Road trip photos

I’m working on new website stuff,iqoptions but it’s going slowly, and I thought it’s past time I showed the photos from my very productive November/December road trip. All are embiggenable.

I started off driving overnight to Chicago, with the intention of getting there before dawn and spending the end of night and morning taking photos. I ended up a bit late, just before sunrise, but still had most of the morning to work with.

Chicago Train

The rather blandly titled “Chicago Train.”

The Reader at Millennium Park

“The Reader at Millennium Park.” I probably should have grabbed a random passer-by to model this one rather than doing it myself.

Monroe Street, Chicago

“Monroe Street, Chicago.” You probably can’t tell even in the bigger version, but there are three construction workers on the building in the foreground just right of the street who are very important.

North Loop Skyline from the Art Institute

“North Loop Skyline from the Art Institute.”

I ended the day in Indiana. My intention had been to drive across Ohio and New York to get to Niagara the next night, but Snowpocalypse wasn’t having any of that, so instead I went up through Michigan in lake-effect snow the whole way, and went north of the lake through Ontario. That worked reasonably well, and I got to Niagara mid-evening.

Niagara American Falls

The American falls.
Canadian Falls

And the Canadian falls.

Niagara Through Spray

Canadian falls shot through the rising mist. Took this one thinking of Jon, who likes subtle colors.

Canadian Falls Spray

Canadian falls. Not sure I really like this one, but it’s there. Had to go inside and defrost all my gear after this one, it’s the 17mm on my Gorillapod hanging out over the river, and spray froze onto everything.

Niagara Lights

These are the lights that are coloring the various falls in the other photos. This is my favorite from Niagara.

I stayed the night there, worrying about the Snowpocalypse and whether I was going to get through Buffalo to Rochester at all, or have to go north around through Toronto. Looking at snow maps I decided to brave it hugging the south shore of Lake Ontario, and there was almost no snow there, the drive ended up extremely easy and I could have spent a bunch more time taking photos. Did get this one on the way out of Buffalo:

Parallel Power

I didn’t see the reflections while I was taking the photo, and they’re easy to miss in the unprocessed one as well, but I was playing with the blue channel and up pops a parallel dimension power station. It’s obviously the cover to an industrial fantasy novel, but sadly not the parallel-dimensions-and-hydroelectric-power one I’m already avoiding work on.

Went to the Josh Ritter show that night in Rochester, then up early to drive to Boston. Got out of Rochester as the sun was rising and had to stop to take this:

Rochester Sunrise

I spent three days in Boston and didn’t take a single photo there, though other good and useful things were accomplished.

Lake Champlain

After Boston I went up to Vermont to have lunch with Ginger, and wandered around Lake Champlain a bit afterward. Then on to Quebec.

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity with Test Pattern

When I got there this was going on right outside my hotel. I actually wandered over into the cathedral grounds to take this, and the francophones setting up just watched me bemusedly. I later discovered that they were preparing to turn the cathedral into a digital Advent calendar.

Metal Roofs, Quebec

Quebec is full of very characterful metal roofs. I especially liked the old/new contrast between these.

Still Life at No. 9

“Still Life at No. 9.”

Purple Windows, Musée de l'Amérique française

Windows at the Musée de l’Amérique Française.

Hockey Nets, Séminaire de Québec

Hockey nets set up at the Séminaire de Québec.

Séminaire de Québec

More seminary.

Quebec Cannon

The other thing Quebec is totally full of is cannons. Other cities like to keep one or two around as public art, but I don’t think Quebec ever got rid of any, and there have been a lot of cannons there over the years. It’s rather startling.

Quebec Chateau Silhouette

I think this one only works as a print, but it’s really nice that way.

The Reader in Quebec

“The Reader in Quebec.”

Canada Post Dome, Quebec, 3:14 pm

This is the Post office dome, from the morning I left for Montreal.

Busker at Guy-Concordia

Busker in the Guy-Concordia Metro station in Montreal.

