Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Alpena's Geodesic DQ
Originally uploaded by argusmaniac.
One of the things I have enjoyed this summer has been the numerous short trips my daughter and I have taken, and the myriad of photographic opportunities that have arisen during them. Sure, we all have a destination to get to. But instead of taking the interstate and main roads all the time, consider a lesser highway, another route, or even dirt roads (which are still plentiful in Michigan).
The beauty of going somewhere without a plan -- other than to be flexible-- is that you see things. See a cool barn? Stop along the road and take some photos. See a neat little store? Stop and go inside. It's likely that you will find something that appeals to your interests on such a trip. I hate to use a cliche title from a book, but "The Journey Is the Reward" is appropriate in this case.

I used to be rather introverted, not talking to people, and believe it or not -- shy. Becoming a photographer changed a lot of that. Of course, I hate the typical... "are ya taking piktures?" but the camera has often become an introduction into what I do, and sometimes, talking to someone for 5 minutes will give me more information on a place than I could have ever found out on my own. For instance, earlier this summer, we stopped at a small place called Montague. There was a sign for an old drugstore still hanging at the entrance to what looked like an old-fashioned place that had a real old-time soda fountain. I told my daughter we should go in and get something. As the woman that served us made our chocolate malts, she told me that her father had owned that drugstore for many years, and had to sell off most of it to have money to pay for the care of his ailing wife. The duaghter owns a part of the building, and she's operating the section that was the original soda fountain -- everything there was vintage 1940s-50s green and chrome. She buys parts on eBay. I never would have known all of that if we hadn't talked. Of course, the malteds were good, and only after we got in the car did I realize that I had spilled some all over the front of my shirt...

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