Henry Rinne: Blog https://hrinnephotography.com/blog en-us (C) Henry Rinne [email protected] (Henry Rinne) Tue, 09 Nov 2021 00:04:00 GMT Tue, 09 Nov 2021 00:04:00 GMT https://hrinnephotography.com/img/s/v-12/u200990610-o475266010-50.jpg Henry Rinne: Blog https://hrinnephotography.com/blog 120 120 Carl Henry Rinne—the Grandfather I Knew https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2021/11/carl-henry-rinne-the-grandfather-i-knew C. Henry Rinne (1880-1963)

In my last post, I wrote about the grandfather I never knew, so this time I want to speak about Grandpa Rinne who was a big part of our lives until his death in December of 1963 a few weeks after the assassination of John Kennedy.

Carl Henry Rinne was born in 1880 into a large family of German immigrants who found their New World home in Louisville, Kentucky.  Although his first name was Carl, he was always known as Henry and signed his name C. Henry Rinne.  His father, Ernest Rinne, was born in the Prussian region of Germany and emigrated to the US in 1869.  A cabinet maker by trade, the elder Rinne found work in the furniture factories in Louisville.  Grandpa had seven brothers and sisters although two of them did not survive childhood.  Because of his many siblings and the large family of my grandmother, Amelia Peege, my dad grew up among a large extended family of cousins, aunts, and uncles.  Henry and Amelia were married in 1905, and our father, Walter William Rinne, was born in 1909.

Amelia Peege and Henry Rinne, courting ca.1904
Amelia Peege and Henry Rinne, courting c 1905

Grandpa loved to tell stories to Paul and me.  He showed us a quarter-sized scar on his forearm where he sustained a compound fracture as boy.  He told us about frog gigging in the wetlands along the Ohio River.  It was the first time I ever knew that people ate frog legs.  He said he and his buddy would sell the frogs to restaurants in Louisville.

When he was about twelve years old (1893), his father took him to Germany to meet his family.  Grandpa had an uncle who was an officer in the Prussian army.  During their visit, the uncle took Grandpa to the company tailor and had him make a uniform for the youngster.  My brother still has the coat, and I have the bayonet that they gave him as a sword to augment the dress uniform.

We also talked baseball—Grandpa’s favorite game.  As I recall, he was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and would take the train to Cincinnati to see them play the Reds or head for Chicago to see the Cubs.  They also attended White Sox games to see them play the various American League teams.  Louisville had a strong minor league team, so they saw many of the great players pass through the city before moving up to the majors.  He told me about the Chicago Black Sox scandal of 1919. He loved to talk about the great pitchers like Walter Johnson.  “If you can’t see ‘em, you can’t hit ‘em.”  Ty Cobb, Roger Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Loe Gehrig—he used to talk about all of them so it seemed like I knew them as well as the great players active in my youth (Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson).  I would listen to my father and grandfather discuss baseball for hours on end while sipping on bottles of Oertels ’92.

Peege Family Reunion 1907.  Grandpa is on the far right.
Peege Family Reunion 1907. Grandpa is on the far right.Peege Family Reunion 1907. Grandpa is on the far right.

Grandpa was a small business owner.  He bought Globe Furniture in Louisville sometime in the early 1920s only to be wiped out by the Great Depression, but he reopened the store and rebuilt his customer base.  The great Ohio River flood in 1937 caused another setback, destroying much of the downtown business district and the residential areas in the west end. But Grandpa kept going.  He was tenacious.  Finally in the mid 1950s he sold out to his partner Carol Carico.  My folks were always a little miffed that they were not consulted before he retired and felt that he sold out too low.

