Here, There and Everywhere

Yesterday, after that somewhat introspective beginning, turned into rather a scattered but interesting affair. Not long after completing my posts for the morning I got a comment from a rather unlikely source. During the Super Bowl I went out into the crowds and just did some random people shots. One would calculate that in a crowd of 100,000 people these are as close to public anonymity as one might get. Amazingly though, my commenter was writing to say that the people in my shot were actually with him that day and that he was out taking their photos at the same time! I won’t rehash all this here as you can read his blog post on the topic but suffice to say that I was taken aback. Apparently Google really DOES know everything. Yikes.

After that little revelation Laura and I headed out in a random direction with no particular destination in mind, headed simply, towards the light. As always, click any of the photos to view them in Smugmug and do whatever activities Smugmug allows including flipping through the whole album without my commentary.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

I’ve learned, I think, more or less the art of taking a photo without actually stopping the car. Shutter speed up, keep the shot level, and don’t expect anything too particularly detail-filled.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

We finally pulled off on a little dirt road in the country…

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

…wherein we found a small and VERY old cemetery boasting stones from the early 1800s.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

Of course I got distracted by the lichen. The stones were old enough and shaded enough and undisturbed enough to have some great examples of these intriguing life forms.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012
From Lafayette 2-18-2012

Moving on we made our way around a few small towns in the area. This shot, another drive-by, struck me as unsettling in composition.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

This… yeah… hard to know exactly what to say about this. I can sit around and assign meaning to it all day long. You’ve got the church steeple, the stoplight and the camera lens. Is this symbolic of the union between church, the state and art? Perhaps the camera is the watchful eye of… man that keeps vigil over them both? I dunno, but for some reason I like it. Which means, of course, that everybody else looks at it and scratches their head. C’est la vie.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

Speaking of the State, we did see Officer Obie.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

Alright, so here’s where things get really interesting. Lafayette is filled with factories and in particular this Tate & Lyle one has always stood out for me. Even as a young boy when my grandparents went to the mall I saw this ever-present smoke stack and was a bit awestruck. For a long time I’ve imagined what it would be like to capture this landmark behind a sunset. This, apparently, was the day though I’ll admit it didn’t QUITE turn out the way I’d imagined. Firstly, the item sans sunset.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012

And here… well, here are a few. I’ll not say that I’m disappointed but they’re not nearly as clean as I would have hoped for. They look rather apocalyptic which in some ways is actually BETTER since my whole point to the pieces was to represent the struggle between nature and mankind. Man, thoughtlessly hurling his waste into the air while an angry, glowering sun looks on. I’d say… well, I’d say it does look rather angry.

From Lafayette 2-18-2012
From Lafayette 2-18-2012

In summation, it was an interesting day that was, and in allways unexpected. I have to applaud Laura, as usual, for patiently driving about all of known creation with me chasing sunsets and sundry other things.


  1. Love the angry sun ones. They unsettled me at first because my eye perceived the sun as framed on only 3 sides. Then I looked closer and saw the trees on the left of the sun – as though they are bending away, trying to get out of the sun’s wrathful way. Nice windmill, too.

  2. Rob,
    I loved the series as whole and enjoyed the commentary as well. The b&ws are my favorite. But I was a bit disheartend with the factory photos due the pollution of the environment but industry must continue… I guess. I drive by a factory every morning to work and back again and I just think of our planet, our children and feel saddened of what we are leaving behind.

    • Yeah, me too, that was sort of my point for the factory evil… all for the sake of food additives, as it turns out. Gotta make that chicken taste like chicken after we process it so much that the flavor and nutrients are gone!

  3. I have also learned in taking car photography to keep the car windows clean. Here in California, where carjackings were founded 40 years ago, we don’t drive with our windows down, and even with electric windows, if you see a shot and take time to roll the windows down, you’ve missed the shot.

  4. Some great images here Rob. I love old windmills. And those lichen shots are simply amazing!!!!! My other fave is the first in the series of smoke stacks. I like it for the composition and color. Great work.

  5. My goodness. Your countryside in Indiana (?) is so much like where I am living in Northern California. The similarities here are amazing…down to that factory with the smoking smokestack! Great post!

  6. Love the ones of the lichen. I’ve been looking anew at concrete recently (thanks to what Mobius Faith has been posting).

    I took some photos of smokestacks in W. Laf/Laf area last week. Might have been the same ones, but I don’t know the name of the place. I was at the intersection of Creasey & IN-28 (?). Was taking a different path than I usually do through WL/L on way home from Purdue and saw the smokestacks just as sun was setting. I pulled over way too soon to take the pics, but I was afraid of loosing the light & being unfamiliar with the area, I didn’t know where to go to get the best shot.

  7. What a brilliant photographer you are, Rob! Keep shooting (well, the creative way!! ahem!). Thanks for also visiting my blog – I am grateful. Cheers.

  8. Hahha…. I loved all the shots and especially the sky and light – one without stopping the car by managing the shutter speed. 🙂

  9. · I envision you heading east, then southerly, then west, tracing a parabola on the face of the Earth as you follow the light. 🙂
    · I would never flip through your albums to avoid your commentary — that would be far less amusing!
    · Cool that you’ve perfected in-motion shots. I imagine panning plays a role too?
    · Lichen are fascinating. One of my favorite plants really.
    · I like your artistic shot. 🙂

  10. I love the cemetery shots, the lichen. The smoke stack sunsets are stunning. A whole world in little things and a small world in 100,000 people. Having a patient and willing driver is a priceless asset in the mix. Keep the photos coming.

  11. Having your camera handy makes it all possible. Love the experiment with the smokestack and the setting sun. Even liked the smokestack without the setting sun. 🙂

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