Sunday, August 30, 2009

Please Don’t Feed the Flowers

Living in Paradise doesn’t mean there aren’t any challenges and oddities.

I wake up in the morning still faced with myself and that same nagging question…“What do I want to do with the rest of my life?”

After some reflection, I realize I might as well continue to fully live in this present moment ‘til I figure it out.

So today I got up and walked over (two driveways away) to Kalani to swim, sauna and soak in the hot tubs. Eileen Borgeson biked over later and joined me.

I start the jaunt midway on the three acres that we’re living on which is lined with many different varieties of trees, including coconuts, mango and papaya…all, except the papaya, about 40 feet tall for some odd reason. Along the way, I pass the crazy fruit tree section: noni (think the smells and taste of really dirty gym socks-a fruit that possibly cures anything and everything), breadfruit (think super glue that’s good for you and can taste like potatoes or pudding) and jackfruit (think juicy fruit gum, gooey latex, a mango/banana flavor with seeds that when steamed or roasted taste like some exotic nut.)

A short stroll along the tree canopied road bordered on the makai side by the waves crashing on the lava cliffs and then I start walking on the beautifully landscaped grounds up to the pool. Kalani is situated on 120 acres of grounds which Richard (the delightful owner whom I just met) has been evolving since the late seventies into a retreat he shares with many while respecting and preserving that land’s ancient and sacred Hawaiian history.

A few hours later after my meditative and ‘spa’ experience I’m back at our Puna Kalapana Retreat…and now back to Please Don’t Feed the Flowers…

I’m looking at a scattered selection of sublimely exquisite plants and their flowers…some, look they must have been designed by Dr. Seuss himself. Most of the flowers are beyond verbal description so you just have to see them yourself (above.)

In one picture my Son Chris’ ‘spider orchids from Mars’ have encountered an as- yet-unknown-to-me ‘pink woven something’ with delicate purple flowers growing from its side. And in the other visual there is a banana flower who was about to eat a pink perfection hibiscus when she was politely reminded of our ‘Please Don’t Feed (or feed on) the Flowers’ rule here…later they became new ‘best friends’ (even without a workshop.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Houston Hotties sent by Mission Control to Dolphin Encounter in Alohaland

(Pics: top - Eileen Borgeson, Patty & Becky Busmire and Jeff Allen; middle - Drew Busmire, Josh Withers, Eileen and Becky; bottom - Patty and Kim Peeples)

Chance meetings are sometimes the most memorable. Eileen Borgeson and I had just landed at the Point House on Kealakekua Bay. While checking out the terrain we encountered other visitors in this strange yet bewitching piece of paradise.

There they were sharing the same vista of the ocean with the sacred Hawaiian Heiau on our right and Captain Cook monument directly across the bay.

There’s always something so special about a close family on vacation. They’re sharing new experiences and playing like a pod of Dolphins.

Speaking of Dolphins, Eileen was put on Dolphin alert to call the Houston Hotties (Kim Peeples, sister Patty Busmire and a ‘much to bright for her age’ daughter Becky – who’s much prettier when she smiles) if she saw any Dolphins. Luckily, our friend Gary Stice’s Point House is closest to where the Dolphins swim and offers a perfect ‘crows nest’ for viewing.

Well, as if on cue, Eileen spotted Dolphins playing in the bay at 6:30AM. After a quick call to Patty, Eileen swam to a location where the Dolphins could swim up to her if they chose… which they did.

Eileen’s Experience “I was off to the side of the other swimmers and found myself almost constantly surrounded by the over 30 Dolphins that were with us in the Bay for nearly an hour…several pods were cavorting above and below the surface, leaping, spinning on top and two ‘teenage Dolphins” were below me flipping the leaves I had brought them and acting very clownish. One whooshed by me so close it almost touched my cheek…I nearly kissed a Dolphin! My best ever encounter in Kealakekua Bay”.

Shortly after Eileen’s call to Patty, the Houston Hotties arrived ready to see if they too would be greeted by the Dolphins.

Kim (now a Hawaii resident for 11 years) opted for shore duty and Patty and Becky plus me in tow climbed over some rocks and sailed (actually swam) off to Dolphinland.

Our expectations for success were high since Pattie had paved the way eight years earlier with her first visit with the Dolphins. (Becky was unable to attend at that time due to a commitment to higher education that has since forged her character even to this day.)

Well another accomplishment for Houston Mission Control. The Houston Hotties were well received by the Dolphins and that special epiphany happened when two species meet on friendly and even playful terms.

Later more of the Houston Hotties clan showed up and we were able to share the vistas of Gary's Point House with Patty's son Drew Busmire and his friend Josh Withers before they took off to college for their commitment to higher education.

