Monday, December 11, 2017

As Pleasant As It Looks


From my recent trip to Perdido Key, Florida, this is the view from the living room of the condo where I was staying. It struck me as a classic, and compelling, view of the ocean.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Florida Sunset


One thing everyone loves about the beach is the sunsets. This photo was taken on Thanksgiving day in Perdido Beach, Florida. It was a beautiful clear day in the upper 60s, and ended with a wonderful sunset.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Florida Skies


One of the things I love about being near the ocean is the ever changing colors and shapes of the clouds over the water. One of my days at Perdido Key was overcast, but the clouds did beautiful things, as you can see.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Florida at Night


I spent Thanksgiving in Florida, on the beach at Perdido Key. My first evening there I took this photo of the condo where I was staying, nearest to the camera, and other condos from the beach. The colorful lights make for a festive photo.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Post 1000


This is a photo from my very first post on this blog, way back in June of 2009. I don't know what motivated me to start a blog and undertake the completely random and unenforceable obligation of posting photos three times a week, but whatever that motivation is, I feel it still. I thought I was shutting down the blog at post 700, but after a 15 month absence I came back to it.

This in my 1000th post. There is no real significance to it, but it feels like an achievement. At this point I'd like to do another 1000 posts. I like this photo for this milestone, because it embodies the spirit of what attracts me to photography: Beautiful countryside and the open road.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Best Cityscape


This is my favorite city picture, so far, taken in Chicago in October of 2006. It's pictures like this that keep me engaged with photography.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Looking Back


I am coming up on a big milepost for this blog later this week.* This has put me in a reflective mood, and I have spent time looking over the many photos I've posted on this blog. This photo is one of my favorites, taken at sunset at one of my favorite photo places. The picturesque barn on the left was later damaged in a storm and torn down.

*Post number 1000, on Friday.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Springfield Illinois: The State Capitol


The current Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, is a majestic building. Here it is viewed from the east.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Springfield Illinois: Lincoln's Tomb


Abraham Lincoln considered Springfield, Illinois, his home, and after he was assassinated his body was returned to Springfield for burial. The elaborate tomb took almost ten years to complete, during which Lincoln's body was shuttled around in various temporary burial vaults.

The tomb is now administered by the State of Illinois and can be toured.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Springfield Illinois: The Old State Capitol


Springfield, Illinois, is a relatively small town with lots of history. It's main claim to fame, of course, is that Abraham Lincoln lived and practiced law in Springfield from 1837 until he became president in 1861.

The picture above is of the old state capitol, which was the capitol building in use when Lincoln was there. Right across the street is the excellent Lincoln Museum and Presidential Library.

Friday, November 17, 2017

On This Day: 2011


On November 17, 2011, I was out shooting night photos at the Champaign Urbana astronomical society observatory. By using a long exposure the stars became streaks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On This Day: 2006


On this day in 2006 I was in Japan. This photo was taken in the afternoon in Nagoya. I like the typical urban nature of the scene.

Monday, November 13, 2017

On This Day: 2009


This week I've looked through my archives for photos I took on this date.  So, on November 13 2009 I took this classic view of a field north of Urbana, Illinois.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Milwaukee Skyline


This is a recent view of the downtown Milwaukee skyline from Lakeshore State Park on the lake front. The Milwaukee skyline is changing fast, with lots of new buildings going up.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Milwaukee Sunrise


From my Milwaukee trip a couple weeks ago, here is a sunrise view of the lake from O'Donnell Park overlooking the art museum and the lake.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Milwaukee


A few weeks ago I went to Milwaukee for a conference and got to spend time with family. As it turned out it was the last nice weather of the the fall. Here is a nice view of the Milwaukee Pier Light Head at outlet of the Milwaukee River.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Back Country ECIL


Another black and white photo to end the week. In this case is is an old barn located in East-Central Illinois. I just like the barn and the clouds. It makes for a barren autumn scene. This photo was taken in infrared and converted to black and white.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Quiet Station


I am posting favorite black and white photos from my travels this week. Nothing grand and glorious, just photos of details and quiet scenes. In this case this is the platform of the Iseshi train station in Ise, Japan. I like the lines of the photo, and quietness of the scene.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Details in Black and White


