Sunday, November 30, 2008

No Walking (Sitting Is Fine)

Back from Thanksgiving weekend in Michigan. I had to battle a snowstorm during the drive home, but made it through ok.

Today's photo was taken in the Begijnhof in Amsterdam on a rainy day in 2005. It's meant to be a visual joke. The sign indicates no walking, but the statue is of someone sitting, so it's allowed (I didn't say it was a good joke!).

I returned to the Begijnhof when I visited Amsterdam in 2007, and noticed 'no photography allowed' signs throughout. I didn't see them when I was there earlier, and wouldn't have shot there if I did. Maybe they made the no photos policy sometime after my first visit. I shot quite a few photos there, so if I wasn't supposed to, all I can say is oops, sorry!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Winter Sunset

I'm headed off to my mom's house in Michigan for Thanksgiving, so this is likely to be my last post until Sunday at the soonest. Here's a photo I shot in my mom's front yard a couple of years ago. A beautiful winter sunset. I just hope we don't get any snow while I'm there. It's too soon for that!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scene from An Imaginary Horror Film

I took this double exposure with my Holga camera in September at my Mom's house in Michigan. My sister and her husband were visiting from San Francisco with my two nieces, which is why this horse was hanging from a tree in the backyard.

The double exposure makes the horse look creepy. Can't you just hear the cliche echoing child's voice singing nursery rhymes when you look at it?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Factory Holga

Okay, I've only managed to scan one of the factory shots I made with my Holga camera. I've been busy catching up on grading and much-needed housework most of the weekend. I do like this shot, and will scan more soon. The crumbling factory wall works well with the vignetting and distortions the Holga camera provides, and the color shifts from using expired film works well here too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Factory Photos

I think I may have solved my problems with Blogger. I'm using Firefox for this post instead of Safari (my default web browser), and I was able to upload these photos quicker than I ever have before. Lesson learned-don't use Safari with Blogger!

Anyway, here's a couple more photos from the abandoned factory. As soon as I get caught up with everything else I need to do (It's a busy time of the semester) I'll scan and post some of the Holga photos I shot there.

More Factory Shots

Blogger is yet again screwing up. I'll post more photos when I can.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still More Factory Shots

Here's a couple more photos of the abandoned factory. I picked up some film I shot in the Holga camera from the lab today, I'll try to get some of those photos scanned soon. The crumbling ruins of a factory look good shot with a cheap toy camera.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More From The Factory!

Blogger is finally cooperating (a little), so here's a couple more photos from the abandoned factory I photographed last Sunday.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with these (besides posting them here). I'm thinking maybe some gum bichromate prints might work with these photos.

More From The Factory Coming Soon

I'd like to post more of the photos I shot at the abandoned factory I discovered last weekend. However, Blogger is once again being a royal pain in the ass. I've tried literally twelve times, and I can't upload a small file. I've always had this issue with Blogger, but it seems much worse lately. I'll try again later, I'm frustrated now, and am going to go watch The Daily Show.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I went out shooting today, to take photos of an old factory being demolished. I drove by the factory on Friday, I was out running around, turned down the wrong street, and kept going for the heck of it. Before too long I was driving by these ruins on 119th St., and knew I had to return.

I could have gone right in among the ruins to shoot pretty easily. The back of the factory, along 120th St., had large gaps in the fence surrounding the lot. A lot of what's left of the buildings looked pretty unstable, however, so I kept to the sidewalks.

I have quite a few photos (I was also shooting with my Holga toy camera), and will probably post more of them over the next few days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dutch Sheep

I shot this photo in The Netherlands when I was there on an educational exchange a few years ago. The family I stayed with lived in a rural area outside of the city of Apeldoorn, and this was shot very near to their house, along some trails that ran through fields located across the road. I like the focus on the plants in the foreground of this photo, it's kind of the opposite of how framing usually works.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Claw Machine

This photo is looking into a vintage claw machine arcade game. I took the photo at the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco last October. The Musee Mecanique is a great collection of vintage arcade games located on Fisherman's Wharf. It's the only thing worth seeing on the Wharf, most of which is a tacky tourist nightmare filled with shops selling overpriced junk (it's a lot like Navy Pier here in Chicago).
I really like this photo and had planned to make a gum bichromate print of it as part of my sabbatical last fall. I never got around to doing that, however. Maybe I should now. I'm between projects, and need something to work on.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yes We Did!

