Wednesday, March 30, 2011



The Lumix LX5 is a great camera. I still haven't spent any time with it's technical capability. It is small and fun to shoot with. The barrel adapter for 52mm threaded filters makes it feel more familiar and provides a place for my hand to stabilize shots. I love this camera!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sunday, March 27, 2011

True Fiddle

In 1914, a man with the wonderful name of Augustus W. True, signed his name and date, and “Yarmouth, Me.” into an incomplete instrument. It was placed into a small box. Perhaps the war had something to do with Mr. True’s abandonment of the instrument. The details are unclear, but my mom’s grandfather Benjamin received the box, where it stayed with he, then my grandmother. In 1943, my grandfather lost his brother Arthur to a sniper assault while relaxing in Italy. During the second war, my grandparents met. My grandfather’s people have been musicians for generations. The incomplete fiddle finally made it’s way from New Hampshire to Morgan county, Kentucky. There, my great grandfather Claude completed the instrument and played it until his death in 1966.

The late 1960’s were an interesting time. The True fiddle made it’s way back to grandpa in New Hampshire. Yet another war. My father made his way to New Hampshire, stationed at the same air base as my grandfather before, and met my mom. Soon, my brother Ben made his way to the world. The years wore on and the economic juggernaut wore our family down. Perhaps in retaliation, (though I think it was age and the New Hampshire winters) the grandparents left New Hampshire for California. Just like the Led Zeppelin song. At 20 years old, I finally got to know my grandparents. I played a lot with grandpa. He had records and stories, and books of photographs of Morgan county that were published by Lynn B. Nickell. A great number of these photographs were taken by my great grandfather Claude. Only one wooden tripod, now with Wayne at the Pansy School, remains of this amazing personal legacy.

Grandpa always spoke of this father with a warmth and honor. He said nice things about Claude. It was unusual to hear the Kentuckian pronounce ‘father’ like a New Englander. In 1993, he was playing a 1906 Martin bowl back, tater-bug mandolin. It was given to him by contest French-Canadian fiddler Joe Robichaud from Maine. When grandpa died in 2003, it was given to me. I became a mandolin player.

I felt that I carried the last remaining ember of the family musical legacy. It seemed that with the way things were going in the world and in our family, I would be the last. Writing today, in 2011, dear nephew has shown me otherwise.

Back to 2004. With some unexpected help from Ms. Richards’ father, and her own generous heart, I picked an excellent mandolin in 2004. I was also helped by the good folks at Gryphon Stringed Instruments who gave an $800 credit for a terrible instrument they did not sell me. It was made by Saga, and they felt that it was an embarrassment to their own distribution of these cheap instruments. The mandolin I play had a $4,200 price tag, but in the end, it was more like $2,400. If not for that instrument, my life would be very different.

The Augustus W. True violin found a home with me in Reno in 2006, but was soon resting in the town I where I was born until the summer of 2010. As soon as I arrived on the coast in late 2009, a friend Steve put me in touch with the uncle of my childhood best friend Robert. Small world.

Mr. Stansell and I had a good musical connection, and his tasteful fiddling impressed me. I endeavored to take this inspiration to my own fiddle aspiration at long last. I put some other parts on the fiddle (those parts are a long unnecessary story). At the father’s day bluegrass festival, I met a wonderful fiddler named Sam. She said that Mr. True’s fiddle “sounded like it was coming from far away.” I tried. Fiddling takes soul. It takes time. In a world where time is eroded from all sides, planning to learn an instrument that will take decades for proficiency is regarded with confusion.

But not by Mr. Stansell, who in two days last week, crafted a new nut, and modified the bridge. The Augustus W. True fiddle sounds amazing. A real fiddle. It is odd and idiosyncratic. The rough-shod repairs affect it’s tone. The long story of this fiddle seems to have just begun.

The first tunes ought to be Ashland Breakdown, and Sally Goodin, but we shall see. Thanks to the Richard Greene homespun DVD I’ve owned since 2004, I have wonderful help. Coupled with a love for R. Crumb’s visual art, Little Rabbit, brought to the world by the Crockett Mountaineers, and propagated by Richard and Robert separately, and is now a often played duet piece for Cliff and I.

It was a beautifully dramatic sunset drive to catch one of the best films ever made.

Photographer Kenji Kawano captures Tom Fannie (Naakaii Dine' é Clan) and Cody Dayish, father and son, Shiprock New Mexico

Thursday, March 24, 2011

All you need

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.

Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.

Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.

It's easy.

All you need is love.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday from the edge

Andrew D. Barron©3/13/11
Andrew D. Barron©3/15/11
Very flooded mouth of Greggs Creek.
Andrew D. Barron©3/16/11
There are so many more pictures, but my focus has not been for blogging. I have been loving shooting the Instax 210 and I put all of my shots into a beautiful collected album.