After retirement, Grandpa spent time in his woodworking shop behind the house at 667 South 35th Street in Louisville.  You can still see the concrete slab back by the alley when you open the address in Google maps.  I guess the structure itself was demolished at some point in the last 60 years. Grandpa made us toys such a horses, guns, and even a bowling alley.  The guns were wooden and were cut using his band-saw.  He also built small pieces of furniture and came to McLean to help my Dad finish the basement in our house that was purchased in 1957.  Grandpa loved to display the American flag.  Our Louisville visits often coincided with the 4th of July, so great celebrations were held in his backyard.  Grandpa taught us how to use carpenter’s tools, always emphasizing safety and choosing the right tool for the job.  I’m sure Paul and I built many a box, drilled a few holes, and somehow sawed a few planks without damaging our fingers or eyes.  One of those boxes found its way into Dad’s darkroom back in McLean.  I stood on that box many times, so I could watch the prints emerge in the developer.

                                                              In Louisville August 1960.  Grandpa is standing on the far right.  That's me in the chair                                                                                                                            in front of him and Gram with Paul on her lap.  To the left of Gram are two                                                                  of her sisters, Agnes and Laurie.
In Louisville August 1960. Grandpa is standing on the far right. That's me in the chair in front of him and Gram with Paul on her lap. To the left of Gram are two of her sisters, Agnes and Laurie.

I should offer a word about our grandmother, Amelia Peege Rinne.  We called her Gram.  She was the quintessential homemaker of the early 20th century.  She cooked on a large gas stove that you had to light with a match (I acquired singed eyebrows after a misadventure with the stove).  She loved us and loved taking care of Grandpa.  The man could not boil water and depended on Gram to do all the cooking.  She taught pre-school age kids in Sunday school and enjoyed bringing Paul and me to her class when we visited.  She helped us memorize the 23rd Psalm.  Unfortunately she had  diabetes (in the family it was called the Peege curse).  On a spring day in 1961, Gram was hurrying to Kroger five blocks from their house to purchase some sugar-free treats, since the A & P nearby did not carry them.  She stepped off the curb in front of an on-coming car.  Her hip was fractured and both legs.  Paul and I visited her in the hospital many times that summer as we stayed in Louisville for several months.  She was in a bed that had a circular frame and allowed to rotate her from back to her stomach to avoid bed sores.  We loved the contraption and were thrilled when we were allowed to witness the process.  I’m sure it was very painful, but our grandmother never uttered a sound.  Our mother took care of the household and Grandpa who kept insisting that Grandma just needed to get back to the house, and “she would be fine.”  She wasn’t.  She had a very rough summer and lingered until the end of August when she died in their home.

Amelia Peege
Amelia Peege

While my mother took care of my grandparents in the house on S. 35th Street, Paul and I were entertained by various relatives in the area.  It was summer so school was out.  One day we would go to the Butlers or the Smiths.  On another day, our Aunt Norma (who was actually my dad’s first cousin) would take us to museums or just head over to her house and do some art projects.  She was an old maid school teacher who would be right at home on the TV show Hoarders.  She lived with her mother, Aunt Laurie, and the house was filled with her collections of stuff, all of which were intended for use in her classroom.  She drove what Paul and I thought was an ancient vehicle—a 1948 Buick or some such auto that would be deemed a classic in today’s world.  The back seat was enormous and many afternoons, we found it very easy to nap on those cushy seats.


Grandpa lived another two years after Gram died, and I am sure he always felt an emptiness in his heart.  I remember our family making phone calls to him in Louisville but only on special occasions.  The last call I think we made was on his birthday shortly before he passed.  Back then, “Long Distance” was expensive, so phone calls with distant relatives were rare.  The phone rang one evening in early December of 1963.  The neighbor had not seen Grandpa for awhile and tried knocking on his door with no response.  I think she had a key, so she went inside and found him slumped in his chair.  They said it was a heart attack, but his cancer had returned despite the fact that his prostate had been removed in 1950 when he was 70 years old.  Our parents flew to Louisville for the funeral while Paul and I stayed with our grandmother (Nana) in Anacostia.  In retrospect, we were very fortunate to hav such loving grandparents even if only for a short time.



