Point Lobos

Paradise on earth.

Enjoying a spot of R&R along the Monterey coast, this is what we saw:


China Cove, Point Lobos.


Lizard, Point Lobos.

Beach, Point Lobos.


Bird Island, Point Lobos. Coromorant at take off.


Cormorant colony, Bird Island, Point Lobos.


Reflections, Point Lobos.


Painter, Point Lobos.


Seal Rock, 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach.

All pictures on the Panny GX7 with the splendid 45-200mm OIS Panny zoom, mostly hand held.

The photographer? Here he is at work – my son Winston, now 12 years old.

Oklahoma!

All that is good and great.

The screen was like nothing I could have imagined. It was simply vast. This was in 1956.

My dad had taken me to the Leicester Square Odeon cinema and the movie was Rodgers’s and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! America. My first childhood inkling of my future home.

Back then actors had to sing (on pitch), act, dance, emote and generally be perfect to succeeed in Hollywood, and you can very much see survival of the fittest from the cornucopia of talent on display here, never less than in Shirley Jones (with her wonderful coloratura soprano) and Gordon McRae.

Yet maybe the greatest magic here is from that technological wonder of twenteth century film, Technicolor. Evidently there are two masters – a 2.55:1 on 35mm film and the real thing, the 2.20:1 70mm original. That’s the one I have and while sometimes characters are cut off at the edge of an already ultrawide image, the quality – today – is breathtaking. You can see just how wide 2.20:1 is from the black bars in the images below, taken from a standard 1.78:1 (16:9) TV screen.

I finally got me to watching it for the first time in 57 years, yes siree, and it is a wonder to behold. And how often can you say that a childhood memory is better today than it was over a half century ago? The widescreen images capture the vastness of the American prairie like no other system possibly could.


Shirley Jones and Gordon McRae.


Jones soliloquizes in gorgeous Technicolor.


Somehow she morphs to a much haughtier Gloria Grahame at the start of the surreal dream sequence.


The dream sequence becomes a Western Can-Can with Rod Steiger, no less, with imagery Dali would approve.


Drama reminiscent of Géricault’s ‘The Raft of the Medusa‘.


Oklahoma!

An extraordinary accomplishment in American musical theater with cinematography, music, singing, dancing (choreographed by none other than Agnes de Mille) to die for.

Rodgers and Hammerstein at their very best.

6TB drives

Capacities increase again.

Western Digital just announced 5 and 6TB capacity HDDs, the latter just $300.

Expect to see 10TB before long as new technologies achieve the heretofore impossible. The HDD is far from dead.