Peace (like a river),

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Wednesday

There was a break in the weather. I helped the bees warm up and eat. It was the most voracious consumption I have yet seen. The bees energy is depleted primarily from maintaining the nearly constant, very warm hive temperature. I have an number of additional photographs I will post soon, but I feel it important to check in with my blog readers. Thanks for stopping by. I fail to understand the lack of commenting or direct email to me despite the impressive global readership of this beautiful blog.
Bees, Andrew D. Barron ©3/14/11
Here is a shot from the iphone camera rig with a 52mm close up filter attached.
Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©3/14/11

My 17 months of photography by the sea has been exhilirating thus far. This image will likely stand as one of the greatest captures I will ever make.
Ophir beach wave, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron©1/18/10
I can likely improve the black and white conversion. This image, a meager 5mp fully automatic shot, holds up beatifully at 12”x16”.

Out my window, the sea appears to loom more full than usual. There are spots of blue sky after a monsoonal downpour for most of the last 18 hours. Greggs Creek marsh is flooded and the estuary is brimming full. Photos later.

Not long ago, I treated myself to an audio lecture from Joseph Campbell. Mr. Campbell was friends with Zen scholar D.T. Suzuki. It is important to recognize that the human response and need for mythology is a psychological discussion rather than more volatile arenas. In this talk of the cultural significance of mythology, my ears perked as he mentions photography.

Ophir sunset, Curry County, OR, Andrew D. Barron ©1/20/11Now I just want to speak about the phases in the development of any mythology; how does it start and what happens to it? I think that one could say this: that all of the high cultures and low cultures and primitive cultures and charming simple cultures and great big enormous ones have grown grown out of myths. They are founded on myths and what these myths have given is inspiration for aspiration.

The economic interpretation of history is for the birds.

Economics is itself is a function of aspiration. It's what people aspire to that creates the field in which economics works, and people who don't have any aspirations, you know the problem of a businessman who can't get people to want anything. It's the want, it's the aspiration, and what is wanted is not simply one two or three meals a day and a bed. That's not enough. It's got to be much more than that to make a life. Now where do these aspirations come from? They come from a very wonderful childlike thing: fascination. Now if you wanted to make money today, I think, I'm no economist, but I'll bet, the thing to do would be to invest your money in something like cameras; things that people play with, things that they're fascinated by.

These fascinations are the creations of new activities.

Joseph Campbell, Myths Give Inspiration for Aspiration.
Recorded March 1, 1967 at the Cooper Union, New York City. Series 1 in the collected lectures

Monday, March 14, 2011

Low Light / High Winds

Port Orford movie night. The LX5 does very good in low light.
Andrew D. Barron ©3/12/11
Andrew D. Barron ©3/12/11
Garrison Lake in the dark.
Andrew D. Barron ©3/12/11
Port Orford nights.
Andrew D. Barron ©3/12/11
Andrew D. Barron ©3/12/11
Andrew D. Barron ©3/12/11
Otter Point sunset. Definitely earned an ‘intrepid photographer’ merit badge. The wind was howling enough to carry away a mid-sized dog.
Andrew D. Barron ©3/13/11
Andrew D. Barron ©3/13/11
Andrew D. Barron ©3/13/11
Andrew D. Barron ©3/13/11

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Solace at Sisters

There is something special to me about these knobs of supremely shatterd Franciscan rocks assigned to the Gold Beach terrane. Their appearance on the horizon changes as one approaches and passes. There was a huge public fiasco in 1982 as someone claimed rights to destroy them with dynamite for use as road gravel and rip rap. That is just the kind of thing that would normally sound like history, but in this case, Sisters Rocks became part of the state park system. From the parking area, the stately Sisters form triangles with the sea.
Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
Respect for the awesome power of the sea is within me somewhere as I shoot. Such a catastrophic reminder directly west from home. Today, I take ‘pitchers.’
Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
Have I mentioned that I have a great time shooting with the Hipstamatic in the Bubo? Yeah, I think I have. It is a perfect complement when weary from trying to capture ‘good’ shots with the better cameras. I stay out shooting longer. And as seen in yesterday’s entry, I just like holding the darned hunk of metal of the Owle Bubo.
Surf at Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
Surf at Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
Surf at Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
Infrared sunset from the ‘great spot.’
Sun sets on a tsunami day, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
Hipstamatic & Bubo take a moment as the evening sun is sinking low.
Sun sets on a tsunami day, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
So we played. Andrew, Tim, Randy, Cliff from the Instax 210.
Boys, Andrew D. Barron ©3/11/11
It was a notably powerful night of musical comraderie. We each earned almost $7 in tips for our three hours.

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