Kids on a bike, Charleston WV

Kids on a bike, Charleston WV

When I found the app Prisma, I immediately thought of this photograph.  Mike Adkins and I were wandering the streets of Charleston WV a few years ago when I captured this scene of two kids sharing a bike.  You can see the original post right here, it was way back in 2008 and the kids are not tack sharp- you only get one shot at this type of photo you know.  Whether or not you like faux painting apps, I think we can agree that interesting shots that are ruined or not optimal by motion (or other) blur just might be useful in the future with apps or processes we have not thought up yet.  When culling images, I\’m now using different eyes before I hit the delete button.

 

 

 

Sunset on Mike’s Dead Battery

Sunset on Mike\'s Dead Battery

I know, it looks like another faked enhanced sunset but this one is straight out of the camera.  Shooting it underexposed and having the Fuji set on a film-preset gives it a bit of a bounce, but it was a pretty sunset anyway.  I was up having dinner in Huntington and when finished, we discovered Mike\’s car had a dead battery.  Some good Samaritans helped out by having both jumper cables and knowledge on how to use them (a rare thing nowadays).  While waiting for the car to get into position I noticed we were being entertained with this nice sunset.

 

Russell Mural

Russell Mural

On a recent bike ride, I photographed the mural at Russell again.  This mural advertised suits and overcoats for as low as $24.00.  The Russell bridge was the first in the area and I suppose the automobile traffic to the merchants of Ironton Ohio provided competition to the ones in Ashland.  The point of this wall sized advertisement must have been an attempt to divert some of these lost customers to Ashland, which now is about a 15 minute drive.

 

Brick wall and windows

Brick wall and windows

Archive plundering again, I found this picture of the old Athen’s Lunatic Asylum that I shot last fall.  Reading about it on Wikipedia, I think the ever-changing names given to the building reflected on the ever-changing way that society wanted to feel about how they treat illnesses of our thought and mood processes.  I think we are far from where we should be, however.

Here are the names, a direct quote from Wikipedia:

“Within two years of its opening, The hospital was renamed The Athens Hospital for the Insane. Later, the hospital would be called the Athens Asylum for the Insane, the Athens State Hospital, the Southeastern Ohio Mental Health Center, the Athens Mental Health Center, the Athens Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, the Athens Mental Health and Developmental Center, and then (again) the Athens Mental Health Center.”

No Loafing

No Loafing

Suffered a bike crash, so I have been sidelined longer than I thought.  I was up in Ashland having that problem checked out and decided to scout the alley for some shots.  No loafing, I suppose the old couches are for paying customers only!

 

4 Remember

4 Remember

From a little trip to the University of Kentucky art museum last year.  This time, I found the correct parking garage.  On one of my previous trips, I had the misfortune in choosing the “wrong” garage.  On that visit, as is usual there, it was a terrific day in which I was befriended several times while on campus in ways that not only made us feel like special visitors but also saving us a good bit of money.  So while leaving that parking garage, the attendant, who seemed proud to take on the grumpy employee costume, says to me “that’ll be thirty dollars” then stares at me stoned face waiting for the usual response.  I decide to not play that game and so dug out the thirty dollars and politely said “why so much?”.  Then I received the scolding he so much wanted to give me, that I had parked in the wrong parking garage for visiting the campus.  I smiled and said, well all in all this day has been quite a bargain even with the parking fee.  I told him about  the free art gallery admission, how we so much enjoyed it,  and special treatment that we had received and hoped to see him again soon.  Then I inquired where he would like us to park on our next visit and received directions to this garage that yielded the “4 Remember” photo.  He was still staring at us when we left, I think he regretted not being able to have a shouting argument.

 

Arthur and Riggs Store

Arthur and Riggs Store

Flatwoods, Kentucky

This building is a remnant of the small community of privately owned grocery stores that dotted the landscape of the early to mid 1900s.  Flatwoods is a small town and during that era was composed of many small farms as well as small to moderate sized homes on nice lots.  Even though it wasn’t a population center, the town supported 4 grocery stores even during the 1950s and 1960s.  Those businesses usually were referred to by the name of the family who owned them.  Barndollar’s, Pennington’s, Bannister’s, and Arthur & Riggs.   All are closed down and demolished except for this building which sits behind the Arthur and Riggs building that was in operation during my youth.  I have always thought it was the earlier store.  The grocery owned by the Pennington family is the only one still surviving and has transformed into a modern grocery in a strip mall.

I have had a fine trip; I have experienced about all the human
emotions. I had not expected to encounter so many people or
to get the little inside glimpses that I’ve had, but wherever there
are human beings there are the little histories.

Letters on an Elk Hunt
by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

Radiators sold cheap!

Radiators sold cheap!

I’ve always admired this business.  Today I signed up for a 100 mile bicycle ride in October, in bike lingo it’s called a Century and I’ve ridden one in my life about 26 or so years ago.  I have a bit more than a month to add more miles to the bike so we’ll see.  Hopefully I can photograph some of the event.

