Sunday, November 30, 2008

Renovo, Pennsylvania

Morning Light, Evening Light

Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Trunk or Treat?

Is that a weird typo, I wondered, or something else? Turns out something else: more of America's growing paranoia. "Trunk or Treat" events are replacing the tradition of children going about on foot in their neighborhoods on Halloween to collect handouts of candy and other treats. It seems folks have decided that's too dangerous. People instead should gather in a church parking lot and hand out the goodies from the trunks of their cars. The kids remain continuously under the watchful parental gaze. Just what sort of evil they think is lurking in the suburban neighborhoods surrounding Punxsutawney, PA, escapes me.

This fits in with the now familiar scene in the morning in my town, where half a dozen large SUVs sit idling, waiting for the school bus, each with an adult and one or more kids inside. Each is also fully visible from every house on the cul de sac, but each family unit sits in its own idling steel cocoon. When the bus returns kids from school along a country road, the driver doesn't let children off the bus until an adult appears in the doorway or foot of the driveway. Nearly fifty years ago I lived near the terminus of a dead-end street and was supposed to walk half a mile out to the main road where the school bus stopped to pick up all the kids who lived on Ridge Road. Only in the very worst weather would a parent ever drive a kid to the bus stop. It would never occur to anyone to wait with the kids for the bus. School was half a mile west, but the bus continued to the east to a number of other pickup spots before finally winding up at school. This annoyed me so much that I routinely just walked through the woods directly from my house to school. Not once was I ever kidnapped and held for ransom. But I guess today such a trick would send me straight to the Principal's Office, if not all the way to reform school. I don't think I'd enjoy this aspect of being a child today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008


Affordable Prints, an experiment

A perennial problem in the arts is that pricing paintings, sculptures, photographs or other original work at a realistic level for the artist’s survival keeps most of the potential audience from buying the work. I certainly couldn’t afford to buy one of my own platinum prints! So I’ve watched with interest as a number of internet venues experiment with promotional offerings of prints at prices wildly below gallery standards. Probably the best known is the 20x200 site which offers one or more pictures each week in a pretty elaborate editioning scheme starting with small prints that are priced literally at the “lab fee” level of twenty bucks. There are some things I don’t like about the 20x200 paradigm but the basic idea of making “real pictures” available at really low prices is fascinating. If that lets a larger number of people than otherwise buy a few of my pictures, it sounds like a good idea.

Another point is that I really like small prints, but dealers only seem interested in large ones, at least for digital work. Not that I don’t like large prints too, at least some of the time for some pictures. But I think the photo world has fallen into a bigger-is-better trap. Small prints that are comfortable to hold in your hand can have a special intimacy that I appreciate. So if you too like small prints and have enjoyed pictures you’ve seen on this blog, this is the chance to move from a virtual image on the computer screen to a small but very real ink-on-paper print.

Here’s the idea. The color digital-capture pictures that make up the core of this blog will be available as “WP 30s”—small prints around 8-inches long dimension, on letter-size paper, for $30 each. They’ll be pigment ink prints on cotton paper, shipped via USPS in ‘sta-flat’ mailers.


It seems to me that ordering should be simple enough. I’ve set up a “WP 30s” link over in the blog’s sidebar. That will take you to this notice on a page at my website with a feedback link. Just use the link to send me an email with the date of appearance on WP for the picture you want, plus additional I.D. if there was more than one that day. After I send you a response to confirm that the picture is available, send me $30 via PayPal and I’ll ship out the print. United States orders only for now, until I see how complicated international shipping makes things.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Woodbury, Connecticut

Small Town Political Rally, 11/1/08

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Renovo, Pennsylvania

Morning Light in the Upper Appalachians

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wysox, Pennsylvania


Crosses like these, not directly attached to a church or shrine, not explained by any sort of plaque or legend, are rare in New England. They're much more commonly seen throughout the Southeast. Sometimes a single large cross, sometimes the group of three. Recently I spotted quite a few in central PA. I don't know whether that distribution is static or if it's a growing phenomenon spreading northward.

