Cherryville Cemetery

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In July of 2009 I applied for a job at a library in a small town 30 miles east of Portland that I had driven through once. When I  was interviewed I  was delighted with the place and with the people who interviewed me. Lucky for me, the feeling was mutual. When I told my mom that I was moving to Sandy, Oregon she came back with an interesting reply, “Really? Sandy? Your uncle lived there in the 1960s. Did you know that?”

No. I did not know that.

The story is that my uncle lived in the area for awhile and loved it. Then a couple of tragedies struck the family which caused them to move down into Portland. One of those tragedies was the death of his 2 year old daughter. She drowned in a creek near the home. There was a cemetery next to his house where he buried her. I remember my uncle talking about this place a few years ago, not knowing exactly where it was. He described it as “beautiful” and mentioned that he wanted to be buried there. And also said anyone in his family could be buried there too.

When I moved here he asked me to go to this cemetery from time to time to check up on the graves of my cousins (another of his sons was buried there in 2002). I was totally happy to oblige. However, I couldn’t find it. I can’t tell you how many times I drove up and down Cherryville Road looking for this cemetery with no luck whatsoever. My uncle even drew me a map at one point and it still didn’t help. I asked people in the community about it and nobody could help me. Nobody knew it even existed! Or if they knew it existed, it existed as a kind of urban legend. This cemetery completely confounded me.

He came to visit a few years ago  and finally took me there himself. Visiting this place will be forever marked in my history as one of the most surreal moments of my existence. We drove into what seemed like the dirt road of somebody’s house. We ended up at a very dense grove of trees.  it was impossible to see what was on the other side of them. Uncle Will opened the trunk of his car, grabbed some garden loppers, gasoline,  and weed killer. He handed me a pair of loppers, and walked toward a small opening of this grove. He seemed to know exactly where to go.  He cut a hole into the opening. I reluctantly followed him into this strange place.

It was absolutely incredible. Above me was as canopy of thick Douglas Fir. Around me was moss, ivy and fern, growing all over everything. The tops of turn-of-the-century headstones peeked out of the ivy. We bush-whacked our way to the back of the cemetery where we found the grave-markers of my cousins.

It was a beautiful summer day in July. The sun was starting to set and the light filtered through the trees and lighted the graves perfectly as we stood around the graves and said a Hail Mary. My uncle was very happy. He seemed to be at peace there. I could totally see why. I thought to myself, “This place is magical and beautiful.”

Lo and Behold, an effort was made to clean the cemetery up! Somebody who also has family buried there headed this up a couple of years ago and since then amazing work as been done. In many ways it has brought our community together too. Lots of people who live here have been in on this project and have enjoyed uncovering history in their own backyard. I think about this effort and it blows my mind. This was a cemetery that was slowly being swallowed by the forest but it has been saved.

The cemetery is now an historical landmark and was dedicated this summer.

It is still hard to find so if you are ever in the area and want to see it let me know and I will take you there.

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Historical Landmark

 

The color photos were made with a Schlem P6*6 printed pinhole camera and Ektar 100 film. The black and white photo was taken with a Zero 45 and Arista 100 film.

 

 

Storm King

Mark di Suvero, Frog Legs, 2002

Mark di Suvero, Frog Legs, 2002

I love Storm King, and it had been way too long since the last time I stopped there. This time we were lucky; the weather couldn’t be beat, and there was a new show by the Chinese artist Zhang Huan. Go see it while you can!

Storm King Art Center is an outdoor museum north of New York City, not far from Beacon.

These photos were made using an ONDU 6×6 camera.

 

Zhang Huan, Three Legged Buddha, 2007

Zhang Huan, Three Legged Buddha, 2007

Zhang Huan, Peace No. 2, 2001

Zhang Huan, Peace No. 2, 2001

Mount Saint Michael

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Above the neighborhood of Hillyard in Spokane, WA lies a place that was filled with mystery when I was growing up. Every so often on an autumn night we would see a giant cross burning up on the hill. This would stir up all sorts of scary stories about the place among my friends and I. We deduced that there was devil worshiping going on up there. Devil worshipping! Happening in our own backyard! We could almost feel the curses being thrown down on us from the bluff high above. There were stories in high school about kids getting kidnapped if they tried to go up there to investigate. They would be used for whatever satanic ritual was going on. We didn’t really know what that meant but we did know that we didn’t ever want to be a part of it. That didn’t keep us from, every once in awhile, driving at least partway up the bluff to test our luck.

That place is Mount Saint Michael. When I was back home visiting two weekends ago I was scouting out places I could pinhole for this website and decided I needed to explore this place that gave me such fear as a teenager. I found my way up to the top and was greeted with…..

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Candy colored sunbeams.

What a pleasant place!

The grounds were originally a Jesuit mission and eventually became a farm that supplied food  for Gonzaga University. In 1977 it changed hands to a Catholic congregation that was led by a man named Francis Schuckardt. He declared himself  the “true pope” and became the first bishop of the Sedevacantism movement in the US (according to Wikipedia).

There is a Dan Brown novel in here somewhere.

