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Why Photos

July 31st, 2014

Why Photos

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was asked by a friend's sister why I take pictures. The simple answer is I find it to be fun. If I didn't like doing I wouldn't do it, but I think it is a little deeper than that.

If you take a look at the picture that should be attached to this missive you will see a picture that no one will ever be able to take again. Last summer a monstrous storm came through this area and leveled a half dozen trees; this guy among them. In a way, pictures allow me to be something of a historian as we freeze that moment in time; the fly in amber, right?

Additionally, most of us have an urge to create. I like to think that some of the pictures I take are a little better than the snap shots Aunt Esther shoots. I aim to preserve a moment of beauty in a world that seems hellbent on celebrating the hideous.

There is the thrill of the chase, especially in new environments. Figuring out compositions, waiting to see the world in a unique way, appreciating the planet and its environs is exciting to me.

Another thing that compels me to shoot photo after photo of landscapes and animals is reverence. I am always amazed by the infinite creativity of God. From the way a sunflower grows (if you've ever seen one before it blooms, you know what I'm talking about) to the gossamer of an insect's wing, every day if you look closely at creation you will be astounded.

Photos and images allow us to communicate with one another. A good photo brings a knowing nod, and a great photo brings joy. It's one human saying to another, "Wow, look at this!"

Photos can be funny; sometimes intentionally so, and sometimes by accident. Most of like to laugh and visual humor is probably the most basic humor.

Well, those are some of the reasons I like to shoot pictures--wait, I forgot one more. Money. Sometimes I sell pictures. But, you know what. Even if I didn't sell any, I'd still be taking them. Because when I get right down to I do it because I love doing it.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

July 18th, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Have you seen the latest Planet of the Apes movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

A friend of mine dragged me to it. I tend to like science fiction and fantasy movies, and I admit a great affection for the original movie with the iconic Charlton Heston, but the last ape movie I saw was the horrendous remake with Mark Wahlberg (not his fault, I know, but I can't remember the exact name of the director or writers, so Wahlberg takes the hit on that one).

Evidently, there was another Ape movie after that, and my amigo assured me it had been great. Great, I tell you! So I agreed to go, if he could find a place that would only charge $4 to see it. Actually, I knew there was such a theater in the town next to us. If you're ever in Wisconsin, check out the Watertown theater Towne Cinema. If you go to a matinee it's only $3 for first run movies. I saw Captain America there three times.

Now, I'm not going to do a full blown review here, but the movie is well done and engaging. But I have to admit what absolutely blew me away were the apes themselves. The CGI is phenomenal. The artists perfectly catch and communicate emotion and the expressions are all spot on and appropriate for whatever point in the story they're at. It was a delight and a wonder to see the apes striding across the screen, fully realized as every emotion from love, wonder, fear, anger, gratitude and hate were written clearing on the ape faces, and in their body language. and magnificent, or venal and evil.

Wow. made me think, we're about this close to resurrecting every dead movie star from the past--or even current old movie stars--through CGI. How about a sequel to Casablanca? (Yeah, David Soul tried it an it sucked.) But what if you could have Bogie do it? A sequel to Gone With the Wind with Clark Gable? Or a Star Wars movie with a young Han Solo?

Okay, we're not there yet, but I don't think we're that far away from it, either. In the future, maybe every actor will be a voice actor. If we manage to keep the planet intact, I look forward to the day when I can see a brand new Ape movie starring Charlton Heston.

Come On In and Make Yourself at Home

July 8th, 2014


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