Wednesday, January 31


<- Click here
Sunday as we awaited the New York train chugging into Lancaster's station, a steely sky colored things blue as the daybreak's cold. As the winds snapped this door about I realized the box contained a track just as real as the one in the background. Each can take us somewhere. One, at the speed of light, can whip ideas around the globe. The other, more sedately, can start bodies on a worldwide trip. Two doorways here on this 19th century train platform... when do you think the technologies powering the second will match the speed of the first?

Tuesday, January 30

Fantasy V. Beauty

<- Click here
Walking along Macy's windows, each an evocative piece of art, each setting off some sort of fashion statement. And when you add them together, well something nagged at me. You know when you enter a familiar room, and something's out of place, but you can't quite?? Um... You know how you cannot really overcome a sensation that things seem off kilter? And then on that chilly and breezy afternoon I saw her, and FWOOP! The fantasy fashion became as inconsequential as PR hacks proclaiming Angela Jolie, the new Mother Theresa.

Monday, January 29

2007 Award Winner: Limit-less

Note: Accepted as one of theworld's finest Urban Images of 2007 for Canon POTN Book to be published in the Fall of 2008.

<- Click here
The cabs in this image look as if they are skittering about a living room. Everything seems to be reduced to scale. Yet, NYC is beyond any scale. There are two cities in the U.S. that have such a massive presence that it's impossible to back away far enough to capture them with even the widest lens. Every image seems to grab just a detail. The first is this place, the other is Vegas. The difference is that you can dash quickly to Vegas's city limits. Here, there are no limits - if y'know what I'm sayin'?
And yes, this is a rather straight wide-angle shot (about 10mm). Until January 20, the city was increasingly windy and frigid. On January 23, the winds and arctic weather blew back. But for just two days, there was this hole in winter's severity... everywhere except up there... in the sky.

Sunday, January 28

New York State Of Mind

<- Click here
Dye your hair, you become a blonde. Someone knocks off your hat and you wonder, "Why did he hit me?" Collide your bike and you say, "I ran into a pole!" But these are all things... hair coloring, wigs, implanted boobs, bikes, dentures, hats, suits, heels... wuddever. Still, wear them and you extend yourself, right? Okay... okay... heavy stuff.
My point is that the line between who we feel we are and our immediate environment blurs. Get into a tank,or a big SUV... and we feel stronger, bigger, muscular, lethal!
So the question for the day, boys and girls, is... If you live in NYC, if you are a New Yorker (as opposed to a blonde), are these pictures in any sense - WHO you are? And isn't that different from say the folks who live in E. Dennis on Cape Cod Bay? Or in Lancaster? Waco? Or... well you get the point. So, like, what's the answer? Do these streets make these people different? How?Hmmmm....

Saturday, January 27

Puppy Rocco

<- Click here
The little guy was three months old when we met him. He lived in a box at a farm, inside of a barn, with other puppies. I think he saw the outdoors and sun the day we brought him home. Which was the day before I took this picture. It was hidden in an old file. The camera was a primitive digital with maybe three magapixels. And there wasn't much light in the bedroom. But somehow all of that works to create a storm of grit and wonder. Notice the only color is in the lens glare there on the lower left. I like that. Rocco's become a good friend. And he's adjusted pretty well to city living outside of his barn cardboard box.

Friday, January 26

@ Playwrite

<-Click here
we stopped at the Playwrite for lunch and other things. It's an Irish pub, Chris on the other hand is of German stock. None of which accounts for gin & tonic after Labor Day... Nope, thirst accounts for that. This place is in the middle of the theater district just off of Broadway and served up the piles of corned beef and cole slaw on bread. I sort of hoped we'd catch some actors filling up before their matinees. Still, it's a typical downtown Manhattan bar. Chris will publish a story about out trip in one of his papers next month. As you can see, we captured the flavor, which happened to be, in this case, the flavor of tonic seasoned with gin.

Thursday, January 25


<- Click here
So how to get a feel for a typical street in Manhattan? Well, maybe there's no one 'typical' street, but at least, how about a grab of a scene that would resonate with a New Yorker? I've tried that a bunch of times. And one of the first things I noticed was overload. Details are everywhere. There's so much, in such sharp focus, in so many colors that the jumble actually becomes... Well, you know how your mind is hard wired to find patterns? New York at first fights that, and then it just imposes a different sense of pattern atop whatever you're used to. Here... look at this image. Do I have it? is that 'typical'? Can you hear the horn section?

