Saturday, October 29, 2011

Early Fall Weeds

Emlenton, Pennsylvania

Dreaming of a White Halloween

Woodbury, Connecticut

Two twenty-six this afternoon.

First Snow

Woodbury, Connecticut

Just after noon the snow is arriving. Predictions are all over the map. Optimists forecast just some wet heavy snow that will melt in the 40 degree temperatures. Catastrophe-mongers—most of the media—predict 10 or 12 inches and high winds that will take down trees to cause massive power outages. We'll see.

Late Fall Weeds

Torrington, Connecticut

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Bryan, Ohio


Nappanee, Indiana

This town was quite touristy, in a subdued way compared to Wisconsin Dells, but with the odd twist of having a distinct native American theme. I couldn't stay for more than a short walkabout since I wanted to end up in eastern Ohio by the end of the day at the AUT-O-RAMA DI, but I plan to do a little research to see what the connection is, though of course the name itself gives a clue. Place, town, and street names with native American roots abound here in southern New England. Every morning nearly half of my four mile walk is on Weekeepeemee Road.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Wawaka, Indiana

No, really, that's the name of the town. Would my GPS lie to me?

Wisconsin Dells, OMG

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

I spent a lot of time at the Wisconsin Dells "Big Sky" drive-in theater, about two miles out of town, which in the midwest means you're in the middle of a bunch of corn fields in active production, trying to get something good from it on large format film. Spectacular siting, not easy to deal with. Not sure how well I succeeded.

Then I found the town center of Wisconsin Dells, which I'd heard of. I was really quite amazed. "Sleezy/tacky and damn proud to be that way" would seem to be the motto. There's a place near the foot of Lake Placid, in NY, that is similar, but no competition to this. Then there's the town that contains Dollywood which had before astonished me as, oh well, exemplar of bad taste.

I thought that I'd get Tina a T-shirt to wear to the gym. That's a standard thing I do on these trips, sometimes I'll pay too much because it's something cool from a state park and the overage is a donation, but this time, I tried to find a shirt that actually had a funny thing on it, and was instead struck by how gross they were. The worst cotton I've ever felt. It wouldn't matter how cheap the joke T-shirt might be, it wasn't worth buying.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Conversions, and Post-Visualization

Richland Center, Wisconsin

Up until now I've never been happy with b&w conversions from digital capture. I was quite sure that the problem wasn't technical. It was, and remains, in my head. When I shoot with a digital capture camera I know I'm shooting color, so I shoot in color and if you strip the color away the picture's no good anymore. Simple. If I could talk my subconscious into thinking that I'm shooting b&w with a color camera, that would be great but it doesn't seem to work. However, there's such a thing as post-visualization.

When I arrived at The StarLite, I had not been able to make contact over the internet or phone beforehand. The theater sits at the back of a long drive, and at the front sat a very barred gate. With No Trespassing signs. All of it clearly visible from a busy four lane highway. Marching in with the Deardorff or the Korona seemed out of the question. But I did sneak in with my micro 4/3s digital camera, and made several pictures. I was particularly interested in the way the theater was surrounded by active farmland on three sides, with the highway on the fourth. I certainly would have made several 8x10 negatives if the intention to keep people out hadn't been so clear.

Thing is, these pictures convert wonderfully to b&w. In ACR I adjusted them as usual in color, then converted them with the HSL/grayscale panel. Opened them into Photoshop, did further adjustments with a curve, as I would from a scanned b&w negative. The pair of 13 inch wide prints are just fine, fitting in perfectly with the rest of my project. Which is enough to give one pause.

So then I went back and rejiggered the tonality of the files to look right on screen (WYSIWYG is a fantasy, even with color management and calibrations, a file adjusted to look nice on the web will make a lousy print, with harsh contrast and blocked shadows, while a file adjusted to print beautifully will look like a soft, pale, mess, online. Monochrome is even worse than color about this.

So, having worked off and on for a dozen years now on the Drive-in Theater project, either my head went directly to my usual b&w for the subject even though I was using a color digital camera, or, perhaps, as soon as I looked at color digital captures of this subject matter with the intent of converting to b&w, I had no trouble visualizing the transition. There must be a lesson to be learned from this, but I neither know exactly what it is, or whether it will take effect on me.

Richland Center, Wisconsin

Microdermal Piercing

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lake View

Egg Harbor, Wisconsin

A prominent sign warned that the shore-side area was strictly for the use of guests at the hotel across the street.


Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Then You Win

New Haven, Connecticut


New Haven, Connecticut


New Haven, Connecticut

The thing I noticed most at Occupy New Haven yesterday was the diversity of the crowd. I don't know how to do crowd estimates but I could tell it was way into the hundreds and I've seen estimates online putting the number at a thousand. The organizers and leaders seem mostly to be young, twenties and thirties, but anywhere you looked you always saw young, old, middle aged, white, black, brown—everything. Well, the 99% must be diverse, by definition.

Look Mom

New Haven, Connecticut


New Haven, Connecticut

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Distress Signal

New Haven, Connecticut

Everyone must be aware there was global political action today. I spent much of the day at the New Haven Green, where Occupy New Haven had scheduled a march around the center of the city and other activities. I'm going to take my time editing the take and will post pictures over the next few days.


Coldwater, Michigan

City Tree

Stevens Point, Wisconsin