More about the Houston Hotties in episodes to come…

Saturday, August 1, 2009

E-HoloCards – Spectral Analysis at It’s Best.

E-Holograms utilize light to display the visual magic of Eileen Borgeson’s artistry and my holography experience and knowledge in accessing various holographic techniques to create our mixed-media E-HoloCards.

The holographic substrates themselves are optical recordings (no dyes or pigments) which use the same light that illuminates them to reconstruct optically recorded imagery or kinetic effects. E-Holograms have been programmed to create 3-D solid or moving imagery, kinetic rainbow explosions or both. Many E-HoloCards have also been physically embossed with old-world craftsmanship & precision and traditionally printed with images, designs and lettering.

Each different light source, whether incandescent, neon, fluorescent, mercury arc or the sun, emits a different spectrum (frequency) of light, thus they each create a different ‘look’ on each E-Hologram.

If you look at a light source through a pair of holographic novelty ‘rainbow’ glasses you’ll be able to see the visual spectrum produced by each specific light source. This is sometimes referred to as spectral analysis. By analyzing the colors of the light that passes through a holographic (diffraction) grating you can determine which frequencies the light is composed of. Spectral analysis is also the technique used by astronomers to measure the size, age and composition of the outer and inner universe.

Every light environment, whether outside in nature or inside will also affect how the holographic image appears to the viewer. Even ambient light can create beautiful colors with the brilliance of dichroic glass and even nature’s opals. Even different viewers in the same room can be looking at the same hologram and see an entirely different image.

Shown here is the same E-HoloCard we used for two different occasions. This was an E-Hologram prototype which utilizes selected holographic substrates to incorporated with Eileen’s imagery.

The first use was a congratulations card we emailed to Eileen’s granddaughter, Ava Wallen congratulating her on her gymnastics achievement of making it to California State Finals. The second use was an E-Card we sent via email to our bestest of friends, Linda Siegel-Kane. We had digitally shot the card before it was sent to Ava so we later just Paint Brushed Pro-ed the personalization into the digital file. Notice how different the visuals look. They’re the same card just a different lighting situation.

Eileen’s basic image outline of each card creates the same theme but the overall artistic expression and impression of each E-HoloCard changes in different lights, environments and viewing angles.

Moments in Holography History - 1st White-Light Viewable Embossed Holographic Prototypes of Michelangelo’s David

[visuals note: The visuals show two viewing perspectives of the same embossed hologram of David. ]

At the beginning of this century while going through some ‘almost’ lost treasures of my past, I uncovered a plain brown envelope with a number of 4” x 5” acetate plastic sheets separated by tissue. Further investigation revealed that these were the first prototypes from the early seventies when Michael Foster and I, under our Cottonwood Research and Development Corporation, were ‘tweaking’ Foster’s holographic embossing process. The technique used at that time replicated holograms on plastic that needed a laser to view them. Most holograms up till then needed a laser to create them and view them.

I was surprised that the smell of acetate was still present in bag. After almost 40 years! Acetate was the chemical we used to replicate holograms from the holographic master onto plastic sheets.

Our subject matter was a small sculpted version of the bust of Michelangelo’s iconic “David”. We were evolving our previously replicated holograms which required laser illumination to view them and make them white-light-viewable.

Foster was making successive holographic masters that incorporated new optical approaches he was experimenting with to increase the white-light viewability of the replicated holograms. I was doing the physical embossing to create a replicated plastic hologram from each of his new masters using a very clever embossing process he’d devised.

So each hologram in this batch was a hologram made from a new different holographic master during our experimenting that night. We were always nocturnal. The process enabled us to see the holographic image of David from a white-light source. But, as you can see from the pictures, the image of David had a spectral spread around it. Still this hologram is probably one of the first embossed image holograms ever made which had the capability of white-light viewability from a holographic master plate capable of mass-producibility onto plastic without laser exposure. Both techniques were major breakthroughs at that time.

The first public viewing of a hologram from this session was made in San Jose at the Tech Museum during their Talent and Tapestry Event in 2001.

We later incorporated the Steve Benton ‘Rainbow” technique which eliminated one parallax dimension (in this case the vertical axis) to create white-light viewability. Our first ‘prototypes’ of these holograms were purchased by Laser Focus Magazine to sell in an ad in their magazines. This probably was the very first commercial use of embossed ‘display/image’ holography. These holograms (actually holographic prototypes) were available for purchase only months after the breakthrough was made. Talk about bringing an invention to the market place in a short period of time…this certainly qualifies. Luckily, breakthroughs in holographic imagery can be seen as they happen thus making them available as a product for purchase instead of just a part of a more complex system that has to be further developed before in becomes a product or gadget. Holograms are actually both. They are the holographic substrate that records imagery as well as the display device that reconstructs the holographic imagery when illuminated with light.