Serious statue

Serious statue
Canon A2e, 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF
Fujicolor 200

This statue is in a courtyard at the Episcopal church over on Meridian St.


I made a few thousand photographs in 2016. These ten satisfy me the most.

Dublin at golden hour

Dublin at dusk. Canon PowerShot S95.

The Pyramids

The Pyramids, a landmark in northwest Indianapolis. Konica Auto S2, Kodak Gold 200.

Leaves on the iron bench *EXPLORED*

Leaves on the iron bench. Canon A2e, 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF, Fujicolor 200.


St. James Gate, Dublin. Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak T-Max 400.

Ballinrobe, Ireland

Red door in Ballinrobe, Ireland. Canon PowerShot S95.

Garfield Park

The conservatory at Garfield Park, Indianapolis. Olympus Stylus, Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 (expired).

Golden fence

Golden fence at Saddlebrook Golf Course, Indianapolis. Minolta AF-Sv, Fujicolor 200.

Mass Ave and a light leak

Massachussetts Avenue, Indianpolis. Kodak Six-20 Brownie, Kodak Verichrome Pan (expired 9/1982).

Brooklyn Bridge

Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Canon PowerShot S95.

In motion

Packard hood ornament. Pentax ME, 50mm f/1.4 SMC Pentax-M, Kodak Tri-X.


Ten favorite photos of 2016



Wrecks at Dusk
Canon A2e, 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF
Fujicolor 200

I love this old neon sign. It’s too bad the business behind it closed and the sign no longer lights up the night.

Photography, Road trips

The walled Victorian garden at Kylemore Abbey

When you’re a wealthy family living in remote Irish country in the late 1800s, your estate has to be entirely self-sufficient, providing for all of the family’s needs. Mitchell and Margaret Henry, who built and lived at Kylemore Castle in the lush hills of Connemara, County Galway, created just that on their sprawling estate. They piped water down to the castle from a lake higher up on the mountain, and used running water to generate electricity. They also grew flowers, and most of their own food, within a six-acre garden surrounded by a brick wall.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

A long walk along a lovely tree-lined lane brings you to this entrance, where inside you’ll find a vast, precisely designed flower garden.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

This being a working garden, we found people tending it. It hasn’t always been so, however. It was in full production during the Henry family’s years. By the 1940s the flower garden was disused and the vegetable garden was in declining use as it was less expensive to buy vegetables. By the 1970s the entire six acres were badly overgrown and all structures were derelict. It was restored in 2000, driven I’m sure by tourism.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

In the Henry family’s day, people who worked the garden lived in this charming little home.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

A stream divides the garden. West of the stream is the “kitchen garden” where vegetables grow.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

As you can see, a great deal of attention has been paid to the garden’s aesthetics. It’s a charming place to stroll.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

It’s also a charming place to sit and contemplate.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

Because the view from here is just lovely. And as we were here near the end of the site’s tour hours, it was quiet.

Victorian Walled Garden at Kylemore Abbey

Canon PowerShot S95


Recommended reading

Plastic Kindergarten bell

Bell ornament from my Kindergarten teacher, 1972. It’s the first ornament I hang on my tree every year.

Happy Christmas Eve to you! Enjoy this smattering of interesting blog posts from around the Internet this week.

Here’s a photo from my Christmas tree. With tinsel garland and glass ornaments, it’s pretty traditional. Shaun Nelson, however, has decorated a tree that only a film-photography fan can love. Read Film Christmas Tree

The space program captivated the nation in the 1960s and 1970s, and many men (and women) worked to put men on the moon. J. M. Brewer‘s uncle was one of them, but he passed on in 1973. Recently, a series of interviews with him was found, and reconnected the entire family with a man they respected and admired. Read A Voice From The Past

Derek Sivers chases a rabbit I’ve chased here a couple times: the way to make money and do what you love is to make sure the two stay separate. Read How to do what you love and make good money

Globalism has led to the end of the “enlightened self-interest” that used to guide American businesses to build not just their profits, but a better America, says Aaron Renn. He goes on to criticize how this has led companies to treat workers as fungible. Read Carrier and the Commonwealth

Lately, Eric Kim has been deleting old photographs that don’t hold personal meaning to him. It’s a new phase in his minimalistic lifestyle. I’m both intrigued and daunted by the idea, even though I know hundreds of useless photos are moldering around my hard drive. Read In Praise of Deleting Your Photographs

Photography, Stories told

Photographic holiday memories

A rerun, from 2008 and 2012, as this Christmas nears. Now with new photos.



My grandparents always owned the latest Polaroid cameras, and they passed on that tradition in 1977 when they bought my brother and me Polaroid Super Shooter cameras for Christmas.

When I unwrapped the gift, I remember thinking how cool the box was. I liked the box so much that I kept my camera in it for the almost 30 years I owned it. Not long ago I learned that the box, like all Polaroid packaging of the day, was designed by Paul Giambarba, a top designer who was a pioneer of clean, strong brand identity.

polaroidtype108I remember how easy it was to spot Polaroid film on the drug store shelf because it had the same rainbow-stripes design elements as the camera’s box. Film and developing for my garage-sale Brownie cost about half what a pack of Polaroid film cost, but the colorful Polaroid boxes on the shelf always tempted me. I often decided that next time I bought film, I would save my allowance for the whole month it took to afford a pack of Polaroid.

My brother also got a guitar that Christmas morning. My new camera came with a pack of film, so I loaded it and shot this photo of him on his first day with his guitar. He played this guitar for 20 years — he looked strange as an adult playing a kid-sized guitar!


20 Christmas Days later, when my older son was not yet a full year old, my wife gave my brother her old guitar. Our boy, drawn to the music, wouldn’t leave his uncle’s side as he played that evening. Steadying himself on his uncle’s knee, he looked up with wide amazement in his eyes.


May this holiday bring you the gift of excellent memories to share with your loved ones down the road.

When I first posted this, in 2008, Paul Giambarba himself left a comment! It was a thrill. I followed his blog for years. He discontinued it a few years ago, and thanked me in a final post for saying kind things about his work. None of this would have been possible without the Internet!