Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Collectibles - Scenes 2015


Since few have time to read many blogs during the busy holidays, here's a photo post with a sampling of arrangements using Christmas collectibles . . . the whimsical, the hand-crafted and things I like.  Our old faux Christmas tree was too large for our new space, so this year I improvised. . .decorating mantels, and other areas with family favorites.

Mantel decorations, by DG Hudson 2015

'Thomasville', our Christmas Village

Christmas Village, handpainted by our family, image by DG Hudson

Angels made from yarn and large beads:

Angels hanging about by DG Hudson

May the new year bring peace and more calm to our planet.  Wishing all of you who visit my blog a Happy Holiday season in whatever way you choose to celebrate it. I'm looking forward to new experiences and more writing. See you in 2016!!


Are you ready for a New Year?  Are you glad this one is over or was it a great year for you? Do you try to make your collectible Christmas decorations look the same every year or do you try to change it up?

Please leave a comment if you visit, so I'll know you were here. I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by and Best Wishes for the New Year!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Photography - The Little Ones and Historical Images

Capturing Innocence

How do you get the animals to add a little interest to the image? Put a couple of kids in front of them. 

Children, Turkeys, and Geese - A Pastoral Portrait by DG Hudson

The image above was taken with a SLR camera before the digital age, when visiting relatives who live in the country. There are a lot of details in this photo. Note the bandage on the chin of the child in the pink T-shirt. She fell while riding her bike that morning. That tells us she is no frail little girl, but an active child and likely has brothers who she tries to imitate in their activities. (In reality, she has several brothers and is the youngest in her family).  The child in front is a cousin of hers and is under two years old. Judging by her expression, she appears not to care whether she's in a photo or not.

As for the animals, they demand attention: the white geese are squawking - where's the food, the baby turkeys are curious - what's going on. Don't miss the little baby turkey looking around the girl in pink on the left side.  I didn't even notice the antics of the various fowl in the image when I took this photograph, as I was concentrating on the two girls. It was the first time I had seen little baby turkeys. They don't look so edible at that age and size. 


Capturing History and Style

A historical photo can also show important details. This image was taken circa late 1880s or early 1890s. This young woman is of Canadian First Nations culture and is a relative of our family on my husband's side.

Woman, First Nations Culture, BC, Canada, prop. DG Hudson

The young woman in the image above lived in a simple time, in the country away from the Big City. She is dressed as suits the interior western culture and her time. She wears a Canadian maple leaf pin with pride on her scarf. Taking a photographic image during those times was a big event and having a portrait done meant you wore your best or neatest clothes. Ceremonial clothes would have been saved for band (tribe) events. These are practical, durable, no fuss clothes. The plain rough wood background accentuates the portrait.

The no-nonsense hair style shows a no-nonsense woman who could out-fish most of the men, and lived to be the ripe old age of 96 or so, still sharp in mind. It is said that she sang to the fish, calling them. Birth records were sketchy during the late 1800s and in smaller towns and on native reserves were kept at the local church. She married a First Nations man who came to the Nicola Valley in British Columbia, a man who led the First Nations posse of four men who tracked and captured Bill Miner, a disreputable outlaw and the first train robber of Canada. 



Billy Miner, 'gentleman' outlaw:


Friday, October 9, 2015

Photography- Paris Layered Images

I wonder what would happen if. . .

This post highlights a photo experiment which came about when I arranged different elements related in some way or which seemed to suggest a story. In this case the elements are a framed poster of Paris, a couple of paintings and photographs either bought or captured while in Paris, a metallic figurine of a sax player (not from Paris but Jazz and Paris go together) and a Spanish figurine, beautifully sculpted.

A thin metal sax player blows his horn low and blue in front of the cafe, as Paris settles down for evening. . .


A farm girl from the provinces gazes at her piglets while she dreams of life in Paris: the Moulin Rouge tempts and the bridges of Paris stand stoic as the river flows beneath. . .


