I LOVE old family pictures and recently received this one from my father. In this Tolsma family photo is my paternal grandmother (standing on the left) with her parents and siblings. My great-grandfather passed away in 1935 but my great-grandmother (wearing glasses) lived until my high school years and my siblings and I were fortunate to know her. I’m guessing this photo would have been taken in the mid to late 1920s based on my grandmother’s age and the age of her youngest brother (born 1924 I believe). My great grandparents both came from the Netherlands at a young-ish age and married in Minnesota. As a kid I remember my father talking about all his aunts and uncles but I was generally confused — couldn’t remember who was who, etc. Now that I’m grown I wish I knew so much more about all the family history.
One thing I notice when looking at this portrait is the amazing resemblance between the members of the Tolsma family and the descendants I grew up with — brothers, sisters, cousins, more distant cousins, my own children — I see all their faces in these faces. Kind of weird, but in a cool, amazing way.
For family reunions my maternal grandfather has written up and handed out a history of their family and we really enjoy it. I’m inspired to write one about our family and update it over the years. Even if our life seems rather mundane at present, I’m certain that future generations will appreciate having it preserved and shared with them. I hope that the pictures I’m taking (like our family portrait below) are treasured by those born many, many generations from now in the same way I treasure the photo above.
During my not-a-photo-trip to Paris and London this past spring I still managed some interesting (IMO) shots. This image taken in the Great Court inside the British Museum has been one of my favorites from the standpoint of its composition and the contrast of the blues and greens against the drab-ish stone. Again, that’s just my opinion of course.
I’ve had difficulty processing this image, however. I really wanted to process as an HDR and the three original handheld exposures were extremely difficult to line up properly. I’ve noted that when shooting wide angles a slight bit of movement and/or rotation between exposures makes a huge difference. Because of this, Photomatix did a very poor job of alignment and this left a lot of ghosting in the image. Of course, I had the ability to mix the tonemapped image with the original exposures but it was proving to be a lot of work to tweak pieces of each layer to line up with the section I wanted to mask it into. It also took more work than usual to get the original exposures looking just right in order to match the main image. I pushed the texture and HDR-ishness farther than I normally do…just because it seems to work here.
One mistake that I couldn’t overcome was the fact that the light coming through the glass roof was blown out in all the exposures. I call that a “mistake” but I really wasn’t taking the time to think through all the shots because I was doing very well at keeping the trip about time with my wife, not about photography. Heath O’Fee has a good post about mistakes like this by the way — they don’t always ruin the shot [Here’s the link: http://yycofee.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/mistakes/].
Well, there it is — one of *my* favorite images.