Monday, September 29, 2014

The Revolution Continues

Olivetti_Underwood_21_001Olivetti Underwood 21

Royal_Futura_800_001Royal Futura 800

Remington_Ten_Forty_001Remington Ten Forty


Post-Script: It's one thing to revert to manual typewriters after decades of disuse, but an entirely different thing to enter into the world of manual typewriters having been steeped in the world of the computer since childhood, as is the case with my young friend. Still, it heartens me to see this renewed interest in such things by folk younger than myself; perhaps there is hope for humanity, after all.

Typecast via Olympia SM9 De Luxe, photos via Fujifilm X10 and Lomography Fritz-the-Blitz flash.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ernie Pyle Library Visit



Post-Script: Included in the Ernie Pyle Library is a small display case with memorabilia, including his typewriter, with an Albuquerque Tribune front page announcing his death.

Typecast via Corona 4, images via Fujifilm X10.

DSCF2296aErnie Pyle in the war

DSCF2297aThe view from the sidewalk

DSCF2299aFront window

DSCF2293aErnie Pyle GI Joe set, including his typewriter

DSCF2294aPyle at his typewriter

DSCF2292aErnie Pyle's typewriter

"I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.

It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn't know they were in the water, for they were dead.

Here are toothbrushes and razors and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. Here are pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers, and bloody, abandoned shoes. Here are broken-handled shovels, and portable radios smashed almost beyond recognition...

I picked up a pocket Bible with a soldier's name in it, and put it in my jacket. I carried it half a mile or so and then put it back down on the beach. I don't know why I picked it up, or why I put it back."

Ernie Pyle
France, 1944
"Here Is Your War"

DSCF2302aA quiet place to sit


Engraved on the monument:

"The Death of Capt. Henry T. Waskow"

Another man came. I think he was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the dim light, for everybody was bearded and grimy. The man looked down into the dead captain's face and then spoke directly to him, as though he were alive, "I'm sorry, old man."

Then the soldier came and stood beside the officer and bent over, and he too spoke to his dead captain, not in a whisper but awfully tenderly, and he said, "I sure am sorry, sir."

Then the first man squatted down, and he reached down and took the captain's hand, and he sat there for a full five minutes holding the dead hand in his own and looking intently into the dead face. And he never uttered a sound all the time he sat there.

Finally he put the hand down. He reached over and gently straightened the points of the captain's shirt collar, and then he sort of rearranged the tattered edges of the uniform around the wound, and then he got up and walked away down the road in the moonlight, all alone.

From Brave Men, by Ernie Pyle

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Literal Street Photography


Post-Script: With a large enough body of work in this genre, I foresee another Blurb book in the making.

Typecast via Olympia SM9 De Luxe, photos via Fujifilm X10 and Lumix G5.













Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Composition Book Cavalcade



Post-Script: One thing I noticed, once beginning this new composition book, it how nice the pen laid down its inky lines on the second page, backed by the stiff cardboard of the front cover. So now I've found a scrap sheet of thin cardboard (from the remnants of a used legal pad), which I've cut down to size to fit inside my new book (including rounded corners), as a combination book marker and backing board.

I've also taken to clipping my three commonly used pens (fountain pen, red ballpoint and blue Bic Crystal) to this sheet of cardboard, which both secures them with the book and provides for easy access. Yes, fixation on one's writing methods is a disease, I've decided.

Speaking of which, we just finished re-watching "The Shining" this last week, and I was reminded of that famous electric Adler typewriter (electric because Jack does a carriage return by pressing a button), which lacks an apparent power cord - imaging having to string a long extension cord across the girth of that enormous room, which he'd have to do "in real life."

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Typecast via Olympia SM9 De Luxe, photo via Fujifilm X10.

PPS: In case the terms "LAROP" and "BAROP" befuddle you, read here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mechanical Logic



Post-Script: Typewriters are not the only example of complex mechanical intricacy in operation, as the mid-20th century automobile was also very mechanical (though cars have become, in recent years, much more electronic in function). But the example of the manual typewriter serves to remind us that our civilization seems to have lost the will to create complex mechanical contraptions with a high-degree of fine engineering and build-quality; unless one counts the Leica M-series rangefinder as one example (and whose high-end price might well explain the phenomenon).

Along with losing our will to manufacture such devices, our popular culture seems to also have forgotten that they ever existed, which further reinforces the importance of the Typosphere and manual typewriter revival movement to our culture.

Here's the SF Chronicle article mentioned above.

Typecast via Olympia SM9 De Luxe, photo via Lumix G5.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Late Night Discoveries



Post-Script: I always find myself immediately inspired to create something anew when confronted with creative visual stimulation, be it some experimental film or, in this case, my own past photographic work.

As a technical note, these images from last night hold up rather well, noise-wise, for having been created at ISO1600. It helps, of course, to have at hand an optically fast lens like the Lumix 20mm. And also, these narrow depth-of-focus images seem to require a bit of grit, noise-wise, to anchor one's eye. I'm not in that camp of ultra-high-ISO, noise-free photography, made possible only in recent years with the advent of newer sensor technology. I know enough about the medium - as informed by such writings as Sontag's "On Photography" - to know that the photograph and the thing being photographed are not the same thing. While we can suspend our disbelief momentarily so as to catch a faint glimpse of some recognizable reality in such images, they are intrinsically an abstraction; hence technical imperfections such as "noise" are nothing more than the artist's brush strokes, reminding us that, even with photo-realism, it's still a photo, and not the real thing.

I like the way that the camera's auto-white balance renders the warm tones of indoor illumination, a mix of compact florescent and incandescent. And the square-format fits these kinds of compositions nicely.

Typecast via Corona 4.

Bonus Images: Gallery of Late Night Discovery P1080822a