Wrapping Up 2012 – Part Two

"Final M3 Selfie"  -  Fargo, ND

“Final M3 Selfie” – Fargo, ND

Where did we leave off?

Oh yes, when we last saw our hero he was leaving Fargo, North Dakota, and setting off for a summer job unlike many others. He had been to England and Portugal, and had finished the academic semester in Fargo. Now, back to the action…

Summer Job

This project grew out of my summer spent with the US Air Force. As a reservist, I report for duty one weekend every month and an additional 15 days each year. This summer, due to a shortage on the base, I was tasked for an additional 100 days over the summer months, and I planned to create a body of work representing the time spent there, documenting the daily comings and goings. Using a compact film camera, I shot roll after roll of film as I worked and traveled throughout the country.

“Summer Job” – Minneapolis, MN

“Preparation” – Denver, CO

“Red Light” – Provo, UT

“Cold Weather Issue” – Minneapolis, MN

If you are interested in more of the project that I worked on over the summer, or to see the complete selection of images and the book that was created, you can do that here. The project was something different for me, and helped me to learn about creating, starting, finishing, and editing a project. The photographs, in their finished form, tell a story that many people do not see and do not have access to. Photographically, it was a great learning experience for me.

Twin Cities

Following my time in Fargo, ND, and the summer spent working with the Air Force, I moved back to the Twin Cities. I spent time with family, back in what I consider to be my hometown, doing the things that I enjoy here.

“Transaction” – Minneapolis, MN

“Watching” – Minneapolis, MN

Enjoying life, and relishing the little visual moments that I came across…I realized that it’s the little things that sometimes make good images.

“Family” – Minneapolis, MN

“Topless” – Saint Paul, MN

Anna Maria Island

The small island on the Gulf coast of Florida has been a destination for my family for decades. This year, I brought my recently-acquired Hasselblad to see if I could force myself out of my comfort zone and shot portraits, and used the square format, to see what I could come up with.

“Hannah” – Anna Maria Island, FL

I learned that despite varying format and equipment, I still see the world in a certain way. As a result, I take a certain kind of images. This was reassuring to know, as it tells me that I am–slowly, but surely–developing a personal style of photography. Or maybe the style has always been there, just under the surface; now I know how to tap into it and I am more finely attuned to recognizing it.

“Approaching Storm” – Anna Maria Island, FL

“Untitled” (from the project Floridians) – Anna Maria Island, FL

The annual tradition, in which my family descends upon a small resort for the last week in July in the scorching Florida sun, returned for it’s (for me) fifth successive year. My family has been going the same week, to the same resort far longer. It wasn’t until this year that I began to see the place in a new light, visually. A new project–which I am tentatively calling Flordians–began to take shape, though this project is far from finished. It may not even be fully conceptualized at this point, but the seed is germinating in my mind at this point, and I’m interested to see where it goes in the future.

Saint Paul Cathedral

The second major project I finished in 2012 was my long-term project dealing with the Cathedral of Saint Paul. Named for the saint, and not the city in which it resides, the cathedral was an inspiration to me when I needed some last year, when I started shooting it. Not initially intended to be a long-term photographic project, it evolved organically as I continued going back time after time to make images of it, and in it.

“From Above” – Saint Paul, MN

“Directed” – Saint Paul, MN

“Holy Cards” – Saint Paul, MN

To see the full set of images I selected, go here.

Final Word

And so, the annual review is done. I recapped some of the best, and some of my favorite, images of the year. They didn’t all make the cut, since I decided to organize this not strictly along the basis of single interesting images, but rather thematically.

“Self-Portrait” – Anna Maria Island, FL

After re-reading much of this post it appears rambling, and without direction; it is being pulled in many different directions, going many places (both physically and artistically), and unsure of its purpose at times. Perhaps that sums up the year more than anything I could say. This was very much a year in flux for me, unsettled and in transition. It was also rich and rewarding, stimulating and invigorating.

To follow that theme, here are a few of my favorite other images that I didn’t group thematically for one reason or another.

“Window Light” – Lisbon, Portugal

“The Eye” – Saint Paul, MN

“Lake” – Grand Marais, MN

So that’s it. My grand review of the year 2012.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Questions, comments, and critiques are always welcome around here, so take the time to place one in the comment field below.

Grand Marais, MN

“Lake Superior” – Grand Marais, MN

I recently went to visit Grand Marais, Minnesota. ¬†Grand Marais is a small town on the North Shore of Minnesota–the part that is on Lake Superior–and is a popular spot for tourists. ¬†Visitors come from across the state of Minnesota, and from out of state to visit the northern shores of our great state. ¬†If you are driving from the Twin Cities, it will take you 5-6 hours, depending on holiday traffic, construction, etc. ¬†The Canadian border is less than an hour from Grand Marais!

My wife hails from this small town, and spent the summer with her parents while I was off doing my “Summer Job” project.

