Holiday Posts

This holiday I was busy taking photos - mostly film and even Medium Format.  Additionally I hit on the idea of a blog dedicated to bringing interesting photography stories from the books I’m reading.  I’d suggest you head over to myphotostories.net to read this nascent blog.

Here are some from the recently re-released Kodak Ektachrome 100

Clearly some of the above have been manipulated.  Don’t make a judgement about the new Ektachrome based on these photos.




I pissed off an Instagram Follower

This was all it took for one follower to tell me to “fuck off”.  This person was someone from high school of all places - not a friend but just someone in my class of 700!  She started to follow me on IG and at one point had the highest number of Likes next to my wife.


With the nice ‘FO’ comment was her notation that I had very few followers and she was  one of the earlier ones.  What she doesn’t realize is that I keep my number of followers to right around 100 and I screen who I let follow me.  There never has been a game of having bazillions of followers - what’s the point.  She felt that she was doing little ole me a favor.  


The kindest thing I could reply with was “Adios - don’t let the door hit you in the butt”


The Road Trip in Photography

I think the ‘Road Trip’ is such a quintessential part of the American psyche. I am admittedly ignorant of things European but I don’t think that they lust after the same thing on their continent. Perhaps because they have such great train service no one thinks of the trans-europe experience as such a big deal. No so in America.
This is huge country explored but not settled until the 20th century. The advent of the automobile primarily helped this expansion west. Before World War II the road trip was not glamorous - Think ‘Grapes of Wrath’ depression era travel. After the war with the completion of the American Highway system and later the Interstate the travel was easier and became an adventurous pursuit. 

The question, “Are you up for a road trip?” has always been answered YES! In the early 60’s we had the TV show, Route 66 which was the epitome of the American Road Trip . So it would come as no surprise that a distinct, photographic genre arose out of this lust for the open road. What follows are but a few examples of photobooks relating to the road trip. Some are not so much about the trip but rather things that are seen on road trips. 


The Americans

While not thought of as a Road Trip book, The Americans by Robert Frank most assuredly can be seen in this context.  Considered by many including me to be THE best photobook ever produced, it is in fact the photographic memory of Frank and his wife traveling around America on a Guggenheim Fellowship.  The are now a multitude of books and videos about this book.  It should be in every photographers library.


The Road to Reno

The Road to Reno Inge Morath’s first trip across the United States followed a red grease-pencil line drawn by her traveling companion, Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1960 the two drove from New York through Gettysburg, Memphis, and Albuquerque to Reno. They were among 18 photojournalists commissioned by Magnum to document the Nevada set of Arthur Miller’s The Misfits. The destination was momentous for Morath–she took remarkable photographs, and later married Miller after his divorce from Marilyn Monroe–but it is the trip, the 18 days she spent traveling, as documented in both photographs and journal entries, (“written each night at the table in a motel room that was always in a different place but always looked the same”), that in its casualness can unfold for readers her carefully observed, insightful, and compassionate approach to reportage. Traveling westward, Morath combines a foreigner’s awe of alien terrain with the curiosity of small-town life, offering glimpses into rather than encapsulations of her experience at each stop. This is the first publication of her work to include her writing alongside her photographs, and it includes an afterword by Arthur Miller. 


66 on 66

66 on 66: A Photographers Journey Terrence Moore
As the highway that opened up the West to millions of travelers since its construction in the 1930s, Rte. 66 is an iconic road that has been celebrated in story, song, films, and more. Justly known as “The Mother Road,” this highway became the vital path for travelers, tourists, and fortune-seekers. However, after the advent of the superhighway and the Interstate system of the 1950s, Rte. 66 gradually fell out of use, leaving behind fascinating relics of a bygone era—roadside attractions, marvelous kitsch, storefronts, and the great neon artifacts that still light up the night along the highway. Terrence Moore has traveled and photographed this road since he first drove it with his parents in the 1960s. Though he has covered this subject for more than 40 years as a professional photographer, never before has his work been collected in book form. This volume highlights 66 of his finest 35mm color film images—a stunning chronicle of this storied road in states from Missouri to California.


