Tuesday, September 30, 2008


These photos were shot for JPG magazine a couple of months ago. JPG does what they call photo challenges, where you have a week to post something that fits a specific theme. The theme here was shooting a common object in a way that disguises what the object is.

I chose an old 8mm projector that I had bought at a garage sale. It sat around in my basement unused for a couple of years, and was about to get donated to a thrift store. I stuck it in a sunny spot on my living room floor, and using a macro lens, shot a couple dozen photos. I submitted the photo at the top of the post to JPG for the challenge, but the one below is making it's first public appearance here.

I've had my disagreements with JPG in the past, regarding their often capricious curatorial decisions. That's to be expected whenever someone is reviewing or critiquing someone else's work, but they should at least enforce their own submission guidelines consistently. I'm for the most part ok with them at the moment, especially since discovering the work of a couple of people there that is really good and interesting.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Old Bowling Alley

This Holga camera shot was taken while riding my bike last Fall. It's a sign for an old bowling alley on Western Ave. near 75th St. in Chicago. I don't think the alley is actually open, although I might be wrong there. I like the kitschy, dated look of the sign at any rate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Edinburgh Castle

Here's another photo taken in Edinburgh. This was on the same trip as the photo I posted yesterday.
This photo was taken in Edinburgh Castle, which you can see lit up in the background of yesterday's photo. The cannon is aimed pretty close to where I was standing when I took the photo I posted yesterday.

I loved Edinburgh, and I'd really like to visit there again. I've been daydreaming of visiting Europe lately. I think some of that is due to the return of the culture wars here in the states, precipitated by John MccCain's choice of Caribou Barbie as his VP pick. I'm just tired of the bullshit. I want the election over already, and I REALLY want to see president Obama end the misery of the Bush years.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Edinbugh At Night

A few years ago I visited Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities I've seen.
This photo was taken at about 10pm, as it was just getting dark (Edinburgh is much farther north than Chicago. There was full daylight by about 5am when we were there in July).
The streaks of light at the bottom of the photo is a bus passing by. The large building at the top of the photo is Edinburgh Castle, located atop a rock ledge in the center of the city.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Woman's Day

This is a photograph. It's not a Photoshopped collage. How did I make it? Well, I don't feel like telling right now.
I lik this photo, I wouldn't be surprised if it found life as a cyanotype print sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

San Francisco Zoom

I've not posted in a few days, but I'll make up for it today. I've been busy with school and putting my house back together now that the big remodeling project is finished, and my sister was in town this past weekend as well.

These photos were made in San Francisco a couple of years ago when I was visiting my sister, her husband, and my niece. They have amazing views from their apartment; these were all taken from a window in their kitchen.

The effect is pretty simple to produce, as long as you have a zoom lens on your camera. During a long exposure, simply zoom in (or out) and you'll get similar results.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One More Picture In A Picture

Here's one final picture in a picture, shot on the same day as the photos in the previous two posts. I like this one, although I don't think it really communicates the urban vs. rural theme I was playing with.
This was shot on the road in front of my mom's house.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Picture In A Picture

This photo was taken on the same day as the last photo I posted. As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn't working on a project, just exploring some ideas. I never took this idea any farther, but who knows- I may do something like this again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Picture In A Picture

I shot this photo in my mom's backyard a couple of years ago. I wasn't really working on a project, it was more an experiment, trying out some ideas that had been bouncing around in my head for a while.
In case you haven't figured it out, it's a photo of a blue plastic cone in a yard. The photo of the cone was stuck in the grass at my mom's house, and this photo taken. I like how the grass in the print blends a bit with the grass in the yard (that would have worked better had the light been the same in both photos). I also like the confusion in perspective.
I took a few photos working with similar ideas, I'll post more over the next couple of days.

