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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




PARIS by Robert Frank

PARIS by Robert Frank

PARIS by Robert Frank

PARIS by Robert Frank

PARIS by Robert Frank

'PARIS' is the first time that the significant body of photographs which Robert Frank made in Paris, in the early 1950's, have been brought together in a single book.

His visit to Paris in 1951 was his 2nd return to Europe after he had settled in New York City in 1947 and some of the images he made during that visit have become iconic in the history of the medium.
The 80 photographs selected by Robert Frank and Ute Eskildsen suggest that Frank's experience of the new world had sharpened his eye for European urbanism.
He saw the city's streets as a stage for human activity and focused particularly on the flower sellers. His work clearly references Atget and invokes the tradition of the flaneur.

Robert Frank (b.09Nov1924 – d.09Sep2019) was a Swiss photographer and documentary filmmaker, who became an American binational.
His most notable work, the 1958 book titled 'The Americans', earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider's view of American society.
Critic Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said 'The Americans' "..changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it; it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century".

160 pages | 19 x 22.5 cm
English | ISBN 978-3-86521-524-6
1. Edition 05/2008




Taxi, Journey through my windows - Joseph Rodriguez

Taxi, Journey through my windows - Joseph Rodriguez

Taxi, Journey through my windows - Joseph Rodriguez

Taxi, Journey through my windows - Joseph Rodriguez

Taxi, Journey through my windows - Joseph Rodriguez

The idea of making photographs while driving a cab is apparently not a novel idea. I don't know these photographers, but they are mentioned to have worked in that way too: Ryan Weideman, Michael Goldfarb, David Bradford and Matt Weber.
In this new monograph from Joseph Rodriguez, we see some of his finest images from his time behind the wheel.

I very much like Rodriguez’s photography. Some are clearly very candid and others imply at least some tacit coöperation from the subject.
Rodriguez clearly has high regard for humanity, this shows in his work. He equally loves the beautiful bits and the ugly bits of what makes us human.
A New York cabbie could have gone wholly in either direction but Rodriguez didn’t. He remained true to documenting the delicate dance that is the human condition in action.

I like this PowerHouse book, they did a wonderful job with this one.
'Taxi' is a great collection of photography from a particular moment in New York City history. And it is a welcome addition to my growing collection of photobooks on 'New York City', time for me to go there too!
I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to any collector of fine photography monographs.

132 Pages | ISBN: 9781576879313




'A History in 100 Iconic Images'
Coverphoto is by Jeff Mermelstein, also discussed in previous book (p.124) below.

Inge Morath (p.42/43)

Ikkō Narahara (p.46/47)

René Burri (p.76/77)

Bogdan Dziworski (p.96/97)

François Le Diascorn (p.160/161)

Graciela Magnoni (p.162/163)

David Gibson has been writing about photography for some time. He's also a photographer himself.
He has long been associated with the controversial (and now defunct) photography collective, In-Public.

This is a wonderful book, a book that has captured many of the greatest names in street photography and perhaps more importantly discover others.

The book, as a whole, is an admirable stab at what I am sure was no easy project.
Gibson speaks of this challenge in a self-effacing way. He explains to the reader the various things one might notice – the limited number of women, the choice of one 'iconic' image per photographer, or, even, whether to include photographs which, in his judgment, are (allegedly) 'set up'.

The book opens with some of the usual suspects – Edward Steichen, HCB, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, William Klein, Vivian Maier, Diane Arbus, and Mary Ellen Mark.
Some more obscure, but certainly talented, names also appear, which for me was the main attraction of this book.

