life in black and white – the menagerie

Ruby sunning
Ruby – 11 years old

I’ve been overwhelmed over these past few weeks and months with all that is coming out of Washington. We’re well past whatever tipping point when it comes to the collapse of American democracy. We are watching the old white guys with money and power working to make sure that their money and power is never challenged for generations to come. Meanwhile the world burns and dies, and I can do nothing about it.

So I have turned inward to my animals and my photography to capture what makes me happy and calm at this point in time. These creatures are sweet and truly innocent, almost Garden-of-Eden innocent before the Fall. I’ve reached a point in my life where I tear up when I read of the cruelty heaped by humans on their kind. And I seem to cry a lot these days.

All of these photos are black and white because that’s where my mind is at at the moment. I don’t know why, except that perhaps I’m reaching back over 40 years to when I first started to photograph the world seriously, and all I could afford and print on my own were black and white film. It was much simpler then, and much happier.

All three of these images went through Photoshop 6. I “developed” them to my personal taste. The cameras used were the Panasonic G9 and the Olympus Pen F. The lenses used were the Olympus 12-40mm PRO and the Olympus 17mm PRO. Both cameras are set up to photograph in black and white. I took my time with each photo, and took just enough to find the right image. And then I sat on them for a while, rather than rush them out into the world. The entire process has been slow and deliberate. I get tired of reading the hipsters that say you can only “do” slow and deliberate with film. You can do slow and deliberate with anything, including digital.

Beau (or Bo) – 4 years
Luke – 4 years

At this moment I am satisfied, a bit more calm, and a bit more happy.

a day of cat photos (and a middle finger to jared polin, tony northrup, et el)

Sewing Room Cat on a Rainy Day
Luke giving the equivalent of a feline middle finger. Trust me, it’s there.

This is a photo of Luke, one of my two Gingers (the two littermates known as the Gingersnaps) taken with the rather ‘ancient’ Olympus OM-D E-M5 micro four thirds camera sporting the M.Zuiko 45mm/1.8 short telephoto prime.

I’m going with this for two reasons: (1) Jared Polin’s total putdown of the E-M1X and (2) Tony Northrup, just on general principals (i.e. his mindless following of Sony’s alpha series (7 and 9) cameras). They both come down on how micro four thirds (and to a lesser extent APS-C) just aren’t up to the task of “being professional”, whatever that means. I’m glad both have found the equipment that allows them to make their various livings, and to promote their chosen equipment is fine by me. But to then come along and trash what doesn’t measure up in their estimation is where they cross the line from being good ambassadors of their respective favorite cameras to being a couple of loud mouth jerks. Two very load mouths amplified to ill effect by social media.

This then is my opening protest and my comeback. I can rail about the injustice of it all, but I’d rather go out and take photos instead of hanging out on the Internet because I think someone is wrong. All of the following posts (unless explicitly stated) will be taken with that camera and that prime lens.