Cafes and bistros are two elements of Paris that symbolize one of the memories I have of the excellent food, the different manner of eating - more refined, which can be had in Paris if you know where to look. The painting shows a corner of a street, a place to meet, and the photograph, an actual cafe in Montmartre, a building which appears to be from the 1800s, . .


Long shot of the elements in the experiment. The images captured above no longer exist now in this form, the poster is on the wall as are the two small paintings. A friend told me once that I arrange things like little vignettes.  The items were arranged on a buffet and an antique portable desk that clerks used to use in the early 1900s, as the lower portion is like a cash register drawer. I bought it as a writing desk but it now holds many little remembrances. One day it may inspire another photo  experiment or at least a blog post.


Hope you enjoyed my experiment and it gives you an idea of what can inspire a story element, or just be pleasant to look at and imagine.  Every writer is a bit of a dreamer.

Do you arrange 'things' for your own pleasure, or do you prefer austerity and keeping to the tried and true? Some view 'things' as clutter.  Do you like the things you collect to be around you to be enjoyed and to promote conversation?

Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by and I'll respond. Thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Ovaltine Cafe - History gets a second Chance

In a little cafe. . . just this side of the border 
in Vancouver

Ovaltine Cafe, Vancouver, Canada, *Vancouver Neon image

At 251 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver, sits The Ovaltine Cafe, a retro picturesque local place that survived the fifties, the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and rolled into the 21st century. It's in the downtown eastside, very close to Chinatown and the last news I heard is that it's getting a new lease on life, with a mother-daughter management team. To these new owners, simplicity and good food are the order of the day. This cafe is also a showcase for the possibilities of neon signage.

My mother-in-law, shown in the image below, worked in this cafe back in the forties when this part of town was thriving and a good restaurant like this one was a centre for the police from the nearby precinct. MIL rode her bike to work and knew many of the local constables.

Ovaltine Cafe, Vancouver, BC, retro image prop DG Hudson, c.1940s

Anytime a heritage building is revived, the locals dread gentrification and the lovers of retro want it, along with a few modern conveniences. Gentrification will happen in some pockets of the city, but not at the Ovaltine. Keeping what's good about it and a little sprucing up is all that's on the menu of the new and improved Ovaltine Cafe. It was good enough for a few movie sets. . .

The Ovaltine has starred in countless TV shows and a few blockbuster movies. It's a four level Edwardian Italian Renaissance Revival style, popular 102 years ago when it was built. This cafe has a quaint Rockwellian coffee counter, varnished wood panelling, worn cloisters and smoky mirrors, but this address has been home to other restaurants, a tailor's shop, government offices, apartments and even a postal substation in its lifetime.

One of my favorite movies, I, Robot, has a scene with Detective Spooner (Will Smith) and his boss are having coffee and discussing the robot problem or rather Spooner's take on the robot problem.  It has also been in Fringe, X-Files and Da Vinci's Inquest.


Do you like the neon that used to be used on all signs several decades ago? Do you like visiting old establishments that have been revived? What do you think of gentrification? (gentrification is the reboot with improvements and some modernization of old establishments that have began to decay due to changing demographics in an area)

Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by and thanks for visiting. I apologize for my absence lately, and will try to improve posting frequency.  







*Image of Ovaltine Cafe: Vancouver Neon image - highlighting the neon used at this establishment.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vancouver's Past - Local History

Old photos give us a peek into the past, when times were slower and the cars were too. These images of Vancouver come from the archives. 

The Orpheum Theatre
Circa 1940s
Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Archive Photo

Several decades later, the same theatre with new buildings in the background.

Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC Street Scene

The Orpheum is a theatre and music venue in Vancouver, British Columbia which was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979. The theater and its neon sign have been used as a key location in several episodes of the science-fiction series Battlestar Galactica and Fringe, as well as Highlander: The Series. In the latter decades of the 20th century, the theatre's interior still retained the aura of a grand lady, golden and elegant. 

