|Message from Dick Osseman
From May 2004 I have had a site at Pbase that exclusively shows (27.700 as of this writing!) pictures I took in Turkey. In 2009 I added a site about Syria, a country I longed to see also. However, before I started travelling in the Near East my favourite country used to be Italy. Only after tens of visits throughout that country, with the exception of the northernmost regions, I felt I wanted to get to know a different country. I have always been an avid photographer, working on 36 mm slide material. I mainly used Kodachrome, which is lucky because that is the one film that does not age within tens of years. As a result I own thousands of slides of many of the major topics in Italy. Since I have – with one short exception – not been in that country for about since the early nineties many of the pictures I show will – when people, cars, streets are shown, look outdated. However, the many pictures of church interiors, of monumental buildings and museum collections will look pretty much the same nowadays. As for the latter, I am certain museums have been modernized a lot, so some objects will have been moved, museum interiors may have been completely altered. Be that as it may, I find amongst the many slides several that I think are worth the viewers’ while.
My Turkey site has an encyclopaedic character due to the fact that I and, over the years increasingly, others, have added many captions and comments. With the current Italy site that will be a bit more of a problem. One is simply lack of time. With now three picture sites on the net, I have only that much time to find the facts to write into captions, particularly so since I regularly am away from home to visit Turkey and Syria. And, for maybe a year or more, I’ll be adding new material to this Italy site, which implies lots of scanning and editing. Also, I must confess to having forgotten some of the captions that I would have known twenty from memory, twenty, thirty years ago.
But there is one advantage. I protect my other sites from commentators of kinds, by keeping a filter on them. People can write a comment, but it is not visible until I read it. I would love to do without, but I have had some nasty experiences with politically or religiously driven comments that I’d rather not share with the world. I think with a country like Italy that risk is smaller, so until further notice anyone can write a comment, which will be open to public view. This means that anyone who knows a proper caption can add this. Words of praise are welcome too, but I’m more interested in correct captions for the things I show.
As for that praise. I always used quality equipment. But the ease of taking a picture nowadays, with high grade lenses and a camera that I can push to 25.600 ISO, simply cannot be compared with the trouble I used to have of taking pictures without flash (forbidden) or tripod (forbidden) on 200 ISO film in lowly lit museums, often with glare on the oil paintings and different colours of artificial lighting from one room to the next. I am surprised at the results of some pictures, almost without exception after heavy photoshopping. Others I find just passable, some not even that. Still I show many of those too, because for me they are a reminder of where I was and what I liked at the time I took them. I would not show them to the world if I did not think at least some will be enjoyable to others.
Elsewhere I have a site where I inform viewers on recent additions to any of my sites, the address is:
http://members.chello.nl/dosseman/news/default.html (just click the link).
On the home page of that site I also give some biographical information, as well as information about using pictures for private or commercial use. Clicking the “recent” button in this Italy site will show you what galleries I have recently added or edited. Expect the site to grow.