Photograph Bazaar: Your Serandipity at Thursday Thoughts

16 Feb

7:38 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello everyone. How are you? I am feeling particularly good because I am listening to the original version of “The Rock Island Line”. God, I love music! I don’t usually turn it on ’til later.

Today, we have no outside announcements… if I missed something, someone yell at me. I thought I would mention a couple of sites I use for photographs… oh, yeh, “Hawaiian Superman,” by Iz. Who needs coffee when there is music?!

1] One of my favourite sites, both for its extensive archives and its Flickr Photostream, belongs to the Smithsonian Institution. Aside from the site belonging to the Smithsonian — for me, like blowing bubbles and Crayola crayons, the Smithsonian retains the magic it has held for me since I was a child — I like the categorizing of many of the photographs into sets, as the sets comprise stories. Other than the sets, we have 129 pages of miscellaneous photographs to wander through.

If, when you arrive at their page, you scroll down the column on the right, you will see at the bottom More Sets. Click on it and you will be transported to all their photo sets. Belize Larval Fish Group anyone? Who wouldn’t check, right? I clicked and found myself looking at 45 tropical fish specimens, at least, colourful sections of tropical fish. When I clicked on a thumbnail I was taken to a page with the whole photograph and details. William H. Johnson’s World on Paper? I clicked and was surprised into an out loud ‘Wow!’. Talk about colourful art. Field Books of Waldo? I had no idea, but there was something about the title. Turns out Waldo Schmitt was a zoologist and collector and, ‘Images cover underwater collecting in Antarctica, specimens and their habitats, expedition participants and crew, and informal moments during field work‘.[Field Books of Waldo LaSalle Schmitt (1887-1977) Smithsonian Institution Flickr sets]

There is a certain amount of opening and closing of sets, as some of them are collections of people not doing anything particularly interesting, but if you are in treasure hunt mode, you won’t mind.

Another arm of the Smithsonian Institution Archives is their blog, The Bigger Picture, which is kept by several people. There you will find a number of interesting paths to explore through the visual archives, enough to keep you entertained for a long time, not to mention all those ideas for poetry and fiction. If you visit today, and notice yesterday’s ‘Sneak Peak,’ that would be my daughter’s name you see, not mine. [Beaming with pride? Oh yes.]

What’s more, the Smithsonian has boards on Pinterest, not as many as I have, mind you, but they’ll get there. The boards are put together from their incredibly extensive collections and might be an interesting source for us.

Thirty minute break… son calling with update on about to be first grandchild. It’s going to be a long two weeks.

2] Let me introduce you to P. J. Kaiser, pjk, and her blog Inspired by Real Life. She has one of the few blogs I subscribe to [there is only so much time] because of a weekly feature called ‘Inspiration Minute‘. The inspired minute sometimes focuses on a couple of images and sometimes a series of photographs. I have bookmarked so many, now, as possible poems, that I gave PJ her own folder. The latest series is one I have on an open tab until I have trained myself to check each day. Of it, she says: How would you like a site that has a new picture each day related to some story in the news?  Well, I’ve got one for you.  The Guardian has a feature called “Eyewitness” that has just that. Visit PJ for the link and explore back posts of ‘Inspiration Minute’.

…la da da dah… Jimmy Buffett and ‘Volcano’…

3] The next is a collection of seriously weird black and white photographs, but of strange things can poetry be made. The photoblog is called Black & WTF. Take a gander.

4] Finally, we have Shorpy ‘Always Something Interesting’. The site has a join for free, but that’s for people who wish to upload photographs. I have explored extensively without having to join. The archive has 600 pages, so far, and focuses on historical photographs.

Anyone still with me? I have a vision of all of you already lost in the collections. Enjoy. And then, write.

I shall see you tomorrow for Friday‘s roundup of prompts — we have a new entrant; next Tuesday for another facet of place; and next Thursday for more announcements. You are allowed to brag on Thursday’s announcements, if you wish. If you are shy, I’ll do it for you. After all, if you win a contest *cough Mark Windham*, or have a poem published, and really want to be excited with your cyber-friends, then tell me.