The Orpheum Interior, Vancouver, Canada, see Credits * below.


Woodward's Department Stores

Note the fashions and styles on the ladies in the vintage photograph below. 

The Woodward's Department Store Archival Imge, Vancouver, Canada

The Woodward's Building was a historic edifice in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1903 for the Woodward's Department Store when that area of Cordova Street was the heart of Vancouver's retail shopping district. It endured past 100 years of age before its demise. Why did it fail after so many years? The area was changing in demographics, it was no longer a family destination, and the store managers made an ill-fated attempt to change their target market.

The store was famous for its Christmas Window animated displays, and its basement Food Floor, an unusual feature for those times. The prominent "W" sign at the top of the building was a distinctive landmark in the downtown core of Vancouver.


Duck down the alleyway. . .when they were unpaved.

A Vancouver, BC, Residential Alley Image from the Archives

Nostalgia comes in many forms. It's usually referring to a memory of places or things which have been enhanced with the passing of time. Children played in these alleys, or cut across to the next street on their bikes. Now, domestic entrepreneurs near the Pacific National Exhibition sell parking spaces in the alleys. Lane-way homes are starting to appear. Dusty in the summer and muddy in the winter, it was ordained that alleys should be paved to reduce the dust. Power poles lined the way, much like the laundry poles found in many of the backyards of yesteryear.


Do you like historical photographs? Do you like to see comparisons of places them to the same place in a different time? Do you like browsing the archives of your city or country?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. I have been a bit absent due to life issues monopolizing the time, but I hope to improve that after the summer. Thanks for dropping by!



* Interior image of Orpheum Theatre stage:
Author: Michael Thoeny

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

History of Vancouver wiki

The Orpheum wiki

The Woodward's Building wiki


Monday, May 25, 2015

PARIS Outtakes - Analyzing Photo Images

An outtake, a less than perfect image, can still be interesting. Here are some that I found in my archives of photographs. The original definition* of outtake is what was left on the editing room floor when a film or a photographer's work was edited.

The Petit Palais
Paris, France

The Petit Palais, Paris, Triple Arched Entrance by DG Hudson

Built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, this building is now the home of the City of Paris' Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris). Construction began in October of 1897 and was completed in April 1900. 

The image above was taken from a moving vehicle as we passed by, but there are some details you don't see until you look at the image later. The triple arches at the entrance capture the eye immediately, but I later noticed the sculptures on the sides of the steps, the French tricolour flags and the gilded gate. I did notice the posters announcing what was showing at that time.


Egyptian Antiquity
Louvre Museum

Antiquity Grooming Implements, Egyptian display at Louvre, by DG Hudson

The items in the images above were necessities - for any woman of that era wanting to ensure her grooming. Quality was determined by what one could afford, whether wooden, ivory or other materials commonly used in that time. Combs, hair picks, mirrors, and some small items are shown. 

Crafted from various materials, we see some grooming tools carved more elaborately than others. Imagine Cleopatra's female friends (if there were any) using these implements. By keeping them protected at the Louvre, these items have endured, although the mirrors seem to have lost their reflective ability.


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Arc de Triomphe, Paris

French Soldiers, at Arc de Triomphe re-Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by DG Hudson

A small group of soldiers marching before a dedication to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe. We saw this event in passing, so not sure of the reason for it, but many onlookers were there to observe. Note the umbrellas among the spectators, as a light rain was falling. 

When photos are taken 'on the fly', we don't always know the details, but the image is preserved and the location should be identified as soon as possible to make the image more informative when viewed in retrospect.


A Gilded Gallery
Versailles Palace, France

Versailles, the Sun King's Palace - Gallery Furnishings, by DG Hudson

The furnishings at Versailles were lush and designed for maximum effect, especially to impress. That gilded lady is wrapped around a light fixture which may at one time have held candles to light the galleries at night. 