An update from the last post:
The remodeling project is complete! As I mentioned in the last post, I gave the contractor a list of things I couldn't do myself. He didn't question it, he knew I was pissed. He finished those items, and finished the job (he has to come back next week and redo some tile that was installed very poorly, but that's it). We've spent much of the weekend cleaning the new bath and entranceway, sealing the tile, caulking, painting my new basement darkroom, etc. I fixed the vanity light, a task the contractor said was not possible, in 10 minutes.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Everyone feels the need to go on a rant every once in a while, and I'm definitely there now. My rant is about the contractor we hired to construct a new bathroom out of a large entranceway in our house this summer. The estimated three week job is now nearing the end of week eight, and while it's nearly complete, there's still a good amount yet to be done. To make matters worse, the past three days has seen the contractor and the people he's got working for him hurrying and doing a half-assed job in order to finish the project. Some astonishingly stupid things have been done to the house in the past couple of days, things that I could do better, even with my complete lack of basic carpentry skills. Now that school has started, no one is home during the days when the workers are there, so I can't stop them from doing things I know are wrong. Of course, had the job been completed anywhere close to the time frame they gave us, this would not have been an issue.

Things were so poorly done today and our frustration level was so high, that we came very close to firing the contractor. The only reason we didn't is because the job is about 90% complete, and at this point we just want it done. We've edited the list of things left to do, however, leaving only those things we can't do ourselves. All of the minor paint touch ups, some caulking, etc. we're going to do ourselves, and were telling the contractor to finish just what's on the list and nothing else.

Meanwhile, I'm exhausted. The beginning of the school year is always very tiring, and now the stress from the home remodeling nightmare has made that much worse. My sleep schedule is out of whack-I'm a natural night owl, but I'm having to get up early when the contractor shows up. Unfortunately, he's been showing up anywhere between 7:15 and 9:30 in the morning, so I have no idea on any day what time I need to be up. There's been several days over the past couple of weeks where I'm up two or more hours earlier than I need to be, only to sit around waiting for the contractor to show, and still having to go teach a full day of afternoon and evening classes.

OK, end of rant. I feel a little better now. The photo, by the way, is part of a restaurant sign taken in Chicago's Chinatown.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Here's a photo of a weed growing in the field behind my mother's house. It was taken at sunset which I'm sure you already knew.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

the possibilities are endless

This photo was shot with my Holga camera this summer in Countryside, IL. It's looking into an empty storefront in a strip mall. The title comes from someone at JPG magazine. They had a contest where people posted photos and let others suggest titles. I liked that title best, although I'm not sure if the person who suggested it sees the same irony in it as I do.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nishika Panorama II

I posted an attempt at a panoramic image made with the four-lens Nishika camera here a couple of months ago. That one was made at the amazing Corona Heights Park in San Francisco (follow that link to see).
Here's another panorama made with the Nishika. It was actually taken in June or July of last year, a couple of months before I took the San Francisco photos. This one wasn't made in a great location like San Francisco, however. You're looking at a nondescript apartment building in Oak Lawn, IL. a suburb of Chicago.

I like this image, the abstract, geometric quality is appealing to me. The odd clouds are really interesting a well and add visual interest. I tried making a VanDyke brown print of it, but just couldn't get it to turn out. It wouldn't have fit well with the work I exhibited in my post-sabbatical show last spring anyway.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One More

Here's another photo of a boat in Amsterdam. Tomorrow I'll post something different.
Actually, this one's kind of different. It was taken from a a boat in Amsterdam. I was on a tour boat, riding through the canals. The boat had postcards for sale, they were mounted behind a piece of plexiglas above the windows. In this photo, the bottom half of the image is an actual boat in a canal. The top half of the photo is a postcard of a boat in a canal which was mounted inside the boat I was riding on. Confusing, but I like the photo.

If you're ever in Amsterdam, I recommend the boat tours. Yes, they are touristy, but they are cheap, and a great way to see the city, especially when you've been walking everywhere and are tired (Amsterdam is a great city to walk in-it's flat and very compact).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another Canal, Another Boat

If one scenic photo taken in Amsterdam is good, than two are better, right? Here's another Amsterdam canal, and more pretty buildings in the background. This photo was taken on the same trip as yesterday's photo.