Whoa! San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in your Hair) by Scott McKenzie… flashback. Even better than music, or coffee? Music and coffee. I’m there as soon as I hit publish.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 16/02/2012 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

21 responses to “Photograph Bazaar: Your Serandipity at Thursday Thoughts

  1. b_y

    16/02/2012 at 10:57 am

    Don’t know about your others, but Shorpy….The photos are BIG. I have the Shorpy ipad app, and you can just keep opening the images until you think you can peek in windows from 1903 Buffalo or straighten those Belle Epoch hats on the boardwalk. I think it’s pretty much magical.

    I’ll have to check out Smithsonian’s flickr, but have looked at Pinterest without Interest.

    • margo roby

      16/02/2012 at 11:29 am

      I love that aspect of Shorpy. I find that Pinterest is going to be the most useful for storyboarding ideas for poems, as I find stuff around the Net. Right now, my ideas get lost in voluminous notebooks. I also like that I can pin a picture that gives me a close-up of texture, so I have a whole board going on that when I want to describe something, just to get words going.

  2. viv blake

    16/02/2012 at 11:18 am

    Thanks, Margo for an interesting collection of resources.

    • margo roby

      16/02/2012 at 11:26 am

      You are welcome, ViV. I realise for non-photography people today might be a loss, but there are so many fascinating things to see, even if the sites don’t work for ideas.

  3. PJ Kaiser (@PJ_Kaiser)

    16/02/2012 at 11:32 am

    Margo, thanks so much for the mention on your blog. I’m so glad that my “Inspiration Minute” feature appeals to you and I hope it inspires many poems and stories to come! 😀

    • margo roby

      16/02/2012 at 11:51 am

      The thanks are all yours, PJ. But you are welcome 🙂

  4. markwindham

    16/02/2012 at 12:21 pm

    😉 I am way too shy/humble/modest to brag.

    A preacher was fond of saying “If anyone tells you they have the gift of humility, they don’t.”

    But thanks for the mention (and the editorial help!!)

    • margo roby

      16/02/2012 at 12:24 pm

      Mark, Like I say: let me do it for you 🙂

      My mentor said essentially the same thing about titles: “You don’t call yourself a poet. You let others call you that.” I still say I am a writer, rather than a poet.

      You are welcome, for both 🙂

  5. markwindham

    16/02/2012 at 12:24 pm

    Suggestion?? Have your links open in new windows. Makes it much easier to get back to you. For me anyway. 🙂

    • margo roby

      16/02/2012 at 12:25 pm

      Ahh! Thank you. Now that I think about it, it makes complete sense to do so. I shall retrain!

    • margo roby

      16/02/2012 at 12:31 pm

      Um, Coach…How do I set a link to open in another window? When I set a link I am not given choices. Do I right-click and set it from a menu, after I make the link?

      • markwindham

        16/02/2012 at 1:34 pm

        well, when I set them in my post using the little button at the top, it pops up a new window to enter the address. Then there is a box to check at the bottom. I don’t know if they all work the same or not…..

        • margo roby

          16/02/2012 at 1:40 pm

          Is there, by golly. We both have wordpress blogs, so I should have the same little box. I’ll see tomorrow! Thank you.

          • markwindham

            16/02/2012 at 1:50 pm

            Usually, once you check it the first time it stays clicked for the duration of that post. Have to do it again for each new post though.

        • margo roby

          17/02/2012 at 9:28 am

          They do and I have it, Mark, thank you very much!

  6. wordsandthoughtspjs

    16/02/2012 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the sites, Margo.

    Have a good day!

    • margo roby

      17/02/2012 at 9:27 am

      And you, Pamela. It has been a busy week and I know, for you, crazy-busy.


  7. Connie

    16/02/2012 at 11:54 pm

    oh I love the Smithsonian and I’m already getting lost in your links!!

    BRAVO to your daughter- loved the pic. The black and white photos are crazy amazing- like a car wreck, I just can’t stop looking at them! The one I had to really look at over and over- was the ‘swimming lessons’- first I didn’t have my glasses on and I thought the men were holding fish in the water- but then when I put my glasses on I was like, “OH MY GOODNESS…..”

    • margo roby

      17/02/2012 at 9:26 am

      Lol! Love your comment, Connie. And, I know. Those crazy people. They seem as bizarre, as things we might come up with in the 21st century, but something about black and white makes what we see even crazier.


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