The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Waterfall Hunt

Last fall, someone in the photo club told my father about a “waterfall” not too far from where we live. Technically, it isn’t a waterfall. It’s a man-made spillway, but it looks like a waterfall. The spillway was not easy to find. At one point, we gave up looking and decided to go to a park in the area instead. However, when we stopped at the park office, we found a sign featuring a large photo of the waterfall and the words “are you looking for this?” It then provided directions. Thus we continued in our hunt, but it still wasn’t easy. Roads were under construction or had similar names, I couldn’t get the maps app on my phone to work because the cell service was spotty, and we had to be careful to stay off private property in the area. The spillway was located right off the road. You had to be looking in the right direction at the right time to see it though. After a considerable bit of driving around in circles, we finally found it.


While Dad was photographing it with his view camera, I found a Japanese beetle on a wildflower to photograph.


It was a long day, but we found what we were looking for. Sometimes, persistence does pay off.


Love Status Report

Valentine’s Day is Wednesday. That means many of us are thinking of romance this week and evaluating the love in our lives: presence, absence, and quality. As in years past, I’m celebrating the non-romantic love in my life and encouraging others who find themselves without that someone to share the evening with to do the same.

To me, looking for someone just for the sake of being in a romantic relationship seems like a game. Perhaps I wouldn’t know. I’ll admit I’ve never really gone looking.



I have my family for now, and my cat as well. Like previous years, I’ve sent cards and letters to some family members to let them know they are loved, and I am thinking of them. But my cup does not run over with love. I could be more loving in so many ways, even without looking for a romantic relationship. This year, I find myself wanting to strengthen the ties I have with my family and befriend new people – wanting to learn greater kindness and empathy for others. That is my love goal for 2018.



Next Month: Archive Nature

You can probably tell I haven’t shot any still life/table top in over a year. I’m so out of practice. What I did shoot last year was nature. Since I didn’t blog much, I have a good sized backlog of unedited photos to work on.


Flower on the Path

In 2017, I made no commitment to blog. I rather abandoned it in the hopes that I would get farther with other things. It didn’t work out the way I had hoped. I spent less time in nature, hardly photographed, and failed to edit most of what I did shoot. So in 2018, I am going to blog at least once a month. It may be archive from last year, and it may only be one photo per post, but I need to get back to the blog. It made me get out, shoot, think about my work, and edit it. More than that, it made me find and appreciate the small but beautiful things in life.


Early last spring, I found this flower growing among the broken down limestone path at a local park. Photography and blogging are two of the things that have helped me stop and appreciate the flowers along the path of life, rather than passing them by or stepping on them as I hurry off to other things. What is life if we fail to take the time to enjoy it?

Mid-Summer Flowers

Way back on the 4th of July, I went out to appreciate the wildflowers:


Old Schoolhouse

As you may have guessed, I haven’t been in much of a photographic mood this year. Nevertheless, my father convinced me to bring my camera on a family trip a couple of months ago. I didn’t think I’d have time for any real photography on the trip, but Dad was bringing hisĀ  4″x5″ view camera, which is a very serious camera. This meant photography would be a priority on the trip. The subject? Well, that was undetermined.

Near supper time on day one of our trip, we were driving through the countryside when I spotted an old, abandon schoolhouse out the window. I only caught a glance, but it was enough to flag the building as anything but your typical plain Jane schoolhouse. I noted the road we were on for future reference, then informed my father of the discovery. The next day, we retraced our steps and found it, but the solar angle was bad. Early on the morning of day three, we finally got out to photograph it.

The weather was cloudy at first. Not bad for the subject. It gave it a bit of an eerie mood, standing isolated in the country.


Later, the sun started to come out. By then, I liked the angle on the front better. Since the schoolhouse was right on top of the road, it was a little more tricky. I don’t have a view camera, so I had to tweak perspective in Photoshop.


Even a short vacation can lift you from a rut, even if just for a few days. Be prepared and keep your eyes open. Thanks Dad.


I promised I would do another Maggie post. One sunny Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, the light and the cat aligned and I got a few photos of her. I was going to wait until she was more comfortable with the camera, but it was just too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. Overall, she did rather well. The shutter noise still bothered her just a little (I could see her react to it a tad, small nuances), but the camera itself didn’t scare her. I did set it down and let her sniff it for a while so she could be sure it was OK.

Maggie loves to explore and hide in closets. As long as I’m not on my way out the door or going straight to bed, I’ll indulge her and let her have some closet time. She’ll come out when she discovers I’ve moved to a different part of the house and she wants to know what I’m up to, or she wants food.


Like most cats, Maggie also loves beds. Mine is near a large, second-floor patio door that acts like a giant soft box on a sunny morning.



Maggie also wanted to play mouse that morning. She can be a feisty little animal when she wants to be.


Peace, Love, and Spray Paint

Last fall, I went on a hike with my Aunt and my Sister. That was the hike that ended with the super moon. Our objective, however, was the Traverse City landmark known as the Hippie Tree. It is mostly fallen down and coated in bright spray paint. People have drawn flowers on it and left their names as well as messages of encouragement to others.


Yep, it is pretty large. Many of the smaller trees in the area are painted as well.


Some of the graffiti on the tree is more neat and artistic than most.


The vast majority of it is bright, Hippie-ish, and positive.


Old bark covered in layer upon layer of spray paint over the years produces some interesting combinations of texture and color.


The Future

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t posted in nearly two months. This year, I am not making any commitment to the blog. I’m running out of storage space for photos on WordPress, and my life is changing. Most likely, I will find a different venue for sharing my photos. If so, I’ll link to it here. It’s still possible I’ll do the occasional blog.

Some people have asked about my new little friend, Maggie. She didn’t like the sound of my camera shutter, so I’ve waited to take more photos of her. Maybe I will photograph her in the next few weeks. She is much more comfortable here now, and she may be more at ease with the camera. When I photographed her before, my home was still quite new to her (less than a week!) so she was still a bit on edge about everything. After two months, she’s much more calm.

Nothing stays the same forever, but the future can be bright, hopeful, and beautiful, even if it sometimes takes awhile to figure it out and get there. Until then, I wish you peace, love, and spray paint. Here’s to the future.