few images I just received from the developer. These are from Riverside Cemetery here in Denver. It takes about 2 months to get the slides back which is a bit much. I’ve got some chemicals on their way from Germany to allow me to do this at home.