Monday, December 28, 2009

You want color? Here's some color for yous!

Thought it best to end the year with a splash of sugary colors. In this case, quite literally.

Happy New Year, Readers!!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Eyeball Central to Marilyn and Don: Merry Christmas

A nearly-normal photo of your GA and MI grandkids taken in a Winter Wonderland.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Non-negative photos, pt. 10 of 10 (Columns at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

The Nelson-Atkins is one of my favorite places in the world.

After I noted the remarkable reflectivity of the marble columns, I knew I'd want to capture the skylights in their reflection. The last two photos are images of different columns, obviously. The color one is untouched, and I converted it to black and white. The last picture is, I think, a little sad, but all in all I must pat myself on the back and say I did find a fair number of non-negative photos to close out the year.

I may post a few times yet in 2009, but all the remainder will be coda for me.

Peace out, brothers and sisters.


Yo, so several of you seem to like these pics. I'm so glad. I never know with any confidence which ones will be pleasing and which ones will just prompt ye olde' eyeball central eye roll. Glad these were winners. A pleasant surprise for me.

Non-negative photos, pt. 9 of 10 (From the top down)

I started taking these photos from an escalator going to the top level of Kaufman Stadium to see the a Royals game in July. How could I resist those shadows.

So dreamy, so beautiful, those shadows.


My favorite image is the fourth down (I think). You see the shadow of a little boy holding his mom's hand. Something about that image reminds me of that iconic John John image. So I went to look at it and, you know, there's virtually nothing similar about them. So I don't know what it is, exactly, that triggers such a strong association between the two images for me. Perhaps you can tell me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Non-negative photos, pt. 8 of 10 (World largest's cross. And bug.)

Our family stopped to see the world's largest cross (198 feet!) outside of Effingham, IL, during our travels this past summer. I'll show you some other photos of it in the next post to give you a better sense of its scale. While there I spotted a little grasshopper on the cross, and as the sun was setting this little creature cast an enormous shadow on the white metal surface--a shadow which, unforuntately, my camera did not always capture. Naturally I couldn't stop taking photos, and I now have nearly twenty photos of the little guy. While taking them I sensed that I was doing something special. I knew that, yes, somehow these would be among the best photos I've taken. (With the results in front of me, I'm not so sure, but I'm merely conveying the feeling I experienced at the time.) There was something lovely and puzzling about the shot--the enormity of the cross was bafflingly a fitting setting for this tiny little creature. My mind went wild with gratitude about the good fortune of finding Jiminy, and it sparked a train of thought that would take too much effort now to capture. But somehow all things in the universe, high and low, meek and mighty, felt to me as though they belonged to one another in a crazy and even incongruent but ultimately fantabulous unity.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Non-depressing photos, pt. 7 of 10 (fence and beach)

I'm worried about this post. I find it a touch melancholy. Does it make the grade, oh positive ones out there? Let a morbid brother know. If not, does the one below cut it? I like it a touch less, but it's in color and so probably a touch cheerier.

Non-negative photos, pt. 6 of 10 (hands, cherries and the magic blue table)

News flash!!!!

I like hands.

A brief interlude from the non-negativity

Question: how many of the criteria below did I here violate? Let a white boy know.

1. They can't be depressing--no dark themes. "Contemplative" is okay. "Haunted" is not.
2. They can't be gloomy.
3. They can't be foreboding.
4. They can't be creepy.
5. They can't be revolting.
6. They can't be ugly, though they need not be pretty.
10. No voo-doo dolls, creepy or otherwise. (Y'all will see a creepy doll in 2010. So you got that to look forward to.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Non-negative photos, pt. 5 of 10 (bubbles, glass and light)

Dishwater + a dark kitchen + drinking glasses + flashlight = happy times.

Non-negative photos, pt. 4 of 10 (Happy happy happy from head to toes)

Some things you should know.

1. When Andy and I had that argument about destroying the stadium with a sledgehammer such that no stone would stand upon another, his original answer was--get this--thirty days.

Thirty days.

My response, after I picked my jaw up off the ground, is less clearly etched in my memory (and Andy's, since I consulted him about this). I think I said it would take him the rest of his life.

You see why we're bitter about this?

2. The eyeballs belong to Lydia Freeman, a recent Berry graduate (with honors). She's a very fine photographer, and her speciality is close-ups of persons. She does cheerful better than I can ever hope to, both in photography and in life. Ms. Freedman liked to brighten my office, but she actually never took one of my classes. (I wonder whether the two are linked.)

3. The feet belong to a Berry Elementary kid. I was taking photos of these colored shells (excuse me---shells of color), when some kids insisted walking by my camera. I have no idea whose feet they are, but what made me post them here along with Lydia's feet is because Lydia herself actually loves sandals. (Just a little inside joke.)

4. This non-negative project is quite challenging for me not just because I don't have that many photos that fit the bill, but also because (Steven Taylor's joking aside) I do think it's hard for me to know what others will see as cheerful--or at least as non-negative.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Non-negative photos, pt. 3 of 10 (red, blue, green and yellow)

See how I did that? You didn't know the past two posts were leading to this, did you?

"Why I Take Such Clever Photos" by Friedrich Bailey

The photo is of a stained-glass window from a church in town where Lydia is taking a communicant's class.

Non-negative photos, pt. 2 of 10 (Yellow)

So it seems there is a difference of opinion about these.


These are NOT negative.

Or, are they?

Let a white boy know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Non-negative photos, pt. 1 of 10 (Red, blue and green).

Okay, I start for real now. The lighthouse was just a little warm-up, a little practical joke between you and me.

Ha ha. Whew. Good one.

Fighting through the lighthouse cliche

Or trying to in any event.

A non-negative photo, the 1st of 10.

From Steven Taylor: "Ah, mi amigo, not just "pretty" (as we ALL know what that means). I want to see something arty yet not pretty and not about death.

No creepy voodoo dolls need apply."

A little background. Steven and I spent a day together in Alabama recently visiting the Birmingham Art Museum and walking around botanical gardens. Your average garden-variety Alabama-style heterosexual male activity, if you ask me.

But I digress. Or was I in the story deep enough to digress? Perhaps I'm still prefacing.

In either case, when Steven and I were touring the museum, I called an art piece "pretty" as a pretentious art slam, noting how in the art world "pretty" is a derisive term. Art need not be beautiful, though it's lovely if it is. But if the best you can say of it is that it's pretty, then, wow, you might as well as be saying that the artist may some day be ready to apprentice for Thomas Kinkade. You may as well give the artist the cyanide capsule and be done with it.

So that's why Steven is teasing me about pretty.

But I'm not anti-pretty, though I generally think art should be more than pretty. And I'm certainly pro-beauty.

So here's my challenge for the remainder of 2009. I want to see whether I can find (or take!) ten generally uplifting or nice photos.

My non-negative photos must meet the following criteria:

1. They can't be depressing--no dark themes. "Contemplative" is okay. "Haunted" is not.
2. They can't be gloomy.
3. They can't be foreboding.
4. They can't be creepy.
5. They can't be revolting.
6. They can't be ugly, though they need not be pretty.
7. That being said, pretty is acceptable. (I'm not going to be making art here. Sorry, Steven, for changing your rules a bit. I like pretty photos; I just don't think it's something real artists need aspire to.)
8. They can be arty (i.e. something striking and interesting that causes a moment of thought).
9. I can't cheat and show photos of my smiling kids, who make every picture happy.
10. No voo-doo dolls, creepy or otherwise. (Y'all will see a creepy doll in 2010. So you got that to look forward to.)

Okay, to summarize. I need to post ten pictures that are either pretty OR arty but no depressing, gloomy, foreboding, creepy, revolting, or ugly.

Readers, I think this is going to be VERY challenging for me.

I'm serious.

This is my first attempt. Not bad, eh?

What's that you say? I broke rule nine??! D'OH! Okay, so let's try this.

What? No good? Sororicide isn't funny. Right. You're right. Okay, so let me try this.

Sigh....this is challenging. I like this as a fun shot of my sis-in-law, Kristin. (Yep. I'm outing everyone by name, baby.) But it's not especially pretty, though that's not Kristin's fault. (You know what I'm saying, people!) The shot wasn't meant to be pretty but zany. And it's not that arty.

Oh, bother. What have I done to myself?!

My last try for the day.

This is pretty, right?

It''''s Thomas Kinkadean!!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Chicago skyline

My memory is going. It's sad. Have I posted this? (I took it in July of this year, so I would have posted since then, obviously.)

It's taken from the Indiana Sand Dunes, which are some 30-40 miles from downtown Chicago. I zoomed my camera to its maximum, and I punched up the buildings just a touch to see them better. It's a nice scene, man.


I can do pretty, too, you know. And now is the season (check out last December's posts) when Steven Taylor torments me for posting only doom and gloom. So I've been looking over my 2009 photos to post some end-of-year happy pictures.

No, don't laugh.

I'm not finished with my search. I'll find something, I'm quite confident. First searches are often inadequate. They're in there. Plenty of them. Just you wait.


Oh, on an altogether different note, if anyone would like to email me a couple happy photos, that'd be just great.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Have I posted these before?

Let a brother know.

I think I've posted them before but I can't find the post.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Come sweet death (by poison-tipped lances)

Keep or remove? Let a brother know.

This is my third take at a title: The call is for something dark and brooding and non-pansyish. Hopefully this will do. But if not, be sure to let me know. I'll be sure to change it for you.

I always do.

Monday, December 07, 2009

IT'S PLANTS!!!!! ZOMBIES BE PLANTS!!!!!!! (!!!!!)

This zombie swallowed up a river!!!

This zombie ate a biker!! Poor thing.

This zombie is disguised as Mick Jagger's lips!!!

This zombie is about to hatch!!

Look at the...the...the...umm, "claws" on this zombie!!!

“Slow moving... Meat eating... Here longer than we humans have been.... Silently plotting... Rotting yet still alive...”