December 12, 2013

12/25 - Photographing Marin County - my new book

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This image is on page 38 of the book...   Point Reyes, taken February 2011.

At the end of this row of old Cypress trees is the "receiving" half of radio station KPH, which from 1920 to the 1960's was staffed by a crew keeping track of ship-to-shore communications, dots & dahes--they called it; traffic.

The receiving station is a classic white 1920s Art Deco building, whereas the transmitter site is 20 miles south on the Mesa, near the town of Bolinas.
The reason for the transmitters being so far apart is that powerful outgoing signals would interfere with weaker incoming signals. Operators at the receiving site remotely controlled (keyed) the transmitter by means of a landline connecting the two sites--incoming and outgoing messages could be handled in this one location.

KPH was originally located in San Francisco inside the Palace Hotel (the P&H in KPH), but after being ruined in the 1906 earthquake, operations were moved to Point Reyes, where antennas have clear coverage of the Pacific. Originally operated by RCA, both MCI and Global Wireless owned the facilities in the 1960's until the National Park Service in the 1970's turned all of Point Reyes, including her radio station, into a National Seashore.

KPH was originally not a ship-to-shore telephone company, but broadcast regular bulletins of news, weather and other general information to the shipping community, then relayed business and personal messages to and from individual ships. Station operators also monitored the international distress frequencies for calls from ships in trouble.

With the decline of Morse code the station was retired, but volunteers have preserved it in operating condition so that it can still be heard on the air on weekends and special occasions, sometimes using the alternative callsign KSM and the amateur radio club callsign K6KPH.   Source: Wikipedia.

Click to read more about KPH on AphotoAday post October 17, 2009.

This "tree tunnel" (above) might look familiar. You may have seen it filmed as a backdrop for a fleeting second or two on the "tube". The last television commercial I spotted shot here was an ad for some brand of tranquilizer.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This image is on page 39 of the new book...   Pt. Reyes, taken August 2012.

Ghostlike and haunting, or perhaps you see a tranquil form...

Okay, okay, I realize that not everybody has $30 to shell out for a book, no matter how much they might want to support me and my work, so for the next 16 days I will be showing images from the book 2 at a time. You can also see exactly what the book looks like in a preview from MagCloud, the publisher, and you can also visit my website, to see the images displayed as an exhibit without the book formatting and more info on how to place your order.

Photographing Marin County - the exhibit and book

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