Lately I also finished another book, Pete Hamill’s memoir called “A Drinking Life”.   The book picks up at about the 80% mark but at the end, I just didn’t feel like I knew much more about him than when I began (which was nothing at all, never heard of Hamill).  The book gets pretty good although a bit scattered reviews on Amazon, maybe my expectations had been overshadowed by some other great memoir-style books that I’ve read over the years.  Hamill made his mark as a newspaper journalist and to me that is when the book picks up steam, sadly though 3/4th of the book is over at that point.

 

 

 

Russell, Kentucky

Russell, Kentucky

I caught this scene while out on the bicycle trying to climb hills.  It’s a rewarding view but your heart and lungs protest a bit getting there.  The bridge is scheduled to come down year after next I believe.  I made it home just as the rain started and it was a real downpour.

 

Milton Horn, window keystone 068

Milton Horn, window keystone 068

Charleston, West Virginia

Feeling much better, it was nice to get a text from Mike Adkins suggesting he would drive me up to Charleston for a quick trip to see a gallery show by the photographer Clayton Spangler.   The exhibit consisted of a couple dozen black and white images that were printed on metal, which was the first time I\’ve viewed an entire exhibit on this unique medium.  With the right viewing angle and lighting, it sure gives  nice detail.    Afterwards, we took a short sidewalk photowalk where I found a few images to post this week.  The above photograph is a keystone above a large window, I\’m again mentally kicking myself to improve my reporting and make notes about the name of the building and exact location.  The photo gets mixed reviews in my household, I find it moving and emotional.  Others have found it disturbing and not at all enjoyable.  But it is Halloween night, after all, so at least I\’ve met one themed date for the year.

I\’ve tried to research the artist since I was surprised to see a clear name inscribed on the art work and came up with the information that Milton Horn was a Russian-American sculptor who (quoting Wikipedia here) demonstrated "the truth that architecture and sculpture are not two separate arts but, in the hands of sympathetic collaborators, one and the same".  On my next trip to Charleston, I\’ll be on the lookout for this building and any other building artwork that I can see.

"The function of sculpture is not to decorate
but to integrate, not to entertain but to
orientate man within the context of his universe."

Milton Horn
(per Wikipedia)

 

Mural on storage building

Mural on storage building

Huntington, West Virginia

This is a shot of a storage building behind a local restaurant, being a very creative use of a mural to add value to the storage building.  It bothers my eyes to the point that I had intended to not use it at all but then this hayfever-like problem has kept me inside.  If you look at the roof in the shot, you can see it\’s sharp, however the mural does not appear to be focused and this doesn\’t set well with my eyes.  Maybe the optical illusion is just me.   Well, still moving slowly and staying out of the weather, so updates will continue to be a bit slow for the near future.

I watched a good documentary on the life of J.D. Salinger, the author of Catcher in the Rye.  I was surprised to find that my mental image of Salinger was (nearly) completely wrong.  For some reason, I had this idea that he wrote the book and then took the money and lived on a New England farm where he never penned another story, living just outside of a town that was very protective of him.  Living a Wendell Berry-like life (without the public appearances), where he enjoyed farm life and had friends, neighbors, and townsfolk over for movies in his living room every week.  Don\’t know where this came from, but some of the details had bits of accuracy (like watching movies)   but  largely the image was inaccurate according to the documentary Salinger.   I understand the documentary wasn\’t well received in all circles but I found it interesting to watch.  The message from the film is that Salinger did continue to write, nearly being an obsession to him.  He had a writer\’s building built away from the main house and he created a large amount of unpublished work that was turned over to a literary estate to be published after his death (nothing has been published as of yet).  One surprising part is that he was viewed as a recluse but really was not.  He just tightly controlled his exposure and was not widely photographed and this enabled him to move about somewhat without easy detection.  Considering the number of unstable readers the book seemed to attract, it was no wonder he became as he was.

 “You must suffer me to go my own dark way.”

Robert Louis Stevenson,
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Antenna & Sky

Antenna & Sky

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk 2013
Huntington, West Virginia

My current book is The Bondwoman\’s Narrative (Amazon), written by Hannah Crafts and edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor and a native of West Virginia. (Wikipedia).  Gates had bought the hand-written manuscript at auction for $8,500 then did extensive research in trying to find the history of the author and prove the idea that it was the first novel written by an African American woman.  The story is told through the eyes of a slave Hannah who has an elegant story telling ability and a wonderful way with words.   Gates had been able to prove the time period in which the story was written and everyone was pretty certain it was written by a former slave and had not been changed or edited by any others.  The issue that remained was "Who was Hannah Crafts?".  

While looking up some items to write this, I\’ve discovered that just last month the mystery has been solved.  Read all about it here at the New York Times.

 

 

 

Antenna

Antenna

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk 2013
Huntington, West Virginia

a gray chilled evening
faces stare out dark windows
antennas as fine art?