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Tue Jul 13, 2021, 09:46 PM

Autumn Bald Cypress with Levee Beyond

Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana
© 2019 Bo Zarts Studio

17 replies, 3789 views

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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Tue Jul 13, 2021, 09:51 PM

1. Beautiful

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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Tue Jul 13, 2021, 09:53 PM

2. Gorgeous! Ty for sharing

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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Tue Jul 13, 2021, 10:02 PM

3. Lovely!

I hope you are still making good progress after your surgery, Bo.

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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Wed Jul 14, 2021, 03:22 AM

4. Very nice!

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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Wed Jul 14, 2021, 11:54 PM

5. You are a very fine artist. Thanks for all these and the interesting commentaries...

...you sometimes add to your posts.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 15, 2021, 11:33 AM

6. Thanks, NNadir ..wish I had some new photography to post.

I don't know if you saw my "essay" on my post-surgical pain yesterday. It's still on "Greatest Threads," top of the two star section. This whole episode (there have been numerous episodes in the past fifty years) of cervical and lumbar pain goes back to the end of fire season last year. Because of the pain, I have not picked up any of my good cameras since last September. I have posted a few shots taken with my iPhone, but no serious new photography in ten months.

The neurosurgeon tells me to expect weeks, maybe months of post-surgical nerve pain from the surgery two weeks ago. And as soon as I recover from this surgery, I'll go in for low back surgery.

Fortunately, for my sanity, I have thousands of images in my Lightroom catalogs that I have never processed. So, when I feel like it, I work one up (sometimes over-work them) and post it.

My wife said last night that I talk much more now (like, say, at dinner) .. and more stream-of-consciousness than ever before, but very interesting stuff, she said. That's when it hit me. Bingo! I cannot sleep during the day .. the pain. But I can slouch in this office chair (in a position that minimizes the pain) in front of my computer, and write almost all day long. So that's what I'm doing. Essays, letters, book chapters, an article I have due at Idaho Magazine .. they just flash in my mind, and I pound them out in spite of the pain. Maybe it's the drugs. Hunter S. Thompson did it. And Samuel T. Coleridge.


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Response to Bo Zarts (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 15, 2021, 09:52 PM

7. Wow. It is understandable why you haven't been posting new photographs Bo Zarts.

I cannot imagine your journey in pain. I surely hope you can maintain sanity until such time as your body heals, that you can deal with it all. Thank you for your explanations here and in your essay on "Greatest Threads." I "googled" you earlier today and was rewarded with more of your beautiful, striking photography at mactippins.com.

You do incredible things with a camera. Do you shoot with Canon equipment? As I write I'm switching screens with your Pacific Northwest Gallery, in particular the image of "The order of colors in a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet." from July 30th, 2010 in flickr. It is a wonderful photograph.

Since I joined DU I've been grateful for your art.


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Response to George McGovern (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 16, 2021, 01:08 PM

10. Thanks, George! Encouraging words, and I'm glad you found my website.

Up until 2016 I shot with Canon full-frame cameras, the 5D Mk2 and 5D Mk4, exclusively. But now I shoot with Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, the A7R2 and A7R4. I am giving my oldest Canon 5D Mk2 to a protégé, actually a barter deal, and I'm converting the Canon 5D Mk4 to infrared.

I still have a bunch of Canon lenses, but I use a Metabones adapter to use them with the Sony E-mount system. The Sony's auto-focus system slows down with the Canon lenses, but I seldom use autofocus. The A7R2/3/4 cameras have an awesome focus-assist function that I use. Most of the work I do is from a tripod, so quick focusing is not an issue. However, with wide-angle lenses I do use auto-focus initially, to get in the ballpark, then I switch it off. But now, when I buy a lens, it is a dedicated E-mount (Sony and Zeiss so far).

I squirreled away some of my fire season lookout pay last year for a Fujifilm GFX-100S (102 MP sensor) medium-format mirrorless camera with lens, but with the back-order time (world-wide supply chain's COVID delays) and my pain condition, I've put that on the back burner. Once I can run, jump, and play with the other kids again, I'll order the Fujifilm rig.

