Tuesday, June 30, 2009


As noted here before, the best place to get parade pictures IMHO is in the staging area before the march begins. People are standing still, there are no waving arms and hands in front of your lens (I got a lot of that Sunday) and people are ready to pose. This bunch was out there among a lot of people who were really out there.

And by the way, greetings from Toronto. This is just a quick snap taken from the King Street trolley on our way back to the hotel from dinner last night.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Roller Derby Is So Gay

St. Louis annual Pridefest and Parade was yesterday, as in much of the world. It's my annual photographic candy store. Everyone is welcoming, friendly and loves to have their picture taken. I only got hit on twice - me, a 59 year old straight guy. I don't know whether to be glad or disappointed .

Here's a portrait of a member of the St. Louis Arch Rivals, our women's roller derby team. I've never been to a match and I could just kick myself.

Mrs. C and I arrive in Toronto tonight but I'm sure there will be something more from the parade tomorrow.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

O Canada

This was lying in the pavement in Kiener Plaza near my office. It may have fallen off the apparently homeless man sleeping on a bench a couple of steps away, surrounded by a few plastic bags with his possessions. If he were in Canada, would there be less chance of him sleeping on a park bench?

It's an appropriate theme, though, because Mrs. C and I are flying to the great city of Toronto tomorrow for a few days of fun. We'll be there on Wednesday, July 1, which is Canada Day, the national holiday. It's sort of like the Fourth of July in the US but a lot less militaristic. And more welcoming, since almost half of Torontonians were born in other countries. There's a huge fireworks show over Lake Ontario and we'll be in the bleachers (don't forget the tripod!). Then on to northern New Jersey, near NYC, where the Crowes gather over the Fourth of July weekend - more fireworks!

BUT today is St. Louis' annual Pridefest Parade and Fest, where I've gotten some of my very best pictures in past years. Check back TOMORROW.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cool Sound, Hot Day

.A member of the East St. Louis High School band plays on the grounds of the new overlook opposite the Arch. The photo was edited to emphasize the heat. It sure has been hot and very humid here. Welcome to summer in The Lou. Come Monday we'll be somewhere cooler, more about which soon.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What's With All These Cumulus Clouds?

I've got some kind of fixation going about cumulus clouds over the Mississippi. This is a section of the flood wall north of the Arch. It is not a graffiti-allowed section but rather a bizarre mini-park. I'll try to get back there this weekend for some more shots.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

Another simple one, shot from the east steps of the Old Court House. You can see the point I was shooting from here. We get wonderful, huge cumulus clouds here in the Midwest during the summer. Watch out for the tall ones that get black and develop a flat top.

My ability to leave comments on your blogs will be limited for a few days. Some readers know that I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. I had surgery yesterday to straighten out the two most crooked fingers and I'll have this fashion accessory for a bit. It's no help for typing at all. The job was done by A List hand surgeon Martin Boyer, MD. This guy is good.

There is a new Arch photo
today on GATEWAY.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I go out on a scavenger hunt for blog material most weekends. Some of my favorite haunts are the industrial barrens just north and south of the Arch. This is the end of a section of the Mississippi floodwall near the foot of Chouteau Avenue. There is a long stretch where graffiti is permitted - it's been featured on the blog before. This bit has several layers of work added over time. The astronaut has been there for a couple of years. The eyes are new.

TOMORROW: Thursday Arch Series

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Yesterday and today's posts are stupid Photoshop tricks, fooling around with color and light. Is it trashy or arty? Your pick. In one version of this image I cut-n-pasted a couple of flying saucers* into the sky but then decided that was over the top. I think it ended up kinda cool, you know, sci-fi super-glow St. Louis. Boys just want to have fun.

* The French call them cigares volants, flying cigars, a much more poetic name. You can imagine the engine fumes. or just try to imaging flying saucers that have engine fumes. France has got this stuff down.

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Could Even Say It Glows

The wacky architecture of the Civil Courts Building in the sunset, with a certain amount of electronic modification. Thirty or forty years ago, viewers might have assumed that there was a certain amount of chemical enhancement involved in the production. I'm old enough to remember.

A SAD NOTE: St. Louis lost two of its Toynbee Tiles in recent days. We only had four. Both of them in the crosswalk at 7th and Market were covered by repaving. The bizarre, mysterious plaques in the street are slowly being lost to time. I wonder how many are still left in Philadelphia, where theory holds they originated. I covered these on three consecutive posts in the early days of the blog and one more a month later. See the background story and first local tile here and my second discovery with more research here. The dear departed tiles and further inquiries may be viewed here and the second photo in this post. If you know of any Toynbee Tiles in your city, please let me know. This deep art must be preserved.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

All Star Fever

The baseball All Star Game will be played in St. Louis on Tuesday, July 14. This may be of no interest to the rest of the world devoted to that other kind of football, but it's a big deal here. Mrs. C. and I will be there. Our team and city will be represented by Albert Pujols. Only nine years into his career, Pujols may be one of the greatest players to wear a Major League uniform.

The marketing hoopla is really cranking up. From my office window, I saw several small arches with baseball themes pop up in Kiener Plaza. This one celebrates the St. Louis Cardinals' World Series championships, second in number only to the New York Yankees.

I wonder if they will make the beer and hot dogs at the stadium even more expensive for the All Star Game. What they charge now is an outrage.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Malcolm Martin

Earlier this month, I had a couple of posts about Malcolm Martin Memorial Park and Overlook. It's the superb new viewing platform in East St. Louis, Illinois, facing the Mississippi, downtown St. Louis and the Arch. See my post of June 11 for more info. At the very end there is a statue of Mr. Martin, sitting in the place his vision created, looking back across the river at the city with a small, satisfied smile.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This man first attracted my attention because of the way the light was hitting him from the side of the tent. Then I saw his tee shirt. I asked him what infowars.com is. He said something about alternative media. The man was very friendly and happy to let me photograph him, but he struck such a strange pose. When I got home I checked out the web site. Oh, wow. Paranoia and conspiracy theory still run through our body politic.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

Just a skyscape and a silhouette. Shot from my office window with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. Toys "R" Me.

There is a new Arch photo

today on GATEWAY.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Okay, back to shots of the home town. We don't have a big-time skyline but it's something. The tall building at right-center (Metropolitan Square) and the one to the left with the dome on top (federal courthouse) are actually about the same height, both barely shorter than the Arch. My office is in the dark, grid-like building, one back from the right side.

By the way, yesterday and today's pictures are both HDR images. There are some other people out there using the technique. Have a look at the B&W HDR group on Flickr

TOMORROW: Thursday Arch Series

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Home Of The WIldcats

The athletic teams of Hanover, Kansas, High School are known as the Wildcats. This building is the press box and refreshment stand at the football field. Opposing players must be terrified.

Sorry I'm behind on comments on other blogs. I uploaded yesterday's post from the airport in Lincoln, Nebraska. The plane was way late. I missed my connection in Chicago. The last flight to St. Louis was full so I was stranded at beautiful O'Hare Airport. Got a hotel room and was on the first flight out Monday morning. Zoomed home after arrival, put on a suit and then drove two and a half hours to a hearing out in the boonies. Now, as I write this on Monday night, it's sleepy time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

STL DPB On The Road: More From Hanover, Kansas

Kansas: grain elevators, railroad tracks, big sky. Post uploaded from the airport in Lincoln, Nebraska, on my way home.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

STL DPB On The Road: Hanover, Kansas

Hanover, Kansas, is a town of 653 people, a few miles south of the Nebraska state line, about a third of the way west from Missouri to Colorado. It's been on this blog a number of times before. My mother-in-law, Elvira, is here. She's 90 and still lives in her own home. Her next door neighbor, Ray, is 85. He served in the Army in France during World War II, then worked for 41 years as a section foreman on the Burlington Northern Railroad. He'll gladly tell you all about it. Ray has a 1929 Ford Model A in the garage. He says it runs but I didn't see it. Maybe one day he will fix it up. It's not for sale.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

STL DPB On The Road: Passing Through Kansas City

We stopped in Kansas City last night on our way to visit Mrs. C's family in north central Kansas. Her sister and brother in law live towards the edge of the Kansas-side suburbs, Dorothy (Ha! Dorothy from Kansas! No ruby slippers, though.) and Bill. They have about 10 acres/4 hectares of land on which Bill has developed his own little theme park of Midwest rural America. It's awfully clever. These are just a few of his artifacts.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Around The Overlook

Scenes from Saturday's dedication of the new Mississippi River overlook and park.

Above is the Gateway Geyser, which has been in this location for twelve years. Most St. Louisans are unaware of it because is is only on for 15 minute periods during the warmer months. You can't see it from almost anywhere except right under the Arch and the neighborhood in East St. Louis. The water can rise over 190 meters, as high as the Arch, but it does so only occasionally. The height of the plume is limited by local wind speed and a general aviation airport located nearby. Very cool when it's on blast, though.

The first picture below is me at the edge of the overlook. The park district had a photgrapher and printers for anyone who wanted a souvenir of the opening. The composite below is comprised of a security guard on a Segway (there is lots of 24/7 security), Mayor Alvin Parks of East St. Louis speaking at the dedication, a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch interviewing visitors to the top and a closer view of the structure itself.

Off to Kansas City tonight and north-central Kansas tomorrow to see my wife's family. I bet there will be a picture of a cornfield soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

There's something new on the St. Louis scene, Malcolm Martin Memorial Park and Overlook. It is a four-story structure in East St. Louis, Illinois, that provides a commanding view of the Arch and Mississippi. The photo above is my first shot from the edge. The one below shows the whole structure.

Malcolm Martin was a prominent lawyer. He never married and lived frugally but was devoted to the improvement of the St. Louis area. He knew that the best view of the Arch, the river and downtown was from the Illinois side. Martin started a foundation to create this overlook and preserve the vista for the public. It opened last Saturday and I attended the ceremony.

