Friday, April 29, 2011

Notes: April 29

1. Aerial Photography: What do you do when you are taking a long flight and you get tired of reading? I take photos of the land below! Some of the pictures are very objective and some are abstract works of form and color. Here is my method...
1. Get a window seat not over the wing and not directly behind an engine ( hot engine exhaust will distort the photo)
2. Since you will be flying at about 35,000 feet, use your telephoto lens - and look for land masses of interest or artistic arrangement.
3. Early in or morning or late evening will provide the most interesting shadows.
4. After you download your photos, adjust them using Photoshop or iPhoto - crop, adjust contrast, etc...

High Sierra Mts. California - mid winter - late afternoon

Late winter avalanche build up - bottom of avalanche chutes

Golden Gate Bridge - Between San Francisco and Marin County - California - Late PM

Dry Lake Bed - Nevada

Copper Mine - Utah

Dammed up Colorado River above Hoover Dam - Arizona

Dry salt lake - Nevada

Dry desert alluvial fan - Nevada

Virginia fields

San Francisco Bay salt evaporation ponds

Berkeley California w/University of California

Mt. Shasta - N. Calif.

Oklahoma oil fields

2. We have a family mystery in the Zlatnik/Sadek family. My grandmother Julie Zlatnik maintained a regular communication with her sisters in Cesky Boratin until the start of the Second World War - then silence. We have had no contact - even though there was an extensive family in Czech Republic, the Volyn Valley of what today is the Ukraine, and some in Austria and elsewhere. This has long been a topic of puzzlement - and bits of evidence have been offered but no solid information at all.

When we were on the east coast visiting our son, we made a visit to Judy's cousin in Delaware. He was enthusiastic about a computer program that assisted in genealogical research. Formal genealogy has not been a special interest of mine because I felt like we were at a dead end in our search - but I tried his program - ( it is a fee site - but you get two weeks free trial) - and promptly discovered one lead after another for both sides of my family - names - dates - children - locations ... The site put me in touch with all sorts of documents: original census documents, birth and death certificates, draft registrations, etc... but most valuable I discovered that other people had already done extensive work in gathering data - and I could link with them. Often there are different data bases that can be compared for accuracy and agreement of data - plus new data... It is quite addicting!

I found a source that seemed to have a lot in common with my family and so I contacted her. She answered in a detailed letter that explains more than I ever knew before about the Czech families of Cesky Boratin and how most of them returned to Czechoslovakia after the war (mostly to the Sudeten Land region). While she has relatives with the same name as the family of my grandmother - we have not yet found a direct link between them - Still the records of her and her grandfather have all the same names and locations that I have - so we'll see. I hope we can continue our on line discussion.

Such a detective story.