Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Coffee Time

Josh invited me over today to help him with some crazy idea he had to photograph a coffee cup. I was supposed to bring the cup which, of course, I forgot, but he'd already anticipated me forgetting and bought one at Walmart. :) His shot ended up being way cooler than the ones that I took below, but mine aren't too terrible given that I've never tried to run a multiple lighting setup. Also, I used my new el cheapo 50mm /1.8 lens to see how crisp it could get. These were taken at around f/6. Clickity-clack for a bigger photo in a new window.

The above is a 100% crop of the third photo (which is already cropped in some from the original). Verrry sharp. You can even see the tiny chaotic vorticies on the rim of the impact crater. Best $70 lens I ever bought!

Funny how little things and big things look so similar.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Today's photo is again from San Francisco. In San Fran, many of the alleys (especially in the more artsy areas) are covered with wall murals. This one was on the side of the City Lights bookstore.

New lens

I bought an el cheapo Canon 50 f1.8 prime recently; it came in the mail today. Darn fine lense, given the barrel-scraping cost. I especially like how narrow you can make the DOF at 1.8 (though it's a bit soft at that aperature):

Friday, February 24, 2006

Today's photo of the day is of the MOMA in San Francisco. San Francisco really has some stunning architecture.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

La Defence

Today's photo of the day comes from the La Defence district of Paris. Beneath the giant arch, there is a very nice piece of contemporary art -- a reflecting pool with bisarre sculptures. I wish I could go back knowing what I know about photography now, as I think I could do a better job of taking the photo. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Today's photo of the day is from San Francisco. I found this pretty lady doing a mime show with an elephant puppet and a headless doll. What's sad is that there is a much, much better photo that I totally missed of her. One of those "couldn't focus fast enough" type deals. Whenever I see this photo, I think of the one that I missed -- the one that seemed like magic.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A man and his dog

Today's photo is from Salsalito, California. A man and his dog, playin' away at the ferry disembarkment. When I walked away, I heard him tell the dog: "You see, baby! We'll be on letterman yet!"

Monday, February 20, 2006

Basketball court

Today's photo of the day comes from Chinatown in San Francisco. This was pretty cool -- I literally found this while just walking around. Click to make it much bigger in a new window.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Today's photo of the day is a Polaroid from this Thursday's photo safari through Nebraska. I brought my SX-70 along to play with and took this picture. It was quite cloudy -- this is, apparently, what an overcast day does to the color balance of Timezero film. Josh and Lanette pose in the forground. Josh is on the left.

BTW, the text in the background reads:

Guten Tag hop hop

Guten Tag clop clop

Ach du lieber

Und oh boy!

Guten Tag clap clap

Guten Tag slap slap

Ach du lieber

Vat a joy!

Oh, ve essen und fressen

Und tanze und trinken

Tanzen und trinken

Until ve get stinkin!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Trees by KHS

Today's photo is from almost 5 or 6 years ago in Kearney, back when I was still shooting with the OM1. This is a string of trees right by Kearney High.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Josh in Antelope Canyon

Today's photo of the day is from Antelope Canyon in Arizona. The canyon is quite narrow -- less than a couple feet in some spots -- but also surprisingly high (around 60 feet in places). It gives the impression of being in large, natural cathedral. Very cool. :)

Photo safari

I went on a photo safari today with Josh & Lanette. It was a bit dodgy at first -- the clouds were positively dreary and we all were in the mood for chipper shots, but once the sun went down, the photos got interesting. :) As always, clicking the photos makes them larger (in this case, much larger) in a new window.

As you can see, when we can't find anything to point our cameras at, we point them at each other.

This was in a park in a small town south of Lincoln. Lanette's hands almost froze solid and shattered!

Josh and Lanette were trying to take some cheesy self-portrait and, being the attention whore that I am, I jumped in and said "HEY, EVERYBODY! WATCH MY HEAD ASPLODE!"

Lanette sighed and wandered away, while Josh seemed disinterested. "NO, REALLY! I'LL DO IT AGAIN!"