Your post has given me an idea. Probably something I should have been doing all along. I'm interested in what good photos are shot with (camera/lens) and how they were shot (settings/tripod/etc). And since this is a photography forum, I think adding that info would not be considered pedantic, like it would possibly be in General Discussion. I'll now try to include the basic info (camera & lens) which I can usually remember, and some other details if I have the metadata handy.

I usually post photos first on Facebook, if you want to "friend me" (name on website), then Flickr (you can join and follow me there and I'll reciprocate), then DU (linked from Flickr), then Instagram. The photos uploaded to Flickr are moved into my Flickr albums, which are what you looked at on my website. I am not trying to push any of that, I just mention it to people who show interest .. especially accomplished photographers like you.

Speaking of which, I very much enjoy and look forward to your photo postings on DU. Do you post anywhere else? Do you do FB? I like Flickr because you can make any or all images private or public. You can put any images, public or private, in albums and easily share the albums via email attachments. But since you post photos on DU, you probably use Flickr or something like it.

OK, my wife just called up the stairs that lunch is ready: BLTs, my favorite! Thankfully, this pain has not affected my appetite. Let's eat!


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Response to Bo Zarts (Reply #10)

Sat Jul 17, 2021, 02:00 AM

12. Love BLTs Mac -- Glad that was your lunch today!

I too usually post photos first on Facebook, then on DU. My real name is Allan Herzig. I use my wife's FB page — Laurie Herzig — so when I send you a Facebook Friend Request that's where it'll come from.

I've never known much about Sony cameras until learning that the Associated Press furnished their photographers with Sony equipment. Did some research and it sounds like Sony makes excellent stuff. I shot Nikons for 35 years or so until my D3 and D3s got to be too heavy. About a year ago I looked into Olympus mirrorless. Lighter, excellent dust prevention and affordable. Purchased two used bodies: an E-M1 Mark II and an E-M10 Mark II. One wide-angle zoom, one telephoto zoom. It was a drag trying to figure out Olympus' menu system, but I got to where things are working well.

I am pleased that you enjoy my photography. I've learned a thing or two over the years. If you are interested, Laurie has two other FB pages on which she posts my photos. One is for her boarding business, called Even.Song Farm Equine Retirement at which we care for retired horses, the other is EvenSong Mountain Trail Course and that is an obstacle course we built in a 2 ½ acre pasture.


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Response to Bo Zarts (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 16, 2021, 12:18 AM

9. Wow. I did read it. As it happens, I'm reading the book on the Sacklers, "The Empire of Pain."

I've spent a lot of my career around medicinal chemistry and biomarkers.

I do experience considerable hip pain, though I know, that if I had the time, there are physical therapy exercises that happily work for me. Somehow I don't make the time.

I am in no position, despite my training, to make medication recommendations or to give medical advice, but, assuming bleeding is not an issue, I cannot recommend good old aspirin enough. I've been managing my pain with it for years, and although my pain is surely less severe than yours, the more I learn about this simple and old drug, the more I love it. Sometimes, as they say, we miss the trees for the forest. I have participated in the measurement of inflammatory biomarkers in the arachidonic acid/prostaglandin cascade and so, I totally understand why and how it works for me. I've seen on a molecular level what aspirin does.

But again...I'm no doctor, but it's simple if you haven't tried it.

In any case, despite your difficulties, you should take some measure of relief in being the fine artist you are. I think most of us here greatly appreciate your magnificent work and your wonderful stories. I especially enjoyed - although appreciating the danger you were in - the tale about the propane/carbon monoxide event, which was beautifully told. I was riveted.

You are a fine writer, and an excellent visual artist, and I, and I'm sure everyone, wish you a speedy and successful recovery because we greatly appreciate what you bring to DU and surely to the world beyond it.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 16, 2021, 03:25 PM

11. Thanks bunches, Nnadir!

As it were, I've been on aspirin (ASA) 325 mg. daily since 2005. That's shortly (well, four years) after uncontrolled hypertention grounded me from my airline pilot job. And I'm talking episodes of blood pressure readings like 210/115, with severe reations to most of the classes of BP drugs. Except for the beta-blocker atenolol. But atenolol made me drowsy and lethargic, so the BP specialists in Dallas kept switching me to something else, trying to find a medication that would control my BP with no deleterious side effects, so that I could return to airline flying (by then my airline had gotten rid of the MD-80s that I was flying when grounded, but I had an open bid as captain on the Boeing 737-300/400, my favorite!). Ends up, the speciaalists were titrating poisons. I could name each of the drugs here (but won't), and their manifold side effects, but the common side effect was wicked bronchitis. The legended "Zestril Cough," with everything except atenolol. So in around 2003, my primary care doc in Dallas said, "Enough! These frequent episodes of severe bronchitis put you at risk for COPD and other things." So I have been on atenolol (with maxide) to this day. Thus, grounded from flying.