A tour guide told us some of the furnishing were 'appropriated' by various persons during times of strife in Paris, and some have been acquired anew via ebay and other auction sites. Looting is something that has been considered the victor's right for centuries. . .


Do you sit and peruse your photographs remembering when and where they were taken? Do you look at them for inspiration in your writing, for blog or a story? 

I'd be interested in knowing how you view images, e.g., the difference in an image of a speeding car in a Grand Prix race as opposed to a tranquil water scene? You get the picture? used to be a common question for 'do you understand what I'm trying to say'.

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll reply. Thanks for dropping by! 


All images in this post taken by DG Hudson, on location in France.

* outtake - a length of film, etc. rejected in editing. Definition In Oxford Dictionary,Canadian version.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petit_Palais  The Petit Palais Wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Versailles Palace of Versailles


Sunday, April 19, 2015

First Nations - Lower Nicola Objects to Sludge Dumping

Would you want toxic waste on your land? 

Probably not. Yet this is happening in British Columbia as it is likely happening in other areas. Environmentalists don't approve, scientists issue warnings, and if the laws were changed to prevent sludge in the oceans and rivers, then perhaps there is cause for concern. 

What are the side effects? Who approved the dumping? Why is such a product not handled in the area from whence it cometh? Why is treated sewage moved from one large area to a more rural area and why are those who will be affected not consulted? Yes, garbage and sewage in cities and urban areas are a problem, but one that needs to be addressed. How much priority is it being given? That should be an issue in any upcoming elections! 

First Nations in Merritt, the Lower Nicola Indian Band objects to the dumping of bio-waste, aka sludge, without notification to the members of the community. Bravo!  Someone has to be the whistle-blower. Someone has to protect our environment against business interests, when the impact could affect health and food products of the people living in an given area.

Shouldn't large urban areas be dealing with their own garbage issues, rather than trucking them down the road to someone else's backyard?


For more information and images check the links below:

Protesters at Premier Clark's Kelowna office call for end to sewage dumping

The Globe and Mail


CBC News-Online


Nicola Valley residents protest influx of sewage sludge from Okanagan


Were you aware that sludge from sewage is being applied to rural lands in many countries? I'm in Canada, but let me know if it's happening in your area too! 

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here. I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by. This information was brought to my attention by someone who found it on social media and thought I'd be interested.


More information related to distribution of Waste products:

Sewage sludge disposal - a global dilemma

Sewage sludge could contain millions of dollars worth of gold (metals are part of the mix in sewer sludge)

Dumping Sludge in the Oceans


Sewage sludge


Wiki on Sewage Sludge



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Montparnasse Cafes and Bricktop's in Paris during Jazz age

In Paris, in the 1930s, there was an abundance of musical talent. It was called the Jazz Age, an age of excess between the wars, but also an age of musical genius. Following are five examples of the best known jazz clubs or cafés.

Chez Bricktop's

You can't mention the nightclub Chez Bricktop's (1924-1961), without mentioning the owner, affectionately called 'Bricktop', because of her flaming red hair and freckles inherited from her Irish father. Born in 1894 and died in 1984, she was an American dancer, singer, vaudeville performer and self-described saloon-keeper. Her actual name was Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith. 

Paris was the magic town for Bricktop. The international set gathered there to bask in her hospitality and enjoy each other's company. The 1931 club roster read like a Who's Who in the Jazz Age: Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot, who mentioned her in their writing, Sidney Bechet, Josephine BakerDjango Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, Mabel Mercer, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Cole Porter and his wife, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Langston Hughes all visited there. Some wrote songs for her or about her: Miss Otis Regrets by Cole Porter and Brick Top by Reinhardt and Grappelli. She continued to perform into her eighties, although her last club closed in 1961. Shortly after that, she moved back to the USA.



