November 25, 2009

Light Fantastic

I used to consider myself a fair photographer, even learned (and forgot) all the darkroom basics and did a bit of experimentation. I might even dig some out and post them. Hard to remember when I lost interest, but I’m sorry it happened and I recently dug some old rolls of film out of my fridge (that had been there for nearly thirty years!) and got into it again.

These were shot on Ilford FP4. Note the enhancement of the grain (click on the images), caused by long storage and delayed processing. The processor and I were both amazed at the density of the images and the contrast in most. At least there wasn't any fungus growing in the rolls. This film has been in and out of seven or eight fridges since about 1980.

Now for the real deal…

National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009

Andrew and his friend, a young sperm whale named Scar, were swimming together off the west coast of Dominica. The two of them became "friends" after Andrew saved Scar's life. (Photo and caption by Peter Allinson)

This is from a selection, chosen for an article in The Boston Globe, from National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009

Be amazed...

November 11, 2009

A poem for Armistice Day

Foot Soldier

I have killed with the blade, with the halberd and pike;
with the flintlock, the pistol and spear.
I have marched with my enemy’s head held aloft,
and I’ve crawled and lain screaming in fear
on battlefields bloody and flooded with waste,
where humanity’s bounds were rejected;
I have prayed to a God who could not give a damn,
granted mercy where none was expected.

I have fought in the desert, in jungles and swamps;
I have died in the mountains and plains.
The veldt and the forest surrender my bones,
and the farmers return my remains.
Under cannonade, bombard, mortar and strafe,
on beaches and rivers and streets
I have fought against madness as surely as shell,
to advance as good reason retreats.

I am digger and skirmisher, tommy and grunt,
I am rifleman, dogface and pawn;
I’m the first to go forward, the last to withdraw
the one for whom all mothers mourn.
I’ve learned some sad truths as I marched through time
to the trumpet and snare drum’s rattle,
but only one truth need be carved in our hearts;

All soldiers die on the first day of battle.

© 2006, 2009

November 07, 2009

Where's my Trumpet?

Somebody clued me in to Every Day Fiction a while back; an interesting site, where they publish a new story every day (and pay) and where comments on stories are encouraged, though I’ve noticed you're not expected to be too critical, or people can get a bit snarky. I guess having spent years now in critique groups I’ve come to expect criticism, as long as it’s constructive.

Anyway, I subbed a story called Dog People (which started life in a challenge on Critters Bar) and it’s going up on November 16. Yaaayyy! Well, it’s exciting for me, I sub about as often as I get out…

I see that Bob Jacobs and Aaron Polson have stories coming up too, so I know I’m in good company.