Monday, August 31, 2009

Bremen Tree: Summer

One of my many lofty but short-lived goals was to do a daily photoblog. I started doing this at a site called Aminus3. I was doing pretty well till I started shooting film in addition to digital. I'd leave days blank, waiting for film to be processed, then forget which day I took the film, and then I just generally lost interest in posting a picture every day just for the sake of posting a picture every day. I also found Flickr more user friendly and more interesting than Aminus3.

I've lowered the bar and decided to set a goal of posting a picture each season. To that end, I present this series of pictures taken from the grounds of Community Hospital of Bremen, Indiana. I started off last winter with a picture of a barren tree during a snowstorm, then took a picture of the same tree fully leafed out in the spring, and last week took a picture of the same tree on an overcast summer morning. The trunk of the tree is now obscured by the intervening cornfield.

Stay tuned for autumn.

Tree in Summer - minimal postprocessing

Tree in Summer - Graduated Filter Added in Photoshop

Tree in Spring - Tinted Green

Tree in Winter - Sepia

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #67

New patio+old table and chairs+bright sun=shadow shot.

Friday, August 28, 2009

River Shards

One encouraging development in the area where I live has occurred at the former site of an industrial eyesore. The area once occupied by the abandoned Uniroyal factory in Mishawaka, Indiana is now a very pleasant park, named after former mayor Robert Beutter. The Uniroyal buildings were imploded on June 17, 2000, and in subsequent years the debris and pollution left behind by Uniroyal and its predecessor, Ball Band, have been cleaned up and the park has been established.

Demolition of the smokestack at the Uniroyal power plant, June 17, 2000

I stopped by the park yesterday and took a few pictures, a couple of which I'm posting here. A prominent feature of the park is a large reflective sculpture.

"River Shards," sculpture by Jan R. Martin, Beutter Park, Mishawaka, Indiana
"Hibiscus, Shards, Self," Photo by David A. Cory

From Mayor Jeff Rea's 2006 state of the city address:
The artist explained that his concept evolved from the park design that was developed by landscape architect,  Eric Ernstberger, of Rundel  & Ernstberger Associates. Mr. Martin stated “Mr.  Ernstberger envisioned three or four large vertical formations that would have a visual relationship to nature.  Starting with these parameters I began to choreograph in my mind a grouping of distorted mineral crystals displayed in monumental scale.  I decided it was important to try to unite the sculpture with the land and the water and therefore, the towers emerge from the bank of the channel.  A third, shorter tower is surrounded completely by water.  A  long horizontal section is supported by two of the towers and is used to create tension and visual emotion. This also serves to direct one's attention back toward the park.  I used mirror finished stainless to reflect the sky, the rive  and the people who come to watch the water flow over the weirs.”  The sculpture was started in January (2005) and is the result of over 1,500 hours of  labor of the artist. 

See more nature pictures at Rambling Woods

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 59

For this week's Skywatch entry, I made use of a roll of black and white film that had sat in my old 35mm camera bag for at least 9 years. I loaded it in an even older Kodak Duaflex III TLR camera, and got results like this picture. The camera is designed for 620 film, which is wider than 35mm, so when you load the camera with 35mm, the whole film is exposed, including the sprocket holes.

Main Street, Niles, Michigan

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Winky Dink Dragged Through the Mud!

The good name of one of my TV cartoon heroes of the 1950s is tarnished forever! The alleged mistress of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has written a book, hoping to recoup some of the dough which her boyfriend bilked her out of. The illustrious New York Daily News reports that Sheryl Weinstein said of Madoff,
He was a "good kisser,"...who gave her a "welcoming smile (she'd)never forget" the moment they met. She even came up with a code name for him - "Mr. Winky Dink" - based on his nervous blinking.
Oh, pity poor Winky Dink, who never wanted anything but for young children to absorb emissions from primitive cathode ray tubes as they sat frighteningly close to their televisions and drew on their magic screens with their magic crayons. We should draw him a magic grave so he can roll over in it as he receives this news.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monochrome Self-Portrait

I liked the image Double Lion that I posted earlier today so much that I thought I'd try to replicate the effect with a double exposed self-portrait. I did this one with the Nikon D90, which has a menu selection for multiple exposures on a single image. It requires slightly more effort than just not rolling the film forward in the Holga camera, but the digital technique offers immediate feedback vs. waiting to have a film processed. Don't get me wrong--I like the mystery and anticipation of the film technique, but sometimes it's good to have immediate results. I think a good 1950s-style sci-fi B movie could be built around this image. Somehow the plot would have to involve exposure to radiation from an atomic bomb blast, resulting in a misunderstood yet frightening double-faced, three-eyed madman.

I tried to find a meme where this photo might fit. Topping the list of Google search results for "self portrait photo meme" was Crazy Girl's butt photo meme, which involves mirror self portraits taken in the prone position with the derriere elevated. At least the photographer's face is in the mirror. I think I'll pass on that one. Then I found a Flickr group for more conventional self-portraits in mirrors. I've done a few of those, but the photo above doesn't fit the bill. I just held the camera at arm's length rather than use a mirror.

I didn't find a double exposure meme, but I did discover a blog post with some interesting examples of multiple exposures from the Life Magazine archives.

Monochrome Maniacs: Double Lion

Double exposure of lion statues outside a mausoleum at Riverview Cemetery, South Bend, Indiana. Gear: Holga 120 CFN toy camera.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Photo Hunt #175: Ripples

The guidelines for this week's photo hunt theme, ripples, suggest attempting to avoid water, sand, and flags. However, the first thing that came to mind was this picture taken in January. The water in our backyard pond was low. The pump would run until the float in the filter box dropped enough to shut it off. Then a little water would flow into the box, raising the float, and turning on the pump. This cycle went on for some undetermined amount of time. The temperature was low enough that a thin layer of ice formed on the surface of the pond. The intermittent action of the pump resulted in the rippling pattern you see in the picture, as the water flowed toward the filter box, which was just below the image.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 58

Western Sky at Sunset

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monochrome Maniacs: Second Amendment

A well-regulated militia subdues a menacing giant.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spider on Dewy Web

After experimenting recently with alternative forms of photography with the Lensbaby, and more recently a Holga plastic camera which--get this--uses film (!), I decided to delve back into the high resolution digital world with the Nikon D90 and the macro lens. I like this one, and thought it would be a good one for Nature Notes.

Click to enlarge, unless you're arachnophobic.

See more nature pictures at Rambling Woods

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Skywatch Friday No. 56

Late afternoon sun through the trees, captured with a Nikon D90. Lensbaby Composer lens, and an empty Robert the Bruce Ale bottle serving as a filter.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Advice to Young Poets

Never pretend
to be a unicorn
by sticking a plunger on your head

by Martín Espada, from The Republic of Poetry
Peter and Daniel Cory, ca. 1986

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Taurus or Death in the Afternoon

This week's entry for Monochrome Maniacs and Shadow Shot Sunday.


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