Kathmandu Streets

Kathmandu is not a pretty city but it is very vital. There is a lot of activity at street level. The buildings are not tall, only 2-4 stories. The ground floor is a little shop selling everything from sewing machines to motor cycle parts. Also there are small religious monuments scattered throughout. You can see that the city is reconstructing after the earthquake in 2015. There are dogs all around. The are well fed but seem to have no owners.

The sound track is typical sounds at the street level. As you can hear, Kathmandu is not a noisy city.

Once again, I cannot post the video here. You will have to enter: https://youtu.be/LXPyNIQvayg into your browser.

People

People watching is so much fun. Capturing that in still photos can be challenging because the person is changing all the time. I am doing street photography. I am not asking people to pose. I am a candid camera. When you work that way, you have to act fast. You can not hesitate waiting for a better shot. You take what you get. These are the informal portraits that came out well.

You may or may not be surprised at how many people are using cell phones even when having their picture taken. Were there really more women on the street than men or was I more attracted to their dresses. I loved all the red. Unfortunately many younger women are not wearing saris.

We spent one day at Raman Maharajan’s music school in Kirtipur outside of Kathmandu. When I thought about what soundtrack to put to the photos, I remembered that I had video of a small part of the student’s performance in the evening. Their music seems to me to epitomize the spirit of the Nepali people.

Unfortunately, the site is not letting me link to YouTube https:youtu.be/_ljeYvKDuQm 

but you can enter the address in your browser to see the video.

Mutual Appreciation

Why is this longish, 40 second video a mind dump.  It is because it came to me quickly, in one piece.  I didn’t have to make any decisions.  I just went straight to production.  Production, on the other hand, was a case of trial and error.  First, I took a 10 second shot of the scene.  I thought I will do the close up in the editing.  I learned iPhone videos have a very narrow depth of field so the whole close up was out of focus.  Then I tried zooming as I was shooting.  The focus was definitely improved but it was jumpy because I had to do the hand gesture several times.  Then by complete chance I discovered that if I put my finger on the magnification indicator a dial popped up.  I could move the dial smoothly but there was some shake.  Then I thought, why not take stills.  I set the camera with a very high ASA so I could hand hold hence the graniness of some images.  I really never liked using the tripod.  Once I finally figured out how keyframes worked, not thanks to the Apple help information, I obtained the effect I was looking for.

All of that was to say, I can shoot, reshoot, record and edit all in a few hours while the idea is still pressing to be expressed.  With analog technology it would have taken weeks.  If the first shots weren’t right, I probably would not have had the energy to reshoot again- develop film, make a contact sheet and if they still weren’t what I wanted, I would abandon the project.

I have done another video called Welcome to Aquarian Garden which will be coming out at the end of March when Layne Garret finishes the sound track.  That is a quick romp through the Garden. I thought it would be nice to make a slower video where people could see my favorite views of the garden.  What I see when I sit quietly.

Then Bobby Hill sent his letter about his Kanreki year; “Pianist Satoko Fujii hipped me to the Japanese concept of Kanreki, where one’s  60th year of life is approached as a time to remember life’s accomplishments, put former troubles behind, and celebrate entering the next stage of life.  Satoko celebrated her 2018 Kanreki by releasing a new recording each month.  My Kanreki year began August 9, 2019.

Some celebrants… “

It all clicked into place.  I could be another celebrant.  Saturday I would record Bobby from his WOWD This Music radio program.  The radio clips determined the length of the video.

The video is called Mutual Appreciation because that describes our relationship.  Before I left Bobby asked for a piece of my art work so he could have something of mine with him.  I am grateful to Bobby for all the great music and musicians he introduced to me.  

Red Prometheus

I am starting a new series of short videos called Mind Dumps.  They are images that have flashed through my mind that I decide to put into video form.

This one happened when I was listening to The Creatures of Prometheus by Beethoven.  I don’t know if the music I have put with the video is actually from the moment when I had the flash of inspiritation.

ORDER

In 1980 I exhibited a series of photographs called Domestic Disorder.  People commented but your home is so orderly.  In those photo objects had no comfortable placement; everything was jumbled and cramped like my dresser drawers before I organized them.

