Tag Archives: blog

Cheeney Creek Nature Area

Today found me wandering about the Cheeney Creek Nature Area. This was at the recommendation of he-who-shall-be-pictured-later. He-who downplayed it enough that it was a surprisingly amusing visit. Hoo-Rah for expert expectation setting.

#1 This shot is only amusing if you think that 1950s movies with silly puns like “don’t! stop!” are amusing. Or, I suppose, if you have some bizarre form of synesthesia that causes you to smell mom’s apple pie whenever you see red and orange together.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#2 Note the ragged “For Rent” sign in the culvert. Real estate tycoons have to start somewhere I suppose. Anyone in the market for a 2-foot culvert, slightly damp? Easy access to the adjoining nature area.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#3 The view of the eventual water feature

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#4 Hereby hangs a tale. I had asked my cohort on this day to throw a rock into the water right at the leaf in the center of the shot. Shutter speed at 1/2000th of a second? Check. Focus set at the target location? Check. Camera set to take shots at high speed to catch the splash? Check. Having a cohort on hand who can hit a target in the water less than five feet away? Not so much. Still, it made for an interesting result that I could not have achieved singlehandedly even if it wasn’t QUITE what I was looking to get.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#5/#6 The highlight was this tiny railroad bridge. Seems a mighty amount of trouble to span three feet of ditch but nature and her drainage patterns will prevail, I suppose.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area
From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#7 He-who-was-to-be-pictured.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#8 Admittedly it was a wonderful day given that it was, after all, almost December in Indiana.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#9 We played “chase the ducks” briefly to little actual avail. It’s amusing to me that they even swim in a V pattern.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area

#10 We close with a crayfish, or as grandpa always used to call them, “crawdads”. It’s atrociously difficult to take a decent picture of a creature at the bottom of a murky pond but these arthropods deserve, I think, special attention. I recall as a young boy spending time at “The Lake” (as a child any lake, no matter where it is, is simply “the lake”) teasing these clever little gentry of the undermuck onto my line. While the adults were all consumed with catching some animal called a “fish” I was outwitting these devilish blighters. Almost makes me want to take up fishing just for the photo ops.

From 11-27-2012 Cheeney Creek Nature Area
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Of Lamps, Rocks and Random Bits of Nature

In retrospect, it cannot be denied that today’s photo jaunts were more random even than usual.

#1 I started the day trying to stage this lamp for a photo. See previous post on why this is important or even remotely interesting. My intent here was to be vastly anachronistic and when you have a lamp from the 60s and a Look magazine from 1938 just laying around this isn’t terribly difficult.

From 11-25-2012 The Lamp

#2/#3 After the lamp I wanted about in the local forest remnant a bit. It wouldn’t be a trip to the forest without fungus.

From 11-26-2012 Misc
From 11-26-2012 Misc

#4 Someday if I wander in the forest long enough I’ll find a mammal that’s not a squirrel. Some day but not today.

From 11-26-2012 Misc

#5 Abandoned homes awaiting the spring.

From 11-26-2012 Misc

#6 Ending the day with some macro shots of a few mineral samples I suddenly find myself with.

From 11-26-2012 Misc

#7 Pyrite and quartz

From 11-26-2012 Misc

And so ends another exceptionally random day. It occurs… not even a single human anywhere near any of these shots. Hrm.

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Of Coincidence and Stiffel Lamps

The Stiffel

The Stiffel

A few weeks ago I was sitting at home and realizing with some annoyance that I needed a lamp. I’d found myself in the habit of turning on every light in the apartment just to read at night so I took myself boldly unto the local furniture consignment shop to peruse their offerings. Because of the arrangement of my apartment at the time the added bit of furniture would have to be a floor lamp and sadly all the consignment store had on hand was an assortment of table lamps. I gave up the search and went home to my Cimmerian apartment but was nagged by the image of one lamp in particular. In a fit of energy that evening I rearranged the apartment to accommodate a table lamp and bounded hopefully back to the consignment store the next day.

I arrived at the store, held the door for a woman coming in behind me and found the lamp that had caught my eye yesterday, referred to hereafter as “the Stiffel”, still awaiting a buyer. Placing myself next to it in a clearly “this is my lamp now, back off” posture I looked around to catch the eye of the proprietor. As I looked up I found the woman who had come in just behind me looking at me with eyes the size of saucers. She approached gasping, “are you interested in that lamp? That’s my lamp!” Over the next several minutes she related the lamp’s history as it served happily in her mother’s house for many years. In her home it was always referred to simply as “The Stiffel” and so it shall be known in my home as well.

All this rather unlikely happenstance does put one of a mind of just how oddly the world operates at times. If I had stopped anywhere different for lunch that day or failed to drive that particular route or even left five minutes earlier I would never have had the story. One hesitates to assign such things to some intentional mechanism but it is certainly very welcome when things somehow turn out in such mysteriously perfect ways.

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Misc Photos for 11-18-2012

As of late I’ve found myself rather uninspired.  At least part of this is late-season ennui but I also have come to feel that my “art” is rather unfocused.  (No pun intended.)  While other photographers tend to specialize, I just photograph absolutely anything from random people to found objects.  My camera has been accumulating photos for the past couple weeks that I haven’t bothered to upload.  Today I have a bit to show for the time that’s passed.