This week I'm posting some black and white photos from travels. As you can see, not all are stunning shots of grand vistas. I like driving back roads and finding overlooked scenes that I think make a good photo. In this case the photo is of a disused diesel bay at a Valero station in Aberdeen, Ohio. I took the photo in July of 2015 while I was driving US 62.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fall Colors


I'm posting photos of autumn leaves this week. This is yet another photo from the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, Japan. I visited there in mid-November and the color in the trees was at its peak.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Autumn Yellow


I'm posting photos of autumn leaves this week. I love this simple scene of a tree whose leaves shine in yellow and gold.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Autumn Colors


I'm celebrating fall this week with pictures of autumn leaves. This colorful scene is on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto Japan. It has been rendered as a painting to bring out the wonderful colors.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Grafton


A few weeks ago I took a day trip to Pere Marquette State Park and the nearby town of Grafton, which sits right at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. This rather cheesy lighthouse is on the riverside in Grafton very near the confluence.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

November in Nagoya


This is the view from my hotel room in Nagoya, Japan, when I visited there in November of 2006. It's hard to see, but the season is indicated by all of the Christmas decorations on the streets in the lower right of the photo.

The other thing hard to see in this photo is that there is an inflated Santa Claus clinging precariously to the wall of the Hilton Hotel on the right. It is at the near end of the row of lighted windows just above the roofline of the building across the street. I have a closeup of the photo below with the Santa magnified, and below that a photo of the Santa taken in better light.




Monday, October 16, 2017

October in ECIL


This is a typical October countryside scene in East-Central Illinois. This fall has been much warmer than usual, which rouses my superstition that a warm autumn leads to a very cold winter. Here's hoping it's not that bad. In the meantime I'm enjoying the fall weather.

Friday, October 13, 2017

French Riviera--Flowers


The French Riviera is justifiably famous for its climate and luxury accommodations. It is also incredibly verdant with an amazing range of colorful flowers. I don't know what these are, I'm bad at identifying plants and flowers, but I found them in La Croix-Valmer, Provence, France.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

French Riviera--St. Tropez


This is a view of the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in St. Tropez, France. The photo was shot from the Citadel of St. Tropez.

Monday, October 9, 2017

French Riviera--Plage du Débarquement


This is a view of the quay at the Plage du Débarquement in La Croix-Valmer, on the Mediterranean coast in Provence, France. "Plage du Débarquement" means landing beach, and is so called because it was a main landing zone for Allied troops retaking France in World War II. Today the Plage du Débarquement is a wonderful beach with smooth sand and nearby restaurants.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Central Texas--San Antonio


This is the San Antonio river in San Antonio, Texas. The tower in the background is the Tower Life Building.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Central Texas--River Walk


This is a view of a portion of the famous San Antonio River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Texas. The river walk is worth visiting any time of the year, which can be attested to by the fact that this photo was taken in January.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Central Texas--Texas Tower


This is the ill-fated Main Building, commonly known as the UT Tower, on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. The tower was the site of a notorious massacre and a large number of suicides. It is, however a striking building at the center of the University of Texas campus. This photo was taken from the South Mall.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Summer in Nevada


A final summer photo for this week. This is Hamels Peak and Ward Mountain in east central Nevada. The photo was taken this summer along US 50 Just south of Ely.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Summer in Connecticut


Now that summer is ending I thought I'd post some favorite pictures from summers past. This one is of the New Church, built in 1824, in New Preston, Connecticut. It's a beautiful old building set in beautiful surroundings in northwest Connecticut.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Summer in Colorado


Now that summer is coming to an end I thought I'd post some photos from summers past. This view is of some old ranch buildings in Park County, Colorado, just west of Hartsel along US 24. The river in the foreground is the Middle Fork of the South Platte River.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Summer Travels--Mascall Formation


This is a panoramic view of the Mascall formation from the overlook in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This stunning vista was just off US 26 in eastern Oregon. John Day was an early 19th Century trapper who was an interesting character, and somehow got a lot of things named after him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Summer Travels--Grand Tetons


This is a classic view of the Grand Tetons, taken from the Snake River Overlook in Grand Teton National Park. It is in Wyoming along US 26, the road I was driving out to Oregon this summer. The majesty of the Grand Tetons is obvious.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Summer Travels--Ash Hollow State Park


Now that summer is over I am looking back on my travels and reviewing the photos I took. I drove 8,500 miles, driving to both coasts and back. It was great fun.

