Friday, May 18, 2018

Rank heresy - a few lines on digital pinhole

On of my favorite titles in the collection of historical articles about pinhole photography on my old university web site is Rank heresy - a few lines on pinhole work.  It's from Amateur Photographer in 1897, by F.A. Wright who has apparently lost patience, but in a light hearted way, with the overly technical dogmatic attitudes of the audience of that magazine (Trigger warning: He assumes they're all men).

In the 19th century, there were criticisms that wide angle and telephoto lenses were unacceptable distortions of reality.

Dogmatic attitudes about using digital sensors to record a pinhole image are a similar hot topic today.

Several times the coordinating committee of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day actually held votes to decide whether we should allow submissions of digitally recorded pinhole images. As I've mentioned before Gregg Kemp was somewhat vocal about his disdain for just buying a pinhole in a standard body cap and firing off a few exposures for Pinhole Day.  We always ended up voting to accept digital submissions on artistic freedom grounds. I dislike being told what's proper pinhole practice cough 35mm isn't appropriate for pinhole cough. Several well-known pinholers, including a few of the founders, have submitted digital images for Pinhole Day.

Pinholers are not universally unwelcoming of digital pinhole. On the f295 forum,  one participant, an illustration professor, had made a sudden discovery of handheld digital pinhole and had great fun exploiting it and creating a memorable set of images. Comments were generally positive. There's at least one worker I see on Facebook who is doing some interesting pinhole work exclusively with a digital camera.

Commercially made pinholes that mount on digital cameras have been around a while. Recently I had a conversation with the manufacturer of one of the newer ones. He was enthusiastic about bringing pinhole to the masses whom he said could never get the experience if they had to make their own. I guess. As I said in my reaction to Joe Van Cleave's video on Pinhole Day, any way you get to experience the apparent magic of the pinhole is OK with me. This entrepreneur wanted to "sponsor" Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, but we don't get involved in that kind of partnership (we'll put a link on our Resources page).  I said I could try it out and write about it and post pictures here and he promised to send me one. He never did. probably after I mentioned I wished he would quit calling it a lens. This isn't dogma, it's proper use of a couple of nouns. Words have meaning. Lenses refract light. A pinhole isn't a kind of lens.  Lenses and pinholes are two kinds of image forming objectives.  He said people wouldn't understand the difference. This reminds me of statements like "Of course when I say all men, I mean all women too."

I've been pretty ambivalent toward digital pinhole because I can't make the entire camera myself. I also was a little put off by the little sensors, although I shouldn't be too critical of small formats.

A couple years ago, Sarah bought a Nikon D750, and it's a pretty impressive camera. More to the point it has a full size 24x36mm sensor, and even at ISO's like 6400 it's practically grain/noise free.

My curiosity and a desire to pass myself off as a pinhole expert finally got to me.

And typical of pinhole, it turns out it's typically cheap and easy to do it yourself, although there's a couple ready-made options that are pretty cheap on the market.

I got a ProMaster Nikon body cap for $6.99 at my local camera store.

I didn't want to haul out my electric drill so I half-heartedly poked an X-acto Knife in the center and started spinning it and in a few seconds, I had drilled about a quarter inch hole quite cleanly.

The biggest scare headline to do with digital pinhole is that you'll get dust on your sensor.  Haven't these people ever used a UV filter? You might reply that's putting glass in the way. A filter isn't a lens either, it doesn't focus by refracting light.

I took the UV filter off the 50mm lens on my Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL (which hasn't seen film since the meter failed in 1978 and I got my Canon F-1). The filter has a lens hood screwed permanently on to it, but I think the hood is short enough to be out of the way, and that should help some with flare, and it looks cool mounted on the new Nikon. In a nod to tradition, I attached the pinhole and the filter
 to the body cap with real 3M #235 although that wasn't necessary because it doesn't need to be light tight, and any tape that would hold would have worked.

The Nikon mount is a little closer to the image plane than most SLRs, about 40mm.  Mr. Pinhole gives .267mm as optimal, but after 3 attempts and making holes too big, when I got this nice looking .20mm, I just decided to go ahead with that one and taped it to the inside of the body cap. I've used smaller than "optimum'' pinholes with good results before.  As much as I go on about how easy pinhole is, drilling smaller holes is a bit tricky, and it's even harder to measure them.  But it's not that hard.

