Saturday, December 31, 2011

Smokey's Eyes

Post-processed using the Poladroid app, here's a snap of one of the house cats in his near-ceiling hiding place. Poladroid is a very addicting app that'll get you dragging out all your snapshots to get that 'instant' feel. Yes you can go out and buy film for your old Polaroid camera [or, like me, cameras]. Fuji still makes instant film and now you can purchase film for the Polaroid 600, SX70 and Spectra cameras from The Impossible Project, here.

I havn't yet tried out the newly available film for my old Spectra, but do use Fuji's FP-100C and FP-100B in my Polaroid 220.

If you've never used Poladroid, you're in for some fun. One note about the app's auto-processing, you may want to crop your image prior to dropping it onto the icon. Post-processing features can be controlled through the Preferences window.

The app is free [but they do accept donations] and can be acquired here.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ralphie's Bunny Suit

Anyone who is a fan of the movie, A Christmas Story, will immediately recognize Aunt Clara's gift to Raphie, the pink bunny suit. As Mr. Parker descibes it, "He looks like a demented Easter Bunny."

This picture was taken here in my hometown; someone's ode to A Christmas Story for passersby to enjoy. Evidently, their are a few other fanatic folks around here familiar with the film. 

If you've never seen the movie, why not? Read about it here.

By the way, this is a luddite's journal's 100th post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pigeons: Wire Roost

Unretouched Proof

Another category of my ephemera collection contains photography. Comprised mostly of studio portraits, the majority of photos in my collection were picked-up at various flea markets and antique stores. Many of these photographs have some notations on the backs telling who the images are of; but there are many photographs in the collection that still remain a mystery as to who the person/people are.

With this series of photographer's proofs, there is no name given for the subject, but we do have a very specific time and place for when and where these photographs were taken. Amazingly, founded in 1937, Vantine's studio is still in business today doing business as Vantine Imaging.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Old School Bulb

I noticed that this year a lot of folks dug out their old circa 1970s Christmas lights. This particular string of lights had a lot of scratches on the bulb exteriors letting the white light bleed through making for some really cool effects against the wall.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Collage: Starry Skies


Collages made from found materials: from top to bottom; Descending Angel, Dog Star, Skyward Fan.

I've grouped these three pieces for no other reason than my use of the star printed paper that I used on all three of these compositions. However, there are many common motifs to be found throughout these three pieces. All three pieces were constructed around the same period of time, so processes of each have common form.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Postcards: Views of a Bygone Japan

More postcards from my collection. I don't know a lot about Japan's history, but I'm assuming that these images were photographed during the first few decades of the twentieth century, the late Meiji through the Taisho period; although I'm sure that these scenes are not much different from what the country looked like in the mid part of the nineteenth century when Japan broke from its 200 years of isolationist policies, opened it's borders for international trade and foreign diplomacy.

All of these postcards are hand colored black and white prints. These were never mailed so there are no postmarks for dating their approximate age.

Postcard: Father Chrismas (9800)

Over the years I have collected various ephemera, with postcards being the main focus of the collection. Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite types of postcards are photo-postcards. Although, my collection is composed mostly of printed cards from the early to mid-twentieth century.

This postcard, as is most of my collection, is something I most likely picked up at a flea market or antique store. I have no idea who took this picture nor do I know the people in the picture. However, the purpose of the portrait is clear. What more memorable image of Christmas can a child have than that of themself with Father Christmas, a.k.a., Santa Claus.

Floating Leaves: Winter

Friday, December 23, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011


With the winter solstice just a week away, the camelias are in full bloom.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tough Enough

Three rescue kittens that I fostered a few years back. (left to right) Gracie, Georgia and Hilliary. In all, there were four sisters. The fourth sister, Dot, still resides with me.

Their lives started out pretty rough, living outside, the litter of a feral queen-cat, they were brought in at five weeks; I kept them [housed, fed, cleaned, potty trained . . . ] for two weeks while I lined up a drop-off to a local adoption agency. 

The mother cat was then captured, spayed and, as that she is totally wild, re-released. If you have feral cats in your neighborhood, try to stop the reproduction cycle — capture, neuter and re-release. The point of re-releasing is two-fold. First, if they're not adoptable, they don't have them destroyed; a few feral cats in an urban neighborhood can help keep the vermin in check. Second, if you leave a void of feral cats in the neighborhood, it will most likely be filled with new feral cats that will need to be captured and neutered.

To date, [with the help of a neighbor] I have captured, neutered and re-released every feral cat in my neighborhood [the ones we know about]. Since doing this, the local population has dropped substantually. An overpopulation of feral cats can be an ecological mini-disaster. Cats will kill anything they think they can eat and that includes the local lizard and bird populations; Even in an urban environment, birds and lizards are an important part of the landscape, eating insects that eat your garden.

There may be a a veterinarian or PETA program in your town that donates their time for neutering feral cats. Look into it and stop your neighbors from being the scary cat people with four dozen cats.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Macchiato

I can't believe it's been five days since I've dropped by my own blog? I wish I could give a good excuse like having been incarcerated for civil disobedience or something along those lines, but the truth is, life sometimes waylays your plans and before you know it, it's already Friday.