My first trip was to the west coast. This photo is of the rock Schoolhouse at Ash Hollow State Historical Park near Lewellyn, Nebraska. Ash Hollow was on the Oregon trail, located along the North Platte River. I happened upon it while driving US 26, headed to Oregon.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hand Coloring-South Texas


I am posting this photo for two reasons. First, because I like it, and second, because it is the very first photo I hand colored, although it wasn't done in Photoshop, but in Lightroom. This was the photo that got the ball rolling on my recent obsession with hand coloring. I read an article explaining the technique in Lightroom, and got excited about doing it. However, I quickly discovered that the technique had limitations in Lightroom that could be overcome by working in Photoshop instead. The rest is history. Very minor and unimportant history, but history nonetheless.

This photo was taken on Texas Highway 170, right along the Mexican border between Lajitas and Presidio. The original was shot in infrared and rendered in black and white. It was originally posted here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hand Colorong--Nijo Bashi


In my recent obsession with hand coloring photos in Photoshop I have been revisiting my old favorites. This is a classic shot of the Nijo Bashi, or Bridge of State, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. This is one of the first photos I tried to hand color in Photoshop, and if you look closely you can see plenty of mistakes. No, I won't tell you what they are.

I have posted this photo before, so you can check out the differences from the original here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hand Colored--Ohio Cemetery


Photography has provided me with a seemingly endless array of creative outlets. The latest is to hand color photos in Photoshop. This is not hand coloring with actual paints and oils, like in the old days. I have none of the artistic skills or talent required for that.

The technique I am using involves rendering a photo in black and white, if it is not already, and then using layers and brushes in Photoshop to add color selectively. It requires hours of work, sometimes at the pixel level, but it is a highly controllable process and fixing mistakes is quick and easy. I really like the results.

The photo above is an infrared photo, rendered in black and white, and then hand colored in Photoshop (obviously). It was taken in a cemetery just south of Buckeye City, Ohio, along US 62. The statue is on the grave of Captain John Body of the 65th Ohio Infantry. It is hard to tell if he lost his left arm in the Civil War, or his statue did later. I suspect the latter.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Matsushima in Black and White


This is a view of an old temple outbuilding, surrounded by trees and foliage, at Matsushima, Japan. The original photo was on color film, but has been rendered in black and white.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Matsushima in Black and White--Senjafuda


Shrines and temples in Japan have areas that are covered with the kind of stickers you see above. The stickers, called senjafuda, are printed with the name of the person who affixed it, and act as sort of a combination good luck charm and sanctioned "I was here" grafitti. The senjafuda in the photo above are on an outbuilding of a temple in Matsushima, Japan.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Matsushima in Black and White--Godaido


Matsushima is one of the most famous spots in Japan, and I've written about it a number of times, particularly after it was hit by the tsunami in 2011. The photo above is of the Godaido, a small temple on the shore of Matsushima bay. The original photo was on color film, but has been rendered here in black and white.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Summer in Provence: Golfe de Saint-Tropez


This is a summer view of the Golfe de Saint-Tropez in Provence, France. I like this photo because it evokes the hazy, lush beauty of that part of France in July. The photo was taken from Gassin, a beautiful hilltop village that I've written about before.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Summer in Provence: La Croix Valmer


La Croix Valmer is a delightful town on the Mediterranean coast, just east of St. Tropez, in Provence, France. This view is of the old town fountain in the center of town.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Summer in Provence: St. Tropez


Summer brings hordes of visitors to the Mediterranean coast in Provence, in the south of France. For good reason, too. The beaches are beautiful, the weather is superb, and the food, especially seafood, delightful.

This is a view of the town of St. Tropez, taken from the grounds of the medieval citadel that sits above the town.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Summer Sky


August clouds in East Central Illinois, photographed in infrared and rendered in black and white.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Suburbia


The modern version of row houses, in Urbana, Illinois.