August 26, 2009
Standing by the gasification system on the bed of his modified Ford F150 pickup, Dave Nichols holds roughly 1 pound of biomass (wood) that can power the truck about two miles.
I caught up with Mr. Nichols at Greenfest 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. He had driven his truck from Greenfield, Massachusetts to Boston in the One Gallon Challenge. Creators of energy efficient cars essayed to drive the 100 mile journey on less than a gallon of gasoline.
Mr. Nichols starts a fire in his system with a blow torch. Once the temperature in the "reactor" reaches 2,200 degrees, the wood no longer burns, but "vaporizes itself." The resulting gaseous fuel cools to 140 degrees in a heat exchanger before flowing into the modified engine.
This biomass gasification process was developed in the 1800s and used during WWII to make up for a lack of petroleum fuel.
The process is carbon neutral, says Mr. Nichols. The only emissions are carbon dioxide, water and a small about of mineral ash. He is a contractor and believes the technology could also be used to fuel construction machines with construction debris.
At the end of the day, Mr. Nichols heats and electrifies his Killingly, Connecticut home with the system on his truck.
You can support his clean fuel efforts by asking Congress to allocate funds for his ongoing research and development.
August 19, 2009
A statue of the Virgin Mary, portrayed in three images, each comprised of 3 exposures.
As the triptych progresses, I like how the background layers of church details (and eventually a sunset) become more prominent, and the statue's features, expression and age appear to change.
My goal is to visually represent how each viewer of this statue, based on their histories, sees something different.
August 12, 2009
I love it when words sound like what they mean. Take slime for example.
Cleat is as direct and strong as its purpose: attaching boats to docks by ropes.
Tidal River Dock Cleat
I have photographed in Duxbury, Massachusetts since boyhood. And, like this day, I have jumped in the refreshing ocean waters whenever possible.
An Egret patiently stalks marsh bound prey. A hundred years ago, these elegant creatures were hunted close to extinction as their feathers were prized for hat decorations. To protect such birds, a couple of proper Bostonian women founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
I shot all these images from basically the same spot on a dock. I just used different lenses and angles.
August 5, 2009
Since 2001 I have photographed using digital cameras. One obvious benefit is real time exposure evaluation.
In the beginning, I just assessed the how the image looked on the camera's screen. These days, I look at image histogram data as a more effective exposure guide, since extreme ambient lighting conditions, such as bright sun or a dark interior, make accurate judging of a small glowing screen impossible.
I commence each shoot with test frames to assess exposure.
In the artist statement for my reality-based abstraction gallery, I note the deep influence of Cubist painters on my art. Studying their workflow, I found that Pablo Picasso, for example, often sketched before creating his final piece.
As I produce more layered abstractions, I feel that the test frames, once just for exposure, have become digital sketches for my final works.
© 2009 John Nordell