Friday, December 30, 2016

Erie Canal

This is a photo of the Erie Canal in the little village of Newark in upstate New York. The Erie Canal is small and easy to overlook, and it is easy to forget the huge effect the canal had on the development of the United States. Today, driving along it is a pleasant pastoral and historical experience.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Big Sky and Trees

This is just a nice view of a line of trees with storm clouds overhead. In the flat fields of East-Central Illinois the few features of the landscape can create wonderful vistas.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Beautiful Library

This is a nice photo of the lovely Paxton Carnegie Library in Paxton, Illinois. The library has been very well preserved, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Small towns in the midwest often have architectural gems like this.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Frigid Landscape

Winter is closing in on East Central Illinois. This photo was taken a year ago just south of Urbana.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Times Gone By

I mostly stuck to side roads and small highways on my recent trip around Lake Michigan. As usual, I found many old buildings and evidence of the emptying out of rural areas as the economy shifts. This old store and restaurant, once called Pleasant Corners, is located east of Momence, Illinois, almost at the Indiana state line.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Counting Crows

As I left my office on a mid-November day, a flock of crows was making a mighty racket as they prepared to roost for the night. One of the trees they were gathering in was especially beautiful in the light of the setting sun.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Newark, MD

This is a view of Trinity Gardens Cemetery in tiny Newark, Maryland. Newark is near the Atlantic shore of Maryland, and is also the home of the historic Queponco Railway Station.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


This is a set of reflections from buildings in downtown San Diego, California.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Swoopy Road

This is a photo of an elevated highway in Hakodate, on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. I love the curvy, fluid look of the road. It looks like it should be bouncing up and down and swaying side to side, but it was quite sturdy.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Indiana Dunes

On my recent trip around Lake Michigan my circle around the lake began and ended in northeast Indiana, in the area of the Indiana Dunes. This photo is of an access road to the dunes in Indiana Dunes State Park in Beverly Shores, Indiana. It is one of the last photos I took on the trip.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gladstone Light

From my recent trip around Lake Michigan, this is a sunrise view of the Gladstone Lighthouse in Gladstone, Michigan. Gladstone is on the Upper Peninsula, on the Little Bay de Noc, which opens onto Green Bay.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Milwaukee Skyline

I am continuing to post this week with photos from my recent trip around Lake Michigan. This panoramic view of the Milwaukee skyline in late afternoon was taken from a small park at a location known as Texas Rock on the south side of town.

(Click on the photo for a larger view, or see a larger version on Flickr by clicking here.)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rural Wisconsin

While driving around Lake Michigan last week I happened on this pastoral scene not far from the lake. This is on Wisconsin Highway 42 in rural Two rivers north of Manitowoc. These old style farm buildings are disappearing from the countryside.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

L' Erable Cemetery

On my recent trip around Lake Michigan I stopped in the little unincorporated village of L' Erable in northeast Illinois. It has a Catholic cemetery where I found this dramatic tableau. This is an infrared photo rendered in black and white.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ludington Harbor

Over the weekend before Thanksgiving I drove around Lake Michigan. It was a wonderful trip. This is a photo from the last evening, taken at the harbor of Ludington Michigan. I had been there once before forty years ago, and had gotten some nice sunset shots of the same harbor. This time I was blessed with the sun peeking below an otherwise overcast sky. It's a beautiful effect.

Friday, November 25, 2016

City Views Week: New York City

Skyline views of any city tend to compact the city, and make it seem smaller than it is. New York City is incredibly vast, with about 860,000 buildings in its five boroughs. Manhattan alone has about 50,000 buildings, most of which disappear in a standard skyline view. This photos was taken from the  top of the Empire State Building and shows the wide diversity of buildings in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

City Views Week: Minneapolis

City views week continues with this shot from Minneapolis. In the foreground are the flags and atrium of the US Bank Plaza, behind which you can see the top of the Wells Fargo Center. This photos was shot on film.

Monday, November 21, 2016

City Views Week: Chicago

This week I'm posting city views, but not the usual city skyline or street scenes. Instead I've looked through my files for more quirky points of view. To start out, here is a shot of the Standard Oil Building in Chicago, looking straight up from the bottom. This photo has been mostly desaturated, so only the blue of the sky shows through faintly in color.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Memento Mori

This beautiful memorial statue is in Walnut Hill Cemetery in Kingman, Kansas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wide Open Spaces

There's nothing like the open sky on the great plains. This vista is just outside Bloom, Kansas. This photo was shot in infrared and converted to black and white.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Eternal Memorial

One thing I love when traveling is exploring cemeteries. It's always fascinating to see how people try to make a permanent memorial to loved ones. This dramatic tableau is in Riverside Cemetery in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places.

This is an infrared photo converted to black and white.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Elevating Kansas

The great plains are littered with wonderful old elevator structures, some of which are disappearing. This one in Bronson, Kansas, is still actively in use.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Illuminating MIlwaukee

The Milwaukee Pierhead Light sits near the mouth of the Milwaukee River on the shore of Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee. Milwaukee has always had a bustling waterfront that lately has been wonderfully restored and upgraded. On the horizon you can see the Milwaukee Breakwater Light.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Elevating Illinois

The flat fields of Illinois are dominated by old cement elevators, some of which are defunct, but many of which are still fully in business. This one is just south of Pesotum, Illinois.

