Port city

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hmmm . . . my last post was on August 25, just three months ago. In the meantime, I have been teaching a seminar on photobooks to a class of first-year students, which has been great fun, but which has taken quite a bit of my attention. As the semester comes to an end, I hope to go back to posting pictures on a more regular basis. These pictures are from the harbor at New London, Connecticut. Thanks to the many people who continued to visit my blog, even when it was inactive. Stay tuned for more!


On Maine lakes and ponds

August 25, 2011 § 4 Comments

One of the best things about the summer that’s just coming to a close is all the times that Margaret and I have been able to kayak on various lakes and ponds in Maine. The kayak is a perfect platform for photography. You can get close to shore, and you can skim into shallow inlets where there are all kinds of things to photograph. Once you get away from the more heavily populated areas, with their motor boats and jet skis, a wholly different world opens up–the world of nature itself, with its own rhythms and beauties. It’s very easy in my world of meetings and schedules and deadlines and superhighways and my suburban lawn to forget the fact that nature goes on with rules all its own somewhere out there beyond the glow of my back porch light. In the course of our many expeditions, we have seen numerous loons, an eagle, a great blue heron, several large snapping turtles, a water snake (yikes!), and a moose (up very close–Margaret got good pictures). But the thing I kept coming back to was the richness of the plant life, both in the water and in the places where the forest came down to the shores. Here are just a few of the many pictures I assembled over the past two months. For all these photos I used a Panasonic TS1, a tiny,weatherproof camera that fits easily into the pocket of my life jacket. Reviewers always seem to praise its weatherproof qualities above its ability to take sharp, clear pictures, but I have actually found it to be somewhat extraordinary and have made some rather striking 20x24s and 11x17s with it.

Pearls in a landscape

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pearls on Rye

July 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pearls are great to photograph. They seem to suck up light and simultaneously give it back. They calm everything down that’s around them and at the same time, they seem to make everything around them more exciting. (Hmmmm . . . I guess that’s why people wear them!) I’ve been photographing Margaret’s real pearls that she inherited from her mother, which is great if I’m working around the house where they won’t get lost or damaged. But I also wanted to take pearls with me to photograph “in the wild.” So we bought some cheap ones at Savers, and I’ve been taking them to the beach, on kayak trips, or just when we’re out for a walk. Here are a couple of pictures (top, mine; bottom, Margaret’s) from the first day of our vacation. We stopped for lunch at Odiorne State Park in Rye, New Hampshire. It was a great day for pearls–overcast, with soft light.

Sometimes it’s not obvious where you will take the best photographs

June 12, 2011 § 1 Comment


We spent Friday afternoon at the house of a friend who lives on the Connecticut shoreline. A short walk through the woods took us out to a beautiful sandy beach–it was great after a week of office deadlines to just be there in the warm sun and enjoy the view of Long Island in the distance. It was sunny (a miracle, in this rainy spring!) and the  Sound was full of sailboats and freighters and ferry boats. After enjoying the view and the salt air for a while, we headed back up the wooded path toward the house. Although I had taken a few pictures at the beach, it was actually in the woods that I suddenly started to photograph intensely. Perhaps I was too busy looking at the beach, but in the woods, I was seeing. There is a difference. It’s important to do both. (Many thanks to Mary for the great afternoon!)

A few photographs while I was eating lunch

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Having lunch in Margaret’s office with our friend Erin today. We’re on strike against the high cost of eating in the college cafeteria. That’ll last about a week, and then we’ll decide we’re tired of peanut butter sandwiches and go back to the lunch line with everyone else. Besides, the carrot cake in the cafeteria is great!

After lunch, I got interested in the artificial . . . well, um, we don’t know what kind of plant this thing is supposed to be imitating. Margaret’s office is across the hall from the Math Center, and everyone calls it the “math plant,” because it’s plastic and  has square roots. Whatever.

I’ve blogged here a zillion times about the pleasures of having a camera small enough so that I can carry it everywhere in my pocket. That certainly was true today, with the lunch hour squeezed between two meetings. Nice to be able to work almost anywhere!

Abandoned factory, abandoned restaurant, visual feast

May 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was dashing back and forth across Hartford on errands today when I saw in the distance the hulk of an old warehouse. I don’t know what its original use was, but in more recent years it was briefly repurposed to be a restaurant called the Spaghetti Warehouse. According to Wikipedia, Spaghetti Warehouse is a chain and it’s still in operation in several cities. Many of its sites are former factories or warehouses. It began in Dallas in 1997 and is now owned by a Korean conglomerate. According to Wikipedia, “On Mother’s Day, May 11, 2008, the Pittsburgh Spaghetti Warehouse built the World’s Largest Lasagna weighing 8,800 pounds and serving 9,600 people.” Wikipedia has a long list of cities where restaurants have closed, including Buffalo, New York; Glen Allen, Virginia; Willowbrook, Texas; and Hartford. While it’s no longer serving up lasagna, the crumbling remains of the building are a visual feast, and I hope to go back on a day when I have more time.

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