Photographs

The lighthouse at Michigan City

The trip Margaret and I made to South Bend included a short jaunt over to Michigan City. Despite it being a chilly, windy day, we hit the beach at Lake Michigan and walked out to the lighthouse.

Michigan City lighthouse
Michigan City lighthouse
Michigan City lighthouse
Michigan City lighthouse
Michigan City lighthouse

Olympus XA and Kodak Tri-X 400, expired 6/2001, in HC-110, Dilution B.

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

Standard
Photographs

Lake Michigan lifeguard stand on Kodak Plus-X

Margaret and I drove up to Lake Michigan at Michigan City a few weeks ago. It was about 50 degrees out, but as usual the wind was quite strong off the lake. We both had only medium jackets on, and they weren’t quite warm enough. But we pressed on for some photography anyway.

This closed lifeguard stand on the deserted beach was interesting to me, so I photographed it a number of times in its context.

Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan
Lifeguard stand, Lake Michigan

I made these photos in my Olympus XA on Kodak Plus-X (expired 2/2000 but stored frozen). I developed the film in Rodinal 1+50.

I also shot about half a roll of Kodak Tri-X at this location, including a bunch of photos of the lighthouse here. I’ll share those images soon.

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

Standard
Photographs

People using the Chicago Lakefront Trail

It’s the laziest kind of street photography: sit in a spot with your camera aimed in a direction, and press the shutter when something interesting enters the frame.

We were in Chicago, sitting next to the Chicago Lakefront Trail where it passes by the Ohio Street Beach, which is adjacent to Navy Pier.

I set my Nikon Df to Live View so I could compose using the screen, and held the camera at belly level. My 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor lens was attached, allowing me to zoom in and out as I pleased.

Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach
Ohio Street Beach

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

Standard
At the Chicago lakeshore

Ice cream on the lakeshore
Nikon Df, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6G AF Nikkor
2021

Margaret and I spent a long weekend in Chicago not long ago. It was our first stay in a hotel since the pandemic began. But we hardly spent time in the hotel; we walked all over the Loop and up to Navy Pier, and out to Lake Michigan. We spent a lot of time at the lake on this trip.

I brought my Nikon Df along. I’m still getting to know this camera. It’s funny, I can pick up pretty much any old film SLR and make good images with it on the first try. But I have had to spend time learning the nuances of every DSLR I’ve used. The Df seems to bias toward shallow depth of field, which I frequently don’t want. There must be some menu setting someplace to adjust that. Meanwhile, I’ve tended to shoot in aperture-priority mode rather than program mode to control DOF.

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

Photographs

single frame: Ice cream on the lakeshore

An ice cream shop on Lake Michigan in Chicago.

Image

Near the end of the Michigan Road in Michigan City, Indiana, you’ll find this lighthouse keeping watch over the harbor of Lake Michigan. It and an associated breakwater were built in 1904 and have served ever since. The Coast Guard relinquished this lighthouse in 2007, and I believe Michigan City itself took up its operation and maintenance.

Margaret and I visited on a cold, windy day when the pier was closed, so we could only make long-zoom photographs from the beach. We’ll go back another day when we can walk out to it.

Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse
Michigan City Lighthouse

I’ve documented Indiana’s historic Michigan Road extensively. To read all about it, click here.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!

Road Trips

The Lake Michigan lighthouse in Michigan City, Indiana

Photographs of the lighthouse in the Lake Michigan harbor in Michigan City, Indiana.

Image
History, Road Trips

270 miles of history

If you’ve ever read my blog before, you know about my fascination with the Michigan Road. It’s Indiana’s first state-funded road, built in the 1830s to connect southern Indiana to northern Indiana through the capital at Indianapolis. Amazingly, it is still mostly intact. With a couple minor detours, you can drive all of it still today.

Here’s the beginning of the Michigan Road, in Madison, Indiana, just north of the Ohio River.

The Michigan Road begins

Here’s the end of the Michigan Road, in Michigan City, Indiana, just south of Lake Michigan.

The End of the Road

In between these two bits of pavement lies Indiana itself – its biggest city, several of its small towns, and acres upon acres of its farmland. Driving this road gives you a comprehensive view of Indiana life both past and present.

I spent my spare time last summer slowly following the Michigan Road and photographing everything I found interesting – pavement, bridges, churches, cemeteries, schools, homes, drive-ins, theaters, courthouses, hotels, and motels, for over 1,000 photos. By themselves, these images tell quite a bit of Indiana’s history. But each photograph made me curious about these places’ backstories, and so I began researching. The more I learned, the more I wanted to tell some of the stories. So last fall I began writing about the road via the photos I took.

I’ve been publishing my work in progress to my personal Web site all along. But over the weekend I finished writing about everything I’ve learned. So I uploaded the last of the files to the server and now, no matter where you are, you can travel all 270 miles of the Michigan Road. To begin your journey, start here.

If you like what you read, keep checking back. My fascination with this road is as strong as ever, and I’m still digging for more stories of life along it. As I learn more, I’ll keep updating those pages.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!

Standard