Sunday, October 07, 2007

Photographers Among the Arches

Fortune smiled Friday night: I had a chance to visit the chapel at Prescott College, this time complete with camera. Newcomers may not know that one of the older buildings on the campus was built as a convent for the old Sacred Heart (oops!) Mercy Hospital on Grove Street.

The occasion was fitting -- two prominent local photographers were presenting their work for the college audience. But, first, up the stairs...

The classic oak staircase has been beautifully refinished. Very simple, as is the former chapel, where we were headed.

An arch defines the chancel, with arches to either side.

The windows, too, are arched.

Ornamentation on the columns is the only exception to an otherwise nearly spartan interior.

One of the speakers, Dale O'Dell, has completely embraced our age in which Adobe PhotoShop is possibly a more important tool for the illustrator than the camera and lens. Here, he discusses his approach to a member of the audience following the presentation.

The other presentation was by Ross Hilmoe (right) who calls himself a traditional photographist, working primarily in black and white. In my lifetime, I've been my partner's lab assistant for both b&w and color film work. In comparison, the digital world is a piece of cake! Ross, by the way, is almost the only person in town who still processes and prints black and white -- important to know if you have old negatives sitting in a shoe box that you want printed! A neighbor who specializes in archeological field work knows Ross well -- it seems that many of his contracts require him to provide archival black and white prints of sites.

All of which brings up the subject of just how long any document or picture can be expected to survive. My own theory is that the half-life of any medium for storing information has been getting shorter and shorter. Petroglyphs have lasted millenia; Egyptian parchment over 2000 years. B&w film lasts far longer than color. On the other hand, can your computer even read an 8" or 5" diskette? Will our children's children really be able to see all those millions of digital pictures we take each year? I sometimes wonder. History is, of course, based on the handful of records which survive.

Blogging Photo Update: Backtrack to the post of blogging tips & scroll way down. Rich has added still more pointers to the discussion of best digital photography practice. Next, link over to Chatoyance, where Lori offers her blogging tips; she too is fast becoming an ace photographer!


Anonymous said...

Hi, GJ. My brother and his wife are spending a few days at Hotel St. Michael, while working with a real-estate agent to check out the area. I received an email from him yesterday and he seems to be enjoying the area.


sheoflittlebrain said...

It's great to see the inside of the old building! I don't think I have ever been in it!
Thanks, gj!

Granny J said...

Steve -- have they checked out the faces high up on the exterior of the St. Michaels? Sounds like they are thinking of relocating here. They could do worse!

Brain -- It's a handsome small auditorium & those staircases are elegant! Glad I could show an old-timer like you something new!

Olivia Kroth said...

I find the Corinthian style columns very pretty and ornate.

Granny J said...

Olivia -- they stand out especially well against the simplicity of the arches!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if they noticed them. I'll mention it in an email. They need a winter place away from Wyoming.


stitchwort said...

Our grandchildren should be able to access our photos - I print them out, label them carefully, and put them into archive-quality albums.
This is a reaction to my parents' method of heaping old photos higgledy-piggledy into boxes, with no indication of where, when, or of whom they were taken.
And our grandchildren will probably just shrug, and throw them away.

Granny J said...

Steve -- I hope they are told that we do have four seasons here in Prescott -- our winters are, generally, mild -- certainly as compared to Wyoming -- but we are not Phoenix. It will snow once in a while (and then melt in a day or so) and it isn't always shirt-sleeve weather.

Stitch -- so you got stuck with the boxes full of curled up photos, too. My bro & I spent a pleasant evening simply sorting a big batch into envelopes by branch of the family. And now there's a picture I want to find & I've forgotten where that envelope (a big 8x11 manila thingy) was stashed!

Olivia Kroth said...

Hi Granny J,

I had to laugh at Stitchwort's expression of photos kept "higgledy-piggledy" in old boxes.

I will use it when talking about great disorder and just wonder what my students will say if I tell them that they have done their homework "higgledy-piggledy" again.

Granny J said...

Ah, Olivia, you learned your English with great literature instead of at your mother's knee! Here is the famous Mother Goose Nursery rhyme:

Higgeldy, Piggeldy
Higgeldy, piggeldy, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen;
Sometimes nine and sometimes ten,
Higgledy, piggeldy, my black hen.

In fact, the earliest OED citation is 1598; the uses have a fine pedigree -- Gibbon, RL Stevenson, even Darwin are all cited.

I have a reprinted Mother Goose with lovely old fashioned illustrations, tho when I went crazy researching the phrase, I discovered an outfit called which had oodles of 1st editions of children's lit, including an original illustration by WW Denslow of the Black Hen rhyme (he of the original Wizard of Oz.)

Granny J said...

Oh, yes. $6500.

Anonymous said...

GJ, I sent my brother an email about the Hotel and this is his reply. "Gargoyles making fun of old politicians I believe."


Granny J said...

Steve -- that's the local lore, but after looking at my pictures, I think that they are more generic! The St. Michael faces are very European peasant looking.

smilnsigh said...

You add so much, to your photographs, in this blog!!! So much information and food for thought. Thank you!!!


Granny J said...

SnS -- I'm so glad you enjoy it!

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