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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Amateurs Can Recieve Aclaim

Here is another unsung Photographer story from the Tennessee Conservationist Magazine.

Dutch Roth was an amateur photographer, trail planner, hiker, and naturalist-an amateur all the way around. We think of an amateur as someone who is not too good at something - not a professional. Of course, the word amateur means one who does something for the love of it, from the Latin "amo" to love. Dutch Roth was an amateur in the best sense of the word.

Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth was born in Knoxville on October 20, 1890. He grew up with the impressive out lines of Mt. LeConte, Clingmans Dome, and other Smokies peaks in the distant horizon. Dutch, a pipe fitter for Southern Railway, began hiking in 1913 but became a serious hiker in the 1920s.

Roth met with Carlos Campbell of the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce to found the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club in October, 1924. With him were George Barber, Charlie Barber, Guy Frizzel, and well-known photographer, Jim Thompson. Dutch led the first official club hike on December 11. A group of eight people drove to Gatlinburg, spent the night at the Mountain View Hotel, and got an early start the next morning to climb Mt. LeConte. Poor roads in the area and no roads in the Smokies caused most of the early hikes to take two or more days to complete.

In 1927, Dutch received an award from the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club for being the only person to have walked every club-sponsored hike since the club's formation. He made 69 hikes from 1924 to 1929. Often when hikes were being planned, the question was asked, "Who is going on this one besides Dutch?"

In the 30-year period from 1924 to 1954, Dutch made 728 hikes. His all time high for the number of hikes in a single year was 1933 when he made 47 hikes covering 290.2 miles. Dutch was not a fair-weather hiker. Rain, sleet, snow, storm, heat - any day was a good day to hike.

During one of his many hikes to Mt. LeConte, Roth and friends climbed through snow and ice on New Year's Eve, 1927, with scientists from a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that had just met in Nashville. Park supporters had invited the scientists in hopes of gaining their enthusiasm for the idea of establishing a national park in the Smokies and of getting an article included in National Geographic.

Dutch Roth takes mileage data on Charles Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains.

As Carlos Campbell told the story, when the group started in Cherokee Orchard it was a mild 40-degree winter day. While the group walked past Rainbow Falls and Rocky Spur to the primitive LeConte Lodge run by Paul Adams, the temperature dropped steadily all day and it began to snow.

Dr. George Nichols, a Yale University botanist, was heard to say while struggling over the icy trail and rocks, "This will be a wonderful memory, but I'll be darned glad when it is a memory!" The group finally reached the small log cabin that had a dirt floor and fir boughs on wooden bunks for "comfortable" sleeping. That night the mercury dipped to 20 below zero (a 60 degree change in less than 24 hours!) and the hikers stayed up all night feed¬ing the fire, singing, telling stories, feeding the fire, composing limericks, and feeding the fire.

All laughed the next morning when someone attempted to get a drink from the bucket of water sitting by the fire place, only to struggle with the dipper that was frozen solid in the ice. Before dawn on the first day of 1928, the group negotiated the slick trail over
High Top to Myrtle Point for a sunrise view in extreme cold. Dutch attempted to photograph the winter wonderland. When he removed his glove to take pictures, one of his fingers froze. A fellow hiker's ear froze while on the trip.

In addition to hiking, another of Dutch's interests and passions was photography. He usually carried a heavy tripod and a Kodak 122 camera that used 4 x 6 inch negatives. Roth's friend and hiking companion, Jim Thompson, a professional photographer, had photographed the mountains for clients such as Champion Fibre Company, who owned thousands of acres of the Smokies including Mt. LeConte.

The top Landscape is the Appalachian Trail east of Newfound Gap looking west. The bottom picture: the group on the goodwill tour between Tennessee and North Carolina are seen at the surveyor's tower on Clingmans Dome.

Thompson became the official photographer for the Smoky Mountain Conservation Association, the Tennessee group working to establish a national park in the Smokies. Many credit Thompson's photos, as well as those of George Masa of North Carolina, with convincing the original committee to consider the Smokies for National Park status.
Dutch Roth accompanied Thompson and took pictures alongside him. Very often Dutch climbed trees, scrambled through underbrush, or scaled cliffs to get the perfect vantage point. Sometimes, when Thompson was getting the money shot, Roth would back up and take a picture of the people who were present on the hike.

