January 28th, 2015
I’m sorry for the lack of posts recently. I’m still recovering from my recent illness and am very far behind in many things including posting on this blog. I’m doing much better, though my recovery is not yet complete and I’m still moving a bit slow. But I’m getting back into it and will try to post more often.
Today’s news is that the photo above of my friend, model, singer and actress, the multi-talented Ayn Kaethchen is in the current issue of French PHOTO magazine.
It’s their contest issue. Their annual photo contest is the largest in the world, according to the magazine. And I’ve long considered French PHOTO to be the best general circulation photo magazine in the world. So I enter their contest every year. For many, many years…I’ve lost count…I’ve had a photo in their contest issue nearly every year. I’ve been entering for so long that I used to have to send prints to France via snail mail. Can you imagine? They seem to like my work in France. It’s much better received there than in the US. Several years ago French PHOTO also invited me to send them some files to place in their on-line store to sell prints.
The photo was taken just a few miles from my home in Ohio.
Below is the page in the magazine. If you look closely you’ll see that my good friend Dave Rudin also has a photo on the same page. My friend Gary Mitchell also has a photo in this issue of the magazine.
By the way, this photo is included in Ayn’s 2015 calendar. It’s not too late to order a calendar. A great way to get a copy of this and other photos of the amazing Ayn. Just click on that link or on the calendars in the right column.
January 18th, 2015
I’m out of the hospital and slowly getting better each day, though I do think it will be at least a week, maybe two, before I will be approaching my usual level of abnormal. Thanks much for all your expressions of concern. This is the sickest I’ve ever been in my life, so it has been quite an experience for me. I’m very happy to be sitting up and only in minor pain at the moment.
I’ll get back to regular posting here soon.
On a happier note, while hospitalized I received notice that one of my photos was accepted by the Lightbox Gallery in Oregon for inclusion in their 2015 show, The Photographic Nude, which is “dedicated to the memory and the creative spirit of Ruth Bernhard.” Bernhard was a wonderful photographer and I’m honored to have my work in a show that remembers her.
Here’s a link to the page about the show on the gallery’s website:http://lightbox-photographic.com/shows/the_pn2015
January 15th, 2015
I’d like to share a few thoughts about my recent interface with the Medical/Industrial Complex.
A brief recap of what happened to me:
I got sick with what appeared to be the flu. Actually, it was a drug reaction to an antibiotic I was taking for the aftereffects of bronchitis. I was on the next to the last day of a two-week course of the antibiotic, so I didn’t suspect it might be the problem, and I kept taking it for a day after the reaction started. That made me very sick.
I went to the ER where the doctor originally diagnosed me with a “stomach bug” and signed my discharge, saying I’d be fine in a day or two. But he took a second look when he saw that I appeared to be getting worse. At that point he noticed the head-to-toe rash that I had developed and realized it was probably a drug reaction.
Wanting to be sure of the problem, the doctor ordered several tests, leading to a lumbar puncture to look at my spinal fluid because meningitis was a possibility.
I was admitted to the hospital where I spent several days recovering.
I’m now out of the hospital recovering, not from the drug reaction, but rather from the spinal tap. They tell me I will need 3-4 weeks to fully recover. Right now just writing this at my computer is pushing me to the limits of what I’m physically able to do.
If you look that over you will see that everything, except the original lung issue from the bronchitis, was all a result not of disease, but rather a result of medical treatment.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about the care I received. Far from it. I was very sick, the sickest I’ve ever been, and they cured me. I’m glad.
And I’m not a Luddite. I appreciate modern medical science and the great improvements in the health of nearly everyone as a result of the great health care we enjoy in our country.
Every single person I encountered in the health care system during this misadventure was wonderful, caring and obviously highly skilled.
But, I have to wonder if I might have been better off with care that wasn’t quite so great. If instead of being concerned about other possible problems, what would have happened if I had just been treated for the drug reaction and then watched in the hospital for a day or two in case there were other problems? I don’t know the medical protocols for my situation, but I’m sure the care and diagnostic decisions were proper and intended to make sure something much worse wasn’t going on.