This area became famous in the 1920s, and by the 1930s was the heart of intellectual and artistic life in Paris. From 1910 to the start of WWII, Paris' artistic circles gathered in Montparnasse as an alternative to the Montmartre district which had been the intellectual breeding ground for the previous generation of artists. It was cheaper to live in Montparnasse, too.

The following four establishments were the mainstay of the literati and artistic crowd in Paris during the first part of the 20th Century. Some of them remain today. It's always worth a visit to absorb the essence of the past which may remain. Remember 'Midnight in Paris'?

Le Dome
or Cafe du Dome

Cafe du Dome at night, 2002, by Jeremy J. Shapiro

Le Dome is a restaurant in Montparnasse, Paris. From the 1900s, it was known as the intellectual gathering place for artists, and was locally called 'the Anglo-American Café'. It later evolved into a gathering place for the American literati and local artists who resided in Paris' Left Bank area


La Coupole

A brasserie in Paris in the Montparnasse district. This was a hotbed of the artistic and intellectual community in between the two wars. Cubist inspired mosaics on the pillars are listed as Historic Monuments. They are adorned with paintings by the artists of the Roaring Twenties. La Coupole is the temple of Art Deco.

A list of the names that were here at different times includes: Man Ray, Picasso, Josephine Baker, Henry Miller, Matisse, Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre, Patti Smith, Chagall, and Francois Mitterand. They sat at special tables and sometimes at communal tables. It was a place that made all feel welcome.


Le Select

Cafe Le Select, Montparnasse, Paris - 2011

A brasserie in Paris founded in 1923. It was another of the cafes where the artist, writers and the 'intelligentsia' of Paris met and held court. As in the other cafes mentioned in this post, it was frequented by Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Picasso.

Montparnasse may have changed a lot since the Belle Epoque, but Le Select has not.  The prices have changed and there are more tourists there now, but it is still a tribute to authentic Left Bank life, with businessmen, intellectuals and visitors stopping in to see and be seen. 


La Rotonde

Café La Rotonde in Montparnasse, by Jeremy J. Shapiro

The Café de la Rotonde is a famous café in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris. The owner would allow the destitute artists to sit for hours nursing a cup of coffee. He would also accept drawings and other art work as payment or hold them as payment or promise of payment. What he collected over time would have generated envy by museum curators.

La Rotonde was also renowned as an intellectual gathering place for artists and writers of the interwar years and has retained much of its bohemian atmosphere up to the present day. Artists and writers still gather there to discuss their art, their writing and their concerns.

Modigliani and Picasso were regulars here. Picasso paid homage to the cafe by portraying two diners in his painting, In the cafe de la Rotonde, in 1901. Many other writers and artists depicted life in the cafe in some of their works.

NOTE: This post is written as an adjunct to : 2015 A to Z Challenge, letter J for Jazz from America in France. 

Have you visited any of these cafes in Paris? Or have you heard of any of them? You have heard of The Lost Generation, and the artists and writers mentioned here?

Please leave a comment to let me know if you stopped by and if you saw the other post in the A to Z Blog Challenge. I'll reply. Thanks for visiting!


Image Credits and References:

Night at Bricktop’s: Jazz in 1930s' Montmartre


Wiki on Ada Smith, aka Bricktop


Image: Café La Rotonde in Montparnasse photographed in 2002 by Jeremy J. Shapiro

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 

Image: Cafe du Dome at night, 2002, photographed by Jeremy J. Shapiro

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Image of Le Select
Cafe Le Select, Montparnasse, Paris - 2011
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montparnasse The history of the Montparnasse area and the cafes

http://www.lacoupole-paris.com/en/the-legend-of-la-coupole.html La Coupole

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Traveling Lens Closed - Memory Connections

Sometimes a place will imprint in your memory, branding that location by the incidents that occur.

I have no photos of these incidents but I do have the memory, distorted as they may be by time. Taking notes on people I observe is sometimes easier than invading their privacy by taking a picture, and risking offending them.