Members of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, including Roth, worked tirelessly in the movement to establish a national park in the Smokies. As a very active part of the club, Dutch hiked with many national figures to convince them of the worthiness of the area. Arno Cammerer, assistant director of the National Park Service, went with members of the hiking club to Mt. LeConte in August, 1925. Only a month later, Roth and others walked with Robert Sterling Yard of the National Parks Association.

The list of people Roth hiked with is a veritable "Who's Who" of the park movement-David Chapman, Willis and Ann Davis, Horace Kephart, Ben Morton. Whether it was dignitaries from Washington and Nashville-or his wife and two children, Roth loved hiking and photographing in the mountains.

Another example of Dutch's participation in the efforts to establish the park is the Goodwill Hike of June 8-9, 1929. The Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Asheville Times sent representatives to stand on the state line at Clingmans Dome to exchange greetings and letters from the governors of North Carolina and Tennessee. Lee Davis, a News¬Sentinel reporter, wrote, "For hours we climbed the damp trail, over rocks and streams and past banks of rhododendron and dazzling falls, canteens rattling and packs creaking. Then as we topped the last steep rise, the U.S. Geological tower broke thru the mists into our view, marking the mountain top."

Above: Gatlinburg in the 1920s. Mt. LeConte is in the background. Below:Benton MacKaye on the Appalachian Trail near Newfound Gap.

The two groups stood on either side of the border delineating the two states and exchanged greetings, hand¬shakes, and letters from the respective state chief executives, Governor Henry H. Horton of Tennessee and Governor O. Max Gardner of North Carolina. After the ceremonies, and the numerous pictures taken by the newspaper photographers and Dutch Roth, a carrier pigeon with a message about the event was released to carry the news back to Asheville.
The day was a long one. The Tennessee group walked up from Gatlinburg and back down for a total of 24 miles!

In addition to the park movement, Roth and the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club also played a role in establishing the Appalachian Trail in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. Roth walked with Benton MacKaye, the originator of the idea for the Appalachian Trail, and Myron Avery, who helped the trail become a reality on the land¬scape. Dutch and Thompson, along with countless others of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, marked, measured, graded, and cleared the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies.

One of Dutch's most interesting hiking companions and photo subjects is Harvey Broome, a founder and president of the Wilderness Society. Broome's writings and advocacy for wild places contributed to the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Dutch's hikes were not confined to the Smokies. He hiked and photographed Roan Mountain, Cumberland Falls, the Cumberland Plateau, Frozen Head, Fall Creek Falls, Joyce Kilmer, House Mountain, Clinch Mountain, Pickett, and Cumberland Gap. His photos document many Tennessee State Parks in their earliest stages.
Roth had a wonderful eye for more than the scenic vistas of the Smokies. He caught the intricate beauty of wildflowers, the flow of waterfalls, the folds of rock strata, the people and buildings of the area before it became a park, and the smiles of family and friends.

Roth retired from Southern Railway in July, 1959, and then moved to his "dream home" in Emerts Cove between Gatlinburg and Cosby the next year. He described that relocation as going into "God's Country." Roth died in 1974 at the age of 84, but his adventures live on at the University of Tennessee Digital Collection where his photographs can be accessed via the Digital Library of the University of Tennessee at dlc/digcoll.

We salute an unsung hero - Albert Gordon "Dutch" Roth - amateur - a lover of the outdoors, a lover of the Smokies, a lover of hiking, a lover of photography, a lover of family and friends - a true amateur who did it all for the love of it.

(Known for his love of hiking, Charles Maynard of Jonesborough is the author of the books Waterfalls of the Smokies and Churches of the Smokies as well as 22 children's non-fiction books on American history.)

In Hutch Roth's own words
Leap Year
On February 29 1948, the club had a Mystery hike. It being Leap Year, all the bachelor and young maids had a special invitation to make the trip. It turned out to be up Walker Prong to Jump-Off.

We met at Trailways Bus Station early Sunday morning. We had a special bus driven by one of the bosses. He was short, fat and kind of quiet. We sang and had a big time going up. When we left Pigeon Forge and started around the mountain toward Gatlinburg, the driver said that he would have to stop in Gatlinburg a while so that he could get a tire fixed. We didn't know it, but we were driving on a flat tire.

So we stopped in Gatlinburg and got it fixed. While they were fixing it, we all got off and stretched. One of the girls made the mistake of taking off one of her shoes. Some of the boys got it and played ball with it there on the Main Street. It was early and most of the people there were still asleep.