If you would like to know more about the project, check the article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here. Come back tomorrow for more pictures about the park complex and (yes!) the Gateway Geyser. It is at the back of the park and shoots water over 190 meters in the air, as high as the Arch itself.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Faerie Hug

Still another photo of the faeries at the Renaissance Faire. (I guess it's natural for faeries to hang out at faires, for orthographic reasons if nothing else). I posted this for a couple of purposes. It's sort of a sweet, tender image. It also illustrates Bob's Photography Conservation System. Sometimes I get a shot with decent composition but I don't like how the color looks. Thanks to the magic of the Black and White Adjustment Layer tool in Photoshop, those pictures often look good converted to monochrome. This is an example. Digital photography must be holy because it forgives many sins.

Lately it seems like this has turned into a portrait photography blog. Well, back to inanimate objects tomorrow with the Thursday Arch Series. Someting new on the scene!

There is a new Arch photo
today on GATEWAY.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flower Child

Still wandering around at the Renaissance Faire. The light here was just kick-ass gorgeous, under a big umbrella with bright sunlight coming in from the sides. There was a little bit of embarrassment on this shot. The flower vendor caught my eye and I went over and did my usual "Gee you look great would you mind if I..." routine. After I took a few shots I was making complements about how beautiful and flattering the light was on the hair and face. From a distance I had assumed this was a girl. Only after I got my eye unstuck from the camera did I notice that the hair was probably a wig, the pointy plastic fairy ears and that this was, in fact a boy. Oops, sorry kid.

AND BY THE WAY, for an interesting little story about getting started in photography, click here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Faerie Band

They prefer this spelling. They hang out in the woods. They have day jobs and dress differently. It would be nice if they could grant me three wishes.

Would you like to be granted three wishes? What would they be?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mr. Trump

Ronald, not Donald. Ron Trump and his wife are spending their retirement years as itinerant kettle corn merchants. They had a prime location just inside the gate at the Renaissance Faire. Ron's got a laugh and a big splash of color for everyone. No fool, he.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Renaissance Man


The start of a new series, a visit to the St. Louis Renaissance Faire. Readers of this blog may remember that I was personally invited by Etiene, the Queen of the Faeries. More about them soon.

Meet Jim. He looks scary but he was just as nice as can be. Jim plays guitar in a heavy metal band. We started talking about music (he was impressed that I was at Woodstock) and then photography. He explained why and how I should get a networking page on MySpace to promote my work. Jim asked for my card, saying some other bands might like me to do some publicity shots. Like almost everyone, he was delighted that someone wanted to take his picture just because he was interesting.

Friday, June 5, 2009

That's Entertainment

Some final shots from Shakespeare In The Park.The woman above is part of the group from Wednesday's post. The man below is Jeff the Juggler, who has been part of the green show year after year. He is very animated. If I juggled fire, I'd be animated, too.

I think that tomorrow we will go to a different venue and look at the faeries; heavy metal, scary looking, good-natured biker types; or various interesting people dressed as if they lived in 16th Century France. Got a preference?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

The view from across the Mississippi on a day with a dramatic sky, shot with a Lensbaby. The big news for Arch photography is that the new overlook on the river opposite the monument finally opens on Saturday. I plan to be at the dedication ceremony, although I may have to fight for tripod space afterward. No doubt there will be zillions of pix taken there in the months to come.

There is a new Arch photo

ay on GATEWAY.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dancers and Drummers


Not only are there mini stage shows in the warm up for our Shakespeare In The Park, there are belly dancers and drummers wandering through the crowd. Ladies, I hear this is very good exercise. And theater fans, it could take your mind off that lousy bottle of wine your friend brought for the pre-play picnic. I watched and took pictures for some time. The woman on the right in the red, white and black robe looked like she never came out of a trance. It occurred to me later that she might be blind.

FOLLOW-UP ON YESTERDAY'S POST: the alert Mrs. C writes that green show "simply means the show on the lawn (green), as opposed to the stage. One of their earlier program books explained it; see this one:

TOMORROW: Thursday Arch Series.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

At The Green Show

Another candid portrait, this time a young actress in the green show before St. Louis Shakespeare In The Park's performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor. I like this picture for its soft, warm tones and the woman's charm.

I couldn't find any information about the term "green show," even a glossary of theater terms. Can anyone help with that?

Monday, June 1, 2009

CDPB Monthly Theme Day: Feet

La mort de Barbie.

I couldn't just post a picture of feet. The subject didn't appeal to me. Feet... feet... what about feet? What's different? Well, feet stick out of the bottom of sheets in the morgue with a name tag tied to one of them. Who deserves to die? Barbie. We wouldn't buy our daughter a Barbie when she was small. Then a babysitter gave her one out of pity, I suppose. There's no winning but there is revenge.

Feet are stomping all across the City Daily Photoblog confederation. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants