Today is the Ides of March, famous as the date Julius Caesar was assassinated on the floor of the Roman senate in 44 B.C. I was curious to know more about the Ides and found this answer and lots more on the Ides at Wikipedia:
"The Romans did not number days of a month from the first to the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st of the following month). The Ides occurred near the midpoint, on the 13th for most months, but on the 15th for March, May, July, and October. The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. On the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year."
My Ides of March post is mostly about Edward Steichen. The above selfie has my painting of Steichen's photograph "Three Pears and an Apple" in the background. I discussed this painting and his photograph in an earlier post. Now here is a summary of how Steichen created photograph:
During the Second World War, Steichen had the challenging job of making sharp, clear pictures from a vibrating, speeding airplane. After the war, he became keenly interested in learning all that could be expected from photography. He conducted many elaborate experiments over the course of a summer relating to a method of representing volume, scale and a sense of weight. Using apples, pears and various light sources, he determined that diffused light came closer to giving a sense of volume. In his small greenhouse, Steichen constructed a tent of opaque blankets, put a single apple inside and cut off all direct light. From a tiny opening not larger than a nickel, he directed light against one side of the covering blanket--no other light. There were adjustments to compose and focus the picture and then a series of exposures that ran from six to thirty-six hours. The most successful ones took thirty-six hours. What he hadn't counted on is that the longest exposures lasted through the night into the next day. The nights were cooler and everything, including the camera and the covering, contracted and expanded. Instead of producing one meticulously sharp image, the infinitesimal movement produced a succession of slightly different sharp images which optically fused as one. From this experiment eventually came his legendary image "Three Pears and an Apple". The image as reproduced in the book is amazing with its textural and three dimensional quality.
I'm still working on making better black and white images. Below are some images from recent walks. We had plenty of snow on the ground last week, but today we are 99% snow free. A frog is sitting outside the pond because it's been so warm the last two days. I told him, "enjoy, but remember there's a cold front moving in later".