[email protected] (Henry Rinne) Amelia Peege Globe grandfather Henry Rinne Louisville https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2021/11/carl-henry-rinne-the-grandfather-i-knew Mon, 08 Nov 2021 13:55:22 GMT
The Grandfather I Never Knew https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2021/8/the-grandfather-i-never-knew Henry A. Yeager (1896-1947)

My last post I talked about my father and how he introduced me to photography when I was a kid.  I thought I would present a bit of background on him and my grandfathers—Carl Henry Rinne and Henry Yeager.  Both of my grandfathers went by the name Henry so I guess it was inevitable that I was christened with that name.  (Quentin came from my dad’s boyhood hero, Quentin Roosevelt, son of President Teddy Roosevelt. Quentin was a pilot in World War I and was killed in aerial combat in France on 14 July 1918.). I’ll begin with my maternal grandfather and speak about Dad and Grandpa in subsequent posts.

Henry A. Yeager was mother’s father.  He was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1896 to a German immigrant family.  When he was very young (probably two or three years old), his mother (Katerina) sailed with him back to Germany to visit her parents in Hanau just east of Frankfurt.  His mother was killed in a train accident and the young Henry remained in Germany to be raised by his maternal grandparents.  His dad back in Altoona was amenable to the arrangement, because he did not have the means to take care of a toddler and work for the Pennsylvania Railroad shops in Altoona.  So Henry grew up in Germany and received an education as a machinist in one of the Krupp machine works.  Scroll ahead to 1914 and the outbreak of World War I.  Henry was turning 18 and was certainly of draft age.  However, he had an American passport so his grandparents took him to Holland for passage on a ship back to America.  He arrived in New York and since he was an American, he was able to skip the Ellis Island experience.  Met by his father and his half brother, George, He went back to the city of his birth, Altoona, and went to work as a machinist for the PRR.

Henry Yeager at age 15 attired for an outing hiking in the mountains.

Henry Yeager at age 15 attired for an outing hiking in the mountains.

Evidently the new arrival did not mesh well with his father’s new family, so Henry moved to Baltimore to work in the machine shops in the ship yards.  He met Julia Kasnarsik and they were married in 1917.  My mother, Margaret Elizabeth Yeager, was born in 1920.  Henry was active in the Masonic Lodge and in the strong German community in Baltimore.  Newspaperman H. L. Mencken was a lodge brother.  In 1928 just prior to the Great Depression, the family moved to Washington, DC, and Henry began working for the Federal Government at Naval Research Labs in Anacostia.  They purchased a few acres on the ridge above what is now called Joint Base Anacostis-Bolling and built a house.  My grandmother had an amazing green thumb and the family tended large gardens and raised chickens.

Frisco Locomotive, Streetcar Museum, Fort Smith, ArkansasFrisco Locomotive, Streetcar Museum, Fort Smith, Arkansas

Henry worked for Naval Research Labs all through the 1930s and during World War II.  NRL was created at the suggestion of Thomas Edison and became the primary research wing of the United States Navy.  Radar and Sonar where developed at this location, both of these creations contributed to the Allies victory in the war.  While he was not the inventor of radar and sonar, he was the “go-to” machinist that the scientists used to create prototypes of their inventions and developments.  They said he could craft just about anything from raw metal.  I always thought it was somewhat ironic that the US employed at a top secret research facility dedicated to the defeat of the Nazis a top machinist who was trained in the German Krupp Werks.  Unfortunately, I never knew him because he died of an apparent heart attack in the fall of 1947.


I’ll end with one last story somewhat related to photography.  My mother told me that she and her father attended a photo exhibition  at the Library of Congress featuring Army Signal Corps photos of the liberation of several concentration camps in Germany.  Henry was very emotional and quite upset by the images.  He could not believe that the people he knew growing up in Germany would allow this brutality and inhumanity to exist.  It’s a question that still troubles us today.

A very young Henry growing up in Germany.

A very young Henry with his maternal grandfather in Germany.

