Project: North Tract

The North Tract, National Agricultural Center, Ft. Meade, Maryland.
The North Tract, National Agricultural Center, Ft. Meade, Maryland.

Communicating Arts has a large file of gorgeous landscape and nature photographs made on what was once a combat training site for the U.S. Army.  Back when I was shooting, the “North Tract”, also known as the Patuxent Research Refuge, was treated as a Wildlife Management Area with a managed Federal hunting program that had grandfathered in that use of the land when the tanks were sent south to Arlington, Texas.  I partook.

And navigated with compass and map.

And when permitted, took a camera along.

The digital files made from 35mm were scanned at 2400-dpi and the jpegs diminished for the dial-up web of the day.

Times have changed.

The resident scanning device, which has been at my station for a while, scans at 5,000-dpi and broadband Internet has grown up.  Editions of editing tools like Lightroom and Photoshop have also advanced.  As it is still winter and I remain active as a photographer, the day has come to dig out those old files and prepare them for online display and print sales via Fine Art America (for the time being).

From about 2006-2007, the advent of blogging and broadband and numerous online communities and services, all old enough to remember the darkroom’s “soup” have been through a chaotic journey along myriad contours of the digital frontier.  We’ve made friends on Facebook and Google+, have launched inventory across social media and services like Flickr, have worked on e-retailing with such as Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, and Fine Art America — and I would venture to suggest we have learned that it is possible online to simply run out of energy and time doing nothing more than communicating.

On clear weather days and come the end of winter, there will be more fieldwork from Communicating Arts — landscapes and nature, travel — but the journey through this period, 2007-2015 has been broad, chaotic, energetic across quite a few areas of interest and skill.  Having grown wide, it may be time to narrow down some or recalibrate relations between a “trifecta” in the arts: “writer, musician, and photographer” — all true — may be finally ready to settle down.

Reflection and ripple at the North Tract, Patuxent Research Center, Maryland.
Reflection and ripple at the North Tract, Patuxent Research Center, Maryland.

 

Note to Self as Caretaker of a Vast Web Estate

Saint Paul's Lutheran Church, Strasburg, Virginia, October 18, 2
Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, Strasburg, Virginia, October 18, 2014

 

Not all channels, links, and paths will take my fans, followers, and general creative writing, music, and photography readers to the Fine Art America page (psst: where prints may be purchased): however, I am asking the familiar tough questions here, chief among which is, “Do I wish to remain in business throughout 2015?”

Hell yes!

That was easy.

For one thing, I’ve been “all in” for years with Communicating Arts and the related e-mail address anchoring a fair part of my life.  In essence, I made myself — symbolically, cybernetically, virtually — an institution and much beside: “Miniversity”; “Bar, Grill, and Home Theater” (oh yeah); and, of course, “The Library” as well as the “mansion inside a cottage inside an apartment on the eastern edge of western Maryland.”

Our lives with computers may not have begun so accidentally: IBM and Bill Gates knew where they were going before Apple showed them a whole other way of living.  However, 2006-7 broadband x blogability x that War on Terror x Facebook (Google+ not so much for me, thanks anyway) brought quite a kit to the affording Everyman’s desktop: social networking, shopping, pizza delivery.  Yay.  Now I am wondering which of my links, early (like Oppenheim Arts & Letters), redundant (but more real, less all business, like J. S. Oppenheim — All Together) or successful but, alas, not remunerative (yet) like BackChannels (it’s approaching 12,000 view annually in an arcane area — political psychology) should I wish to cut and all content lose?

“You wanna keep that old blog alive, you better pay up!”

Five easy blogs (I still think Communicating Arts: The Journal looks cool): would just one do?

Setting old history aside, I’m inclined to more deeply mine my digital and film assets in photography and better work the “Fine Art America” outlet.  That mission’s either already sitting on the drives or in old negative and 35mm slide files.

However, I have lost the will to post one image, essentially, in a half-a-dozen different online spaces!

Forgive a not-so-old but older man for tiring at last and in need of a few projects focused and routinized.

Composing and playing music . . . would have been much, much easier than all of this sprawl across multiple artistic and intellectual dimensions and its concordance counted in blogs and Facebook circles.

To manage the transition from an HTML web and a higher-priced e-mail host, I dealt myself a reseller’s account on a popular platform, so I have got this primary page-and-mail space, and I and it are going to be around this year.

Homes in the Countryside, Strasburg, Virginia, October 18, 2008.
Homes in the Countryside, Strasburg, Virginia, October 18, 2008.

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Archive – Snaps – Gettysburg National Memorial Park, May 30, 2010

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