Since sometime around last May, this blog has been sidetracked from directionless visual meanderings to a very lengthy re-viewing of pictures I made during a month-long trip in Europe in the fall of 2011, when the Lady and I began in Paris and spent a week in Prague, a week in Venice, and more than a week in Florence. Then back to Paris. About a month, in all.

At that time, I was using a Pentax K-5 APS-C digital camera with the same little 21mm 'pancake' lens that I had used for several years [see http://originalrefrigeratorart.blogspot.com]. Nothing too fancy. (Still using the same lens, but with newer bodies now: K-3, K-1, K-70.)

My usual practice—in addition to always having the camera with me—is to make a single exposure of whatever attracts me, and then move on. In other words, I don't spend time consciously deliberating, or taking multiple exposures of anything. The time for thought comes much later.

Days, weeks, or even years later…I can do as I am doing now, and reliving these past moments anew.

I should add that an essential element in what I do now takes place in the computer's virtual darkroom. An added benefit for me has been that, in the eight year since these pictures were made, the technology has advanced significantly, as have my skills. All hail the algorithms.

So, there, you are now up-to-date, and I can return to making the old new.


Der singende Mann, by Ernst Barlach, 1928






And now, in memory of Fred Herzog, who died on the same day as Robert Frank (but at the age of only 88).

Vienna, 2011

Fred Herzog, 1972

My many thanks.


In memory of Robert Frank, November 9, 1924 – September 9, 2019

His one book, Les Américains was published first in 1958, then in 1959 as The Americans. [See the Wikipedia entry on him.]

Must admit that I never owned the book, though this is the version to buy now, I believe. Offhand, I cannot think of another single book that had such a profound influence on photography (The Family of Man, perhaps?)

At the time, he was a strong influence on me…

Nebraska State Fair, ~1970

Going back further on this blog of mine, you can find some earlier, Việt Nam pictures that reflect the influence of Robert Frank.

Later, the Web introduced me to Fred Herzog, Saul Leiter, and others, from whom I learned color and formal abstraction (?).

So, goodbye and thank you, Robert Frank.













L'Ami de Personne, by Erik Dietman



All Credit to the Lady









Column of Justice, Florence

"Column of Justice (Colonna della Giustizia) is an ancient Roman Doric-order victory column, re-erected as a free-standing monument with a porphyry statue of Justice at the top. It stands in the Piazza Santa Trinita, in central Florence.

The column originated from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome and was given by Pope Pius IV to Cosimo I de Medici. The transportation of a 50-ton, 11 meter long granite column from Rome to Florence was an immense challenge.

It took months to move the column from the ruins of the Baths to the port on the Tiber, traveling about hundred meters per day. Part of the transportation was supervised by Giorgio Vasari, who had been sent by the Duke to Rome. It was then embarked at Ostia and taken by sea to the lower stretches of the Arno. A special barge appears to have been towed by a galley. This convoy was threatened along the route by Saracen raiders. Arriving in Tuscany, it had to be carried overland by oxen and horse-drawn carts to Florence. The move from the river bank a few miles upriver from Pisa to Florence took nearly a year, arriving in 1563…

The dedication of this column, erected by Cosimo I de'Medici, changed over time. Cosimo intended first to celebrate his 1537 victory over Siena in the Battle of Montemurlo (others cite the Battle of Marciano). This was apt because he had been here when he was informed of the victory of his troops over the rebellious Pietro Strozzi and his Sienese allies. In 1569, Pope Pius V had granted Cosimo the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany, and the dedication was made to justice with a present inscription."



So, why don't we do taxidermy on people? Even the recently dead would be interesting—better than photographs or movies. Almost as good—or better than— a really fine figurative portrait in oil.





Detraining in Vienna, 2011


"Michele di Lando was the son of a woman named Simona who was a vegetable seller in Florence. Michele himself was a wool carder.

There was much discontent in Florence in 1378. Salvestro de' Medici was challenging the authority of the Guelf Party and facing heavy resistance from the nobility. Moreover, many workers in Florence remained without a guild to represent them and were therefore entirely disenfranchised. On 22 July 1378, violence broke out in Florence once again. Michele di Lando went to the Piazza of the Signoria where he was given a banner of justice with which to lead the people. He ordered that the Palace of the Signoria should be taken and the governors chose to flee. Michele took power and for six weeks, he fought to restore stability. His government had three new guilds created so that almost all men gained representation.

However the radicals were not happy with the new government for many of the old structures of government remained so they selected the Eight of Santa Maria Novella to represent them instead. This led to a conflict between the Priors led by Michele and the Eight. Michele was able to defeat the radicals and so returned to power. As a result of the revolt, he had the guild representing the lowest workers and the apprentices disbanded but left the others intact."




I am going to stop putting my pictures on the Internet for a spell. Of course I shall continue making them, and working on them—great pleasure for me there—but I will just tuck them away on my hard drives.


Current Google Street View

Church in Florence, 2011




Shifting gears (downshifting?), this was straight out of the camera—unmanipulated by software other than resizing. Taken on 11 May 2019, with my current, full-frame camera.

And later, at the end of that same day:



Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris