now playing: the lures!

I found this illustration in an old book titled, Esquire's Book Of Fishing. It was a cheap antique store find, and I figured it'd be a nice addition to a friend's cottage. Aside from the fun illustrations (don't you just want to hug Deep Runner #2?), it struck me that all the lure names would make great band names. I'd totally pay $10 to hear Subsurface open for Darter...

as seen: something new

© kjm

At an early newspaper internship, I worked with a photographer who'd occasionally let me ride with him as he looked for feature art. On a slow news day, a photo of a someone painting a picket fence, or kids playing in a sprinkler could make the front page. Whenever he saw someone doing something - anything, really - he'd turn the car around and say, "What the Hell was that guy doing?," in this excited, amazed tone. The funny part was, it was usually some very small visual happening, but he was both surprised and excited at the possibility.

Yesterday morning, while sitting at my desk in the usual Adobe-inspired haze, I saw this photo, above, and said, "What the Hell is that?" It's also a very small visual happening - shadows on my office wall, but for as many days as I've sat at my desk, shadows have never appeared that way. It's a combination of a sun through trees, a window shade, old plastic window insulation (the lines), and who knows what else. Anyway, very long story short, I love how much depth there is in the image, and it reminds me of some kind of Japanese print.

Mostly, I'm happy at the thought of being unexpectedly surprised.


my so called collection, #7

Another flea market postcard, but isn't it gorgeous? It's so graphic and textural, and I love the broad ink strokes, which covers up some mysterious handwriting beneath.


it's not just a stick, uncle kevin

Zenya's Slingshot ©kjm

I had a great visit with my brother Kurt, his partner Ruth, + my SuperNephew Zenya in Yellow Springs this weekend. Here's a picture, inspired by Timothy Archibald's recent pictures of his son's world, posted on his blog. I've always been a fan of Archibald's editorial work, and his blog seems like a fun diversion to more personal work.


as seen: wall, indianapolis



more early places

The Light In Mrs. Johnson's Room ©kjm

I've been photographing my childhood home for years now, in an attempt to capture places that remain unchanged from my youth. At some point, I began calling the series, Early Places, because I knew that there were other pictures to be made, outside of the house.

Last week, I spent a quiet afternoon inside my former grade school, wandering and looking, and feeling like everything had become smaller. The school is two connected buildings - one from the early 1900's, with terrazzo floors and dark, varnished wooden doors - and the other is from the early 1960's, which now seems very mid-century modern cool. Both buildings have been lovingly cared for, and I was surprised to see how little had changed in all this time.

While in the school, I felt the way I do when I'm making pictures in the house: lucky - to have this chance to closely examine something, some place, from many years past.


old milwaukee, #3


Barber shop, E. Capital Drive.


i love this photo, #11

© steve peixotto

I love this photo by the photographer Steve Peixotto. It was published in Wired magazine (for a story titled, "The Church of the Non Believers"), but I saw it for the first time in the August 2007 Communication Arts Photography Annual. It's a wonderful photo illustration - the image is direct and clean, but it's message is revealed after a few seconds of viewing it. There's the implicit action of someone removing the cross that creates further visuals, at least for me. Lastly, it just feels like a magazine picture that most readers would enjoy, regardless of their take on the story.


as seen: wisconsin dells


I spent yesterday shooting in the Wisconsin Dells, a popular vacation spot for upper Midwesterners. It's an interesting mix of really beautiful geography (a result of slowly retreating glaciers) and modern tourist capitalism (a result of rapidly increasing water park technology). Our family never went to "The Dells" when we were kids, so this was my first real visit to the area. The Star Motel Resort, above, is just one of many old school motels along the town's main strip.


a picture and some words, #2

Left: Untitled (building, Richmond, Indiana) ©kjm
Right: Line from the 1988 film, Another Woman


wish i were still there, #6


Well, maybe not yesterday. I spoke with my Auntie Lyn in Hilo, Hawaii (above), yesterday, and she said they were hunkering down for Hurricane Flossie. So I was happy to hear that Flossie veared north last night, sparing the Big Island of much bad weather.