Wednesday, January 24

Stayed Here • Staid Here

<- Click here
The first time you see a beauty it is her hair, dress, makeup... smile or glower that snares your memory recorder. There's no 'one' to know yet, but some 'thing' to experience. A short visit anywhere is like that. We see veneer. If it glimmers, if it's buffed bright, if it's raucous, flashy, warm or golden... That's the thing we experience. From street level, New York's like that... outside. Even when you go inside they still show you the outside that's in there, never behind the scenes, or in the offices, kitchens, basements, or closets. So this trip was a short time of seeing what New York wanted us to see. And in those few moments, she is a great beauty.
BTW: we stayed at the Inter-Continental the Barclay at 11 East 48th Street. There's a word that they want to resonate when you process your memories of this place... Elegant.
Tomorrow, I'll take you inside.

Tuesday, January 23

Guess Where I Went?

<-Click here
I told you we were going away for a couple of days. Anyone want to guess where? We were lucky to get there Sunday and return to Lancaster on Monday. Apparently Saturday in the city was an artic adventure with freezing temps and gale force winds off the Atlantic. But, as if switched off for our arrival, the breeze was gentle and the night temps in the high thirties. Over the next couple of days I'll share my impressions with you... But here's the explosion you expect... and this my friends is a Sunday night! A hair brighter on the Great White Way than Lancaster Square. Cool, eh?

Monday, January 22

Media Filter

<- Click here
Grim, the side effect of media attention. Except for some book publishers, folks who do media productions and journalism know that their audiences have limited attention spans. Science tell us that attention cannot be easily held beyond 90 minutes. Which means any reporting has to fully make its point within that limit. Thanks to Sesame Street indoctrination, a great percentage of today's adults expect to get a media payoff in far less time, maybe every twently seven to thirty eight seconds.
And yet television, newspapers, and magazines attempt to do "in depth" reporting on things as complex as race relations, deism, plastic surgery, sex. gender preference, climate, international currency exchange, parenting, education and every other nodule of glue that holds a culture together. From that stream of noise, people have to figure out what the rule books are, and what they say. It's the written or unwritten rule books which keep us together and progressing toward civilized goals.
The media filter then, determines whether a culture holds intact, or breaks apart.

Saturday, January 20

Mom's Thing

<- Click here
I noticed during Mom's last years that somewhere near her sat this. Her habit of changing favorite chairs meant new side tables to hold the debris she liked handy. And sooner or later her crystal strawberry showed up there. She never mentioned why, or as I recall, never mentioned it at all. Where it came from? When? Mysteries. I only know where it went... right now it's right over there... on my closeby bookcase. Since her death, it seems to follow me around. Glimmering quietly. It was precious to her, so it's nearby as I type these words.
Probably it has little value anywhere but close to me, where it's priceless.

BTW: going on a trip through Tuesday. Won't be near enough to my tools to post util then. Sorry, but life beckons. Hope to come back with some edgy work.

Friday, January 19

Marsh#9 And A Half

<- Click here
Last Wednesday's post (January 17th-"DarkMarsh") was about a marsh boat at dawn. As I prepared that image for posting, an entirely different idea occurred to me. Here it is. Same boat, same camera click, different emotion.
That's what we do isn't it? We hold wildly different emotions and ideas simultaneously. As we skitter back and fro among them, we seem to feel firm only in the last one we examined. And we're firm until we examine them again. I have no idea whether my Wednesday idea about this moment I've posted here on Friday was better. I know it was more correct, Wednesday. Today, I'm going with the ramped up saturations of this feeling. Wonder what tomorrow will bring?
It's that wonder that keeps us agile, don't you think? Of course, if you didn't think, you'd not be coming back to this website. So, do all of us a favor (according to Google Analytics there are a bunch of you who come here every day)... Do us all a favor and think at me.
A thought is one of the few things you can give away and have more remaining.

Thursday, January 18

Summer's End

<- Click here
On a back road on a stormy Fall morning, the first school bus comes at half-past daybreak.


Incidentally, the gremlins attacked me. I tried to set up a new AirPort Express to extend the reach of my Mac's AirPort Wi-Fi here in my city town house. I was hours on the phone with Mac. Nothing seemed to work. Only a half hour ago did we finally beat them off. So all I had time to prepare was this visual thought about the niche between Summer and Fall. The image I promised yesterday has arrived - take a look at the last posting. Sorry for the delay gang. Grumble....

Wednesday, January 17


<- Click here
At first the sun isn't really a glow. Nope, at a certain time of morning your eyes start to make out objects in what was just black only moments before. For some few moments it's almost as if your sight improved, or if things somehow pulsated color from within themselves. It's a brief time when the essence of shapes come out.
This is the post I promised to make here. Finally I am back on sched. Sorry about the delay, life has a nasty way of intruding upon my hobby.

