Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010

Working on an article about Allan Rohan Crite (1910-2007), the famous black artist who lived in and painted the South End. The first installment starts just below. The images are wonderful to work with.

Walked around the Upham's Corner area photographing in the snow -- the Episcopal church, the burying ground, graffiti, shop interiors.

There's a new biography of Louis Armstrong, Pops, by Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic and moreover a musician (bass) and composer (opera). The two reviews I've read, the New York Times and Bay State Banner (Boston's black paper of record) were both positive but pathetically written. Come on - this is a big deal.

Anyway, I suppose my favorite biography will always be his own, Satchmo - My Life in New Orleans. I consider it one of the essential American documents. It ranks right up there with Thoreau's Walden, Ben Franklin and Frederick Douglass's autobiographies, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes and Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch. In short the greats. I lent my copy and lost it of course, but it's back in print.

We're welcoming a new writer to Roofscape, Shradha Merchant, from Mumbai, India. Shradha will be writing about the emerging superpower's culture, citizens, cuisine and city life. Welcome aboard Shradha!

Two things. Never think about what others think about you. People who have problems with you simply have problems (and are possibly to be pitied). I forget the second thing. Anyway, it probably wasn't that important.

Here are some of the photographer's secret weapons. These will keep you in the field and shooting all day long no matter what the weather.
1 - Fold up four pages of the New York Times and put them in the bottom of your shoes or boots. This will insulate, absord moisture and provide cushioning from the hard streets.

2 - Line your hat with paper towels or napkins to insulate and absorb sweat. Replace as needed at fast food joints. Added tip - avoid eating fast foods.

3 - Wear fingerless wool gloves. They keep you warm but free to manipulate the camera controls.

4 - Stow an extra set of camera batteries in your shirt pocket under your coat to keep them warm and working.

Snow stopped but sun never really busted out. Surge of busses on regular routes, passing the time, collecting pensions. Blank gray sky, dogs barking in protest nearby.

Image ... Wake. By Wes Adams.

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