Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On The Run

Another from our trip to Florida.  yet another SOOC (3 days in a row!).  This one isn't from the iPhone, though.  Rather, my trusty Nikon P340.

I do very little sooc.  Virtually no sooc.  It has always seemed like an arbitrary constraint to me, even in the film days.  What did Ansel Adams say?  "The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print the performance."  But in these cases over the last few days...  I'm quite satisfied without adding any tweaks.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It's A Beautiful Morning...

Another photo from my iPhone 7...  And another SOOC

This was taken at the Methodist Camp on Little Grassy Lake,

Monday, November 28, 2016

iPhone 7 Panoramas - Florida Style

So, just back from a Thanksgiving trip to Florida, visiting one of my kids (and family).  Good trip, and quite a few (hopefully) good images to process.  Here's a couple of panoramas shot with my iPhone 7.  Straight-out-of-camera (sooc) except for resizing.  I'm rather impressed with the quality of these, it is quite rare for me to allow un-tweaked images to be seen....

Lake Monroe (St. John's River), Sanford, Florida. 
This is from in front of the New Tribes Mission building, looking west towards the Monroe Harbour marina.

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Ormond Beach, Florida
Looking south.  This was less than an hour after low tide, so we had a lot of beach to play on...

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Throwback Thursday - While Biking Near Belknap

Throwback Thursday, looking back at the Better-Photo years.  Many of these may have been posted here before, but probably not recently.  Hope you enjoy:

Way back when, I did a Bike/Canoe/Hike excursion in the Cache River area of Southern Illinois.  This is from the bike part of the trip...  I don't really remember when this was... I'm thinking its late 1990's, and shot on film...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


"I am grateful for what I am and have.  My thanksgiving is perpetual"
Henry David Thoreau
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Cades Cove, GSMNP.  probably 2002

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Indian Summer

Just a little something from Pleasant Ridge Park earlier this week.  Rather heavily effected...

I suppose the term is not politically correct these days, but I was reminded of the old Poco song....  the title track from their 1977 album, which would be their last with Timothy B. Schmidt (before he joined the Eagles).  Not their best album, and a little bit of a letdown after "Rose Of Cimarron".  But it has some high points (including the ttitle track).

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Time Fades Away...

I'm pretty sure this house is (and has been) vacant for a while...But the feild in front of it is still "active".

Friday, November 18, 2016

Worth the Rush

You may remember a recent post about my last minute submission to a Photo Contest at a local library.  (here).  Well, I'm really glad I made the effort to get something submitted.  I received an email this afternoon notifying me that one of my 3 entries received an 1st place (in the Animals category).  How cool is that!!

Here's the winner:

2016 1st Place Animal category
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I know it is silly, and not really particularly meritorious, but it does make me happy!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Spokane River Park

Throwback Thursday, looking back at the Better-Photo years.  Many of these may have been posted here before, but probably not recently.  Hope you enjoy:

Another from a business trip.  Early / Mid 2000's.  A bit downstream from the city of Spokane, the Spokane River runs through a park area.  It was one of my favorite places to visit back then, maybe 10 minutes from downtown.  At some point in the late 2000's (by 2008) they had made it so that you needed to have a paid window sticker to visit...  problematic when travelling.  There was probably a solution, but I never found the time to figure it out....

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I can See The Concrete Slowly Creepin'...

I try and walk at lunch, when the weather's OK.  And we're in a real sweet-spot these days.  Not too hot, not to cold...  Which isn't especially relevant to this photo, except that it was taken during one of thoses lunctime strolls...

This was a spot of farmland in the midst of suburbia, something that is not uncommon here in SW Illinois.  Probably 20 Acres, with neighborhoods on 3 sides, and a park on the 4th side.  But, in all too typical fashion, this is being converted to a neighborhood.

Part of me hates to see it, and I'm reminded of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song All I Can Do Is Write About It....  or any number of songs about urban sprawl.  (name your favorite in the comments!)

On the other hand, my home for the past 25+ years is built of converted farmland...  so I probably shouldn't get too indignant.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Concert Review – Al Stewart / Gary Wright / The Empty Pockets

