490

490

Somewhere in Boston

Right after photo school, I worked for a time as a commercial photographer for a company in transition between analog and digital. We produced slides for corporate presentations, a precursor to Powerpoint, on hulking computers the size of washing machines, output to slide film. The original part of the company, neglected and slowly dying, did conventional analog photography with an amazing ancient wooden 16×20 camera with shutterless lenses, mounted on huge rails, and more conventional studio shots. We had one client who built syntervac (sp?) furnaces, which I never knew what they were. Large custom on-off items which I photographed on the factory floor. I used a lovely old wooden Deardorf 8×10 camera, painting the fill-in light with a lightbulb mounted in a sort of a cake pan. Primitive, and I had no idea what I was doing, lucky that I managed to get useable exposures. I had plenty of free time to play in the basement studio with cameras and lights. I made liberal use of all the “free” slide film and processing, and spent many a lunch “hour” wandering The Fenway shooting slides (see above). When I left after two years, I managed to abscond with a WW2-era Linhof field camera and a few lenses (which I foolishly sold). So ended my one brief foray into professional photography.

I’m on the Instagram!: @harvinstephis

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Forward, into the past!

107 “Children and hot fluid should be kept apart.” Sage advice from the side of my French-press coffee brewer.

A new reader of One Life (that brings my total readership to three or four) has been bravely going into the Archives and posting comments and likes (thank you, Katherine and your wonderful Photobooth Journal), inspiring me to delve back into the past. I was surprised to find how far back One Life goes – all the way back to February of 2005. I spent far too much of yesterday afternoon pawing around, reacquainting myself with myself.

What I found was a personal journal, musing about what I was doing day-to-day, observations about my early experiences with multiple sclerosis, family and work life. Usually there was a photograph attached, although the links have long expired so I don’t know what the pictures were of. Lots of links to other sites, odd things found online, what music was playing as I wrote, those links long expired too. In the end, the record is only interesting to me, and even then, not very.

But I feel inspired to get back on the horse. To stop taking myself and my blogging so seriously. What paralyzes me now is the self-imposed notion that each post has to be a fully thought out and insightful essay. I have a folder on my hard drive of barely begun such essays, writings that invariably get tangled up with lost threads and wind up pointless. Almost as if I was writing for an audience, and not just for myself. Imagine that!

Well, no more. I’m going to write what I want. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and share your thoughts; I’d love for this to be as much of a conversation as it can be.

What’s playing: Sweet Jane. Thanks, as always, to Radio Paradise, the best radio station ever.

Tombo

I’ve lived with a lot of cats. Ever since I was a kid, there has always been a cat or two around the house. I don’t remember all of their names, but a house is more of a home when there is a cat in it. There is a different kind of consciousness at work in a cat, something mysterious and intriguing. I love their distinct personalities and their independence. Cats can see things we can’t.

There are currently three cats living with us – Toki Wartooth (Not A Bumblebee), Jiji The Little Black Cat, and Tombo. Toki’s name is drawn from a universe beyond my understanding, Jiji’s and Tombo’s from the  movie Kiki’s Delivery Service, a family favorite. My daughter named them all, and did a fine job of it, I think. Toki is the oldest, rescued from the mean streets of Belfast, Maine as a feral little kitten. The other two were properly fostered and, while not blood relatives, were raised together and function as brother and sister.

I love all three of them, but Tombo especially fascinates me. I’ve never met a cat like him. His facial expressions and body language are unique (I’ve never seen a cat do that head-cocking thing that dogs do when working something out), and no one can nap like he can. He is very photogenic. Click on the photo below to see my tribute to Tombo.

Tombo