Montreal Construction

Just some neat shapes in construction.

Beaux-Arts Windows

We went to the Museum of Fine Arts. They had one architectural fine art photograph in their collection. I left with several in my camera, despite only bringing my 50mm.

Beaux Arts Corner

Really like this one.

Beaux Arts Stair

And their weird, 1/3-height stairs made a good photo.

Beaux Arts Atrium

Architectural abstracts are nice.


New hospital construction in downtown Montreal.

314 Champ de Mars

I know nothing about this building beyond its address.

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal

A nice silhouette opportunity at the Basilica.

Busker at Bonaventure

A lonely busker in Bonaventure Metro. It’s good I was very early for dinner, because I had to wait quite a while to get the empty hallway I wanted.

Portrait of Jo Walton's Hat on Her 50th Birthday

“Portrait of Jo Walton’s Hat on Her 50th Birthday.” She likes pictures of her hat better than pictures of herself.

After that I guess I felt like I had done enough, because we spent several more days in Montreal without me taking anything. Did get a few on the way home, though.

Pont Rapides des Joachims

Pont Rapides des Joachims, between Ontario and western Quebec.

Early Winter, Lake Nipissing

Lake Nipissing in some interesting late afternoon light. i was kind of skeptical of this one but Pat really liked it, so I guess I’m keeping it.

Mackinac Bridge

On my last day I stopped for breakfast with Sarah and got this before crossing the Mackinac Bridge on the way back to the UP to head home.

Overall I’m quite happy with that 20 days, even just from the work done, and I think some of the meta-work might end up being even more useful in the long term.

Show news, travel, and a new lens.

A bunch of new things since I last posted any:

  • I have a show running through the end of January at Presbyterian Church of the Apostles in Burnsville, mostly Minneapolis stuff and some landscapes.
  • I got news of another show next fall at Hudson Hospital in Hudson, WI through the Phipps Gallery where I had a panorama last winter. I don’t have details of that yet, other than dates – October 14 to January 10. I sent them The Reader but given the audience I may end up showing Animal Geometries there instead.
  • I’m headed out tomorrow on a three-plus-week, six-city road trip. I expect to see lots of people, take lots of photos, and eat lots of good food. The photos you’ll get to see eventually.
  • For the purposes of the trip, I picked up a new lens, the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3, filling out my focal length range in one fell swoop. I expect it to be useful both for landscapes and at the zoo. This is my first new lens in over four years, and if it does half as well for me as the last one I’ll be thrilled.
It's rather large.

It’s rather large.

Hennepin County Government Center

I suppose I should have posted this on election day. Oh well. Actually kind of a neat building up close, at night when there’s nobody there.

June 4, 2014, Minneapolis. Click to embiggen.

June 4, 2014, Minneapolis. Click to embiggen.

This is Minneapolis’ new courthouse, built in the 1970s across a plaza from the old one, which is still in use as City Hall. Apparently noted tightrope walker Philippe Petit, of World Trade Center fame, once did a performance there, though I can’t find any further details.

Prints available by themselves or in the holiday sale.

2014 Holiday Sale

I’m going to be traveling from mid-November to mid-December, which means that if I’m going to do a holiday sale this year and get people things in time for Christmas, it has to be early. The any five prints sale worked well last year, so I’m going to bring it back, slightly expanded.

This year, get any five 8.5″ x 11″ prints, any two 10″x15″ or 12″x15″ prints, or any one 15″x22.5″ or 15″x20″ print for $150. I’ll also offer 30% off on panoramas and framed prints, though you’ll have to email me for that, as it’s easier to do manually. Sale runs through November 15.

The easiest place to see all the existing photos is here.

I’m also going to be posting some new things over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the first one, “MCAD Letter Rack,” from one of the big racks of type in the print shop at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

October 19, 2014, Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Click to embiggen.

October 19, 2014, Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Click to embiggen.

In addition, though I haven’t dome anything to automate it yet, I’m taking bitcoin, if anyone wants to pay that way. Email me for details.