There's a good number of more international names included in the anthology – Werner Bischof, Thomaz Farkas, Ferdinando Scianna, Raghu Rai, and Ramon Masats, to name but a few.
It is clear that Gibson made a significant effort to make the book truly international in scope and he seems to have succeeded.
On the subject of including women, there are only 13 women photographers among the 100.
Women and minorities need to be sought out. The action must be deliberate. It is a blemish on this book (in my selection I have tried to remedy that) but with this caveat in mind, it is a wonderful book to browse and one may consider other books to purchase!

streetphotography.com/book-review-street-photography- - -/



Street Photography Now
Matt Stuart is responsible for the excellent coverphoto (p.188)
Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth & Stephen McLaren (Thames & Hudson, 2010)

Street Photography Now

Street Photography Now
Maciej Dakowicz (p.32)

Street Photography Now
Thierry Girard (p.66)

Street Photography Now
Paul Russell (p.168)

Street Photography Now
Ying Tang (p.194)

Street Photography Now
Nick Turpin (p.206)

Street Photography Now
Alex Webb (p.216)

Street photographers aim to capture the beauty of everyday (street)life. 'Street Photography Now' showcases the work of 46 photographers, all recognised for their inspirational depictions of the day-to-day.
Included among them are Magnum Photo members Bruce Gilden, best known for his candid close-ups of people on the streets of NYC, and Alex Web, whose colourful and complex images have made their way in to the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic. There's also a collection of work from some emerging street photographers depicting life in New York, Tokyo and Delhi.

It is impossible to select a 'Best Of'-selection with photographers such as Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr, Raghu Rai, Michael Wolf and those menTioned earlier, but I have selected a few that are closest to my heart and are not among the most iconic and obvious. 

With 301 images to look through and multiple conversations between the photographers on the genre,
one is sure to find some street art inspiration here.
The book will probably be instrumental in acquiring many more photobooks, plenty of excellent work to choose from!




Aelbert Cuyp @Dorecht Museum

Aelbert Cuyp @Dorecht Museum

Aelbert Cuyp @Dorecht Museum

Aelbert Cuyp @Dorecht Museum

Aelbert Cuyp @Dorecht Museum

Aelbert Cuyp was born in Dordrecht on 20 October 1620, and died there on 15 November 1691.

Dordrecht had the Cuyp family of painters: father Jacob Gerritsz., son Aelbert and the latter’s uncle Benjamin Gerritsz. Cuyp.
Aelbert Cuyp is one of the greatest Dutch landscape painters, but his work is scarce in Dutch museums: the vast majority of his pictures were sold to foreign collectors in the 18th and 19th century. Over the years, the Dordrechts Museum managed to acquire important pieces by Cuyp and is now able to display his oeuvre in all its versatility.
Work by Gainsborough, Constable and Turner were also on display (a.o.), showing inspiration by Cuyp's light...

Aelbert Cuyp's Dutch landscapes are characterised by a warm, golden glow. Cuyp borrowed it from artists who had visited Italy, such as Jan Both. Cuyp himself never travelled abroad.

In addition to almost 30 of Cuyp's most important paintings - including from England and America - one can admire here for the duration extensive work by British painters who were inspired by Cuyp.

The story of Dordrecht's greatest painter is unique. Cuyp was a completely local artist in his time, virtually unknown outside his hometown.
He lived and worked in Dordrecht all his life and the buyers of his landscapes almost all came from his birthplace. Only after his death was he discovered by English collectors and artists.
From ± 1750 a true Cuyp-rage came into effect.
The British aristocracy was so fond of the sun-drenched landscapes that ca. 1800 no important work by Cuyp could be found in the Netherlands, all had gone abroad. In the large English country houses, a Cuyp could not be missed.

'In the light of Cuyp' shows many works not previously shown in the Netherlands by British artists such as Richard Wilson, Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, J.M.W.Turner, Richard Parkes Bonington, Augustus Wall Callcott and John Crome.
Queen Elizabeth II generously lent 2 masterpieces by Cuyp from the English Royal Collection Trust!
Also 3 landscapes of Cuyp from Woburn Abbey that have not been shown before in the Netherlands, have temporarily returned to the city where they were made.

www.museum.nl/nl/dordrechts-museum/- -/in-het-licht-van-cuyp (NL)



