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Spring Ritual

Sam turns up twice a year to wash our windows and clean the gutters. He has his own kitchen table business and leads a happy-go-lucky life. I had a camera on my neck when I walked through our breakfast area and there he was.

"You can't take funny photographs unless you life in a funny world." I used this quotation from Elliott Erwitt a couple of months ago.

I drive by the troll a couple of times a week and finally did so when the light was right and I had a camera with me. (If I have a camera with me I may not take a photograph but if I don't have a camera with me I'm certainly not going to take a photograph.)

"Vintage pickup for sale -- needs work."

Each time we drive past this gem my wife comments that she is glad that I took up photography rather than restoring old trucks. (Actually I'm glad, too.)

"Requiem for Steam". Locomotive 70 "Poison 70" -- a 1922 vintage 2-6-2 "prairie", most likely Baldwin Locomotive Works. "In the manner of David Plowden" It was originally owned by the Poison Lake Logging Company (Lassen County, California) and now is in retirement at the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. Plowden is a relentless recorder of the American Midwest but formerly documented the last years of steam railroading.

A few issues back I was babbling about photographs "in the manner of" -- sort of like an aspiring painter copying a masterpiece in a museum. Hard to do (and not very productive) for a photographer. You have to go to Yosemite to photograph the "half dome" and the light is likely to be very different anyway. The Paris of 1965 that Robert Doisneau doesn't exist any more. But I sometimes say to myself "that looks like a (insert name here)" and I take a photograph not trying to reproduce a specific image but one "in the manner of."


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