The Lockerbie Square neighborhood in Downtown Indianapolis was platted between 1847 and 1850, making it one of the city’s oldest surviving neighborhoods. Its streets are lined with older homes, some which date to near the neighborhood’s founding. You’ll also find the only surviving cobblestone street in Indianapolis there.
Margaret and I went there on a photo walk one Saturday afternoon not long ago. I had a film camera along and gave it plenty of exercise, but I photographed the doors of Lockerbie Square with my iPhone 12 mini.
Here’s that cobblestone street. It lasts just one block. On this street is the home James Whitcomb Riley lived in for the last two decades of his life. Riley was a beloved writer and poet, most famous for his verses in the Indiana vernacular of the day. Riley commanded enormous crowds wherever he would speak in the Hoosier State.
Margaret and I spent the last nine days of August in Aalborg, Denmark. Aalborg is a far northern city in that small country in the south of Scandinavia, bordering Germany. The company I work for bought a small company there this year, and as we slowly integrate the companies the software engineers there came to report to me.
My boss said, “Would you like to go to Aalborg and get to know the team?” Why, sure! When I told my wife my boss was sending me to Aalborg, she said, “Correction: he’s sending us to Aalborg!” (Not at the company’s expense, to be clear!)
The flight over took about 14 hours, including layovers in Detroit and Amsterdam. Thank heavens we arrived at the Indianapolis airport plenty early, because we discovered there that one of our return flights had been canceled. The kind woman at the Delta counter rebooked our entire return flight on the spot, but it took about an hour to cut through a surprising amount of red tape.
We did not enjoy Schiphol, the Amsterdam airport. It was huge, signage was poor, and the queue to get our passports stamped was long and hot with attendants yelling at us to keep moving. At the gate for our flight to Aalborg, we were surprised to learn that we would not be boarding the plane there — instead we would board a bus that would take us to the plane. We boarded the plane via the pictured stairs. I’ve only ever seen that in old movies! Similarly, we deplaned via stairs in Aalborg.
I went to Aalborg primarily to work. Margaret took the opportunity to have a good vacation. We deliberately scheduled our time to include a weekend so that we could be tourists together for a couple days.
I’m on my third iPhone: iPhone 5, iPhone 6s, and now iPhone 12 mini. It’s great to always have an easy-to-carry camera in my front pocket. With each successive model I’ve owned, Apple has improved the camera in remarkable ways that are plain to see in the images the camera makes.
That said, I’m not in love with the images I get from my iPhone 12 mini. They look extra saturated and extra sharpened, with contrast boosted too much for my taste. And the camera is clearly doing heavy processing of skies, or perhaps even inserting skies the software behind the camera is making up.
On my Ride Across Indiana last year, I photographed the Indiana Statehouse with my Canon PowerShot S95 and my iPhone 12 mini. Check out how each camera rendered the sky. The S95 is true to life, even though the clouds are a little blown out.
The iPhone 12 mini brought out a lot more blue in the sky than was actually there, and faded the clouds considerably.
I saw the same thing on my trip to San Diego recently. The day was mostly cloudy. A little blue sky peeked out from between clouds here and there. I made the same shot with two cameras one right after the other. The first was my Olympus OM-2n with the 40mm f/2 Zuiko lens on Kodak Ektar.
Look at what the iPhone 12 mini did with the sky!
I never did this kind of comparison on my iPhone 6s, but I don’t believe it was as aggressive in processing the sky as my iPhone 12 was. The 6s probably enhanced skies a little, with the effect of making them look epic. Here’s a photo from somewhere in County Galway, Ireland, that I made with the 6s.
I won’t rehash it at length because I’ve written about it many times before. I prefer any of my “good” film and digital cameras to my iPhone. But when my iPhone is the only camera on me, it does good work and lets me capture a subject I would otherwise miss.
My current iPhone is the 12 mini. Frankly, I don’t like how it extra-saturates the colors and gives an appearance of extra sharpness. I say appearance because when you zoom the images to 100% you find that the details are soft. I’m not sure how this camera manages to do that. The end result is an idealized look, a reality that doesn’t exist. Photos from my previous iPhone, the 6s, had a more natural look.
In January, while I was on my long bereavement leave, I drove down to Madison, Indiana, on the Ohio River. I drove the Michigan Road and inventoried our guide signs along the way, but then took a long walk along old Madison’s streets. This coffee house is on the main drag.
In June I visited San Diego. Our company had its first ever annual industry conference on a resort island there. I also brought my Olympus OM-2n and a roll of Kodak Ektar. Photos from that roll are forthcoming.
Here’s another resort island photo, this time looking out into Mission Bay.
Closer to home, while on a walk around the neighborhood in early Spring I stopped to photograph the callery pear blooms.
On another neighborhood walk, I came upon this 1969 or 1970 Chevrolet C/10 truck. Remember when we used to call these pickups? Nobody does that anymore.
