Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Bird‘s eye view/Aerial...
. . . .

Bird‘s eye view/Aerial photography

Glen Young - August 8th, 2011
Bird’s eye view: Aerial photography exhibit soars in Petoskey
By Glen Young
Robert Cameron always took the bird’s eye view. Cameron, whose works are
currently on display at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center gallery,
popularized the aerial vantage point in his many “Above” books. His
first, “Above San Francisco,” was published in 1969. He went on to
publish 16 more in the series. There are more than three million “Above”
books in print.
Cameron, a native of Des Moines, Iowa who died in 2009 at age 98, first
made a name in publishing in 1964 with his book “The Drinking Man’s Diet,”
which promoted the notion that a martini or a Scotch during meals could
help take off weight. He sold more than 2.4 million copies of the popular
diet book. Forbes Magazine said recently, “Then and now, the diet is work
of staggering brilliance.”
The Crooked Tree exhibit features 15 of Cameron’s “Above” photos, some as
close to home as Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel and surrounding
neighborhood, while some are more far flung, such as France’s Mont St.
Michel. Loaned by Cameron’s daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Richard
Manoogian, the works are a composite both of Cameron’s vision, as well as
his adherence to the belief that photos be shot on a grand scale.
Curator Gail DeMeyere purposely hung the photos lower than she typically
hangs art, in order to give viewers a sense of walking into the scene.

Given his first camera, a Brownie 1A, on his 10th birthday, Cameron
eventually made his way to the Des Moines Register, where he worked
through the Depression, earning $14 a week for his efforts behind the
lens. He worked as a civilian photographer for the War Department during
World War II, as his health kept him from active duty.
Later he took a job selling perfume in New York, which he abhorred. In
1959, he announced to his family his desire to move to San Francisco. The
family moved the next year, and Cameron set up Cameron and Company, which
first sold champagne-formula shampoo.
After the success of his “Drinking Man’s” book, he took to aerial
photography. “Above San Francisco” was his first publication. Other
titles include “Above Paris,” “Above Mexico City,” and “Above Yosemite,”
as well as several more. Each title features text by an authority on the
area. John F. Kennedy’s press secretary Pierre Salinger wrote the text
for “Above Paris.” Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Historic
Parks, provided the text for “Above Mackinac.”
Porter says, “It was an honor and joy to work with Bob Cameron on his
book… By the time he did this publication, he was already a noted
aerial photographer, having produced stunning books on some of the
most famous and beautiful cities around the world.”
Cameron’s camera of choice was a Pentax 6x7 cm, which is about four times
larger than the standard 35 mm camera. The camera was hand-held, and
equipped with a gyrostabilizer. He used lenses that ranged from fisheye
to 400 mm. Usually hanging out of the open door, Cameron typically worked
from a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter. He was fond of saying, “I always
thought that aerial photography was a big and grand subject and ought to
be presented large.” Before his death, he did acknowledge the impact of
digital, though he always believed he could only do what he liked to do
with film. Cameron stayed busy taking aerial photos until only months
before his death.

The 15 photographs on display at Crooked Tree range in size from 40
inches by 60 inches (The Golden Gate Bridge on its 50th anniversary), to 6
by 12 feet (The annual Taste of Chicago). Each photo was reframed in
22-karat gold leaf for this exhibition. The exhibit is the result of a
collaboration between Crooked Tree board member Melissa Keiswetter and the
DeMeyere, visual arts and education director at Crooked Tree, says
visitors are connecting with the photographs in a variety of ways.
“People talk of their experiences traveling to these areas, or a desire to
travel to these areas,” she says.
Of the more recognizable scenes, such as Mackinac Island or Wall Street,
people are trying to find their homes or points of interest. Some of the
images create a vertigo feeling, especially the New York Skyscrapers, and
you feel as if you can fall into the image.”
Cameron and Company, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, also
publishes “Above” calendars, as well as other titles on subjects as
diverse as oyster culture, sculpture, and tea.

“Above: The Photography of Robert Cameron” will be on display at
Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center until September 5. For more
information, call 231-347-4337 or visit their website at

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5