This photo was shot in infrared and converted to black and white.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Eastern Colorado High Plains

Colorado is famous for mountains, but the eastern half of the state is high plains. This area is mostly treeless grasslands, with wide open sky and very little human population. This view is northwest of Lindon, Colorado, taken in December of 2008.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Old McDonald Elevator

This is the old elevator in McDonald, Kansas, shot from US 36. All of the structures in the foreground have since been torn down, to make way for more modern circular structures like the one at rear on the right. I like the graphic lines of this photo, whihc I think are enhanced by converting it to black and white.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Kansas Winter

This photo was taken on a foggy morning in mid-December of 2008, along US 36 east of Atwood Kansas. The fog and the muted colors of the dry grass and brush make a nice, natural collage.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Modern Crops

This is an infrared view of the Iowa countryside showing fields ready for harvest, along with the midwest's newest endeavor: Wind farming. Windmills are everywhere now in the rural areas of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and I'm sure in other states as well.

This is an infrared photo, taken at the northern end of Iowa Highway 38, North of Greeley.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Petersburg, Iowa

Petersburg, Iowa, is an unincorporated town in eastern Iowa dominated by Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, which looms up out of the rolling hills of northeast Iowa. The impressive church building was completed 110 years ago in 1906, and is still fully in use, with a catholic school also still functioning. This photo was taken in early morning on my recent trip through Iowa.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Quaker Cemetery

This a view of the Quaker cemetery at the historic Whittier Friends Meeting House in Whittier, Iowa. The meeting house was built in 1893, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery, and the meeting house, reflect the Quaker testimony of simplicity. The small, nearly anonymous headstones create a surprisingly powerful vista.

Friday, October 21, 2016

St. Paul Skyline

On my recent trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota I got the chance to got to the roof patio of the wonderful Schmidt Artist's Lofts in St. Paul. This is the view of the downtown skyline from there.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Iowa Infrared

Driving home from my recent trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota I took back roads through Iowa. This is a nice countryside view shot in infrared that was taken just south of Fayette, Iowa, in the northeast part of the state.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lake Michigan Morning

From a recent trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota to see family and friends, here is a morning view of Lake Michigan from the public access point in Cleveland, Wisconsin.

Friday, October 14, 2016

US 61: Rural Mississippi

US 61 follows the Mississippi River from north of St. Paul, Minnesota, all the way to New Orleans. along the way it passes through my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. This photo was shot along US 61 in Bolivar County, Mississippi.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

US 151: Lake Winnebago

US 151 is a relatively short highway, running just 337 miles from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan, southwest to I-80 just southwest of Cedar Rapids, IA. On the way it goes through my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. This is a view of Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, where US 151 turns south to detour around the lake.

Monday, October 10, 2016

US 20: Yellowstone

US 20 stretches from coast to coast, from Boston to Newport, Oregon. Along the way it goes through my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa, and also Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming. This a shot from Yellowstone of the water vapor rising from the Grand Prismatic Spring and the Excelsior Geyser Crater, with the Firehole River in the foreground.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Late Summer, ECIL

This is another shot of one of my favorite places to photograph. In this case I utilized the Brenizer Effect to create a very shallow depth of field with just the corn on the right in focus.

The Brenizer Effect involves taking a series of photos of individual parts of the scene with a longer lens set at a wide aperture, and then stitching the photos together in Photoshop to get the effect of a wide angle large format photo.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Late Summer, ECIL

Three weeks ago, when this photo was taken, the leaves had not started to turn, and so the woods were still green. I love the light in this photo. It has a dreamy effect. these woods are in the Homer Lake Forest Preserve north of Homer, Illinois.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Late Summer, ECIL

Late summer in East-Central Illinois can be a beautiful time. Clear skies, dry air, plentiful sunshine. This is a classic view of desiccated corn stalks and sky with clouds.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Clouds in the Countryside

More clouds in East-Central Illinois, this time over a golf course in Urbana.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Big City Big Buildings

I like the random geometry created by the buildings in a big city. This is a view of  a portion of Streeterville in Chicago.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Shape of Clouds

Late summer is a wonderful time for clouds in East-Central Illinois. This infrared photo of the clouds was taken on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Desert Mist

For a dry environment, the desert can have a lot of mist. The day I visited Big Bend National Park was a fairly cool one (it only got up to 95 degrees), and in the morning there was lots of mist in the mountains on the horizon. It was pretty until it burned off in the sun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Big Bend Infrared

This is another picture from Big Bend National Park in Texas. The desert turns out to be a great place for infrared photography, as it brings out the clouds against the dark sky and emphasizes the stark environment.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Desert Week: Big Bend

For a guy who lives in the flat cornfields of the midwest, the desert is a fascinating environment. The desert scrublands of southwest Texas is best exemplified by Big Bend National Park, which is one of the least visited of the national parks. This is a shame, because the Chihuahuan Desert is a stunning place. Here is a view toward Rosillo Peak from the Main Park Road.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Monument Valley Redux

I've posted quite a few photos from my one visit to Monument Valley, but it's quite a place, so why not? Here is a classic morning view of the valley. This, by the way, is the view everyone gets if they stay at The View Hotel, which is part of the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Montana Clouds

This is a view in central Montana of wide open countryside and clouds. This spot is west of Harlowton on US 12, in Wheatland County. I converted it to black and white to bring out the almost infinite expanse of clouds.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Crown Fountain

As popular as Millennium Park in Chicago is, the Crown Fountain often goes mostly unnoticed. At the park the Pritzker Pavilion and the Cloud Gate statue, also known as "the bean," get most of the attention, but the Crown Fountain provides a wonderfully contemplative place along Michigan Avenue.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Buildings With Character

This is an old building that I like, located in Tolono, Illinois.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Year Ago Today Again

Just like on Monday, this is an infrared shot from exactly a year ago, and once again the shot is of trees along a drainage ditch. I sense a trend. This is the Big Ditch south of Fisher, Illinois.