Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Wine Life

The last day of the annual Plein Air Painters Convention in San Francisco was actually a paint-out at the glorious Viansa Winery in Sonoma, just 35 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a sun-swept 70-degree day it was a quintessential California wine country retreat and a welcome counterpoint to the bustle and blight that plague the city where I left my heart. Paint brush in one hand and a precocious little Pinot Noir in the other I painted my way through a charcuterie plate, a panini and a cucumber-lemon grass gelato before decamping for our hotel at the airport. Wait a minute. It was Peggy doing the painting and that was with a sprightly Chardonnay. I tend to conflate.

Anyway, I recommend a sojourn to Viansa on such a day. It’s best enjoyed with a three hundred of your best painting buddies as was the case on this stunning and memorable April 28.

Sitting at a table, Pinot at the ready, I inhaled a tiny measure of the life that I love. The gestalt of wine culture, the farm to table lifestyle and pura vida from the land has me hooked as it has for more than fifty years. Above the vineyards with San Pablo Bay and the Mayacamas Mountains in the distance the sweep of the vistas and the depth of its pleasures was magical.

My mission was to photograph the start to finish sequence of Peggy painting the farm across the highway from Viansa. Since the painting took a scant 1-1/2 hours she called it a field study which I gather is something less than a painting. Couldn’t prove it by me. At the time she thought it was her best of the week and later thought it was not. Eyes of the beholder.

From my vantage point at a sunlit terrace table these happened.


Don or consiglieri?

Painter Albert Handel

And in the window of the tasting room sat this prize.

Floral in window

Despite half a century of wine lust I had never heard of Viansa. It is not in the pantheon of Sonoma legends. But it’s blood line is not to be trifled with as it was founded in 1989 by the grandson of Samuele Sebastiani, you know the name, an Italian immigrant who purchased his first vineyard in 1904 after making cobblestones in San Francisco when he arrived from Tuscany in 1896. Lawrence Ferlinghetti would be proud.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The fog of fifty years

Farm in Fog, Mendocino, 1969

The Fog Series was launched 50 years ago though I didn’t know it at the time. I got the one memorable shot shown above and didn’t think about it for almost forty years. In early spring of 1969 we took the first of many drives up the coast to explore the magic of Big Sur, Carmel, the stretch of Highway One from Monterey to San Francisco and the real draw, the Sonoma and Mendocino Coast. In LA for barely a year we were already concocting ways to live the artistic life on the jagged shore where the redwoods meets the sea.

Our ten-year old VW purred proudly as we left Bodega Bay and the road rose steadily till the frothy surf crashed hundreds of feet beneath us. Soon we were abreast of Fort Ross, the early 19th century Russian outpost I first visited in 1948 when I was a camper at Camp Cazadero just over the hill above the Russian River near Guerneville.

Leaving Fort Ross, we continued to Mendocino where we turned inland on Fort Bragg-Willits Road toward Highway 101 and Ukiah. Moments later I spied a sagging farmstead in the dense fog. We stopped immediately and I made the image I called “Farm in Fog.”  An accurate if uninspiring title.

Silent Running, Putney, Vermont, 2006

It wasn’t until I was photographing the Putney Regatta on the Connecticut River in 2006 that the nascent Fog Series had two images. The photograph entitled “Silent Running” is of the over seventy year old national rowing champion on the placid river caressed by fog. It became the second image in the slowly developing portfolio. There’s an eerie calm and the look of total silence.

Presidio Pines #1, The Presidio of San Francisco, 2010

Then in 2010 while waiting for my tardy model Nima Shiraz at the Presidio of San Francisco the fog rolled in from the Pacific as if on cue. As it moved eastward it nearly obscured the Golden Gate Bridge two hundred yards from where I was photographing Battery Godfrey, World War I battlements build to protect the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The fifteen minutes I waited for Nima are among the most photographically rewarding of my life.

Canopy, Point Reyes National Seashore, 2015

Five years later after a visit to Point Reyes National Seashore I could see that a body of work had emerged. I walked toward Point Reyes Light which was cloaked in fog. I passed under a canopy of Bishop Pines that were dripping as if it were raining. I could hear fog horns in the distance and the faint sound of the surf breaking below.

The Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field, 2019

Children at Crissy Field, 2019

Then three weeks ago at Crissy Field in San Francisco I was able to add these images to the Fog Series. At this rate I’ll have book by the time I’m 140.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Lost in Translation

The Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island from the Ferry Building

We just got back from San Francisco. As reported on these pages more than once, The City (please note that San Francisco is referred to as THE CITY in the Bay Area just as Manhattan is THE CITY if you live in an outer borough and even though Oakland across the bay is the larger entity it will never be THE CITY. And, further, San Francisco may never be called Frisco unless you’re a rube) has been one of my favorite places in the world since I started visiting there as little more than a tot in the mid- forties. It was the scene of my first ballet, first foreign film, first musical theatre, my first Welsh Rarebit at Townsend’s Restaurant and first high tea at the City of Paris Department Store. My mother took me to Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and to midnight mass at Saint Mary’s Church. I got my first Ivy League threads from a haberdasher on Market Street. The pants even had the superflous buckle in the back.

Saint Mary's Church and the entrance to Chinatown

Even after we moved to Arizona in 1952, we came back to San Francisco for vacations especially at Christmas. There’s nothing like a real city during the holidays. And San Francisco is a world city.

The ballet was Swan Lake and the play was The Prince and the Showgirl with a young Shirley MacLaine and Francis Lederer at The Curran Theatre near Union Square. The theatre was home to the San Francisco Light Opera at the time. The film version of the play starred Marilyn Monroe. The aforementioned film was a heist flick named The Lavendar Hill Mob with Alec Guiness and Stanley Holloway. The year was 1951. Quiz later.

I’d give the city by the bay mixed reviews on this seventieth (more or less) anniversary visit. At its best, like the Embarcadero on the sunny afternoon or Crissy Field shrouded in fog San Francisco thrills like no other. Yet the absurdly high costs of existing there and the unavoidable blight of homelessness detract greatly from what may be the most beautiful city in the country.

Homeless on Turk Street in the heart of the Tenderloin

At the turn of the new century Lawrence Ferlinghetti observed. “I certainly was surprised to be named the Poet Laureate of this far-out city on the left side of the world, and I gratefully accept, for as I told the mayor, I’d rather be the Poet Laureate of San Francisco than anywhere because this city has always been a poetic center, a frontier for free poetic life, with perhaps more poets and more poetry readers than any city in the world.

But we are in danger of losing it. In fact, we are in danger of more than that. All that made this City so unique in the first place seems to be going down the tube at an alarming rate.”

Then he quotes a Bay Guardian survey that “reveals a city undergoing a radical transformation – from a diverse metropolis that welcomed immigrants and refugees from around the world to a homogeneous, wealthy enclave.”

He concluded in 2001 that “The gap between the rich and the poor in San Francisco has increased more than forty percent in just two years recently.”

Even the prescient Ferlinghetti, now 100, could not have predicted that the trajectory he saw in 2001 would accelerate and San Francisco “may become the first fully gentrified city in America.”

He further quoted Daniel Zoll of the Guardian. “Now it’s becoming impossible for lot of people who have made this such a world class city - people who have been the heart and soul of the city for decades – from the fishers and pasta makers and blue collar workers to the jazz musicians to the beat poets to the hippies to the punks and so many others – to exist here anymore. And when you’ve lost that part of the city, you’ve lost San Francisco.”

Gesticulating wildly at the corner of Geary and Powell, Union Square

Pretty close. Set against the postcard backdrop of The City and the wrenching contrast of moneyed millennials to the huddled homeless is a city at odds with itself. It’s a city, it seems to me, too full of itself and its good fortune. The Emperor’s New Clothes is afoot in the too perfect, too wonderful city of my dreams. The home of the $35.00 breakfast and $140.00 plus tip Thai dinner at Kin Khao believes its own press. You are special San Francisco but not that special. Get over yourself.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hope Springs

Captain Chad Vender Kooy

Our burly captain stepped out of the cockpit sporting a wide red white and blue flag tie which hung over his substantial self. He stood in the cockpit door for a moment and appeared to be talking to the cabin crew who were obscured by the bulkhead. Then he stepped forward. With a bemused smile he began to speak to the passengers in the cabin.

“This is your first officer. My name is Chad and I’m doing do something that’s hard for me, public speaking. So, bear with me. I appreciate your understanding.