Eiffel Tower, Paris, by DG Hudson

The homeless men in Paris, who appeared pleasant after spending a night above a heating grate, sitting and chatting perhaps about how they would go about gaining a bit of food that day or even where to panhandle.  Some of the homeless beggars under the crowded rue de Rivoli arcades (on the way to the Louvre) used dramatic methods intended to wring compassion from the passing tourists. One heavy woman of an advanced 'certain age' with her hand out, hunched inside her robes and clutched what appeared to be an infant to her bosom. She was not of childbearing age. She grunted only as if the hand said it all. Perhaps her man or her family had sent her there to earn her keep. It made me wary.



Key West Florida, Old Town, by DG Hudson

In Key West two homeless men in their forties got upset when we ran past them and their sauntering gait, to meet our boat for an adventure cruise. They yelled at us, irritated at our impatience, but we kept on walking at a fast clip and didn't look back. We were hurrying to meet a tour, and the homeless men appeared to have just woken up after a hard night's sleep. We made it, but the catamaran wouldn't have waited if we were late. The tour was an all-day trip to the Dry Tortugas, an old pirate stopover. I still cannot understand why our 'passing' those homeless guys on Duval Street triggered such a response. Another incident that made me wary.



Across from Disneyland, the home of fantasy, a man in good clothes told hubs a tale of having spent all his money and needing some to call home. . .but what was the real reason, when he didn't look shabby or homeless? A true bad incident? Or an experienced street beggar who pinpointed tourists? He did get a fiver from hubs, before I came back to see what the delay was.



Cityscape view from Stanley Park, by DG Hudson

Nearer to home, in a hospital parking lot, an elderly lady in her seventies dressed as you would expect in suitable clothes claimed to be at the end of her rope, and asked me if I could give her some money. I had just bought a parking lot ticket with my credit card. I don't carry cash, so couldn't help but my instinct was on high alert. Something just didn't ring true. She told me she and her hubs were from out of town and had been mugged. He was in the hospital being cared for, but she had no money to call relatives.

It happened again on another afternoon, when another elderly lady in a grocery parking lot approached me asking for handouts.  There are also many who walk the medians in traffic with cardboard signs asking for assistance in the way of money. All these incidents make me wonder what we are doing to our society.

Neil Gaiman used an elderly homeless lady in his Neverwhere story, but the frequency and variety of these occurrences which I have encountered make me wonder, is this a burgeoning trend of our time period?


What do you think of the flourishing and growing trend of panhandling or begging? Is it prevalent in your city or town? Is society failing its citizens? Does it bother you? This seems to become more visible in the better weather in our area when our homeless population grows.

Please leave a comment if you can to let me know you were here, and I'll get around to your blog soon as I can.  Sorry for the slow blogging schedule, but life intervenes. If you avoid commenting on social problems, I understand.  I just observe and wonder, and use it for my writing.  I always like to know what others think about these issues.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sarcophagi Through the Ages

Sarcophagi = mummified remains within
Or is that what most of us assume when we hear that term? Intrigued by the variation in the sarcophagi in the Louvre Museum, I found that the use of these elaborate coffins and similar objects have existed for some time and in various civilizations.

The housing of the soul and body for its journey to the next life (or afterlife) as it leaves this plane of existence is a part of many cultures. Over time, methods of dealing with our deceased have evolved as societies change and the world becomes more crowded.

In Egypt, the bodies of royalty and noble persons were prepared and placed in a sarcophagus, a funeral container for a corpse. Usually, the outer layers of the box were carved in stone and displayed above ground. They were sometimes buried as well, in royal tombs.

Sarcophagi, Louvre Museum, Paris by DG Hudson

In ancient Egypt, a sarcophagus formed the outer protection for a mummy, usually of royal status.  There could be several layered coffins within, nested for further protection.  Outer and inner layers were decorated with painted or carved representations of the deceased. The intricacy of detail depended on the subject's status and the amount of wealth used in the preparation.