If that image and the story looks familiar, that pinhole is now mounted on Thin Lizzy.

I did mount it on the camera once and took one image just to see what it would take to get the exposure, but I just can't get interested in trying it. I've often described my practice of pinhole as being like an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and I'm just not compelled by using the digital camera. I did mount another pinhole on the body cap and it's sitting in my backpack and maybe I'll play with it sometime.

One of the things I was curious about was video, but Joe's YouTube piece mentioned above demonstrated that you could pretty easily make video, so that blew my curiosity.

One of the things that discouraged me was the size and weight of the camera. If I can get just as pinholey images with my 3 ounce cameras, why haul around this 2 pound chunk of Titanium that I can't just toss in my backpack.

One of the truisms you often hear from large format photographers is how the forced discipline it takes to work with a large piece of film results in more considered composition.  I think this is one of the benefits of pinhole, and film in general, too.

The limitless exposures and immediate feedback of digital can lead to shooting endless variations without really considering what you're trying to capture. The simple fact that you're spending some money on every frame makes film a more compelling experience. Although to be fair, you can buy a lot of film and processing for the cost of a full frame DSLR, and you can get really nice car for what a medium format digital camera goes for.

You have to consider intensity of the light and determine the length of exposure.  Even though I use Pinhole Assist on my iPhone to do that, it is a separate step you have to take. With the 35mm Populist I usually just guess, but that's still different than letting the camera do it.

Pinhole usually has no real preview of what's hitting the film plane, except by indirect methods such as the sighting triangles I use. That forces you to pre-visualize the scene and carefully adjust the camera's pointing and position to match what you hope to record. I recently read a photo column about how to revive your creativity that suggested getting a pinhole body cap for just this reason.

I certainly don't mean this as a blanket condemnation of digital photography. You'll notice that I use the D750 to document my cameras for the blog and I'll repeat that most basic of all concepts, it's not the camera that takes the picture, it's the photographer. When photography was part of my job, I would have killed for the latitude and speed of a digital sensor, and not having to stop and change film every 36 exposures would have been nice to not have to plan ahead for.

There is also a lot of mentally and philosophically satisfying depth to making your own cameras and working with film that you won't get with a digital body cap.

But capturing the image isn't the only part of film photography. You also have to make the positive. My reaction to displaying negatives is that it's kind of a gimmick, although it occurred to me reviewing Pinhole Day images that most of the kids submitting negatives had never seen one before.

One attitude that bothers me a lot about some pinhole images I see is that somehow the flaws of pinhole are what makes it charming. I see people displaying images that are low contrast, have blown out highlights in the middle and drop out to black at the edges, are covered with dust and scratches and claim as a badge of honor that the image was completely unmanipulated. I guess if I see a shitty print, I don't really care if it's unmanipulated.

I often see guilty apologies that an image was "lightly" adjusted with digital tools. I never see analog printmakers apologize that they use variable contrast papers, burn and dodge and make a dozen draft prints before they're happy with the final product.

I hear people talk about how they find darkroom work relaxing. It always made me tense as I piled up multiple variations that were almost good enough.

I scan my negatives and adjust them liberally with digital tools. My goal is to get the best image out of the negative that I can. I'm a bit of an old fashioned fuddy-duddy and in my mind, I'm trying to give a you-are-there feeling to my images.  I scan using VueScan with a $200 flatbed at 48 bits per pixel at 1800 dpi for 120 negatives and 2400 dpi for 35mm. I use an older version of Photoshop I got back in the days of educator discounts. The newest version of the open-source GIMP supports higher bit depths now and I might switch to that. I don't add or subtract parts out of the scene. I do rotate and crop to correct for a non-level camera. I balance color, adjust contrast and burn and dodge quite a bit. A favorite trick is using the shadows setting of the burning tool, which I always think of as my realism tool. I retouch for dust and emulsion flaws at full resolution.

Getting this quality would have cost a fortune with analog methods. I value the affordability of digital editing and printing that makes high quality work accessible to a wide population who don't have access to a printing darkroom and can't afford their own and the associated costs of paper and chemistry.

The digital file is usually the end product of my work, and the way others see my images is this blog (and when I occasionally get around to it, Flickr). I don't really have the ambition to go through the process of juried shows, and I'm old enough that I'm reconciled to the fact I'm not going to be a famous photographer.

