the categorical days: Photography

December 14, 2005

fountain + flash

Okay, sometimes using a camera flash isn't always bad

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October 27, 2005


5 bucks a piece

I fought hard to get a photo of the little fella selling these figures alongside bonsai trees on the side of the road. His english broken, he kindly declined a portrait. I wondered what he was hiding from...

I bought a 3 year old tree anyway.

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October 22, 2005

Ford Rust

No plastic bumper

I'm always curious how today's automobiles will degrade. I'm guessing it won't be with this much integrity.

A bigger view

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October 07, 2005

Skipped photos

Well, 20 of them at least...

In between my laptop's second hinge breaking (which held up the display), some pokes and prods from doctors, and trying to stay on top of work responsibilities—I really have been taking photos pretty much daily. Carving out time to post however, has been slim. So I'll just put all these out there and maybe one day go back and fill in the blanks with a bit more detail.

Photos20 shots

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June 15, 2005

Manual focus

Depth of field

I (always) forget how major a variable weather can be on mood. The oppressive heat is gone for now, and in its place were big fluffy clouds and a fine breeze—bordering on gusts.

I went up north to haul some lumber and turn it into a sliding door. While waiting for my friend to show up for duty, I walked to the edge of a hayfield and just watched it moving in the wind.

I don't think I've ever written about the replacement camera from when I lost the Sony. Somewhere in the middle of February I picked up a Canon 20D with standard lens.

It's changed the way I've taken photos a little. Foremost, it's more conspicuous. Which usually is not beneficial, but in some cases, folks assume you are doing it for a purpose and seem less bothered.

I'm just now getting comfortable with it—using manual settings more than the standard "P" (automatic) mode.

So as I sat there surrounded by hay, squinting in the viewfinder through the lens, it felt pretty good. Maybe the breeze lifted some of the heaviness that's been stickin' round. Of course, if it's humid as all get-out tomorrow, all bets are off.

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April 27, 2005

Cloud, Edge, Tree, Blue, Hay, Bus

From gray to blue to yellow

PhotosSome extra photos from the day.

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April 24, 2005


A view from the birthing floor of the hospital

The houses outlying the university district look sort of neato from up high.

Bigger version of the photo (430 KB)

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April 02, 2005

Photos from NYC

89 clicks

PhotosA (large) slice of my trip last weekend in New York...

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February 23, 2005

Imagination at work

A first person view of the CT Scanner
LASER APERTURE : Do not stare into beam

Every six months I have to get some tests done to make sure my bionic parts are not going haywire. It never fails that the days leading up to the tests and subsequent visit with the doctor keep me up at night more than I usually keep myself up at night.

Getting a CT-scan is a shot in the dark—procedures vary between institutions. I am happy to report that a glowing enema was not required this trip around. I just had the contrast injected and the attendant warned me that effects vary. I may experience a warm feeling that would make it seem like I "made it" in my pants and a funny metallic taste in my mouth. Both rang true. Luckily, these feelings subsided rather quickly.

Tomorrow, I go back for a scan of "the other half" and get results next week.

Lots of photo opportunities around the hospital...

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February 06, 2005


Lookin sorta sharp

I remember reading this article by Ken Rockwell, "Why Your Camera Does Not Matter" and thinking there was some truth to it.

I should take a moment and mention that going without a camera for 25 some odd days was both nice and sad. It was nice to just be in the moment and not worry if I brought along the heavy beast that was my old camera.

It was nice to find new ways to remember things. I paid attention to details. I picked up a pencil more often and used paper. It was refreshing.

At the same time though, my journaling slowed down. Taking photos has been a great and easy way for me to remember and record the day. I tend to limit how much time I spend writing an entry. Having a set of photos to cull from was a great cue.

Aside from all that, I think I'm getting the hang of this new device. I have to be more patient and take time to make sure the settings are adequate. My list of complaints is short, but I can satiate this desire to record life much easier. And this is good.

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August 12, 2004

The cheap seats

The tickets were cheaper than the beer

The day ended with a spur of the moment diversion for me, joining up with friends for an early evening game of baseball. I hadn't been to the new Great American Ball Park yet, but I didn't need any other excuse. Perfect weather and four dollar bleacher seats sweetened the deal. In return for a great view of the game, we couldn't see the jumbo video screen.

I learned a slew of baseball terms, and have immediately forgotten them.

I thought the Dodgers were from New York. I'm just fifty years or so behind, apparently.

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August 08, 2004

Prom 2004

Some of the good stuff

It never fails that I remember all the people I should invite the day of the party. This wasn't just any party though, it was Prom 2004—the blowout bash at the studio.

There were retro videogames projected on the wall, 80's music (and I snuck in some recordings made within the past year), a balloon arch, and beer in the fridge.

The disco ball was lit one last time.

PhotosWarning, photos of mullets and big hair ahead.

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July 06, 2004

Independence Day Parade

The fire dept was able to make the parade, this after the countless calls they had last night, blaring their sirens out my window.

Art and I crawled up on the roof last night to see the fireworks off in the distance of every direction. Seems that firecrackers sold on the sides of the interstate are approaching professional quality. Scary stuff, but pretty. Luckily we were safe from any stray ones gone wonky.

I'm not sure if it was a twinge of patriotism or simple celebration that got me wistful. At one moment though, that moment of pride vanished. I wondered if this is what the skies look like in Iraq.

Art left early this afternoon before the route for the parade would prevent his escape from Northside.

I went up to my mom's house, located right at the beginning of the spectacle. My sis, niece, brother, grandmother and mom sat on the porch enjoying the breeze and lemonade.

Old favorites like the Ladies Auxiliary Lawnchair brigade and the Men's Drill Team were present, along with a VERY large group of Republicans for Kerry.

I've not seen such a political bent against a President in my lifetime, Clinton's ridiculous impeachment attempt aside.

A big grillout with all the expected fixins was had. One sole tomato from the garden was ripe and we divvied up slices. It was delicious.

My stomachs full again, now that I've finished off a plate of leftovers.

PhotosI took plenty of photos.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Photography | | Comments (0)

May 17, 2004


Hi, we're just three bearded men hanging out at the skatepark with no wheels. Don't mind us. Or the camera.

«Rewind — Sunday in Louisville.

There's lots of fun ways to say Louisville:
- Looavul.
- Looeyville.
- Looaville.
- LouEville.
- And my personal choice, Luhvul.

My last day there and we spent the day getting up leisurely, then off to breakfast at Lynn's Paradise Cafe. Super yummy, and oodles of atmosphere. The gift store provided lots of fun, trying on hats, hairpieces and glasses, paying no mind to the germs.

A quick trip to another store of kitsch and we were off, to see Colonel Sanders' grave, the big Louisville Slugger bat, Churchill Downs, and a skate park downtown. That's where the photo above was taken.

Somewhere in the midst, Bob and I fought about whose cherry limeade was diet. The Sonic girl that took our order didn't seem to know, but then again, she didn't seem to know that she was working. If she was in roller skates, I would have forgiven her.

Overall, I have to say, I wish the drive to Columbus was 1/8th as beautiful as it is to Louisville. The rolling hills and tree lined highway is just sublime. The city itself makes me realize how Southern the state really is in attitude. It's got personality, lots of liquor stores, and sweet tea.

I have gobs of photos from Wonderfest, but until I sift through them all, I can only offer...

Photosthese pictures from Sunday.

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April 19, 2004


A blur

I'll attempt to capture some essence of my trip to New York City, but as the rhythm of home and work crescendo, there will be gaps.

I've seen NYC a handful of times — each visit completely different than the prior one.

My first time, with my brother 14 years ago revealed a dark but fascinating place. Clubs and tight shirts then retreats to Long Island where he lived. The compressed neighborhoods and filth. Then there were the museums, my mouth open, pointing and yelling to my brother, that's (insert famous work from Art History 101).

Years later, another trip with friends, dancing all night at a rave hopped up on some drug of the alphabet, sweating and smiling, leaving at dawn for mimosas at an outdoor cafe in SoHo. Crashing the afternoon away, piled up on the living room floor of our host, only to wake up in the evening to people-watch on the lower east side from the fire escape.

Then, a business trip where I was scared and alone, but managed to befriend someone from the company to take in a reading of poetry in some trendy district. The lunches paid for by company card — I'm still not able to remove the taste of steamed dumplings that lingers in my noggin, hoping to find them again.

Years passed before I returned. This time for a long weekend with a business colleague, pampering ourselves with a stay at some Leona Helmsley hotel with a fantastic view of Central Park.

I found each visit to the city increases my comfort with the vertical expanse and blur of people. Each time, it seems cleaner and more approachable.

