lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Metropolis Houston: Beautiful Panorama of Downtown H-Town

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Telwink: Metropolis Houston

I tend to think the HDR schtick tends to be a little overplayed, but this shot was just about perfect. I love this guy’s stuff.

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Grytviken Church, Antarctica

Grytviken Church

Antarctica is typically thought of as the exclusive preserve of scientists and explorers, but was once called home to a hardy few. This image comes from Dark Roasted Blend’s fascinating set of images of The Ghosts of Antarctica: Abandoned Stations and Huts. The Antarctic island South Georgia once hosted at least seven whaling communities and as many as 2,000 people up until the first half of the 20th century, who with the long nights and freezing cold might be expected to have had ample opportunity to reflect on the afterlife.

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The Life Magazine Photo Archive, hosted by Google

Life Magazine, the standard bearer of photojournalism for so many decades, may have closed up shop but its images are getting new life in a joint-project with Google to host an archive of the magazine’s photographs, many of which never made it into the magazine itself. The Life photo archive at Google represents 97% of the collection, 10 million images from 1860 to today.

In addition to some of the iconic photographs of history, the Life/Google Archive has a huge cache of historical photographs of seemingly every corner of the world. Here are a few from some of the places I’ve lived.


Joe Sherschel, Texas Football – A&M Vs. Villanova, Bryan/College Station, TX


Bernard Hoffman, Children watching a boy skiing over a makeshift, ME, US, 1942

George Strock, Mail order co. L. L. Bean’s famous Maine hunting shoes lined up by size fr. 6-1/2- to 18-in. top of elk leather w. rubber sole, Freeport, ME, US, 1941


Arthur Rickerby, Snow Mobiles – Maine – ’69


Walter Sanders, Men standing outside St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in the Italian district, Boston, MA, US, 1944


Dmitri Kessel, A view of a housing project in Houston, Houston, TX, US, October 1946, Life Magazine.


Dmitri Kessel, A view of the Southern Dinner Club, Houston, TX, October 1946, Life Magazine.


J. R. Eyerman, Multimilionaire Hugh Roy Cullen (2L) University of Houston pre-game cocktail party with caged cougar, Houston, TX, October 1956

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Picking Potatoes in Northern Maine

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The Library of Congress has a new photostream on photo-sharing site Flickr. This particular image struck close to home. The caption is “Children gathering potatoes on a large farm, vicinity of Caribou, Aroostook County, Me. Schools do not open until the potatoes are harvested.” I grew up in the neighboring and superior-in-every-way town of Presque Isle (Go Wildcats!) and picked potatoes for exactly one day with a friend of mine before saying the hell with farming and getting a job with the news.

(L to R) Octavia Panzeri, 16,  of Milan Italy, Kathrine Just, 16, of Laasby Denmark and Franze Zehentner, 17, of Villach Austria join other Caribou high school sudents in the New Sweden potatoe fields of classmate Finn Bondeson. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)

While the schools today open before the potatoes are harvested, they still close down again for Harvest Break from mid-September until the first week or so in October. It’s a way of life that seems to say the more things change the more they stay the same, but it wasn’t always that way.

As the New York Times noted in 1989 in Presque Isle Journal; Changes On Horizon In Fields Of Potatoes changing economic pressures and the mechanization of farming have made the practice of Harvest break less of an economic necessity for farmers or children, but the tradition still seems to be thriving and is a point of pride for the people there.

See also: Aroostook County Potato Harvest and the Bangor Daily News, New hands share hard work of harvest

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Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now

Slate’s Everyone Will Be Lonely Eight Months From Now: The weird science of stock photography, notes the somewhat disturbing phenomenon of stock photography shops potentially trendsetting the nation’s mood.

A while back, a friend of mine—a guy who does a lot of directing work—was asked to shoot some rather odd film footage. It was all brief scenes of people ignoring each other. Families talking on cell phones, couples tapping at adjacent laptops, everyone looking in opposite directions.

These vignettes were commissioned by a company that sells stock photos and video to various clients—including, in large part, advertisers. The hope was that footage like this would appeal to customers who need to visually convey a mood of modern disconnectedness. Leaving aside the bleak and omnipresent nature of the subject matter—they could have just put a tripod on a random street corner—I was startled to realize that stock photo and video purveyors actually create material in anticipation of demand.

Consider the plight of the stock photo marketer at the mercy of the modern newscycle.

“We had a bad day when Dolly was cloned,” says Denise Waggoner, vice president of creative research at Getty. “We hadn’t been studying biotechnology, and suddenly everyone wanted a shot of 25 sheep on a seamless white background. So now we try to keep our toes dipped in the water in lots of different fields, so we can be ready.”

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Where Photography Meets Illustration

from Design You Trust.

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Happiness is Warm Feet

Part of a Austin artist William Hundley’s series, “with cheeseburgers“…. ah, sweet, sweet art. Take a look at Little Naked Person Storage for another delightfully literal set.

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Imperial March

All the better without explanation. via Karl Gunnarsson.

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Kung Fu Dancing with Cats

Photoshopped, unless my spidey-sense deceives me, but brilliantly so. via ffffound!

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Michael Nye’s Fine Line, Photographing Mental Health, Mental Illness

Photographer Michael Nye’s latest project tackled a subject you might reasonably suppose to be impossible – addressing inner mental conflict and illness through photography. Nye spent four years photographing and recording stories for audio which accompanies the photos, delving into schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety and bi-polar disorder.

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