Fuji X T-2: The Magic of Beginnings

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” — Meister Eckhart

You might have read about my near horror story in a previous blog post, Fuji X T-2: When Support Helped Save a Vacation, but all turned out relatively well after the close call. This was my first major expedition with a nearly brand new Fuji X T-2 and I was anxious to see how it would perform.

I haven’t had a “state-of-the-art” camera in nearly fifty years. I had been using point-and-shoots with only a moderate interest in photography. I was generally a documentarian. I am now embarking upon the development my creative eye.

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

When we arrived in Portland, Oregon, the air was acrid and ash was falling from the sky and landing on our luggage due to the surrounding wildfires. We acquired an automobile and headed toward the coast. By the time we arrived in Astoria, OR, the sun was low in the sky; a saturated light grey. Little did we know that the coast was often grey and/or foggy.

One of my favorite photographs from this trip, was the very first one I captured in Astoria at the end of our first day. Our room was very near the Columbia river and the Megler Bridge. The area was, therefore, a waterfront and had many of trappings expected in such an environment.

As I looked outside the window of our room, I could see several boats that were in disrepair and in dry dock. The lure of these boats was probably the same as that which brings photographers to abandoned buildings. These boats were old and may not have been “sea worthy,” but they had character.

The sun was getting lower by the minute. I grabbed the camera and walked to the area with the retired Ladies of the River. One boat in particular caught my attention because it was stately even when adorned with decay.

I took a couple of pictures with the hope that I could capture the essence of the evening and the feeling I had standing next to this once dignified, yet working class boat.


A river boat in dry dock along the Columbia River, Astoria, OR

My first attempt with the X T-2 on our trip to the Oregon coast

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Metadata

File Name: DSCF0045.RAF
Capture time: 5:24:45 PM
Capture date: September 5, 2017
Exposure: 1/750 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 100
Fujifilm X-T2
Lens: 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS
Edited in Lightroom

Picture: Like Cats and Dogs


I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Bridge over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel

 

“Cat comforts dog?”

Via

 
See previous poignant posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Birds: “Curiouser and Curiouser”

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Green-tailed Towhee

I think humans like to look at other living creatures and assign to them characteristics of our own species. We anthropomorphize other living things. We immediately understand that animals feel fear and love of some kind. I am not sure if all non-human animals share a sense of curiosity, but some obviously do. Dolphins, whales, primates, etc have all demonstrated behavior we would tend to classify as curiosity.

I have found that some birds are curious as well.

In the picture above, there is a bird sitting far away from where we were standing. Because of my interest in birds, we stopped to watch it for a while. You can’t make out the bird in the yellow circle in the photo above, but there was a very pretty bird sitting on that rock. A bird I had never seen before.

It took me a while to get out my superzoom camera and take a closeup of that particular bird, but here it is.

Green-tailed Towhee

As we rested a good number of yards away, sitting on a rock, the bird continued to flit around, but at one point it landed on a tree stump that was only about twenty feet away; relatively close for a wild creature. I had the distinct impression that this bird was curious about us and what we were or weren’t doing. Since we were sitting quietly watching the bird, taking a drink and resting, I think the bird realized we had no bad intentions and it took chances to come close to us. It didn’t “park” there or stay very long in any one spot, but it did fly away and then come close again.

Eventually we packed up and moved on. Later I was able to identify this bird as a Green-tailed Towhee. This is one of the prettier birds I have seen with it’s red-orange tuft atop.

NOTE – Green-tailed Towhee. Park Ridge Fire Lookout Station Trail, Kings Canyon, CA

Green-tailed Towhee

Read more about the Green-tailed Towhee

See previous JBRish posts about birds HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017


Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 9

On the way to the Cabaret Theater, we walked past the room pictured in the two photos below. It appears to be a mixture of formal and informal touches designed for meeting and/or eating.


Apparent mixed-decor meeting or dining area
This room appeared to be a mixed-decor meeting or dining area


Apparent mixed-decor meeting or dining area

The evening tour ended with a final visit to the Cabaret Theater. This is an area (below) where movies were shown or smaller concerts held.


The Cabaaret Theater
The Cabaaret Theater – overwhelmingly red


Geometric lighting fixture in the Cabaret Theater
Once again we notice a Geometric lighting fixture in the Cabaret Theater

 
NOTE – Keep in mind that this series represents only a partial exploration of the evening tour at Taliesin West. There was much more included with many stories and insights offered. The docent was very experienced and knowledgeable.

We will end this photo essay with a quote by Wright himself:

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



#taliesin #taliesinwest #franklloydwright #music

Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 8

What motivates many people to take tours such as that offered at Taliesin West, is the interesting discoveries that await. There are so many nooks and crannies at Wright’s Arizona estate, that one never knows what will be found in the next room or just around the corner.

The picture below shows a detailed oriental sculpture that sat upon a dentil shelf in the Kiva Room that was used for conferences, etc. This evening they served cookies and juice.


The Kiva conference roo
A detail from the Kiva (conference room)

Taliesin has its own Music Pavilion.


The Pavilion theater
The Music Pavilion

This mural (below) in the Music Pavilion is called “City by the Sea” which some explain was Frank Lloyd Wright’s interpretation of the Chicago skyline.


City by the Sea mural in the Music Pavilion
City by the Sea mural in the Music Pavilion

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 7

Taliesin West has a wide variety of plant material both inside and out. Below is a picture of one of the office fireplaces that now serves to display houseplants which fit in well with the ceramic and metal pots.


Office fireplace with plants
Fireplace now holds houseplants


Refelecting pool outside the Kiva
Visitors walked past a reflecting pool on the way to the Kiva


Decorative dragon breathing fire
Decorative, sculpted dragon breathing fire (upper-left)

One of the “teasers” for the evening tour was this evening only event where the flame is lit to enable the sculpted dragon to “breathe fire.” You can find a daytime photograph with the details a bit more visible at this Deviant Art webpage – Click HERE.

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay

Part 6

While sitting in the Living Room at Taliesin West and looking at a good number of lighting fixtures and other elements, it was obvious that Wright favored geometric shapes especially the triangle.


Pyramidal shaped light fixtures
Pyramidal shaped light fixtures and square stools near the stone fireplace


Pyramidal light fixtures closer view
A closer view of the Pyramidal light fixtures


Another geometric light fixture
Another geometric inspired light fixture

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 5

Frank Lloyd Wright understood that a building cannot be a home without appropriate furnishings. He was concerned about decorating the rooms in a style that would enhance the overall architecture and aesthetic of each area.


Decorative Chinese theater scene
An example of the decorative ceramic Chinese theater scenes

Chinese theater scenes are placed throughout the estate with some used to mark transitions from one area to another.


Taliesin West wall of art
Room-separating artwork wall with sculptures and stones


The living room at Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West living room

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 4

In yesterday’s post about our evening tour of Taliesin West, I showed photographs of the drafting studio where students do their work based on the design principals taught at the school.

In those photographs, the reflecting pool was not visible. This water feature adds a very nice element to the landscaping that is both visually and auditorily pleasing. The pictures below show the pool located in front of the steps and lawn.


Reflecting pool in front of the studio
The lights reflect artistically in the pool at night and add visual interest


More detail can be seen when lit with a flash
Using a flash to light the scene reveals more reflecting pool details

NOTE – We were allowed to enter the drafting studio briefly, but we were not allowed to take any photographs or make any noise. Interacting with students was understandably not permitted.

It will become obvious to the most casual observer that Frank Lloyd Wright was a collector. He had a variety of interests such as petroglyphs (see post #2) and other types of art. Guests walking around the grounds will notice different statues and artwork prominently displayed.


Moon over statue of archer
This metal sculpture of an archer was partnered with a full moon this evening

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross



Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 3

While there are many interesting and innovative elements to be seen and appreciated at Taliesin West, visitors are reminded that first and foremost, this was and is an architectural training facility. This evening several students were busy working in the drafting studio seen here lit against the evening.


The tour group stopped at one end of the studio to peak through a window
The tour group stopped at one end of the studio to peak through a window

Although the docent had a flashlight and there were light fixtures on the grounds, some of the walks were a bit uneven and visitors used their cell phones to help light the way. It might be a good idea to bring a small flashlight for the evening tour if you think you might have difficulty seeing the paths.


An angled side view of the studiog
An angled side view of the studio


A better lit photo of the drafting studio with lawn and steps
A better lit photo of the drafting studio with lawn and steps

 

Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:


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All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross