Friday, April 30, 2010

An Independent Sense of Fashion

One more shot from Earth Day last weekend. As we used to say in the 60s (which I actually remember, sort of), whatever turns you on. If the young ladies wished to draw attention to themselves they were successful. This makes me wonder whether the epithet "your mother wears combat boots" might have originated in St. Louis.

Sorry no comments today. LONG day at work Thursday and had to pack for a road trip today. Here's the theme. Pix to follow.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Arch Series

The Arch behind the bridge that carries all the Interstate highways across the Mississippi. It's officially called the Bernard F. Dickman Memorial Bridge. Bernie was mayor of St. Louis way back when. Ninety nine percent of metro St. Louis residents have never heard that name. Everybody calls it the Poplar Street Bridge, after the tiny downtown side street it covers as it leaps across the Big Muddy.

There is a new Arch photo today on Gateway.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Last weekend's Earth day festival had something I'd never seen before. There was a group performing capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art and dance discipline. It looks like a combination of taekwando , modern dance and breakdancing. The participants whirl with sweeping kicks and thrusts, bouncing, swirling, doing headstands; lashing out at one another but never making contact. The group and other onlookers form a ring; two people at a time enter to perform the ritual. I cannot call it a contest because there seemed to be no sense of victory or loss. Some of the members play an instrument that looks like a a hunting bow, rubbing its string with a stick. A gourd is attached, probably for resonance. The whole group sings a hypnotic call-and-response chant. It was a fascinating sight.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Among the Faeries

Like last year, I found a group of faeries flittering through Forest Park during the Earth Day festivities. They were young and old, mostly but not exclusively women, and stayed completely in character when they spoke to me. If you would like to become a very disoriented 21st Century technically savvy person, go to your local major urban park and chat for a while with faeries who play it completely straight.
Oberon and Titania must have been held up by Sunday's rain but it was completely charming. Could a photographer play Puck?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Earth Day

St. Louis has an
Earth Day festival on the Sunday after the official date. It's so refreshing to see that there are actual strange, free-thinking people in this often too-vanilla town. There were bio-roofers, wild bird rehabbers, tissue-cleansers, soul travelers, organic clothiers, faeries, microbrewers, vegetarians, centenarians, egalitarians and a battalion of chiropractors.

Early in the day I met Uriel Starbuck, who styles himself a creativity coach. His resume appears impeccable.
Got a lot of good shots, which will appear over the coming days.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain Cycle

A bicyclist in Forest Park dodges the rain showers that rolled through the area yesterday. There is a tornado watch in effect as I write this on Saturday night. I've been in St. Louis more than 40 years and I've never seen one, fortunately, but they've been around the area many times. Mrs. C is from rural Kansas and she's never seen one. She actually has a sister named Dorothy who still lives in Kansas but, sadly, does not have a dog names Toto. She has a husband named Bill.

I'm hoping to shoot the annual Earth Day Festival in the park today. The forecast looks dicey but even if it doesn't rain Sunday the area should be slop. Break out the Wellies.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog Noir

A latter day Sam Spade, drifting through the shadows of St. Louis in search of mystery? (Like, what am I doing in this town?) No, only U "R" Us of Chicago Flair leaving a Cardinals baseball game during a visit here. By the way, he's been posting some interesting pictures on his blog the last couple of days, iPhone shots with a Holga-like filter. You might enjoy them. They look like something between film noir and a concealed security camera.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pump Shop

Just experimenting with image post-processing techniques. This is in the old industrial area south of the Arch. Don't have time to write much more - as I prepare this early Thursday evening I'm about to run out to a class about face and skin retouching in Photoshop. Could be pretty interesting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Arch Series

A slash in the sky. It could represent something shooting into the heavens from the banks of the Mississippi or it could be the path of a large object falling to earth. Or, uh, it could just be the south leg of the Arch on a day with nice weather.

There is a new Arch photo today on Gateway. I'm going to try real hard to post to it at least weekly.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Share The Road

Just sitting in my parked car on Broadway when I saw these cyclists coming up from behind. This resonated for me. Back when I was in law school the only transportation I could afford was a bicycle. One night I was zipping down the street in a well lit area when someone opened the driver's door of a parked car in front of me with precision timing. I detached pretty much everything from everything in a shoulder. It's fine now but the incident was scary. So share the road with cyclists.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hey Beer Man!

Budweiser rules this town, as illustrated by these shots at Busch (as in Anheuser-Busch) Stadium during a Cardinals baseball game. Like the sign on the bottom says, Genuine St. Louis Since 1876. Except it's not anymore, not since AB sold out to the Belgian-Brazilian megabrewer Inbev, resulting in hundreds of local layoffs. Budweiser is pretty bland, anyway, IMHO.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Perfect Model

I mentioned yesterday that I was a little nervous about my first assignment shooting high school senior pictures. Tillie, my subject, was terrific. Her mother is an old friend, a colleague in my legal specialty in central Missouri. We spent a few hours shooting in Forest Park and got some really good results. She was a perfect model.

By the way, I couldn't have done any of this without the instruction from my adored portrait photography teacher, Bobbi Lane. She da best.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Victory

Desperate for material. Had to spend most of yesterday at a wedding and reception for my wife's second cousin thrice removed or something way out in the exurbs. I did snag this in the morning, though. It goes out to our colleague Victor of
Gabriola Daily Photo.

Something very different to shoot today. Some friends asked me to do high school senior pictures for their daughter. That's a big deal around here. Never heard of it when I was that age in NYC, but then there were no digital cameras. Hope I do it right.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The first St. Louis Cardinals baseball game of the season for the Crowes. Above, son Andy (a.k.a. U "R" Us of Chicago Flair) and son-in-law Brian do the happy dance after the Cards' 4 to 3 victory over the New York Mets. Below, post-game fireworks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Final Note From San Francisco

Gotta get out and shoot some new local material. For now, a final image from San Francisco. In how many cities could you find this? This man sat on the sidewalk of The Embarcadero outside the Ferry Building. He provided poetry, much lacking in contemporary Western life, upon request. You tell him what it's worth to you. He will accept your donation, large or small, and summon the muse to his old manual typewriter. Art when you need it, whether rich or poor. That's poetry.

Finally, there is a new Arch photo on Gateway.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Arch Series

Thanks to all of you who sent anniversary greetings to me and Mrs. C. Yesterday was the actual event, 36 years and lots more to come. My wife is brilliant. Look what she found for anniversary gifts - the perfect thing for the hopeless arcophile! I dropped the wood puzzle on the floor before I set this up so, um, I don't think the pieces are in exactly the right order but you get the idea.

San Francisco was fabulous. We're back home now so I'll have time to spend time with my friends' blogs.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

STL DPB Leaving San Francisco

Time to go tome today. It's late Tuesday night as I write this - maybe more text in the morning. Above, at Mission Dolores. Below, one of the wall paintings in Balmy Alley.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

STL DPB In The Forest Primeval: Muir Woods

Yesterday was interesting. Alcatraz Island was worth the trip. We learned that its history included more that the notorious prison, It began as an army base and artillery battery protecting the entrance to the bay during the Civil War. After we returned, the sun peeked out here and there as we had lunch in a waterside restaurant in Sausilito. The highlight of the day, though, was a visit to Muir Woods, the preserve of towering redwood trees.

We are so busy that there has been little time for editing pictures (let alone visiting yours). Maybe I'll get more done on the plane tomorrow.

Bottom: the exercise yard from the former Alcatraz Prison. Bleak.

Monday, April 12, 2010

STL DPB On The Road: Pink Vespa In San Francisco

Found in the garage of the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Below, CDP meetup with Carolyn of Oakland Daily Photo and a bit more of the famous bridge..

I'm sorry I have not been able to write more text and visit my friends' blogs. This couple works hard on vacation. Out all day, back to the hotel, collapse, download pix and edit a few, dinner, upload a quick post, conk out. We plan to take the boat to Alcatraz today for the first time, then Sausilito for lunch, followed by the great, ancient trees in Muir Woods. It's a gloomy, wet day here, perfect for shooting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

STL DPB On The Road: Faces of San Francisco

I live in Podunk. Wouldn't see people like this back in STL. These are some of the faces I saw on the street in San Francisco yesterday, mostly at the Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown. I'll add more if I have time to edit them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

STL DPB On The Road: San Francisco

So this is part of the reason for all the rushing around of late. Mrs. C and I like to treat ourselves to something when our anniversary comes around (number 36, thank you). Her company is treat enough for me but we usually go someplace fun so we can get out of the rat race together.

This was taken from the second floor balcony of a restaurant of Pier 39 in the Fisherman's Wharf area, with the sun about to set behind the Golden Gate Bridge.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The River Rolls By

Another quickie post. Insane day at work yesterday and today is a travel day. I've been seriously overloaded but in a few hours things will calm down. Pix to follow from a soon-to-be-disclosed location.

Here, a father and his two sons do the Tom and Huck thing, just watching the Mississippi roll by. They are sitting at the top of the grand staircase leading from the Arch down to the river.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Arch Series

Lensbaby! HDR! Photoshop! Is it too much? Up to you.