Last Friday (November 11) was the long awaited Al Stewart / Gary Wright concert at the Wildey Theater.  I say long awaited, because the concert was originally scheduled to be August 20, but had to be rescheduled.  And the Concert was announced May 17th, and quickly sold out.  So there was a 6 month lag (almost) from when I bought tickets until the show.  No matter, it was worth the wait!
First off, The Wildey.  One of my all time favorite venues.  A converted movie theater in downtown Edwardsville, IL.  Originally built in 1909, it has charm, good acoustics and about 330 super cozy seats.  
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The Empty Pockets are a band out of Chicago, I had never heard of them.  I don’t know how they got the gig, but they played as opening act, then backed up both “headliners”.  And they did a really good job!  I picked up their newest album at the show, always happy to support new acts.  I didn’t make note of their setlist, but listening to their album (and checking their web site) I’m pretty sure they played these songs (at least):  All I Need, The Barstool, You Know I Do, Find Or Fail…   Plus one of the best versions of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah I’ve heard. 
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Al Stewart came on next.  He was still pretty spry at 71 years old, and his voice has held up well.  His between song banter was great.  He played about an hour, the following songs (in order):  Sirens Of Titan, Palace Of Versailles, Gina In The Kings Road, Time Passages, On The Border, Midas Shadow, SoHo (Needless To Say), Valentina Way, Year Of The Cat.
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After a short break, Gary Wright took the stage.  At 73, he’s not quite as spry…  Not particularly mobile, and did not play keyboards (except for a few chords on one or two songs).  But his voice is still strong, and he certainly seemed engaged.  His set was shorter, about 40 minutes, but (predictably) more rocking that Stewart’s.  The Empty Pockets especially seemed to be having fun.  Gary Wright’s set (in order):  Can’t Find No Mercy, Better By You (SpookyTooth), I Know, Someone Like You, Love Taker, Love Is Alive, Dream Weaver.
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R.I.P. Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen,. and Mose Allison! ... and Holly Dunn!

2016 continues to be a bad year for folk in the music industry.  We lost a bunch of people in the first part of the year, then had a bit of a lull.  But in the span of a week, we both Leonard Cohen (11/7) and Leon Russell (11/13) passed away.  Two more members gone from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame….  UPDATE:  Just today (11/15) I just see Mose Allison died...  and Holly Dunn!!


Leonard Cohen, of course, is best known for writing the song "Hallelujah"...  which has been covered by pretty much everybody.  If you hadn't heard it before, you've certainly heard it in the past week.  But that's OK, it's a stunning song.  But, I must admit, I don't have any of his music (except for a few cover versions of Hallelujah), and I wasn't too bummed when he passed.  Leonard Cohen was 82.

Then last weekend, Leon Russell died.  Leon Russell is probably less well known than Cohen, but, much better known by me.  Even though he only had two (US) Top 40 hits (Tightrope and Lady Blue), he was well known, and well respected in the 70's AOR community.  I have a couple of his albums, and a compilation, and should have more (and will....).  Leon Russell was 74.

And Today?  Well Mose Allison has passed away. Allison was a Jazz musician, probably unknown among most rock and rollers.   However, he wrote "Young Man Blues" and "Eyesight To the Blind", two huge songs for the Who...  His songs were also covered by folks like The Clash, The Yardbirds, Elvis Costello and even Leon Russell!  I discovered Mose Allison after hearing Pete Townshend talk about him in an interview somewhere along the way....  Mose Allison was 89.

Lastly, Holly Dunn.  Holly Dunn was a country singer, and had 10 Top 40 hits (and two #1's) in the second half of the 80's.  I remember the name, and one or two of the songs....  but I'm not a huge country fan....  Holly Dunn was only 59...

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That's 4 notable music deaths in 9 days.  I hope we're not going to finish the year the way we started it...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Untitled #42,676

Reflections near the shore, walking the trail at St. Ellen Mine Park.

The area between the path and the lake is pretty griwn up, but with frequent spots that have been cleared.  As I was emerging from one (after taking this photo), I came across a woman also on a lunchtime walk.  She asked what I was taking pictures of....

It seemed little excessive to go into detail about the leaves in the water, the small plants poking above the water, all set off by the uneven textures of the water from the slight beeze....   and my intent to render it all in a slightly abstracted manner.   Which I might emphasize later in my editing software...   So I just said "reflections"....
She seemed satisfied by my response and left me to my devices.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday - On The Run

Throwback Thursday, looking back at the Better-Photo years.  Many of these may have been posted here before, but probably not recently.  Hope you enjoy:

More Buzz Simplifier...  Along the Foster Bike Trail, in Glen Carbon, ILIIRC, this is just north of where it crosses under I-270...

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

One Horse Blue

Just a little something from some lunchtime wanderings.  I kept waiting for the horse to raise it's head, but it wouldn't cooperate withing the bounds of my impatience...

Shout out to Poco for the post title, from the great song off the wonderful Cantamos album....

Mournin' Blues

The other day my son wanted to record one of his songs.  He wanted to use the two keyboards at our church:  the grand piano (because it sounds awesome) and the electronic keyboard (because it has MIDI recording capability).  Anyway, I went with him, just for company.  And to sneak a photo or two.  Like this one.

Exposure is 1/8th of a second, to show motion.  Handheld, but braced on the drumset....


