Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow morning, so updates will be pretty infrequent over the next couple of weeks. I'll of course have my camera with me, and I'll try to post, but don't expect a new photo every day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So It's Come To This

I have a vague memory from when I started this blog over two years ago, of vowing to myself never to post a photo of a sunset. I have nothing against photos of sunsets, really, except that they can be trite and everyone has the same reaction to them.

So, here I am breaking my vow. Actually, I'm pretty sure this isn't the first sunset photo to appear on this blog, although I'm too lazy to check. This was shot last summer while watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean in Ft. Bragg, California.

Right around the time I shot this photo, my prescription sunglasses fell from my jacket pocket. I didn't notice until the following morning. I returned to the beach and searched for them, but by then they were probably on their way to becoming part of the Texas-sized island of trash in the middle of the Pacific.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cranbrook Holga

Here's an oldie. I shot this on a cold but sunny day in February, 1998 at the Cranbrook Educational Community, where I was attending graduate school (this photo was shot next door to the art academy at the former boy's school, now part of the coed Cranbrook Upper School). This was the first time I'd used a Holga camera, which I'd borrowed from one of my classmates. I remember not being overly impressed with the results, but I rediscovered the negatives a couple of years ago, and think that some of the photos actually turned out pretty well.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Here are a couple of photos of the 'I'm bored and farting around in my studio' variety. These were made by placing a small plastic baby on a magazine page and shooting them through a macro lens.

Which one do you like better?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Keeping Cool

Still trying to keep cool on another swampy Chicago day (Chicago manages about 2 months of nice weather per year. The rest of the time it's way too hot or too cold). Here's some ice on a leaf. Think cool thoughts!

Monday, June 21, 2010


I'm really not a fan of winter, but on hot and overly humid summer days (like today) photos like this can be refreshing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's A Vermeer Kind Of Sky, Let Me Show You What I Can Do With It

This photo was taken from the top of the church tower in Elburg, a small medieval town in The Netherlands that looks much like it did in the late 13th century. Those clouds have always reminded me of a Dutch Golden Age landscape painting. Looking at a landscape like this in The Netherlands, it's easy to see how those artists got their inspiration.

Ok, to be honest, I don't think Vermeer was that known for his landscapes, but he was working at the same time, and you've probably heard of him.

The title of this post is based on a song lyric by a well known band. Anyone know the band and/or song?

Friday, June 18, 2010


This photo was taken on the same trip as yesterday's photo. That's not fog, it's smoke. We had been visiting the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and as we were leaving the park, a ranger informed us that a nearby forest fire necessitated closing the only road that led back to our lodging near Zion National Park. There was no choice but to detour, and being that this was a remote rural area, the detour was about 70 miles.

In retrospect, we're glad we had to detour. We saw sights we never would have seen otherwise. This photo was taken over 20 miles from the fire, yet a large cloud of smoke is visible. We cranked up the car's cd player (we could only find two radio stations, and one broadcast in Navajo. The Louis Prima cd I had bought a few days previously in Las Vegas came in handy!) and drove for miles down a road cut through a field of sagebrush that stretched from horizon to horizon. Stopping for dinner about 35 miles from the fire, we found the entire town covered in smoke, which hovered at mid-chest level. Later, after dark, the distant forest fire looked like a gigantic charcoal grill. We stopped in Zion National Park to star gaze, the high altitude and absence of light pollution revealing a sky more full of stars than I'd ever seen before.

Sometimes, an unanticipated change of plans can be a good thing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bryce Canyon

This photo was shot in Bryce Canyon National Park in 2001. If you ever get the change, go to Bryce Canyon. It's a beautiful place.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lassen Volcanic National Park

I kind of forgot about this blog for a few days-oops!

I was in Michigan last weekend. My sister was visiting from San Francisco with her two kids, so I went to go spend some time with my adorable nieces. Upon returning, I was preoccupied with planning my vacation and recovering from a very painful pinched nerve in my back.

Anyway, here's a photo from my vacation last year. It was shot in Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California, in an area of the park known as Bumpass Hell. It was named after someone who was exploring the geothermal features, and fell through the thin crust of earth. He ended up losing a leg which was badly burned in the boiling water.

It's a beautiful area, and very remote. It was about a 2 1/2 mile hike from a small parking area to Bumpass Hell. I can't imagine doing it with a horribly scalded leg when there was no road through the park, and no nearby civilization.

This year's vacation will be more urban. I'm spending a few days in San Francisco (more time with my nieces), then catching a train to Portland, Oregon. If any of you have been there and have suggestions of what to see, let me know.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Color Infrared

This is a digital infrared photo I shot a couple of weeks ago. The difference between this and the ones I've posted previously is that I left this one in color instead of converting it to grayscale. This is what it looks like when you shoot a photo with a near infrared filter on the camera. I like the otherworldly feel, although I think it looks gimmicky. It isn't something I'd do often.

Here's the same photo converted to grayscale for the true infrared look:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

At The Fair

I shot this back in 1996,at a carnival in a high school parking lot in Ann Arbor, MI. I used a color saturated film which is no longer made, which is a shame, because I really like the way it looks.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Don't Know

I can't remember what my subject was when I shot this. I like it as an abstract photo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

View From The Top

People seemed to like yesterday's photo (thanks for the comments!) so here's another San Francisco photo. It's a pretty similar view, actually. This was shot from the top of Coit Tower, a couple of steeply uphill blocks from my sister's old apartment, where yesterday's photo was taken (that apartment is in the greenish-yellow building in the lower left of this photo).

Follow the streets as they descend down Telegraph Hill and back up Russian Hill, and you'll see the same apartment buildings and crooked Lombard St. that were seen in yesterday's photo. The dip between the two hills houses the main commercial strip of the popular North Beach neighborhood, and I'm sure you recognize Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

This was shot in October, 2007 on a rainy Friday afternoon not long after I learned that the heavy rainfall had led to my flight back to Chicago being canceled. I went to the top of Coit Tower to shoot, then enjoyed some great sushi for dinner at a place in the Richmond District. Yeah, it's tough when you're forced to spend an extra night in San Francisco!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

San Francisco

I shot this out the window of my sister's old apartment in North Beach back in 2007. They had the best views from their apartment. Here, you're looking at Russian Hill where the tall apartment buildings are. That's Lombard St. just to the right of those buildings, famous as the most crooked street in the world (although there's a street that's even more crooked in San Fransisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chicago Rocks!

I know, the title of this post is horrible. Feel free to groan at the bad pun.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Paper Lanterns

This is my sister and my friend Harvey launching paper lanterns in my Mom's backyard in Michigan last Saturday. Paper lanterns are fun and beautiful, and even better when you're doing them with family and friends.