Monday, January 18, 2010

Photography, travel, history.

A Vicarious trip to Taxco. Thanks to Pernel S. Thyseldew. (Nom de Camera)

I’ve always admired great photography. Great photography starts with an artist’s eye and finishes with a technician’s ability. As you know, if you read this blog, I seek reality. (Things that you can hit with a hammer). I like machinery, and things that always work the same way, if treated the same way. I especially like big machines, and I like big scenes in photography. So, you can only imagine how much that I appreciate the photo’s that Pernell S. Thyseldew sent me from Taxco Mexico.

The Panorama of Taxco was “stitched together” out of nine different Photos. In has enough pixels to make a 30 inch photograph, and still remain sharp. (Don’t try this at home folks, Pernel is a trained professional)

I’m more of a technician than an artist, but, just like any critic, I don’t know diddley about photography, but I know what I like. A photographer’s job is to tell a story. These pictures do the job well. The church was built during a time when “Big” was a difficult job. The labor, detail and artistry in the construction of the church is made apparent by the photo.

The construction of the church started in 1751, nearly one-hundred years before the California Gold Rush. You’re probably wondering what that has to do with anything. But, the connection is, that it was built by the wealth gained from mining precious metals. The church was financed by funding from a silver mining tycoon by the name of José de la Borda, who had already made his fortune in mining by 1751. Mexico was already “civilized” by European influence for two-hundred years by then. That is three hundred years before Northern California even became a blip on the civilized map.

One rather humorous fact to me, is the legend of the construction of the church. The legend goes that during the early days of the church’s construction that a thunder storm gathered above the church site. All of the workers fell upon their knees and prayed to God for safety from the wicked lightning. “Suddenly, Santa Prisca shows up in the heights, holding his hands to prevent lightning from harming the people that were there. Then gradually disappeared. A painting in the temple honors this legend.”

The thing that I found so humorous about that legend, is that back in the Eighteenth Century, they prayed to God for protection from the lightning. Today, they probably still pray for protection, but my technicians eye noticed a lightning rod protruding from the top of the cross at the apex of the church. A humorous juxtaposition between faith in God, and a wise application of modern science, “that you could hit with a hammer“.

The Spanish influence in Taxco is almost complete. No building is seen that couldn’t have been built in Eighteenth Century Spain. Scenes like this make my mouth water to travel. I’ve not been to Mexico. I’ve been to a few places in the world, but unfortunately, not Mexico. I’ve never been comfortable with bartering for the things that I need, which I understand is part of Mexican life. Some people enjoy haggling, I don’t. I like to hear a price, and I take it or leave it. I don’t like feeling like “prey” if you get off the beaten path. I guess that is true of Humboldt County also, but I know where the paths are here.

Taxco is off the beaten tourist path, deep in the heart of Mexico, which in many respects makes it more appealing to me. But, the fact that I don’t have a good handle on the Spanish Language would make it very difficult for me to travel there without an interpreter. So, I find it hard to decide to go there. That, and the fact that I can stay interested in things while locked in a bushel basket. I could spend the rest of my like exploring things within a gas tank away from me. And, the more things that I know, the more things that I find to investigate. Life is an interesting condition for the curious!

Some Required links!
Old pictures of Garberville. On Pernel S. Thyseldew website

Places To Visit In My Virtual World. Pernel S. Thyseldew.



Anonymous said...

I love the old pictures of Garberville.
Maybe someone has some photos of the old sawmills in that country.



OREGON,you took the words right out of my mouth!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well, I don't know of any two better people to send me pictures of Sawmills than you two!

my email address is up there in the right hand corner of the front page. If enough people send me old pictures of sawmills I'll make a post out of them.

I know that you've already seen all of your pictures so you don't think that they're interesting. but the rest of us do.
So send them to me...

I could do a post on refrigerator pictures.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I do have a few aerial views of sawmills...


i have an aerial view of a mill in laytonville,but don't quite know how to send it?? can i scan it,then send it???

i also have some distance pics of the mill down by the Briceland bridge,taken from our house.but i don't think they are good enough??

also have a few logging pics taken out sprowl creek in the late 50's

BTW ERNIE,i stumbled across the Altimeter out of that plane that crashed down by the river!

photo contests said...

very well said. A better camera does not make better pictures-a better photographer does.

for beginners, it is best to get more time behind your camera which will lead to more passion and more experince plus it will be the main way in a few years to take photos. It's in the archer, not in the bow.

Anonymous said...

I always wanted to get into photography but it looks like to me that with photo shop all the good pictures can be made at home. Please tell me I am wrong.


kymk said...

I love Mr. Thystledew's photos and his site. (And I'm impressed and the level of detail that you notice--I'd have skipped right over the lightning rod and missed a good grin.)

Aunt Janet said...

Hey Ernie,
Since you have a fondness for big machinery, next time you are in the neighborhood you ought to stop by my mill and take a gander. I have three nice big machines in there. Pretty expensive, too. I'll be paying for them for a few more years. Then I get to make some money with my business. I just got my big felting machine last week. Wow! Anybody need some felt?

I've never been to Mexico either. If I do go, I want my daughter with me. Not only does she speak very good Spanish, she looks half Mexican, (or Thai, or Chinese, or Native American) She is half Chinese, but wherever she goes, folks thinks she is one of theirs. She is pretty cute, so that probably helps, too.

When I visited Hong Kong my second trip, I was using my poor Cantonese to communicate, and had a blast trying. They really appreciate the effort.

In Taiwan I bargained for some stone carvings. When we began negotiations the price was $200. As we were walking out the door, the price dropped to $2! You had better know what the price should be before you begin your bartering.

spyrock said...

thanks for the picture of the redwood inn. i believe that is where my kin was murdered by frank asbill in 1936. is that right ernie?
when i was at sedona doing the swim, steam and spa every night at the motel several canadians passing through said they were on their way to spend a month to 3 months in mexico. one said he was going to mazatlan which is just where things start getting tropical. taxco is quite a ways down there and probably an airplane to mexico city and a rental car the best way to get there.
i have 5 1/2 mexican grandchildren and none of them can speak spanish. although i do when i'm down there. it just comes to me. the further south you go the better it is. but you never know what to expect. it's better to just stick to the tourist places these days with the cartel killing people so much. if you go outside the tourist zone, you will get asked to buy this or that constantly. the people in mexico are great and so are the mexican kids i went to school with and who consider themselves americans. to me, it makes more sense to invade mexico and take out the cartel and bring democracy to our borders than waste our time invading a country like afganistan who has never been defeated in over 2000 straight years of fighting.

olmanriver said...

As I recall, the first sawmill in the area was built at the mouth of Sproul creek and the Southfork? I have been trying to get a confirmation of that.

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