Tuesday, January 16


<- Click here
Brant Point juts out into Nantucket Harbor. Odd, it's almost impossible to render a lighthouse image that doesn't seem heroic. Why is that? After all it's just a building. Do we bring our own psychic baggage to making or viewing their images? Thoughts?

Monday, January 15

Un-Natural Palette

<-Click here
It should have been a lot colder the morning I took this picture. By late October Cape Cod Bay is usually whipped around by winds off the North Atlantic and the color largely gone from the beach grasses. So this is an image of two seasons overlaid in ways that they don't usually. It's almost a summer morning picture, yet it looks too brisk for that. And it's almost a winter picture, yet the foliage just doesn't fit. So I tried to tease as much out of this strangely mixed palette as possible. I think this has a calm-before-the-storm quality. But the storm is something larger, perhaps this year, or next - regardless - nature will adjust.

Sunday, January 14

Ticket To Ride

<- Click here
So it seems that my litte ride over to Strasburg last weekend resulted in a some posts here and visits to my website, where they're saved under the "Lancaster County" tab.
Which got me to wondering what sort of poster a gallery about that visit ought to look like. Since I don't do that kind of graphic art, but really admire artists who do, I thought I'd give it a try... To create an introductory image that would both identify the collection while encouraging visitors to explore them.
How's this work?

Saturday, January 13

Leaf It Alone

<-Click here
I guess someone will eventually remove all of these leaves? Or maybe they will be part of the aesthetic charm come next summer? The kids left everything where they last played with them, and left their summer place. And then the leaf blizzard coated everything before the coming snow blizzards, eh? The circle of life?

Friday, January 12

Neglected Or Abandoned?

<-Click here
Was the owner of this boat too lazy to pluck it from the lake? Or does he live year-round and nearby enough to still pull the tarp and use it on occasion? He must have expected the lake to freeze very soon. And there was no bubbler anywhere around the hull of this craft.
Still that tarp was a custom job and expensive. Who knows where #89 would be when winter closed down the mountain. There's something hauntingly lonely about this image. I don't so much get the feeling of neglect as abandonment. You agree?

Thursday, January 11

Got Him, See!

<- Click here
Out of the corner of my eye I saw him. But I'd snap my head around and he'd pop back to normal. The guy was goofing on me. So what I did was casually drape my camera down at my side and turn away, snapping the shutter when he thought I wasn't looking. You know what I'm saying here?
And I caught him, all puffed up, playing his game. I guess I fixed him, eh?

Wednesday, January 10

Function, Or Just Form?

<-Click here
That fence, why is it? I mean a fence has a function right? And if it doesn't have a function, well what is it? Let me try that again. Is a fence which doesn't fence anything - a fence? And if it isn't that, well, 'the hell is it?
The thing's so alone there. So I wanted to emphasize both its loneliness and its fence-less-ness. Things always seem lonelier to me at night. So here, with moonlight bathing the scene is this lonely thing, splat in the center of a vast universe, that I guess I have to call a fence. Even though it doesn't do that.
They say that form follows function. Here's an exception to that rule, huh? Unless its function is to be just a form. Hey! I know people like that.

Tuesday, January 9

And We Left, Why?

<- Click here
If you squinch your eyes down to slits you'll really get this image. You'll smell the fresh morning air, hear the chugs and bells, and maybe a conductor's song. And you'll see women in long full skirts, and men in bowlers. Perhaps the breeze would carry pipe or cigar smoke (this was way before a man would be caught with a girly cigarette). We're so comfortable in our changes, our progress. We feel almost like differtent animals from folks long dead. And yet, there in that spot, as you look down that track, you can see the craftsmanship, sense the jaunty vivid optimism, and over all notice just how clean and mannerly everyone is. And then you wonder... is this a moment you really want to leave? And maybe you wonder why we all did? Hmmmm..... It was pretty in Strasburg, huh? But now, looking at those antiques, I wonder if it was just last Saturday?

Monday, January 8

Cigar Is A Cigar

<- Click here
Everyone knows that Freud figured that no matter what sort of erotic connotation it might seem to have in dreams, well, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
I'm usually trying to communicate an idea or emotion in my images. But sometimes craft is enough. This pair of renderings are what they seem and no more. I saw this old dining car at Strasburg Rail Road last Saturday. In the sun, it gleamed like a rare gem. And look at the workmanship, wow. I wanted to make it pop. Sometimes visitors ask me if I can take a straight picture. Well, you judge. At first I was tempted to go sepia to capture the warmth of age. But people at the turn of the last century didn't see in sepia. So here's what I think they saw when this great work of rail road craft pulled into their station. It made them feel good, right?

Sunday, January 7

2006 Award Winner: Past Power

Note: Accepted as one of the world's finest Transportation Images of 2006 for Canon POTN Book published in the Fall of 2007.

