Tag Archives: black and white

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa, 3 B&W views (Arizona, New Mexico)

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / saguaro and mission somewhere in New Mexico

Sometime in early 1988 (I think), (update: 1989) living in Orem Utah, recently dropped out of high school and floating along with classes at the community college, recovering from an epic car crash, my Grandpa rolled up in his old Chevy citation and suggested a road trip. Original thoughts for a few days but extended into much longer as we drifted  down into Mexico.

With his “golden eagles” (or something to that effect), National Park pass, and affinity for small highways and no agendas plus his usual travelling style which included switching off driving responsibilities every two hours regardless of situation, choosing  quirky / classic motels and diners on the fly, flirting with waitresses and continuous cigarette smoking and diary-keeping within the car, it was a most excellent journey.

I was studying photography at the time and took a heavy Japanese-made but Swiss-branded “Alpa” 35mm camera and black-and-white film, and a tripod and set up various shots along the way.

As usual, more evidence exists (including self-timer’d shots – often nekkid) and a photo essay of Petrified Forest) including a small spiral notebook chronicling where we stayed, various mileage and other ephemeral information about fuel efficiency, parks visited and what not, but for now, here are three of my favourite shots from the journey which I developed and processed myself in the dark room at the old ” Utah Technical College” Provo campus dark room.

The locations are unclear at this point but along the way, we visited every State / National Park/ Monuments anywhere near us, plus Tombstone Arizona, Four Corners, various places in Baja and mainland Mexico (in which I crossed the border with nothing but my old expired high school ID card or something… It’s all a bit hazy) I also recall buying a comically huge terra-cotta pot and huge woven basket in Mexico which was really a poor decision as we were taking turns resting in the back of the vehicle and well, space was at a premium.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / saguaro and other cacti in (iirc) Saguaro National Park/Monument, AZ

Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / Gramps and I in the cacti. rip Robert Louis Stevenson #bigfish

Artifact: Stanley Park “Scene O Graph” photo card booklet (and related flashbacks)

Stanley Park is the crown jewel of my sorta homecity of Vancouver, not just because its a huge urban park almost surrounded by water and jutting majestically into a working harbour and host all manner of artifacts from Japanese cenotaph, empty zoo grottos, running ovals, cricket lawns, pitch and putt golf course, totem poles and more more more… but because its *real history* is hardly know to most folks: First Nations for centuries, lepers, undesirables, loggers, “homeless”, fiends, hidden communities, lost artifacts and monuments (plus the stories behind the known ones), the construction of the seawall. 

Anyhow, this “Scene O Graph” photobook (found at Monastiraki shop in Montréal) captures a genteel and classic incarnation of the park. This is one version of the park, everyone has another.

My memories include petting zoo and totem pole forays at childhood birthday parties, sad Polar bears in grottos, “breaking into” the zoo late night in teenage escapades to tease monkeys, writing a story about walruses which didn’t exist, Remembrance day at Japanese cenotaph, illicit activities on most of the beaches, mediocre golfing, Vancouver 125th anniversary party with the mayor on tuba and Dan Mangan singing Robots, the windstorm which blew down so much and caused a tizzy in the city, more illicit activities in the woods, nonsense about “saving” a hollow tree, always finding a new trail, always getting lost when needed, concerts in Malkin Bowl, smelling roses, longboarding the seawall, riding seawall on a bicycle rented with someone’s lost credit card on a hungover New Year’s day… picnics, parties, treasure hunting. 

This book’s cover has a place for a stamp though i am unlikely to mail this (except to Jason Vanderhill but still i’d pack it in another envelope first). 

Continue reading Artifact: Stanley Park “Scene O Graph” photo card booklet (and related flashbacks)

Beat life: Candid Kerouac and Pals

Bit more Jack Kerouac magic for you…

This candid, “scenes of life” outside an everydayish restaurant in New York footage (backed by a great Cat Power tune) besides showing the unscripted faces (Allen, Jack, Lucien?) whose work I/we know so well, reminds me of the importance of documenting just every day, day to day, you know, normal, ephemeral life.

Create and document your creations and life while documenting your own creations, and document that as well. 

Remembrance Day in Fort Kochi / Cochin, Kerala (2016) – Lomo photos (B&W)

Bicycle and tree at park foreshore of Mahatma Gandhi beach
Bicycle and tree at park foreshore of Mahatma Gandhi beach

Visual observations on Remembrance Day in Fort Kochi / Cochin, Kerala, including: St. Francis Church (India’s first European church built in the 15th century by Catholic Portuguese and later re-consecrated by Protestant Dutch); a Cenoptah commemorating Armistice of “Great War” in 1918; and, an historic Dutch cemetery. Inside church is where remains of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gamma were interred for several years before being repatriated by his son. Also captured are a nearby former armoury and parade ground, as well as Mahatma Gandhi Beach with myriad fishing boats and Chinese fishing nets. All of which i found to be contemplative metaphors for Remembrance Day.

Note: Snapped Lomo cork-covered, “sardine can” camera with expired b&w film (posted with very minor corrections).

Continue reading Remembrance Day in Fort Kochi / Cochin, Kerala (2016) – Lomo photos (B&W)