How not to write a poker scene: Max Gladstone, Two Serpents Rise

The goddess leaned over the card table and whispered, “Go all in.”

She hovered before Caleb, cloudy and diaphanous, then cold and clear as desert stars. her body swelled beneath garments of fog: a sea rock where ships dashed to pieces.

This was the very first scene of the book, so Caleb didn’t know what she was the goddess of, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t the one-player-to-a-hand rule.

Caleb tore his gaze away, but could not ignore her scent, or the susurrus of her breath. He groped for his whiskey, found it, drank.

I should really try those Beats headphones, he thought. Though they don’t do anything about the smell.

The cards on the green felt table were night ladies, treacherous and sweet. Two queens rested facedown by his hand, her majesty of cups (blond, voluptuous, pouring blood and water from a chalice), and her majesty of swords (a forbidding Quechal woman with broad face and large eyes, who gripped a severed head by the hair). He did not have to look to know them. They were his old friends, and enemies.

He really should have looked; there was always a chance he misread his hand and really had something far less romantic, like Granny Mae or the Gay Waiter.

His opponents watched: a round Quechal man whose thick neck strained against his bolo tie, a rot-skinned Craftsman, a woman all in black with a cliff’s face, a towering four-armed creature made from silver thorns. How long had they waited?

The other three seats were filled with men somewhere between seventy and four million years old, each with a cup of black coffee. They had all folded preflop.

A few seconds, he thought, a handful of heartbeats. Don’t let them rush you.

Don’t dawdle, either.

Caleb worried about a few-second delay because he was the fastest actor in the history of No-Limit Holdem. This is how you can tell it’s a fantasy novel.

The goddess caressed the inner chambers of his mind. “All in,” she repeated, smiling.

Caleb wondered, not for the first time, how the goddess’ repertoire served her in limit games.

Sorry, he thought, and slid three blue chips into the center of the table.

Life faded from him, and joy, and hope.

Which was strange, because those things usually prevented people from ending up in a No-Limit Holdem cash game in the first place.

A part of his soul flowed into the game, into the goddess. He saw the world through her eyes, energy and form flowering only to wilt.

This pretty much explains Mike Matusow.

“Raise,” he said.

Caleb figured this would confuse his opponents, as he had just bet, it wasn’t his turn, and he wasn’t facing a bet anyway.

She mocked him with a smile, and turned to the next player.

Five cards lay faceup before the dealer. Another queen, of staves, greeted the rising sun in sky-clad silhouette – a great lady, greater still when set beside his pair. To her right the king of swords, grim specter, stood knife in hand beside a struggling crying child bound upon an altar. The other cards struck less dramatic figures, the eight and three of staves, the four of coins.

If everyone’s inner monologue when reading the board was like this, it would explain why games seem unable to achieve twenty hands an hour.

Three queens formed a strong hand, but any two staves could make a flush, and beat him.

However, a field goal won’t do it.

“Call,” said the man in the bolo tie.

“Call,” said the Craftsman with the rotting skin.

Caleb was beginning to think he shouldn’t have underbet the pot so dramatically.

“I see your raise,” said the woman, “and raise you two thousand.” She pushed twenty blue chips into the pot. The goddess whirled, a tornado of desire, calling them all to death.

“String bet,” said the three old men who had folded preflop, in unison, though they had not appeared to be paying attention, and Caleb was pretty sure the one in Seat 6 still had his mouth full of coffee. If Craft ever failed, surely some method of powering the cities of mankind could be wrung from the coordination energy of the common rules nit.

“String bet,” said the dealer a moment later, and pushed seventeen blue chips back to the woman in black. He turned and said “Three hundred to you” to the creature of thorns. The woman mucked her cards out of turn, the creature of thorns folded, and Caleb flipped over his queens to take the pot.

Unfortunately, he was supposed to get bluffed out, so now the rest of the book doesn’t work. Oops. Don’t string bet, kids.