Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wall and Shadows

Waterbury, Connecticut

Afternoon sunlight filters through trees growing above a heavy retaining wall.

Over at WPII, last weekend Americans celebrated Memorial Day and I made photographs at three different memorial events. Link over to The WPII Blog for more:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Drive-in Theater Marquee

Burrville, Connecticut

It's a long time since a movie played here, though the steel screen still stands among the trees at the foot of the hillside.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beige, Window and Wall

New York, New York

New York, New York

These are the last postings from my recent short visit in New York. Tomorrow, back to Connecticut.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

City Hydrants

New York, New York

Small town fireplugs with a certain attitude have showed up here at WP quite a few times in the past. Big city hydrants have some attitudes of their own.

New York, New York

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


New York, New York

Sunday morning, and a mid-town parking lot on 30th just west of 5th is empty. Click on the image to get a larger version, where the parking rates will be legible. The odd thing is, these are quite reasonable in context, a fraction of what they are just a mile north where you'd park (if silly enough to drive into town) closer to the museums and galleries.

Monday, May 25, 2009


New York, New York

While in Japan on a college scholarship in 1969 I was surprised to see restaurant display windows with, instead of pictures of curry rice and shrimp tempura, realistic, highly-detailed mini-sculpture replicas of the meals you could buy. Recently, while getting a bagel at this combination deli/short-order restaurant at 30th and 6th, one of the workers picked up a table order (except they don't really have tables) of "everything." One each of French toast, pancakes, bacon and eggs. I noticed how perfectly prepared they were, even though only the pancakes would get near the list of things I might eat. When I left, I found out it was the same idea I'd encountered in Tokyo, but this time raised to a new level by displaying the real thing. I wonder if people might be drawn in by the aromas?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Suits & Coats (and umbrellas)

New York, New York

It's possible I might have seen the painted advertisement on the brick wall of this building on 29th just west of 5th back when the paint was fresh. Back then I never quite figured out what to do with these fascinating artifacts (fresh or faded) because a "close up" with a long lens would be stupid, and they tended to be too high in the air to relate to the life of the street. But a tree bursting into spring foliage, racing the fire escape to the top of the building...sometimes it takes forty years for a simple observation to turn into a picture.

New York, New York

The trees across the street here seemed to be doing a slow dance, but the view was dull until a woman walked by with a mysterious umbrella (it was neither rainy nor sunny: why a parasol?) Sometimes a simple observation turns into a picture as fast as you can hit the release.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Up On A Roof

New York, New York

Looking down from the roof of a six story building on 17th street. Bits and pieces of a scene. I'm generally a resolute user of short lenses to examine sweeping views after close approach to subjects, seldom seeing any reason to pick out details. I could cop a plea that from seven stories in the air I needed to use a longer lens (just a bit longer than "normal" in this case) to organize the view. But as has happened the last couple times I've shot in New York, a longer than usual lens seemed to work better.

New York, New York

Friday, May 22, 2009

Evening in the City

New York, New York

Walking with a friend from MoMA, where we'd seen the fascinating "Printed Picture" show, to a restaurant farther downtown, we were discussing the comparative abilities of film and digital sensors to deal with the sort of lighting conditions around us. For much of the walk at dusk in the deep artificial canyons the contrast ranges would have strained the best films and overpowered digital sensors, but a couple of places the combination of building heights, avenue width, and surrounding sources of artificial light brought things into range. Luckily, some interesting things happened at just those times and a couple pictures appeared.

New York, New York

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Major Florist

New York, New York

I spent a lot of time wandering around this part of New York, with my Dad's Rolliecord, starting when I was about 11 or 12. That would be the very early 1960s. Many things have changed; buildings, the businesses that inhabit them, even streets and small urban parks or squares. But there's a lot of continuity, too. There are many tiny wholesale stores: florists, milliner's, purveyors of ribbons, buckles, thread, bows and buttons—wholesale only. I could swear some of them look just as they did 45 and more years ago.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


New York, New York
Six o'clock in the evening on a mid-town Friday.

Meanwhile, today at WPII, the spring flowering trees series comes to an end. Link on over for the final installment at The WPII Blog.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baths on Madison Avenue

New York, New York

Just back from teaching a weekend Platinum/Palladium workshop. Hectic as usual, but there was time for some snaps with a digital camera.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Wall

Waterbury, Connecticut

As always, you can click within the picture area to see a larger version. It's still small, about 1/6 the linear pixel count of the original capture, but big enough to get a sense of the way the delicate tendrils of the nasty invasive plant relate to the soft outlines of the thickly painted brickwork.

