Tuesday, December 31, 2019

January 2020: Hiding Frog

When my kids were little, one of their favorite games whenever they were near a pond was "Find the Frog". We'd quietly walk up on a pond and they would try to find the frogs before they would spook and jump into the water to hide.
This shot of a green frog always reminds me of those times, and makes me smile.
As we enter yet another new year, I hope that it is one of smiles for you. Or at least of times which make you smile later on.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December 2019: Recursion

Christmas trees have Christmas trees.
Who knew?!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November 2019: Room 211

Another photo from this summer's Asylum shoot. This was a door to a patient's room/cell. Like most of the paint in the buildings, the paint on the door was peeling off. There were a few things which drew me to this particular door however. It was one of the few which still had the number on it in such good condition, for one. And then I noticed that the numbers were hand-painted. (How long has it been since that was done in any state facility, let alone one operating in the mental health field?) But what really got me about this door is that something had been stuck to the door above the number. It would have been something personal to the patient whose room it was. A photo perhaps. Maybe just a name on a card. But something, and something to identify that specific person. In an institutional setting, especially for a patient struggling with issues of identity, whatever was there on that door was important. Possibly even a physical anchor which grounded that person as to who they even were, beyond just being "the patient in room 211".

I don't know what was on the door, or who lived in that room. But it was a person with a name and a life. And that was worth remembering as I clambered over the crumbling ceiling plaster and around piles of wood looking for the next shot.

Monday, September 30, 2019

October 2019: Asylum Revisited

Folks are demanding more photos from the asylum in Traverse City, so here you are.
If there is one photo I took that day which means more to me than any other it is this one.
The ideas which it communicates: temporality and eternity, brokenness and structure, isolation and community, warmth and coldness, freedom and confinement, conformity and incongruity, are as clear as can be.
Going through the asylum was a pretty difficult thing for me even while using my professional detachment as a shield. There were plenty of things which could simply not be ignored, and which reminded me that there were real people who used to live there under less than positive circumstances.
I am looking forward to returning to the asylum in the future, but it is going to be hard to come away with a photo that communicates everything the way this one does for me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

September 2019: Amazon Tree Boa

Haven't posted a snake in a long while. I have always liked snakes for some reason, and don't generally have the natural and common revulsion for them that most people do. I am careful near them of course, but enjoy contact with them and have even had them as pets. They make great photographic subjects, and are some of my favorite animals to shoot.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

August 2019: The House Where Nobody Lives

I was driving through Michigan's Upper Peninsula the other day and saw this old house. There are numerous such structures in the U.P., not all of them unoccupied. This one in particular reminded me of a Tom Waits song so much that I had to turn around and go back to capture it.

The song is called "House Where Nobody Lives", and the end of it reads as follows:

"What makes a house grand ain't the roof or the doors.
If there's love in a house it's a palace for sure.
Without love, it ain't nothing but a house...a house where nobody lives."

Having just finished spending four days in a one-room rustic cabin full of some amazing and abundant love, it was pretty powerful. So although not technically a very good photo, it may end up being my favorite shot of the summer.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

July 2019: Fish Out of Water

Although I have done virtually every type of photography there is, with a few exceptions, my main interest has always been nature photography. Landscapes, wildlife, that sort of thing. But when the opportunity arose for me to photograph the "abandoned" sections of the old insane asylum in Traverse City, MI, I figured a stretch outside my normal comfort zone was definitely in order.
It was an amazing experience, one which I hope to repeat at some point as every time I turned my head there was another shot waiting to be taken. This is one, a view looking down one of the steam tunnels which run between all the buildings, was particularly compelling.

I will undoubtedly be tossing more of these into the monthly blog entries as the year passes, so keep coming back or just sign up to be alerted whenever it updates by entering your email address at the bottom of the page. (I don't do email marketing, so you won't get any email except to let you know that a new photo has been posted.)

In the meantime, do something this summer that takes you out of your own comfort zone. You might be glad that you did!