I don't do it very often, but if I am going to make prints, I have them output digitally by my local camera store, and I'm happy with how they match what I see on the screen. A couple of times for gifts, I've made books on Lulu, and it's kind of a charge to hold a book of your photographs. Especially from this 20th century graphic artist's perspective, it's also really inexpensive. The whole book costs significantly less than a single Match Print.

I hear a lot about how the disciplined craft of analog printmaking and unique nature of each print makes the results more valuable and I agree that's true, but nobody is going to buy my prints no matter how great they are, so having a pile in a box that no one but me sees really doesn't seem valuable.

Now get off my lawn and go out and take some pinhole photographs with whatever method you get off on.

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Eighteenth Pinhole Day

A common complaint on Pinhole Day is that it's cloudy, cold and windy.  This year in Oshkosh it was bright, relatively calm, and fairly warm.  Whatever the weather, you gotta do pinhole today. That wasn't my problem. I was just oddly uninspired. But that's no excuse either.

The defining idea of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is that we all take photos on the same day, so illustrating the conditions in your corner of the globe is an obvious theme. This spring hasn't been very conducive to plant growth, so in the early morning light, I went out to get these daffodils, just barely erupted from the ground, which are usually in full bloom by now.

For the last two years in the spring, I had total knee replacement surgery, so I thought a picture of the current state of my knees was an appropriate subject. Oddly, the newer scar on my right knee is less noticable than the older one on the left, but neither is really prominent in this picture.

In the afternoon, we went out to see if we could make use of some of that sunshine and went to Menomonie Park. I kind of like this image, but two years ago, we also went to Menomonie Park and I submitted a picture of a tree by the shores of Lake Winnebago.

After the spring we had, the sun brought out a lot of people to the park, but I've never been one to approach people about being in my photographs. I thought this blue hammock with the white bicycle was interesting, so I snuck up as close as I could. Just as I closed the shutter, I was a little surprised when a couple rolled out the hammock. They didn't say anything about my camera and tripod pointing at them.

When we got home, the first crocus of the spring had popped up in the back yard. My submission last year was about the emergence of spring, and I don't want to repeat myself so soon.

When I start to get desperate late on Pinhole Day, I usually resort to a self-portrait at the computer reviewing submissions. I avoided that this year, but I took advantage of the sun in the west hallway window to document the current state of my mustache and managed to not look too crabby trying to hold absolutely still for 3 seconds, but still looking awfully severe.

Even on pinhole day, you gotta keep up the regular duties, so I left the shutter open while I chopped all the ingredients for chicken soup, apparently vigourously enough to shake the camera, capturing a stray sunbeam shining on my back which I wasn't aware of.

There was a full moon, so as soon as it got dark, I opened the shutter in the back yard, and left it there until just before we went to bed.

Last year for Pinhole Day, Justin Quinnel was promoting the slogan "Action against refraction" and I thought of that when I noticed the sun shining on the plastic prism in the window sill in the morning. Late in the afternoon with the sun streaming into the west window, I made this arrangement on the kitchen table. I submitted it as my Pinhole Day photo with the pinholier than thou comment: "Even on a day celebrating light traveling in straight lines, I acknowledge there are uses for bending it with shapes of transparent materials."

I hope you had a great WPPD and got to submit a photo.  As usually we're getting a wild variety of images with every kind of camera you can think of.  I have to give a shout-out to Sarah, and Andy, who both made my cameras look pretty good.

All with the Evil Cube. .3mm pinhole 6cm from 6x6cm frame on Portra 400.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Stella! Stellaaa!

When I made the New Glarus Populist, I fessed up that I hadn't actually tried the revised 10th Anniversary Populist template for the 35mm camera.  Well, now I have to leak that I also didn't try the new 6x9cm template either.

If anybody actually tried to make it, I apologise that there were a couple mistakes.

Other than the size of the image chamber, the thing that distinguishes it from the 6x6cm is where the counter hole, with its shutter, is. If you look carefully at the picture above, you'll notice a patched hole just under the A in Artois.  I put the hole on the wrong side on the template. If you lined up the first number in it, you would already have advanced past most of the frame. Incidentally, this is assuming the supply goes on the right side as you're looking at the back of the camera.  If you preferred to load your film on the left, the hole would go at the top left, but then the numbers would be upside down.

The other mistake is that I didn't modify the film counter shutter itself for the new position.  In the 6x6cm cameras, the counter hole is in the middle and the shutter is exactly the same as the taking shutter on the other side. With the counter hole at the bottom like this, that shutter would extend below the bottom of the camera.

I've fixed both of these issues.

I chose this box because the design was symmetrical and about the right size to fit on a camera this size.  I have to admit I thought Stella Artois meant something like Artistic Star, but then I looked it up and found that Artois was the last name of the guy who founded the company.  Oh well, it sounds a little like DuBois, which would have been Stella Kowalski's maiden name, although I've never read or seen A Streetcar Named Desire. Coincidentally, the beer is very much like Supper Club.

The template has the pinhole 60mm from the film plane, but I hated the only roll I ever shot with a 6x9cm camera at that distance, so this time I cut it down to 45mm. Since I still had all the paint I used to make Goldberry's finder beads gold, and this carton had gold elements, I painted the map tacks again. Also, that makes this thing pretty wide angle.

Mr. Pinhole says .27mm is optimal at 45mm, but as usual, I made the pinhole a little smaller, .24mm which makes it f180 or so.

I've found a roll of 400 that's been knocking about in the bottom of a box for about 10 years and decided to use that to test the camera. I'm not sure if it's just been bad luck, but I've never really liked the results I got with this film.  It strikes me as having a pretty limited latitude, and especially blocking up to white pretty suddenly when you should still have some grey scale left. There's also a pretty minimal amount of shadow detail.

Since this seemed like a fairly fast combination, I started in the kitchen with the tableau Sarah set up in the shelf under the cupboards.  One thing I've always liked about this display was how excited the little Dutch violinist was to be playing with Metallica, but I let the mouse from the audience get in the way and you can hardly tell he's there.

The sun was shining in the Sun Room while I read the Times the next morning. Funny how the shadow of the camera is right on my face.

Ya gotta get out in the sunshine to make sure a camera is light proof, so I went out for a bike ride.  First stop was the lions at the library.

Down a few blocks to Opera Square.

The passageway on the River walk under the Wisconsin Street bridge.  There was a fisherman in a red jacket just on the other side, but he kind of disappears in black and white. Another unfortunate merger - there's a seagull that sat nice and still on the street light just on the other side of the bridge, but he's almost lost against the railing.

The old train station on the grounds of the Oshkosh Public Museum.

Across the street, the patio of the Paine Art Center.

And, the pergola which leads to the woodland path.

Happy Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day this weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April Showers

I suppose if this all is gone before then, it will be good for May flowers if they don't get washed away in the floods when it all melts up north where they got twice as much.

By Saturday afternoon frozen sleet had been coming down driven by a 25 mph sustained wind for almost 24 hours. The city usually doesn't plow until the snow ends, but I think they were afraid it would be too heavy if they left it.  (What they left at the end of my driveway was certainly heavy.)

For a few minutes on Friday when it started, it left a nice coating of ice on everything.

The normally clear glass in the little greenhouse was frosted by it.

Sunday afternoon the wind was still at blizzard levels, but the precipitation had changed to something more like regular snow.  Last year at this time the magnolia was in full bloom.

The driving wind coated most of the back porch with a fine frosting filtered through the screens,

Looks like soccer season is going to be delayed a bit.

His pond was completely covered, and Elwood was buried up to his armillary.

I don't think I'll be biking for a while, both bikes were frozen to the ground.  I got the other one free,  but I had already changed the studded winter tires about a month ago.

All with the Evil Cube, .29mm pinhole 6cm from 6x6cm frame, loaded with Ilford HP5 developed in Rodinal 1:50.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The ice recedes

Inspired by my walk across Lake Winnebago, and a maybe a little bit by Daphne Schnitzer's views of the Mediterranean, I've been keeping track of the ice as it recedes from the shore.

The ice is always thinner on Millers Bay with a rougher texture and puddles of water forming on surface as the ice melts.

Out on the Ames Point breakwater that encloses the north end of the bay, the ice looks much more solid on the lake, but with open spots right around the end of the point.

Looking back toward Oshkosh, there are open channels.

