An island of mud

20121016-112008.jpg More mud. Is mud the new mushroom? Well, you take pictures of what you have in front of you to work with, and I get mud a lot of times.  This particular mud was very nice mud, flowing like beach  sand, with clay for the peaks and an odd black sand in the troughs.  Just gorgeous and fun.  There was a big puddle with trees reflecting.  Dressed it up a little, not too much, with Jazz, and a film border just for grins.  This is the daily “grunge” after all, and that’s what I do.

– the Daily Grunge

Drum roll please

20121016-111924.jpg On a recent trip to a local mall, I was drawn to the sound of drumbeats.  Not war drums, thankfully, just a high school drum corp doing an exhibition.  Probably their enterprising band director is priming them for more important appearances.  They were entirely African American, wearing white t-shirts and dark jeans, with white drums.  Hmmm … always a challenge to get good exposure with strong whites and dark colors.  So in this case, I didn’t worry about details, I just wanted to get something graphical, with the repeating patterns of drums and bodies. Plus the shadows gave it some strong lines.

It was merely a question of pointing the iPhone at them, and waiting for something interesting to happen.  When they put their arms in the air and crossed their sticks, it looked like a decisive moment.  Click!

– the Daily Grunge

Country store

20120917-180939.jpg Another image from Merritt’s (see This unique establishment has an authentic southern charm. I spotted this wooden cross, with a couple of twisted nails at the appropriate juncture, giving the illusion of a dead Jesus. Juxtaposed with jars of pickles and some old books, the overall affect almost made me drop my camera. Opportunities for photos like this don’t come up very often!

This was one of those rare shots where you know, as soon as you click the shutter, that you’ve captured something special. One of those shots that I barely had to edit, just a vignette and a border, plus damping down the colors. Otherwise, all I needed to do was get out of the way and let the atmosphere just shine through.

the Daily Grunge

Girl behind bars

20121001-101814.jpg I was waiting outside a restaurant and there was a totally cool-looking young woman, perhaps a bouncer, at the gate.  It’s a courtyard restaurant.  Anyway, she had lots of earrings and the kind of punky haircut that I love.  She had been looking at me, but as soon as I whipped out the phone to take her picture, she started getting all hinky about keeping her back to me.  So I got behind the gate and did it that way.  Since she’s kind of tough-looking, it made a better picture anyway.  I used Noir to get some atmospheric lighting.

– the Daily Grunge

Rocket girls

20120930-202225.jpg As I wandered around the Carrboro Music Festival, I spotted a folk singer on a porch behind a big sheet metal spaceship. The thing fascinated me to no end, and then I spotted two women watching who looked nearly identical, must be sisters, even dressed in the same fussy way. Since I’m a big Diane Arbus fan, I find twins to be an interesting, sometimes creepy, subject, so I couldn’t resist framing up the singer between their heads, in front of the space vehicle.

– the Daily Grunge

Faded gentility

20120917-175146.jpg A slight departure from my usual edited, grunged-up work. All I did was crop this shot of two chairs. Of course, they have a natural … patina, let’s call it, so really don’t require any effects to be added.

Merritt’s is a small gas station – cum – bacon restaurant. I of course do not partake, but was there for a gallery opening by my talented friend Diane Cashion, whose work can be seen at As is only appropriate at a photographic event, I took lots of pictures of the atmospheric furnishings and guests. However it was truly sad that I did not get the camera up in time to get a shot of the owner telling three good old boys that in spite of the crowd, she was CLOSED, no BLTs. They had their shirts open, exposing bellies which really should not have been seeing the light of day, and the kind of scruffy, overgrown beard that screams “I DON’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND!!!”.

So I will make do with the furnishings, the faded elegance, the crowd of onlookers, the almost unbearably interesting objects around this landmark sandwich joint.

the Daily Grunge


20120929-172350.jpgThe Carolina Brewery is a local favorite spot.  Even though I don’t drink, and am a strict vegetarian, I love the place.  Plenty to eat for me in spite of my way heinous restrictions.  I was at the Brewery one rainy Saturday morning after running a 5K they had sponsored — with free breakfast for the after-party.  Fabulous food!  While waiting for the awards ceremony, I snapped this picture of a grain silo from under the umbrella I was crouched under.  Shiny metals always appeal, and I love the contrasting red fabric.

– the Daily Grunge

Silt fences

20120927-154620.jpg I live in a new development where there are massive landscaping projects underway.  Huge groves of trees cut down and carted away, and then usually a hydrology nightmare left behind. Containment and drainage become a 6-month project as these areas are made ready for house sites.

To make sure the soil doesn’t all run off onto a road, the engineers put up plastic silt fences around wet areas.  As I walked by early one morning, the light on this row of fences was just beautiful.  It looked a little like a rice paddy, and 100% interesting to me.

At the bottom of the frame is a black fence which is almost transapent, so I cropped to include that.  I brought up the colors a little (I think it was PaintFX but could have been Jazz), and of course a crop.  Maybe a slight amount of contrast to bring out the geometry of the shot.

– the Daily Grunge

Cracked earth

20120927-101636.jpg I have a shot in a later post that shows silt fences holding back mud.  This is an example of what they hold back.  The soil here, if I can call it that, is more like clay.  It flows around and then hardens into a cement-like substance.  In the bright strong Carolina sun, it can crack like this.  The cracks are actually quite deep and make wonderful patterns, along with the sparse grass which manages to survive.   The color of the “dirt” is not interesting enough to work with, and I usually prefer B&W anyway.  The only problem was figuring out where to crop, because I love all the lines and twists and holes.  Finally just said “this is it” and went with it.

– the Daily Grunge