Monday, December 31, 2007


Or maybe not. Unidentifiable sounds echoing from unidentifiable locations in the courtyard of this massive Euclid Avenue apartment building near East 70th Street suggested that while there was no longer any landlord here, there were still tenants of one sort or another. Despite the adjacency of a brand-new Aldi Foods store, with its freshly asphalted parking lot, mulched landscaping and steady flow of customers, I felt a world away with the brick walls and inscrutable windows looming over me, and a sense of isolation and vulnerability, of being monitored by wary eyes, led me to cap my lens and move on.

UPDATE: The apartments fell to the wrecker's ball late December 2010-January 2011, exposing a clear view of the eastern side of the Hall-Sullivan House.

Bill Blasko's Adopt-a-Building Program

Holga considers 5613 Euclid Avenue with her single-element 65mm plastic lens and characteristic concentric light and focus fall-off, with resultant vignetting. Like looking through a telescope into the past.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Fish Weeps

On St. Clair Avenue.

Holga My Love

She taught me everything I needed to know about photography, including how and when and why to break the rules.

Thrift Store Camera

Another Polaroid Impulse shot. Cold wet northeast Ohio image. Will the sun shine in the next week or so? The National Weather Service claims that the clouds will melt away on Friday. Bet not.

Succumbing to Pictorialism

Done with a marvelous late 80s point-and-hope, the Canon AF35ML, of which I have two working examples. One I got for $38 from KEH in Atlanta, the other I found a few weeks later in Value World, on the shelf with the junk cameras (Vivitar no-focusers, Kodak disc cameras and Sports Illustrated freebies) for $2.02. Value World is the home of palindromic pricing. I think they do it in an attempt to confound customers who might be inclined to do a little ad hoc re-pricing.

What makes the AF35ML so special is the ML suffix. I couldn't tell you what it stands for, but it means that (unlike the lowly AF35) the camera has a lens unheard of in the annals of point-and-shoots, opening to a drive-a-truck-through-it f1.9. That, coupled with its non-automatic flash (you want flash, you have to pop it up yourself) means indoor photography in natural light, as long as you use ISO 400 or faster. The AF35ML is rated for film as fast as ISO 800. I actually snagged an acceptable photo of the old Clark's Restaurant tiles inside Panini's on East 9th and Huron, no flash (and hence no reflection off the shiny tiles). You just need steady hands.

I know, this picture is pretty, not gritty. I should be ashamed, but I'm not.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thrift Store Camera

Polaroid Impulse, plastic lens, about f12, focus-free. Purchased at Goodwill for $3.
Taken behind Tire Man, Fulton and Biddulph Roads.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bill Blasko's "Adopt-a-Building" Program

5613 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland. Last old timer standing at the intersection of Euclid and East 55th Street, until the Depression a bustling intersection anchored by an important railway station, now decimated and abandoned. Street renovation on Euclid may result in redevelopment of the area, which is mostly empty lots now, but it will certainly mean the end of this turn-of-the-19th-century ghost, with its delightful signage and beautiful decay.

UPDATE: It's gone.