I'm going to finish up several posts devoted to photos I like but which aren't technically good, with a few I shot last Tuesday. I was lucky enough to get one of the tickets to the official acceptance party in Grant Park, and was there with about 65,000 others (other parts of Grant Park held another 150,000) to watch Obama give his victory speech.

I brought a small point and shoot digital camera to the event. I knew it was going to be very crowded, and they weren't allowing bags in, so I figured a small camera was the best bet. I don't think I would have been able to take better photos with the big camera anyway.

The event was fun and intense. Everyone there was in a good mood, and people were being very friendly, helpful, and supportive. There were large Jumbotron tv screens set up so that people could actually see what was going on.

When CNN projected Obama's win, it was pandemonium in Grant Park. People were cheering, screaming, and crying. It was exhilarating!

Leaving the event was much easier than I thought it would be. We parked in Chinatown, had an early dinner, then took the el into downtown for the rally. Leaving, we headed south to catch the el, while the majority of the crowd seemed to be heading north. We got the el with no waiting, and arrived in a deserted Chinatown, where we drove onto the freeway and arrived home just after midnight.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Here's a photo taken quickly while traveling through Friesland, a province in the north of the Netherlands. Friesland is a beautiful area, with lots of open space and small, charming towns. I shot this photo while stopped at an intersection. I was riding in a 1980 Citroen convertible, a tiny (but very retro-cool) canary yellow car with a vinyl roof you have to roll back by hand. The photo is exposed poorly, and the composition is weird, but I like it a lot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holga Sunset

I'm tired today. I went to the Obama victory party in Chicago's Grant Park. I was lucky enough to get one of the official tickets, so was part of the 60,000+ official guests. I took photos there, and many of those came out pretty poor, so could fit with what I'm posting this week.

But, I'm not posting one of those, at least not today. I posted several of them to my Facebook page, if you're interested. Today's photo was taken in my backyard with my Holga camera last year. The colors and the blur give a mysterious look, and I like the photo, even if it's not a good one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Here's the second in my series of photos that I like, despite (or because of) their flaws.
I like this photo mainly because I like the sign. It was taken in Zwolle, The Netherlands, outside of a C1000 supermarket in a suburban area on the edge of the city. I think the sign is warning drivers that there are pedestrians, children playing, cars, and residences around. All that would be obvious to anyone there with a car, however, as the store this sign is near is pretty much in the center of a large subdivision.

This photo is more boring than bad. The background is a little underexposed, but not horribly so.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I started this blog last spring for a couple of reasons. One, I had the feeling that posts on Lightbender, my other blog, would slow in frequency after I completed the period of active studio work around my sabbatical last year. That has proven true. I'm not working much in the studio at the moment (although I have a piece nearly finished, and will post it when it's done).

I also wanted a place to show some photos that weren't part of my regular studio work, images that might never be seen by anyone otherwise. I've enjoyed this blog for that reason, among others. When I was posting Halloween themed photos last week, it struck me that some of them really weren't great photos, but I was posting them because they fit the theme. I've done something similar a fair amount on this blog, actually. I tend to post photos I connect with, regardless of their quality. For the next few days, I'm going to push that idea a little. I'll be posting photos that are technically poor, with obvious mistakes, poor composition, etc. They are all photos I really like, regardless (or maybe because of) their flaws.

Today's photo was taken in the South Loop area of Chicago, with a little point and shoot digital camera. For some reason, it didn't focus properly, but I really like the lack of focus here. The colors are intense, and it has an Impressionistic feel to it.