Some thoughts from April in Baltimore


An unaccustomed sunlight filled the train car, formed faint prisms on the large windows where some chemical detergent hadn’t rinsed cleanly away. The scenes blurring past through the glass were all familiar for their mundane repetition along the eastern seaboard. Sometimes rows of identical houses, sometimes the iron tangle of abandoned industry. Occasionally the sleek cool of a body of water, blue and filled with secrets.

And the very next day, the weather betrayed us. Winds, rain, and an overall gloom have replaced that welcome sun in which I sat reading outside the train station mid afternoon.

Returning from Riis Beach after a light rain warned of a coming storm

The rain was very light, but the skies were darkening. After learning what the satellites warned, we broke camp— packed as quickly as possible, ran to the boardwalk and rode fast to beat the real rain at our backs. Made it to a bayside pub to wait out the rain then another quick dash to the ferry dock.

By the time everyone boarded the rain had stopped. Later, as we rounded the bend toward the Verrazano Narrows, the divide between the portside storm and clear skies ashore (starboard) was dramatic, and those of us on deck got a little of the rain. (Still, better to be on deck in rain and wind than below in the too-chilling air conditioning.)

The situation of the weather in these photos brings to mind the original meaning of the word POSH: Port Out; Starboard Home. On a larger vessel, posh seats would have been just the thing in this case.Back in Sunset Park, cycling northward on Second Ave, the post-storm light was too good, so I had to stop to take pictures a few times. 

A day lakeside

My nieces and nephews sitting at the end of the dock, late afternoon

Yesterday was the first day since I arrived upstate that it broke sunny instead of clouds attended by rain. It was welcome timing, as we’d long planned a day on Canandaigua Lake where my middle brother and his family have a new lake house. It was breezy and sunny with a brilliant sky and the water was pleasant for swimming. (Some of these photos were filtered through the Nik collection.)

The neighboring dock

Up the hill and across the road from their slice of waterfront is a shale-lined ravine that torrents in heavy rains, bringing a fresh slough of sedimentary shards after every storm to down to the edgewater. We spent fair amount of time skipping stones across the shallows, bare feet in the cool water.

On the farm after a sudden, short downfall


I apologize— I missed my Monday posting deadline! I’ve been posting a lot lately, but was somewhat busy leading up to go out of town and come upstate. Here are some photographs from around the farm earlier today. There was a brief, thundering deluge around 11am or so. Then the sky brightened which is always a good time for photos I’ve found. Much more so than a sunny day, depending on the sort of images one wants.

Adventures in Light: Charm City

Lanterns above illuminated hand-cranked animation machine by Elizabeth Whitmore Crankie
Ceiling of Penn Station Baltimore
The beautiful skylights inside Penn Station Baltimore

Here are some selects from my photographs during Light City Baltimore 2017. Attributions of the various installations (as many as I could gather) are listed in the photo captions. There were many more installations than shown here, but some of them simply don’t convey well in still images.

Baltimore
View above the courtyard of UMBC’s Spark Gallery at Light City 2017
Looking toward the harbor from UMBC's Spark Gallery
Looking toward the harbor from UMBC’s Spark Gallery
“The Divided Line” by the RE/PUBLIC; a VR experience
“The Divided Line” by The RE/PUBLIC; In the googles, a stunning  VR experience that reimagined the harbor in 360º
Illuminated umbrellas
Illuminated umbrellas
“Light Happenings Part II” by Labbodies
“Light Happenings Part II” by Labbodies

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LEDs and the dancing fireplace wall


Some fun lighting at Kelley’s house in Baltimore. Mini Light City right in the living room!

I got loads of photographs from installations around the Inner Harbor last night. I’ll be posting some of those soon.

In the halls of UMBC Visual Arts


It’s disconcerting to run into an oversized facsimile of my own stylized face in the halls of the university. Giving my talk on Saturday evening. Super nervous! But looking forward to it, and seeing the illuminations of Light City around the Inner Harbor.