Here are some photographs that defy easy categorization. Scroll down until you find something of interest, then click the thumbnail image to see a larger image.
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Except as noted, all photographs Copyright 2006 King Douglas
On the left is the main building of American Airlines Headquarters, where I work, with one of our planes in its final descent towards DFW Airport, which begins about a mile north of the headquarters campus. Here's a satellite map that shows where the headquarters buildings sit in relation to the airport.

As part of a large project. titled, "Diverse Cultures/Uncommon Skills: Profiles of Six SPSS Experts," I interviewed and photographed six experts in my field in various cities around the world: Moscow, Russia; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Pamplona, Spain; and two cities in the U.S.A.: Providence, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. SPSS is the statistics and data management application I use in my job at American Airlines.

At Gold Metals, my favorite place to treasure hunt for metal in Dallas. I picked up this piece of rusted, etched tungsten that was in a silk-screen frame. I'm going to put it on the wall.

On the left is an image captured on Swiss Avenue, near my home, on a rare snowy day in Dallas, February 2004.

Tree Man
At the left you see my tree man, Roberto Vergara. Roberto was recommended to me by my friend, Alan Brown. I wanted to have my large pecan tree trimmed because it cast too much shade in my backyard.

I hadn't seen this particular job done before. It was remarkable. Roberto went about the task in a practiced, careful and efficient manner. Starting with the lower branches, he caused each piece he cut to fall exactly where it wanted it to land. On the ground, his wife cut the fallen pieces into firewood.

I knew the tree was tall, but until I saw him near the top, I didn't have a full appreciation of just how tall it is, and the larger image doesn't even show the base of the tree.

Here's one of the benefits of trimming a large tree.

Lipstick, looking for gig
I found this card pinned to a bulletin board in a small town in Oregon. I just had to have it. Sorry, Rachelle. I hope you got a gig.


Todd Duncan hand-tied fishing fly
Todd Duncan is one of my best friends and one of the most intelligent and talented people I have ever met. We worked together in the advertising photography business.

One day I got a card from him in the mail that epitomizes our respect for one another.

Duane Michals
The great photographer and poet Duane Michals in a characteristic pose. Duane was lecturing with Mary Alice Mark (next photo) at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. I had the privilege of attending Duane's semester-long seminar, which was very rewarding, but he was one of my photo heroes long before that.

Here's "Women Live In Liquids", my favorite of his poems, edited and signed by him.

Some quotes from the seminar:

"The moment you begin to talk about what you know, the work becomes interesting."

"Don't talk to us about structure—talk to us about meaning."

"I think that all good work makes demands on the viewer."

"The nature of something is more important than the appearance of something."

"Don't confuse clever with profound."

Mary Ellen Mark
The famous photographer Mary Ellen Mark, lecturing at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University .

Scan by Alan Brown
My friend Alan Brown is a psychology professor at Southern Methodist University.  He's also an artist who is slowly letting that side of his brain and personality get adequate exercise. We've taken welding and ceramics classes together.

One fall day, he brought some leaves to my house and asked if we could scan them into my computer. He thought they were beautiful. So did I.

By the way, a scan *is* a photograph.

Longhorn bull I had a chance to photograph some longhorn steers and bulls for Lone Star Cadillac at a ranch near Fort Worth. It was part of a series of photos I shot to advertise their move to a new location. Although the fee was good, there was much more work involved than I had counted on.

Some time later I got a call from a Boston advertising agency needing a shot of a longhorn bull (not this one--this is just an outtake). They had called the longhorn ranch to set things up and were to that there was a "longhorn photography expert" in Dallas. I got the job and was paid about 4 times what I got from Lone Star Cadillac, because now I was an expert.

My favorite part of the second shoot was a joke the cowboys played on the art director who flew down from Boston. We were having barbecued hamburgers for lunch when one of the cowboys started to talking about Bubba, the longhorn calf that had been raised as a pet. "Bubba would follow you around like a puppy. He had the biggest brown eyes." She said, "What happened to Bubba?" You're eating him, the cowboy replied. I remember the look of repugnance on her face when she said, "I'm eating Bubba?!"

Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University When the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University was building the Hamon Arts Library, they figured they'd kick up a lot of dust, so they wanted to put up some posters with an "excuse our mess" theme, and to involve all the art disciplines that were are part of the school.

I suggested having a high-contrast parade of students and staff representing the different disciplines: studio art, theater, dance, library and music. You'll notice the fourth figure from the left. That's the janitor who came in to clean up during the photo shoot...a perfect icon for cleaning up the mess.

Laura Young

Laura Young, Anamarie Sarazin

At the left is a portrait of my friend, Laura Young, ballerina with The Boston Ballet Company...a wonderful, musical dancer who was once partnered by Rudolph Nureyev. I had a mad crush on her and I don't care if she knows it.