Henry's hiking club, c1911.  He's in the second row from the top below the man with big mustache.

Steam fitting on a locomotive.

Steam Locomotive PipesSteam Locomotive Pipes

[email protected] (Henry Rinne) Baltimore grandfather naval research labs Pennsylvania railroad https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2021/8/the-grandfather-i-never-knew Sat, 21 Aug 2021 16:28:02 GMT
Why another photo blog? https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2021/7/new-blog  

I have relaunched my website featuring my photographs over the last 13 years or so.  Along with the relaunch, I also want to revive this blog although it never really got started.  I did publish two blogs which have been read by a few people.  Even though this blog is being published on a photography web site, I will not restrict my writing.  I want to begin with some posts about mentors that entered my life over the years.  These folks are the ones that have had major influence on shaping me as an artist, musician, scholar and human being.  After I move through that list, I will see what happens.   Since my dad introduced me to photography, he will be up first.

I do love photography….although I don’t think I ever loved the wet darkroom.  To me, it was never a mysterious place, since I grew up working with my father in his darkroom.  It was small and did not have sinks and water.  The sink was around the corner in our laundry room.  He had enough room for the enlarger and the three trays to hold the chemicals and could produce prints up to 16" x 20".  Walter Rinne was a chemical engineer who worked for the federal government, Office of Saline Water for most of the 1960s and early 1970s.  He taught me how to work with chemicals, how to mix them, and how to use and store them safely.  I also learned the golden trinity of film processing: time, temperature, and concentration.  In order to have predictable results all three had to be controlled.

Looking back, Dad’s prints suffer from blocked highlights even though the shadows are strong.  The blocked highlights result from the condenser enlarger that he used.  When I set up my own darkroom, I employed a diffused light source with similar results to a cold light head.  The prints held the highlights better than the condenser.  He used the favored developers of the era both for film and prints.  On occasion he tried some special formulas but he always seemed to come back to D-76 and Dektol although he used Rodinal for his low light negatives.   

My first camera was a Kodak Brownie Starmite similar to this one:



But a few years later, Dad took me down to Mark Weiss Camera on Pennsylvania Avenue, and we bought a Kowaflex-S 4x4 SLR.  It shot 127 film and produced square prints and slides that could be shown in a standard 35mm projector.

I used this camera for several years until our family attended the New York Worlds Fair in 1964.  While shooting on site, the camera locked up.  It would not wind film, release shutter, or anything else.  My dad tried to work on it but nothing.  I guess he decided it was a lost cause, because when we returned to DC, we headed back to Mark Weiss and purchased my first 35mm camera which was a Kowa SE— a fixed lens camera as well.  It served as a great learning tool and it had a built in light meter.  I developed a good focus hand and eventually could judge exposure even without relying on the meter.

A year or two later, I really wanted to explore more lens options, so we headed once again to Mark Weiss and traded the Kowa for a Miranda Sensomat.  Somewhere along the line I acquired a Vivitar 135mm so that lens and the 50mm f1.8 constituted my basic kit for seven years or so.

During this same time period my dad moved from Exakta to Nikon in 35mm format and from Rollei to Bronica to Hasselblad in 6x6. 

During my senior year in high school he purchased a Calumet monorail 4” x 5” with three Schneider lenses.  One of the last photo outings we had together was down around the tidal basin setting up the view camera and making both B&W and color transparency images.  I still have all of the films and have scanned a few of them along with others from our trip out West.  Unfortunately, he used Kodak Ektachrome which has suffered from strong color shift.

Dad never got the chance to explore his photography on a full-time basis as he died a few years before his retirement.  I feel like I have kept his legacy alive, developing my own skills first in the wet darkroom and for the las 13 years in the digital realm.  I still have some of his cameras—his beloved Hasselblad 500C and his Nikon F2.  Some of the Nikkor lenses still find their way onto my digital cameras.  But more than the photographic lessons, I feel I was fortunate to have the love and support that my father gave me.  He established a strong moral framework and always led by example.  He was both a Christian and a scientist who found no contradiction in the two.  I will conclude with his photograph of the Drumlummon mine in Montana taken with the Hasselblad and the Zeiss 80mm f2.8 lens.