Sarcophagi at the Louvre, Paris by DG Hudson

In Ancient Roman times, metal, plaster or limestone were popular for use in creating sarcophagi.  They were elaborately carved. This existed until the early Christian burial preference for interment underground, which led to the demise of these elaborate coffins. There are many early Christian Sacophagi from the 3rd and 4th centuries which continued the practice with a few changes. See links below.

Carved Sarcophagi at the Louvre, Paris, by DG Hudson

Lack of space in modern times, whether in churches, family burial monuments or in cemeteries, made sarcophagi impractical. However, chest tombs or 'false sarcophagi' became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in Great Britain. These were empty and bottomless cases placed over an underground burial in outside locations like cemeteries and churchyards. They were not decorated as elaborately as original sarcophagi, but the extra cost of a 'false sarcophagus' as well as the headstone indicated one's social status.

In America during the last part of the 19th century, 'false sarcophagi' made a comeback in cemeteries. This may have been a result of travelers seeing similar objects in Europe. They continued to be popular until the 1950s when easier-to-care-for flat memorials made them obsolete.


Have you ever seen any sarcophagi, in a museum or otherwise? What do you think of elaborate burial coffins? Do they fascinate you, as they do me? 

Please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by, and I'll reply.  I'm trying to visit other blogs when I can while I juggle life on the side. 



sarcophagus (plural, sarcophagi; sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Photography Confessions

Photography has always held a certain appeal for me. Influenced by a mother who always had a camera in her hand, I saw the value in trying to capture the moments in our lives that mean more to us in retrospect. As the cameras became better and I became more adept, I learned to see with a 'camera eye'.

A camera lens copies what it sees, not what our human eye ignores. A 'camera eye' discerns what is going to result in a better photograph at the moment the image is taken. The clutter, the poor lighting and the details we may ignore will be there unless we consider composition, lighting and framing. Whether the object is human or not, clutter distracts from the object we are trying to highlight.

Clutter can be excess people, distracting light reflections, or just too much irrelevant 'stuff' in an image. Some clutter you can eliminate, some you cannot, but by changing your position relative to the object, you can often get a better result. And, sometimes, you just need to enjoy the surprising results. 

Repairs to Fort Jefferson, The Dry Tortugas, by DG Hudson

In the image above, Fort Jefferson, on the Dry Tortugas is a fort being restored after suffering the effects of many storms and age.  This image utilizing perspective shows the repaired sections of different colors and the moat surrounding part of the fort. When taking the image, I wanted to show the repair - a slow and tedious job performed by workers who stay on the island for a period of time, 70 miles away from the mainland.


Pont Neuf, Paris, France by DG Hudson

In this image of the Pont Neuf in Paris, the buildings almost appear to be on the bridge itself rather than in the distance.  I liked the effect which is only marred by the vehicles which were on the bridge at the time.  I was focusing on the bridge construction and noticed the effect afterwards. This is one of my favorite bridges and the oldest in Paris.


The Eiffel Tower, Paris, by DG Hudson

In the ants-eye view of the Eiffel Tower, you can see the parallel wings of the Trocadero in the distance and a distorted view from beneath the icon of Paris. I wanted to capture the effect of being underneath the structure. The blue building on the left is the entrance to the elevator tram which takes you up to the first level.


Charlemagne Sculpture, Notre Dame Square, Paris by DG Hudson

Charlemagne and his men in the image above are joined by pigeons who also wanted to be in the photograph. Did I notice the pigeons when taking the image? Not really, I wanted to capture the sculpture in Notre Dame Square. It is a natural image, however, as pigeons hang out here to get a few crumbs from the many visitors who stop for a quick snack and short rest.


Do you study your images when you upload them? Have you had surprises, capturing effects you weren't aware of?

Please share in the comments, and let me know you dropped by! Thanks for visiting, I'll respond.  I apologize for the lack of frequent posts, but I'm checking in when I can.