Interesting light, captured on iPhone

I’m still using the iPhone 6S I bought in 2016. That’s ancient mobile-phone history, but it’s been a good phone and I don’t see any reason to upgrade. Its battery is starting to wear out, but the Apple Store will install a new one for $49. That’s a fraction of a new iPhone’s cost.

The new iPhone 11’s camera is supposed to be startlingly good thanks to big advances in computational photography. I’m sure I’ll find out all about it someday, but not as long as my 6S continues to perform well.

The 6S’s camera is pretty good, anyway. Here are some photos I’ve made with it lately that I think turned out all right. What they all have in common is that I found the light to be interesting, and the iPhone was the only camera I had on me.

I made this photo through the windshield of my car as I drove out of my subdivision after a snowy night.

Snowy road

I made this through my car’s windshield too. I’d just left work and was stopped at a light on Washington Street (the Michigan and National Roads) at Meridian Street.

Westbound on Washington

We got some delicious late-afternoon light one weekday afternoon so I went to the nearest window and made this photo of the neighboring City-County Building.

The City-County Building

I was reading one evening as the sun set. I looked over and noticed these wonderful colors through the back door window. I wasn’t motivated enough to get up and add a photo to my Sunset Over the Toyota Dealer series so I zoomed in a little with my iPhone and made this.

Kitchen sunset

I made this at Crown Hill Cemetery on the day I shot a roll of Fujifilm Velvia there.

Crown Hill path

Margaret and I met her son Zach in the hip Fountain Square neighborhood for a night out. We stopped by Hotel Tango, which distills their own spirits. I stood in line waiting to order us a round of Old Fashioneds.

Order Here

Finally, where I work everyone who completes five years of service gets a rubber chicken. This service award is far less puzzling than the one given for ten years: a tin can with a plastic spoon sticking out of it. I’m sure that when my time comes for one of these awards, someone will explain them to me.

Rubber chickens

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.


A visit to Woodford Reserve Distillery

Woodford Reserve Distillery

My camera’s battery died just a few photographs into our tour of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, between Frankfort and Versailles in central Kentucky. It’s a shame, because the place is so picturesque. I would have liked to photograph it extensively.

The distillery is also historic, one of the oldest in Kentucky. Known previously as the Labrot and Graham Distillery and before that the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery, whiskey has been made here since 1812. Woodford Reserve is a Johnny-come-lately on the scene, having been distilled only since 1996.

Thanks to my iPhone for making it possible to document this visit at all. Here are Woodford Reserve’s famous copper pot stills, and also my wife Margaret from behind.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Those pot stills make up only part of Woodford Reserve bourbon. The rest of it comes from the column stills of the Brown-Forman distillery in suburban Louisville, an hour to the west.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

Its rickhouse, where the bourbon barrels are left to age, is unusual in that it’s made of stone. So many are made of wood.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

One odd thing I noticed is that barrels in the rickhouse, the ones I could see anyway, carried distillery number DSP-KY-52. But newer barrels, including ones recently filled, bore the number DSP-KY-15018. This must be something quite new, as an Internet search on DSP-KY-15018 turns up nothing. A search on DSP-KY-52 returns all sorts of references to the Woodford Reserve Distillery. I wish I’d asked the tour guide about it.

Woodford Reserve Distillery

As a fellow who is seriously into bourbon, I appreciate a bar with a wide selection that includes some esoteric whiskies. But Woodford Reserve is a very nice bourbon, and most every bar carries it. Anywhere I go, I’m perfectly happy with a pour of Woodford Reserve. Neat, of course.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe!

Photography, Travel

Favorite photos from New Harmony

My main camera on our trip to New Harmony was, as often happens, my little Canon PowerShot S95. I did take a film camera, my Olympus XA2, loaded with Ultrafine Xtreme 100. But it simply turned out not to be a black-and-white weekend. I shot but nine frames. In contrast, I made 175 photos with the S95.

This is New Harmony’s Main Street. It’s perpendicular to the road that you have to use to enter New Harmony, which is Church Street and also State Road 66.

Around New Harmony

We got a spectacular sunset that night. In the shadowy foreground is the Lenz House, built in about 1820. Read a little bit about it here. That page mentions the Harmonists, a group that tried and failed to build a utopian society here.

Sunset over the Lenz House

Here’s one photo I made with my iPhone 6s. We were walking back to the house we’d rented after dinner one night when a fellow invited us to a jam session. We were surprised that it involved mostly cellos and violins! A guitarist later joined.

Jam session with cellos

I shared these two photos in my post about the Roofless Church.

The Roofless Church
The Roofless Church

A double log cabin — two cabins sharing a conjoining covered deck — provides this view. It’s on the same property as the Lenz house.