So today I’m still sick…not with any disease, but with the aftereffects of that spinal tap. Let me tell you, those aftereffects are not minor. I suspect that, if I had not had the spinal tap, I would be completely fine today. The effects of the drug reaction would be long past and I’d be back to going about my normal life. Instead I can barely function and it looks like this is going to cost me several weeks of my life. And this is shortening my life not by losing a few weeks at the end with tubes running into me and struggling for every breath. These are several good weeks taken from me now, when I could be out there enjoying life and getting things accomplished.
Maybe in my case the health care was just a little too good. So it goes.
January 13th, 2015
I’ve been gone from the internet for a week. That was not my plan. I had planned to be very busy and therefore to have a limited presence here for a while, but that’s not what happened.
Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the past week: On Wednesday I got sick. Thursday I got sicker and went to the ER. Friday I was admitted to the hospital. I was there until Monday being very sick, the sickest I’ve ever been in my life. It was very unpleasant. Now I’m out of the hospital and better and expected to fully recover…though they say that may take another four weeks or so.
If you want the TMI version, keep reading.
On Wednesday I started getting the shakes, alternated with bursts of sweating. Then I started throwing up. I thought I was getting the flu. Thursday I began getting progressively more and more ill. In the afternoon I went to the ER.
At the ER the doctor initially diagnosed it as “a stomach bug” not the flu and signed the discharge order, telling me to just go home and I’d be fine in a couple days. But then he looked back in on me and saw that I was getting worse, while he would have expected me to already have started improving. So he decided to not let me go, and to examine me more carefully.
Immediately he noticed that I had a severe rash from head to toe. It never itched, so I was too busy throwing up and being miserable to have noticed it. The rash lead to the conclusion that I was having a drug reaction. I had been taking a sulfa antibiotic for a couple weeks because of some left over lung infection from a bout of bronchitis. I’d never had a drug reaction in my life, and had taken sulfa drugs before with no problem, but this time the drug decided to wait until right at the end of the prescription to try to kill me.
Because I thought it was the flu and had been taking the sulfa for two weeks without a problem, I never suspected that was the problem and kept taking the sulfa after the reaction started, finishing the prescription just before going to the ER.
The doctor wasn’t sure the drug reaction was all that was going on, so test began. Chest X-rays, a CT scan, and then a spinal tap. For a long time Meningitis was the leading theory.
By the time I got into a hospital room in the early morning on Friday I was miserable. The most miserable I’ve ever been, and that’s saying something. At one point I remember seeing these objects in my mind. There were three identical objects, side by side. Somehow they represented the Past, Present and Future. Or Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Something like that. And I remember thinking that if the level of misery I was feeling was going to continue into the next 24-hour period, I was just not going to be able to do that. Any option. ANY. OPTION. Was superior to feeling like this for another day. Continuing feeling this way was just not something I was able to do. I would have agreed to anything, including not continuing to exist, just to avoid going on like that.
I was sick.
Understand that I’m not used to being sick. I’ve been very fortunate and relatively healthy all my life. My health problems are of the annoying variety, like arthritis and glaucoma, not the “kick you on your ass” variety. I get the flu shot every year and I don’t get the flu. It had been at least 20 years since the last time I threw up. The last time I was admitted to a hospital was in the first grade when I had my tonsils out. This was a very new, very scary experience for me.
Once I got to my room in the hospital and they started doing things to help me recover, my level of misery quickly dropped to barely tolerable. But then the headache started, caused by the spinal tap. Turns out most of my time in the hospital was spent trying to recover from the spinal tap. I’m still recovering from the spinal tap, and will be for weeks.
The final diagnosis was drug reaction with aseptic meningitis. That means the abnormalities in my spinal fluid were most likely caused by the drug reaction. Nothing contagious was going on. All the tests on my spinal fluid came back negative.
The rash is fading (and still not itching). The headaches are mostly gone now, just a threat in the background to keep me from trying to do anything physical. I have the good drugs if the headache returns. Typing on the computer is the most strenuous activity I’ll be engaging in for a few weeks.
But I’m alive. I’m feeling better. And I’ll be back at it soon.