After about an hour, we were ready to leave again we still didn't know where we were going. It wasn't until the driver stopped that we knew where it was. All except about three got out and hiked up Walker Prong, the rest rode on up to Newfound Cap and hiked out to Jump-Off by the trail and met us there. The bus stayed at the Gap.

My daughter arc{ the ones who hiked the three miles out the trail got there first. We lad little or no trail most of the way and some got lost. When we got there, most of them had already had lunch, except my daughter, and she had to wait on me because I had the pack with the food in it with me. We took pictures and sat around and rested a while. Thai we came back by the trail to Newfound Gap.

Later when we got to the bus and were waiting on some of their, one of the girls started kidding the bachelors and on a dare kissed one of them, then after we all got on the bus and was coming down the mountain, some of the rest of them took it up and by the, time that we got back to town I think that every man on the bus had been kissed - including a big lip smear on the driver's fore head. I think he really enjoyed it. just about of the girls had been in on the act. As we can into Knoxville someone thought about the lipstick and you should have seen the men wiping it off. The driver got his off coming across the Henley Street Bridge. That was really a good trip. We don't get to have many hikes on the 29th of February.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Simple Example of Photography and Scientific Endevor

The following article from The Tennessee Conservative is about Dr. Jesse Shaver, a noted Biologist and Photographer. The article isn't well written but interesting in that this man was a good example of determination and endeavor. It also shows how photography can enhance one's intellectual endeavors and bring to a satisfying conclusion a life time of effort and positively affect the lives of generations to come. Hope you enjoy it.

Jesse Shaver and the Ferns of Tennessee
by Nora Beck
(July/August 2010 Tennessee Conservationist)

In one of the lean years following the Great Depression, biology professor Jesse Shaver had a student who needed help. She had taken on a study of Tennessee ferns, but lived out of state and could not travel to Tennessee during the summer to work on the project. Dr. Shaver began taking photographs of the ferns in their natural habitats for her to study, using a heavy view camera that required a tripod and glass plate negatives. Before she finished her project, the young woman transferred to another school. But no matter - by then her mentor had a new skill set in photography and a new consuming interest. That unnamed student's decision added yet another dimension to Shaver's already multifaceted career and produced an enduring legacy, The Ferns of Tennessee.

The book would come out some 20 years later, following the official end of Shaver's long career at Nashville's George Peabody College for Teachers. Time and funding constraints dictated that he first publish the book's contents serially as articles in the Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science, which he edited for 25 years. Working with occasional grant support, he traveled to every county in the state, and enlisted the aid of students, colleagues, friends and family for his botanizing work.

Meanwhile, he lectured to garden clubs and civic groups, helped students locate teaching positions, served as an officer or member in numerous professional associations, and published extensively on topics ranging from curriculum design to bird behavior. All of these activities were peripheral to his core teaching duties. Perseverance in the face of challenge had been a way of life since boyhood, and it served him well.

Jesse Shaver was born in 1888 and spent his earliest years in the Hemlock community on the southeast slope of Lookout Mountain, in what had once been the family's second home. His father's business ventures in nearby Chattanooga had failed, and the retreat became their livelihood. Their acreage in rural Walker County, Georgia, allowed them to develop a truck farm, and Jesse and his older siblings worked the land with their parents. "They had enough to eat", Jesse's daughter, Rosemary Thomasson, said, "but not much else." The local one-room school, open for three months of the year, inspired Jesse's quest for knowledge, and his surroundings fueled his interest in the natural world.

He was odd man out in his family; while older siblings went on to successful business careers, Jesse went to college and success of another sort. But first he had to get through high school.

Close to the time of his retirement, he related some of the work he did as a youngster: He assisted in prospecting for coal; then worked as "a woodsman in the timber business, peeling tanbark, getting out mine timbers, cross-ties, saw lags, and lumber." Finally, at age 17, he resumed formal education at Lookout Mountain School, eight miles from home by bicycle over dirt roads, or by mule when the roads got muddy. He was put in the sixth grade at first, but after a week was transferred to the seventh. In 1907, he transferred to Chattanooga's new Central High School, boarding with relatives and delivering afternoon newspapers to make expenses. In the summers he worked as a bicycle mechanic and a newspaper solicitor, and drove a huckster's wagon - a sort of horse drawn general store. And in 1911, he entered the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was 22 years old.

