Monday, March 29, 2010

Monochrome Weekend: Old Post Office

Facade of the old U.S. Post Office Building, Evansville, Indiana

More black and white photos at:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

That Thing Added to MoMA Collection

In previous posts, I have expounded at length about the "@" symbol, which for decades resided on the "2" key of typewriter keyboards, used only occasionally by accountants or merchants to indicate "at the rate of" or by writers wishing to symbolize cursing in a socially-acceptable manner, as in "Pass the %&#@ potatoes!" Then along came email, and the "@" symbol came into its own.

Now the Museum of Modern Art has announced that "@" has been added to its Department of Architecture and Design collection. In these tough economic times, it should be noted this is done at no expense to the museum.

Several articles written in connection with MoMA's announcement mention the animal-associated nicknames for "@" which occur in many languages, such as snail, monkey's tail, pig's tail, little mouse, dog, etc.

Interestingly, I haven't seen any news articles refer to "@" as a logogram, grammalogue, or the more specific term "commercial at." For that, you will have to endure the tedium of reading my previous posts, "@" and "@ Revisited."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Pegasus

Pegasus 1
Mobil Gas Station, South Bend, Indiana

This was shot with a Holga 120N with aperture modification. One of the charming quirks of the Holga camera is that it comes with a switch for sunny or shady conditions. Sliding the switch to the sunny setting moves an arm into place between the lens and the film. There's just one teensy problem--the aperture in the arm is larger than the opening immediately behind the lens, so the switch has absolutely no effect on the amount of light striking the film. I've modified both my Holgas by removing the "shady" aperture ring behind the lens, and decreasing the size of the "sunny" aperture on the arm with metal tape. As a result, instead of the functional equivalent of a single aperture of about f/13 (everything about a Holga is approximate), I now have f stops of roughly f/10 and f/16.

More black and white photos at:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Smoke the Big O

I've written in the past about Kent cigarettes and the infamous asbestos Micronite filter. Revisiting the issue of tobacco marketing, I've been checking out some old TV ads for cigarettes on YouTube. Among the many incredible commercials there, this one stands out as one of the more ridiculous ones, with two happy, physically fit young people lighting up as they go water skiing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pinetop Perkins

Last week, Mary, Dan, and I had the opportunity to see a musical legend perform. Pinetop Perkins, 96 years old, played at a local club. Unfortunately, due to technical problems, his electric piano wasn't working when he came out on stage, and even after it was allegedly fixed, it didn't come through in the mix very well. Even at that, it was a pleasure to see him. He began his career in 1927 and has played with the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters, among many others. As Dr. John says in the video below, Pinetop plays gutbucket blues. He was honored with a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2005, and in 2009, his album, "Pinetop and Friends" won the Grammy for best traditional blues.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Tree at Sunrise

Tree at Sunrise
Weld County, Colorado, November 2009

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday: Civil War Soldier

We've had a refreshing string of sunny days here lately. While downtown on Thursday, I took a few pictures with a Nikon compact digital camera and one of my old Kodak TLRs, including some pictures of a Civil War monument. This first picture isn't my entry in the Shadow Shot meme. I present it explain how I got the shadow shot.

Civil War Monument at the St. Joseph County, Indiana Courthouse. Captured with a Kodak Duaflex III and Kodak Tri-X400 film, developed in Diafine.

As I moved around the monument to photograph the statues around the base, I noticed a shadow on one of the first-floor windows of the adjacent courthouse, shown below.

I moved in for a closeup,which I cropped down to the image below, showing the shadows on the glass and the shade behind it.

Below is the statue which cast the shadow, first in analogue and then in digital capture.

I think the shadow shot makes a nice companion piece to the double exposure I took a while back in a local park.

Double exposure of a Civil War monument, Battell Park, Mishawaka, Indiana. Acme (Diana clone) toy camera, Kodak Tri-X 400 film, developed in Diafine.

Monochrome Weekend: Statue of Liberty

Replica of the Statue of Liberty at the St. Joseph County, Indiana Courthouse

More black and white photos at:

Friday, March 05, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Blue Sky With Elephant

Captured at Putt Putt golf course, Mishawaka, Indiana, with a Holga 120N and Fuji Pro400H film.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Bremen Tree

On January 9, 2009, I emerged from Community Hospital of Bremen, where I occasionally work, and walked into a snowstorm. CHB is situated on the outskirts of a small town, surrounded by a cornfield and a horse farm. As I walked toward my truck, a tree across the cornfield caught my eye, and I pulled out the point and shoot camera I usually keep in the truck to take a picture.

Tree in Winter

In subsequent months, I resolved to document the tree in all four seasons, beginning with this picture in the spring, which I tinted green in postprocessing. In retrospect, I'm not sure that was a good idea, but there it is.

Tree in Spring

I got this picture in the summer, with corn growing in the foreground.

Tree in Summer

Due to peculiar weather patterns, we didn't have much fall color, and I didn't get an autumn picture. Oh well, maybe next year, I thought.

Last week, I was sad to see that this is all that's left of the majestic old tree. Why it was taken down, I don't know, but I'll miss it.

Stumps in Winter

See more nature pictures at Rambling Woods


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