A formidable hat tip to Thor, for the company and touring. He made the few days I had there what it was.

I can't really put it all together, so I'll just whittle this to bullet points:

  • Learning new words like monograph and bukkake (though the spelling of the latter may be all wrong)
  • Finding out that I am not the only one on this planet who sweats as profusely.
  • Catching the waft of air that Nayland occupied, and smoking one of his big fat cigars.
  • Meeting Matt and not realizing he was a fella I've been stalking reading for a few weeks.
  • Eating the most delicious strawberry ever at the potluck dinner. In fact, every bit of food on the table that night was exceptionally full of flavor.
  • Rubbin elbows with Glenn around the poker table, and rubbing his backfur as I gave him a hug leaving.
  • The bookstores. The Strand in particular.

Hell, I can't remember it all.

PhotosHere, just look at the photos...

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April 03, 2004

Spring Grove


The day was entirely too beautiful to be indoors, so I opted out of any museuming in favor of a walk outside. I called up my grandmother to see if she was game, and it was a wrestling match with the phone - my wireless connection and my mom's broken receiver.

We managed to get it together though, and met up mid afternoon for a driving and walking tour of Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, located right around the corner in Northside.

History tidbits:

  • Founded in 1845, the original area of 166 hilly acres was purchased for $16,000. It was named Spring Grove because of the numerous springs and ancient groves of trees on the property.
  • It now encompasses 733 acres of which 400 acres are landscaped and maintained.
  • At first, I heard that this place was designed by the same fella behind Central Park. Not true. There's another Spring Grove Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut that has this distinction.
  • The arboretum, with over 1,200 species, has 1,000 labeled for study.
  • There's a section where Gypsies are buried, noted by red granite monuments.
  • The landscape "lawn plan" concept was created here.
  • Forty generals from the Civil War are "planted" in Spring Grove
It was a great day, leisurely wandering between things that caught our eye. At points we were on the ground, examining acorns and moss. Turns out, my grandmother (who prefers that moniker over Me-Maw) was married in a funeral home.

PhotosMore photos

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March 26, 2004

Northside Tavern

Doodling at the keyboard (of a laptop)

I'm getting hot tips from Alex up in Columbus of music I should check out.

So I wandered down the street and into the Northside Tavern around 10pm last night. The band I was encouraged to see was still setting up, but it would take a while. They had all these video monitors and robots to plug in. Not only that, but that had to get in their special outfits.

You have to respect a band that makes an effort to dress the part of rock and roller.

Their set was energetic, though the acoustics of the bar didn't quite complement theirs. More room for dancing would've been good. Oh yeah, and people that dance. On the video monitors, snippets of PaRappa The Rappa, Underoo commercials and Mattel action figures. Lots of blast from the past stuff that put a grin on the faces of those that knew of them – nerds. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

A strange crowd filters into this tavern. This is where all the hip kids are, I think. Out of college or luck, sporting the fancy expensive shoes meant to look beat up and old. One chick in particular, decked out in white sequined stretch pantsuit kept tugging at the fabric bunching up around her pooch. I felt bad for her. Some burly biker types occupied the pool tables in the back alongside the Banana Republic boys.

Hell, folks even talked to me and there was enough light to see faces and read lips. Of course, most were asking questions about the camera. It's like walking a dog in the park.

After Oxymoronatron left the stage, I hung out on the curb to watch their stuff as the next band crammed into the corner of the bar. Infinite Number of Sounds was most excellent. I could blather on and on, but it's Saturday and I have stuff to do.

PhotosThere were photos

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March 19, 2004


Basement rehearsal

So you know how you have one of those nights where you are just havin' one helluva time, eating and drinking and listening to loud music and laughing a lot – and you just wish you had a little notepad to write down all the far-out ideas that get slung around?

I had one of those evenings. It was this past St. Patrick's Day, in fact.

After work, I went to hang out with Alex, her husband and their friends up in Columbus.

While his band, Junior High Mustache, practiced and mixed with another band downstairs, I hung out for a tour of their abode, rich with color and the most carefully placed knickknacks, music, memorabilia and artwork, ever. My blank walls hide in shame.

There was Pasta.

Beer in green bottles.

Tears from Tenacious D - The Complete Master Works DVD.

Laugher as Courtney Hole made mild entertainment history on Letterman.

Framing all this absorption of sights and sounds, was good fun conversation.