The Trip

Trip by Frederick Barthelme, Susan Lipper (Photographer), Ssan Lipper (Photographer)
 “Trip” is celebrated Grapevine photographer Susan Lipper’s new, conceptually ambitious artist’s book: an assembled narrative of a fictional road trip in America. The date is the present, but only slightly so. The viewer is cast without aid amongst snatches of text and vernacular objects, staged or found, that render the landscape neither familiar nor foreign. Semiotic interplay is introduced with seemingly objective signs and symbols, wonderfully enhanced by Barthelme’s brilliant clips of text.


Bible Road

Bible Road: Signs of Faith in the American Landscape by Sam Fentress
This is a photographic chronicle emerging from the most unlikely of places, from beauty salon windows to burger joint marquees. These pictures, both individually and collectively, offer an insight into a distinctly American religious phenomenon, which may cause us to reflect on our own religious cultures and attitudes. 


America’s 100th Meridian

America’s 100th Meridian: A Plains Journey by Monte Hartman (Photographs), William Kittredge (Contributor), John R. Wunder (Foreword)
“There’s no denying [Hartman’s] abilities as a photographer. Shape, color, and light, he has an impeccable eye for composition, for juxtaposing line against line, drawing the viewer’s eye into his subject… . In North Dakota, he likes a flood-drenched plain in orange twilight, one stretch of barbed wire fence in a strong horizontal, another triangulating stretch (just the fence posts visible above the water) disappearing into the distance. In South Dakota, he gives us a flat plain with alternating gold, green, and brown strips of field, a dark storm building overhead… . Accompanying the first third of Hartman’s photos is a new essay by William Kittredge (always an occasion)… . There is no one more authoritatively positioned to comment on the West than Kittredge, nor anyone who can write about it half as well.”—NewWest.net “Tells the story of the region in textures of flaking paint and rust juxtaposed against stunning sunsets and big skies. Intense color photographs narrate the 1500-mile, often-inhospitable route from Texas to Canada.”—Texas Parks & Wildlife “A lavish and glorious new coffee-table book … Hartman has a gifted eye for both the natural and man-made vistas that he encounters, and his color images are breathtaking. Beginning in North Dakota and working south, Hartman presents pictures that are themselves eloquent essays in rural and small-town spaces. An aura of loneliness and abandonment clings to many of these shots. It’s no secret that people have been fleeing the harsh physical and economic realities of the Great Plains for years, and these pictures document that fact. Unpainted farm houses and rickety windmills hold silent vigil amid awesome expanses of earth and sky, weeds grow through a Nebraska sidewalk, and an old truck rusts into the Oklahoma soil… . A testament to the alluring visual appeal of this country’s great middle.”—Mobile Register Resulting from an arduous series of six journeys along the two-thousand-mile line that divides East from West, Monte Hartman’s perceptive photographs provide the intimate yet dispassionate observations of a person who chose to explore the meanings inherent in the great “empty middle” between our coasts. These images inspired William Kittredge to travel the Meridian himself. His essay, an unblinking yet sensitive musing on what once was and what now remains, offers a poignant counterpoint to Hartman’s visual tapestry. “This slice of North America requires stamina unimaginable to the rest of us, and is populated by enduring people who’ve lost all patience with strangers when their efforts to convey their attachment to this place have fallen on deaf ears. It is not easy to know why a land so lonesome, so often melancholy, parts of which have never surpassed frontier density, will go on having such meaning to those who choose to stay. Hartman and Kittredge, discerning souls, have caught their attachment.” —Thomas McGuane, author of The Cadence of Grass “America’s 100th Meridian exposes our nation’s heartland in its beauty and desolation—a land as open and mysterious as the palm of God’s hand.” —Annick Smith, co-producer of A River Runs Through It “A breathtaking reminder of the beauty concentrated in that narrow slice of the continent” —North Dakota Quarterly “An astounding coffee-table book tour … . A truly splendid and pristine memory, capturing timeless moments and locations” —Wisconsin Bookwatch “A testament to the alluring visual appeal of this country’s great middle” —Mobile Press-Register