[email protected] (Henry Rinne) brownie Drumlummon elkhorn hasselblad kowaflex mentors starmite https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2021/7/new-blog Tue, 20 Jul 2021 15:32:20 GMT
Color within the Monochrome Image https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2012/10/color-within-the-monochrome-image When I first saw Spielberg's film set in WWII Poland, Schindler's List, I was especially interested in the way in which he used color.  The contemporary scenes in color vs. the flashback scenes set in the 1940s in monochrome (is WWII forever a B & W era?).  The startling appearance of the girl in the red dress, however, made a strong impression .  The juxtaposition of the little red dress against the objectivity of the B & W called up an emotional connection that lingered throughout the remainder of the film.  It was further heightened by Spielberg's return to full (but somewhat muted) color at the film's conclusion.  With that memory of Spielberg's technique lodged someplace in the back of my mind, I began to explore small bits of color with my monochrome images.  I found this somewhat awkward in Aperture, but since purchasing Nik's Siler Efex Pro 2 last spring, I have experimented using this tool.  It has become quite easy with the "Selective Adjustments" tool, which has a slider that allows returning color to the selected area.  It only affects the color where you place the select point.  Therefore, multiple colors necessitate multiple points, but the points are very easy to create and can be done using a "option click and drag" to duplicate a particular point.  Sizing the circle of affect is important because you want to make sure the same color is not returned in unwanted spaces.  This image of a color fireplug works very well with this color isolation technique:

FireplugWisconsin-2012 October - #10

The first time I processed the image, I was very sloppy and allowed the circular range of the adjustment to overlap into the surrounding area.  I ended up with little specks of red and yellow out in the grass.  So i redid the process and constricted the circles, so they did not allow the bleed into the area.  I also toned down the background using the SE edge burning tool.  The Selective Adjustment is very precise as you can see by the very narrow bands of red on the pole.  I had to set a different point for each of these bands, but it was very simple to control.






















Another image that I treated with this technique is one from my Conn Bari series.  The old ivory rollers had yellowed quite a bit, and I thought their warmth was a nice contrast to the cool toned metal:

Conn Bari, c1930, # 004

And one more from this series where I selectively brought back the color in the green bumper and the tan colored pad:

Conn Bari, c1930, # 011

[email protected] (Henry Rinne) 2 Efex NIK Pro Silver https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2012/10/color-within-the-monochrome-image Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:02:25 GMT
NIK at work.... https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2012/8/hdr After purchasing the complete edition of NIK Software plug-ins for Aperture 3, I have been learning the various programs.  I started working with ColorEfex and SilverEfex with excellent results.  The selective control points allowed for very precise control.  Here's one converted in SilverEfex:

SE - Custom - Painter, Santa Cruz, CA Natural Dam - Winter Moonlight


I appreciate the finishing borders as they offer an interesting quality to the image.  However, employing them crops the image by overlaying the border rather than adding a real border.  This reduction of image area can be fine, but I need to remember to account for it beforehand.










This BW image is a fairly straight conversion in Silver Efex Pro 2.  The original was a 3 minute exposure under a full moon on a cold winter night.  I am very pleased with these conversions.  The control points are extremely useful and the ability to group the points make it very efficient.  SE2 also has very nice finishing effects, including toning the image.  I have found sending the image to the Nik sharpening software prior to printing is a very nice finishing touch as well.    The prints from these images look fantastic.






And another enhanced using ColorEfex:


ColorEfex has the control point ability but it is more valuable for the array of special filters that can change the basic character of an image





[email protected] (Henry Rinne) NIK https://hrinnephotography.com/blog/2012/8/hdr Fri, 31 Aug 2012 21:27:00 GMT