Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Friend, His Treasures and Something Weird

On a recent autumn afternoon I took my camera and journeyed out to the backwoods home of a dear friend.
Called Griz by all who know him, he is a man of many talents and wonderful collections. His basement, which is cleverly disguised as a cluttered mess, holds an array of marvels and oddities. This first picture gives a small notion of the initial visual impact of this treasure trove; I call your attention particularly to the unremarkable blue tub in the lower right - it will figure largely in my story as it takes a turn for the weird.

Griz is first and foremost a knapper. He chips magnificent blades and arrowheads out of stones and bits of colored glass. Some he sets into knife handles, many he sells loose to artisans who use them in their own work.
He also makes drums for the Powwow community; everything from small hand-held drums to the large drums used in the center of the circle. All of his drums are made with wood he harvests and skins he tans. There really isn't much that this self-sufficient man cannot do without any assistance from factories or manufacturers.
One of my favorite pictures from that day is this shot of Griz showing off his two-meter wooden feather. He tells a captivating story of watching a lightning bolt strike a tree and splinter it into rubble, leaving behind this incredible work of nature's art. It's one of the few things in his basement that will never be for sale.
So many treasures - too many to show in this post...
He has a penchant for beads and has a fabulous collection of glass chevron beads, both contemporary and antique.
He has a vintage Fender Bass guitar and yes, he can play it!
But in my title I promised you something weird, and here it comes...
When i first began snapping pictures I did not realize that I had my digital camera set to Landscape. Not the right setting for indoor pictures and I shot a few pictures before I realized my mistake and changed to a more appropriate indoor setting.
I didn't think much of it until I got home and downloaded the pictures to my computer.
Remember that blue tub? That perfectly opaque blue tub?
Well, look at this shot... I could not believe what I seemed to be seeing - it seemed I could see through to the contents, though that is surely impossible. Unwilling to believe what my eyes were telling me, I called Griz and asked him what was in that tub. That question confused him and I had to explain why I wanted to know. "A couple of folded blankets," was his answer.
Well holy crap! That certainly seems to be what I am seeing. Griz even made the trip to my house to see for himself and he was as amazed as I was/am.
So, to sum it up in question form, indoor pictures taken on the landscape setting allow the camera to see through heavy opaque plastic? I don't know, but my eyes certainly tell me that, as impossible as it seems, that is somehow exactly what has happened.
Of course, if any of you have a logical explanation, both Griz and I would love to hear it!


Anonymous said...

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Keith said...

Thank you for sharing your skills, I have just begun to work with a little leather and I found your blog very, very interesting.

aosLeather said...

Thank so much for your comments - have fun with your new skill set!

aosLeather said...

I got an explanation this morning that sounds very plausible. The writer had trouble posting to comments but was kind enough to email the explanation to me. Here it is, from cccrews:

the camera probably uses a color balance algorithm that acts like the old glass filters on film cameras.

inside lighting is usually tungsten based...yellow to film.
fluorescent tubes looks kind of green, etc.

the color that appeared opaque in his shop was probably filtered out by the outdoor setting when you shot your pictures.

hope that helps.

(Thanks for this gem of knowledge, cc! - Kathy)

Anonymous said...

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