Back to ASA. In 2005 I had a probable TIA. So the docs put me on ASA 325mg daily. I have taken a 325 aspirin every day, like clockwork for 16 years. On my first consultation with my new primary care physician (well, I've been with him for seven, maybe eight years now), who I absolutely love, he said to by all means continue the ASA at 325mg per day - but no more. He said that with my history of episodes of uncontrollable, extremely high blood pressure, and with the clincal findings in 2005 (he had my med records and MRI flims from 2005), I had most likely had a cerebrovascular accident - something between a TIA and a stroke.

So, yes. I take ASA. And what a long-winded explanation that was! I apologize, but that is the whole back-story.

You are very perceptive, Nnadir. And I appreciate your comments about my photography and writing, especially your enjoyment of my carbon monoxide essay (again, thank goodness for Nick-Nick. He saved our lives!). That was written in the last ten months - ten months of pain - and it was writing that was pain-pushed. As I told an old former-girlfriend (high school - '62-'66), who is a good friend now on Facebook (haven't laid eyes on her since 1966) .. I told Emily that haven't shot a frame since last September. And I told her that writing is much easier than editing images (and I have thousands of un-edited images in my Lightroom catalogs). So I am writing most of the day now - it would probably be more accurate to say Gabapentin/Tramadol pushed now - to keep my mind working and off the bad things. It works. And I keep an image in edit mode in Lightroom and/or Photoshop to work on, but that is tedious. My photo posts on DU nowadays are what I post on FB, Flickr, Instagram, and my website (if you want, check it out at www.mactippins.com , best seen on the big screen). On DU, if you do that, it's the same name within the website address, well why not, it's Mac Tippins. I've got a bunch of DU'ers with me on FB.

And I'll order the Sackler book. Very germane to my situation today with the pain management restrictions I am encountering. I look forward to the read, and I know my wife will read it too. Speaking of my wife, she just called up the stairs and said that it was time I start the collard greens that I volunteed to cook. I'll take my mid-afternoon half-a-tramadol treat, thinking now about the Sacklers!, and go down and start my famous Cajun-style collards.

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Response to Bo Zarts (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 02:28 PM

15. I don't know if you've ever had occasion to New York to the MOMA and see the Modigliani...

...Reclining Nude.

I've seen it many times myself.

There's a nice, cute, fluffy movie that I rather enjoyed watching with my wife on a lazy afternoon as a diversion, called "Like Sunday, Like Rain." It's about a super precocious boy/man who takes his "Nanny" on an intellectual tour of New York to avoid being sent by his absent mother to a Summer Camp.

There's a scene where they sit before Reclining Nude that's in the movie's trailer (1:50):

"He died in penury and squalor in 1920 at the age of 35."

We have other Modigliani's locally in the Princeton/NY/Philadelphia area, and no matter what else is in the room, you are compelled to spend time with any Modigliani you find there.

I definitely feel for your suffering; it sounds like you've been going through medical hell, as Modigliani did throughout his short life.

For many years, they had Picasso's "Guernica" at the Modern, and I saw it many times there - I've also seen it (where it's out of reach way up high) in Madrid. It's one of the most overwhelming paintings I have ever seen, it's clear that I have nothing against the highly successful and very wealthy and much rewarded Picasso. Picasso was Modigliani's contemporary, the two men met. Like Van Gogh, Modigliani's fame was posthumous; his art gave him no fame or money while he was alive.

And so when one looks at a Modigliani, one is struck more than anything by how it is that someone managed so much beauty in the context of so much pain.

I just thought, as an admirer of your work, that I might mention that.

As you mention having already have had health conditions including high blood pressure in 2005, you may be my contemporary; I'm an old man. Struggling as I am with old age, I am amused to find myself as at least one old man, (me), two possibly (you) sitting around talking about our meds.

