Wednesday, October 31, 2007

california girl

Photo by Edward S. Curtis

This is what a California girl would have probably looked like before the Spanish and Americans changed everything. She is a Pomo girl (N. California tribe centered in the present day areas of Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties, and renowned for their superb basket weaving skills).

Although the photographer is a controversial figure due to the fact that a number of his images were staged or historically inaccurate, his anthropological writings, wax cylinder recordings, and photography were often the only records of their kind. He seemed genuinely sympathetic to the plight of the Native American people, and had a master's eye for composition. His life spanned the period of the "Wild West" through the atomic age. Most of his Native American images were made in the late 1800's through the early 1900's.

Monday, October 29, 2007

montreal 2

Photo copyright 1994 Gazelle

St. Lawrence Riverfront

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

old farts in love

Photo copyright 1999 Gazelle

Ruth & Melvin, my paternal grandparents, photographed at ages 94 and 99 respectively.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

big brother speaks

Myanmar. Photo from NY Times, October 21, 2007. Click image to enlarge and read the instructions...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

they want to destroy it...

Some of you may remember my post on Munich's fun river wave. I learned recently that the city is considering destroying the break over "safety" concerns, apparently without good reason. See this article, click on the petition link, sign it, and be sure to click through the gallery of pics connected to the petition site. What an amazing resource this is for landlocked urban surfers - a wave you can ride till you drop.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

like no others

After Captain James Cook first sailed into Botany Bay in Australia, he noted his impressions of the Aborigines he encountered. Apparently most hardly paid any attention to the large and strange ship sailing into the bay. He wrote in his journal: "They may appear to be the most wretched people on earth, but in reality they are far happier than we Europeans. They live in a tranquility which is not disturbed by the inequality of condition: the earth and the sea of their own accord furnish them with all things necessary for life...they seemed to set no value upon anything we gave them, nor would they ever part with anything of their own...All they seem'd to want was for us to be gone." If only all those to settle Australia shared Cook's sensibilities.

Perhaps these Aborigines somehow knew what their destiny would be with the arrival of the white man, and they generally ignored the strangers in the hope they would become disinterested and simply leave. But of course that's not how it worked out - ahead was disease, intentional poisonings, mass slaughter, hunting for sport, and cold-blooded murder (among other atrocities). The Aborigines were to be treated as subhuman, and at least on Tasmania, would be completely eradicated in a matter of decades. What's remarkable about these native people is just about everything. They lived almost as anarchists, typically with no chiefs or governing councils, possessed very little sense of property, had no clearly traceable ancestry to other people of Australasia, and were full of mysterious and unique traditions. We don't even know exactly how and when they came to Australia. It is almost as if they came from another planet...

Monday, October 15, 2007

on fire

Photos copyright 2007 Gazelle

Okay, okay, I know Sissyfish already beat me to it, but I just couldn't resist. I grew up and lived most of my life in So. California - this leaf-turning business never ceases to amaze me...

P.S. One thing that makes the brilliant red colors even more amazing is that science can't figure it out - the yellow is understood as something always present in the leaves but masked in the spring and summer by the green, but the turning red remains a mystery. Sweet!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Photo by Grannis

About 5 years ago I attended a Surfrider event in Newport Beach. The guest of honor was LeRoy Grannis, the legendary surf photographer. I took the opportunity to have him sign a copy of his great book, Photo: Grannis. These are the wise and simple words he wrote: "To Jeff - Hang on to the surfing lifestyle. It will keep you happy and healthy. LeRoy Grannis" Well, I don't live in a beach town these days so I don't know if I'm honestly living a "surfing lifestyle." But he is right - surfing still keeps me happy and healthy. And I guess it's forever in my blood now, 'cause looking at surf images still gets me fired up the same way it did as a kid...

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Photo copyright 2001 Gazelle

Stone-roofed barn in rural Spain.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Photo copyright 1995 Gazelle

Sometimes the strangest things can be a little scary, like this "landscaping" outside an apartment building in Venice Beach, California. The scene, the textures, the shadows - all together they leave me with a sense that this a place where bad things happen...

Or, maybe I'm just getting in the Halloween mood a little early.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Photo copyright 2000 Gazelle

Duomo, Venice