Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

This is my favorite of the Halloween photos I've been posting this week. It was shot last year in my Mom's backyard with my Holga camera. The vignetting produced by the crappy Holga camera works well with the subject matter, and the color shifts from the expired film aren't too annoying.

I'll be spending Halloween night passing out treats at my friends (and neighbors) Pam and Erik's house. The street they live on is closing for the evening, and it's sure to be overrun with kids in costumes. Although I only live a couple of blocks away, we never get that many trick or treaters, and many of the ones we do get are older kids without costumes, which isn't very fun. So, I'm going to spend the evening with good friends and a better chance at Halloween fun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Oops, missed a day. Busy week.
Anyway, here's another Halloween photo. Not a good one, but I kind of like it. It was taken in San Francisco last year. I had gone to dinner at my friend Jack's house. He lives in the Westwood Park neighborhood, in the southwest part of the city far away from any place tourists would visit. Leaving his house to catch a bus back downtown after dark, I tried to take some photos of Halloween decorations on a house in his neighborhood. It was too dark to get a good shot, but the blur and graininess work well with the subject matter.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Time Travel Photo

Here's another Holga camera photo taken at the Time Travel Museum in Benton Harbor, MI. Not much to say about it, really. Just enjoy.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I shot this cake through the window of a bakery close to where my sister lives in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood. I took the photo last fall, when I was in San Francisco to do some shooting as part of my sabbatical.

It's a beautifully decorated cake, but I don't know if it would taste good. I get the idea that those well-decorated cakes sometimes put flavor behind looking good.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time Travel Holga

Here's another shot taken at the Time Travel Museum. This one was taken with my Holga camera, and as always when I shoot with that camera, I use expired film. It's a cheap toy camera, and the photos are going to be bad anyway, so I figure the color shifts and other issues that arise when shooting with expired film just add to the fun.

This particular roll was really fun! I'm not sure if it was due to the film being expired, the shaded light I was shooting in, or both, but the entire roll ended up with a strong blue cast. I played with this image a lot after scanning the transparency, and this is the best I could get it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Skeleton Drinking Nehi

Today's Halloween themed photo was taken at the Time Travel Museum, a funky junk shop/museum I posted about here a couple of months ago. Behind the former gas station housing the museum, the owner has set up a bunch of life sized scenes featuring skeletons. Over the next few days, you'll probably see a few more photos taken there.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Halloween is just a week away, so for the next few days I'll be posting photos that have a spooky, Halloweenish feel.

I shot this photo at my Mom's house last year. She's an artist, and these painted pistachio shells (and a walnut) were on a table in her studio. I didn't ask her what she was going to do with them. They have a spooky look to them, however, which fits with the Halloween theme I'm following for the next few posts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gray Day

A gray, foggy mid-Michigan morning. Taken in December a couple of years ago when I was visiting my mother over the holidays. This intersection is located a few miles from her house. I can't remember where we were going at the time.

Monday, October 20, 2008


These photos were taken from a windowside seat at the Signature Room on the 95th, a lounge on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago. I was there with friends from out of town who were visiting this past summer.

One of my out of town friends (who used to live in Chicago) suggested the Signature Room. The Hancock building has an observation floor, located just below the Signature Room on the 94th floor. It's about $12 per person to go up there. The Signature Room's drinks are overpriced (also about $12 each), but for that price, you get a drink and a view, instead of just the view. The chocolate martini I had there was pretty good, too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Here's another photo taken in the crater of Haleakala in Maui. It was taken on the same day as the photo in my last post, before the altitude sickness hit. Read the last post for more details on that.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Haleakala Silversword

This photo was taken in the crater of Haleakala, the (not officially) dormant volcano which comprises most of the Hawaiian island of Maui. The interior of Haleakala is a really beautiful, stark landscape, full of rocks and colored soil. It looks nothing like the lush, tropical vegetation and scrubby grasslands which cover the rest of the island.