A week later, the north end of the bay looks like it's all open water, but the gulls standing on the surface betray the location of the remaining ice.

Just a hundred yards or so down the shore, the south end of the bay remains locked in ice.

Over on the actual lake shore, a Christmas tree marks where there had been an open crack, which seems to have healed, although the bridges have been removed and the roads abandoned for almost a month.

Looking out over the lake, you can still see the line of trees that marked the road receding into the distance.

Four days later, the lake was completely ice-free. I think I'd like to do some more work with the ice, but despite the forecast of a major winter storm over the next few days, it's going to have to wait until next year.

All with the Moderately Telephoto Pinhole Camera in a Plain Brown Wrapper, loaded with Ektar 100.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Some thoughts stirred by Thoughts on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

I just watched Joe Van Cleave's YouTube video "Thoughts on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day" which he recorded last year (using a pinhole!). It isn't quite right to say this post was provoked or inspired by it, but it did start ideas swirling in my head.  Joe's video covers his general feelings about pinhole photography,  his particular practice of it, and with pinhole as a movement, particularly as it exists on the internet. I am impressed by his ability to do this on camera.  Nobody wants to watch me stumble for words and constantly interrupt and correct myself.  Although I can do it live if I practice enough.

Joe discusses the impact Tom Persinger's f295 forum had on him. The internet also had a big impact on my practice of pinhole photography. Tom created f295 as a replacement for Gregg Kemp's Pinhole Vision discussion forum which had pretty much the same format, which Gregg discontinued during his first bout with cancer in 2004. (I was the first post on f295!) Even before the Worldwide Web,  Gregg created the pinhole photography email discussion list, although that was pretty much limited to verbal discussion and not sharing of images. I have to say the feeling of community was strongest on that email forum. Evidence for that is that Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day was organized by members in about six weeks after Zernike Au's offhand remark about a day for pinholers. (more about WPPD below).  By the way, Gregg was also pivotal in creating Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.  We still use essentially the same code he wrote.

I had been doing pinhole photography sporadically since the 80's, starting with a workshop given by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen and later had spurts when I got involved in a Science Outreach grant project using pinhole photography as an example of chemical and physical concepts, and then doing a summer class for fourth through seventh graders for several years. 

But what really kept me doing it regularly and long- term was the ability to share my pictures and talk about them with other people around the world on the internet. It still gives me chills when I respond to someone on the other side of the world and they respond back seconds later.

In his video Joe talks about how this changed his practice of pinhole as he strived to impress the community on f295 rather than just to play with pinhole for his own satisfaction.  I can't say I can separate those two things.  I play with pinhole to amuse myself, but I've also have always had kind of an attitude of "let's try to freak the audience out."  I occasionally say things just to be provocative. The measure of whether this is what keeps me going is the relative lack of discussion on Social Media today. I've been doing this blog for two and half years and after 128 posts, I've gotten a total of 69 comments, including my own responses.  If I was doing this just for the audience response, I think I might have lost interest. I've described my motivation in the past as more like an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

I announce posts of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and I think I get more comments on Facebook than I do directly on the blog, which sort of irritates me because then they're disconnected from the post after a few days.  But they do constitute evidence that an audience is out there and seeing the work they post in those venues does let me at least imagine what the discussion would be like if there was one.

I do obsessively check my stats on the blog for what that's worth.

I see all this blogging and social media as a structure for me to keep exploring.

Joe opines that pinhole photography has been the latest trendy gimmick and that the worldwide short-attention-span is starting to fade. I agree a little. My brief involvement with the commercial end was almost a decade ago, but I still see new products being introduced, so it's been a fairly long fad as far as the internet goes.

In one way,  good riddance.  I've mentioned earlier my impatience with one-time experiences with pinhole which from my workshop presenter's point of view seem to be just technical demonstrations that it works.  I'd really like to get together a mature group that really wanted to explore and make great photographs. However, my own personal fascination with pinhole starts with the magical impression of seeing an image come out of that empty box with a tiny hole in the end, and even in a limited event, it's fun to give people that experience.

