Thursday, January 28, 2010

The American Automobile Love Affair

I was viewing some automobile pictures the other day and realized I had photos from a visit awhile back to the Automobile Museum in Los Angeles.

The place is huge and they have hundreds of cars but these are some that caught my eye. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

First there was the little "every man" car that seems small in comparison to the cars we drive today. In the history of the Model T Henry Ford was reported to have said "You can have a Model T in any color you want as long as it is black!" Times have truly changed.

I was really surprised to see this early model UPS delivery truck.

Then into the 30's where black was still the color but you can tell from the size of the car that we are now talking a lot more comfort and huge engines. I could just imagine Al Capone rounding the corner in this baby!

Enter the 40's, Hollywood entered the picture and people seemed to have wanted something with a little more flash, and they certainly seemed to have gotten it because something other than black was now fashionable... and it was a convertible!

The 50's seemed to have created a shift in the conception of how a car should look for the every man. This model stands in sharp contrast to the earlier "every man" car we saw in the 1920's. Whoever owned this model most have really taken care of it. Notice how it sparkles and catches the light.

And then came the late 60's with drive-in's and the famous Ford Thunderbird was the must have car for such events. I remember my father buying a used one years after they came out and he was sooo proud of it!

The 70's seem to have been a period of fun cars like this dune buggie for riding around on the beach or just a fun time.

And who could forget the famous VW in the form of Herbie the love bug?

Fast forward to the future and the grandest car of all cars... the Bat Mobile! I remember going to that movie over and over to watch Micheal Keaton jump in and out of this car. It was and is still a wonder.

There were other concept cars that I could have included here but some how these seemed to have a lot more character.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Tribute to My Muse

I know there are times I tend to go on and on about Alex' madding little quirks, but his recent trip to Moscow over the holidays gave me a little time apart to step back and really look at him. As I gathered together this series of photos it came to me that he is really my muse and that my life is a lot less fun when he is not involved in it.

He is the smartest man I have ever known. And, despite his tendency to analyze and organize everything, he has a sense of humor and fun about him that always seems to lift my spirit.

When it comes to photography, of the two of us he is the one with the better eye. He seems to work at positioning and composition in ways that make people interesting. I prefer objects because they are what they are and I simply have to find them. People are always moving and you have to anticipate and then wait for that perfect moment you hope to capture. He never seems to tire of the waiting...

One day after a particularly active day of photographing something he decided on a nap and I took some study shots of him as he slept.

Those eyes...

There was something odd and peaceful about them that caused me to want to focus only on that part of his face. Maybe this is how we all look once we are asleep but I don't see you while you are napping. Click to enlarge the photo and really look at the eyes. Maybe you too will see what I saw.

I particularly liked this shot and his positioning. The hands seem strong and gentle at the same time, and then they disappear behind the legs. It is a strange position but one he generally finds comfortable and assumes quite often. And yes, I know, the legs are quite white...but that too is Alex. As he puts it he is "a winter man."

This one I titled "Deliverance Alex" and you can tell we are movie buffs. He has all of his outdoor guy stuff on and has assumed a strictly business pose that hides his curious nature.

Every time I view this picture I am reminded of the time we went to the Okefenokee Swamp and he was determined to ride a boat through the swamp. He pestered and harassed the boat rangers until they provided instruction and then pushed our boat from the pier. You know you are in for something different when you hear the ranger say "If you are not back by 5 o'clock, we will send out a search party." But his sense of navigation was true and he even was able to overcome my naive excitement to "Get closer!" to take a picture of a gator from the boat. We made it back alive...and have pictures to prove it!

And so I just wanted you to know that the next time I complain about something he has done in print...don't pay any attention. It is simply a momentary loss of appreciation of my muse.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Small Production Company

My eight year old niece spent some time with me over the holidays just before New Years and we had a fun time doing all kinds of thing that she might not do at home. A few months ago I did a short movie of her to show her friends and she told me she wanted to do another movie, only this time she wanted to be the Director. Did I say she is a precocious eight year old?

To add to the mix and let her know that being the Director is not just being in charge and fun but required a lot of work, I asked a lot of questions regarding storyline, subject, and my rights as an actor. We took our shots and she gave me instructions as to the lines she wanted. She handled the camera fairly well yelling "Action!" to let me know to begin talking and "Cut!" to stop. This went rather quickly.

Then came the hard part of sitting down to edit the movie... and boy did the fur fly! She picked up the technique of editing rather quickly as young people do, but wanted things in a particular way that was different than I might have chosen. To my horror, half of my performance ended up on the cutting room floor! I now know how Meryl Streep feels after putting in a great performance and not having it included in the movie.

Below is the world premiere of "Plant Care"

Oh by the way, I told her I would never work with such a flaky director again and her reply was "Oh yes you will... we have a contract!" Lord help me!