I just want to say that we need more love and acceptance right now. There’s so much division in our country and it really troubles me. So, let’s reach out and show our love for the other person. I’m asking you to join me in reaching out to your brothers and sisters no matter where they come from. I’m talking about loving our neighbors. And by neighbors, I mean neighbors in the broadest sense. We live in a global community and the hate that is festering in our own country and around the world is eating us up.

I love this country and part of what this country is supposed to be about is friendship, caring and loving each other. I want to enlist you all to demonstrate those feelings. If everybody showed compassion and love for his fellow man imagine how wonderful our country and the whole world, for the matter, would be.

I hope you’ll do your part to reach out to the people in your neighborhood, in your town, in your state, across the United States and around the world. The world will be a better place if you do.

Thanks for listening to me. Have a great flight to San Francisco. It’s going to sunny and in the low seventies. Enjoy the heck out of it.”

My seatmate who appeared to be of Indian extraction turned to me and asked, “I’ve never heard a pilot talk like that. I’m from the UK and I’ve never heard anything like it. Is this normal in the States? This wouldn’t happen in where I come from.”

I told him that I’d never heard anything like it either and that I found the message to be very moving and especially pertinent right now. I said that I thought it might be specific to Southwest Airlines and I had the impression that the airline encouraged this kind of engagement and spontaneity.

To illustrate that premise I told him I’d recently heard the story about the four-year-old granddaughter of a friend of Peggy’s. The friend, we’ll call her Ann, told Peggy that the child had just completed two years of chemotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and that the institution rang bells for “graduating” children. Because Ann was flying from Denver to Los Angeles and couldn’t be at the hospital for the celebration, she approached the Southwest gate agent to ask about ringing a bell for the child in midflight. Ann wanted to make the arrangements if Southwest was willing. The gate agent asked her if she needed extra time to board. Ann initially said she didn’t so the gate agent repeated, “So do you need early boarding?” Being no fool, Ann said that she did, in fact, need the extra time.

Once on the aircraft she asked the pilot and crew if they would be willing to ring a bell for the child at precisely 10am, the time the bells would be rung at the hospital.  A few seconds before 10 the pilot got on the loudspeaker and asked that every passenger press their flight attendant call button to recognize a brave little girl who had completed her cancer treatment that very day. At ten AM sharp 237 passengers rang their bells for the courageous youngster.

So, it really might be a Southwest phenomenon. And it's certain I'll choose Southwest every time it's an option. 

Later I asked my seatmate, “Where are you from?”

“From the UK.”

“Where exactly.” I followed up.

“Birmingham, the Midlands,” he answered.

“What is your itinerary? Where have you visited?

He told me. “We visited the Grand Canyon then Las Vegas but we didn’t like Las Vegas so we came to San Diego a day early and now we’re going to visit San Francisco for two nights.”

He told me they were staying on Lombard Street in the Marina District and I said that the marina was my stomping ground from the early eighties when I opened a restaurant at Lombard and Steiner. I told him the Pizzeria Uno wasn’t there anymore though it was still a pizza restaurant. Scott's, my favorite seafood restaurant in the neighborhood at left this earth and with it the best Petrale Sole in the known universe.

He asked if I had any restaurant suggestions and I told him that I really had no idea since it had been so long, but Fisherman’s Wharf was close and he’d probably find something family friendly there.

When I asked how he and his family were enjoying the their holiday he told me, “The Americans we’ve met have been very warm and remarkably engaged. Much more so than the English.”

That gave me a flush of pride and gave me just a whisper of hope that the tribal hatred we’re suffering isn’t a terminal affliction.

I asked the Captain his name as I exited the plane. I'm Chad Vander Kooy. "I'm Dutch." 

Hell of a guy. And I am after all one-quarter Dutch.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Leaving Town

Store #1, Clarkdale, CO

I’ve gotten to the point that I have to leave town to take a photograph. That flies in the face of the principle that exploring your local environment completely is the path to making the most meaningful images. I hope it’s just a phase because travelling every time you want to be inspired is expensive. And exhausting.