He first majored in engineering but took zoology and horticulture classes, and by the next semester was on course for a degree in scientific agriculture since UT offered no biology major at the time. The yearbooks track a busy college career including the more obvious - participation as member and officer in the Agricultural Club, staff of the UT Farmer, the agriculture honorary fraternity, YMCA, the Philomathesian Literary Society and its debate team, the Phi Kappa Phi
academic honorary fraternity - and, though he didn't have a musical background, the UT marching band. He was in the band for a single year, but he led it - as drum major. A look at a yearbook picture explains: at six feet six inches tall, Jesse Shaver could be spotted across a football field, towering above the other marchers. To fund his studies and extracurricular activities, he worked a paper route his first two years, waited tables at his boarding house and served as student assistant in botany. Summers he sold books, collected newspaper subscriptions, and worked as a farm hand in tobacco and wheat and as a dairyman.

By his third year, Jesse had met Daisy. Petite and lovely, freshman, Daisy Rule, had grown up on a family farm near Concord; treasured nature, and knew all about hard work. For a time during her early years she had to row across the Tennessee River to get to reach her school; she later boarded with a family in Knoxville to complete high school. Socially shy but fun loving and well read, she especially liked her English and history courses and had plans to be a writer. But when Shaver graduated from UT in 1915, he was determined to take Daisy Rule with him to his next station in life, and his ardent courting prevailed.

By the end of September of 1915, the two were two weeks married and living in Nashville, where Jesse began his teaching career as a biology instructor at Peabody, at the sum of $1,200 a year. Children were born to them soon and often - by 1920 there were three, and three more came later. They lived in a series of rented houses, always close to the Peabody campus.

By 1921, Jesse had managed to earn a Master of Science degree at Vanderbilt; and in seven more years completed his Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Chicago. In the midst of his work and travel, time with his growing family was hard to come by.

Saturdays and Sunday afternoons were times for family field trips. As many as eight Shavers squeezed into the family car, some standing and some on laps, for drives to see places Jesse might take his students and collect specimens. Radnor Lake was a frequent destination; as were cedar glades and the more southerly reaches of the Cumberland Plateau.

On campus, Dr. Shaver garnered a reputation for leading more rigorous field trips that had students up at dawn for bird observations, out late to see constellations, and were just as likely to take them to wetlands and rivers and fields full of chiggers as the manicured walkways of Peabody. He believed in the nature could only be properly observed on its own terms, and was determined to convey that belief to the hundreds of students he taught. His classes were often so crowded that students had to be seated in the corridor - because regardless of the early hours he kept, his humor and desire to educate trumped the discomforts of following him around.

Four years or so into his work on
The Ferns of Tennessee, he withstood an injury that might have put a lesser man out of commission. While on an observation trip with a graduate student he fell down a steep embankment and broke a femur. But the fieldwork had been scheduled for two more days, and he was unwilling to cut it short. The 48-hour delay before he sought medical attention resulted in a limp that stayed with him for the rest of his days.

"It's like he was driven," his daughter, Rosemary Thomasson, said. "He just had to do it, whatever it was. He couldn't stand not to take the next step just because it hurt."

His daughters, Sylvia Hardaway and Thomasson, related that their stoic father also didn't talk a lot about his boyhood. He was a good archivist, so we do know several details of his early years. He was a man of his times, though, and kept his own counsel. But he established a family tradition that was both instructive and revealing.

Every year at Christmas, he would get the help of his children to assemble about 20 cardboard boxes, and into them parceled fresh fruit, raisins, figs and other food items. On Christmas morning, he would load the boxes and whatever children would fit in the car, and deliver the boxes to the families who aided his work by allowing him to come on their land to gather data and to collect specimens. The young Shavers had to wait in the car as he took the boxes into houses; their father didn't want the families to be resentful of his well-nourished, warmly-clad children. Rosemary remembered that he once returned to the car wearing a sober expression, shut the car door, and said, "They were lucky people - they had one chair." Jesse had not forgotten what it was like to have little.

