“Escape” by Jason Coleman – I’ve recently gotten excited (re-excited?) about photography and learning how to take better pictures. Kevin has a great post and some interesting discussion on his blog about his film vs. digital experimentation. I think, for me, one of the key reason why I only want to shoot in digital, regardless of quality, is the ability to let myself make many mistakes to learn from. Were my camera a film, it would sit mostly on a shelf for fear of taking bad photos. I never had much appreciation for photography until digital allowed me to experiment with it. I never had that feeling with film which no matter how simple the camera, always gave me too great a disconnect between action and feedback to meaningfully learn anything.
NASA’s STEREO‑B spacecraft took an amazing shot of it’s own solar eclipse late last month during the process of having it’s camera’s calibrated. The moon appears as a black disc against the fiery mass of the sun. I think that the texture of the sun is, well, other-worldly.
Virgin Gorda Baths by Jason Coleman
I’m not an old man, by really anyone’s account. Even Timothy Leary, were he still alive, could technically trust me as I’m not yet over thirty. However, the one thing that makes me feel my age perhaps more than any thing else is to see photos of soldiers serving at war. They go to join the armed services for any number of reasons. We ask of them many things, some terrible and most amazingly heroic. As with most heroic jobs, the vast majority of their service is mundane life spent in a uniform occasionally punctuated with moments of insanity.
The Israel Defense Force, or IDF, is no different than our own military save one modern difference: Most every able-bodied Jewish Israeli citizen, man or woman, is conscripted into service at the age of eighteen. Women serve for two years while men serve for three. Of course, these are really just girls and boys. The former being young enough that I would feel guilty glancing at twice were I to pass them on the street and the latter being young enough I’d feel any conversation with them would be more like advice than a discussion (well, that last bit goes for both, really).
Rachel Papo1 has a wonderful photo series of some young women who serve in the IDF. There is nothing graphic nor racy here; but rather simply photos of women serving in the life of a soldier. There is nothing here that will attempt to lead you to any conclusion about wrongness or rightness of war, the conflict that surrounds Israel, nor the service of women. The only struggle is the fact that hey are both remarkably young looking at yet have the maturity their country demands of their service. In this country, we no longer demand this of every person at eighteen, but it is an option that is encouraged. We do not allow them to drink and the will serve under leaders they were too young to have voted into office, and yet we entrust the defense (and offense) of this country to many persons that age. Should you not know anyone just out of high school that has served in the military, this wonderful photo set will make you feel as though you do.
- Papo served in the Israeli Air Force from the age of eighteen to the age of twenty, which inspired this photo set. These photos were take as part of her master’s thesis at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. [↩]
The Coal Men were supposed to be playing in Ashland tomorrow night (the fourth), but as things happened, that show fell through. However, Tuesday before last, Dave called me up to let me know he’d be in town with Stephen Simmons to play a show on the 27th. I really enjoyed Stephen’s show last time and this time even more so, since I had been listening to a couple of his albums and knew the music. I tried to take a bunch of photos, but I still really suck at low-light stuff. The best of them made it to Flickr. Speaking of photographing live music, if you haven’t seen Scott’s photos of Mojave 5 from that same weekend, you should check them out. I’m going to have to hit him up for some advice.
I finished a narrative of our trip to Alaska with more details than anyone would ever care about. However, if you feel that the rest of the interent is a little too exciting, then you might want to give it a read here. You can also read about many of our other trips on my Travel page, if you suffer from insomnia. Photos from the trip up to the Northern Frontier are also on Flickr (a bit less boring).
Mt McKinley Summit by Jason Coleman — The view of the summit from about 9,000 feet in a small airplane. The wind was about 65mph at the peak to blow the snow off like that according to our pilot.