My Photographic Journeys...
This blog is about my photographic journeys and experiences in my part of the United States. These are not world travels, which I would enjoy, but are the weekend trips that anyone can take when they step out of their doorway. There are many things to experience in our National parks, State parks, wilderness areas, National forests, as well as those natural and man-made in our cities and communities, large and small.
My purpose for this blog is to share the frequent photographic locations and experiences I encounter with visual images and a few written words to go with them. Please provide comments if you like, and check back frequently. I intend to post about every week. If you enjoy my blog then let others know also.
I'm an aircraft certification engineer by day, which I really enjoy, and I'm an obsessive outdoor photographer on my own time. I read, study, process, hike, explore, stumble, gripe, learn, and practice photography every chance I get. I frequently upload images to my website, markfullerimages.com so take a look at them if you get a chance.
Be creative, however small, however large, it can add so much more to life. Whether it's music, art, dance, sewing, cooking, restoration, or building something you like, find your inner creative voice and ignore that screeching wicked witch of the west voice that laughs and says you're not good enough. I believe we're all meant to be creative.
Dappled sunlight falls upon me,
I stand beside the stream,
I feel I could stand here...forever,
and gaze upon the scene.
Old cars, trucks, locomotives, and railroad cars are great to explore and photograph. I enjoy studying each of these pieces of mechanical history and photographing them in detail and from different perspectives. I usually have a visual idea in mind of what I want the final image to look like. And often with these things mechanical, it's black and white.
I wanted to present these as portals in time, with a representation of times past...forgotten machines and empty seats...
through camera technique, play of light and shadow, and post processing...
Their forgotten journeys...
Windows with no clues of where they are or where they've been...or where they're going
Empty railroad cars...once echoing voices...are silent
Doors with signs, doors locked, and doors unlocked...
Doors for exiting....maybe
Doors for entering...maybe not
A car for the journey.
These machines once driven....
Now standing still in time....
Are waiting...for another time to shine.
I tried to create a theme of portals in time through visual concepts using doors, windows, and things once driven. That was my goal with the hope that machines like these are not forgotten.
I wanted to add a comment to this post. The light does shine, thanks to the Great Plains Transportation Museum of Wichita, in the eyes of the children and adults that are allowed to climb aboard their railroad cars and locomotives, sit in the Engineer's seat, ring the bells, laugh and enjoy these mechanical pieces of history. Fortunately, a number of these machines have been restored or are in the process of being restored or are displayed as is for the public to view and enjoy for a small fee that helps to support the restorations. It's great to see that these machines aren't forgotten. While I presented select images for a theme, obviously there is a more to see and explore there. Thanks to the museum for allowing me to photograph and publish these images.
The images that follow are an mix of subjects and styles that were shot while at Millfest in Lindsborg, Kansas at the old Smokey Valley Roller Mill and the adjacent grounds, followed by some images outside of Lindsborg while traveling home. I hope you enjoy.
Santa Fe Locomotive #735
Quilt - Shown in the Swedish Pavilion during Millfest
Gears and Chains - Smoky Valley Roller Mill
Coronado Heights Castle - Built by the Works Progress Administration in 1932
Old House and Tree, Image 1 - West of Lindsborg
Old House and Tree, Image 2 - A Different Mood
The Gas Pump - Marquette, Kansas
The images of the Old House and Tree were shot next to the road. There is a no trespassing sign, which I respect, otherwise I would have liked to photograph it closer and from different perspectives.
I was traveling to Lindsborg, Kansas to see the "Wild Dala" horses. I had packed a number of cameras including a DSLR, a Polaroid Impulse AF camera, and two SX-70 cameras (one has been acting up, so I had a backup). In addition, I had some SX-70 flashbars, and a few packs of Impossible Film, PX 680 and PX 70. I have a previous post that goes into more detail on the Dala horses. This post is to share a little analog instant love for the Salvador Dala. I'm on the learning curve with Impossible Film and improving but intend to take a more artistic approach. I've done emulsion lifts and manipulations with Polaroid film but not with Impossible film yet. That too is in the works. These scans were made using the Impossible Scan Adapter.
