Camp Humiston Pool, Pontiac, Illinois

One of the few remaining above-ground public swimming pools, Camp Humiston Pool in Pontiac, Illinois is impractical to restore and will likely be slated for demolition unless it can be repurposed. Built in 1925, is has been left to decay for many years but is still fondly remembered by many who came here during summers past. This video is for my friend Diane.

Blue-eyed grass

I took this photo on a long hike with Vince a month or so ago. Because of the wet winter, their was an abundance of wildflowers to be photographed.

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum), 2011

Mom

During my mother’s recent visit to California, I got her attention as she was having a conversation in her cousin’s kitchen. The paperback book and binoculars on the table in front of her are the perfect props, representing her other favorite activities: reading mystery novels and watching birds.

My mother, photographed in Meadow Vista, California, USA, April 2011.

My mother, photographed in Meadow Vista, California, USA, April 2011.

Penguin?

African PenguinThat’s what I do–design Web sites for clients, figuring out how the sites should work and making sure they are easy for people to use. The field is called “information architecture,” which means nothing to anybody except those of us in the Web design world. It’s not graphic design, it’s not programming, it’s somewhere in between.

What’s that have to do with penguins? Nothing.

 

Greenland dawn

Greenland at dawn from 36,000 feet, 2007

Different from the mostly cloud-covered or nighttime flights from Europe to the U.S., as we approached the east coast of Greenland, the skies cleared for an unbelievable view of the coastal mountain range, buried in miles of glaciers and lit by the low winter sun. This is the ice sheet that Al Gore is talking about in “An Inconvenient Truth” and is at risk of melting due to climate change, flooding coasts around the world.

I found it incredible to look at this view and think that entire mountains hide beneath the snow, completely buried except for the peaks. Is it possible that, in my lifetime, the mountains could be laid bare, with entire valleys exposed after hundred of thousands of years? Besides the mountains, what else is buried in all that snow?

Cincinnati, 1980

Cincinnati, 1980

I got my first 35mm camera when I was in high school, a Pentax ME Super, which I used for almost 20 years. When digital cameras came out in the late 1990s, I made the switch from film to bits and now switch cameras every 3 years or so.

I recently uncovered some of my first photographs, which were predominantly taken on slide film. With the help of a recently acquired film scanner, I was able to scan and view some of those old photos in detail for the first time in years, including this image of a forest preserve in winter taken just after New Year’s in 1980 (I’m pretty certain). My family was visiting my Aunt Shirley in Cincinnati on our way back from our annual visit to my grandparents in southern Florida. It was always shocking driving back up north, being reintroduced to numbing winter winds after three weeks of warm sun and ocean breezes, so the family went for a drive through a local park and I took just a couple photos, including this one–film was precious then and photos were taken sparingly and with intention.

Compared to the many digital photos I’ve taken over the years, the effects in this winter scene are dreamy and strictly analog. The graininess, over exposure and even the dust add qualities that I had completely forgotten about since going digital.

Henry watching after the world

Henry at the window, 1978My dad found Henry at a pound in the suburbs of Chicago in 1975. Henry was too skittish for his previous owner, who originally named him “Mellow” (it was 1975). With a little training, he finally did mellow.

I took this photo of Henry in 1980 as he rested his head in the window, something he did every day, watching the world go by. This photo really captures the ’70s for me, complete with gold shag carpet and a macrame plant hanger.