On New Year’s Day I got out my mom’s old record player, which is from the late 1950s or early 1960s. I have a small number of vinyl LPs that belonged to Mom and probably 100 78s that belonged to my grandparents.
In May, my longtime friend Michael drove to Indy so we could see Stryper together. They are a Christian metal band that has been making records and touring since the 1980s.
Finally, I really like this photo of the back of the Slippery Noodle Inn on the south side of Downtown Indianapolis. I was at an event next door, and stepped out onto the terrace to make this image.
I love old cars! Always have, probably always will. I’m excited to see an old car still on the road, doing what it was designed to do. I photograph them when I come upon them parked.
To make this list, the car has to be at least 20 years old. It’s crazy to me that cars from 2001 qualify! But such cars are becoming quite long in the tooth.
I encountered 21 old vehicles parked in 2021. Not bad for a second year in a row when COVID kept me home far more than normal. Here they are.
Old fire truck. I have no idea when this fire truck was made and I lack the energy to research it. I found it parked on South Meridian Street in Indianapolis.
1953 Dodge. I found this parked in Putnamville, Indiana, during my Ride Across Indiana. I’ll bet it doesn’t run, but I included it anyway.
1957 Ford Fairlane 500. I found this gorgeous car parked in someone’s driveway on US 40 during my Ride Across Indiana.
1959 Ford. Good heavens, but are these ugly. I found this in Putnamville, Indiana, near the 1953 Dodge above.
1961 Rambler American. I found this in Putnamville, Indiana, with the 1953 Dodge and the 1959 Ford. Who knows if it actually runs.
1964-66 Ford Thunderbird. I found this while riding my bike across Indiana, on US 40 in either Wayne or Henry Counties.
1969-75 International Harvester Travelall ambulance. Easily my favorite find of the year, I encountered this in the parking lot of the Red Lobster in Richmond, Indiana.
1972 Ford F-100. Spotted on State Road 340 in Cloverland, Indiana, on my Ride Across Indiana. SR 340 is an old alignment of US 40.
1977-84 BMW 633csi. The look of these still make me swoon. Spotted in Carmel just before Thanksgiving.
1982-87 Chevrolet El Camino. This ElCam belongs to a neighbor. He usually parks it in his driveway, but this day it was on the street and easy to photograph.
1984-85 Chevrolet Celebrity. The first time I encountered this nearly pristine survivor was here, at the local car wash. I’ve since seen it on the street exiting my neighborhood, so it’s just a matter of time before I find it parked somewhere on one of my neighborhood walks. This is my second favorite find of the year because of its rarity and condition.
1984-96 Jeep Cherokee. This is usually parked right across the street from where I work in Downtown Indianapolis. It’s the first of four Jeep Cherokees I found this year.
1984-96 Jeep Cherokee Sport. Spotted at my nearby Meijer, this is the second of four Jeep Cherokees I spotted this year.
1985-87 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. Finding a Crown Vic of this era in this condition is a big enough deal — finding it in the rarer two-door version makes it a hat trick. Spotted at my local Meijer.
1986-91 Buick Skylark. Spotted in downtown Zionsville. This might just be the rarest car I found this year. Buick built plenty of these, but most of them ended up as cheap-transportation used cars and then went to The Crusher. Very few of these have got to be left.
1986-91 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia. Spotted on the mean streets of Zionsville, Indiana, this Westie has clearly been very well cared for over the years.
1992-97 Ford F150. Spotted at my local Meijer. These are still plentiful and I don’t usually photograph them when I find them. I just liked the look of this one. I wouldn’t mind owning it.
1993-98 Mercedes-Benz SL500. Another Meijer find. It’s crazy what people drive to the grocery store.
1997-2000 Saturn SC2. I wasn’t a Saturn fanboy but I did like the looks of this coupe. Spotted at Meijer.
1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee Classic. Spotted in downtown Zionsville. I love the excellent condition of this one.
1998-2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport. For a minute, I thought I had found the one above again, until I got home and realized that that one was a Classic and this one is a Sport. Found parked on Mass Ave in Downtown Indianapolis.
Autumn leaves over the retention pond Apple iPhone 12 mini 2021
Autumn’s peak is past; few trees have leaves still. But when I made this photograph in early November, that was not yet the case. The trees in my suburban neighborhood were awash with red and orange, with a little yellow tucked in here and there. Whoever landscaped my neighborhood chose the trees carefully and well.
Over the years I’ve written this blog — 15 in February! — the coming of autumn has regularly given me a moment to reflect here. I will probably always favor summer and especially spring, and I will probably always dislike winter. But over these years I’ve gone from reviling autumn (for it meant winter was soon to come), to being able to enjoy fall’s colors while they last. I’m a fellow who will probably always struggle with staying in the present moment. But now when the trees turn, I no longer look past them. I actually anticipate their coming, watch the colors progress day by day, and make time to photograph them when they are at their most beautiful.