Another quick post and few comments. Our home Internet problems should be solved today.
Back to your posts ASAP.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Well, It's Not Geneva

I have visited Geneva, Switzerland, once. Years ago, Mrs. C, the kids and I were staying in the Jura Mountains of eastern France and we popped over for a day. What I remember was that it was pretty, it was the most expensive place on earth I had visited to date and it had this enormous water spout shoot up out of the lake toward the sky.

It was, of course, the famous Jet d'Eau. (My American ears heard only "jeddo" for a while and I had no idea what they were talking about). Well, the Lou has its own version. This is the Gateway Geyser. It is straight across the Mississippi from the Arch in Illinois. Unlike its Swiss counterpart, it goes off for 15 minutes, three times a day. But it's pretty cool - at its maximum the water spray is as high as the Arch itself, quite a lot higher than the Jet d'Eau. I think they have to turn it down sometimes, depending on the wind, for aircraft safety. I took this picture while standing under the Arch so it was a long way off.

I regret that I will not be able to make comments on others' posts from Tuesday evening, probably until Wednesday evening. We're getting a new telephone/Internet/television bundle at home and until they finish installing it we we have no web service. You would laugh to see me writing this post while sitting in my car outside of a cafe with free WiFi. The show must go on.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Naked Truth

There is something else of note in Compton Hill Reservoir Park besides the water tower, where I went to shoot Sunday's photo. This statue is called Naked Truth and it's a local icon. The three names behind the figure were the editors of the German language St. Louis Westliche Post in the early 20th Century. The statue was bankrolled by Adolphus Busch, founder of the Anheuser-Busch dynasty. There was a big brouhaha about the statue's nudity. Prudes demanded that it be draped. The sculptor, Wilhelm Wandschneider of Berlin, refused. The compromise was to change the material from white marble to bronze to - I don't know - de-emphasize her, um, rather evident nakedness or something. For details, click here and scroll down to the section about the statue.

I wondered if I should have saved this for the May 1 CDP theme day but then I thought, nah, I can find something stranger.

Monday, April 5, 2010

International Pillow Fight Day

Did you know that last Saturday was
International Pillow Fight Day? Was it celebrated in your city? It was in quite a few. There was a very small scale version here. It was supposed to start at 3 under the Arch. It was a beautiful spring day and there were plenty of strollers but no groups big enough start a battle. At about 3:15 I began to wander off, thinking, well, another St. Louis poop out.

Then I saw a small group of people near the far leg swinging something. Not a battle but maybe a small skirmish.
I found about nine college students, led by Samantha, the smasher in the bottom picture, right of center in the group shot. Most of the combatants were women and they were tough. What they lacked in numbers they made up for with enthusiasm and good-natured violence. Hope there is a bigger donnybrook next year.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen,
und freudenvollere.
Freude! Freude!
Okay, the dark pictures are banished (for now)! Let's have some springtime joy.

There is a beautiful old water tower in Compton Hill Park at Grand Ave. and I 44. It was news to me, but you can climb the 198 steps to the top on the first Saturday of the month from April to October. The St. Louis Photography Meetup organized a group hike up yesterday. It was worth it. This is what passes for our downtown skyline, maybe a couple of miles west of the Arch.

I went down to the Arch later in the afternoon (the reason will be explained soon). The picture below is how the tulip trees were looking.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In A Rut

Tower Grove Park, three weeks ago in late winter. I keep posting all these ominous black and white HDRs. Should I be looking at myself in the mirror more carefully? I'm not a bleak person but it's true that I like interesting more than pretty.

And speaking of which, it seems that all of the flowering trees in St. Louis have exploded into bloom in the last 48 hours. Better go make some happy pictures. There is a terrific photo op today with a group of shooters in a city park. More about that tomorrow if the weather holds.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Before The Flood

See that oval sign on the right with a crossbar? And the posts on the left with the chain fence between them? Then look back at
the pictures in Wednesday's post. This is Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard (she was a Member of Congress), the street that runs along the Mississippi under the Arch. The picture was taken a week before Wednesday's. That's how fast the big river can change.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

CDP Monthly Theme Day: Red

So it's red today, is it? Here's a favorite old red in a portrait by Andy Warhol that adorns my office wall. (Just a print. Not a real Warhol.) So in that sense this post has some remote connection to St. Louis. Um, and to red. Workers of the world unite! Waive the red banner high! You have nothing to lose but your access to Blogger. I have much respect for China after two visits but, you know, then there's all that other stuff.

During the Cultural Revolution, the
de facto national anthem of China was a stirring number called The East Is Red. Click the player bar below to listen to it. It's a lot more snappy than the official anthem, The March of The Volunteers.

By the way, CDP geezers may remember that there was another red theme day on July 1, 2007.
Here's what I had to say about it back then.

>Click here to view thumbnails for all CDP theme day participants