#1: Someone can probably tell me what this odd-looking bird is.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#2: I like the colors and lines here. The bird itself is of no great note but it does leave a trail in its environment.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#3: I spent a fair amount of time the other day trying to get action shots of ducks on the water. My eventual assessment was that I needed a longer lens. At 270mm I can just barely squeeze out a reasonable level of detail.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#4: Some shots I just love the romantic aspects of a road vanishing into the distance.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#5: In the category of odd found-objects, I give you this child’s toy long trapped in a retention pond.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#6: Similar to #4, I like the irony of a No Trespassing sign overrun by nature.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#7: In the city where I live there’s a 106th street and there’s a forgotten “Old 106th” street. The homes on Old 106th street seem to have been trapped in a timewarp since the traffic on them has declined substantially. One features this ancient flag and gate.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#8: Not far from #7, it seems that a house has moved and birds now make their homes in this forgotten mailbox.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#9: Some photos you just take because they seem artsy.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#10: After the trip down Old 106th street I came home and played with some macro shots.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#11: And took apart an old computer. Here are the pins for an old Pentium processor.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#12: The heatsink on the processor on an older video card.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#13: The internals of some HP hardware. No comment on the countries of origin.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#14: I also took apart an old hard drive. A very chiaroscuro experience.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#15: Oops. Sure hope I didn’t void the warranty.

From Misc 11-18-2012

Anyway, such is the two weeks or so since the last post.

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Filed under abstract photography, Art photography, Landscape photography, nature Photography, Philosophy, Urban Photography

Misc Photos for 11-5-2012

A rather random assortment of shots from yesterday.

#1

Mostly just enjoy the contrast here. Harsh metal versus soft rustling leaves.

#2

The birds are busily cleaning up the fall… whatever those are.

#3

Wandering in the forest we came upon an orange construction barrel. Mother nature has gone a bureaucratic.

#4

One finds the oddest litter in the forest.

#5

The find of the day was this compost bin full of jack-o-lanterns.

#6

This whole situation strikes me as rather iconic of all holidays. We feast, we celebrate, then we discard.

#7

Later in the day back in the apartment I had some items to photograph so there was a brief spate of random puttering.

And that ends thus ends the day. Now if only I’d written proper descriptions for all the photos I took and tagged them with proper keywords. So many layers of work here. Any volunteers?

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Filed under abstract photography, Indianapolis, nature Photography

Monument City, Indiana

As some of you might have noticed, it’s been rather dry here in the Midwest.  As a consequence, our bodies of water are at record lows for the summer months.  Specifically, the Salamonie Lake in Indiana is so low that one of the cities that was flooded to build the Lake has come to the surface.  Because of this, crowds have flocked to the site of a city that hasn’t seen the surface (during the summer) for 50 years.

The lake is up and down during the year so the road between the parking and the water is non-trivial.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Clearly a warning that’s more important when we’re NOT in record drought.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

So as a personal footnote, I couldn’t help but be THRILLED beyond reasonable measure that the kids were THIS excited. Sadly I think they were eventually disappointed but they were amused for long enough to charge ahead of us to see the mysterious sunken city.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Lots of flatness.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

The lake is highly variable in depth it appears. I wonder how close these cliffs get to being under water.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Much to the kids’ disappointment, only the foundations of the old buildings were visible. I think they expected a whole city to come to the surface.v

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Ever the opportunist, the velvet leaf managed to invade the landscape.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Bud-Wei-Ser. *sigh* Everywhere you go there’s litter.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

History abounds in red brick.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Foundations of the old school reside at the new water’s edge.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

signs of civilization…

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

Yeah, expectations didn’t equal results so at least one of our party succumbed to boredom.

From 7-21-2012 Monument City, Indiana

But, so we close. As it turns out the day after we visited the DNR closed the site to visitors. Apparently too many people were stealing the rusty tin cans and other refuse to be found.

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Swimstock 2012

Last month when Amanda had an outdoor swim meet I took it as the perfect opportunity to do some sports photography. This is the sort of thing I’m always pestering people to let me photograph for them.

The expressions at these things are always priceless. Some true determination reflected here.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

And it never hurts to catch someone in mid-dive either.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

And… well, not ALL the expressions are all that flattering. Some of the adults seem rather disinterested.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

The sheepish ‘why are you taking my picture, dad’ look if ever I saw it.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

One thing about swim meets… they’re LONG affairs punctuated by very brief periods of activity that the spectators may specifically care about. Izzy is unimpressed.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

In fact some of the onlookers are bored absolutely stiff.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

But, making the best of a rather dull time, there’s always the macro lens to play with. Is it obvious what this is?

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

These little things are all over the place this time of year in Indiana. Let me just stress again the importance of exfoliation lest YOU have to shed your skin.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

Izzy doesn’t know whether to eat it or be scared of it. Apparently the average of those two emotions is ‘bored’

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

Claw detail. Note the carapace of some other creature on the left.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

Izzy also managed to sit on a mosquito without damaging it. Miraculous.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

Wonderfully complicated little creatures.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

So after two more hours, bored has turned to patently annoyed.

From 7-14 15-2012 Swimstock Swim Meet

And so eventually ended a day at the swim meet. In retrospect…. it didn’t really seem to have much to do with swimming at all.

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