The crater of Haleakala is home to the Haleakala Silversword, the plant you see in the photo. The Silversword only grows on Haleakala, and it's listed as a threatened plant (and is protected by law).

The crater of Haleakala is about 10,000 feet above sea level. I've been at higher elevations without much trouble, but I'd also had a few days to acclimatize to the elevation. The day I shot this photo, we had driven up from sea level, and started hiking into the crater as soon as we arrived at the summit. Going in was no trouble, but coming out, I had horrible altitude sickness. At it's worst, I could only walk about 10 feet at a time before stopping to heave. It was a miserable, several hour hike at snail's pace to get back to the rim of the crater. As soon as we started driving down, I felt instantly better. In retrospect it was worth it, as the scenery in the crater is unlike any I've seen anywhere else. I doubt I'd do it again, however.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This is a closeup of part of a train that was parked on tracks in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago. Hegewisch is on the far south side, it's a residential neighborhood surrounded by industrial areas of Chicago on three sides, and Hammond, Indiana on the fourth. I was there because I was hosting a photography teacher from The Netherlands as part of an educational exchange, and she was interested in shooting in industrial areas. It was fun walking along railroad tracks, shooting old factories and industrial effluvia. I keep meaning to go back there and shoot some more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Field Museum

The Field Museum in Chicago has done a lot of renovating and updating of their exhibit halls, but thankfully left these old wooden cases full of taxidermy animals alone. I made several visits to the Field Museum during my sabbatical last year to shoot photos for use in my work. This is one of them. It's actually part of a long panorama, but I like the odd composition of this individual photo.

I made about twenty five different panoramas in the Field Museum. While I liked the idea of making panoramic views of museum spaces, I couldn't find a way to make them work for me. I tried doing them as Polaroid lifts, but the interesting geometry and odd perspectives were lost in the wrinkles and bends of the lifted emulsions. I tried making large van Dyke brown print panoramas, but they came out muddy looking and visually cluttered. I eventually moved on to other things, but I still look at these photos occasionally. I like them, I just don't know what to do with them.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Buy American

I took this photo on a scorching hot day this past summer. My car was in the shop for some maintenance, and while waiting for it to be completed, I was wandering around with my cameras. This car was on an auto dealership lot I passed by. The color shift from using expired film and the general crappiness of the Holga image work well with this subject.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I shot this photo last weekend when I was at my Mom's house. I think the bug on the sunflower is some sort of weevil, but I'm not really an expert at identifying mid-Michigan insects, so I don't know for sure.
That's my Mom's house in the background, as you've probably guessed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Graffiti Train

Here's a small Holgarama shot a couple of months ago. There's a bike trail near my house, the Major Taylor Trail. At the north end, the trail terminates alongside a railroad track. Trains often stay parked along this section of track for long periods. I was riding my bike along the trail a couple of months ago, and when I spotted this graffiti covered train, knew I had to shoot it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back From Michigan

I got home from my long weekend visiting family in Michigan last night. It was great visiting family, and mid-Michigan actually has some Fall color right now, unlike Chicago, which is still mostly green. Here's a couple of photos shot in and around my Mom's yard over the past couple of days.

I didn't do a lot of shooting while I was there, and most of what I did shoot was photos of my two nieces. I shot a roll of film with my Holga camera, some of which may end up here, assuming they turn out (you never know when shooting with a Holga camera).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

With Flowers Or Without?

I'm going out of town for a longish weekend, so this is likely my last post until Sunday or Monday. I'm heading to my mom's house in Michigan, where I'll be meeting my new niece for the first time. My sister, her husband, and both of my nieces flew in from San Francisco earlier this week, and I'm going to go spend some time with family.

These photos were shot with my Holga camera the last time I was at my Mom's, a couple of months ago. The field behind her house had corn planted in it, so I took a couple of photos of it. I can't decide if I like one of these better than the other. If you have an opinion, let me know.