Saturday, September 29, 2007

O-Bang! double-take ...

I'm most definitely not used to shooting medium format, having shot 35mm since I was in my teens, which is more years ago than I care to admit. :) Almost all 35mm cameras can't take a double-exposure unless you really try.

Unfortunately this can't be said about many of the popular MF cameras.

When you get a double-exposure, it usually means two ruined shots. However, every once in a while, a photographer will report on, and show off a double-exposure, which actually works. I think I may have one of those here, at least it's the closest I've ever come to it. :)

I had stopped to take a few frames of one of the sculptures of the O! Public Art Project, sometimes known as O-Bang, and I shot maybe half a roll of 120 on this particular object.

I really didn't know I had double-exposed that shot until I had them developed. My first reaction was some not so nice language muttered to myself.

Then as I looked at it more and more, I realized that it did have eye appeal, to me, anyway, and may indeed be one of these cases of accidental artistry.

I posted the photo on a local chat board and received a response of: "I do love this shot though and the creativity and vision it took to pull it off!" LOL, thanks {blush}, but trust me, it was very accidental creativity and vision here. :)

My first MF photo in oh-so-many years was the obligatory self-portrait in the mirror with the new camera. Of course I overlaid it with an otherwise great shot of the mineral springs in Elmwood Park. :(

Yeah, I know, wind the {expletive} film after each shot, dum-dum! :(

I'm not really fond of that "portrait" anyway, but I've used it as an avatar on some of the photo boards, kind of like a badge of admission into the MF club. :)

Oh well, but anyway ...

O-Bang is sponsored by Alegent Health, in cooperation with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. 22 artists from Omaha and the surrounding area participated in the project.

Several Omaha area photographers have announced plans to photograph the entire set of sculptures. I'm not one of them! :) I may or may not take on that feat. :)

Since it's not a permanent exhibit, I do plan to shoot at least a few more of the sculptures before they go bibi!

The official page for the O-Bang project (I've been told they don't really like that nickname) is on the web HERE

Oh, if you wonder where the term "Bang" comes from, it's typographers slang, a one-syllable easy-to-say name for the exclamation mark, which has been popularized in mainstream culture in recent years by computer programmers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A streetcar named Dundee ...

Other than the occasional argent streak, straining, as if gasping for air and sunlight from a tomb of crumbling asphalt, all we have to remind us of Omaha's once magnificant street railway system is the brick haute-relief located at the intersection of Happy Hollow Boulevard and Underwood Avenue.

The Dundee line ran west from downtown Omaha, then into a loop around Dundee's business district, running northbound on 49th. Street from Dodge Street to Underwood Avenue, westward to 50th. Street, then southbound on 50th. turning back downtown on Dodge. A spur line running westward from 50th. and Underwood served the posh Happy Hollow district, terminating and turning around in a dead-end alley just south of Dundee Presbyterian Church.

The Dundee line was one of the "suburban" lines of the once-extensive trolley system which covered Omaha, reaching Benson, Florence, AkSarBen, the depots, South Omaha, School For The Deaf on North 45th., and yes, Council Bluffs.

It was the "Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway Company."

"Have a nice day, ma'am."

"Hi Mom!"

A nice touch to the setting is the cast iron lamp post, a style seldom seen other than in the Country Club, Twin Ridge, and Dundee districts of Omaha.

(For some strange reason, seconds after I took this photo, the lamp suddenly extinguished, remaining dark for the remainder of my visit.)

So, will trolley cars once again grace the streets of Our Fair City?

One group, Omaha Streetcar, would like to see this happen sooner rather than later!

They're on the web at:

Unfortunately this is an uphill climb on an icy track so to speak.

Depending on who speaks, Omaha's last trolley ran in either 1955 or 1956. That's two generations, two generations raised on the Car Culture, who are oblivious to (if not hostile to) transit, and the mindset will have to be changed.

If Omaha (and Council Bluffs) is to get a new street railway system, it's not the railfans, the transit buffs, and the new urbanists who will have to be convinced of its value. It's the soccer moms, the SUV dads, Joe Sixpack, and the like, the ones who now consider the private vehicle as the only viable means of local transportation.

I spoke too soon when I said the sculpture was our only momento. Here's another, literally to be stumbled upon, across the street from Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bayliss, revisited ...

No photoshopping except for crops and levels.