I can’t say enough good about the care I received. Every single medical professional I encountered during all this was just extremely good to me, worked hard to help me, and made me feel well cared for. Especially notable was Nurse Angie who took it upon herself to research my condition on her own time. That resulted in her finding the best drug to use for my headache. Until she gave me that, what they had been giving me just reduced the intensity of the headache. An hour after taking the new drug, the headache was gone. That’s significant. This headache was of the mind numbing, nausea educing variety. The pain level was a 9 on a scale of 10. Having that gone greatly helped me recover.
But most of all I have to praise my wonderful wife, who was there beside me through this whole ordeal, making sure the doctors and nurses knew what was happening with me and sleeping (mostly not sleeping) on the sofa beside me the whole time I was in the hospital, taking care of me the whole time. It would have been a lot more awful if she hadn’t been there. In no way do I deserve such a fantastic, loving, dedicated wife. She is a major blessing in my life.
Now I’ve had a full night’s sleep without any tubes running into my body and nobody waking me up every couple hours to stick needles in me. I don’t think I achieved REM sleep at all during the whole hospital stay. Just a good night’s sleep was a real blessing and helped me feel much better.
So, that’s where I’ve been. I’m very glad to be back.
January 4th, 2015
I’ve been traveling the last couple days and forgot to let you know that I have a print in a show at the Darkroom Gallery in Essex Junction, Vermont. The show opened Friday and runs through January 25. If you are in that neighborhood you might enjoy stopping by to see the show. It’s a very nice gallery and a great place to show and view photography. Tell Ken I sent you.
The exhibit is called Con(text):Symbol and Image. At this link you can see the show on line if you can’t make it to Vermont:http://www.darkroomgallery.com/index.php/exhibits/current
Above is the photo I have in the show. It was shot with my Panasonic G5 and the kit zoom that came with it. I had the electronic viewfinder set for square format because squares can be fun and it reminds me of my old medium format days:
December 28th, 2014
Just a few more random photos of Reveille hanging around her house.
Reveille is nothing if not an interesting person. And, of course, she’s a beautiful and talented model. And not nearly as dangerous as she might like to lead you to believe.
I hope your Christmas was happy and that the new year will bring you joy, prosperity and beauty.
December 27th, 2014
Calendars are on sale again at my publisher. You can buy them at a 25% discount if you do it before the end of the year. You can see my 2015 calendars in my on line store here. Or just click on the calendar above, or one of them over there in the right column. To get the discount use code: TREAT. Offer ends December 30th at 11:59 PM.
December 24th, 2014
Hoping the holiday season is a good one for all of you. May you and the world find peace.
December 22nd, 2014
I didn’t only shoot with the crappy Polaroid camera when I visited Reveille at her home. I brought along the “real” camera and did some fun stuff in with her in the house.
As you can see, Reveille’s home is not decorated in an exactly conventional way. She’s an interesting person who lives in an interesting environment. It was fun to take a few snap shots to capture her in her own place.
And it was the kind of place that just demanded that I pull the fisheye out of the camera bag and use it to capture the whole scene at once. Including, of course, the cat.
These are all “available light” photos. I use the old photojournalist definition of available light: Any light that is available to light the subject.
December 18th, 2014
In my continuing work with Fuji’s now discontinued instant 3000 speed film, I did a shoot with a wonderful, beautiful model, Reveille at her Dayton home. I was trying to use one of the cheap Polaroid cameras I had bought on ebay. Since then I’ve given up on those crappy cameras and gone back to shooting this film with my Speed Graphic.
As you can see from these photos, even though the quality of the camera is pretty poor, it’s still possible to get some interesting photos with a very talented model.
Even the blurry shots can be interesting sometimes.
Finding the right exposure with those cheap Polaroid cameras is totally a hit or miss process. And there’s no screen on the back of the camera to preview the results. Every miss uses another piece of this precious film. But sometimes the misses work anyway. Some are underexposed, some overexposed, but still the results can be interesting.
I also took photos of this lovely young lady with a “real” camera. I’ll share some of those in my next post.
In an unrelated subject, I just added a link to my Ello page over there on the right, under “Dave On The Web.” Go check out what I’m posting over there. You might find something you enjoy. And check out Ello while you are at it. It’s a fun new place. I’m using it as my photo social media site. It’s in beta. It’s buggy and the interface takes some getting used to, but there are no ads, they don’t sell your info, and nudes are ok. I like it over there. https://ello.co/davel51