austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

On a cloud of sight I drift in the night

I'm near the end of the anniversary album project. Actually, I'd like it to be ended today so that I can send it all off and get printing started since it has to be in my mother's hands next Sunday, but my sister-in-law was not able to get any pictures of her division of the family in this week and will try sending something rush rush rush Sunday night. Here's hoping there's no unexpected delays or mail strikes or anything. In any case, stuff that I've learned over the project:

  • My family as a rule takes great pictures. But we keep taking pictures of places and things and forget to photograph people. Any of us could make a living as postcard photographers, though.
  • My father's parents were not invited to the wedding, one of the many incidents of hostility between my mother and them which were heavily not mentioned while we were growing up, and at least on my side only dimly sensed. (I'm rather certain my mother and my grandfather reconciled as they did talk to each other easily in my recollection, although mother-grandmother relations were never warm except the time grandmom set the dining room table on fire, which we're pretty sure was an accident.)
  • The priest who married my parents? Turned out to be a pedophile.
  • Apparently there is still some in-family controversy about who should have been in the bridal party. My father recommended not using those particular photographs.
  • I gaze into bunny_hugger's eyes, and hold her cheeks in my hands, exactly the way my father gazes and holds my mother. You might think, well, of course I do, except that while my parents are deeply in love, they're not demonstrative. Either I picked it up from the moments when the romance of the scene overwhelms them, as at weddings and anniversary dinners, or we inherited it from some common pop cultural source, or I just inherited it from my father.
  • No sane person could doubt whether my parents were faithful to each other, at least in the interactions which produced me and my siblings. Strip away the fadedness of old photo prints and the fadedness of old fashions and we could pass for the generation before us.
  • I did not wear a shirt which was even remotely attractive or flattering to me until about 1998.
  • My grandfather (father's father) seems to have spent his life warping into hyperspace whenever someone had a camera, or else he insisted on holding the camera, since there are actually more pictures of my sister, if you can imagine, and she lets herself be photographed about as often as she lets herself be hospitalized by a bad human-horse interaction event.
  • The five-pounder cat can be spooked out of the study, which she's normally not allowed in but where the scanner is, by holding up your hand in a fist and shooting it out at her while saying ``Zah!'' as in the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiment ``The Touch Of Satan''. This is not really a photo discovery but it came up along the way.

Trivia: Cameras taken to the lunar surface on Apollo 11 included the Hasselblad camera mostly held by Neil Armstrong on the surface, a backup Hasselblad not brought out (lacking the reseau plate putting calibration crosses on the image), and the ``Gold Camera'', a stereoscopic camera heavily promoted by Dr Thomas Gold but not much used. Source: First Man: The Life Of Neil A Armstrong, James R Hansen.

Currently Reading: The Invention Of Air: A Story Of Science, Faith, Revolution, And The Birth Of America, Steven Johnson.

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