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  • Em.

    Hi, I recently found all zone VI newsletters from #1 to #83. Do you know of a site where I can try to sell these besides Ebay or Amazon? They were my father-in-laws and were collecting dust. They seem to be a rare but beloved collection. Is there anything of value you can tell me about them? Thank you so much for your time.

    • Sorry, I don’t know. I have all of those myself…somewhere. I sold all of my Zone VI equipment on eBay years ago and most of it went to China. Shipping those newsletters overseas is fairly easy so I’d recommend eBay and offer to ship worldwide.

      Correction: I must have forgotten when I posted this reply that I also sold the newsletters on eBay.

  • Ken Spiker

    Ken, I came across this item while scanning my morning blogs. It has special meaning for us old guitar players but should be a warning to everybody–or Why We Fear Big Government:–-“from-my-cold-dead-hands”/

    Ken Spiker

    • The real transgression of the Gibson Guitar company was not contributing heavily to Obama and Democrats. Can you imagine this raid taking place if Gibson had been one of Obama’s crony capitalists? The law the Justice Department relies on isn’t even a U.S. law, it’s a law of India that no one is really sure how to interpret. The modern tyranny of a democracy is worse than an absolute king ensconced in his castle miles away because except for his soldiers hassling you for some little bit of ransom every 5 years or so the king mostly left everyone alone.

      • I’m glad you brought up Gibson instruments again, which has always been high on the list of crimes. What you mentioned about indian law, I did not know. So if the White House invokes foreign law to send the criminal Justice Dept. leader, Holder, in to confiscate private property, isn’t that in itself tantamount to treason? I just relegated the armed robbery of Gibson instruments of Nashville to be grande theft perpetrated by the Justice Department, and then later extortion perpetrated by the courts so that Gibson would be allowed to continue doing business.

  • Louise Jones

    I am a fifth grade teacher, about to immerse my students in the Great Depression and the dust bowl. I would love permission to use your cited photo of the dust storm as part of my (single) class notebook.It would evoke a real insight into what life was like in the 30s.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Louise Jones

    • TeeJaw

      That photo is in the public domain and can be used by anyone.

  • Barry Bader

    Do you still have your collection of Picker newsletters for sale?

    • TeeJaw

      No, sorry. Sold them on eBay several years ago. I see from one of my replies to another commenter above that I once thought I still had them. But upon reflection, I remember that I sold them on eBay with all of my other film equipment. I’m strictly digital now. No chemicals, no developing film in total darkness. No burning or dodging for just one print at a time. That used to be fun, but that was before there was an alternative.

  • Jack Harvey

    Saw this just now in the New York Times online of all places. Seems a bit overstated to me!

    • TeeJaw

      Colorado suffers from so many California liberals moving here to escape the mess they’ve made there, but when they come here they bring their liberalism with them and will eventually create the same problems here that drove them away from where they were. To the Lakewood police officer who wonders why we’re even arguing about this [new gun laws], the answer is that there is always going to be an argument if you level accusations of murder against people who are law abiding citizens and aren’t in the least responsible for what has happened. To Officer Hoover I say, just because you are frustrated and don’t know what to do is no excuse for trying to make yourself feel better by punishing people that had nothing to do with it.

      If they want to actually do something constructive they might focus on the fact that so many boys are now raised in fatherless homes and never have a suitable adult male role model to teach them how to become and act like men. What happens in a culture is always a reflection of that culture. A culture unwilling to admit that when large numbers of children are raised by single mothers it is going to change that culture, and not in a positive way, is a culture doomed to suffer these sorts of events.

      If strict gun laws could change any of that Chicago would not be the murder capital of America.

      Thanks for your comment, Jack.

  • Nancy Sams

    I have just discovered this website and will definitely spend time here but I am in interested in 2 round objects on a cord with a rectangle in the center that I bought over 40 years ago. I was reading Fred Picker’s page and saw him drop one from his eye – he was indoor. They are marked with Zone VI and the “film” within the rectangle are of two different densities – one with a yellow cast and the other just a “density” and no color. I bought them when I started in photography and have an idea that it has to relate to B and W photography.