He remembered early mentors by paying it forward. One of Rosemary's classmates, Conrad Jamison, was among the talented students who eagerly assisted Shaver by making drawings that graced the finished book product. Jamison had a paper route, as Shaver had, and Rosemary remembers that he seemed more like an adult than a youth. After his sophomore year at Peabody he joined the military, and lost his life in Europe (Jamison's full story appeared in the September/October 2004 issue of
The Tennessee Conservationist). "It broke his heart to lose Conrad," Rosemary remembers.

But Shaver continued his work, mentored many other students, and enlisted them and friends like bird watcher, Harry Monk, to go with him on long jaunts that took them across the state - and into mud holes that required help from a tow truck, and into places where they were run off because, Shaver surmised, they'd come too close to homemade corn squeezings. Collecting and photographing by day and cataloging by night, Shaver was accumulating the data that would become
The Ferns of Tennessee.

Rosemary Thomasson, Jesse and Daisy's third daughter, remembers "We all got used to seeing stacks and stacks of plant presses. They were made up of about 12 to 15 pieces of corrugated cardboard, about 12 inches by 18 inches, with the fern and other plants pressed between them. The stacks were about 12 inches high, and they were all tied together with string. They were two and three deep and they were everywhere." (Jesse Shaver's specimens now reside in herbaria from Wisconsin to Florida. But the bulk of his collection, by some counts well in excess of 10,000 in number, eventually became part of the Vanderbilt Herbarium. There, taxonomist Robert Kral inherited their stewardship (see
The Tennessee Conservationist issue from January/February 1999) and later supervised their move to a permanent home at the Botanical Research Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, where they still inform research today.)

As his years of research and teaching waxed on, the Shavers became empty-nesters and, at last, bought their first home. Jesse Shaver continued to write, teach, and lead field trips well into his sixties, and Daisy Shaver was finally able to go with him with no qualms about what might be happening to the children in her absence. But arthritis in Shaver's bad leg, and later Parkinson's Disease, began to take their toll. In 1953 he retired - at least officially - and continued the work that would culminate at last with the publication of
The Ferns of Tennessee.

Finally compiled in a single volume in 1954, the book met wide acclaim and enthusiastic reviews from leading lights of the fern world, including C.V. Morton of the Smithsonian Institution. His review in the American Fern journal called it "the most important book on United States Ferns to appear in recent years."

Helen Bullard, long-time Ozone resident and writer, borrowed a copy of
Ferns of Tennessee, and wrote in the June, 1964 issue of The Tennessee Conservationist that "Books can open doors and point out vistas hitherto unsuspected. As I studied this excellent and lovingly put together work on our ferns, much of my college botany found its way out from the recess of my memory, and I knew I was `hooked," Inspired by The Ferns of Tennessee, she went on to create a woodland garden that harbored more than 2,000 ferns of some 19 different species.

"I love the way he wrote," said fern expert Chris Spindel of Memphis. "He enlarged my vision." Like Helen Bullard, she was motivated to create a fern garden of her own.

In 1970 Dover Reprints published the book under the title
Ferns of the Eastern United States with Special Reference to Tennessee. Shaver's work stands today. Botanist Todd Crabtree of the Department of Environment and Conservation's Resource Management Division's Natural Heritage Inventory Program states that the Shaver book is the one where he finds the most detailed information on the ferns of the state. "We may know more about [fern population] distribution today, but for habit and description, The Ferns of Tennessee is still one of the best books I know of." His colleague Roger McCoy, who manages the inventory program, says that he, too, still considers the book the most relevant references for ferns.

Jesse Shaver described the Southern Maidenhair (Adiantum Capillus-Veneris L.) as "not very common in Tennessee" because of its restricted habitat - sometimes occurring on the walls of limestone sinkholes, clinging to wet limestone bluffs in or near the spray of waterfalls." As with all the other species he described for the book, he visited as many stands of the fern as he could find, incorporated drawings and photographs to illustrate every detail, created a separate bibliography for each species and created a map showing every county in which he located the fern. For the Southern Maidenhair, he identified two forms.

"The map shows the distribution of Adiantum Capillus-Veneris L. in Tennessee in so far as I have been able to determine it ... at the following stations: below Great Falls, Rock Island, Warren County, and also on the White County side of the Caney Fork River at Great Falls; spring and water trough, 1.3 miles north of the Sparta courthouse on the Monterey Road, White County..."

Fifty-six years later, the spring and water trough are still there, hard by the east side of the road, their waters draining underneath through a culvert to the Calfkiller River just across the highway. A careful look shows a few dried brown fronds of Southern Maidenhair Fern, and a few more, green, drenched in the water seeping from the steep hillside above.

