Saturday, October 31, 2009


Halloween was my favorite holiday as a child. It still pretty much is, although it's become too commercial in recent years. I'm spending my Halloween at the home of friends who live a couple of blocks away. Their street gets mobbed by trick or treaters, so it's fun to pass out treats there. Some other friends form the neighborhood are joining us, for dinner and cheesy horror films afterward.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another Fall Photo

Here's another Fall photo, taken last Friday, the same day I shot the photos in the previous two posts. Do you want more Fall shots, or should I post something else? Let me know.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Color

This photo, like the one in yesterday's post, was taken last Friday while I was on a walk around my Chicago neighborhood. Overcast, rainy days makes fall colors pop in a photo. Look for another one tomorow.

Monday, October 26, 2009


After several days of black and white photos, here's some color. I shot this last Friday while out on a walk around my neighborhood. Fall is my favorite season, unfortunately, this year it's been much colder than usual, with lots of rain. While still rainy, it was warmer on Friday, so I grabbed my camera and headed out. Fall colors photograph better on overcast days than on sunny ones, as you'll see over the next couple posts.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Black and White in Color VI: Frost

Here's the last of the black and white color photos (for now). It was kind of fun posting these, so I may try it again later. This is a photo of frost on a window. I shot it a couple of years ago on a bitter cold January day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Black and White in Color V: The Bean

This is a photo of of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago's Millenium Park. the photo is very warm toned, but mainly black and white. I've got one more of black and white color photo left, after tomorrow's post, I'll move on to something else.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Black and White in Color IV: Feet

I think his shoes are brown, but aside from that, pretty much everything in this photo is black and white. This was shot at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, an art museum in San Francisco.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Black and White in Color III: Film

This is a strip of an 8mm home movie bought at a garage sale, lying on a white table top. I kept this reel of film around for a while, trying different things like cutting it into strips and scanning it, but never ended up making anything with it. I eventually gave it to one of my students. I don't know if he ever did anything with it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Black and White in Color II: Rain

Raindrops on a window. The second in a series of color photos that look black and white.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Black and White in Color

For the next few days, I'll be posting photos that were shot in color, but that look black and white. This one was shot out of a window in a San Francisco gallery five or six years ago. When I shot it, it wasn't the black and white look that attracted me, it was the sun hitting the gray colored building across the street and casting crisp shadows on the boarded up window.

Monday, October 19, 2009


It's a toy on a magazine page. Not much more needs to be said about it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Haleakala Mosaic

This photo mosaic is made of photos taken in the crater of Haleakala, the dormant volcano that makes up most of the island of Maui, Hawaii. The crater of Haleakala is a beautiful, stark landscape. Hiking into it was worth the really nasty altitude sickness I got there (going from sea level to 10,000 feet in about an hour's drive up the mountain leaves no time to adjust to the change in altitude).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Field Dots

This photo was made in Chicago's Field Museum a couple of years ago. I like the backlighting here, and the grid created by the lighted circles in the background.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tall, Skinny

I find this photo, taken in Amsterdam, kind of amusing. A tall, thin building (typical of Amsterdam), with a tall, thin guy (also typical of Amsterdam) walking in front of it. The photo was accidental-I was just trying to shoot a photo of the buildings, when that guy just kind of appeared in the scene. I snapped the shutter quick, before he could move out of the photo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I shot this about a year ago at an abandoned factory on the far south side of Chicago that was in the process of being torn down. I should go beck there again-I think the entire factory complex is close to completely gone now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Let's Go Nutting

I made this collage last winter, while visiting my mom over the holidays. In an effort to keep ourselves entertained, my mom, my sister and myself, armed with old copies of National Geographic (and a few issues of Artforum) made collage postcards. After a while, we started giving each other pieces of text, which we then designed collages around. This is one of the resulting collages.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Atomic City

I made this collage around 1989 or so, at the insistence of my cousin, Kenny, who was always encouraging me to make art (this was before I knew I was an artist). It was made for an art exhibit that he talked me into entering. I unfortunately cannot remember the location or dates of the exhibit.

It's not easily seen here, but the building with the pillars at the top left of the collage marks the top border of the piece. The top of the dog's head and ears actually extend over the mat that surrounds it, and outside the edge of the collage. I liked that look, it made the dog appear larger and more menacing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hi Kids!

Here's a recent digital collage. I made it for a Photoshop class I took a couple of years ago. The assignment was to combine two photos, so I joined a vintage photo of a zeppelin with a scanned postcard. It reminds me of some John Baldessari pieces from a few years ago.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We Now Have Proof!

I love collage. I've worked in the medium on and off for about 25 years, and even wrote my Master's thesis on collage theory. I probably would never have become interested in photography had I not been working in collage. I first started making photographs as a way of obtaining source material for collages (ironically, I've rarely made collages with original photographs. I prefer using appropriated images for them).

While this blog is focused on casual photos (as opposed to my more 'serious' art, which you can find on Lightbender, my other blog), I thought it would be fun to share some collages over the next few days. Most of my collages contain a significant amount of photography, even if they're not my photos.

This one is one of the first collages I can remember making, and it's always been one of my favorites. I made this in 1984, using images from a stack of 1950's homemaker's magazines I had bought at a garage sale. I wish I had dome something different with the text, but other than that, I think it's a decent collage.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


That's a huge Babe the blue ox, part of Paul Bunyan, and an interesting decal on the windshield of a motorcycle at the Trees of Mystery tourist trap in Klamath, California.

Monday, October 5, 2009


This photo was taken in the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco last summer. It's a door on one of the abandoned bunkers, corroded by years of exposure to weather and salt from the nearby Pacific ocean.
I posted this photo to JPG Magazine. It's in a section of photos showing decay, and if it gets enough votes, it may be published in an upcoming issue (hint, hint!).

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I love Fall, it's my favorite season. With the arrival of Fall-like weather a few days ago, I've found myself having increased energy, and simultaneously wanting to be outside and spending more time working in my studio.

This photo looks like it was taken in late Fall, but it wasn't. It was actually shot on Christmas Day, 2006. I'd gone wandering in the fields behind my mom's house in Michigan with my camera and shot this (and several dozen other photos).

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mom's Backyard

I shot this photo last fall in my Mom's backyard, using an old twin lens camera that had been given to me. That camera has no meter, so I used the sunny 16 rule to expose it.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Here's an oldie. It was taken around 1988 or so, back when I was interested in photography but hadn't yet taken any photo classes. I didn't have my own camera, either. That's my sister's Olympus in the photo. I borrowed her camera and shot several rolls before I got my own camera.