As You read this I will be in surgery for my brain tumor; thoughts, prayers and well wishes appreciated. And the image below will be ‘unpinned’ from my Twitter page, because hopefully after my surgery I will have clarity and not ambiguity…..
I also want to explain how my ‘medical updates’ will intertwine with my normal Photographic Posts.
And this is the ONLY time you will ever see a Biblical Quote here, but you will see the connection:
1 Corinthians Chap 13 verse 12: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
All of my Journey Updates will start with the heading: “Through the Glass” And I have added that tag to take you directly to these updates if you are interested. I hope that you can see it refers to the Ambiguity of what I am facing. That what made this image so timely.
The Reality So Subtle Pinhole: Still working out the Range Finding on this camera. I have the filter-option 6X6 model. I have to say this camera has the smoothest mechanism of any Pinhole I’ve ever used. So I’ll take it with me and work on the range (maybe I should watch some of the YouTube videos?)
And Finally, my “riding shotgun” always in the front seat and ready Minolta X-700: My jump out of the car and shoot camera. I have 3 of these and they are all going. I use my trusty Tamron-adaptall 28-200 zoom. A combination I have been using since the early 90’s.
OK, It occurs to me that I won’t really use all of these cameras in a 3-4 month period. Which one would you leave behind?
From the vagaries and ups and downs of life. I find myself recovering from surgery with time to reflect. Another Intersection of Life and Art.
As you read this I am on my way to the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix Arizona for a Consultation. But here is where The Story Begins:
On October 3, 2018, I was diagnosed with a “brain mass”. Vision problems had sent me to the Ophthalmologist. His testing and measurements of my left eye indicated something bad was going on behind that eye. He sent me to the emergency room, calling ahead to discuss with the Dr. what tests would be appropriate.
The Symbol of My Journey
(The Ambiguity of the Mirror from “The Artist’s Studio” symbolizes my Journey. So it will be the featured Image for these medical update posts…….)
When I arrived, they were ready for me and ordered an MRI with contrast dye, no questions asked. The diagnosis: Brain tumor of unknown type growing behind my left eye; referral the the Neurosurgeons.
But, there is also a back story: I am an 8-year breast cancer survivor. So I also (and for the rest of my life) have an Oncologist. He now enters the mix. His fear is a metastatic spread of my previous cancer, which would be a sure death sentence.
Weeks of testing: Bone Scans, PET Scans, CT Scans…………All showing no breast cancer; Dodged that bullet! But I still have an unidentified tumor in my head that needs to be identified so the best treatment can be determined. All non-invasive procedures exhausted, now it is time the the Neurosurgeons to perform a biopsy.
So how do they access that area behind the Eye? By drilling holes through you sinuses. The ENT Surgeon does that. I didn’t even get a black eye from this; but I do have a puffy face. My worst bruise was from the arterial blood pressure tap-in. Apparently when you have brain surgery, they tap an artery to have the most accurate blood pressure.
Biopsy Results: I have a rare but treatable/survivable brain tumor (Which I will name and discuss later). It is in effect a birth defect. It was supposed to be reabsorbed as my little fetus grew, but it wasn’t. And when that happens you have a little guy in your head that probably won’t be a problem unless you are 1 in a million me.
My Neurosurgeon removed what was safe to remove without doing harm. It was affecting my optic nerve (first symptom), my Pituitary Gland and Carotid Artery (the brain’s source of blood).
Follow-up will require a unique radiation treatment only available in a few places. So I have been referred to The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix AZ.
POSTSCRIPT: Ongoing, I will be taking a road trip to Phoenix (Dates TBD); loading up the 4Runner with my camera gear and film (bought for a cancelled trip to the Everglades). Radiation I know will be 5 days a week for 8-10 weeks. So I will be doing photography as I feel up to it and posting as I go. Exploring Arizona for that time and keeping OldSchoolPhotoLabs very busy.
5 Frames of Kodak Portra 400, Exposed @ ISO 320 (6X7 120 Format) by Kathleen E. Johnson
On August 21, 2017, thousands of people converged on Alliance, Nebraska, as one of the prime Solar Eclipse viewing locations in North America. NO you are not going to see eclipse images, but a bit of Americana I had heard of (probably on 60 Minutes as a child), but never thought that I would visit: CARHENGE. We thought about stopping by on Eclipse Day, but the traffic proved unmanageable.
The following November, we had an opportunity to return to Alliance and made our visitation. It was a lovely, sunny, November day. And walking amongst the Cars, it proved much more photogenic than I had expected.
It seems like ages ago, but in 1990 I had an opportunity to visit the real Stonehenge. Those photos were terrible, so you’ll never get to see them here. But I can say the advantage of Carhenge is that it’s a true life-size model that you can walk around and experience as the Ancient Ones may have done at the real Stonehenge. And it has become a focus for sculpture built from car parts. But that’s another story…….
The camera was my favorite Mamiya 7 with the 43 mm lens. All exposures @f/8, and shutter speeds of 1/125 to 1/250 to capture details in the shadows. In my experience Portra Films have a wide exposure latitude. At ISO 320 color saturation is more true to life than Portra 160. I’ve settled on Portra 400 as my color film.
P.S Okay you can see my Eclipse Images on film HERE.
5 Frames of T-Max 400, Exposed @ ISO 200 (6X7 120 Format) by Kathleen Johnson
Last July I spent an afternoon at a special Photographer’s Open House at the Walker Ranch Homestead, a part of the Boulder County Parks and Open Spaces. Located in the Front Range Foothills above Boulder, Colorado, it is a popular hiking area, but the Homestead site is only open to the public a few times per year.
I took my favorite Mamiya 7 with the Mamiya f/4.5 43 mm lens. Some of these images have been cropped. I exposed the film @ ISO 200 with additional compensation for my yellow filter.
An overcast and windy day, so the outdoors photos were so-so. But I fell in love with the Homestead Attic living space. So I present the exterior and we move upstairs.
The view through the window was exposed @ f/8 1/60s; Cradle exposed @ f/4.5 4s; Nightstand exposed @ f/4.5 2s; Bed and Chairs with window exposed @ f/8 1s. Of course, all using a tripod and cable release. One neat feature of the Mamiya 7 is that you have a maximum timed exposure up to 4 seconds before you have to use the Bulb setting and time it yourself.