Photographs

More photos from my iPhone 12 mini

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.

Madison Coffee & Tea Co.

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.

San Diego resort

Here’s another resort island photo, this time looking out into Mission Bay.

San Diego resort

Closer to home, while on a walk around the neighborhood in early Spring I stopped to photograph the callery pear blooms.

Callery pear

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.

Old Chev

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.

Playing the 78s

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.

Stryper

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.

On South Street

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Old Cars

Carspotting 2021

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.

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Autumn leaves and retention pond

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.

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Photographs

single frame: Autumn leaves over the retention pond

A meditation on autumn’s color.

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Preservation, Ride Across Indiana, Road Trips

Rising Hall, a true gem on the National Road in Indiana

Rising Hall on US 40

On the National Road in western Indiana, overlapping the Hendricks-Putnam County line you’ll find Rising Hall. It’s an Italianate home built 1870-72 by Melville McHaffie, a son of pioneer Putnam County settlers. McHaffie and later his son farmed the surrounding land.

In the decades after the McHaffies owned the house, it passed through several owners before being abandoned. It was in deplorable condition by the early 1980s when Walt and June Prosser bought it, completely restored it, and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Here is its nomination application.)

Rising Hall on US 40

In 2000, the house and its restoration was profiled on television. The video tells the house’s story and shows the stunningly beautiful restoration the Prossers undertook.

As the video explains, the Prossers gave the home its current name, after all of the staircases (“rising halls”) inside.

Rising Hall on US 40

It’s not common to see a barn made of brick in Indiana.

Rising Hall on US 40

Walt passed away in 2010 at age 86. I am unable to find information about his wife, June, so I presume she is still alive. Here’s hoping the Prosser family continues to give this home loving attention.

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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Ride Across Indiana, Road Trips

The original paths of the National Road and US 40 in Putnam County, Indiana

The National Road, aka US 40, in Putnam County, Indiana, is an old friend. I first documented it in 2006 and have visited several times in the years since. What I like about it is all of the old alignments of the road you’ll find there, with pavement that’s now pushing 100 years old.

The first is about halfway between Mt. Meridian and US 231. You can’t drive it anymore, as it’s on private property. It’s a short segment of brick pavement, the only such pavement left that was part of US 40 in Indiana. I failed to find it on my recent bike trip across Indiana, but I found it on an earlier trip and documented it here.

The next is between US 231 and Putnamville at Deer Creek. There you’ll find a bridge over the creek, and leading away from it a long stretch of concrete pavement. I documented this segment in detail here and here, and shared a 1928 photo of the bridge here. This photo is westbound from the bridge.

Old US 40 concrete alignment with bridge, Putnam Co.

This photo is eastbound towards the bridge

Old US 40 concrete alignment with bridge, Putnam Co.

The next old alignment is just west of Putnamville, and it runs through the grounds of the Putnamville Correctional Facility. Here’s where it emerges from under current US 40, its concrete face still showing.

Old alignment US 40/NR at Putnamville Correctional Facility

This road is used within the prison and was covered over with asphalt at some point.

Old alignment US 40/NR at Putnamville Correctional Facility

A little west of Manhattan is a short concrete road signed as CR 775 S.

Short concrete old alignment

You’ll find a confluence of old alignments near Reelsville. One of them is gravel, and I didn’t want to ride my bike on it. The rest is concrete. I’ve documented the Reelsville alignments extensively here. The paved portion is in two segments. Here’s a photo from the east segment. This was originally a concrete road but it was paved over in asphalt.

Old US 40/NR alignment near Reelsville

Concrete remains on the west segment. It gets very little use and is well overgrown. It looks abandoned.

Old US 40/NR alignment near Reelsville

There’s a bridge back here, over Big Walnut Creek.

Old US 40/NR alignment near Reelsville

This is quite a difference from the character of the modern highway in Putnam County!

US 40 WB Putnam Co.

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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Ride Across Indiana, Road Trips

Then and now: The Oasis Diner

On a 2009 documentary trip along the National Road and US 40 in western Indiana, I stopped to photograph this diner, which had been closed for some time. The stainless steel portion of this structure was manufactured by the Mountain View Diners company of Signac, NJ, and was shipped via railroad to this spot just east of Plainfield, Indiana, in 1954.

The Diner
Minolta X-700, 50mm f/1.7 Minolta MD, Fujicolor 200, 2009

In 2014, this diner was purchased by new owners and relocated to downtown Plainfield. It opened in November after a restoration and the construction of a new extension behind the original stainless-steel diner. I visited in December of that year for dinner, and made this photo.

Oasis Diner
Canon PowerShot S95

Here’s the Oasis Diner from my bicycle trip across Indiana this year. I had stopped for lunch elsewhere; had I remembered about the Oasis’s outdoor seating, I would certainly have lunched here! (I always wanted to be near my bicycle, as everything for my trip was loaded onto it. So I wasn’t eating inside restaurants while riding.)

Oasis Diner
Apple iPhone 12 mini

It’s too bad they chose to plant trees in the streetscape; they block the view of this delicious old diner.

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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