I shot this last June, in Warroad, at a gas station only a couple blocks from Lake of the Woods. Right now I’d gladly put up with mayflies to have that sort of weather back.
November. It’s that time of year again, when the clocks change and suddenly at 3pm western faces are burning orange and by 5pm all the skies scream shades of blue. It’s like a condensed summertime experience, in the space of a few hours, every day. It lasts for a couple weeks and then something changes. The sunsets get short and meaningless and they lose the stretch of illuminated blue skies.
It was a brilliantly sunny day here, and brilliantly short. I couldn’t believe I was seeing the orange of a 9pm summer sunset at 3pm. Lucky for me, I happened to go out when I did. 5:30, facing west, on October 31 will give you an amazing gradient. Barely visible at the horizon is the last orange fringe, and yet the top of the sky shows nothing of a sunset at all.
I first noticed a couple years ago that these beautiful sunsets occured around the first couple weeks in November. This particular photo is from about November 3, 2004.
This weekend, I visited Chicago. I hadn’t really intended to take pictures, but after seeing this sign for a second time, I knew I had to stop and pick up a disposable camera. (The first time I saw it, if I remember correctly, was on this crazy kidnap cab ride we were on.) After Chicago, I took the train to Ann Arbor, Michigan to visit the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor is mostly too pretty to be anything I’d want to take pictures of, though I found a few things to shoot.
Before leaving Minnesota, I went a couple Everydot trips. True to my style, I’m posting it about three months later. I finally took pictures of the crazy little town I’m in by far the most, Karlstad (home of my employer). I also shot in a number of North Dakota towns, some of which I’d been to before. I’m trying to replace some of the bug-splattered windshield shots with much more calm, careful, and contemplative ones. By far my favorite town to shoot was also one of the largest dots, Devils Lake.
Not far from the city of Devils Lake, the lake Devils Lake is rising, flooding miles and miles of land. In one area I drove through, the main road has been continually raised to stay above the water, while side roads have not. Roads lead off away from the highway and straight into the lake. In some places, the only way to see a road was once there is by the perfectly straight lines of weeds that lead off to higher land. In the distance, you can see old farmhouses once on hills are now islands in the ever-expanding lake. In one place, a pickup truck sits at the new end of a road, waiting for water to go back down so it can finally cross.
Seattle Sign Slides.
On August 14th, I shot some of the signs of Seattle on a roll of Kodachrome. The film was sent to the last Kodachrome processing center in the world, in Dalandzadgad, Outer Mongolia. They tell me the film makes a torturous trek by bus, mule, and bicycle to a little photomat in a mud hut on the edge of this Gobi Desert town. OK, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but from what I understand, Kodachrome processing is only done by a few places, one in Kansas and one in Switzerland. I was under the impression that Fuji sent film to Kansas and Kodak to Switzerland. I used Kodak, but it hardly seems like it took long enough to go to Switzerland and back.
I shot on two Seattle streets, Lake City Way and Ranier Ave. Lake City Way had a definite ‘highway town’ sort of feel and Ranier was more of an aging urban neighborhood, but both had some nice signage of similar vintage.
Plus de margarine.
At a grocery store in Greenwood, I found yet another example of Extant Design, and, quelle surprise, it’s a margarbutterine. I’m amazed at how one particular foodstuff can defy design updates for so long. Are people fiercely loyal to their margarine/butter that no amount of flashy packing could lure them away? Are people such disengaged butter/margarine consumers that they just grab the closest thing on the shelf? Has anyone on the entire planet besides me noticed this? If so, do they care?
Dot Dot Dot Dot Camera!
I visited five Washington towns yesterday: Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Pe Ell, Chehalis, and Centralia. In downtown Aberdeen, I picked up four cameras at a place called Clevengers. It’s sort of like a used department store — quite huge, and full of lots of random things, including a ton of cameras. I grabbed a Polaroid 450 (an excellent amateur Polaroid packfilm camera), an Ansco Cadet II (a 127 format camera), a Kodak Pony 828 (an 828 format camera), and the superbizarro Traid Fotron II (also 828, but in a proprietary cartridge that was to be developed by the manufacturer). I created a Wikipedia entry for the 828 film, as it was not yet represented. I also plan on making an entry for the Fotron, because its weirdness must not be left undocumented.
Soda Soda Soda Soda Soda Fizz!
This weekend and last I made some nice additions to my strange obsessive Soda Signs series. One grocery store in Seattle managed to provide me with three different signs, as well as some old Coca-Coca metal medallion thingys.
In Pe Ell, I found yet another variety (albeit rather boring) of
7-Up signs, strengthening my opinion that 7-Up signs are the most diverse.
Pepsi, Chehalis, WA
7-Up, Pe Ell, WA
Dr Pepper, Lakeland, WA
Dr Pepper, Lake City Way, Seattle
Orange Crush, Lake City Way, Seattle
Coca-Cola, Lake City Way, Seattle
About a year ago (9 October 2004 to be exact) I took some photos of two cemeteries near Mavie, MN. It was a bright, sunny, and very windy October
day. It was pretty hot out for October, actually, close to 80 I think.
I drove to the first cemetery and it was near a church, right on the
edge of a field. There were no trees around, so it was incredibly
bright. The grass had pretty well died, and the fields were golden
with dried plants. It’s a hot bright windy
day, and all I can see for miles around are the yellow and orange of
grasses and tree leaves. I took some photos of the headstones and
things. It was about as un-scary as a cemetery could get. The second
cemetery, the Germantown Cemetery, was out in a field as well, but this one was surrounded by trees. The grass in it was still green, and there was a lot of shade
from surrounding oak trees. There was no church near this cemetery –
a marker told that it had been torn down. A farmer was plowing or
something in the field nearby and either didn’t notice me or more
likely just didn’t care that I was there.
Nearly a year later, I finally looked at the photos. I picked a few of them out and have posted them in a section called Cemeterial.
The Bell System Watches Over Us All. An ancient Bell System logo and a poem (an adaptation) to go with it. Click for an enlargement and to get a better view of the faded logo.
I went to Berlin about a year ago, and I took a bunch of pictures. I was also in Auckland (New Zealand) more recently and had my digital camera (among other things) stolen. The thief neglected to take my ancient Polaroid packfilm camera, however, so I’ve posted the photos I took there as “picture postcards” at the Municipal Water Board.
Lots more stuff is coming soon, including Everydot updates, strange outdated design, and more — but not tonight.
More Everydot photos,including a trip through the Emerson area, and another from Thompson to near Fargo. Favorites: Hunter, ND,Crookston, MN, Erskine, MN, and Dominion City, MB. Oh, and remember, that Salada Tea is Delicious and that Sportsman Cigarettes are rolled with ALLWEATHER waterproof paper!
I also have a new Groceterial sort of section called, unsurprisingly, Groceries. Here you can see glimpses a land where Cheez Whiz comes in something smaller than a #10 steel can and there is no olive bar, sushi, or soymilk.
I have lots of new photos, some in semi-new categories, and some scattered about in the existing categories. Go to photos to see ‘em all. Some examples: