Archives for posts with tag: photos


“I think of my photographs as ‘found’ paintings because I don’t crop them, I don’t manipulate them or anything. So they’re like ‘found’ objects to me.”


Photo: “Double Standard” by Dennis Hopper (1961), Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York

Note: Dennis Hopper shot “Double Standard” from a convertible stopped at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Doheny Drive. A Los Angeles Times article following Hopper’s death on May 29, 2010 celebrated his work as a photographer and called the above image, “…an icon of the era, an exemplar of car culture cool…a delectably dense urban moment.”


While shooting Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Dennis Hopper and James Dean became good friends. (Hopper was 19 and Dean was 24 when they shot the movie during the spring of 1955.)  Dean served as an artistic mentor to his friend — and gave Hopper his first camera, encouraging him to take it everywhere and shoot everything. Rebel was released in October 1955 —  a month after James Dean’s death in a car crash. Hopper was devastated by Dean’s passing — but paid tribute to his memory by applying himself to the art of photography. And a fine photographer he was, as evidenced by the above 1965 self-portrait. Hopper passed away in 2010 at age 74.

by Taigu Ryōkan

If the sleeves
of my black robe
were more ample
I’d shelter everyone
in this floating world. 

Photo: ”Gull feather & midnight sun, Nome, Alaska” from the postcard book: Sierra Club Nature in Close-Up. ©David Cavagnaro,1988, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find the 160-page book at Amazon here.


I am a fan of found photos — and love looking at these vintage shots for the clothing, the furnishings, the food, and the decor. Regarding the found photo above, the “finder,” whitewall buick, states on“Found photo, three girls with kaleidoscopes , mid-1960s.”

Sir David Brewster — an inventor from Scotland — stumbled upon what came to be known as the kaleidoscope when he was conducting experiments on light polarization in 1815. (Hang on, everybody, just two more years until the big kaleidoscope bicentennial in 2015). Taken from Greek root words, the literal definition of kaleidoscope is “observer of beautiful forms.”


I like to think that these three little girls enjoyed some lasting effects from this innocent summer pastime — and made a habit of observing beautiful forms.

Though faded, this found photo is loaded with information — starting with the girls’ adorable outfits: Miss Polka Dots, Miss Sailor Blouse, and Miss Lady Blue. Then there’s mom’s leather pocketbook and Jackie Kennedy sunglasses in the left-hand portion. We’ve got us some Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks and a Fiestaware pink pitcher in the center, and a vintage milk carton on the right-hand side.

I think of this trio of 1960s girls as what the ancient Greeks called The Three Graces (charm, beauty, and creativity). We are charmed watching these young ladies observe beauty in their kaleidoscopes — and feel certain this humble invention ignited a creative spark in all three.

Painting: “The Three Graces” by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)



I enjoy collecting photos (at least jpgs) of authors sitting at typewriters. While I couldn’t find a photo of F. Scott Fitzgerald at a typewriter, I did find several shots of him writing with pen and paper. In some cases, someone had “flipped”  the photo so that Fitzgerald appears to be left-handed. I have several relatives who were changed from lefties to righties — and, from what I’ve heard, the process leaves lasting scars. All of you cavalier graphic designers out there, do not make this decision lightly.

STYLE (excerpt)
by Charles Bukowski

Style is the answer to everything
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous
To do a dull thing with style is preferable
to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what
I call art…

Photo: Hans Silvester, from his book Natural Fashion (see description from on the book’s Amazon page).


“Writing is flying in dreams. When you remember. When you can. When it works. It’s that easy.” NEIL GAIMAN

Photo: “Whooper Swans, Japan” by Stefano Unterthiner (National Geographic). The photo appears in the White Gallery on the National Geographic website devoted to Life in Color, a 504-page book of 245 photos, divided into 11 color-based chapters. Find the book at


A dog jumps into Lake Banyoles in northern Spain.

National Geographic photograph by Tino Soriano

This and other blue images appear in LIFE IN COLOR, a 504-page book of 245 photographs divided into color chapters. The book is available at To view a range of blue images, visit the National Geographic Blue Gallery.

A person can learn a lot from a dog…Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things — a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” JOHN GROGAN, author of Marley and Me


A costumed tourist poses before a view of San Marco Basin in Venice, Italy. Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic

This and other “blue” images appear in LIFE IN COLOR, a 504-page book of 245 photographs, essays, and inspirational quotes.The book is available at To see more images, visit the National Geographic Life in Color Blue Gallery.

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”  TRUMAN CAPOTE


“I’d be smiling and chatting away, and my mind would be floating around somewhere else, like a balloon with a broken string.”

HARUKI MURAKAMIThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Photo: “H’mong children play with their balloons on a foggy day in Moc Chau, Son La province, Vietnam” (January 2012), photo and caption by Vo Anh Kiet. This photo took 2nd place in the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Visit the National Geographic website for all the winners.