Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Love Faith Holiness Church

I found this little church along Rt. 17 in Beaufort County North Carolina. I stopped and quickly photographed it and was on my way. Later, I started thinking about the people who worship here. I wondered if their faith was stronger than those who are a part of a wealthy congregation and attend large, lavish ornate cathedrals. I wondered if the place of worship makes a difference in the strength and dedication of the faith.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Traditional Photography is Dying

I think traditional photography, as I have practiced it for the past 37 years, is basically dying a quick death. But you say that photography is photography whether one uses film, glass plates, direct exposure of paper or with a digital camera (or is it a computer with a lens?). I believe one can rationally distinguish between digital capture and chemically-based capture. As has been said elsewhere, for example by Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer, when light strikes a piece of film, the photons create a change in the film itself. It is latent until developed, but nevertheless, a change in the physical property of the film has occurred. When photons strike a digital sensor, an electrical impulse is created, software converts the 'analog' photons to a digital signal which is stored on a circuit board. Nothing physically has changed. It really isn't much different than a copy machine that you would find in most offices.

Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing nor a good thing. Photography is just irreversibly changing. However, I find there is a certain quality that photographs produced by silver halide coated film and paper provides that has, to me, a very pleasing effect. Digital does not have the same properties. I don't know how to describe it, but plasticky may be close. I find it interesting that software developers are producing programs that emulate different types of film. I guess other miss that quality also.

I find that digital capture produces better color photographs than any color negative film or transparencies that I have ever used. However, I believe traditional film still has the edge in black & white. Also, I have produced better prints using a computer and high quality inkjet printer, both in color and black & white, then any I have produced in a darkroom over the past 31/2 decades.

Lastly, it's only an image until a print is made. Then it's a photograph. Go print you images. Don't just leave your negatives or slides filed or your digital files in a folder on your computer.


Thursday, September 13, 2007


I love history. I love railroads. One of the reasons I love railroads is the role they played in the history, development and success of the United States. Without the railroads this country would never have become the super economy it is today. I think of the most important role played by the railroads was one of constructing the arteries throughout the nation that allowed our country to move commodities and people in large quantities to the vast undeveloped areas throughtout the west, southwest and northwest--to spur development and expansion in a much more efficient manner.

It was extremely hard working on the railroads. I admire those men who worked on the railroads (I'm not sure any women worked on the railroads in the 19th century, but if they did, I admire them also). It was dangerous, back-breaking, and offered very little reward. But men did it to eat and feed their families. I don't suspect the reward was much more than basic sustenance.

I grew up in a part of the country that was peppered with steel mills. My grandfather immigrated from Austria-Hungary and worked in a steel mill until the day he died. Working in a steel mill is similar to working on the railroad in its danger and required physical efforts. I am thankful for all of those men and women who worked endlessly to build the infrastructure of this country so all of us can enjoy what we have today.

The interstate highway system gradually took the place of the railways. As this country changed from primarily a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy the Internet is now taking over for the highway system. What will the future hold?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A day of Rememberance

I flew my flag today. I flew it just like I flew it each September 11th for the past 6 years. In fact, I flew it everyday from September 11, 2001 until September 11, 2002. I flew it as a daily tribute to all those who senselessly died at the hands of religious fanatics. I am so proud to be an American citizen, to enjoy boundless freedoms and to have the infinite good fortune that has come my way.

I like to think I am fairly well informed. I like to think I am fairly well read. That being said, I don't know of another country on earth that provides so many opportunities for an individual to achieve success, pursue happiness and live a worthwhile life. Those are a powerful combination.

I find that, even though I live a relatively normal life, in the back of my mind I keep alive the thoughts of just how life has changed since September 11, 2001. In the back of my mind, somewhere deep inside my brain, I subconsciously think about where and when the next senseless attack will take place in this country. It's sad.

God bless those who have lost their lives and those families and friends left behind to grieve. I hope we have all learned lessons from these events.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Something new...

September 8, 2007

I have had a photographic website for some years. In fact, I have two. They have become cumbersome as it takes quite an effort to update them. The upshot is that they have not been updated in some time and, in that, I have disappointed my viewers and ultimately, myself.

Also, several years ago, I started sending out a weekly photograph to a small number of friends. At first, the list was small, but as the word spread, the list has grown quite large. When the effort began, I called it the PAW, or Photo of the Week. It was an effort to create an "interesting", not necessarily good, photo each week and post it on my website. The PAW was an outgrowth of my membership on the LUG (Leica Users Group) which became, and remains, a project for many members. (It was the idea of Kyle Cassidy) Over time, I started added a commentary of random thoughts and eventually changed the name of the email the "Postcard...".

That brings us to the present and my efforts to find an alternative means to express my thoughts and garner some satisfaction from photography by sharing with others.

Very seldom do I go out specifically to take photographs. However, I carry a camera with me almost always. I have practiced becoming acutely aware of my environment and I tend to see things, or pieces of things, that I believe will make an interesting photograph. Most people never see the majority of things that I notice and find interesting. Serendipity is a good word to describe the photographs I find and record.

If you have any interest in looking at my way out of date websites please look at:


I hope you enjoy what you see and read and I would be interested in your constructive comments. Enjoy!

Dennis A. Mook