    Where can I find information on these? Thank you, Nancy

    • TeeJaw

      I believe those are eye pieces meant to be held up your eye to help you compose a photograph, decide what to leave in and what to leave out of a scene. Ansel Adams called this “pre-visualization.” He considered it vital to getting a good photograph. Fred Picker agreed and began manufacturing these viewers for that purpose. I don’t know if Ansel ever used one of these devices, but the device is clearly meant to facilitate Ansel’s insistence that a photograph must be accurately pre-visualized before releasing the shutter. He said a photographer needs an eye like a shutter and a mind like a lens.

      You could do the same thing with a small camera, of course. But in the days when people were using large format cameras it was handy to have this eyepiece hanging around your neck to quickly raise it up and get an idea of what sort of photograph your were going to get. Setting up a large format camera just to get a look at a scene through the ground glass was quite a job, and then it would be upside down to boot! Ansel Adams used medium format film cameras in much of his later work because they were easier to carry in the backcountry and you could use the viewfinder to assist your pre-visualization of the photograph.

      The concept of pre-visualization has uses in other endeavors as well. Such as looking at a color paint chip and seeing what an entire wall of that color will look like in the room.

      The yellow viewer one is probably meant to give you an idea of what the scene would look like in black and white using a yellow filter on the camera. A yellow filter was used in black and white to bring out the clouds. I don’t know what the one marked “density” is for, and have never seen these with different colored plastic in them either. Look to see if the one marked “density” has two different shades of darkness upper and lower in the rectangle. If so, it is to simulate a neutral density filter where the photographer is trying bring the density of light between sky and foreground closer together in order to stay within the tolerance of film to capture detail in different light. Film is limited to about 8 levels of light in which it can capture detail, whereas the human eye can discern detail in about 32 gradations of light. It is the competence of the human eye compared to the limitation of film that ruins photographs. Photographers learned various tricks to overcome that problem.

      [Digital has some of the same problems but the microprocessors that run the cameras have gotten so good the corrections can be made with camera settings instead of with lens filters.]

      People who didn’t have one of these viewers would often form a rectangle with their hands, extending the thumb and first finger wide apart and joining tip of the finger on one hand with the tip of the thumb on the other hand, one elbow pointing high and the other pointing low, then closing one eye to look through the rectangle thus created and composing the scene. This was awkward if you were carrying a camera bag and other equipment, hence the popularity of the viewer on a string around the neck.

  • Dave Lienert

    I heard on the news this morning that Obama wishes to cut law school down to two years. His point is that the third year is boring and a waste already. This reminds me of your point earlier this summer that we are moving towards a one-to-one ratio of lawyers to general public. I have no problem with lawyers , I just fail to see how removing one year of education can help the economy or for that matter the. practice of law itself. I would love to read your comments.

    • TeeJaw

      I don’t think many law schools will be supporting Obama’s idea. They would be cutting one-third of their revenue.

      I also think the third year was important decades ago when I was in law school, but that was back when law schools taught law and not political ideology. Now it might not hurt to cut a year of that out. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to do away with the whole three years of what they’re teaching these days. The bar review courses have became a major industry because law graduates have to take it to learn what they need to pass the bar.

      There was a time when America had a lot of excellent lawyers who had never set foot in a law school.

  • Jenny

    How can I email you?

  • Mike Fitzpatrick

    I found your blog simply by accident while searching for Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Pancakes.
    I have since discovered all the great info you are passing on……keep up the good work.

    Mike Fitzpatrick

    • TeeJaw

      Thank you!

  • I came across this blog by accident looking for information on selling my collection of Fred Pricker’s Print Club Prints. I attended Fred’s Putney work shop in 1982 or 83l and joind the print club when it was formed. These prints hung in my law office for many years. Now that I am retired I focus my energies on photography in northern Michigan. Sadly I have no wall space for the Picker Prnts. Is eBay the recommend place for selling them? Any information would be appreciated

  • TeeJaw

    A Google search for “where to sell your photos on the internet” brought up several sites where you might sell them.