Store #2, Clarkdale, CO

Sometimes the travel is for another purpose but, no matter, you gotta use it to your advantage. A case in point is driving to Durango, Colorado to attend the opening of Peggy’s one woman show at the Sorrel Sky Gallery. A grand success I must add. I wouldn’t or couldn’t miss it for one thing and it’s Durango for another thing. I do dig the place. We stayed in an ordinary chain motel with intermittent hot water, a good hand cracked egg breakfast and access to the Animas River path which is one of my favorite places to run. When I run the winding route I see more runners in an hour than I see in Taos in year. I really crave being in a town where fitness is front and center, where there’s a community of like-minded folks. It feels so vibrant and healthy. I’ve found that sensibility in small towns and big cities across the country. Boston has it. San Francisco has it. So, too, do Denver and San Diego. Bozeman, Montana has it. So does North Conway, NH from whence we came. Even though Taos is nominally an outdoor town it doesn’t possess that special vitality. A little of that is the aging population I suppose. Everyone is me.

Trujillo's Country Store, Blanco, NM

Two tanks, Navajo City, NM

Old store, Lumberton, NM

But this is about photography or the lack thereof. I drove to Durango by the tried and true route through Pagosa Springs. It sounds more exotic than is. But when returning to Taos I opted for the longer and more evocative path south through fossil fuel country to Bloomfield, New Mexico and east on US 64 to the Jicarilla Apache reservation and on the Chama and home. I’ve driven the Bloomfield, Dulce, Chama stretch a bunch of times so knew I’d trip over the desiccated hulk of some old saloon, school or church along the way.

The gargoyle screams

Above are some of those jewels.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Good Bones

The Hub Plaza, home of the wonderful Tapas Tree featuring world street food
Home town news

The Spanish conquistadors brought copper mining to what would become Silver City NM. In 1800 Colonel José Manuel Carrasco learned of a massive copper deposit from an Apache chief who showed him a sample of the mineral. Carrasco named the deposit Santa Rita del Cobre. After several years he sold the mine to Don Manuel Elquea who was followed by a colorful list of characters who worked the mine. In 1828 Christopher “Kit” Carson was employed as a teamster at the Santa Rita mine. After the Civil War a silver deposit was discovered on Chloride Hill and American miners led my Captain John Bullard began building the town that became Silver City. Bullard, in fact, laid out the town but was killed by marauding Apaches in February 1871 before seeing his vision realized. He did have the distinction of being buried in Silver City’s first grave.

The Silco Theatre

In its rowdy early days Silver City assumed the characteristics of mining communities throughout the west. It was a rough and violent place. Sheriff Henry Whitehill who brought some order to the town arrested Billy the Kid twice for theft. The Kid's mother was buried in the town cemetery. Later Whitehill referred to the outlaw as a likeable kid whose stealing was more a function of necessity than criminality. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch frequented the saloons and brothels on Bullard Street.

Javalina Coffee House
Al fresco at the Javalina

When Captain Bullard planned the town, he didn’t anticipate the torrential rains that soak Silver City every summer so two foot high sidewalks had to be built to accommodate the river of water that flowed through its streets after a deluge. A ditch was dug to handle the runoff. 

The Gila Theatre

There’s a burgeoning art and music scene in Silver City and its Downtown Arts District shows promise. There once were three theatres on Bullard Street, the Silco which became a community movie house in 2016, the Gila which was shuttered for the final time in 2003 and the El Sol which presents live theatre today. From its New Directors Series the play Marjorie Prime completed its run April 14.

Silver City hosts several festivals during the year, among them The Southwest Festival of the Written Word, the Silver City Blues Festival and the Chicano Music Fest.

Silver City with its 10,000 residents is a contender. Its temperate climate with January highs in the low fifties and July highs in the mid-eighties is most appealing. It’s got a university. Housing is affordable. It’s three hours from Tucson. Cool art deco signs don't hurt.

I’m giving it a thumbs-up.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

On the road again

Twenty miles west of Socorro.

A couple of weeks ago I took a photo safari, the first in many months. Or is that years? The impetus was the call of the open road as much as anything. I’d been hankering to see Silver City for quite a while and that stems from my lust for little towns that have downtowns with good bones. We found the place many years ago, just passing through really. I remembered the coffee place we visited and used it as a touchstone this time. In wandering around Silver City's tidy downtown I stumbled on the Javalina Coffee House and it was just the welcoming establishment I recalled. Good coffee, too.