Gebroeders De Witt
Statue in Dordrecht of Johan & Cornelis de Witt

The brothers Johan (b.24Sep1625 – d.20Aug1672) & Cornelis de Witt (b.15Jun1623 – d.20Aug1672)
were astute and righteous republicans, they opposed the House of Orange-Nassau and the Orangists and preferred a shift of power from the central government to the regents.
However, their neglect of the Dutch army (as the regents focused only on merchant vessels, thinking they could avoid war) proved disastrous. The Dutch Republic suffered numerous early defeats in the 'Annus Horribilis" of 1672.
In the hysteria that followed, the effortless invasion by an alliance of England, France and some German states, both Johand and his brother Cornelis de Witt were blamed and subsequently lynched in The Hague.
The rioters were never prosecuted, and historians have argued that William of Orange may have incited them.




Dordrecht, Netherlands

Dordrecht, Netherlands

Saint Elisabeth's flood


Dordrecht, historically known in English as Dordt (still colloquially used in Dutch, pronounced 'Dort',
is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland.
It is the province's fifth-largest city after Rotterdam, The Hague, Zoetermeer and Leiden, with a population of 118,654.
Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and has a rich history and culture.

The name Dordrecht comes from Thuredriht (circa 1120), Thuredrecht (ca. 1200). The name seems to mean 'thoroughfare'; a ship-canal or -river through which ships were pulled by rope from one river to another, as here from the Dubbel to the Merwede, or vice versa.

The city was formed along the Thure river, in the midst of peat swamps. This river was a branch of the river Dubbel, which is part of the massive Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta complex.
Around 1120 reference to Dordrecht was made by a remark that count Dirk IV of Holland was murdered in 1049 near 'Thuredrech'. He's honoured by a statue, very Viking-like.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Dordrecht developed into an important market city because of its strategic location. It traded primarily in wine, wood and cereals. Dordrecht was made even more important when it was given staple right in 1299.
On 18–19 November 1421, the Saint Elisabeth's flood flooded large parts of southern Holland, causing Dordrecht to become an island. It was commonly said that over 10,000 people died in the flood, but recent research indicates that it was probably less than 200 people.
Around that same period there were two other major floods.
On 29 June 1457, the city was devastated by a fire which started in Kleine Spuistraat, destroying many buildings, including the Grote Kerk.

Wikipedia, more..



Arend Maartenshof @Dordrecht

Arend Maartenshof @Dordrecht

Arend Maartenshof @Dordrecht

Arend Maartenshof @Dordrecht

Arend Maartenshof @Dordrecht
Founded for 'women in need' and widows of soldiers fallen in battle

Het Arend Maartenshof is a courtyard in Dordrecht, in the Dutch province of South Holland.
The courtyard was built in 1625 and was named after the founder Arend Maartenszoon.
He was known as a money wolf and tried to improve his reputation by building 38 homes for poor women. By founding this courtyard, the namesake hoped to appease his conscience. For a long time, Arend Maartenszoon was more interested in collecting as much money as possible than caring for his fellow man. A bad reputation among his fellow townspeople and the church was the result of his greedy attitude.
In the Museumstraat, at number 56, a richly decorated Renaissance gate gives access to the courtyard of the Arend Maartenshof. Visitors are welcomed with the saying 'Vita Vapor' or 'life is a vapor' can also be read on the sandstone gate.

indordrecht.nl/locaties/arend-maartenszhof/ (NL)



Feitenkennis door Hans Rosling

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think is a 2018 book by Swedish physician, professor of international health at Karolinska Institute and statistician Hans Rosling with his son Ola Rosling and daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund.
The book was published posthumously a year after Hans Rosling died from pancreatic cancer.
In the book, Rosling suggests that the vast majority of people are wrong about the state of the world. He demonstrates that his test subjects believe the world is poorer, less healthy, and more dangerous than it actually is, attributing this not to random chance but to misinformation.

Hans Rosling (b.27Jul1948 – d.07Feb2017) was a Swedish physician (he also did field work in Africa), academic, and public speaker.
He was a professor of international health at Karolinska Institute and was the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software system.
He held presentations around the world, including several TED Talks in which he promoted the use of data (and data visualization) to explore development issues.
His posthumously published book Factfulness, coauthored with Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling, became an international bestseller.

