Thursday, October 18, 2018


SeaTac, Washington

We were scheduled for an eight AM flight Saturday, 9/15, so quite early Friday afternoon we checked in at a Motel 6 just ten minutes from the SeaTac airport and rental car return. I decided to go for a little walk, partly to see if there was a nearby gas station. Our car had developed a not so slow leak in the right rear tire overnight Wednesday, and I'd been having to stop and buy air at least once a day. I wanted to overfill the tire when we went out to find dinner, instead of dealing with a nearly flat tire at 5:30 Saturday morning. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find this place, which I kind of like. Something about the sky and the trees tells me immediately that we're in the Pacific Northwest, not New England or, say, West Virginia, where you also find hilly land with evergreen forest. I pulled up Maps on my phone and saw that I needed to turn around, or walk for several miles through a probably dull residential subdivision to make a loop of it, so back I went.

In the morning, having pumped the tire up to 40 pounds on the way to dinner the night before, the car told me the tire was down to 17 pounds, so I reported this to the efficient and friendly Hertz agent at the rental car terminal. I also reported that the car's trunk didn't lock. Lock up the doors, and you can still go hit the release and open the trunk. I'd left my carryon bag with the temporarily useless, $2K+ MacBook Pro in the unlocked truck for several nights before discovering the problem. Luckily, nobody else did either. Then I told him how the left rear seatback latch was broken, causing the seat to shake and rattle annoyingly. He rolled his eyes and silently mouthed, "whoops," while entering data into his tablet, before sending me my receipt by email. The Chevy Malibu had less than 6,000 miles on it when we picked up—1,616 more when we turned it in. Rental cars lead a hard life, I guess.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Drive-in Theater Presentation in Woodbury, CT

The Warner, Franklin, West Virginia

In case anyone interested might have missed the first announcement—


Drive-in Theaters in the Regional American Landscape

Sponsored by Flanders Nature Center

Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 PM
Woodbury Public Library, 269 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT 06798

The presentation will feature photographs of about 100 of the 250+ drive-in theaters I’ve photographed over the past twenty years across the country. The talk will give a brief history and timeline of the drive-in, along with extensive stories and anecdotes collected from the scores of theater owners I’ve interviewed in the course of the project.


Olympia, Washington

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bright Tomorrows

Shelton, Washington

Busy teaching a platinum workshop at The Penumbra Foundation in New York this past weekend, so back to regular posting today.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Thrift Store Shopwindow, and Back Alley

Shelton, Washington

As I was shooting this window display, a young man walking down the sidewalk stopped and asked what I was taking pictures of—in a friendly, completely non-belligerent way. I answered, "anything that looks interesting." He said, "then be sure to go around to the back alley behind these buildings, there's all sorts of interesting stuff back there."

He was correct.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Thursday, October 04, 2018


Castle Rock, Washington

The library annex seemed to have a quirky outdoor reading room.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Drive-in Theater Photography Presentation in Two Weeks

"The Pike, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, 2001"

Drive-in Theaters in the Regional American Landscape

Sponsored by Flanders Nature Center

Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 PM
Woodbury Public Library, 269 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT 06798.

The presentation will feature pictures from about 100 of the 250+ drive-in theaters in 44 states that I’ve photographed over the past twenty years. The talk will give a brief history and timeline of the drive-in, along with stories and anecdotes collected from the scores of theater owners I’ve interviewed in the course of the project. There will be a Q&A session afterwards.

The drive-in theater is an iconic feature of the American landscape. Once there were over 4,000 of them, but now fewer than 400 remain in operation. No two theaters are alike—vernacular architecture on a colossal scale—but they all share common elements and I find it fascinating to see how these elements relate to the different regional landscapes across the country.

Doors and Walls

Castle Rock, Washington

From a short photo walkabout while traveling from Salem, OR, to Woodinville, WA.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Watching the Surf

Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint, Oregon

Not everyone pays attention to the warning signs.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Centralia, Washington

Centralia used to be a thriving lumber town, and now lives on a combination of tourism (on a clear day you can see Mt. Helens, but we couldn't because of the smoke) and commercial traffic to the "Outlet Centers" that have sprung up on the edges of the town. It sits halfway between Seattle and Portland (although back when the name was coined it was halfway between two other places) with an I-5 interchange barely a mile from the center of town.

Unlike some other towns where outlet centers have invaded, the old town center seems to be doing just fine. This might have been the only vacant storefront I saw in an hour or so of hobbling up and down Main Street Wednesday evening and Thursday morning (hobbling because of a sciatic nerve flareup that just might have been encouraged by many hours jammed into an American Airlines sardine can for the cross country ticket).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Picture Time

Near Canon Beach, Oregon—Route 26

Out of curiosity I looked up the "picture takers" tag for the blog, and found quite a lot of entries, going back to 2009. What I was curious about was how many of the picture takers were using cell phones. The answer was, plenty, but there were quite a few more examples of people using 'real cameras' than I'd anticipated. Not this time, though,

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A view into the fish ladder

Bonneville Dam, Oregon

Friday,9/7/18, we drove our rental car around the Columbia River Gorge area, seeing mostly distant hills obscured by smoke from the wildfires all around. Then we saw a sign for the Bonneville Dam, and Woody Guthrie's depression era song rang out in our heads (I'm not sure I've ever heard the original, but there's a faithful and to-the-spirit rendition in "The Essential Ramblin' Jack Elliot" album). The key line to me is "Don't like dictators not much, myself,/But I think the whole country ought to be run/By electricity!" The large park service building on the site has four floors of museum exhibits on the dam, the river, and its history, including on the bottom level several picture windows offering a view into the fish ladder.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


Centralia, Washington

If this is a brand name, I've never seen it anywhere else, which sort of brings the whole notion into question.

Mt. Hood—11,249

Panorama Point County Park, Near Gresham, Oregon

Nearly obscured by smoke and haze, 9/7/18.

Country store with a good view, except for all that smoke.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Workshop News: Leica/Platinum Workshop

On the weekend of October 13-14 I'll lead a special edition of my "digital/platinum" workshop at The Penumbra Foundation in New York, in cooperation with The Leica Akademie, USA. The workshop will be tailored to creation of platinum/palladium prints from Leica digital camera files.

(White Memorial Conservation Center, 2018—Leica MM246 with 1980s-vintage 35mm Summicron)

You don't need to own a digital Leica to attend—in fact the Leica folks will have a selection of Leica M and SL equipment for participants to try out. You can make some pictures in the Penumbra studios or out on the streets of mid-town Manhattan and over the next few hours produce Pt/Pd prints from them. You can experiment with the latest Leica gear, and make platinum prints the same weekend!

(Brewster, New York, 2018—Leica MM246 with 1980s-vintage 35mm Summicron)

The workshop is set to go, however there are still some spaces available.


Centralia, Washington

Thursday, September 20, 2018


Centralia, Washington

After admiring each other's trucks, these guys headed up the block to The Centerville Cafe for breakfast, and we followed.

The "short stack" of griddlecakes demonstrated why the menu had the option of ordering just one.