I’ve described these villages as places where you can amble to El Centro to get your morning coffee, a good breakfast, the New York Times and visit your local pub, a place where everybody knows your name. The village can also be a neighborhood in a larger city. An acquaintance said when he and his wife travel to a new city they search out locally owned bookstores and find that neighborhoods with independent bookstores usually have good restaurants, art galleries and, today, at least one busy brew pub. It's a package deal. One thing that they are not is dry.

Silver City, the home of Western New Mexico University hits most of these notes. Not sure about the dining scene. My dinner at Diane's, one of two "fine dining" establishments was decidedly ho hum. I'll do further research and report back. Fresh beer is alive and well at Little Toad Creek Brewery I'm happy to report.

I took the great circle route to get to Silver City, opting to head west from Socorro through the Very Large Array rather than the more direct route through Kingston and Hillsborough. I might not do that twice. It was a winding ribbon of nothing from Reserve, the most right wing town in the most right wing county in all of New Mexico. Reputedly you’re required to pack heat if you live in Reserve. I found it unnerving.

The images here and above are from the outbound drive to Silver City and include the vast Freeport McMoran copper mine fifteen mile east.

The former Evett's Ice Cream Parlor in Magdalena, NM

The Freeport McMoran copper mine that swallowed up the village of Santa Rita, NM

Unlike Freeport McMoran's Morenci, AZ mine which left a crater the size of Manhattan, the Santa Rita mine extracts copper from the mountain side.

Silver City is, on the other hand, a bastion of lefty politics owing to the college and a wave of educated oldsters that remind me of Taos.

The place has a shot at becoming a real art colony. Karen Hymer, a photographer and educator, who opened Light Art Space last October is counting on it. Her current exhibition Dead Art: An Analog Approach to a Digital World runs through April 28. It's a powerful show of work from her former students at Pima College in Tucson.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Aging Ungraciously

The sprightly lad in the bathroom mirror each morning is very different than the hunched gnome I see in photographs of myself in social settings. Especially in profile. In my mirror version I behold a man fifteen years my junior and the mortifying, digital me is a man in late stage elderliness. And that’s just appearances. Which are, after all, paramount.

Often I see an article online that asks the burning question, “What is your real age? Then you’re led to a questionnaire that asks stuff like, “How tall are you?” “How much do you weigh?” How much do you exercise?” And so on. The premise is that based on certain measurables you can be older or younger than the typical, say, 77-year-old. Based on the metrics I’m maybe 62. I’m guessing. I've never completed one of the quizzes.

I’m just taking a stab at the tally the questionnaire might yield and I'm sticking with the 62. 100 push-ups, ten pull-ups, a 10K in under an hour. Gotta be better than average. Or am I simply full of myself? Well, yes, I am full of myself.

More important, I’d say, is how you feel. And, truth be told, I feel okay. “Only okay?” you ask.

Uh huh. I can do all that self-indulgent crap listed above, but I still want to take a nap. I’m all about naps if you must know. And my back aches one hundred percent of the time. Between the double curvature of the spine, the scoliosis, the osteoporosis and rest of the osises I’m a freaking mess. Oh, and the arthritis. Can’t forget the arthritis.

All of that is why I’ve gone from a 5’11-1/2” Homo Erectus at 45 to a bent 5’9-1/2” relic in late middle age.

The subject of aging and longevity comes up frequently in my circle of geriatrics. Come to think of it, I’m the guy who brings it up. Preoccupied by life and death? No, I’m obsessed by the life part. If I die, I die.

I always tell people that I’m more interested in quality than longevity. Most folks seem to understand that in principle but would opt for maximal length even if it means being severely limited. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

And back on the vanity front, how one looks carries some weight. I do not look forward to being a cute, little old man. If I have already reached that stage of decrepitude don't tell me. Please.

Then there’s acting your age. That’s a concept that's overrated if you want to know the truth. I’m prone to wearing clothes two generations younger. Skinny jeans, white linen shirts and orange or olive sneakers that first saw daylight in the early sixties. Flipflops, too. I usually wear black tees that display my bod. I have young hair. As my college pal Jim Walters used to say in those halcyon days of surf and sun, “There’s nothing sadder than a middle-aged hipster.” True enough unless you are the aforementioned hipster in which case it’s perfectly acceptable. When Peggy’s friend Sue noticed my jeans and sneakers combo for the first time she exclaimed, “You’re such a dude!” Thanks, Sue. I am.