Many years back, before my high blood pressure was diagnosed, I worked to support the development of a drug (primarily in a commercial sense, with some input, communication rather than experience, on synthetic considerations in a critical reagent in its synthesis) called Omapatrilat. It was expected to be a blockbuster, and billions of dollars were spent developing it - a tiny portion of which went to the company for which I worked - because it successfully treated a rather large class of patients, reportedly roughly 30% at that time, dominated by African Americans, who did not respond to blood pressure medications. In analyzing the clinical data, however, as I recall it, it was found that a subset of patients, suffered from pulmonary edema, with a few nearly fatal episodes being observed.

The application was withdrawn. I have always wondered to myself what the ratio of people saved from strokes - those with recalcitrant high blood pressure - and those who might have died from a pulmonary edema event might have been.

I say this only as an observer, and not one trained in or involved in drug approval processes, in which I only participate peripherally.

Today, with at least the potential for "personalized medicine" based on genetic mapping, it's quite possible it may have proved possible to approve that drug and save lives that otherwise might not be saved but lost to high blood pressure.

It appears that you may have been recalcitrant. Beta blockers are an old strategy, and from my limited knowledge, the reason there are other classes, is that they are not particularly effective at controlling high blood pressure. (My wife takes propranolol for arrhythmia; others take it as a sedative.)

My first blood pressure medication was lisinopril, and when I took it, I coughed like hell; I couldn't stop coughing. Like omapatrilat, it is a peptidomimetic designed to work on the ACE enzyme; omapatrilat also worked by another mechanism in addition to ACE inhibition, "NEP" inhibition.

My doctor switched me to one of the sartans, Valsartan, which has controlled my blood pressure perfectly for many years.

Those of us who cough with lisinopril and related drugs like captropril and enlanopril in the modified peptide class almost certainly have polymorphisms (mutations) in our ACE2 enzymes.

(Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Gene Insertion/Deletion Polymorphism and ACE Inhibitor-Related Cough: A Meta-Analysis)

This knowledge led me to be insufferable around the house during the early days of Covid, since I told my wife that I was a mutant and Sars-CoV-2 viruses would not be able to deal with my "superior" ACE2 for binding. (This was pure speculative nonsense, which my wife knew quite well; like everyone else, I was powerfully concerned that I might get Covid.) Nonetheless, I had fun telling my sons that I hoped they'd gotten my mutant genes rather than their mother's inferior (non-super) ACE2 genes. (Fortunately she's gentle and has a sense of humor, so I didn't risk getting hit over the head with a frying pan.)

Angioedemas are, or course, involved in TIAs, but with most drugs, we have to balance risks, which is not always an easy call, and one which often must be made blindly.

There was a shortage of Valsartan recently with the discovery of nitrosamines as a side product of a what I regard as a very wise and environmentally sound but sloppily monitored, and evaluated decision, to recycle a solvent. For a short time, I was switched to losartan, which worked but was later to be found to be subject to the same risk.

I have Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition for the cancer that killed my father and uncle, esophageal cancer. This cancer is driven by tobacco related nitrosamines, but other nitrosamines work very similarly to induce cancers, via alkylation of particular residues in a nucleic acid sequence that causes a substitution, a single nucleotide polymorphism, in a protein that suppresses cancer.

I recently gave a lecture on this topic at an international symposium and participated in the "expert panel," despite not actually being "an expert" on the level of the other experts on the panel. So I know all about the risk, but at the end of the day, I wanted my sartans. I'll take the risk of cancer over the risk of strokes. I cannot live in a risk free world.

Anyway, to return to Modigliani, formally he died just over a century ago, but his art is very much alive.

We all wish you recovery and a pain free existence - I'm sorry you, like my late mother-in-law, are a collateral casualty in the "war on drugs" - but inevitably what we leave in the world, should anything remain of us, is our works. I do hope at least when you take your ASA, it give you some relief. (It works great for me.) I would suggest though that your work is more important than your body. It can live when you cannot.

You have made great art, and led an interesting life. While deploring your pain, I celebrate the totality of what you have brought to us.

Be well.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 04:05 PM

16. Exceptionally germane reply, NNadir

I have read it once. Now I will go back and essay your information; essay in the somewhat archaic sense of that word (to study).