Josh asked me to take this photo. (Best read in a slow deadpan, a'la Ben Stein): "Hi, I'm Josh Fiddler of Fiddler Corn and Grain. Come on down people. Come on down. Come on down to Josh Fiddler Corn and Grain before February twentieth and get a free ear of corn. Bring the family. Fiddler Corn and Grain. The best prices on mid-grade corn in Lancaster County, or your next bushel is twenty percent off."

Eventually I decided to start looking for abstractish stuff...

And shapes and colors and forms.

We did a dinner break at this point and chowed down on by far the bloodiest steaks and burgers we've ever seen. Yeah, I know -- burgers ain't supposed to be bloody. Neither are steaks, in my opinion -- but eventually, after sending it back enough, you realize that the cook has no idea what he's doing and you just eat what you've got and make a mental note to tell everyone in the world on the internets that "BJ's Family Resturant (yes, that's its real name) east of Lincoln off highway 2 is a great place to eat... if you want to DROWN IN COLD COW BLOOD!"

After dinner, I found this wonderfully lit church on top of a small hill. A bunch of bulb shots ensued!

On our way back to Lincoln, I noticed that Lincoln was really glowing something fierce onto the low cloud deck -- and it was visible from more than 30 miles away. However, I didn't think this would look very cool in a photo. Josh talked me into going down an old county road until, lo and behold, we all found a windmill. A windmill makes any photograph work! :)

Waaay cool photos. The wide shot of this is something I'll probably make an 11x14 of; it looks much nicer at full resolution than it is here, even in the larger window. These were bulb shots for 1 minute or so at f/9. First was at 17mm, second at 35. (More like 26mm and 49mm after the 1.6 form-factor crop of the 20D)

All in all, an awesome night! Tons of fun and well worth the time and gas. :) Josh's cat, you agree, right?


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Off Kilter

Today's photo of the day comes from the slaloms of San Francisco. You haven't seen hills until you've seen San Francisco!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Some more photos from Lanette

Lanette gave me a CD the other day full of the photos she took on our last big photo-excursion. As I said before, it's pretty darn cool stuff, especially considering she'd never tried taking artistic photos before!

Shadows in a stairwell

She took this photo (and the next) of Josh through an opaque window. This photo is hilarious to me, as we were all basically taking photos of each other. The second to last photo here is me taking a picture of her taking a picture of Josh taking a picture of her!

And of course she got a picture of me taking a picture, too. ;)

She has this crazy thing with feet. :) Her theory is that everyone points their camera up, so why not point it down?

Fun times! We're all going on another photo excursion this Wednesday, so hopefully we'll have another batch of photos to show off.

Maine Bird

Today's photo of the day comes from Maine. More specifically, it comes from a small bay surrounding a lighthouse on the coast of Maine, a good mile hike into the sea along some dodgy rocks. There are more lighthouses in Maine than there are stars in the sky! :) This little guy was doing dive-bomb runs for fish, then finally calmed down long enough to get his photo snapped.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hay Bales

Today's phtoto of the day is from a tornadic supercell a few years back in Comstock, NE. The tornado (which was a quarter mile wide at one point) had lifted by the time I snapped this photo. Gotta love the beauty of the Nebraskan farmland. :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

More Polaroids

Josh and I went down to Sweeter Side bakery today to switch out the photos that we have hanging there, now that our Zens show is over. (Sweeter Side makes some awesome sandwiches, by the way, and you won't be able to leave without having a dessert). Anyway, I used this chance to test out my second Polaroid SX-70. Looks like it works, too!

Me chuggin' a cup of joe while calculating the end-state of the universe in my head. I had the answer, but then Josh made me laugh and I forgot whether the universe ends up five-dimensionally imploding or expanding forever. Bugger!

This photo I color balanced a little because the film,for whatever reason, decided that everything was blue. Sometimes it's cool when Polaroid screws up the color, but I don't think this was one of those times. :)

Josh and Lanette begging me to take the damned picture already because their gourmet sandwiches were getting cold.

Take my Chevey to the Levee

This probably shouldn't come as a surprise, but remember back when Bush and Chertoff said that nobody told them the levees broke until days after it happened? Well, not so much.