“Harbor” – Grand Marais, MN

With the exception of the very first photograph, this set was taken using my Zeiss Ikon rangefinder and shot with Kodak Tri-X 400 film. ¬†I’m pretty sure I used the Zeiss C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8 lens, but I’m not entirely sure…

Grand Marais is a small town, with a population just north of 1200 people. ¬†During the summer months it is busy, but in the winter there are fewer tourists, since there are other towns on Minnesota’s North Shore that cater to skiing tourism and other winter sports more than Grand Marais does.

“Post Office” – Grand Marais, MN

As a small tourist town, there is not much going on in Grand Marais, MN. ¬†And these were all shot at the height of the tourist season…you might imagine how slow it is the rest of the year.

“Downtown” – Grand Marais, MN

But let’s be honest: I didn’t (and I don’t ever) make the trip up north to see the town. ¬†I have seen it enough times to know that it’s slow, and not really my cup of tea. ¬†Small towns are not my place of choice, though many people do seem to enjoy it. ¬†To each their own, I say.

There was a different reason I made the trek up north…

The real reason I came to Grand Marais, MN

My wife grew up here, and even she doesn’t like coming back up! ¬†We are both suited to slightly larger cities, it seems. ¬†No shame in admitting that, it’s just how it is.

Her parents live in a genuine cabin in the woods, and I shot a frame of her doing her laundry at their house…

“Laundry” – Grand Marais, MN

So that was that. ¬†And then we headed back into town, and you can pretty well gauge from a few photographs what it’s like to spend time in Grand Marais, MN. ¬†That’s not to say it’s not a nice place, or you might not enjoy it; in fact, you well might. ¬†As long as you know what you’re in for–a sleepy, small, quaint village that exists primarily to cater to visitors from out of town.

What you get is the resultant knick-knack shops, restaurants, souvenir shops, cafes on the harbor, boats and planes for hire, etc. ¬†It’s not good or bad–it is what it is, a friend of mine likes to say.

“Tourist Town” – Grand Marais, MN

And, of course, I couldn’t resist taking a shot of Bathroom Trevor while I was in town. ¬†Not only that, but it’s a new bathroom I had not had the chance to frequent yet. ¬†That’s just me putting another notch in my belt…

“Bathroom Trevor” – Grand Marais, MN

As always, thanks for stopping by.  If you like my work, or this particular post, please let me know by leaving a quick (or long) comment below.  It really does mean a lot to get feedback from all the people who stop by here every day; from the traffic statistics I get on the site, there are a lot of people who visit each day, but nary a one of them leaves a comment.  It really helps to keep going when I get some feedback or critiques.

If you like my work, check out my website or my published books.  Or you can always try using the social media links below the post to share my work with others.

Many thanks for stopping by!


I’m Off!


I’m off for a week of sun and surf on Anna Maria Island, Florida! I will see you all when I get back. I may be blogging down there, and I may not be. Honestly, I’d say it’s 50/50. I kind of like the idea of unplugging for a week…

So we’ll see. If you don’t hear from me, then I’ll see you all on the flip side.



BATHROOM TREVOR: Portugal Edition

Sintra, Portugal

Here is another set of BATHROOM TREVOR shots, this time from my recent trip to Portugal, in March 2012.  Taken in various locations of the trip, including Amsterdam, Porto, Lisbon, Sintra, and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean at 30,000 ft.

I’d like to hear comments and suggestions on this set, and the project as a whole. ¬†What does it need to make it better? ¬†Does anyone else have a project like this?

Gone Missing

“Boys” – Fargo, ND

I know I have been absent lately, but don’t give up on me! Life has been insanely busy, and I haven’t had much time to shoot, let alone process, scan or edit any film. In fact, I have a bunch of film that still needs to be sent out that is boxed up to be sent out! I started a new job and at the moment it is requiring a great deal of time and effort.

Now that the photos from Portugal are, for the most part, edited and posted for your enjoyment, the blog will most likely get back to its roots. Initially, this was created just as a way to post photos that I took and to allow people to see some of my work while following the goings-on of my day-to-day life.

I hope you will stick with me through this dry spell, as I work out how to get more time for shooting in. I look forward to posting more…



NDSU - Fargo, ND - November, 2011


Yes, Bathroom Trevor is found all over the world. In fact, he spent a fair amount of time in Portugal last month! There will be shots of him in Porto and Lisbon coming soon, but for now I am still trying to prune the archives for shots of Bathroom Trevor to make sure we don’t lose his past exploits.

On a more serious note, I hope you enjoy this silly project. It’s a side project that I can keep going for a while, and it’s something I’ve not seen before–at least not carried out as a long-term, consistent project. As crazy as it sounds, I’m excited to see where it goes.

If you haven’t checked it yet, there is a dedicated tumblr site for BATHROOM TREVOR. If you use tumblr, you should follow it.




"Minard Hall" - Fargo, ND

Here is another recent BATHROOM TREVOR shot. To see the tumblr feed of all the shots, go HERE. Hope you all aren’t sick of this project yet ūüôā


Bathroom Trevor!

Putnam Hall

Here is another update for BATHROOM TREVOR!

I just wanted to make sure no one has forgotten about the side project that I have been working on. Feel free to visit the tumblr page for it by clicking the link above.