Friday, September 26, 2008

Night Crawl for Voodoo Doughnuts

It was evening in Portland and feeling the need to escape the rubber chicken, the gummy cheesecake and re-breathed air of the DoubleTree, C. and I took an walk outside. Perhaps as am antidote to working so much in the realm of daylight, I'm finding myself more and more attracted to the mysteries of night photography.

Urban spaces defined only by artificial light sources - tungsten, sodium vapor, mercury, neon - mix it up with a little moonlight to offer a new palette of possibilities. And one without any commercial sensibilities. What freedom!

Carrying one sensitive camera with a very fast lens, we strolled through the empty neighborhoods surrounding the hotel stopping every now and the to explore nocturnal colors, gestures and light. Realizing the need for a destination (not so much as a place to satisfy a sweet craving but as an arbitrary end point), we headed to Voodoo Doughnuts - open all night and sure to delight.

Asking directions a few times from strangers on desolate streets, we finally spot an eerie blue glow. Entering, we inhale the yeasty air, make our choices from the rotating dessert case, and sit at old school desks to watch the parade of night folks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Big Leaves, Big Drama

Big leaves hog center stage in Chanticleer's August garden. Add a dash of hard sun and you can almost hear the photosynthetic pulse of these tropical giants. As much as I adore lotus blooms, their lingering seed pods have all the personality. Like articulated shower heads, they twist their twiggy necks to gape at their neighbors.

Canna 'Tropicanna' is as common as you get but it still grabs me when backlit. And it absolutely floors me when the light also wraps gently from the side.

And the Red Banana, Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelli', is made even more gorgeous when the shadows of a nearby fine-leafed tropical play over the bright green and orange bands. What this late summer foliar exuberance needs now is a soundtrack of sprinklers, crickets and ice cream trucks.