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Welcome! I don't know about you guys, but I plan on having a good time. It's a lot of work putting together each episode, but photography has been in my life — work and play — since I was a strapping sapling simpleton. And that's saying something (especially if you try to say it through thrice).

Connect or comment, please. Each episode will have a conversation, and I'll be glad to strike one up with you, too!

- Mark

Oct 2, 2017

Episode Four apparently starts as a polyglot, but monoglots right after that and pretty much sticks to the one glot the rest of the way through. What does motorcycle maintenance have to do with the episode? How does an electrical engineer become a patron of the arts? When is a monopod like a flute? And why do reflections and Luxembourg share this question?

A Word About Quality

Robert Pirsig wrote a seminal book about sanity, insanity, and the relationship of a father and son, sharing a wealth of important and moving observations and contentions that I pretty much trivialize by focusing on just one aspect of the work — the question of quality. The book is "Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values." (I'm saddened to report, though, that the author passed away in April of this year, 2017.)

A Pod of Few Feet

I review a single foot (for which I should have some affinity), more commonly referred to by the Greek-based compound word monopod. The company who made it, Manfrotto, is from Italy and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that this product is made in Italy! You can check out my review by listening, and view the product at the Manfrotto web site by clicking here. (And, maybe, we've strayed into polyglot territory again?)

monopod box levers

Above, the box for the Manfrotto MPMXPROA5US monopod, paired with a close-up of the adjustment levers. Below, the gadget, foreground left, that clips to the top section of the monopod is a socket wrench you can use to adjust the tension on those levers. On the right, the gadget is clipped into place and you can see the nuts, in the fatter holes, that would take that adjustment.

monopod gadget nuts

A Man of Art Words

Alan Fitzgerald LinkedIn

My conversation with Alan Fitzgerald, owner of the Art Intersection gallery, surprised me with his detours, the ups, and the downs. But it's the journey that puts any of us where we are and, as always seems to happen, my guests have journeys I wouldn't have guessed.

A tip of theht fo pit A

My photo tip is a reflection of fo noitcelfer a si pit otohp yM. Cool, huh?

Gammage door

This glass door into Grady Gammage Auditorium, on the campus of Arizona State University, is a fair example of reflections captured for the sake of art. We see the doors, of course, and the large reflected image of the Les Misérables poster draws our eye to it. Inside the auditorium, through the right-hand door, you can also see the Les Mis art as a brochure. Nice. What else? The small tan sign in that right-hand door lists what are prohibited in the building and the list includes weapons, yet what appears to be a hastily fashioned sign declares no firearms. The irony? Firearms are protected by the second amendment to the U.S. constitution as a power reserved for citizens they could use against a corrupt, uncaring, unresponsive government. Les Mis is a celebration of citizens rising up against a corrupt, uncaring, unresponsive government, and this hasty sign interrupts our view of that poster. Perhaps it is appropriate that we see that poster reversed. (NOTE: this is not an argument for or against firearms or the second amendment — just a recognition of the irony in the juxtaposition of the Broadway musical and our current reality.)

A Man of These Words

And, finally, we get to Edward Steichen. Who can forget his name or that time he joined a photography group that would later kick him out because he was a photographer? Good times! Here's his quote from this episode — he was a smart guy: 

"Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face; the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited; and the wealth and confusion that man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man."

Steichen portrait

Edward Steichen in 1901, photographed by Fred Holland Day.

A Question of Ending

Thank you for reading and, hopefully, listening. Either or both ways, I'd really appreciate if you would leave me comments or questions. Feedback is good and, when your questions arrive, I'll endeavor to answer them in the podcast (if appropriate). You can head over to iTunes to subscribe to the podcast and, if you wish, rate it and leave comments.