Joe's discussion of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day reminds me of Ed McMahon's (look him up, kids) assessment of New Year's Eve - it's when the amateur drinkers come out so the real practitioners prefer to avoid it.  I have to be careful here because I'm the team coordinator.  I agree that one of the faults of Pinhole Day is that for many participants, it's the only time they do any pinhole photography. This was really a problem for Gregg, especially because it often involved just purchasing a DSLR body cap with a pinhole (although he had a renewed enthusiasm just before he died in 2016). I understand that objection, but I'm OK with it. As in the previous paragraph, just experiencing something so basic about image-making, even if just this once, is worthwhile, although it is sort of like wading in up to your knees and calling it swimming.

A lot of people organize groups, events, and school projects which they might not do if it were not for a holiday to associate it with.  All of these are good things in my book.  As noted before, commiserating with like-minded people is a positive experience for most people.

Especially dear are those school groups.  Joe brings up one perception about pinhole photography is that it's viewed as some sort of children's activity. I also hate hearing it compartmentalized like that, but it's also kind of neat to hear about kids having what I think is a significant educational experience.  It's a hands on demonstration of lots of physical science, as in my grant project mentioned above, but meets lots of other objectives, most notably that you can make something with your own hands and create pictures with it in a dark closet.  It also can be extended to re-experience what earlier generations experienced of photography with the long exposures and processing of a light sensitive surface (My major as an education undergraduate was History).

And I'm a big fan of the fact that we're all one species wherever we are.

I've blogged about it before, but personally I really like the challenge of having to get a really great picture on that one day, whatever the conditions, and being required to pick the best one, and then sharing that with the world.

Joe also talks in the video about the role of digital tools, and follow-through to a print that are rumbling around in my cerebrum, and I'll have to address them in a future post.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


One day Sarah and I were breaking down shipping boxes to be recycled. I opened one in which Sarah had received a very nice scarf. It was rather thin for corrugated cardboard and the inside was completely lined with gold foil.   My first thought was: "You could make a pinhole camera out of that."

I asked Sarah, if I were to make her a new camera for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, what characteristics would she like it to have. I've made two cameras for her for Pinhole Day before.  One was wide horizontally but kind of narrow vertically, and other was rather wide angle.  She replied: "I'd like one that sees normally like I do."

It so happens that I've never made a 120 Populist in the normal range.  I've always had a funny reaction to that word normal, and I never really did a lot of photography with a normal lens or pinhole. It does sound dreary. Normal. I shouldn't knock it. Cartier-Bresson, Kertész, Frank and a lot of others did most of their work with normal lenses.

So it's 80mm long on a 6x6cm frame with 120 film.

For winders, we looked through the collection of Scotch, cordial and olive oil corks and Sarah chose this pair from bottles of Port.

The viewfinders are map tacks that I dipped in Gold Testors Paint.  It was a little weird re-encountering a product that I had used to paint model cars when I was 10 years old in the exact same little bottle with the same labeling it had almost 60 years ago.

The corrugated cardboard turned out to be not bad to work with.  It was a little thicker than cereal boxes so I had to modify the back a bit on the fly while I built it, but it fits together pretty well.

I drilled a .32mm pinhole.   As usual, smaller than the calculated optimum, but remember that's a measure of diffraction, not sharpness. That makes it f250.

I've learned my lesson not to give someone a camera that hasn't been tested.  I thought since the camera looked like gold, I would pair it with something that featured silver, it's neighbor one row up on the periodic table - black & white 100. Kind of a slow combination, but there were only a few hazy clouds and there's a big star fairly nearby that really lights up the landscape.

You know, the River Withywindle is named for the willows that grow on it's banks.

It's not Middle Earth, but I ventured forth on a journey around Oshkosh.

Looking over the ice on Miller's Bay.

Where Andy went to Kindergarten.

First Grade, down at the other end of the building.

Over to the University.  The shadow of a stair rail rippling down the steps of Halsey Science Center.

Just to the right, Buckstaff Planetarium.  Doesn't that name sound a little Hobbitish?

Down the mall to the modernist Polk Library in whose subterranean halls I labored for three decades.

A solar panel giving another spin on sensitivity to light.  This is starting to look more like science fiction.

Down the river to the somewhat brutalist former shopping mall which now houses several large businesses.

Just across the alleyway, along the river, the ramp to the hotel parking structure.

Further down toward the lake, the railroad bridge.

And from there, back again, up north past our first home in Oshkosh in the Dale School.

Looks like the camera is as good as gold, although it does still seem a little like magic.