Once in a while my work will show up on some other photography website. Sometimes I am asked to select the image and other times one of my photos will be chosen
by the person who runs the site. There is no specific regularity to when my photos appear elsewhere, but anything that is seen elsewhere is also posted here in Outposts.
The Caged Bird doesn't always sing (apologies to Maya Angelou). These are not songbirds. These are large, meat-eating birds, raptors. They scream; they screech; they squawk; but they definitely do not sing.
These glorious birds are rescues which cannot return to the wild for one reason or another. They are all residents of World Bird Sanctuary, a wonderful haven for birds located in the western suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri.
The photos were all taken through the mesh of the enclosures that are the homes for these birds. Taking a photo through the front of the cage takes some special techniques, but it offers the opportunity for portraits of these beauties — not something that would be easy in nature.
Meet some raptors — up close and personal.
Once in a while I find myself wandering around by the railroad tracks, a place my mother always told me to stay away from. Easy for a mom to say, but railroads are fascinating.
This is an eclectic collection of rail photos, from trains going by, to individual engines, to close-ups of details. The locomotive photos were taken in Galveston, Texas where Burlington Northern has a storage yard with near 150 locomotives .
The other photos were grabbed at various small yards or waysides near home or along the way when traveling. I have plenty of pictures, so this is just the first group. Enjoy!
For whatever reason, I like to go wandering through cemeteries with my camera. One of the things I find fascinating are the older sections of the graveyards with their weathered old headstones. Almost every headstone includes the words "not to be forgotten" or something similar. But alas, over the years we do forget.
Most of these photos are of headstones from the 19th century. There is no one alive to remember them. It's likely that many of their families do not even know where these graves are. Stones are tumbled or broken, fences are askew, and, in some instances, the cemetery's "perpetual care" has faltered. But the stones tell their stories. Sic transit gloria.
There is an old family cemetery nearby that dates back to the mid-1800s. It fell into disrepair sometime after its final burial in 1942.
A number of years ago someone tried to mark each grave with a white cross, a gallant, but ultimately futile effort. The forlorn old crosses are still there, a haphazard array among overgrown bushes, weeds and gloomy Spanish moss.
And like most old graveyards, this one has a woeful and melancholy feel. Yet there are comic touches, such as a misplaced milk jug, that make you smile through the gloom.
I tried to capture both the pathos and the humor of the place in my photos.
I make black and white photographs.
Over the years the world has worked hard to add color to photos and movies and TV and all the other things. Yet I take that color away. Why?
It’s simple. A black and white photograph is a look at the other side of the rainbow.
With monochrome, an image is seen with an entirely different perspective, and color does not get in the way of an image's cynosure.
When the color is removed from the photo, connecting to the emotion of the image becomes simpler and more direct.
More philosophically a black and white photograph is an abstraction. The image becomes more notional and conceptual.
There is an elemental appeal in abstraction. It allows me to capture images without worrying about context or verisimilitude. And once in a while it is just plain fun to be different.
It is my hope that my images allow you to enjoy the beauty and subtle nuance that monochrome photographs can convey. And I hope that one or two might even delight you.