PhotosI took some really bad photos

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March 19, 2004

2004 Auto Show, Columbus OH

The new Nissan Quest - weerdest production interior of the lot

I love lookin' at cars. I figure it's like women and shoes, or purses.

I can window shop and feel sated.

The auto show this year was filled with more retro-updates and fancy tail lights that've become so popular of late. Aside from a bland showing from VW (I don't fit in the Toerag and the pricetag on the Phaeton is LUDICROUS) - it was a mostly good waste of time.

I think Ford's renewed interest in cars is a good thing. American automakers love to let things fester to a point where it just damages their entire line.

I couldn't find the new Corvette, but that's okay, I think the loss of popup headlamps to fit within European standards is a mistake.

Let's see, what else? Oh, I think gray is the new black for 2004. Most models sported the subdued hue.

I think to spice up attendance, automakers should dress the car model models in pvc or rubber.

PhotosHere's a few angles that caught my eye.

Filed under: Design, Photography | | Comments (0)

December 07, 2003


Sunshine on my bamboo makes me happy

I can only grow one thing, er, let me rephrase, I can only not kill one thing: Bamboo.

I don't let this bother me, because I am not very good at many things, and there are others that do them very well. It's the blending of our talents that lends some semblance of balance to things.

The bamboo survives as I leave for long trips and neglect it for weeks. Just some fresh water now and then, and we get along just fine.

This morning, the sun was shining nicely in the bathroom window and the bamboo seemed well.

PhotosBamboo galore.

Filed under: Photography, Pondersome | | Comments (0)

November 01, 2003

So many memories, too many photos

Halloween 2003

It started off handing out candy to trick or treaters. Turns out kids think "grab a couple" means a handful.

Then I went to a party. Turns out chicks can pick up chairs while their head is against a wall. I knew this, just never tried it.

Then I headed out to the bar. Turns out Halloween is the time to go out and buy cheap ill-fitting leather.

I dressed comfortably, Target pumpkin tee and some eye makeup. Turns out, subtlety in makeup disturbs people. "Are you ok?" "You look tired" "Stop looking at me"

PhotosA couple random Halloween shots.

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October 16, 2003


5, 7, 5 x 5

dark and empty road
my morning jacket sings
warning light warning light rah

sumo buddies bob
bathroom dispenser drakkar
lot lizard head nod

semi reflected
lit like whooville christmas
dennis weaver duel

this ridiculous
endless gastank pilfering
maybe Prius next

orange barrel slow
count the orange syllable
orange julius

Special thanks to the marmot for reminding me of the economy of haiku

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October 04, 2003

An early morning walk

French Park

I was the epitome of homebody last night. A couple of rented movies became background blurs as I sat on the couch and surfed for a while.

I had half a mind to pull some Lego® from the basement and just tinker, but I got sucked into a book instead. I ate soup. I went to bed early.

This morning I went for my usual Saturday breakfast and read at the counter while mixing up toast with the eggs over medium.

There was a distinct crispness in the air as I left and decided to go for a casual walk through the woods. It rained last night, but it must have been a brief dousing. The ground was hard underneath, but the top film of mud was slick.

I passed no one.

Enjoying the green canopy of trees, I walked along the creek; hunkering my four-eyed self to peer closely at the waters edge for details.

There was nothing cryptic about the moment.

I felt okay.

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September 19, 2003


SNAKE! (runs in opposite direction)

So I'm up north to check out a friend's farmin progress. There's a snake infested tree there. Big ones apparently. I was scared just holding the camera up to it. As if it might leap out the 8 feet between us and go straight for my jugular.

Once, as a kid, I wandered back to the woods on the edge of our property. At some point, when it was time to head home, I was at the edge of the tree line and saw this King Cobra just staring at me from many yards away. I was backed into a corner. There was no other way to pass through, unless I confronted the beast.

It swayed and stared at me. Poised to attack, I was sure.

I sat on the ground and hugged my knees, weeping silently for what seemed like hours. King Cobras in Ohio? My small mind reeled.

Finally, I looked up and noticed he hadn't moved much. So I began a slow skirting with the precious little open space to the side. As I got closer, the details became clearer.

It was a stick.

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September 15, 2003

Queen City Balladeers 40th Anniversary Reunion and Hootenanny

Michael Sylvester with the River City String Band

The folk music get together was held at the Old St. George Center next to campus. A converted church, it serves multiple community purposes now. It's a pretty fantastic building, and the evening light coming through the stained glass lent a warm glow to the evening.

This was the reunion, after 40 years of successfully bringing together folk artists to extend the music throughout the community. It felt like a family reunion, complete with potluck dinner and groups of all ages milling about. There was fried chicken. And little kids tugging on parents hands. And camera flashes mixed in with excited hellos. Handshakes. Hugs.

Then the music began. One of the founders, Jacque Morgan started off the evening after everyone was fed. With only an acoustic guitar, she strummed and delivered amusing and reflective original tunes. She hadn't been onstage in a while, and it would've been hard to guess. My foot started tappin' as she whirled through her short set.

She was followed by another founder, Michael Sylvester with the River City String Band. Their sound was naturally fuller with instrumentation and there was a moment of sing-along. I didn't know the words, but felt the audience's voice. It felt familiar. Time seemed to creep backwards to a simpler, hopeful day and age. Maybe this is what church could be like, if I would attend.

Wild Carrot, a husband and wife duo stood out as a band I'd like to learn more about. Their simple arrangements and her vocals were shining.

The highlight was Jean Ritchie. Her traditional folk songs were almost eerie. Sometimes a cappella, or with her lone string accompaniment of mountain dulcimer. She seemed a patron saint and the crowd listened attentively. Her voice at 83 I believe I overheard, sounded like a young woman. She proved hard to photograph which made her seem all the more surreal.

Wendy Tom and I left after her set, exhausted from the day. We came to see the impetus behind our first t-shirt, which turned out pretty awesome, aside from some registration issues. So successful, we even made a baby sized version.

It was a bright slice of life.

Filed under: Cincinnati, Music, Photography | | Comments (0)

September 08, 2003


Grilled pork chops, sweet corn on the cob, scalloped potatoes, salad with homegrown bell pepper, french bread and iced tea.

My mom and brother, now with grandma in tow, have made their backyard a slice of paradise. Each time I visit, there are new areas carved out with stones and flowering plants. When I first saw the house, I knew it would be lots of work to make it feel a home. The transformation continues to amaze me.

I look forward to the day when I've got a place with some land. I don't think i'd be as good at it though.

Dinner was tasty. The pork chop's amount of spice was up for discussion, but I thought they were tasty. Marvels over the crispness of the bell pepper circled the table.

Afterward, I dinked around with the first generation Bondi iMac in the breakfast room. It works, it's just s l o w. Then I had some catch-up time with my mom on the couch before some strawberry cake. I like talking to my mom. It's easy to just spout off everything I'm feeling and she gets it. It's like free therapy.

Filed under: Family, Food, Photography | | Comments (0)

June 01, 2003

Contemporary Art


Contemporary Arts CenterI spent most of the day working with Tom to assemble the silk-screen machine, only to find out, near the end, we had installed some stuff upside down, and failed to put a bushing at the bottom to make it spin proper.

Once we realized this, it was time to throw in the towel.

We decided to pick up where we left off tomorrow and prepare for the evenings festivities.

The Contemporary Arts Center was hosting a grand opening gala for the new building.

Super crowded, lots of energy, and a perfectly curated opening. Art felt more relevant than it had in some time for me, and sharing that realization within the community made it all the more powerful. (Though I look forward going back when there's more air.)

UPDATE: Photos from the evening now online.

Filed under: Arts, Cincinnati, Photography | | Comments (0)

May 09, 2003

Chad turns 30.

Back in two-thousand and Oh three..

Starting my day off in Columbus after a night on the town and not enough sleep, I drove to the airport to hop over to St Louis. Sounds simple enough, but the thunderstoms in between the cities put the delay on my flight. A big delay.

I touch ground in STL at 7:10pm. I'm supposed to be there at 7:30 (even though no one knows, it's a surprise). I grab a rental car, an electric blue Ford Focus... and wander the highway without benefit of mapquest.

I know St Louis pretty well now, I'm proud to say.

I get there to the bar with minutes to spare and the back is filled up with folks in Hawaiian shirts, plastic leis and glowsticks. It was a rave without the drugs.

I took role of tall unknown dorky photographer and had a grand time wandering about the bar Photostaking photos and chatting with familiar and new faces.

Wrapped up, went back to the three bears house to unwrap a fine bowl made out of a seashell. Packed.

The couch was comfy.

Filed under: Friends, Photography, Travel | | Comments (0)

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