on polarity


I was thinking today about balance and events and polarity. And how strange it is that one person's best day ever can be another's worst.


a little sunday worship

On Sunday mornings, Marilu reaches first for Frank Rich's column, and I reach (sadly yet confidently) for the Sunday Styles section. I will always be fascinated with Bill Cunningham's work, but I especially like to start the Sunday Times with the wedding section. Here, for your enjoyment (keep score at home!), are Eight Shallow, Yet Entertaining Categories For Subjects Of The NY Times Wedding Section:

  • Couple Who Looks A Bit Too Much Like Father and Daughter (The Fred & Jeri Thompson Award)
  • Couple Who You'd Actually Enjoy Having Over For Dinner
  • Couple Who Probably Should Have Gone The "Bride Only Photo" Route
  • Heterosexual Couple Who Look Kinda Like a Gay Couple
  • Couple Who Snuck By Without Employment By Morgan Stanley (The Bootstraps Award)
  • Gay Couple Who Look Kinda Like a Heterosexual Couple
  • Couple Whose Mouths Are Exactly The Same (really)
  • Second-Tier Pedigree, But Friends With A Copy Editor Couple


a picture and some words, #1

Left: Untitled (Paris), from the Flea Market series ©kjm
Right: Lyric from Wedding Song by the band McCarthy Trenching


as seen: ready-to-work


I had an assignment to shoot in a foundry recently, and it made me feel as soft as a baby's bottom. Everywhere you turned, there were huge guys pouring molten pots of iron into molds, hammering metal castings, and just generally working extremely hard. It was a place that makes you question the origin of all the things you consume daily.

Even the workers' footwear (as seen on a posted safety manual, above) is more hardworking than mine. Truth be told, I've been wearing rubber photoboy flip flops for most of the summer.


i love this photo, #10

© kirby pilcher

I love this photo by the photographer Kirby Pilcher. I found his work through the latest Hey, Hot Shot! show, and I'm drawn to the undisturbed stillness of his work. The pictures in his Room Temperature series were shot in his apartment over a nine month period. Of the work, Kirby says, "I am interested in the extraordinary compositions that can be found in the ordinary spaces that I inhabit..."


old milwaukee, #2

West Greenfield Avenue.


tinytinygroupshow, #2

Since the first tinytinygroupshow was a success (no damaged artwork, no sales, no lawsuits), here's the second show, just in time for your weekend. The theme: Room Rate

Note: you might need to click on your screen once more to enlarge the show)

[ tinytinygroupshow is a mini electroexhibit of photographs based around a basic theme. There are no gallery hours, price lists, commissions, lengthy wall texts, or attractive gallery assistants. There will be no openings, so please don't ask for free wine and cheese. tinytinygroupshow is merely a place to have a brief look at some photography, by photographers known and unknown, in a manner that hopefully provokes thought. ]


bad housekeeping as art


Title: "My Half-Filled Coffee Maker After Being Away For More Than A Week." I'm sure it's been done before, but I could make a project out of the grim macro details in my refrigerator...


member, future travel photographers of america

I just returned from an eight-day trip to Michigan, photographing for a new client, Michigan Travel Ideas. It's the state's tourism magazine, and I was shooting a story on wineries, which took me to some fantastic places I hadn't been to before. After a frustrating end to June, in which I waited (and waited) to hear about a big ad job that never materialized, July turned out to be a great month for me. The phone kept ringing, and I shot for other new clients like Food & Wine, Sunset, Success, and Smart Money.

The vitals on the recently found photo, above, circa 1980:
Equipment: Nikomat (Japanese version), 50mm 1.4 non-AI lens
Location: Likely a Great Lake
Hair: Extremely feathered
Camera Holding Form: Not bad
Glasses: Thick
Compositional Choice: Probably should've been a horizontal
Camera Strap Material: Extremely denim