A few weeks ago, we were having dinner with dear friends and being introduced to new ones. During the conversation, the distaff member of the new couple declared that the sight of Jeff Bezos in his form fitting black tee-shirt, “……creeps me out.” Bezos is only 55 years old for heaven’s sake. Do you know how self-conscious she made me feel when I was flexing my biceps?

And to that point, if you can do it why shouldn’t you? At some point you are old. Done deal. But is there some law that says you have to act your age till Doctor Doom confronts you? I thought not.

When I start embarrassing myself, I know you’ll tell me.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Black and White

Margaret Bourke-White

From where I sit the most memorable photographs are decidedly photojournalistic. That they are predominantly black and white is certain. When I asked in a recent blog, “Do you prefer the color of black and white version of the same image” your responses were all over the map. Most of you leaned toward black and white but preferred one or two of the photographs in color. One respondent was ambivalent. How is that possible I ask you.

Margaret Bourke-White

August Sander

My take-away is that people either prefer black and white or prefer color and that’s that. It’s about as polarized as American politics. In fact, during Friday’s Spanish group our peerless leader Linda Thompson said. “I just prefer color.” Whether that’s a function of living with an outstanding color photographer, her husband Terry Thompson, or a deeper-seated affliction I can but wonder.

Gary Winogrand

Lewis Hine

Linda asked me, “Why do you like black and white?”

“Well, I said, “Black and white strips the image down to its essentials and reveals the design of the picture. And black and white lends gravitas and importance to a photograph. It’s richer and timeless.”

Chuck Fawns across the table nodded his agreement and added, “That’s especially so if there’s an historic element to the image.”

Elliot Erwitt

Dorothea Lange

Since I was in the throes of deciding what to post this week, and also needed a subject for the next issue of Shadow and Light magazine I began examining the photographs that resonate with me. In revisiting the images I’ve revered over the decades I found that they are in the photojournalistic vein and hew to environmental portraiture and street photography. When an image makes the leap from reportage to “Art” it joins the pantheon of giants. Just how that happens is a mystery. It simply does.

W. Eugene Smith

Here are but a few. In a few hours, I identified dozens that are unforgettable. Many you will recognize though I left out the most obvious examples. And, yes students, they are all black and white.
Andre Kertesz

All are about people in places. All tell a story. All are beautifully framed. All have or will stand the test of time. There were worthy images so dark I couldn’t bear to display them. So grim they’d send you down the rabbit hole of despair and into a lifetime of therapy.

All capture human emotion. They are of people. They are of the human condition. They illuminate. They are forever.

Walker Evans

Lewis Hine aimed his lens at the depravity of child labor. Margaret Bourke White, Dorothea Lange, W. Eugene Smith, Walker Evans and others captured the Depression era in wrenching human terms. August Sander photographed workers in Germany between the World Wars. All of them and many more who are equally worthy told us their stories.

All capture the human condition with insight and precision. They illuminate. They are forever.

And finally,

Martin Parr. And to think I said all black and white

All but Elliott Erwitt, now ninety, and Martin Parr have departed. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Comparative Religion

I post to Instagram most days though it’s been spotty the last couple of weeks. Taxes are a bitch. When I post on Instagram I share through Facebook, too. On back to back days I posted photographs of an ancient gas pump that I spotted at the Overland Sheepskin complex just north of Taos. To my surprise there was a lot of feedback in favor of the color image and being a committed back and white shooter that piqued my interest. First, I agree this time that the color image is better and that made me want to look back at my various portfolios to see how side by sides of color and black and white photographs would look. While I remain devoted monochrome, sometimes even I might prefer the color shot. The look back was not quite as easy as you might think since the vast majority of the images are black and white and often I didn’t save the color original at all. That's something I need to change.

So, for your viewing pleasure here some side-by-sides that I could find. Up top is the rusty gas pump. It’s not the exact same shot but you get the drift.

There's something for every taste: landscape, still life, portraiture and street. Give me some feedback. It's time for me to learn something.