“Take Your Best Shot”


Figure 44. Thompson's Revolver Camera, ca. 1862

Figure 44. Thompson’s Revolver Camera, ca. 1862. Courtesy of the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film. from ‘The Miracle of Analogy: Or The History of Photography, Part 1,’  by Kaja Silverman.

“However, it wasn’t until the 1880s that the verb “to take” decisively replaced the verb “to receive” and “shoot” became a synonym for “take.” It was also only through the industrialization of chemical photography that this shift occurred. Most of the terms through which we conceptualize the medium were manufactured for us, just like our equipment and material.” from “The Miracle of Analogy: or The History of Photography, Part 1” by Kaja Silverman.

In 2000, well before my own photographic efforts began, and well before the arrival of archival inks, I found myself daily testing multiple papers (substrates) from multiple manufacturers, to create custom profiles to match image-to-monitor-to-printer. This was an elusive process, given the nature of technology in those days. Especially with a client who was insistent on his goal of achieving a museum level print with 99% reproducibility.
In simple terms, I held the raw textures of whites and surfaces and had the luxury of holding the image print post printer. (More like holding my breath).

Eventually archival inks arrived and print stability emerged as well. In my 17 years that have followed, I have been intrigued by how the earliest photography groups behaved as they struggled with the new born medium. I am dating my interest specifically to the time period of Gustave Le Gray and his works of 1850 – 1860. And of Société Héliographique, the first photographic society, whose members included photographers, scientists, and intellectuals. Their charter missions was  ‘To Hasten the Perfection of Photography.’

They lasted a little over 2 years and then collapsed before a deluge of commerce.

I feel we inherit a haste to purchase the latest technology with but scarce glance over our shoulders at how we have inherited the language we use around our photographic experiences. And we diminish our giving back to the image, the portrait, the landscape.

The question of what we might contribute back to an image, I will hold for further discussion.


Gustave Le Gray, Brig Upon the Waters




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What Shall I Call You…


“What shall I call you? Look, my lips are lame.
You are the beginning of all that gushes forth,
I am the slow and fearful Amen
that timidly concludes your beauty.”
Rilke, The Duino Elegies

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Copper Beech Initial Trees


I am preparing a story telling related to the Copper Beech Initial Trees of Pigeon Cove and Rockport. The story telling will take place May 21 at the Marblehead Arts Association at 2 – 4 pm. This is an Artist Event for the SQ & LB Artist Collaboration installation on “The Resilient Landscapes of Marblehead and Cape Ann,” now showing at the MAA. And we are fortunate to have master storyteller Judith Black as part of the afternoon.

I’ve located one more initialed Copper Beech, inside the John Kieran Nature Trail, inside Marmion Way.


Has anyone knowledge of any other initialed  Copper Beeches on Cape Ann?





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Abraham Lincoln and the The Rockport Granite Company


The large granite monument slabs behind Lincoln are sea-green granite from Blood Ledge, Lanesville, Cape Ann

Standing Abraham Lincoln Sculpture

The Lincoln Monument on the West Plaza of the Nebraska State Capitol is the only structure on the grounds that predates Bertram Goodhue’s “Tower on the Plains” begun in 1922.

Standing Abraham Lincoln Sculpture

Abraham Lincoln Sculpture

The Nebraska Legislature created the Lincoln Centennial Memorial Association on April 14, 1903, and authorized it to spend ten thousand dollars in state funds on the memorial, provided an equal amount could be raised from private contributions.  Nebraska’s great orator William Jennings Bryan spoke to a crowd of thousands at the September 2, 1912 dedication of the statue.
When Daniel Chester French received the commission to produce the Lincoln statue in June 1909, he was one of America’s leading sculptors with works like the Minute Man in Concord, Mass and the Gallaudet Memorial in Washington, D.C. to his credit.

French collaborated with architect Henry Bacon to provide the Lincoln statue with its architectural setting.  French stated he “purposely tried to represent Lincoln bearing the burdens and perplexities and problems of the Great War.”  The statue’s attitude is one of reverence over a grave in keeping with the speech delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863.  The bronze statue is standing on a granite pedestal with the Gettysburg Address carved into the Rockport Granite Company’s sea-green granite monument blocks (from Blood Ledge Quarry) backdrop.

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In My Fathers House, There Are Many Rooms

The house we are born into and the house we dream are rarely the same space.

The house we are born into is rarely the house our father has built for us.

The wood of my father’s house was seeded when he was but a child.


In the year of my father’s engagement, he and his father cut and planed,
then framed the house in which I and my brother grew up.

Here I learned the words ‘vertical,’ and ‘horizontal,’ while watching
the sway of tall red pines, waving in the summer breezes, groaning below
the winter snows.

Here the eye of the soul commenced a dream…

Leslie D. Bartlett, June 19, 2016inmyfathershouse


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This is my daily work

“This is my daily work over which
my shadow lies like a shell.
And even if I’m like leaves and loam,
whenever I pray or paint
it becomes like Sunday once again, and in the valley,
I’m the voice of a praising Jerusalem.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Prayers of a Young Poet, No.49
[translated by Mark S.Burrows]



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The Lamentation


“The body of Christ with the full
sweep of its arms and with the
powerful simple curve which
extends from the toe to the lofting
hand giving an affectionate
blessing, forms the liaison between
heaven and earth.
He has nothing left for himself.
He gives Himself to everyone…”
Paul Claudel, A Poet Before the Cross

The Lamentation

The Lamentation

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