Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Three Rivers

A visit to Pittsburgh, July 2008. Segway rental customers.

Canon XSi.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

East 55th St. Church

Canon XSi.


Driving down Brookpark Rd. in search of easy weirdness to capture with the lens. A landscape of small industrial facilities, honky-tonk bars, sad empty motels, "gentlemen's clubs," adult bookstores and farm-sized car dealerships. Easy pickings by any standard, and I found myself disinclined to capture very much of it. Had to stop and circle back, however, when I spotted this. Parked between tractor trailer rigs at a trucking weigh and wash.

The truck wash was open and running, but it was a Sunday afternoon, and there was neither a truck nor an attendant to be seen. I parked two doors down and strolled over. I blush to admit I was too timid to climb into the cockpit and snap a few images there. Felt certain someone would come out and arrest me. A fear hangover from adolescent trespass fun. Next time?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Under the Kilt

August, 1968, Scotland, by Loch Lomond. I was 13 and part of a choir tour of the Isles. Taken with a spring-driven Kodak Instamatic bought especially for the trip. A stop on a bus tour of the Highlands. At the time, I was slightly perturbed by the two women, and similar thoughts were expressed by certain members of my family. "It would have been a very nice picture if the old ladies weren't in it." Now I think that their presence is what makes the photo work. I love their conspiratorial intimacy, and the unwavering concentration of the bagpiper. And most especially the beautiful faded color.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Penitentiary Glen

An unexpectedly warm Saturday in November and a late-afternoon run out to the former Halle family estate, now a sprawling park near Kirtland, Ohio. Dubbed "Penitentiary Glen" by early settlers for its deep and rugged gorge -- like prison, easy to get into but difficult to get out of.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

An annual display at a big old house on Mayfield Road in Cleveland Hts. Fog, booming narration, colored lights, strobes, a heart-stopping emergency horn sounding at random and zombified attendants. Skeletons everywhere, climbing the house, leaning on the fence, playing cards. Headstones with hands clawing up through the earth. The devil in a blaze of red fan-driven tissue-paper flame. A hanged man wrapped head to foot in a sheet, a strobe light imparting a twitching life to him. They spend over a week putting it up. In the daylight, it looks rather wan and incoherent. It's the nighttime effects that knit the presentation together. While we were visiting, a boy about eight or nine years old walked in bravely with his father, but it wasn't long before we heard the cry, "Dad, let's go!"

Even with a monopod and an ISO setting of 1600, it was difficult to capture these without some sort of camera shake, exposures ranging from a half second to over two seconds. "And no photographs taken with the aid of a flashlight either, if only out of respect for the actual light -- even when there isn't any of it." -- HCB