25 days of joy, constraint, & my holiday brain: Day five.

When the light and the architecture is really good: Columbus, Indiana…

Spent the last two hours of daylight on one of the shortest days of the year wandering around Columbus, Indiana. I had planned to take my “real” camera, but I forgot. I actually think I like zipping around with the iPhone better. Fiddling with the lens and doing complicated math really saps my enjoyment. I ran around following the long shadows of church steeples. I ducked in an out of alleys. I stood in the middle of the street calculating the odds that a car would hit me. You can’t do those things when you’re trying to remembering if you recharged the f-stops.

I’d rather compose some pleasing geometry and light, then snap, then run around to the next one.

And, as my boss when I worked for an outfit that made TV movies for the USA Network back in the early 90s was fond of saying when it was time to give up on shot because of fading light and attitudes:

“We’ll fix it in post.”

Columbus, Indiana is the home of many modernist buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Architecture geeks love it.

Find out about some of the architecture here…

Names! Names! Names!

Lines! Lines! Lines!

Angles! Angles! Angles!

All the filters, but sometimes none.

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T-Shirts for Christmas

I am currently in my pre-Christmas scramble to complete my list…

The cat: check. Wigs: check. Monkey: check. Disco cats: check. Giant tree burned in 1988: check. The G Train: check. 19th century folk art advertising sign of a pig: check. Skyline of Columbus –canted and slightly blurred: check. Graffiti jellyfish: not check. Soviet meerkats: not check. The cat, yet again: not check. A precarious fire escape: not check.

Of course I will not be wrapping any Soviet meerkats. The vast majority of meerkats who lived under the Soviet system are either long dead or have become oligarchs. And I dare anyone to who tries to put the cat in a box for wrapping to staunch their wounds in time before they bleed out. At least try to wear a green turtleneck before attempting to do so; the blood and the turtleneck will look festive together.

The reader, unless Christo is reading this blog for some reason (In that case, I loved The Gates.), has figured out that I’m probably talking about photographs here. This is a collection of found photos and photos of found objects (and the cat, always the cat). The vast majority is my own work, but when you find great disco cats, you’ve got to grab them. Continue reading

Bits and Bobs of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn

Looking at art with Ernie

Co-visiting the Art Institute with my stepmom, who couldn’t make it for obvious reasons…

This past Tuesday, my stepmom Ernie passed away. I got the news as I was checking into a hotel in Chicago. A good friend of mine, Doug, was up there for an LGBT Law Conference, and I had decided to venture up there. I have been out of NYC for a while and really needed to see a friendly face from there. As there was honestly nothing to do at this point for her physical being, I decided to treat her soul to some art. I had wanted to visit the Art Institute, so I decided to devote part of my visit to her. This meant going to look at a lot of Impressionist paintings. Frankly, this was a lot more Impressionist paintings that I would look at on a normal visit; give me a nice Yves Klein Blue to stare at for an hour and I’m happy. Impressionism is a little heavy on the pastels for me, but I loved the woman. I can deal with pastels out of love. I learned a term when I was in Museum Studies: CO-VISITING is the notion that most people don’t visit a museum alone. There is not only a conversation going on between the viewer and the art; there is also a conversation between the viewer and his the person standing next to him. This was a great way to connect with Ernie. I flashed back to every Christmas when she would open the gift from her sister Nicole. They exchanged calendars every year, and it always seemed to be some sort of Impressionist calendar. I think they even gave each other the same one one year. Enjoy.

Photo walk of a sliver of the Clintonville section of Columbus of Ohio

Last Saturday, I participated in my first organized photography event, a Photo Walk of Historic Clintonville, the neighborhood in which I live in Columbus. We were helped along by the Clintonville Historical Society and the good folks at Midwest Photo Exchange. Hopefully one or more of my photos will be included in an upcoming gallery show.

And yes, Beechwold is part of Clintonville. Continue reading

Photo 101, Day Eighteen: Edge & Alignment

…in which our hero doesn’t bring his book to the bar and is shown some nice edges in the neighborhood.

Last night I ventured down to the All-Request 70s/80s/90s Bear Happy Hour at Exile. I requested and heard both “My Kind Of Lover” by Billy Squier and “Gemini Dream” by The Moody Blues. In the past I have brought a book to this event. But my friend Damian in NYC said not to anymore because it was kind of off-putting. He should know as he is a well-regarded DJ and, therefore, see much human interaction. So, I swallowed hard and went to the bar without a book.

Amazingly, I managed to strike up a conversation with someone local. He said he had seen me for several weeks but didn’t feel safe approaching me until I actually smiled in his direction. I mentioned that before I headed home, I was going to wander around the neighborhood to snap some pics of things with edges.

He volunteered to take me and show me some nice, edgeful stuff.

Moral: Smile, get edges.

Route traversed: route copySongs mentioned:

Billy Squier: My Kind of Lover
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETFbV3zbjjU

The Moody Blues: Gemini Dream
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3QLFFVFpp0

Photo 101, Day Sixteen: Treasure

The enameling studio, or I make vaguely modernist fridge magnets.

IMG_5313

One of these is a knob.

A few years back, my sister moved from the horrid suburbs back into Columbus into a 100yr old house with two garages on the property. One of these she converted into a craft studio whose highlight is an enameling kiln. Enameling is more rightly known as glass-on-metal and involves melting little granules of glass onto copper in an oven the temperature of some of your better white dwarf stars. This oven will burn all the hair off your body, and you will scream in murderous pain every time the door opens.

But it is worth it. Granted, not every piece is worth saving. The vagaries of oven temp, thickness of glass, or how much you thrash around when the door opens will affect outcome. There’s even something called fire scale that determines the final product. I’m not going to explain what fire scale is; I’m just gonna let you imagine how cool it is. Like it’s part of a dragon or something. However, there are times that a piece comes out that’s strikes a cord so primal that you can’t wait until you slap it up on the fridge. (Or onto the back of your apartment door where they will peel away so much paint when removed that your landlady will have what she claims is no choice but to charge you $200 to repaint the door.)

Then there the ones that are so perfect, they have to be given as gifts. Luckily, I have given away more than I have kept.

When I got to the enameling kiln, I hadn’t done anything creative in years –anything that I could point and go, “Look, me make pretty!” I was completely disconnected from that part of my brain. Times spent out there with my sis, listening to REM, drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and smelling my burnt arm hairs helped reawaken that urge that years of brain fever and grad school had beaten out of me.

Photo 101, Extra Credit: Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland (EVERYTHING ON MANUAL)

I took a basic photography class last Thursday from Midwest Photo Exchange here in Columbus. I learned about my ISOs, apertures, and shutter speeds. It was a revelation and relieved me of my reliance on AUTO.

Yesterday, I reconnected with my friend Beth after a thirty year absence. And what better way to reconnect than to stroll around a historic cemetery? I have a thing for cemeteries and have posted about Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn in the past.

I like a nice memento mori.

So, the pics in this gallery are all taken in the “M” mode and manually focused. There are literally a hundred photos that don’t look like anything. I have not altered these in any way, not even cropping.

Photo 101, Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects

Last night I attended my first Pride event in Columbus. Last time I lived in Columbus, I was a frightened high school kid who couldn’t even possibly imagine that someday he would be walking around being gay, gay, gay without threat of being shoved in locker.

I happened to attend the Pride Festival in Goodale Park at Magic Hour. Unfortunately I didn’t have my new Sony A5000 because I thought I’d be going to the bar afterwards. So, all of these pics are taken with my iPhone 6 (a little to a lot of tweaking afterwards on some)…