Sunday QLIWX, Two Interpretations At Alvar Street

by Jim on 2012/07/11

[Jimbaux wants you to think about it, think about it.]

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?

I apologize for the fact that the inverted text (white text on black background) makes reading long posts here difficult on your retinas.  Jimbaux’s Journal exists foremost for the presentation of my photographs, hence the black background, and the writing here only serves to support or accompany the images.  I do not know how to change that only for specific posts that are so text-heavy without changing the entire site to that way, and I don’t want to compromise the presentation of the photos.  I wish that there were a way that I could present large blocks of text in a normal (black text on white background) in those longer posts.  Someone just wrote to me about the idea of making long sections of text into images, and I’ve thought of doing this for a long time, but I’ve never done it for reasons that are mostly too cumbersome to explain, one of them being the difficulty of getting text to “justify” in Photoshop, another being that additional jpeg files that aren’t even pictures would just increase any bandwidth problems, and a third being the increased difficulty of correcting one of my own mistakes in my writing (and I almost always discover some mistakes after publishing a piece.)

I recommend those of you who wish to read what I write but are naturally repulsed by the inverted text – especially in large amounts – do what one reader told me he does and just highlight the text to read it in a more normal fashion.  This is not an ideal solution, but it might be better than just reading it as it is naturally presented.

Actually, about three years ago when I was in the process of preparing to establish blogs, I ‘hired’ three (two-and-a-half, really) mentors who all told me to not use the inverted text because it repulses readers for the retinal reasons I describe.  So, the inverted text that you see here exists despite their advice, but, as I said, this is foremost a site to show my photographs; the accompanying writing is merely ancillary.  Remember that the word “photography” means “to draw with light,” and the best way to show images is on a background with the complete (or nearly complete) absence of light.  Having a white background surrounding images (like the way is done via Facebook) distracts the process of viewing the pictures by flooding the eye with a periphery of light that is brighter than the image that the photographer intends to present.

The Sunday Sermon

Ah, yes, the Sunday Sermon, a tradition that started in my late teen years a tad more than decade ago when I was creating the illusion that I was going to a traditional house of worship before familial acceptance that I didn’t want to do that, that it wasn’t for me, and that I had my own religion to practice (all while, as I type this, I’m listening to some nice choral Christmas music, yes, in July, and other “Christian” music. “London Philharmonic Orchestra” is right after “Linkin Park” on my Media Player, both very good stuff.)  At least the modern version of the Sunday Sermon that you so frequently see here doesn’t require me to be wearing slacks, dark socks, a belt, nice shoes, and a shirt tucked into the pants in the summer heat and humidity.

Here, briefly, we return to one of our favorite Sunday morning perches: Alvar Street on the CSX in New Orleans.  Here we see Union Pacific train QLIWX (Livonia, La., to Waycross, Ga.) creeping up to the crossover switches before slowly rolling into CSX’s Gentilly Yard, where the UP crew, a yard crew, in this case, will detrain.

Photography is a metaphor for life, a way of seeing things, and not “how to take pictures” as many think.  Just like in life, in photography, moving a bit to change your perspective can allow you to see things, see objects, see truths, that you prior perspective did not allow you to see, essentially forcing a different interpretation, such as we see here.

Well, wasn’t that revealing?

I’d like to thank everyone who took part in recent discussions, some of them intense, in recent postings here on Jimbaux’s Journal.  I learned plenty, for which I am grateful, and I hope that you did too.




1 Paul July 11, 2012 at 19:56

Christmas music in July? Well, okay. I have to admit that I sometimes listen to Christmas music, too, at times other than Christmas. Hey, there’s no law saying you CAN’T listen to Christmas music around the year, right? Besides, lots of retailers have “Christmas in July” sales, and they have Christmas music playing on their Muzak® system (or whatever elevator-music system they use). Besides, I never see snow in Florida (I know, awww), so the music help me remember Christmases in my youth in Colorado. Of course, those long coal drags pulled by up to 10 forest-green BN geeps along the Joint Line helped, too!

About the text, I don’t suppose there’s any easy way to fix that (as you said) short of moving your blog to another website, which might not be so photo-friendly. Oh well, catch 22!

And finally… hey, where did that tree come from???

Time to go listen to some Christmas music. See what you started? Besides, it IS winter in the southern hemisphere right now.

Paul Gray, reporting from FEC Speedway country.

2 Nathan Kaufman July 11, 2012 at 20:39

First Jimbaux, you recommended putting a website to help promote my own self-serving (well, there are others at the company) interests. I work for One Stop Green, a green tech supplier in Houston, Texas, so there’s my website. I encourage you, and all your readers, to check it out and possibly consider making your life more efficient by reducing your energy use (SAVING MONEY!!!!) and conserving natural resources.

Got that out of the way. As for Christmas in July, I caught this the other day while photographing my girlfriend at First Friday in Bryan, Texas:

Graffiti, as much as some like it and some hate it, is present in our lives, especially concerning our mutual photographic interests. So, if something cool comes along representing a decent amount of effort, as destructive as it might be, I’ll usually take a picture.

Here’s another example:

Anywho, I get more out of your Sunday Sermons than I ever did growing up (might be related to my own Jewish ideals, but who knows?). Glad to see you’ve been avoiding the law enforcement officers as well!

Nathan Kaufman

3 EDITOR - Jimbaux July 11, 2012 at 20:48

Were you trying to post pictures, Nathan? I think that this thing only takes text and links.

Ah, I had suspected that you might by of a Jewish background, but thanks for confirming it!

I’ll definitely check out that work site, and ask me later if I did, as I am very interested in such things.

4 Nathan Kaufman July 13, 2012 at 18:38

Hmm, I was trying to post links to pictures… I copied picture links and pasted them…let’s try again. I’ve also started adding pictures on Photobucket per your suggestion to get a third-party photo hosting site instead of Facebook.

Christmas in July:

The other graffiti example was a very elaborate full-car design saying “Bowzer Swank” that included painting a blue background. A quick search revealed other “Bowzer Swank” examples (none of this car), however I couldn’t find out who or where it originated or what it means. Here’s the photo:

Normally, I wouldn’t try to mix my professional background on here, however I’m looking for ways to boost some interest and traffic to the website as well. I promise the long intro paragraph won’t accompany more posts, since we’re all here to read about your insight and ooh and ahh at your pictures.

As for checking out the work site, I think I saw you looking earlier. I am an operator on the “Ask an Expert” chat service and noticed someone who came to the site from your blog.

5 George Simmons July 11, 2012 at 20:58

Chirstmas music in July, no problem. You are probably closer to the actual date of Christ’s birth than the traditional one of Dec 25. Shepards would most likely keep their sheep in the barn during the winter not out on a cold hill side.

George Simmons

6 John Austin July 12, 2012 at 11:50

If you use Opera, then you can go to the menu and View -> Style -> High Contrast (B/W) and it will turn the entire page background to white and the text to black. Repeat the process to return the background to black.

If you use Firefox, again from the menu choose: View -> Page Style -> No Page Style and text becomes black on white. Select View -> Page Style -> Basic Page Style to return to background to black.

I don’t use Microsoft Explorer so I can’t offer help there, but someone else might.

7 John Austin July 12, 2012 at 11:59

If you flip them back and forth, you can clearly see how much better the photographs are with a black background. So, if you find the black background difficult to handle, switch the background to white, read the text, and return to black to really appreciate the photographs.

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