Archive for April, 2014

Phone and Dust





The World

April 26 2014 219_20_21_tonemapped



So this last weekend I had a Saturday off work, which I only get once a month.  Foosball and I headed out bright and early, coffee in hand, with the mission of visiting Ambassador Arms since she’d never been there before.  Now, last time we went out by ourselves we headed into the teeth of a blizzard and managed to do several hundred dollars damages to her car but still came limping home with some wonderful photos.  This time we made it to Gary without incident, indeed we managed to make it two floors into Ambassador before disaster struck.

On my way out of a room I bumped my tripod on the door frame, and the safety lock mechanism for the camera mount fell off it, dumping my camera onto the floor.  I had one of those horrible slow motion “NOOOOoooooooooooooo” moments where I attempted to catch the camera before it hit, but alas, it crashed lens first onto the floor.  My new wide angle lens was split in half along the barrel right behind the focal point selector.

Foosball and I have decided we’re not allowed to go out by ourselves since we seem to be magnets for expensive damages.

The day was not a total loss, I still had my wildlife lens, a 75-300mm zoom, which means that  I needed to be about 20 feet away from my subject to get a shot.  We soldiered on and stopped by House of Harm, but it was all sealed up.  We tried a school, same story.  I then suggested we take a look at a favorite location that is rarely open; lo and behold we were able to get in.  The entire time I was wishing if not at least a wide angle lens then something at least a little closer to 50mm but decided that in adversity one learns and grows so what the hell, I’d keep shooting.

I have no idea how soon I will be able to replace my big lens, it’ll be cheaper to buy a new walkaround lens so that will be my first goal, along with a new tripod with a better mount.  From there, we’ll see.  R.I.P. wide angle lens.  One day I’ll be able to buy a new one, until then it is back the slog, hopefully with a slightly more appropriate lens than a 75-300mm.









April 26 2014 348

Can’t Be Stopped


Graffiti evoking a strange admixture of amusement, irony, and sadness; abandoned high school, Gary, Indiana.




The Chicago Junior Astronomer’s Field Guide to the Night Sky


We all feel a sense of limitless wonder when gazing into the eternity of the night sky. But what are the myriad celestial objects to be seen high above our fair city? This handy guide will list them all, as seen in the photograph below from left to right.
1) Lens flare.
2) Venus.
3) Dust on camera sensor.

Now, with the encyclopedic knowledge of the heavens at your fingertips, you’ll be able to amaze your friends on clear evenings. Won’t they be jealous! Who knows, you might even “catch the eye” of the lissome neighbor girl you’ve been ogling lately. What are you thinking? She doesn’t like stupid stars! She like Arnold, the rowing team captain. He’s got everything… muscles; a crew neck sweater from his uncle in Portugal; they say he’s even going to get his own car next year. You are so lame, and the neighbor girl knows it. To think you had a shot with her! What folly! Gee, you should just get beat. Nobody cares about your stars.




Of Dead Gods in Winter


“Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.”

– H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream Quest







Graffiti incorporated into, or a victim of, damage inflicted by scrappers.





Diego’s Chair




Gary, Indiana high school science classroom.





I’m still purging my old files out and finding something interesting here and there.  I debated deleting this shot for a bit and then decided that I liked it well enough to inflict it upon all of you.  Taken at the Field Museum in Chicago.  For some strange reason I love the wildlife dioramas.


This is another photo rescued from the archives.   Two layer selective stacking yields a better image than I could have produced with HDR, I suspect I may be on to something here.

hospital 16smlr




From Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, a vertical lift rail bridge. Serves primarily (as far as I could tell) Amtrak and the local commuter rail service Metra.



Ping Tom Bridge.

Sunday Morning

A still sea of papers litter a former drafting classroom.


It’s Morning in America.

Sick Day

I’ve been sick for a few days now which is partly why I have been letting Tabula Rasa carry the blog.  In the mean time I give you kittens, sick kittens in an isolation room.  Which is where I currently belong, blarg.


Just for the record these kittens were found under a dumpster and are now healthy and happy in a loving home.

Continental Paper


View from the east bank of the Chicago River.




Chicago River Tugboat


A tugboat pushes a barge south through Chinatown.


Toot, toot.


The March of the Overhead Projectors


Three overhead projectors (superimposa lumerarium) as seen traversing an icy plateau. The lead has called a momentary halt to the march as it turns to investigate the origin of some suspicious noises. The projectors have much to fear; almost extinct, they are easy prey for many scholastic predators.





Classroom with globe.



Trick or treat!


Computer Hell


It is no longer a surprise, though no less sad still, to come across a scene like this one in Gary. Be it books, science equipment, or as seen here, a horde of computers, schools in this city have rooms filled with things left behind.


Computer Horde.

Not Over

Well, it is finally spring but winter isn’t ever really over until the end of April or so.  There is always a chance for snow, but not on the scale we saw this winter. To remind myself that it really has gotten a lot nicer out I went back to my photos from our Gary trip during the blizzard, all the while not really thinking that I was going to find anything.  I was quite delighted to find something lurking that I had overlooked several times.  Silly me.


ion post office


Desk and chair in arrangement.