Meanwhile, Spring continues at The WPII Blog.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Lions

Waterbury, Connecticut

Guarding the front porch. Something about their demeanor is aloof: not exactly welcoming, but certainly not threatening.

Meanwhile, Spring continues to bloom over at The WPII Blog.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Underpasses

Torrington, Connecticut

Route 8 is a strange part of the US highway system. It runs north/south as a superhighway starting at Bridgeport, CT, on Long Island Sound, and continues that way to just south of the small city of Winsted. Then it turns into country two-lane, crosses the state line into Massachusetts, doglegs through the hills and towns, crosses the border into Vermont and then just sort of ends a few miles east of Bennington. The MA section winds along a river valley that twists enough to cause speed limits to drop to 35 mph. The superslab section also follows a river, the Naugatuck, and there are some interesting bridges as the limited-access road cuts a straight line across the switchbacks of the river's course.

Shelton, Connecticut

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Forthright Fireplug

Ansonia, Connecticut

There's something about fire hydrants, I keep being drawn to them. This is one real stand-up guy here, downright jaunty in demeanor.

The Spring Series continues over at The WPII Blog.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cash 4 Broken Gold

Shelton, Connecticut

Broken gold? Oh well. Don't know how much they want for the severed heads.

The Spring Series continues over at The WPII Blog.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Assurance ComforTred

Torrington, Connecticut

This is a huge tire store doing a lot of business with truckers and heavy equipment users. The faded big group portrait in the window, which at first I figured would date way back to the 40s or so, turned out to be a color print, while the truck looks like a much later model, 60s or even 70s. Come to think of it, a print from the 40s would have been b&w and probably not anywhere near so faded, despite the long exposure to sunlight through heavily tinted glass.

Meanwhile, Spring Has Sprung at The WPII blog. For the next two weeks there will be daily postings of pictures from early spring in western Connecticut, 2009

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Ansonia, Connecticut

Graffiti, stencils, seems to be quite an urge to make marks on other people's stuff.

Naugatuck, Connecticut

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hot Topic

Waterbury, Connecticut

Doorway in a service corridor at a shopping mall.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

WP Supplemental: Workshop

I've learned that "we have a go" for my Introduction to Platinum/Palladium weekend workshop at The Center for Alternative Photography coming up May 16-17 in New York. There are one or two spaces still available, so if you're interested in a platinum workshop and can get to NYC two weeks from now, this is the time to jump. Follow the link for details.

Van-Del Drive-in Theater, Middlepoint, Ohio

Picture in the Window

Winsted, Connecticut

A picture in the window and a stepladder, too. As always, a larger version of the picture is available just by clicking. Use your browser 'back button' to return.

Monday, May 04, 2009


Winsted, Connecticut

Sometimes I think the nicest thing about strong sunlight is the way it casts shadows. Crisp sun delineates shapes clearly, but then shadows convey all sorts of information about shapes that aren't even in the picture.

Winsted, Connecticut

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Winsted, Connecticut

A grab shot on a sunny afternoon. After the cyclist passed by I became fascinated with the resonance between the strange blue standing-rib metal siding and the thinly clouded sky, all delineated by clear sunlight. The funny building is a duckpin bowling alley.

Winsted, Connecticut

WP Addendum, Cross Posting

For any visitors here who don't routinely stop by The Online Photographer, you might want to link on over to a technical article of mine that will go up there sometime later today. It's about working with that strange light source, The Sun.

A sneak preview:

Waterbury, CT, 2009

"Full sunlight in the foreground and background, deep shadow (much darker than open shade) in the middle. I set the camera to "sunny 16" (1/320th@f/8 with effective ei of 80) to keep the highlights from burning out, then used a little Recovery in ACR to give them more substance along with a lot of Fill Light (stupid name but useful tool) to bring out some sense of texture in the deep shadows. Note the extra tone in the lower surface of the I-beams from light bounced back up from the pavement."

Click on over to read the whole thing.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Two Flags and a Refrigerator

Winsted, Connecticut

Seen a few minutes, and just a block or so, apart. While I'm usually drawn to soft lighting conditions and overcast or cloudy skies, now and then it's interesting to explore the look of things under full sunlight. Familiar places can take on a new character.

Winsted, Connecticut

Friday, May 01, 2009

Front Porch

Torrington, Connecticut

The building to the right is the rear of a commercial strip mall. It's likely the old house will be replaced by commercial development.