In 1986 I did another exhibit with Sheila Rotner.  This time the title was Order.   This time I took pictures of my neat house but I printed them as transparencies.  Then I cut them making three dimensional objects. I left out segments so that the viewer had to supply her own sense of order. 

The other day, I finally got fed up with pawing through things in my drawers.  An acquaintance explained that if your clothes are folded so that they are the same height as the drawer you can easily see what is in each drawer.  As you can see some drawers are more successful than others but I am very proud of how I am displaying gloves and socks.

American Obsession

 

One Sunday afternoon, I went to Uniqlo with Beth.  I had some extra time before I needed to go to Bethesda to meet a friend for dinner.  Since I wasn’t buying anything, I got bored.  Then I saw all the padded bras displayed.  It seems to meet that there is an obsession with women’s breasts.  They should all be the same, large, firm, and rounded.  The person underneath could be any size or shape but she would end up perfect, rounded and smooth. I took some frames of the bras. When I was waiting for my friend in Bethesda, I thought I can take pictures of real women to see if they all look the same.

Buying a New Cell Phone

 

My old iPhone 5 something was needing to be charged all the time.  I thought when I go to Washington, DC at the end of September, I will get a new battery installed.  I go to the Apple Store that is in the historic Carnegie Library, no longer a library.  I had even managed to book an appointment.  The first young man who helps me says, “Let’s run a test to see the condition of the battery.”  “The battery is just fine.”  I say “but it doesn’t stay charged very long.”  I can’t remember the details of the following discussion but some how it ended up that the best option was to buy a new cell phone.  I think it was that they no longer have replacement batteries for such old phones, maybe 6 years.  That I realize is an eternity in the fast moving world of technology.

What phone to buy?  I didn’t want a real large one.  I looked at 8’s, 9’s and 10’s.  There were small price differences.  They were all pretty clunky compared to the compact 5.  Then I thought why buy an outdated phone.  I looked at the 11’s.  The price differential was in the camera.  I don’t like using the cell phone cameras because they don’t shoot in raw and it’s hard to frame a picture well.  I ended up buying the least expensive iPhone 11.  It is a bit smaller than the others but still quite large.  I do enjoy using it.

Then the fun started.  I had to upload the contents of my old phone to the cloud and then download them to the new phone.  It turns out that the internet service is very slow in the Apple store.  It took about two hours which is why I could make the video.  I was trying out my new travel camera.  So I went around taking pictures while the internet was leisurely uploading and downloading my files.

When I returned to Beth’s apartment, I looked at the photos.  I liked them.  I thought, I will make a video.  I had to go back another day to record the sound track.

 

Dessert north east of Granada, Alicún

The reason I went to Alicún was to experience the energy of the dolmans that are in that area of Spain.  Once there, however, I was more fascinated by the landscape than the dolmans.  I love the sinuousness of the hills. I do realize that I could see the hills because the once fertile area had been overgrazed and turned into a dessert.  Don’t eat meat.

Carnaval in Santiago de Compostela

Three years ago a bit before Carnaval, groups came to Santiago from the province of Ourense.  Ourense is famous for the extravagent costumes they use for Carnaval.  I should have made the video then but didn’t.  Then the other day, the groups came to Santiago again.  I took videos which I did not use but which energized me to make the video at long last.

When I saw the headdresses the men were wearing, I thought they were inspired by the South American Indians.  It turns out to be the reverse.  A short time after the parade, I was in Patzcuaro, Mexico.  The guide was showing me some paintings of the indigenous  people in 1500.  I said, “This is where the headdresses come from.”  He said the Spaniards brought these with them and we adopted them.  I was surprised especially since Ourense is an inland province.  Even before all the advances in telecommunications, culture was being carried half way around the world.

The night time event is a local Santiago custom.  As you can see from the images everyone is enjoying themselves.

Bulgaria: Mountains

Mountains are the soul of Bulgaria.  They are everywhere, inescapable.  They cradle monasteries, villages, small towns.  Houses are tucked in among the trees.  From a distance they look like soft dark green velvet and has been folded and folded.