Windshield Views

April 28, 2014

By Catherine Bruce

I made these photographs during a drive from Twin Falls, Idaho, to Salt Lake City. The scenery along the base of the Wasatch mountains is pleasing—not winding-mountain-road-spectacular—but picturesque. The countryside until now has been surprisingly unspoiled. But on this trip I noticed that development along the road was increasing rapidly and decided it might be my last chance to get some good photos.

Click images for larger views.






lzcathiecamera2Catherine Bruce is a mostly-retired software developer who gave up film photography when she claims she stopped improving.  When recently persuaded her that it’s not necessary to agonize in advance over what the photos will look like, she became more interested in snapping pictures with her digital camera.  She still has a weakness for symmetry and order, but is working on developing a “hip-shot” mentality.

Copyright © 2014 Catherine Bruce.

My First Theatrical Poster

April 22, 2014

A Mini-Drama

For a time, from the mid 1980’s until the early 2000’s, I volunteered as a graphic designer at Fells Point Corner Theatre, a local community stage. My work included brochures, flyers and posters; the latter being my favorite thing to do. Over the years, it was a pleasure to collaborate with the FPCT staff, but my first poster concept was rejected out-of-hand. Here’s the rough design I submitted: Fool-SketchAt least one FPTC theatre board member said it was “too sexy.” Now, anyone who knows that particular Sam Shepard play, Fool for Love, would know it’s about carnal lust from start to finish, so I was surprised they were surprised by my attempt to come up with a dynamic visual equivalent for most of what goes on in the play—or at least what is suggested by the text.

In case you haven’t seen a production of the play or read the text, here’s the edited opening paragraph from a review of a production staged in Minneapolis: “Stories of forbidden love make up . . . the spine of works for the stage, for the obvious reason that raging, unbridled passion lends itself to a ripping drama. Fool for Love raises the stakes by tearing through a very particular taboo, and this . . . production captures a great deal of its intensity, desperation, and outright weirdness.” —Quinton Skinner, Minneapolis City Pages.

After some back-and-forth with the FPCT board of directors wherein I passionately tried to justify my original approach, I soon realized I had to comprise. Eventually we agreed on the final version you see below. And because the production was a success, and just about everyone liked the poster, I guess you can say it was a happy ending for most of those concerned.

To see more FPCT posters, click the tab at the top of this page.

Today’s Gag

April 21, 2014
1404-Group-BlogCopyright © 2014 Jim Sizemore.


City Kids

April 15, 2014


Buddies, February 24, 1974

Back in the days when I was doing street photography in South Baltimore (in squint-producing sunlight on this occasion), about the only challenge I had was how to frame the image. When these boys spotted me and my Minolta, they struck a pose and one of them yelled, “Hey, mister, take our picture!”

With kids, I usually tried to lower my point of view so I was on their eye level, but if I had done that here I would have captured a clutter of background cars, buildings and telephone poles. Since those things added nothing of value to the image, the angle you see here was a good solution. I had learned the technique from a friend, Gary Baese, with whom I hung out a lot in those days and who also happened to be professional photographer.

With backgrounds, Gary said, the ideal is to have large simplified shapes, so I stood erect and shot down at the boys and the sidewalk. Shooting either up (“worm’s-eye view,” ceiling, sky, or a forest canopy) or down (“bird’s-eye view,” floor, sidewalk or street) is a good way to eliminate unwanted visual clutter. In this image, we still see a bit of curb, chewing gum spots on the pavement, and an interesting pole shadow cutting diagonally across the top of the frame; just enough detail to suggest an urban setting, but no more.

This is an edited re-post from August 18, 2008

Copyright © 2014 Jim Sizemore.

The Man Who Invented the Selfie?

April 9, 2014

Thanksgiving Day, 1975

lz"Selfie"010If you have a “selfie” from a date earlier than 11/27/75—and I’m sure they must be scads and scads and scads of them out there—please share it with readers. We need to find out who really “invented” the conceit, or at least locate the individual who sort of came up with the idea—or concept—or whatever. Send your entry to:

Today’s Gag

April 5, 2014
1404-Stuff?-BlogCopyright © 2014 Jim Sizemore.