Lenz house property

Finally, a lovely yellow flower.

Yellow bloom

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.


I’ve been writing about New Harmony all week — but for those of you here just for the doors, it’s a historic town in the southwestern tip of Indiana. Its founders tried, and failed, to build a utopian society here. Today it’s both a typical small Indiana town and something of an artist’s colony. It makes for a lovely long weekend, as my wife and I found out recently. And now, herewith the doors of New Harmony.

Around New Harmony
Around New Harmony
Around New Harmony
Working Men's Institute
Around New Harmony
Episcopal church
Episcopal church
Opera House
The Roofless Church

Thursday doors: New Harmony, Indiana

Some of the doors from New Harmony, for the Thursday Doors feature.

Road Trips

Working on both the Michigan and National Roads

My new office is on Washington Street in Downtown Indianapolis — the only place where the Michigan Road and the National Road share an alignment.

My desk is on the 12th floor. Here’s the view from the nearest window, after a violent storm passed through. That’s the City-County Building at left, and the city’s new bus terminal at right. Between them, the National Road is headed east and the Michigan Road is headed south.

A portion of the roof is set up like a patio with outdoor furniture. Here’s the view towards Monument Circle at the heart of Indianapolis. The Monument itself rises above the Circle Tower building near lower left.

I’ve already taken a couple Downtown photo walks on my lunch hour. After I’ve fully settled into the new job I expect I’ll take many more.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe!


Some recent iPhone photography

If I were to mark on a calendar the cameras I used each day, my iPhone 6s would show up most often, no fewer than 4 days a week. Most of the photos I make are throwaways, something I wanted to document so I wouldn’t forget it, or something I wanted to show my wife.

But every now and then I use my iPhone to make a photograph I wanted to keep, one I would have rather made with a “real” camera had I only had one on me. They’re all still snapshots but I thought you might like to see some of them.

Swagged out

Here’s a selfie of me all swagged out at my previous job (you know, the one where I was fired with no explanation). We were having our second annual Field Day, which was a bunch of silly quasi-athletic outdoor games. After my unwelcome exit from the company I promptly waste-canned all of my company swag. Also: this might be the only photo ever of me wearing a hat. I’m not a hat person. I’m too vain about my hair.

First Baptist

This cornerstone anchors the First Baptist Church in Lebanon, IN. I photograph church cornerstones whenever I find them; here’s my Flickr album of them.


I spied this guy while taking a walk through the neighborhood. Isn’t he just gorgeous?

Currently caffeinating

These were the disposable coffee cups we used at church for a while. I drink so much coffee that this slogan describes my whole life.


On another walk through the neighborhood, this rainbow appeared.


I used the iPhone’s panorama mode to capture the whole rainbow later in the walk.

Ruth's Cafe

Ruth’s Cafe is a quirky breakfast-and-lunch place near where I work. It’s very popular — get there by 11:30 for lunch because it’s socked in by 11:45. This old TV, its works removed, is their check-in stand and they always have some breakfast-related quote scrawled onto its screen. I’ll bet this was a top-of-the-line set when it was new.


Here are some tulips from the little bed under our front window. I made these photos in the last few weeks as these buds began to open. The iPhone is brilliant at making flower photos.

Sunset over the Toyota dealer

There aren’t many advantages to living right next to I-65. One of the few is that there are no houses behind us to block the sublime sunsets we get. And then last year a Toyota dealership was built on the other side of the retention pond from us, and they erected their sign right in our line of sight. Sunset, brought to you by Toyota. Oh, what a feeling.

Gluten. Free. Waffles!!!!!!

It’s a tired cliche, I know, to photograph your lunch. But these gluten-free waffles are so tender and delicious that I had to memorialize them just once. If you’re ever in the area and follow a gluten-free diet you can get these at Cafe Patachou, which has locations all around Indianapolis.

Metallica from the back row

Finally, the crowd gathers to see Metallica play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Maybe it was because we were in the very last row, but the sound was so muddy we sometimes couldn’t tell what song they were playing. I’ve seen Metallica five times now, but the last time was 22 years ago. I can’t believe the metal bands of my youth are still at it. Anyway, thrice Metallica were brilliant and twice they sucked. One of the times they sucked, I stood in a downpour that lasted the show. Good times, good times.

My metalhead son and I are on a quest to see the Big Four thrash metal bands — Slayer, Anthrax, Metallica, and Megadeth. We saw Anthrax last year on a tour it headlined (read my report about being in the mosh pit here), and again last year on a tour Slayer headlined. We have tickets to see Megadeth in August. Parenting level: expert.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader, click here to subscribe!