Rosling's son, Ola Rosling, built the Trendalyzer software to animate data compiled by the UN and the World Bank that helped him explain the world with graphics.
Rosling co-founded the Gapminder Foundation together with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund to develop Trendalyzer to convert international statistics into moving, interactive graphics. The provocative presentations and his lectures using Gapminder graphics to visualize world development have won awards. The interactive animations are freely available from the Foundation's website.

In March 2007, Google acquired the Trendalyzer software with the intention to scale it up and make it freely available for public statistics. In 2008, Google made available a Motion Chart Google Gadget and in 2009 the Public Data Explorer.

Rosling recommends thinking about the world as divided into four levels based on income brackets (rather than the prototypical developed/developing framework) and suggests ten instincts that prevent us from seeing real progress in the world.
He criticizes the notion of dividing the world into the 'developed world' and the 'developing world' by calling it an outdated view. He shows that today most countries are 'developed' and the others are not how developing countries were when the term became popular. Instead, he offers a four category model based on income per person (adjusted for price differences):
Level 1: less than $2 a day
Level 2: $2–$8 a day
Level 3: $8–$32 a day
Level 4: $32+ a day
He says that the majority of the countries in the world are on Level 2 or Level 3. A select few countries are on Level 1 and Level 4.

When he was 20, in 1968, doctors told Rosling that there was something wrong with his liver and as a consequence, he stopped drinking alcohol. Aged 29, with a young family, he had testicular cancer which was successfully treated.
In 1989, he was diagnosed with hepatitis C.
Over the years this progressed and he developed liver cirrhosis. At the beginning of 2013, he was in the early stages of liver failure. However, at the same time, new hepatitis C drugs were released and he went to Japan to buy the drugs needed to treat the infection. He expressed concerns in the media over the restricted use of the new drugs due to high costs, stating that it is a crime not to give every person with hepatitis C access to the drugs.
Rosling was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016, and died of the disease on 07Feb2017.

This book is a legacy to get the facts correct and enables us to view the world with optimism.




Halssnoer en kalebas, Rechter Tie mystery

Ever since China sparked my interest during the 1980s, I find occasion to read or explore something on the subject, in whatever form. The 'Rechter (=Judge or Magistrate) Tie Mysteries' by Robert van Gulik offer an easy insight in China in historic times.
'Halssnoer' refers to the string of pearls that was stolen and 'Kalebas' to the gourd the monk Kalbas carries with him and refers to his view on life.

Dutchman van Gulik wrote historic crime novels in English; the translations into Dutch (including the name of the magistrate change from Judge Dee to Rechter Tie) are mostly by others.

Judge Dee (also, Judge Di) is the eponymous protagonist of Robert van Gulik's series of detective novels. The series is set in Tang Dynasty China and deals with various criminal cases solved by the upright Judge Dee (judges often play the investigator role in ancient Chinese crime stories).
The Judge Dee character is based on the historical figure Di Renjie (c. 630–c. 700), magistrate and statesman of the Tang court. During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) in China, a 'folk novel' was written set in former times, but filled with anachronisms.
Van Gulik found in the 18th century Di Gong An an original tale dealing with three cases simultaneously, and, which was unusual among Chinese mystery tales, a plot that for the most part lacked an overbearing supernatural element which could alienate Western readers. He translated it into English and had it published under the title Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee.
This gave van Gulik the idea of writing his own novels, set with the similar Ming anachronisms, but using the historical character. Van Gulik was careful in writing the main novels to deal with cases where Dee was newly appointed to a city, thereby isolating him from the existing lifestyle and enabling him to maintain an objective role in the books.
Van Gulik's novels and stories made no direct reference to the original Chinese work and so Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee is not considered to be part of the Judge Dee series.
Van Gulik also wrote series of newspaper comics about Judge Dee in 1964-1967, adding up to a total of 19 adventures. The first 4 were regular balloon strips, but the later 15 had the more typically Dutch textblock under the pictures.