Your comments on Sars-CoV-2 and ACE2 reflect, exactly, my wories as COVID-19 began it's gallup. And I, too, voiced my concerns to my wife (a brilliant woman, with a PhD from Ga. Tech). She understood. My youngest brother (59, I'm 73) in Atlanta, who is an Emory-trained, practicing radiologist (who regularly lectures to surgeons .. especially oncology surgeons .. in his hospital's CE program), totally understood my concerns vis-a-vis Sars-CoV-2. He got COVID in July of last year. He has residual neurological problems from his bout with COVID that might require him to take an early retirement from medicine.

My father and his older brother, my uncle, both died of esophogeal cancer. My father had an esophagectomy in 2003, at age 83. The surgeons were the best in Atlanta, collegues of my brother, and my dad was the oldest patient they knew of that had ever had a goozle-ectomy (as my dad - another PhD in the family) called it. After a rough recovery, he had another eight very good and active years. He died in 2011, at 91, of the same cancer in the trachea.

As soon as I recover from this surgery, and before the next, my primary care doc wants me to get an endoscopy. Actually I have been getting an endoscopy every five years, with my colonoscopy - the endoscopy because of family history. But he wants one now because of some mild dysphagia I was having. I had a barium swallow test (nothing but old-age there!) before COVID ramped up and before I headed to Idaho for fire season last year. I came back with the cervical and lumbar problems, thus the delays in the endoscopy.

Anyway, reading your words is like looking into a mirror! Kind of like Kris Kristofferson's line, ".. have you been reading my mail?"

Modigliani and Like Summer, Like Rain are moving to my front burner. And I have seen Picasso's Guernica at MoMA. Powerful. I don't know if you were around DU when Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq, but I frequently invoked Franco's bombing of Guernica in my anti-war posts (and I often posted the Picasso work).

That said, I need to get back to something else I have open on my computer. You might see it elsewhere.


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Response to Bo Zarts (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 19, 2021, 07:43 PM

17. Like Sunday Like Rain is...

...not the greatest movie you'll ever see, but it's cute. Easy to watch and a little fun, but not heavy.

That scene sticks in my mind, because I've spent time in front of that painting.

MOMA kind of upsets me. They have Max Beckmann's Departure, and often it's in storage. I've seen it twice; once, happily, they had it at the end of the escalator, you rose to it.

Then, a short while later. Met had a Beckmann retrospective, and they loaned it to the Met.

That painting should never be hidden from the public.

It's huge; like Guernica, it sweeps you; it's not the size of Guernica, but it feels huge.

Beckmann painted it as the Nazis came to power, before going to exile from Germany as a "degenerate artist," to the Netherlands, and was nearly drafted during the Nazi occupation into the Nazi Army.

He was one of the greatest under appreciated artists ever. He died in New York, on his way to a show featuring his work at the Met.

I have always wanted to go to St. Louis, where there is a huge repository of some of his work.

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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Thu Jul 15, 2021, 10:51 PM

8. Bo ...I just now read your journal

all about your experience with pain and surgeries... I cannot imagine what you’re going through. It’s bad enough to have to deal with excruciating pain but when the beauracracy and regulations of the medical profession jerk you around like that, it’s just infuriating! As you said, you’d think they’d have a course of action in place for patients like yourself! I wish you all the best and hope you continue to heal as quickly as possible. I love all your beautiful photographs,.

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Response to Diamond_Dog (Reply #8)

Sat Jul 17, 2021, 12:06 PM

13. Thanks. DD!

I'm no Bible scholar, quite the opposite. But I do often quote verses apropos to the situation. 'Course Shakespeare and the Gospel Luke busted me on this predilection saying, basically "the devil can cite scripture for his own purposes." And maybe Kristofferson had me in mind in "The Silver Tongued Devil and I." My wife of 47 years would probably agree with Kris.

But apropos to this situation, I find words from 2 Corinthians 4:17 particularly encouraging, " .. this too shall pass." I used that one with my wife a few days ago and she said, "Don't go outside with lightening around!"

Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I hope to be out shooting in the Louisiana swamps or the New Mexico mesas sooner, rather than later!


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Response to Bo Zarts (Original post)

Sat Jul 17, 2021, 03:47 PM

14. Beautiful!

Interesting thread.

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