An epilogue: Daisy outlived Jesse by 26 years. She continued to garden and enjoy the birds, and to carry on the conservation ethic she and Jesse had shared. Her daughter, Sylvia, relates that Daisy Shaver made the very first donation to the fund to protect Radnor Lake. Daisy and Jesse Shaver's shared headstone in Nashville's Mount Olivet Cemetery bears the engraved image of the Resurrection Fern.

(Nora Beck is the land conservation coordinator for the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation in Nashville.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Apologies For My Old Fans

Those of you who have followed me over the last two decades in all my various webpages and blogs are wondering if I even take pictures anymore since everthing I seem to post has been posted before.  Forgive me.  I get inspired while on break at my job and I grab a shot from one of those many sites to emphasis a point I'm making.  With my new Droid tool I will start to download new photos and then can post at any time.  I promise.

Here is a color photo converted to B&W.  I worked on the B&W photo playing with color filters.  The modern tools for us computer adventurous folks is amazing and make this craft very affordable.  With Winter upon us, it's a great way to fend off cabin fever.  Drop me a comment and let me know which of these two photos you like and why.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pictures That Can't Be Taken Anymore

One of the really cool things about photography is you can record something unusual that can never be seen the same again.  I've lived in Birmingham, Alabama several times in my life.  There use to be a skyscraper  building that had about a 17 foot tall replica of the Statue Of Liberty 3/4 of the way up.  One day I managed to get behind it and took this picture.  Not what you would expect as background is it.  Today you can't take this shot.  I'm not sure if the building has been torn down but the statue was moved to a park somewhere in the city.  The photo was taken during the 1970's. (OMG that’s 40 years ago). 

What has always pleased me about this picture is not the accuracy of the reproduction of the Statue, but the background.  Yes, it's junky and basically uninteresting.  But what it is, is not the Upper New York Bay.  That causes curiosity ever time I show it.

I mention this because while I knew the unusual background would be cool, I never expected this view to go away.  Living in a small town I got the chance to purchase a photo book of the towns history.  While the town square is still pretty much the same (a fire destroyed city hall and they replaced it with a piece of crap) but there are small changes that reflect the era the picture was taken.  I've often wondered what my grandchildren's children are going to think of the crappy architecture of the 60's and 70' -- the cinderblock to steel utility building that is so popular today.  I hope they are not too hard on us for being so cheap and uncreative. 

Look around at what you see in your town and capture it.  It may seem common and uninteresting but in 75 years it will be "vintage" and it will be gone. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Copyright Infringment In A Pocket Size Tool. Oh So Cool. Yea I Know It Isn't New.

Years ago I worked for Fox Photo in one of their Mall Stores.  This one was located at Eastgate Mall in Birmingham, AL.  Both Fox Photo and Eastgate have seen better days but back in 1974 (remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron?) they both were in full swing.  As the Store Manager I got four more work hours a week so my salary would be higher than the regular employees (most of whom where very attractive young ladies that kept my dating life a pure joy). 

I saw a few weird folks too.  Like the guy who bought a ton of Kodak 1X movie equipment from me so he could shoot Bruce Lee movies at the Mall movie theater.  In those days, such stealing was unheard of and not even thought of as copyright infringement because the equipment hadn't existed until then.  I thought it strange since he could only shoot about 2 minutes at a time on Super 8 reels and what he showed me was just Bruce and his half naked upper body work.  The brightness of the end product was a bit dull too.  We didn't think much about Homosexuality in those days either.

Fast forward to January 2nd 2011 - I took my two day old Droid X with me to see the remake of "True Grit".  Just as a lark I thought I'd use the camcorder function to see what would come out of this tiny thing.  I was quit surprised.  It's not Technicolor but not bad either.  I shot the trailer to an up coming animated movie so I don't think I'm violating any copyrights here since you can see it on the web anyway.  But take a gander at how it came out.  The first few seconds has patrons passing in front of me looking for empty seats so take that into consideration when you judge my camera work.  I should also mention that conversion took a lot of the quality out.  I'm new a this but the conversion did drop the size from 179 meg to 13 meg so the pixelation is noticeable but not in the original 3gp.

I'm interested in how this 8 mega pixel camera works and some of the in phone software so expect more postings on this toy.