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Caroline, Paris, 2012.

Caroline, Paris, 2012.

Silke’s friend Caroline in our kitchen in Paris.


Carrousel, Rouen

Carrousel, Rouen

Blois, France. 1

Blois, France. 1

San Lodovico dormitory

San Lodovico dormitory

One of the students in the workshop, Frank Zwart, made this image in an abandoned teachers’ dorm at the San Lodovico convent, where we were staying, in Orvieto. Frank is an architect, and took special care in composing his images. He used a tripod, a tilt-shift lens and a level to create this image, which [...]


Traveler’s Eye 2011

Traveler's Eye 2011

Our annual workshop in Orvieto, Italy, was, as usual, as much fun for me as it was for the students. One of my favorite exercises from the week was making a daily still-life. We each had to come up with a few images in our rooms at the San Lodovico convent, a complex of medieval [...]


Mark as spam

Most of my readers are Chinese and Russian spambots, and they plaster my comment section with intriguing insights, random notions and occasionally apt criticism.  Here are some samples: From Poker Poker Chips Chips: Hey, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several [...]


A new gardener at Giverny

A new gardener at Giverny

  The Times published a piece about the new gardener at Monet’s home in Giverny today, and oddly enough, he’s British. Here’s an excerpt: No one has made much ado about handing over an iconic French garden to an Englishman, the new gardener said. But he does blanch when asked if parts of the garden [...]


Monet’s garden

Monet's garden

We went to Giverny last weekend to visit Claude Monet’s house and garden. Over 17 acres, the artist directed a crew of as many as 15 gardeners to create subject matter for his paintings. For the last years of his life, he focused intently on the reflections and form of the water lily pond. In [...]


l’incident avec géant du mime

l'incident avec géant du mime

Too good to pass up.


Hercule et les touristes

Hercule et les touristes

Visited Vaux le Vicomte chateau south of Paris with friends last weekend. Brilliantly designed gardens, all culminating on a monumental statue of Hercules; a testiment to the vicomte’s inflated view of himself. His ambition made him a rich man, and offended the king, who had him thrown into a cold stone jail cell in the [...]


A rainy day in Chicago


Letter to the editor

When I asked Gary Snyder about “The New American Pessimism,” a phrase coined by the poet Charles Simic, he responded with sharp criticism of the Tea Party movement. A Star Trib reader who admired the sentiment responded with a letter to the editor that ran today in the featured spot. It ran with one of [...]


Home skies

Home in Nebraska. I gave my nephew, Torrin, his first kite for his 9th birthday. He and his grandmother flew it on Holmes Lake Dam, where I spent a lot of time flying kites when I was a kid.


A fine-art book in one weekend

During the last weekend in March, I led a photography workshop in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, with my teaching partner Richard Sennott. This has been a mostly miserable spring in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with late snow, lots of frost and yet at the same time, plenty of mud. (Yet I love it here. It’s a kind [...]