The Salvador Dala is one of the Dala horses in Lindsborg, Kansas, "Little Sweden USA". I spent a lot of time photographing this dala horse with each camera. This image was taken with the Polaroid Impulse AF camera using Impossible PX 680 film.
This image was also taken with the Polaroid Impulse AF camera using Impossible PX 680 film.
This image was taken with the Polaroid SX-70 camera using Impossible PX 70 film and a flashbar.
This image was also taken with the Polaroid SX-70 camera using Impossible PX 70 film and a flashbar.
I enjoy using the SX-70 camera but I'm starting to like another camera a little better, the Polaroid Spectra system camera which I didn't have on this trip. It doesn't have the coolness or the retro look of the SX-70 but it does have a few more features. When I found it, it had mold on the faux leather so I removed it and cleaned the camera. I used it for awhile after that and was impressed with the images, and now that I've got some real leather, I'm looking forward to giving it a new look.
What a creative and artistic community! I travelled north of Wichita, Kansas in search of the famous Wild Dalas in little Sweden USA, Lindsborg, Kansas. "Where artists gather in the pursuit of beauty and honor of heritage". That was the preplanning internet search I found so I had to see it. And I was glad I did. This small town was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1868 and they keep true to their heritage as is evidenced everywhere from the Välkommen signs as you enter, to the Wild Dalas on the sidewalks in the heart of the town, to the Dala horse-shaped plaques on houses and lamp posts. The Wild Dalas are four foot tall horses located along the sidewalks of North Main street and other locations that you are challenged to find. They are painted by various artists. Some are more whimsical than others but all have interesting styles and names.
This first image is a close-up from the side of one of the Dala horses.
Introducing "Salvador Dala", artwork by the SVHS Painting and Design Class and the instructor, Lindy Nelson, obviously a very talented group. This Dala is loaded with many visual concepts and you can easily spend a lot of time studying it and trying to understand its meaning or more likely...creating your own meaning from the concepts that are presented.
Close-up from the side of the neck of Salvador Dala. The skeletal fingers are opening a zipper pull that interestingly looks like a beercan pull tab.
Close-up from the other side of Salvador Dala! As you look into the left open tooth you see a human figure lying next to the entrance and a doorway down the hall. And to the right of it, your eye is looking into the tooth as seen from the other side of the hallway! The lower teeth appear to be yellow fingers with painted fingernails of the skull-like figure looking out.
Close-up from the other side of the head and neck.
The amazing Dalahippus Lindsborgensis is located in front of the Swedish Country Inn. The artist was Lee Becker.
The "Rörmokarens Vän", Plumber's Friend is a more traditional style of Dala by artist and well known Dala painter, Shirley Malm.
Another interesting Dala, "Hello Dala". Beautifully done by artist Gretchen Elliot and sponsored by the Friends of Broadway RFD.
Close-up of the neck of Hello Dala.
Close-up from the side of Hello Dala.
The next Dala I found was "Dalallama Telecomma". The artist was Steve Scott. This Dala with its third eye is covered with telephone handsets, commas, and has its tongue sticking out. You've got to love the details and the concepts!
Close-up of Dalallama Telecomma with its commas, handsets, and the parallel wavy lines that don't cross.
This is another very beautiful Dala, the "Methodist Mare", artist Maleta Forsberg. This Dala is located in the front of the Trinity United Methodist Church. It's fitting that this Dala standing at the front of the church presents an introduction to the observer of the history, symbology, and faith of the United Methodist religion.
The front of the Methodist Mare.
There were more Dala horses in Lindsborg to be found. I saw more but that will be for the next time. I was going to Millfest, one of the town's annual festivals to tour the old flour mill, and then on to find the castle at Coronado Heights!