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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works, ye Mighty and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Ozymandias was the Greek name for Ramses II, the pharaoh of Egypt that Moses contended with during the Exodus.

The poem by Shelley was written in 1817.

5:56:06 PM    


Cat Portrait # 13

I fooled around with the off-camera flash and did this.  I bent a white mat board in half, set it on a little table and bounced one flash off it directly at "Bud" and then shot the bad boy in the usual 3/4 angle with the 50mm. 

1:32:49 PM    

  • Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
  • The condition of being so stimulated.
  • An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
  • Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea, that is inspired.
  • The quality of inspiring or exalting: a painting full of inspiration.
  • Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
  • The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.

  • I am often asked, usually by students, what photographer inspires me.  I was becoming curious as to why this question was asked so often, especially since I don't have a good answer to that.  But I did some thinking about it, and realized that as far as I can figure, I'm not inspired, at least not while I'm shooting, by any photographer. 

    When I began at the age of 15, I would often sit very close to my uncle Hy and photograph him at the breakfast table.  I don't think I knew any "famous" photographers back then.  I just wanted to try and capture his special look on film -- sort of for the record.

    Even back then, I would experiment with seeing how close I could get the lens to his face before he would get annoyed and when he did get annoyed I would press the shutter.

    As a general rule, I don't think I'm inspired by anything much more than that -- trying to capture what I see, maybe what I feel about something but that's secondary.

    On the other hand -- these journals are greatly influenced (is that the same as inspired?)  by an abnormal amount of reading of Russian writers such as Gogol and Dostoyevsky, as well as Kafka's diaries (the two edition set) and Ring Lardner stories.  When I go into some tail spin of a sentence that goes on for ever and tries to circle back onto itself it was probably some leftover feeling from a Gogol tale such as perhaps Diary of a Madman. 

    When I start telling the same thing, over and over, in different ways, just sort of starting and then halting -- that is the feeling I get from the Kafka diaries.

    So the writing influences are all over the place.  You have time to edit, to alter, to sit back and dream when you are writing but not so when you are photographing: another difference between photography and painting.



    9:44:56 AM    


    This site was added into the favorit of my browser one or two years ago. I viewed all pictures when i moved in NY from Shanghai, China last year. Now I read your journal every day. I take it as one of English homework, understanding them less 30%."

    Did I ever tell you the story about how I once tried to learn Chinese from a book called "Learn Chinese in One Month?"  I did?  Good, then I don't need to tell it again.  Suffice to say: nothing doing with that approach.  I did once learn enough French to read the classics and understand about 30% of what I read, which is about all you need to  comprehend in any language to get the plot.

    But I'm glad to see that my journal is now being used to assimilate the language of the Bard (to learn English).  Perhaps that is another revenue stream.  Learn English from a photographer.  Yes, you can do it on-line in One month or less.  Money back if not completely satisfied. 

    Well, money back if I'm not satisfied, not if you're not satisfied, but that's for the lawyers.

    Item 1: Still no word from the $230 Paypal Order.  I did get paranoid about it.  Somehow it was part of an elaborate ruse but I couldn't figure out the angle.  The money certainly was in my account.  But was it?  Maybe it was a phoney site I was sent to.  No.   What if I just refunded the money?  Fine with me, but maybe that was the whole idea in the first place and the refund would go somewhere else.  No, that doesn't make sense.  I can only say that I await contact at this point.

    Item 2: There is no item 2 at this point.

    Item 3: From the hearings on 9/11

    Senator: Is your name Richard Clarke?

    Clarke: Yes it is.

    Senator: Do they ever call you Dick Clarke?

    Clarke: No.

    Senator: Why not?

    Clarke: I don't know.  I don't like to be confused with Dick Clark the host of American Bandstand.

    Senator: I see.  Has that ever happened?

    Clarke: Yes, senator.  Several times, while I was the counter terrorism Tsar, over the last 30 years, I have received threatening letters, mostly from teenagers upset with what I was playing.  At first they were upset with my choice of music, and later with how I was still trying to be one of them although I was in my 70's.  I put several of my best men on it and we came to the conclusion -- not that we're still one hundred percent sure -- you can't be with these things -- that the letters were actually meant for Dick Clark, not me.

    Senator: I see.  Then I won't call you Dick.

    Clarke: Thank you, Senator.



    5:33:33 AM