Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sit a spell

Sit a spell

During the peak tourist season in Door County, Wisconsin, a little piece of Americana greets hundreds of tourists each day as they head north on highway 42 on their way to catch a ferry to Washington Island. It's been decades since Gus Klenke tuned an engine or chatted with a traveler while filling his car's tank with gas, but Gus' legacy remains -- a fading sign that bears his name in 12-inch letters.

The corner lot in Ellison Bay features Klenke's white wood frame building, a faded blue chevy pickup truck -- always festooned with flowers and other artifacts reflective of the particular season -- and a formerly green metal chair, a reminder of the days when buying gasoline was as much a social event as a business transaction.

"Have to run so soon? Folks are just so busy these days."

Around the corner

Photos taken in "worm's eye" mode -- camera held two or three inches off the ground, thumb on shutter button, pretty much guessing where to aim it. It can take several attempts before catching something worth keeping, but the end result is always a unique angle on the world.

Note: A comment from Nate caused me to take another look at the Photomatix settings I used when creating these and other recent HDR photographs. I discovered that Light Smoothing was set too low, which resulted in haloing in areas of adjacent high contrast. The photos have been reprocessed and replaced. Photographs © 2009 James Jordan.


Silver Solo said...

I love these angles. Reminds me of when I was a kid.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I enjoy rural photos. Will try some worms eye mode shots myself.

nate said...

the hdr effect is grungy and distracts from the subject matter. the light blue haze around edges is really bad, especially in the post below this one (with the big rock). there is a light, bright sky under the rock, but a gray grungy sky for the rest (and the halo around the rock)

i like the truck and the chair, but the presentation muddies the focal point. the eye is drawn to the blue halo instead of the presumed subject

James said...

thanks for the comments, guys. nate, I realize that hdr photos are not everybody's cup of tea. And I may just abandon it for most uses after I'm done playing with it. So I appreciate your comments.

I was definitely going for grungy on the garage shots, though.

Anonymous said...

I've passed by that old garage for years when visiting Ellison Bay and always wondered if it wasn't a "setup". Maybe by the local chamber of commerce to give the area that "look" that all the people of Chicago come up there to see. Anyway, wonderful pictures.