I tried a new coffee house this morning, Portola Coffee Lab. The shop is run by a troop of mad scientists brewing up some tasty java. If you're in the Costa Mesa area and are hankering for a good cup of joe, drop in and soak up the ambiance.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Gyotaku is the Japanese word for 'fish print.' It's a technique that dates back to mid-nineteenth century Japan. Ink is applied directly to the fish, then a flexible, thin sheet of paper is placed over the fish and an impression is made by lightly rubbing or burnishing the back side of the sheet, transferring the ink onto the paper. The end result is a direct 'block' print of the fish.
This craft was originally developed by fishermen to record special catches, but the tradition was eventually adopted by artists. Other media can be used instead of ink, such as acrylic or oil paint. Colors can be applied to mimic the original pattern of the fish or perhaps make a more vivid version of the actual fish.

In the case of the ink print above, it's a record of a long lived pet that passed away. I had had a pair of Tin Foil Barbs that started out as very small fish, perhaps about 4cm in length. After many years, John and Megan [the barbs] grew to about 30cm. Tropical fish don't have a long life expectancy, but John and Megan lived well past their expected years. John passed first, then Megan. Upon each of their deaths, I made prints of them both and buried their remains in my garden. I've kept fish for most of my years, but these are the only two fish that I've kept such a record of.

This print was made in 2004, one of many, tucked away in a makeshift cardboard portfolio and nearly forgotten until today when I was looking for something else. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

100 Strangers: 4 of 100

Bill is a fixture at Venice's Muscle Beach. If you've visited the world famous body building locale, chances are you saw him hanging around. I've talked to Bill during a prior stroll down the boardwalk, but never knew, nor asked his name. Mea maxima culpa.

How long Bill has been part of the landscape? I don't have an answer to this question but if you ask him nicely, he'll be happy to show you a picture of himself with a young Arnold Schwarzengger, body builder/actor [long before Arnold's days as governor of California]. Hopefully Bill will be around for a long while; one of the many characters that make Venice Beach what it is and why it's worth the visit.

Venice Beach At Dusk

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Junction Box Beast

This image, and the previous two images posted today, were all taken from the comfort of my truck while sitting at different stop lights. Having a camera by your side can be a handy thing.

Birds & Wire

Roadside Swimmers

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Downtown Drive-by

Downtown Los Angeles from the 10 freeway. Despite what it may look like, no I wasn't snapping off shots at 65 mph — that'd be 105 kph for the metric set. 

This shot was taken during rush hour and traffic was grinding along at a slow crawl; so, I was snapping away at 15-20 mph [24-32 kph]. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but hey, what a gorgeous scene; L.A. at night. Yes, it's a little blurry, but I thought it might be slightly out of line to just stop the truck in the middle of traffic and step out for this shot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.

          – Oscar Wilde

Walk By Abstract

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tiny Landscapes

A few leaves collected from around the yard, scanned on my flatbed scanner.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The insufferable arrogance of human beings is to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it were conceivable that the sun had been set afire merely to ripen men's apples and head their cabbage.

           – Cyrano de Bergerac
                  (Histoire Comique des √Čtats et Empires de la Lune: 1656)

                     Educate yourself: Cyrano de Bergerac

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chicken Pie Shop

Found Film: 10 7 '02

Like stumbling upon buried artifacts, finding a roll of someone else's exposed film can reveal a glimpse into an unknown past. 

I found this roll of 35mm Kodak Gold 200 inside a Yashica 70SE, point-n-shoot camera, at a local thrift store. The camera was inexpensive and the thought of seeing what was on the film was irresistible. I will admit that the findings were less than stellar, but still worth the effort. I chose to post these frames prior to where someone had opened the camera back, hence the acute light leakage.

The camera's time stamp is dated October 7, 2002. I can't confirm the date is true, but I do know that Yashica's film camera production ended in 2005 and the 70SE was a latter model, so I'd say the date is near enough. 

After a little research, I found that these images — off-set frames and my post processed double exposure — are of a small restaurant in Long Beach, California; Eggs Etc. According to their website, Eggs Etc has been around since 1975 and is still serving up good food at 6th and Redondo Avenue.

Oh, and the Yashica 70SE, it's in great working condition.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

White-Handed Gibbon

This shot was taken at the Santa Ana Zoo using a Yashica 75mm-230mm lens [a M42 mount lens using an adapter to my Micro 4/3 format camera].

To find out more about the Santa Ana Zoo and their family of primates, go here.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm With The Band

An as of yet un-named band, these guys are some friends of mine that just love to make music. All are veteran musicians and love to make joyful noise. [from top to bottom] Bill Forth - guitar; Bill Hibbets - bass; Ed Donato - drums.

I'll point out that around Ed's feet, on the floor, are lots of bits of wood. When I first saw this I didn't think much of it, but soon realized that those were pieces of his drum sticks. Ed the Wood-Chipper, a true rhythm beast.