Monday, January 31, 2011

On the Railroad

In honor of the fact that I am a bit tired of looking out the window and seeing winter, I looked up some railroad photos to look at this week. Maybe it will take the imagination on a trip away from winter snow of Chicago.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


A friend of mine, Ernie Klapmeier, invited me to a Revolutionary War encampment. It was a wonderful sunny day in September 2009, and I had the chance to shoot several battle scenes. Here he is, red coat and all, surrounded by the smoke and noise of war, with of all things a Chinese proverb.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coldstream Guards

All the television talk about the upcoming British royal marriage sent me back into the archives for a look at these guards, during a changing ceremony at Windsor Castle, 2009.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cartoon Effect

In the previous post I included two sunset photos that had been processed with a posterize filter into well-developed color effects. Later, I applied the same process to several portraits, but the posterization did not work so well. The layering of the colors took apart the definition of the face and the body into more of an abstract. Further experimentation took me to the Comics filter, and I like this effect. A recent photo of me on a cruise shows the Comic effect, and the shot of Marilyn, my wife, visiting one of the Bridges of Madison County, turned out even better. That one, as you can see, is more landscape than portrait.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My iPad has an interesting new app called Photogene. It has the capability of several simple adjustments, which I will not likely use much as I rely on Photoshop. One think I like, though, is the quick and easy Posterize filter which I find is much to my liking. And it involves a single click. On the laptop I dropped two photos (which have already been posted here) into my Dropbox holding spot on the desktop. Immediately, I looked on the Dropbox on the iPad, loaded the pic into the app and posterized it. Sent it back to the Dropbox, pulled it up on the laptop, and was ready to post it here. Love the speed and smooth sailing in crossing from one to the other! Here are two winter sunset posters.


No one uses the term 'gloaming' any more, but the light thickened as the sun sank to the southwest. Clouds and vapor trails took on touches of color and the darkness signaled the end of the sunny day in winter. Night followed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Train Racing Sunset

In the previous post we saw a small underpass for the CN rail line through Pratt's Wayne Woods. As I prepared to leave the area, a lengthy train came through, complete with CN engine, racing through the area shortly before sunset.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The CN railway runs through a portion of Pratt's Wayne Woods on a sizable roadbed that runs a good level higher than the preserve itself. Here we see the single land tunnel under the train passage, along with a helpful mirror to give a driver a peek around the corner and under the tracks.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Electrified Sunset

Two more views of the recent sunset at Pratt's Wayne Woods. Seen from near the CN railroad track that runs through the preserve, the power of the struts and the barbed wire contrasts well with the color in the sky.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


With all the news about a new, sanitized version of HUCKLEBERRY FINN, I took it upon myself to reread that masterpiece. As fine a writer as Ernest Hemingway considered it the best novel by an American author. I consider it in the top five. And that is written as Twain wrote it, not as the proposed politically correct version. You could pick up a copy and reread it yourself. Do you have an electronic reader? I got my copy at no charge.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter in Wayne

The latest in a series of photo visits to Wayne, where I shot a horse show and a fox hunt in 2010, were to see a pretty sunset at Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve. The sky had color, the clouds were bright, and here we see a power line structure looking tall against the blue sky.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Different Winter Scenes

Two widely variant winter photos, starting with a well-known protester in Naperville, camped here near the Metra train station after being evicted from the public parking lot a few blocks away. The other image is from last year's Chicago Auto Show, but it is a mention of Sunday's Bears game. Robbie Gould was signing autographs that afternoon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Winter

Two more winter scenes from prior years.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Winter Scenes

Looking at two more scenes from the photo session that produced the backing for this past Sunday Poster. A long trek across the ice to the place where the ice fishermen were camped out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Candids

Some shots of winter scenes, here showing an ice harvest at Kline Creek Farm in Winfield. Frozen fun!

Monday, January 17, 2011

River Views

Two more images from my eagle hunt at the Fox River a week ago. I so much prefer leafy trees to the bare branches of winter, but at times the photographs of the stark trunks can be quite striking. A plot of decorative grass still holds its beauty in what is referred to as "winter interest."

Sunday, January 16, 2011


A timely short story in poem form, presented on a frigid Sunday in January.


If Kafka is correct, as I think he is, I plan never to grow old.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sharing the Sky

Elgin's eagles dominate the sky when they soar, but the certainly share the skyline with several other species. The two days I visited, I saw many gulls and some decent sized flocks of geese in the air.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Banks of the Fox

Between sightings of the Elgin eagles, I looked here, there and everywhere. Here we see a boat ramp, frozen in and snowed over, and the Metra rail tracks which flank the river along the west bank.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In the Trees . . . and Above

One of the Elgin eagles is seen soaring just above the tree line, the wings stretched out to the limit. In the second image, two eagles are perched on a single tree as seen from across the Fox River.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Streaking and Soaring

Here we see a closer shot of one of the Elgin eagles streaking along the riverbank, looking for an opening for an unsuspecting fish. A bit later, one of the eagles climbs into the sky to soar high above the Fox River.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday's Eagles

So a second trip to the Fox River, this one on Monday, produced a bit closer of a look at some eagles in Elgin. Four eagles, as a matter of fact, were along the stretch just north of the dam, two perched in a single tree and two busy soaring.
Here we see an image of the raptor in flight, talons stretched as he looks for some dinner fish. The lower image shows a lot more color as one of the soaring eagles speed along the river bank.
We will look at a few more images in the next few posts.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Eagles on the Fox

A story in Friday's DAILY HERALD sent me out to Elgin on Saturday, along with several dozen others carrying cameras or binoculars, set to see the winter's visiting eagles. A bit of research indicated that the winter eating is best along rivers and near dams where the fish are easier to spot and grab. Alas, the only eagles I saw on the frozen afternoon were a pair soaring high in the blue sky, north of us and not close enough for good detail shots.
A good shoot, though, for the trees and other wildlife, which we will see in the next post. And, hopefully, we will see closeups of eagles on upcoming posts . . . . I am headed back out to Elgin this week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Thanks to one of my Facebook friends, Teri Clark Hatch, I was introduced to this quote just a few days ago. It lit up for me and demanded a wide-open spaces of the ocean backdrop. For those readers who were my literature students, compassion is at the root of growing characters as we studied them all those years ago. Thanks, Teri!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More Riverwalk

Two views of the Holzbruke, wood bridge, over the DuPage at the Naperville Riverwalk. One looks through the falling snowflakes to see the bridge more clearly, but the other (which I think I like better) lights up the flakes and features the snow. The final image shows the stabile (it would be a mobile if it moved) that is reminiscent of the Calder "Flamingo" in downtown Chicago. Strategically lit, the artwork is a haunting hulk in the deep twilight.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Riverwalk, Snowy Evening

Driving through Naperville at dusk, passing the Riverwalk, I pulled over and got out. Snapped a handful of pictures while all the warmth drained from my hands and face, hustled back to the car, and got out of there. Took me 30 minutes to warm up, but I did get a few nice images in the gentle January snowfall.

Stark Wintry Look

Two more images from the roadside park in Schaumburg, showing the stark images under the cold cloud cover of winter. Without the gentle softening of the snow and with the gray sky, the colors are there but are stark and muted.