Earlier this month, the family and I went to go see a special exhibit at the Seattle Science Center called “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.” It featured lots of nice educational displays demonstrating the real science behind some of the Star Wars tech.
That was all pretty interesting, but I have to admit I paid little attention to any of it. I was too busy completely geeking out over the rest of the exhibit which featured original props, models, and constumes from the movies.
Luke’s Landspeeder. The same one he rushed home in to find his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru dead and their moisture farm a smoking ruin. Note the wheels, cunningly removed from the film—old school style.
The Falcon. This ship was as much a character as its pilot Han Solo was. Or Yoda. Or that belligerent guy that lost his arm to a light saber in that bar on Tatooine. If I could fly any pretend spaceship from any movie ever made. This would be the one.
Luke’s prosthetic hand. Yeah, thanks Darth Vader. Thanks a lot. Luke didn’t want his real right hand anyway.
You know who this guy is. I think the tall Jedi to his left was Master Windu (his costume actually). I read there that Samuel Jackson only consented to doing the part if he could have a purple light saber. Before Windu, light sabers only came in red, green, and blue. Holy shit. RGB!?! Lucas is such a nerd.
Luke’s X-Wing, complete with tiny R2-D2 and the man himself. This is the ship that blew up the (first) Death Star and was levitated out of a swamp on Dagobah by a Jedi Master. And now… it’s sitting in a glass box in Seattle.
I was 6 when I saw Star Wars for the first time and now it seems like a long long time ago.
This Plymouth Fury looks like a third generation version, built between 1965-1968.
It’s convenient to think of style in terms of neat 10 year chunks we call decades but more often than not, it will draw from a far broader expanse of time, both past and future. In the case of this Plymouth, the slightly squat elongated profile is still very 1960s, but the way the body covers half the back wheel has been around at least since the 40s. The simple hard lined aesthetics of the 70s are already apparent in this Fury’s grill and hubcaps. All these elements of style from different points in time combine to make the look of a particular car on a particular year.
I quite like the second picture and considered using it as a roll pick. Old car in the snow. A bit of subtle bokeh in the dusky light adds mood. The way the trunk lid, cleared of snow, suggests a story. And then there’s the opposing diagonals of the car and the power lines above that give the picture some tension and strength.
He turned 68 last Friday. Not actually that old for an American these days, but as Indiana Jones quipped: “It’s not the years, Honey, it’s the milage.”
Born in England in 1942, he immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1950. They took a cargo ship across the Atlantic, traveling through the Panama Canal, to finally arrive in San Francisco after 5 weeks at sea. He met and married my Mom while serving in the U.S. Air Force and shortly after began a family in Texas. Ultimately they ended up back in California where my brother and I grew up, mostly in and around Orange County and Riverside. Like many Dads, he worked hard and wore many hats over the years to keep his family going.
These days he likes watching football, reading about U.S. and British history, telling jokes, political cartoons, and surfing (the Internet). But over his life he’s shared many other interests and passions with us including aviation, fishing, camping, photography, music, guns, and of course, cars. We’re supposed to hate our parents taste in music, but not me. He introduced me to the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jerry Reed, and Ahmad Jamal.
He was and remains a good Father. Happy Birthday, Dad.
This picture is from early in the project, shot back in May*. It was one of two pictures I made then that gave me some insight into how a classic black and white film like Tri-X could be used to produce images that were pretty much indistinguishable from ones taken 50 years ago. The row of little changed post-WWII houses with an early 1960s vintage car parked out front creates a pretty convincing lie. Although the mechanics of how and why this works is obvious, it’s still fascinating and mysterious to me that it does. I can’t explain why.
One additional technical note. I underexposed this picture by a couple stops. I made the classic n00b mistake of forgetting to correct for the fact that I was shooting a white subject. Doh. Still salvageable, but the tones suffered for it. Tri-X isn’t as forgiving of underexposure as it is of overexposure.
* I really wanted to write ‘shot down in May’ here, but it didn’t quite work in the sentence and I figured few would get the reference anyway. I can’t help but imagine Frank coming out of one of those houses and lighting up another unfiltered Camel before getting into that car and driving it away. The shutter clicks and present becomes past.
I like to see antique cars in functional condition with obvious signs of regular usage. Bumper stickers, dings, scratches, paint scuffs; all good things that enhance their beauty and make them unique objects in the world. Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works, calls this beausage. It fits.
It’s not everyday I see a tandem, even in a dyed in the spandex town like Seattle. Even more rare is to see an old one. This is one of those pictures that makes me a little sad I can’t use color right now. The bike is yellow.* Those tiles behind it are black. Two great colors that go great together, as any sharp dressed bumblebee can prove.
For some reason, I can’t post a bike picture without thinking of other bike loving folk I follow on Tumblr. So for davelam, dreamcamera, karimas, thelisashow, and everyone else who especially digs bikes: this one is for you.
*The same shade of yellow as the Schwinn Stingray I had as a kid in the 70s, complete with big U bars and sparkley banana seat. My first bike.
First all-paperback bookstore in the U.S, friend to Allen Ginsberg, haven for progressive politics, arts, and thought since the 1950s, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco is kind of a big deal.
I found myself here unexpectedly after a meandering walk down from Coit Tower through the North Beach neighborhood. I’d been there before. I’d sought it out on other visits to the city years ago, but this time I just happened by. It’s part of a vanishing breed in America, but given its landmark status and history, it’ll likely survive well into the future. I hope so, anyway.
Upstairs they have big tall bookcases entirely dedicated to Beat books.
I like making pictures of old things I run across. I don’t go hunting for them, but they always find me because they’re everywhere. Usually these things fall into the category of subjects that easily take over a picture. When shot with black and white film, even more so since it lends them a certain authenticity and truth. That’s part of the appeal of faux vintage photography. For me, they are like photographic comfort food.
These pictures typically don’t make it into my picks that I post on Tumblr because it’s not principally what interests me in photography. However, when they do make the cut, I have noticed some of you seem to enjoy them too. We all need comfort food now and then. So, every Sunday, if I’ve got them, I’ll post them.
This series is called ‘Old Stuff’.