Boring, Oregon

With apologies to Martin Parr

Zero 4×5 (50mm) + 100 @ 30 seconds

A few years ago I was having a conversation with Brendan about photographers and photography and in the course of our discussion he sent me a link to a blog post that included a short documentary about Martin Parr. I was enjoying the documentary very much – it was him talking about his projects in his own words. But then he said the following words and I literally sat there with my jaw hanging open. I was completely stunned.

“I made a pilgrimage to Boring, Oregon.”

Did I just hear that correctly? I had to rewind the video to make sure. Indeed, he said, “I made a pilgrimage to Boring, Oregon.” He was in a phase of his photography where he was interested in the idea of “Boring.” As he studied the idea he discovered that there was a town called Boring in Oregon, USA, just outside of Portland.

I practically live in Boring.

(that’s not a metaphor)

I did some Googling and sure enough! There were his photos of little old Boring! He visited us in 2000 and took photos for his “USA. Boring Oregon.” project, which you can see here.

I asked around locally and not a single person knows that he was here. Not a single local person knows the significance of this. Some locals I told about this were actually a little irritated by an outsider making a joke of it. But mostly when I geek out about it their eyes just glaze over.

I thought it would be fun to take some pinhole shots of a couple of the places he visited.


Zero 2000 + Ektar 100 @ 18 seconds.

Boring Middle School

Zero 2000 + Ektar 100 @ 6 seconds

The Boring bears

The Boring Bears. Zero 2000 + Ektar 100 @ 44 seconds

The one above is not one that he took. I was just amused by the Middle School’s door mat.

Here is the documentary if you are interested:

From the Sally Gap to Lough Dan

Pinhole - Round Wood to Lough Dan

One of the wonderful things about this country is that you are never really sure where a small laneway or an open gate can lead you. One of my favourite walks in the Wicklow mountains is the stroll from where I ditch my car on the Sally Gap road and walk downhill towards Lough Dan.

The stroll is very pleasant and a steep enough downward amble most of the way to the Lough. At one point the path changes and you follow to course of the Cloghoge River. The mature river meanders past deer and open bog land before entering Lough Dan. The climb back up the hill is always a bit rough bit well worth the efforts.

All photos where taken with my Zero 4 x 5. The black and white shots are on Tri-X and the colour stuff is Ektar



Pinhole - Round Wood to Lough Dan







Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Tri-X/ Kodak Ektar
Dev: Adox Adonal/ Tetenal C-41 Ki
Focal Length:25mm
Exposure: Various

Haystack Rock – Oregon Coast


Haystack Rock 2

Zero 4×5 (25mm), Graflex ’23’ 120 rollback + Ektar 100 @ 5 ish seconds.

“Three rocks, I know it. I’ve got a feeling about this one.” … “You always have a feeling, Mikey. Every time you have a feeling you get us in trouble.” – The Goonies.

Haystack Rock is a sea stack located on the Oregon Coast in Cannon Beach. It was made famous in the movie The Goonies. It is the most recognized geological monoliths on the Oregon Coast. Haystack Rock IS the Oregon Coast. It’s shorthand for “Oregon Coast.” According to some, it is the third largest free-standing sea stack in the world.

It was created by lava flows 10 million years ago, (along with several other rock formations along the coast).

Another fun fact: William Clark landed here during his expedition with Lewis in 1806. Of the view he stated:

“…the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean…”

Haystack Rock 1

Zero 4×5, 50mm configuration + Arista 100 @ 5 seconds.

Indeed. The view is pretty spectacular.

Mullaghmeen Forest

Zero_Ektar_866Mullaghmeen forest is one of those wonderful places that is nearly impossible to find and even harder to describe. It sits in the middle of extensive farm lands at the Coole end of the Bog of Allen and borders counties Cavan and Westmeath. Its the largest planted beech forest in Ireland and that give the woods a very open feel. The light streams past the spindly tress to wash the forest floor with daylight. It give the woods an enchanted air and I can’t remember ever strolling through a place like it before.