Robert Hans van Gulik was born in 1910, in Zutphen,Netherlands and spent most of his youth in the Dutch East-Indies.
Later he studied several Asian languages, became a diplomat, indulged in scientific research and found himself a literary talent.
He passed away in 1967, in The Hague, Netherlands.

As a magistrate, Judge Dee was not only a judge, but also a city administrator and chief of police at the same time, acting with a mandate by the Emperor.
In this position, as a master detective, he solves a number of complicated murder cases in an astute manner. In this mysterie he is without his two assistants, Ma Joeng and Tsjiao Tai.

When Rechter Tie travels to Rivierstad (EN='Rivercity'), for some rest an recreation (fishing), he is confronted with the horrific murder of the cashier of the inn The Osprey on arrival in the city.
Is it related to the mysterious theft of the Third Princess' string of pearls in the highly restrictive Waterpalace ? Or is there more at stake than a simple theft?A diabolical sophisticated plot by secret organizations spins like a web around the Third Princess, who as a defenseless victim is trapped between the dark practices of her court...
He gets help from the mysterious monk Kalbas and the young woman, Anemone; but Tie needs his skills as a swordsman as well as his deductive & cunning skills as a detective to get to the bottom of the murder and conspiracies.




London Underground by Mike Goldwater (Hoxton Mini Press, 2019

London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater (Hoxton Mini Press)

London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater (Hoxton Mini Press)

London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater (Hoxton Mini Press)

London Underground 1970-1980 by Mike Goldwater (Hoxton Mini Press)

Back in the 1970s, when it was still acceptable to talk, kiss and even smoke on the London Underground, Mike Goldwater spent years documenting chance moments of intimacy and humour across this iconic network of tunnels that live beneath the capital.
My first time in the London Underground must have been ca.1970, on a student exchange program. Alas, I wasn't into this sort of photography then; I know better know!

Mike Goldwater picked up a camera as a boy and has rarely been without one since. His London Underground pictures were his first project.
A professional photographer all his life, he was a founder member of Network Photographers and carried out assignments worldwide; photo stories, assignments and film projects have taken him to more than 70 countries.
Making images is his continuing passion, no doubt an inspiration to many.

ISBN: 978-1-910566-61-9
128pp, cloth spine, 156mm x 196mm.

hoxtonminipress.com/- - -/london-underground-1970-1980


New York by Elliott Erwitt

New York by Elliott Erwitt

New York by Elliott Erwitt

New York by Elliott Erwitt

Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College. In 1948 he moved to New York and exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research.
Erwitt traveled in France and Italy in 1949 with his trusty Rolleiflex camera. In 1951 he was drafted for military service and undertook various photographic duties while serving in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France.

While in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Security Administration.
Stryker initially hired Erwitt to work for the Standard Oil Company, where he was building up a photographic library for the company, and subsequently commissioned him to undertake a project documenting the city of Pittsburgh.
In 1953 Erwitt joined Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier's, Look, Life, Holiday and other luminaries in that golden period for illustrated magazines.
To this day he continues to work for a variety of journalistic and commercial outfits.

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” — Elliott Erwitt

www.all-about-photo.com/photographers/- - -/elliott-erwitt



La Promesse (The Promise)

In the heart of the Landes region (France), with the great storm of 1999 raging, 11-year-old Charlotte Meyer vanishes without a trace. Police Captain Pierre Castaing, the head of the investigation, is forced to release his prime suspect, Serge Fouquet, for lack of evidence.
Another suspect, Tony, is earmarked by the local community as the paedophile responsible for the disappearance of Charlotte.
Twenty years later, Castaing's daughter Sarah, now a young detective in the Child Protection Brigade, discovers the case of another missing girl that points to the same suspect.
Her father succumbed to the failure of finding Charlotte, thus she resolves to bring Serge Fouquet to justice and restore her father's reputation.
Six episodes of French crime drama, some scenes superfluous to the narrative I thought, but generally an entertaining crime drama.





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Created: 02-JUL-2021