Saturday, May 29, 2010

Marcel Duchamp and Me

It seems that I keep crossing paths with the avant garde artist Marcel Duchamp. Well, not crossing paths really, since he died in 1968. I guess you could say I keep stumbling over him, but that wouldn't be accurate either, as I'm sure he received a decent burial, and even if he didn't, there wouldn't be much left to stumble over now. But his name comes up occasionally when I am reading about other subjects. Most recently this occurred while I was reading an article in Smithsonian Magazine by Owen Edwards titled, "Sign of the Times: Bob Dylan." The article discusses the iconic poster created by Milton Glaser in 1966 which was included in Bob Dylan's first greatest hits album.

It turns out that Glaser took inspiration from a self-portrait created by Marcel Duchamp in 1957.

In the process of looking for a copy of Duchamp's work, I happened upon a double-exposure portrait of the artist made by Victor Obsatz in 1959.

Obsatz could not claim the multiple-exposure portrait as an original idea, as evidenced by a self-portrait made by the Italian futurist photographer and film maker, Anton Bragaglia, in 1913.

And so now, alas, I cannot claim that the multiple-exposure self-portrait I first inflicted on the world on August 24, 2009 was an original idea. I was at the time totally ignorant of the earlier efforts of Obsatz and Bragaglia, but that's no excuse.

Likewise, the self-portrait below, released on an unsuspecting public on January 3, 2010, isn't nearly as clever and original as I thought it was at the time.

Witness the photo below, "Photodynamic Portrait of a Woman,"circa 1924, by Anton Bragaglia's brother Arturo.

Once again the wisdom of Ecclesiastes rings true: "There is no new thing under the sun."

Monochrome Weekend: Brewery

The old Kamm's Brewery in Mishawaka, Indiana is now a retail center, but some of the old machines associated with the brewery are displayed on the grounds. This was taken with a Kodak Duaflex II TLR camera loaded with Kodak Tri-X400 film.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Sunnyside Cemetery

Outside the old mining town of Victor, Colorado

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Monochrome Weekend: Rock Formation

Garden of the Gods, Colorado

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Skywatch Friday: Rocky Mountains

View from Collegiate Peaks Overlook near Johnson Village, Colorado. Click to enlarge.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Monochrome Weekend: Civil War Monument

Soldier 2
Captured with an Argus C3 35mm camera and Kodak Tri-X400 film at The South Bend City Cemetery, St. Joseph County, Indiana

We have shared the incommunicable experience of war. We have felt, we still feel, the passion of life to its top. In our youths, our hearts were touched with fire. -Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Floyd Cooley Revisited

In my aimless wanderings through the pictures on Flickr, I happened upon the fascinating album cover above, which I have displayed in an earlier post on this blog. Thinking that anyone whose career was based on playing romantic tuba music while wearing garish Sans-a-Belt pants was doomed to failure, I assumed that Floyd Cooley had disappeared from the world stage sometime in the seventies.

Wrong, commando!

To his credit, when "The Romantic Tuba" was issued on CD in 1993, Floyd had the good sense to trade the turtleneck and windowpane plaid pants for a timeless tuxedo.

He is a big deal in the world of tubists, I have learned, and has his own website, where you can learn more about him, and even purchase a Floyd O. Cooley signature mouthpiece for your tuba, or, for practice purposes, a mouthpiece rim affixed to metal handle, which the website cites as "an invaluable tool for improving response, working on attacks, and intensifying your buzz." Aren't these things we are all interested in--particularly intensifying our buzzes?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Poseiden Adventure

It was time for a new profile picture for Facebook, so I took a head shot with the laptop web cam and played around in Photoshop Elements and Color Efex Pro.

Monochrome Weekend: Archangel

St. Michael slaying the dragon, St. Adalbert's Catholic Church, South Bend, Indiana. Captured with a Nikon D90 and a Lensbaby Composer with plastic optic. Converted to monochrome in Silver Efex Pro.

More black and white photos at:

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Spacious Skies

This is a double exposure done with a Holga 120N and Kodak Tri-X400 developed in Diafine. The first exposure was done pointing the camera up at the clouds through the trees overhead. For the second, the camera was aimed at a veteran's grave in the cemetery where I was standing. The grave marker doesn't show up in the final image, but the small American flag placed next to it does--another interesting toy camera accident.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Monochrome Weekend: Tombstone

Taken at an old cemetery in Berrien County, Michigan with a vintage Diana camera loaded with Kodak Tri-X400, developed in Diafine.

More black and white photos at:

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