Coke cans

Today's photo of the day is from the State Fair last year. I dunno, there just seemed to be something arresting about these Coke machines. They were so well-centered, and they seemed like the only things that weren't in motion.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

On his way

It was only a matter of time before technology intersected with the innate governmental desire to have informational awareness about all people everywhere, and it seems like that time will very shortly be here. Given the recent news about wiretapping, this probably shouldn't be surprising.

Steph says hi

Stephanie says hi from China -- got this in the email today (it was a mass-email, so she won't mind):

Steph dancin' it up on New Years. (Or, more accurately, making fun of the people dancin' it up on New Years)

Stephs favorite vacation spot in China: Yangshuo. Now that's some freaky geology!

Clicking the photos makes 'em bigger in a new window.

The Rock

Today's photo of the day is from Navajo territory in New Mexico, just east of the Painted Desert. This is one of the more barren and beautiful places I've had the honor of seeing. Clickity-click to blow it up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Today's photo is from the coast of Maine. I've never liked this photo too much, but my sister's been begging me to post it. :) Coincidentally, the time of this picture's taking is more or less exactly the time that I somehow got a fleck of rusty metal in my eye, which did a permanent number on that eye's vision. (Thank god for eyeglass makers!)

As always, clicking makes it bigger in a new window.

Okay, I admit it

I need a new hairstyle. This one just ain't workin'.

Unless I wanted to be an engineer.

Because that's totally an engineer 'do.

It amuses me to no end...

...when people pretending to be journalists actually do a better job of researching a story than people who actually are journalists.

Update:Well, that didn't take long.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Navy Pier

Today's photo of the day comes from Navy Pier in Chicago. We just got lucky -- it was a normal overcast day when, suddenly, everything fogged over. Eventually a thunderstorm rolled in and chased the mist off. Click to enlarge in a new window.

New Poem

About a month ago, and old friend of mine asked me to write her a poem with the title "Breaking up is hard to do". I don't write too many poems these days, but this seemed like a challenge.

I'll be honest, I dunno what made me think of space shuttle Columbia when I first saw that title, but, well, I did.

Breaking up is hard to do

You clamp down your helmet,

a fireball in the deep.

Your belt forms a cross across your chest.

If you have been falling for weeks,

you couldn't know it: Your circle

carves a pivot anchored in void.

There is no safety net.

You have tipped your weight into the clouds.

This was the time to end it,

this was the time to come home.

This was how you spent your wish,

finished from the start.

You couldn't have known.

This poem ends like a snowflake.

It is easy to ignore the way your wings yawn back,

the tickle of fire under your chest.

You ignore it, the smell of melting wax,

the alarms, the quaking white sky.

You pretend not to notice the nagging


The wind opens you up.

You explode somewhere over Texas, your bones

snapped on the knee of the sky.

Your helmet is found melted into the grass

of the only abandoned Seven Eleven

in Sandy Creek, Texas.

Two children stand hand in hand in a wood,

their tongues outstretched.

You are coming home.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Today's pic of the day is a sunset in Kearney. I took this last September, a little before I took the highway overpass photos. Kearney gets some great skies.


This is what we call a new spin on a classic.

Damn fine one, at that.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Smoke Break

Today's photo of the day is from Santa Fe a few years ago. I was walking around downtown looking for things to shoot, and was lucky enough to have my telephoto lens on when I saw these two guys chilling out back.

Click to make it bigger in a new window.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Old Polaroid SX-70

So I was in Kaufmans in Kearney the other day and came across a Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 (with case and some flashbars) selling for $32. I bought it and its cousin on the shelf, a Polaroid SX-70 model 3. These generally fetch $80 on Ebay, so I figured I could make a quick buck. However, I kinda wanted to play with it first, so I went to Rockbrooks here in town to pick up some Timezero film (which is going out of production later this year). I've proved to myself that the camera works, that it's really cool, and that for the most part, it would take me a lot of time and money to figure out how the hell to take good pictures with it. :) There's no manual exposure info, just a little dial that you can slide back and forth to cover or reveal the autoexposure meter to make the photo lighter or darker, so exposure is entirely guesswork. I even tried some long tripoded exposures last night (yep -- the camera will do up to 1 minute time exposures... on a Polaroid!), but failed miserably to get the camera to leave the shutter open long enough for the 140 speed film. Anyhow, here's what I ended up with: