Warren Mitchell’s “Beyond the Basics” photography class met again last night. This week’s assignment was to take photographs of patterns. Though I’ve learned a lot about photography during the past week, I didn’t feel my photographs of patterns turned out especially well. It’s difficult to take good photographs of patterns. Still, I liked these:

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[photo of a gas meter on bright red wall] [photo of mossy bricks] [photo of wallball courts]
[photo of aluminum siding] [photo fungus on stump] [photo of car in woods]

I love the bright red wall in the photo of the gas meter: it’s the side of the Les Schwab tire store in Canby. I need to determine how far the red extends so that I can use it as a background for future photographs. I also like the photo of the old car, Sputnik. Perhaps Virginia can comment on its history, since she and my Uncle Stan used to own the vehicle. (Technically, they probably still do own it.) Also: I suspect that many readers of this weblog spent long hours near those yellow walls — how many of you recognize the location?

While Warren looked through my photos, I mentioned that I’d just acquired a 20mm wide-angle lens and a 105mm macro lens. “Ah, you’ve caught the bug,” he said.

Warren continued to look through the class’ pictures, giving advice on how to improve our compositions. He recommends carrying a ladder in order to alter the camera’s point-of-view. He recommends carrying clippers in order to remove unwanted leaves and branches. He recommends carrying various filters to alter the color cast of the exposure, portable reflectors to enhance lighting, a spritz bottle to dampen certain subjects. Photography is not a hobby for somebody on a budget.

“You’re trying to get me to spend more money, aren’t you, Warren?” I said. “How can I afford all that?”

“Get a second job,” he replied.


On 24 January 2003 (06:21 AM),
Paul said:


I know those yellow walls but in a different capacity than most of the readers. I bet to some readers the walls look much smaller now than they used to.

On 24 January 2003 (07:50 AM),
joelah said:

My vote’s for the shroom stump; very arresting image.

On 24 January 2003 (09:29 AM),
Jeremy said:

I recognize the walls also. Although I never attended school there. The stump is definitely the coolest.

On 24 January 2003 (10:06 AM),
tammy said:

Mercy! I had no idea sputnik was still in grandpas woods! Oh the hours spent playing in that thing! A childhood forever gone!

On 24 January 2003 (10:22 AM),
J.D. said:

Yes, Sputnik is still in grandpa’s woods, but time has not been kind to the old beast.

As you can see from the photograph, a tree fell across the car’s front end sometime during the fall. (The car was tree-free when I was back in the woods last summer.) The doors have rusted off completely, and there’s moss growing on them. A sapling of some sort has taken root inside the car.

I ought to find a photograph of Sputnik from the mid-70s so that the non-Roths can see the thing in all its regal splendor. Such as it was.

On 24 January 2003 (12:27 PM),
Virginia said:

I’m sitting in a cold family room after Tammy called with a command “you’ve got to see JD’s web site today” Rushing to the computer before the fires were even started for the day, I looked at JD’s web site. Oh, the memories. I enlarged sputnik and called to Stan to “Come look” I didn’t tell him what it was and his first comment was “that looks like a Warren Mitchell special…That’s Sputnik.” If you look at Warren’s note cards you will see why Stan called it a Warren Mitchel special. Anyhow, Sutnik was purchased by Granpa Roth for a work rig. The family car at that time was a 1939 plymouth, replaceing an old Ford that you could see the road passing by under it as you drove to Zion every Sunday morning. Sputnik was a 1937 plymouth and was thus called Sputnik because it had a wiring problem. You see everytime you put on the brakes the headlights would come on, so you could blink your way down the road and look like … well, Sputnik who at that time was circling the earth. I think the headlights worked well otherwise. Stan purchased it in 1960 to haul chittum in and at that time he was employing a small brother-in-law (Steve) to help peel bark. Steve’s envolvment in the drug harvest industry was related to the comment Steve made to one of the teachers at Canby High School. It seems Steve had a very high IQ and one day the teacher asked him what he was going to do with his life and he answered, “be a bum and peel chittum” GROAN… By the way, if Warren wants to photograph Sputnik, tell him you want a finders fee. 🙂

On 25 January 2003 (09:02 PM),
Virginia said:

I really like the maple stump. Did you find that in grandpa’s woods?

On 27 January 2003 (12:27 PM),
Virginia said:

Where are you? I am in the habit of reading these things and now you don’t change it for a couple of days. I’m thinking there will be som great pictures when you return. 🙂

On 29 January 2003 (10:30 AM),
Rexs13 said:

Nice fungi pic. You found a Tramates species possibly versicolor. Members of this genus are used for medicinal purposes.

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