The Motel in America

In the second volume of the acclaimed “Gas, Food, Lodging” trilogy, authors John Jakle, Keith Sculle, and Jefferson Rogers take an informative, entertaining, and comprehensive look at the history of the motel. From the introduction of roadside tent camps and motor cabins in the 1910s to the wonderfully kitschy motels of the 1950s that line older roads and today’s comfortable but anonymous chains that lure drivers off the interstate, Americans and their cars have found places to stay on their travels. Motels were more than just places to sleep, however. They were the places where many Americans saw their first color television, used their first coffee maker, and walked on their first shag carpet.Illustrated with more than 230 photographs, postcards, maps, and drawings, The Motel in America details the development of the motel as a commercial enterprise, its imaginative architectural expressions, and its evolution within the place-product-packaging concept along America’s highways. As an integral part of America’s landscape and culture, the motel finally receives the in-depth attention it deserves. 


Last Signs of the Frontier

Last Signs of the Frontier engages you in a visual journey of roadside signs dating back from the early mining days of the 1900’s to present. Photographer Andy Marquez says “I think that in 10 years, 80% of these signs will be gone. They are disappearing from Colorado’s roadsides at an amazing rate.” The result is an astounding record of the past as seen through the eyes of Colorado’s foremost fine art photographers.
In this photojournalistic collection, Andy Marquez hypnotizes you with nostalgic memories and wonder. He creates images that take you on a journey through time.
Searching through 300 towns and traveling over 5,000 miles of Colorado’s primary and secondary roads, Andy spent three and one-half years building this rare collection. Black and white photos reveal 109 images of aging signs that reflect the rapidly diminishing nostalgic past.
We hope you enjoy this treasure for your coffee table or even as a traveling companion. Be sure to pass it along to your children’s children.



The Misfits

This was a John Huston directed movie with a who’s who of Hollywood :  Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Eli Wallach, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter.  The screenplay was by Arthur Miller who was at the time married to Monroe.  At the time (1961) it was NOT a commercial success  but has come into it’s own recently.  


The producers wanted two Magnum photographers to shoot the stills so out of NYC came Henri Cartier Bresson and Inge Morath.  The drove together out from NY to Reno, NV.  This road trip is the basis of the book “The Road to Reno” by Morath.  It is interesting that Morath and Miller eventually married.






A Little Extra

Occasionally when I buy a used book I get something extra.  This time it was an interesting postcard used as a book mark.  The book is “The Road to Reno” by Inge Morath

I haven’t gone thru it yet but it’s about Inge Morath’s trip to Reno, NV to shoot stills on the movie “The Misfits” with Marilyn Monroe.  In the middle of the book was this

Being that I’m an Airstream person this had some interest for me.


A good friend Lost

Today we lost a really good person in Robert Carter Arnest. He passed away in his sleep in Iowa where had moved to be closer to his son and grandchildren. He always had a sly sense humor, prodding me to cure him of his neurological disease. Always one to tell us the latest restaurants or coffee shops to visit. His circle of friends was large wherever he was. I will truly miss this kind soul. 


Hairball Deluxe

Yes my friends what you are looking at is said to be the largest hairball known to man.  Who am I to dispute this claim?  Mine is to simply go , look and glory at this thing.  It is housed in the Finney County ( Garden City, KS) Museum




Spring Mountain

With the purchase of the Cadillac ATS-V I was given a two day High Performance Driver course at Spring Mountain Motorsport Club in Pahrump, Nevada.

The Motorsport Club is a country club centered around motorsports rather than golf.  Condo’s , clubhouse, spa, swimming pool and then of course the track.

With a great staff we had equal parts chalk talk with being the track.  We had skid pad practice along with running the track noted above.  2nd day was rainy but this was great to learn which mode to select and experience slip and what to do to correct it if the stability software leaves you hanging.

Spent the last nite in Vegas it self.  I am not a fan of Vegas.  Vegas is like a friend that keeps borrowing money but never pays you back - eventually you realize they were never your friend.  Everything has a price in Lost Wages.

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