<- Click here
Some fifty years ago when The Pennsylvania Rail Road built Engine #9331, everything seemed like... like they seemed to every youngster. The rest of the world was in war-worn shambles. And America looked forward with all the power of this guy. Colors were more brilliant then. Scents stronger. Noises warmer and with this sort of muscle we could do it all. And everyone else paid us to do it. Sent us their wealth: built up our seed corn.
Today, the nation's mightiest railroad, The Pennsylvania, is a fast fading memory. The rest of the world's rebuilt both their stuff and their dreams. And now, as we mature, we look at the muscles on Engine #9331 and wonder how, when we weren't paying attention, their mass and color faded. Except in the memories of those few who yet remember a time when we could do everything. Before we fattened on fast-fried seed corn.

Saturday, January 6


<- Click here
Drove over to the lovely Lancaster County borough of Strasburg this afternoon. On this first saturday of January, the temperature was 70 degrees, the clouds were puffy, and the sky a dark blue. What could be more photogenic than this historic farm village, eh? Well, a lot of things. I can't seem to make it work. I took a couple hundred clicks, brought them back, and well, Poowie!
Where did my eye go today? And why was the lighting so crappy? Since the sun lurked behind clouds, it wasn't the ghastly mid day contrast. But either I'm having a down moment in my post processing imagination, or I came back with a weird package of inoperable lighting. For example... Lookit my cows here. Why is this so... so... BANAL! AAARGH. I'm going to go read. Maybe I'll find some gems in this mess tomorrow.

Friday, January 5

Translucent Glow

<- Click here
I saw this as a curtain. It was there between me and something in the last bright light of a January afternoon. Stuff like this waits for the winter snows, winds, freezes and thaws to clear it away for next year's replacements. This year it's had to wait longer for nature's maid service. So it's become even more fragile and with its dominant colors bleached away... It seems to glow, almost translucently under the day's last light.

Thursday, January 4


<- Click here

Tress-Passers? Hmmmm... They talking about convincing transvestites?

Violators will be violated? Whoa! These guys are tough.

Wednesday, January 3


<- Click here
Have you ever notice the way that sudden billiance can illuminate all that we think we know and understand? And how its luminescence can amplify, alter, or even degrade the best understood relationships? Have you ever noticed how an explosion of insight can punch a hole into your frame of reference: burning away everything around it?

Have you ever noticed how a particularly bright idea makes you shade your brain?

Tuesday, January 2


<-Click here
Just outside of Lancaster... I mean JUST outside... on every side - there's this sort of thing. I could walk my dog to this kind of place in say, twenty minutes, maybe fewer. Well, of course my wife and I took the Beetle, but that's beside the point, I coulda walked. And Rocco came with us. And it was 4:25 in the afternoon and everywhere there were images. In fact, they are so commonplace that they seem insignificant. It's so easy to overlook beauty when beauty is the norm. If we could see air, we'd be blind.
Just over the hill behind this farm is a freeway. Behind that is the biggest mall in the county. That's the thing about here: everything lives together. My home is in the epicenter of the city, smack in the historical district. And here's this farm, one of hundreds and hundreds that sparkle all around. There are places in the world that are grim, Lancaster is not one of them.
If I failed to wish it... I hope your new New Year makes you feel as furtunate as I do.

Monday, January 1

Time Door

<- Click here
Now I'm not one to spread rumors, you know that, right? So I won't tell you what they say is really happening here -because it's so preposterous. Just today, I looked it up and I found this building on an 1812 map of Lancaster. But the doors in this image... no, they're not authentic. Some say they're so ordinary to throw you off. Huh? To fake you away. To, make you think that the agency hasn't carved their hole into this portal. I mean, it looks innocent enough, right? Except for that strange device up there on the upper right. One thing I hear, no one's ever seen anyone actually go into or come out of this place. Hmmm...
Peculiar, this seems to be the only entrance. And no windows overlook it. It faces a four story blank brick wall.And just last summer there were teams of men with very large equipment digging deeply into that alleyway... in the middle of the night!
So after dark, when those black town cars cruise this alleyway... and slow at this door. Then come back out. Are they empty? Smoked windows... don't let me peer inside. Yeah, there are only whispers that the corridor behind this door is a covered foot bridge back to the early 1800s. God knows why a secret program would want to go back to then. Hmmmm... 1812 or so? What was happening in that year? But of course, this is only rumor. No sane person would... Wait. What's that noise outside? Hold on, I'm going to the window with my laptop. Yeah, from up here on my third floor, I can see the opening of the alleyway across the street, and there goes another one of those dark cars. They're so quiet. I wonder why their lights are off? Hmmm......