Friday, May 31, 2013

Japan Again

Someone was asking me the other day about taking pictures in Japan, and what my favorite shots were. And then they asked which of my photos I felt was most representative of Japan. A very good question. After some reflection I picked this one, taken in Koriyama in 1988. It's not a stunning shot, to be sure, but with the wires and aerials, and the prosperous looking house with its hipped and gabled tile roof, I think it best represents Japan--if you buy the notion that any one photo can do that.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Photo of the Day

While photographing the rising moon last Friday I also got some shots of the setting sun, which was going down just as the moon was coming up. Here's one with the sun just hitting the horizon.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Photo of the Day

Friday was a beautiful clear day, and also had a full moon rising just before sunset. I went out in the the countryside southeast of Urbana and got this shot of the rising moon.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Photo of the Day

Another windmill photo today. I've been taking lots of pictures of them because, over the last year, they've become so prominent in this area. I like this shot for its moodiness. It's an infrared shot taken on an early spring day near Paxton, IL, and processed to black and white.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Travel Spot: Cawker City, KS

Normally when I decide to post a travel spot it is because there's an overlooked place that I think people might want to visit. In this case I'm not so sure, but I'm posting it because I found it interesting.

Cawker City Kansas claims fame for having the world's largest ball of twine. Cawker City is in the north-central part of the state on U.S. 24. When I was there, I was struck more by the abandoned feel of the place, a feeling very common in small midwest towns.

Most of the buildings downtown were clearly abandoned, although the storefronts were receiving some sort of maintenance. It turns out that the population of the town had grown to about 2000 at the turn of the 20th Century, bud had since fallen into the 400s. Like so many towns in the midwest, economic activity of all kinds had shifted to larger cities as cars gave locals the ability to travel farther, and the town became a shell of its former self.

As I say, this is common all over the midwest. If you drive two lane highways, like I like to do, you will see this often. These towns have their own appeal, at the same time that there is a sense of loss.

So where is a picture of that big ball of twine? I was so interested in the downtown, that I forgot to get a picture of it. You can find other people's pictures of it here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Photo of the Day

Here's a nice fall view of part of the Sawatch Range of the Rockies in central Colorado.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Photo of the Day

Another view of the Merritt Reservoir in Cherry county Nebraska.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More Skies

Here is a night view of the sky and the moon, taken at the Merritt Reservoir in Nebraska. The bright streak at the top is a meteor.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Photo of the Day

I think I'll post some black and white pictures featuring the sky this week. And where better to find a big, beautiful sky than Cherry County, Nebraska. Here is a view of the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, from October of last year.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Photo of the Day

This is another shot from my visit to Milwaukee last weekend. This a closeup of buildings along the Milwaukee river.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Winds of Change

The part of Illinois in which I live is very flat and very windy, and as a result is the perfect location for wind farms, which have been springing up pell-mell. This is truly altering the landscape. Above is a view of the landscape northwest of Royal, IL from a few summers ago.

Below is the same view this past Sunday. It's actually not the most dramatic view of the change, but it's the best one I can find to compare with pictures I already have. The windmills you can see are just a fraction of the hundreds that stretch all around and behind where I was standing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Photo of the Day

 I was in Milwaukee this weekend seeing friends. We went to a very good color photography exhibit at the art museum. On the way out I got this shot of the museum building by Calatrava.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Photo of the Day

Trees can provide delightful color in otherwise dreary urban environments. Here's a scene from Kyoto, Japan, where some trees add a dash of vibrant color to a dark November day.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Photo of the Day

Here's a splash of color in the south of France, from Grimaud, taken in the summer of 2006.