Below, Laura is seated in her "Cinderella" costume with the remarkable Anamarie Sarazin standing next to her. This photo was taken in the dressing room at the Tienchou Theatre, Beijing, during the Boston Ballet's tour of China.

I'm very sad to report that the beautiful, sensitive and talented Anamarie passed away in 1999.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-- Robert Frost

Cheer Up old postcard
Here's an old postcard, dated December 27, 1909, sent from Ella E. Clemens to Mr. Arthur Ohlenday in Lockhart, Texas. Ms. Clemens writes, "Dear Cousin, We wish you a happy and prosperous new year of old 1910."

I take this card out and look at it sometimes when I'm feeling blue. It cheers me up. I don't know why. I guess it's the eternal hope that "better Days are coming."

King Douglas Dance Photography
The blur of motion was supposed to precede a large and graceful flourishing of the abundant material of the dance skirt, which the flash would capture along with the dancer's beautiful and expressive arms and face...something like this.

But the flash didn't fire, and I was left this image without resolution, the face turned away from the camera, arms and body seeming to fail, the ominous trace of red...a touching image that I hadn't planned.

How many times in life do we experience the beautiful by accident?

Sharon Edmunson
At the left is a photo I created for my friend Sharon Edmunson (one of the models) to use in a non-traditional Valentine. Assisting is my friend Skip. I call this, "Crazy For You."

Lightning strike
I was in Jacksonville, Texas, on assignment. and could see a spectacular lightning storm in the distance and wished, briefly, that I had a camera. As it was, I was carrying about five cameras and a tripod, so I quickly set up and waited out a few lightning bursts...which are surprisingly easy to photograph.

Geneva fountain
I had occasion in October 2004 to attend a business meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. I elected to fly to Paris, rent a car and drive to Geneva over the weekend prior to the meeting. Paula, my lovely wife, came along and we had a very nice drive. To the left is a photo of the large fountain on the lake in Geneva.

Syliva Hotel, Chatillon sur Seine
We weren't sure how far from Paris we'd get on our first day's drive, so I hadn't arranged a hotel. When we got to Chatillon sur Seine, we decided that we had been on the road long enough. We stopped and asked a couple of French policemen if they knew of any nearby hotels. They suggested the Sylvia Hotel, which we found to be quaint, rustic and delightful. That's Paula in the window.

Vineyard, France, grape vines
The next day, being in wine country, we wondered why we hadn't seen any vineyards. We drove along a little market road and suddenly, just around a bend in the road, a lush panorama of vineyards opened before us.

Bridge, Sens, France
To the left is a photo of the beautiful French town of Semur-en-Auxois. Paula and I stopped for lunch at a sidewalk cafe. The weather was beautiful and we were enjoying ourselves immensely when Paula said, "It's my birthday!" And so it was. We had already celebrated Paula's birthday before we left for Paris. Paula doesn't like to make a big deal out of birthdays, but this one seemed to sneak up on her in a most delightful way.

Renoir is buried in Essoyes

I wanted to find Essoyes, the little town where Renoir is buried. Essoyes is a very small town off the main road. It took a bit to find the town and even longer to find the cemetery.

Renoir is buried in Essoyes
To the left is a closeup of the bust atop Renoir's grave.

French town
We intended to make the long drive back to Paris in a single day, so we stayed on the main roads for the most part and I didn't take many photographs. I only stopped the car once, to take the photograph of the dramatic scene on the left. I have misplaced my notes on the name of the town.

Michael and Julie Douglas
This is my brother's only son, Michael, and his bride Julie. They had come to visit us in Dallas and wanted to see my photography I decided to take their picture. They are pretending to be tired travelers waiting for a train.

Toilet stall lock
This is the latch inside one of the stalls in the faculty men's room at The University of Texas School of Architecture in Austin.

I'm still trying to figure out what photography is all about, and now there is the World Wide Web, and digital images everywhere: no silver halides, no latent images, no gelatin silver prints, no sense of anticipation while waiting for the film to be developed. It goes on, I know: instant gratification, no expense, etc.

'The Witness' by Judy Kendall
Judy Kendall
This dramatic etching is "The Witness," by my friend Judy Kendall.

'Prometheus' by Dorothy J. Krueger
Dorothy Krueger
Dorothy J. Krueger gave me this etching she created, entitled "Prometheus."

'Dylan Thomas' by Martin Corliss-Smith
Martin Corliss-Smith
I purchased this etched portrait of Dylan Thomas from Martin Corliss-Smith when he was a hungry graduate student at Southern Methodist University. Dylan Thomas is one of my favorite poets, and I very much admired Martin's work. I was surprised when he agreed to sell me this etching for a pittance.

St. Bernard dog on photography set
While shooting a catalog for St. Bernard Sports, a Dallas ski apparel company, we were getting ready for the cover shot of a model with a St. Bernard. The dog and crew were waiting patiently for the model to arrive on the set.

St. Bernard Sports
This is the cover shot .

Magic trick illusion with butterflies and scarves
The Dallas Gift Show was running a series with the theme of magic. They needed photographs on this theme to use as catalog covers. My idea was to take traditional magician's tricks and turn them into something a bit different.

The first trick turned colored scarves into butterflies This is an unretouched, multiple exposure photograph taken with a Sinar view camera on 4"x5" color transparency film.

The hand in the foreground is mine. Pinching the end of the red scarf is the hand of my assistant at the time, Harrison Evans.

Magic trick illusion with cards and doves
The second magic trick turned fluttering playing cards into the fluttering wings of a dove. Again, this is an unretouched, multiple exposure photograph taken with a Sinar view camera on 4"x5" color transparency film.

I trained the dove myself. The hand holding the cards is that of my assistant at the time, Harrison Evans

Magic trick illusion with wand and flowers
The third magic trick turned a magic wand into a bouquet of flowers. I think magicians already to this trick. Again, this is an unretouched, multiple exposure photograph taken with a Sinar view camera on 4"x5" color transparency film.

The hand in the foreground is mine. Holding the flowers is the hand of my assistant at the time, Harrison Evans.

The Bolshoi Theter, Moscow

The Bolshoi Theater, Moscow

The great and famous Bolshoi Theater in Moscow--home of the Bolshoi Ballet and the Bolshoi Opera. When I was there in June, the building was about to be closed for renovation.  I didn't have the opportunity to go inside, but I did walk up to pat the side of the old dame. Here's the renovation sign.

Today I received an e-mail from Kirill Orlov, my new Russian friend:

The Bolshoi is closed today for the full-scale reconstruction. T.V. showed young ballerinas cry, leaving their classes 'for the last time'. But you was lucky to touch the walls (ah, lucky it didn't come down on your head.).
Take out a bottle.

Diane Moore's back
This photograph of my friend Diane Moore's back represents a special moment in my experience as a photographer. Photographers use a figure of speech, "seeing the light," which means to be aware of how the most subtle shades of light and dark will be represented on the final print of an image one is about to capture. It takes time and practice. Look at the soft highlight on the Diane's shoulder blade and the small highlights on the beads of sweat on her back. I knew that I could capture those highlights in the moment I clicked the shutter, and that was an exciting moment for me.

Douglas Gasoline road map
Douglas Gasoline, based in Houston, had stations scattered around Los Angeles when I was a boy. Although my family had no role in the business, my boy's pride was stirred every time I saw one of the signs--and always tried to get my dad to buy Douglas Gasoline. The flying heart logo derives from the crest/coat of arms of the Douglas Clan. Among many versions, here's a patch given to me recently by my nephew, Michael Douglas.

Drawing of Brownie the bunny
I admire people who can draw. My drawings tend to be clumsy and sketchy, even though I've had formal training. Here's drawing I made of my son's Bunny, "Brownie." Undoubtedly, this will be the first and only publication of one of my drawings.

Black and white image of Flowers
This is one of three black-and-white images, originally slides, that I created for a design class with Dan Wingren. Each was photographed through a colored filter, red, blue or green. When the three slides were simultaneously projected with the original filter, overlapping the images as closely as possible, you saw a full-color image. That was the expected result, but it's fun to do it yourself.

Birds nests
While looking for promising garage sales one Saturday morning, my friend, Alan Brown, pointed out the irony of the birds' nesting inside the veterinary clinic sign.

Cactus blossoms
These are Tommy and Annette (doesn't matter which is which), two little cacti that Paula and I brought back from a trip to Big Bend National Park (no...we didn't take the cacti from the park). They like it in Dallas. When they blossom, they usually begin with two little buds that resemble Mickey Mouse ears. This year, we got only one blooming mouse ear from each, but pretty, none the less.

Vancouver sunset
This sunset view of Vancouver was taken from my room at the Pan Pacific Hotel in 2005. I was there representing American Airlines at the annual meeting of the sponsors of the Global Airline Performance survey.

Kremlin at sunet, Moscow
This sunset view of the Kremlin in Moscow was taken on June 17, 2005, from my room at the Rossiya Hotel. I got the "single room with Kremlin view" room for about $122. The 12th-floor room was modest, but comfortable, and had a great view of the Kremlin, Red Square, St. Basil's, and much of Moscow.

Later that night there was a thunderstorm, which was lots of fun to watch.

The tallest structure in this image is the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, adjacent to the Cathedral of the Assumption--but there are about five different structures clumped together in this image. The pyramidal building in the foreground is one of the many towers built into the Kremlin walls.

I was in Moscow to interview and photograph Kirill Orlov, an SPSS savant, for a presentation I'll be giving at the SPSS Directions 2005 User Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in November.

This is the life-size grave marker of the great Russian ballerina, Galina Ulanova (1910-1998), situated in the beautiful cemetery of the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow.