International Well-digger Truck

On a recent visit to a friend’s farm, I was charmed by the sight of this old International truck, outfitted for well-digging. It’s been a long time since it has been employed.


Comparing 6-pot Apples for Oranges

A friend of mine has an early ’70s GTR XU-1 T0rana, the first Torana to be produced for genuine performance on the track – most notably the popular endurance race known these days as “Bathurst”. I recently discovered it parked beside my early ’90s mini-beast, who looked a little overwhelmed by the Torana’s muscle and street-cool style. She may even have simpered a little.

Comparing them (6-pot apples for oranges, as it were), I got the song I Love It by Icona Pop stuck in a loop in my head:

I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone.
I crashed my car into the bridge. I watched, I let it burn.
I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs.
I crashed my car into the bridge.

I don’t care, I love it. I don’t care.

You’re on a different road, I’m in the milky way
You want me down on earth, but I am up in space
You’re so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch
You’re from the ’70s, but I’m a ’90s bitch.

Reed Organ: a brief study

When I was a little kid we had an old reed organ, the kind you operate by pumping the foot bellows to allow the keys to make sounds. It preceded the player piano we later acquired, and was where my interest in playing the keyboard started.

Recently I visited the home of an old friend, and was delighted to see that when their modern piano was moved to their daughter’s home, its place was filled by a very lovely reed organ, one far more ornate than the one I remembered from my childhood home.

How to Create Your Own World

Quite a few years ago, I drew a picture of “cartoon me” sitting with my “cartoon cats” in my “cartoon car” to use on the invitation for a Beatnik-themed Halloween party I was holding. The car I drove at the time was a five-door Mazda Astina (Lantis Type-R) hatch, on which I based my drawing.

So when I was flipping through an old drawing pad recently, I was astonished to find this picture again…and to see how much more closely the cartoon car resembles the car I now drive, seven years later:

I’m a great believer in our abilities to create our own world, and often prove this theory to myself. You should try it sometime, if you haven’t already!

Portrait of a Lady: the saffron shawl (*Portrait of Elsa by Sir Frank Dicksee)

When I saw this print of a painting in a lavishly carved gold frame in an antique shop, I wanted to take it home – isn’t she superb? But, as I had my Olympus and was not prepared to part with the few hundred dollars the print commanded, I took a photo instead. The print I made now gazes out from a (far less lavish) gold frame from my living room wall, and I really enjoy having her there. (Does anyone out there know who the artist is who painted this portrait?)


*Thanks to Matt for stopping by and identifying the artist and sitter!

Vintage Botanica

While editing photos from a wedding I attended yesterday, I wondered how to make the flower images – shot in very low light conditions under a marquee – more interesting.

The image of roses in a blown-glass vase against a dark background, above, had some vignetting applied in Picasa, then a colour effect and border applied in Pixlr-o-matic.

The image above was quite unremarkable, until I tried applying the infrared effect in Picasa; suddenly, it reminded me of early photographic processing styles I had seen in books. I scaled back the filter, so that some colour remained, then applied an effect in Pixlr-o-matic to warm the colours slightly.

Another unremarkable image in colour, the bokeh behind the rosebud, above, was what caused me to keep this image despite there being no single point of clear focus.

Finally, the grainy black and white shot – also unfocussed – is straight out of the camera. I kept it because I like how the grain works in low-light photos where there is good contrast between the light subject and the dark background.