"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Just Barely Made It....

So...  last year a friend encourage me to enter the photo contest at the local library.  And I snagged a 3rd place prize!

 2015 Entry, 3rd Place - Scenic

I've been thinking it was about time for the 2016 contest, but hadn't seen anything.  But then again, I hadn't actually gone looking.  Well, last Friday morning, I was reading Thursday's local paper, and saw an article about the contest.  Mentioning the fact that submissions were due Monday!

Well, I was pretty bummed...  and mad at myself.  But then I checked with one of the local photo shops, and discovered they could have prints delivered to their store by Monday, as long as they were uploaded early Saturday.  So I skimmed through my images since 10/2016, selected a few, reworked them for 8x10 prints....  and uploaded.  The wonderful folks at Creve Coeur Camera came through, and by noon Monday I had 1/2 dozen prints.  After work, my wife and son helped me pick the best 3, and I had them dropped off with probably 2 hours to spare!  Now to wait and see how they're received.

Next time, I need to be more alert...

Well, at least THAT's done....

This has been the most unpleasant election season I can recall.  Continuing a trend that goes back way too many years.  Worse and worse it gets....  But I still have to participate in the process...

I've heard that Negative Campaigning is prevalent because it works.  And I suppose I understand that (though I hate it).  But, seems to me that we've evolved from some negative to lots, to all.  And more and more hyperbole around it all. The primary reason to vote FOR somebody is that the other candidate is worse?

I suppose the end result is a choice between (major party) candidates with record "unlikable" ratings.  And we've reached that point. 

Wonder what comes next?  My biggest fear is that, like Christmas decorations in October, we'll start our campaigns earlier and earlier.


Monday, November 07, 2016

Between Times

So...  last week (Wednesday) I took a nice lunchtime walk at St. Ellen Mine Park.  As usual, I took my camera.  And found a few photos I like.  One is above.  I really likes the bright red autumn colors, contrasted with the background...  the curves of the leaves against the grid of the fence.  Blah, blah, blah.  But, there was a third leaf that didn't fit the composition.  So, I intervened and pinched it off.

Subsequently, I've come to believe that is quite probably Poison Ivy.   At least, something I touched in and around that time was poison ivy.  Something that I touched before wiping a bit of sweat from the corner of my eye and a couple other spots around my face.  It was either this or something else....


Friday, November 04, 2016


OK...  I generally avoid politics here...  Come to think of it, I generally avoid politics on all social media.  Because there's no actual discourse anymore.  Evidence below (with no comparative judgements intended):

I was browsing facebook feed a bit ago, and came across this post shared by a friend:

And about a dozen posts down, here's a post from a different friend:

Now.  I didn't click through to either site, because I know that there's a 99.9999999% chance that there's little "real" about either report, only highly slanted innuendo, rumors, wishes or downright lies.  I'll wager good money that neither friend even read the articles before sharing.

I do have to note the irony of a site that's clearly partisan naming themselves "bipartisan report"....  This group may be a lot of things, but "bipartisan" certainly isn't one of them. At least the second site "viral liberty" doesn't give that false impression.  Not to vouch for their content, all I see is the headlines (since I never click through).

C'mon people, is this any way to behave?  Does anybody really think that these kind of articles sway the folks on the other side?  Or fire up their own folk??  Or what? We need to all lead by example, stay out of the gutters, and avoid the hyperbole and hysterics.  Please?

I remember when people could disagree respectfully...  then again, maybe we didn't have to be quite so defensive about our options.  #getoffmylawn

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Throwback Thursday - Dogwood Blossoms

 Throwback Thursday, looking back at the Better-Photo years.  Many of these may have been posted here before, but probably not recently.  Hope you enjoy:

March 2004, Edwardsville IL...

Wednesday, November 02, 2016


"I more fear what is within me than what comes from without...."
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Another real oldie, from fall of 1978 (IIRC).  Taken on a backpacking trip in Central PA (Tuscarora Ridge).  I did a lot of soul searching on this trip, probably some key (though small) steps towards growing up.  The quote is rather relevant to that time 48 years ago.  Of course, I'm still trying to get my act together... 

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Abstract #9401

Intentional Camera Movement (ICM), plus a fair amount of post processing.  I rather like how it turned out.

The fact is...

I saw something somewhere recently (yeah, that's useless, I know) about creating a message by repeatedly clicking the middle suggested word in iPhone messaging.

I decided to give it a try, not sure what it says about me:

"The fact is I have a problem I don't want you here I am a bad friend to me."

Now, in truth, I did this over a week ago, and just got around to posting it here...  Seems like things aren't getting posted here.  So I guess I do have a problem. 

But I do want you here.  Honest!