As I wandered around I found the Jesuit Cemetery where I sat for awhile, made some pinhole shots, and enjoyed the view. The place might have a weird history, but it was sure beautiful.

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These were made with a Schlem P6*6 3d printed pinhole camera and Ektar film. They were all exposed for about 5 seconds (give or take).

Pinholed in Amsterdam – Reblog

I am Amsterdam
Whats the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Amsterdam?
Was your guess world wide pinhole photography day 2014?

What started as an amusing and light hearted discussion on twitter between Inge, Alex and Monica became a full scale pinhole meetup in Amsterdam. There was was a good sized group of us from all over the world. The sight of 13 pinhole photographers meandering very slowly around the streets of Amsterdam was a fun but surreal experience. Despite how it looks from the photo filled post below I really did not shoot very much during the event. I spent most of my time looking at cameras and chatting to people that I had only ever known through the Internet. There is talk of visiting the USA for the event next year – roll on WPPD 2015

Alex did such a great job of distilling the feelings of the day over on his site that I suggest to get a full flavour of the day out you have a read of his blog.
Monica wrote a great bit about what happened when the full team from pinholeobscura.com met in person – spoiler alert – IT WAS AWESOME.

All my images from the day -

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Portra 160
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138

Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole Malahide Castle - Pinhole

Killinthomas Turf Camp – Kildare

Disconnected - Pinhole

In the years 1939 to 1945 large scale turf camps were built on the Bog of Allen with a view to harvesting turf on an industrial scale. This was part of Irelands efforts to be self sufficient during the second world war. The camps were home to men from all over Ireland that came to cut the bog for fuel. 

The bog camps are long closed and not much remains of them but the hidden inside the Killinthomas woods you can find the decaying buildings of Irelands past. I walked around the old dining hall, the crumbling dormitories and found an old boiler room. In the middle of the former grounds standing on its own is the old telegraph station.

Pin Hole Pin Hole Pin Hole Pin Hole Pin Hole

Into Dust - Pinhole Self

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure:Various – I have notes don’t be afraid to ask…

http://awareofthevoid.com

Grounds for Sculpture

Three graces, Toshiko Takaezu, 1994

Three graces, Toshiko Takaezu, 1994

Back in April I suddenly found myself at Grounds for Sculpture, which is an open air sculpture museum near Trenton, NJ. Grounds for Sculpture opened in 1992 on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds, and was founded by J. Seward Johnson, who maintains a studio on site. The park includes quite a few of his painted bronze figures, plus a huge and varied collection of contemporary sculpture. It’s a great place to spend the day – we ate lunch in the café and the kids were enthralled by the many peacocks that have the run of the place.

These photos were made using an ONDU 6×6 camera.

Nature’s Laugh, Gunnar Theel, 1992

Nature’s Laugh, Gunnar Theel, 1992

Untitled, Kiki Smith, 2006

Untitled, Kiki Smith, 2006

Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden

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Five of Diamonds: Lan Su Chinese Garden

Last weekend I was wandering around the Saturday Market, shooting pinhole (of course) and found the tent of artist Aaron Voronoff Trotter. He was selling his hand-drawn playing cards. I was aware of his Portland I deck but hadn’t seen his others. He was selling a new one: Secrets Of Portland – all in color and all featuring obscure places around the city. Of course I bought it. I thought it would be a nice complement to what I post here. Looking through the deck I’ve noticed that many of the Portland locations that I’ve posted about are in here! So it’s perfect. I thought it might be fun to pick a card and then just go explore whatever card I choose.

Let’s pretend I randomly chose the 5 of Diamonds and that it was the impetus for my adventure to Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Garden, anachronistically, a few months ago, shall we? Ok.

Oh hey! Side note! According to this astrology website:

5 of Diamonds: Happiness and success. A change for the better. A birth, or good news for a child. A good time to start new projects.

Excellent!

I had to walk through a sketchy part of town to get here but once inside the walls of the Lan Su Chinese Garden I felt like I was inside an oasis. And, indeed, I was. It is beautiful here. One can wander around and look at the beauty around them but they are missing out if they use only the sense of sight to experience this place. The paths are meant to we walked on barefoot, for example, so you can experience the feel of concrete patterns on the bottom of your feet.

The garden was built 14 years ago to recognize Suzhou, Portland’s sister city in China. The name of the garden is a mashup of the two city names: Lan = Portland, Su= Suzhou. Clever!

When I was here I used my new Zero 45. I am still trying to get used to this camera and I believe this was my first outing with the 120 roll back for it. I tried  all of the various options on this camera: with and without the extra extension frame. Zone plate. Etc. Unfortunately, I don’t know what I did for each of these photos. I’m afraid this is the roll in which I cave and become a notebook user. Yes, I understand now, the need to use a notebook.

Portland's Chinese Gardens Portland's Chinese Gardens Portland's Chinese Gardens

Adorable Illusion
Camera: Zero Image 4×5 with Graflex “23” rollback and 1 extension frame.
Film: Portra 160 & Arista 100
Dev: C-41 (Lab)
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture: f176

You can learn more about the Secrets of Portland Playing cards (and pick up a deck for yourself) here.