As well as the woods there is a few little points of interested dotted around, including a Booley Hut and famine walls. We were just tipping into the Irish winter when I visited so I have have added it to my list for a spring/summer revisit.

Self Portrait at MullaghmeenZero_Ektar_868 Zero_Ektar_870

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Exposure: Various…I have notes…





WaalsdorpervlakteExposure time: 37 seconds (Rollei Ortho 25)

Near Den Haag (The Hague) in the Netherlands is a nature park called Waalsdorpervlakte. It exists of both woods and sand dunes, as it is located close to the North Sea. But the Waalsdorpervlakte is not just a nature park. During WWII, a part of the park was used by the German occupiers to execute members of the Dutch resistance. They were locked up at the Scheveningen prison, which was nicknamed the Oranjehotel (Orange hotel). Over 250 people were killed. Right after the war, the same spot was used to carry out the death sentences that were given to some of the most notorious Dutch collaborators.

To remember those who have been killed, a monument was erected. It consists of a simple concrete block with the years of WWII and four bronze crosses. Next to this monument is a little hill with a large clock on top, the Bourdonclock. The clock is used on May the 4th, when the Dutch remember the dead from the war. Near this monument is another monument, the Rautercross, which is a single bronze cross. It marks the place where 38 people were killed as retribution for the attack on a German officer. In total 117 Dutch were killed as a response to the attack.

Besides the fact that the Waalsdorpervlakte is connected to WWII, it is also a very beautiful park to walk around.

Waalsdorpervlakte_4Exposure time: 1 min 33 sec (Rollei Ortho 25)

Waalsdorpervlakte_3Exposure time: 60 seconds (Fomapan 100)

Waalsdorpervlakte_2Bourdonclock. Exposure time: 20 seconds (Rollei Ortho 25)

Camera: Realitysosubtle 4×5
Film: Rollei Ortho 25 and Fomapan 100
Pinhole: 0.3mm
Focal Length: 38mm
ISO: 25/100
Aperture: f127
Dev: Adox Adonal
Scan: Canon Canoscan 9000F

Roadside Creations: Kansas


Back in August, I drove a little more than 5000 miles, to Colorado and back. I tried to stick to 2-lanes as much as I could, but there was only so much time, so I ended up riding with the semis a bit more than I might’ve liked. Then, on the last day before we made it to Boulder, I spotted a whole mess of whirligigs and cartoon characters, made out of sheet metal, and lining the road for a good quarter mile. So we stopped.

Back home a week or so later, I looked it up, and it turns out that what we’d found was the work of M.T. Liggett of Mullinville, Kansas. (More here on Atlas Obscura.) If you ever find yourself driving US 400 in western Kansas, take a look. It’s worth a stop.

All photos made with an ONDU 6×6 camera.




The Burren

Burren1Exposure time: 8 seconds

Recently I went on holiday to Ireland. One of the most beautiful places I visited was the Burren, a national park in the west of Ireland, in County Clare. Most of the area is composed of limestone pavement. The pavement is layered and cracked. This gives it an interesting pattern. The cracks are filled with all kinds of plants, from mint to lovely blue flowers, and from grass to dandelions.

The area also has some interesting ruins, cemeteries, stone piles and dolmens. The most famous dolmen is the Poulnabrone dolmen from the Neolithic period.

Burren2Exposure time: 7 seconds

I enjoyed the visit very much, driving and walking around, and taking in the beautiful views. It is a landscape I had never seen before, and I probably never will again…

Burren4Exposure time: 20 seconds

Burren3Exposure time: 8 seconds

Camera: Holga 120 PC
Film: Rollei RPX25
Pinhole: 0.25mm
Focal Length: 48mm
ISO: 25
Aperture: f192
Dev: lab
Scan: Canon Canoscan 9000F