Mahaffey, Pennsylvania

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mt. Jewett, Pennsylvania

For Sale

Right at the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, Mt. Jewett, PA, looks to have once been a bustling town with native industry and tourist trade. But now it's nearly a ghost town, with not one storefront in three occupied.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clearfield, Pennsylvania

Arrowhead Restaurant

Clearfield, Pennsylvania

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Shop Windows

Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Washington Depot, Connecticut

Marriage Equality in Connecticut, 11/12/08

Last month the Connecticut courts declared it illegal to prohibit same sex couples from marrying. Today was the first opportunity to obtain marriage licenses. My friends Ken and Joe were at the town hall promptly at 3:00 PM to sign the papers. They had their ceremony in the lobby, in front of the flag, with a bust of George Washington looking on, along with friends and a surprising number of media. "As we just celebrated our 29th anniversary together in September, we're now 'upgrading' to marriage."
Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Shop Window

Monday, November 10, 2008

Brookville, Pennsylvania

First Amendment Rights

I saw the large white billboard out of the corner of my eye as I pulled into a gas station on the other side of the broad state highway, so went to investigate after filling the truck. At first I didn't notice the sign for the Adult Super Center, then realized the billboard had been put up by a citizens' committee right on the property line of the business. Seems like the citizens' committee has a better graphic designer than the national chain store: lots more impact at maybe 1/100th the cost of the store's marquee. Seems like the freedom of speech of both sides is intact.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Early Snow Flurries

10/29/08 in the early evening and snow is already in the air.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Clearfield, Pennsylvania

Thanks for Traveling

These signs seemed ubiquitous at travel-oriented businesses beginning shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001. I hadn't seen one for several years but found them in generous supply at a carefully kept, very cheap motel last week in central PA.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Honesdale, Pennsylvania

More Halloween

For reasons I've never determined, Halloween is a bigger deal in northeastern Pennsylvania that it is in many other places, certainly bigger than in nearby southern New England where I live. It's been several years since I had a chance to travel through PA this time of year but I got to spend the last three days of the month there this year. There was a lot of Halloween decoration, but most of it was really disappointing. Compared to years ago, hand-made family projects seem to have given way wholesale to plastic junk straight from Wal-Mart. But these are a few home-grown displays.

Towanda, Pennsylvania

Towanda, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

11/5/08 Addendum

Torrington, Connecticut

The word is that all around the country, in big city markets the news stands and vending machines ran out of papers headlining the news of the big election results yesterday. In smaller towns here in western CT that didn't seem to be the case. But there was still something gratifying about seeing the banner headline on the largest of the local papers, the oddly-named Waterbury Republican American.
Coudersport, Pennsylvania


There used to be a small branch of a huge department store chain on Main Street, Coudersport, PA, right in the middle of town. But no more.

Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Geistown, Pennsylvania

Traditional Political Advice

A classic theater like The Silver Drive-in near Johnstown, PA, might as well keep up the old traditions in other ways as well. I grew up in New Jersey, straight west from New York City. About halfway in between was Jersey City, NJ, a municipality famous for its political and economic...eccentricities. These included having more than one mayor carry out his duties and win re-election while behind bars. At election time my father always kept repeating, "Well, as they say in Jersey City, vote early and often!"

Monday, November 03, 2008

West Burlington, Pennsylvania

Church and State

Perhaps there are several ways to think of this. The admirably brief text of the sign seems to advocate prayer as informative prelude to voting. Seems to me though that for a lot of people looking toward tomorrow's electoral exercise, the order might be reversed. They'll be voting, and then praying that their votes are counted accurately—good luck with those touch screen voting machines—and that it somehow comes out right.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Towanda, Pennsylvania

Trick or Treat!

Friday, Halloween, someone decided to put a couple of scarecrow figures in storefront windows on Main Street in Towanda, Pa. They equipped the scarecrows with John McCain and Sarah Palin masks. What struck me as odd was just exactly who did this—it was the GOP Campaign Committee Headquarters.

I included my reflection to say, "I approved this message."

Towanda, Pennsylvania

Saturday, November 01, 2008