030917: Science in America 2017

The know-nothings have won… for now. The soon to be neutered (or dissolved) EPA now no longer refers to “science” on its website. Rather than refer to “science based” standards they now refer to “economically and technologically achievable standards” for their actions. (The new head of EPA, Scott Pruitt, darling of frackers, just today stated that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming!)

The know-nothings have also set their sights on NASA, an agency that has “played a leading role in researching climate change and educating the public about it.” The plan is to cut funding for “Earth Science” and anything related to “global warming.”

An then there’s Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State and former head of Exxon, and friend of Vladimir Putin. If they are able to get sanctions lifted on Russia the Exxon-Rosfeft joint venture will proceed – a 500 billion dollar deal for oil exploration in the Arctic.

 

The list goes on and on. Whether it is the National Park Service or NOAA or many other government agencies, it is clear that the Trump Administration is at war with science and knowledge. Call your members of Congress and let them know your concerns. They need your vote to keep their jobs. Let them know that.

Today’s images are some random fossil images I couldn’t resist taking as I transported my collection to my new soon-to-be-completed studio. The transition is moving slowly but steadily and I look forward to returning to my work without interruption.

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I finish today with a couple of images unrelated to the fossils – one an odd outdoor vignette from a neighbor’s property and the other from my endless supply of props (soon to be packed).

Thanks for the visit.

022317: Objects

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Definitely an odd assortment this week.

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What unites today’s selections is that the subjects are all objects found in my studio.

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As a little exercise, I decided to focus on some of these most familiar things that I see every day.

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Over the years much of this has become background “wallpaper.”

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So, with the impending move to my new studio, I thought I’d record some of these impressions (before all is packed up).

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This last image is a wonderful example of the beauty and order of nature. On top is a contemporary sea urchin. On the bottom is a piece of honeycomb coral that is almost 400 million years old.

Thanks for the visit.

021617: Overlooked

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Today’s images come from shooting I did at the Museum of Natural History in Florence. These particular images were originally passed over when I chose my “selects” from this project. This month’s snow and cold allowed me to revisit my photo libraries and “discover” these previously untouched images.

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I normally try to avoid the cliche of “pretty flower” images, but these are very different. They are wax botanical models – wax sculptures, if you will – made during the 18th and 19th Centuries at the waxworks of the Imperial & Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History.

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They currently reside in the collection of the Florence Museum of Natural History in the Botany Section and overseen by the section head, Dr. Chiara Nepi.

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Regular viewers might recall the images I posted this time last year of the collection of fantastical fungi (0310: A Curious Cabinet). Those mushroom sculptures came from that same Botany Section.

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Also, within that section resides an amazing collection of seeds and plant specimens, each of which is more visually stimulating than the other. Below are more samples.

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My deepest thanks to Dr. Nepi for allowing me the opportunity to explore the objects under her care. She has always been so kind and gracious with her time in allowing me to enter her world.  I am always most grateful.

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I’ll finish today with a handful of images from La Specola, another section of the Florence Museum – this time from their Mineralogy collection. I know a bit about fossils and their rock matrices but almost nothing about gems and minerals. I do know, though, that they can be pretty mind blowing and quite something to see!

I hope you agree,

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My thanks again to all those kind, thoughtful, and wonderful folks at the Museum whose kindness I could never repay!

And thanks to you for the visit today.

020217: A Moment of Calm

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News of the day, just about every day, seems to be so unsettling. Sometimes it’s a real challenge to find an offset.

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I think I found one, thanks to a trip through my photo libraries.

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The images I present today are part of a series I worked on and exhibited 5 – 6 years ago.

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Entitled the “Devonian Drawer” series, it was a quiet, almost meditative series of images in which my locally found fossils were partnered with various other objects and framed in an old metal drawer.

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The relationship of objects within each frame gives much room to interpretation.

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And perhaps that room for interpretation gives way to an inner quiet.

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Nothing grandiose here – just a quiet moment, a pause to catch my breath in the midst of frenzy.

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I hope you enjoy the selection.

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Thanks for the visit.

012617: Changes Taking Place

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As I was packing up some of my fossil rocks for their journey to the new studio I ran across this colorful rock with its vibrant sprig of moss. Of course, I had to stop everything until I could photograph it.

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And, as usual, one shot led to another. Before I knew it packing up changed into more shooting. Lichen, uncovered from the recent snow, offered a few more interesting opportunities.

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I finally got back to the fossils, threw a few more into the bag, and was thwarted once more. So again, more pics and less packing.

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Seems like this move is going to be a long drawn out affair!

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Cindy and I made it down to the NYC Womens March last Saturday. It was a powerful event – with many more to come. In a sea of posters this one seemed particularly poignant to me.

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I close today with a new piece – seemingly drawn from the new state we currently find ourselves in.

Thanks for the visit.

011917: The Fog

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Several days of fog allowed for these opening images. There is a deepening and long lasting fog setting in that will require a sharpening of the senses. It starts tomorrow. All I can say is “Eyes wide open.” Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors.

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I continue to move my seemingly endless piles of fossil rocks to the location of my new studio. And, in doing so, the only thing that slows me down is rediscovering so many worthy subjects for exploration.

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I set these pieces aside to provide some fresh fossil images for this week’s post.

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My thanks to the folks at the GCCA Gallery in Catskill for putting on a wonderful show last Saturday. It looked great and was well attended. For those who were unable to attend I include here the remaining three pieces that I contributed.

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Thanks for the visit.

011217: Thin Ice

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Before I get to the ice let me remind you of the opening of “Fresh,” an interesting show that I will be a part of. It opens this Saturday (the 14th) at the GCCA Gallery on Main Street in Catskill (5-7pm).Today’s opening image is one of four prints, all part of my “Galileo” series, that will be displayed in the show. All the work shown by all the artists involved has been created since October, thus the name “Fresh.” Please join us if you are in the area. The show will run through February 25.

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And now Thin Ice

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Last week, on one of the colder days of the year so far, I accompanied my friend, the enormously talented photographer Moshe Katvan on a hunt for rocks – not just any rocks, mind you, but just the right ones necessary for an upcoming shoot of his.

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So I took him to a few of my favorite spots to find some variety, one of which is a small dry creek bed that has interesting rocks and some extraordinary fossils.

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This particular day it also had pockets of ice where water pooled following the last rain.

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In many cases, the ice was paper thin…

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…with great details…

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…and some wonderful shapes.

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Just another example of the wonders of nature…

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…and the beauty of it all!

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I decided to round out this post with four images from last year’s work I did at La Specola, the Natural History Museum of Florence. I was thinking of delicacy, following the “ice” images, and was drawn to these particular images taken in the Entomology, Enichoderms, and Ornithology Sections.

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These proved to be fun to work on and they allowed for experimenting with some new techniques. What a joy it was to have been given such an opportunity.

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For those interested, from top to bottom – moth, heliaster, bird eggs, butterflies.

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Come say hello on Saturday at GCCA Gallery.

Thanks for the visit.