Friday, June 29, 2012



June 22, 2012. "Orb." Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, Orlando, Florida.

It always surprises me when discussions of "great" Florida architecture fail to include the Winnie Palmer Hospital, instead cataloging out a list of inferior, uninspired, sentimental inclusions because tourists may know their names.

Then there's relatively unrecognized Winnie Palmer Hospital. The fact is, when you go to a hospital, you're stressed. The Winnie Palmer building centers around the patient and the anxious family in a very literal, circular way, making them feel protected and drawn together. Patient rooms in the towers feed out like spokes on a wheel and feel more like nice hotel rooms than institutional cubes for an endless night of beeping and needle sticking.

The orb in the front is a huge waiting room, bringing in showers of tranquil natural light and eliminating that "trapped" feeling that sets in after an hour or ten.

When visiting photographers express a desire to take unusual photos of the Orlando not seen, I always include Winnie Palmer building. A few weeks later, I enjoy seeing their overly processed pictures of Disney as if they were uniquely blessed that year among Orlando's 51 million annual tourists to catch that prefabricated moment in the Magic Kingdom. Orlando area photographers tend to feed into the perception that there's nothing worth shooting in Orlando outside the theme parks, and it is a shame.

Years ago, guidebook author and PBS nerd extraordinaire Rick Steeves was asked, "What is the one place that you would never go back to?" His answer, "I was recently in Orlando and couldn’t stop thinking how miserable I’d be if I had to write a guidebook chapter on that city."

Rick Steeves writes the best tour books on European cities for budget travelers. His books are about exploring the non-touristy side of cities while still taking in the popular sites, and I wouldn't get on a plane crossing the Atlantic without his current version.

Mr. Steeves, like most Orlando tourists and convention delegates, forgets this as soon as tires touch down at Orlando International Airport.

Every place has its beauty. Go find it where you live, in your own backyard.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012



June 3, 2012. Teacups.

One second nighttime exposure of a father and son watching the Mad Tea Party ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Florida.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1 second. f/9. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Monday, June 25, 2012



June 24, 2012. Kerouac.

The small house where Beats author Jack Kerouac lived while waiting for the publication of On the Road and writing The Dharma Bums resides in the quiet College Park neighborhood near downtown Orlando.

It is now home to the Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence project.

I've known that the house existed since I was in college at Rollins, but I had never bothered to find it. An article I read regarding the tie between Vespa scooter culture in the 1950s and early 1960s and the Beat movement made me think of finding this hidden local landmark. Some night shots seemed the only appropriate way to go.

After taking a few long exposures, I decided to step into one of them for a self portrait. It turned out to be my favorite of the set.

Kerouac reportedly once said that Saint Petersburg, Florida, was "a good place to come to die."

Jack Kerouac died in Saint Petersburg, two hours west of Orlando, on October 21, 1969. He was only 47.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 8 seconds. f/8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Temptation (Pinocchio)

Temptation (Pinocchio) 

June 8, 2012. Temptation (Pinocchio). Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, near Orlando, Florida.

Jiminy Cricket: [to Pinocchio] Remember what I said about temptations?
[points to Honest John] ... That's him!
Pinocchio: Oh, no, Jiminy. That's Mr. Honest John.

A Google+ #MonochromeMonday post featuring the intersection of cartoon fantasy and reality that has defined Orlando since 1971.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012



June 1, 2012. Minnie. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista (near Orlando), Florida.

In a world saturated with primary colors and pastels, a monochrome Minnie Mouse ties the rest of her kingdom back to its 1928 roots.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/30. f/2.8. ISO 400. LR 2.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012



June 3, 2012. "9."

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Waiting for car 9.

In my fourth decade of going here, I still find that I hope for a red car.

Red cars are the fastest.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/60. f/2.8. ISO 1600. LR 2.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mirror Mirror - Color

Mirror Mirror - Color

June 1, 2012. Mirror Mirror - Color. Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista (near Orlando) Florida.

Color version of yesterday's Monochrome Monday post of Cinderella's Castle, taken from the bridge at Frontierland.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/4. f/2.8. ISO 400. LR 2.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mirror Mirror - Monochrome

Mirror Mirror - Monochrome

June 1, 2012. Mirror Mirror - Monochrome. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Lake Buena Vista (near Orlando) Florida.

For #MonochromeMonday on Google+, a shot of Cinderella's Castle reflected in the waters from the Frontierland bridge, shot at 1/4 second handheld, using the bridge to help stabilize the shot.

Check back tomorrow to see the color version!

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/4. f/2.8. ISO 400. LR 2.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Vitalogy - Toronto, Canada

Vitalogy - Toronto, Canada

May 26, 2012. Vitalogy. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Perhaps it was the phrenology bust or the general warehouse district steampunk superstore nature of this closed shop in Toronto's Distillery District, but something about it reminded me of the album artwork for Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy."

It was also a good excuse to try out my new travel tripod.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1 second. f/8. ISO 400. LR 2.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moretti Man - Toronto, Canada

Moretti Man - Toronto, Canada
May 25, 2012. Moretti Man. Toronto, Canada.

Stuck at a traffic light in Little Italy, I pulled my camera out, set the exposure, and tossed it to my wife in the back seat.

"Quick, take a picture!"

"Of what?"

"Of the Moretti Man walking by the Moretti sign."

She got off this one shot before a truck moved in the way. Not bad. What do you think?

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Going Nowhere

Going Nowhere

May 24, 2012. Going Nowhere. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

On the way to visit Vespa Toronto West, I came across this seatless, barless, rusted bicycle locked to a bridge and wondered, "What Would Victor Bezrukov Do?"

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crisscross - Toronto, Canada

Crisscross - Toronto, Canada

May 25, 2012. Crisscross. Toronto, Canada.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/250. f/8. ISO 100. LR 2.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daydreaming - Toronto, Canada

Daydreaming - Toronto, Canada

May 23, 2012. Daydreaming. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

A new mother crowds onto a TTC bus with her carriage, dreaming of other places.

 Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/125. f/11. ISO 100. LR 2.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How Much is that Vespa In the Window? - Toronto, Canada

How Much Is That Vespa in the Window?

May 25, 2012. How Much is that Vespa in the Window? Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I cannot resist a picture of a classic Vespa.

Evidently, neither can my friends. (Hi Brent and Marsha jumping into the shot in the background...).

Toronto has a nice scooter culture when it isn't a snow factory. This photo was taken in Motoretta, a scooter shop in the Little Italy area that has a lot of classic scooters along with some Stellas. It also has a very nice new official Piaggio Vespa dealership on the west end of Toronto.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/125. f/8. ISO 400. LR 2.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Urban Sterility - Toronto, Canada

Urban Sterility - Toronto, Canada

May 24, 2012. Urban Sterility. Warden Subway Station, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/15. f/8.0. ISO 400. LR 2.

Babushka - Toronto, Canada


May 24, 2012. Babushka. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It was like a scene out of the 1960s.

Taking the TTC bus on a long trip across town, there was a point as it headed east where stylish twentysomethings disappeared and were replaced almost entirely by Ukrainian grandmothers. At every stop, more scarf-clad grandmas would board, smiling and waving at friends that were already on board as they joined them for their weekly errands.

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/125. f/5.6. ISO 400. LR 2.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cattle Car. Toronto, Canada

Cattle Car. Toronto, Canada.

May 24, 2012. "Cattle Car." Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The faces on commuters, each alone in thought along Toronto's Bloor-Danforth line, seem to scream "Happy Monday!"

Leica X1. 24.0 mm. 1/125. f/4.5. ISO 800. LR 2.