everyday objects

Everyday objects

Pocket knives


Warren, Connecticut. I used to collect these things but then when I lost one to TSA just after 9/11 I stopped. No hard feelings, just can’t always remember to leave these things at home. Note the various one handed knives, the thin French fruit testing knife and the black Kershaw with the Damascus (folded steel) blade.

Truth be told, the very thin Swiss Army knife is in my pocket more than the others when I’m not doing outside chores. I use the larger Gerber/LL Bean nylon handle knife for chores.



A variety of flashlights including a Surefire headlamp that’s in my pack on hikes and two Surefire G2 lights, all of which run on CR123 batteries (in tube) which have a ten year shelf life.



I’ve had these for a while and they’re incredibly useful.

Everyday stuff

Everyday stuff

I decided to do a "pocket dump" of things I carry daily.

For every "thing" you see here there are numerous others that I bought and tried and put in a drawer because I don’t like them. I have a bunch of watches, a bunch of wallets, numerous pocket knives, numerous things to hold my keys, many pocket notebooks and hundreds of pens. Actually, I only have one cell phone.

I see that the watch is a few minutes off, I’d better go reset it.

LL Bean Self-Illuminating Field Watch
This is the highest-end watch I’ve ever bought or owned and I love it. The regular LL Bean field watch is similar but after a while it loses its glow in the dark. This watch stays lit forever so on long night flights or in a dark room you can see what time it is. Worth the extra money to have this feature to me. It’s a bit on the heavy side but it’s built to last and no doubt LL Bean will stand behind it with their no questions asked warranty.

County Comm A&P Keyring
This simple 6″ cable keyring with male and female connector is incredible. No more keys and rings getting tangled up in your pocket. It’s flexible and it’s easy to take apart to get keys off. I love this thing and I guess that makes me an uber geek. Browse County Comm’s site, no doubt you’ll find some geeky tools you like.

Nite Ize S-Biner
The little carabiner clip on the keyring allows me to hook it to a belt loop or to my pack but isn’t nearly as big as a full-size carabiner (which I have plenty of as an ex-climber).

Streamlight Nano flashlight
This flashlight lights the walk between our garage and house at night as well as the front door so I can find the keyhole to open it. In other words, this small light packs an LED punch. However, it has a fatal flaw: you turn it on and off by twisting it’s body and that’s also how batteries are loaded. After a while it can come apart in your pocket spewing batteries and the LED end into pocket or worse, floor. I have a few of them and will use them up before switching to another type.

iPhone 3G
We only recently got cell coverage out here in rural Connecticut where we live and I don’t travel for a living anymore, so, we’re late to having cell phones. As a Mac guy (from 1984) I wasn’t going to get anything but an iPhone and I’m glad I did. I love the thing and while we still don’t have great coverage out here, I’m finding it useful when I occasional travel and on hikes.

The small notebook/journal is a simple blank book covered with katizomi-she stencil-dyed paper that I love. Each time I return to Hiromi Paper I buy more of them because I love the patterns.

Victorinox Swiss Army Bantam Alox pocket knife
I have a lot of pocket knives, I’ve been collecting them for close to twenty years and some of them are expensive, handmade numbers that are beautiful. However, this little knife will cut things and open a beer bottle and tighten a screw and its so thin I hardly know it’s in my pocket. I use it more than all of my other fancy knives put together.

Uni-ball Vision Elite Stick Bold Point Roller Ball Pen
Being dysgraphic I can’t write with a fine point pen. I need a pen that let’s a lot of ink flow to mask the unsteadiness of my crappy handwriting. This one’s one of the best I’ve found and the ink dries fast enough so that being a lefty, I don’t smear it all that much.

The handkerchief was my late father’s. He died in 2000 and I started carrying his handkerchiefs then. They’re built to last and my guess is I’ll die with them intact.

Eagle Creek Wallet
Eagle Creek doesn’t make my wallet anymore and I’m glad I bought a few of them which should last me a while. I like their designs, and they stand behind their packs, luggage and accessories.

None of this stuff is very fancy or high end but it has served me well for many years. My guess is the object in this picture that’s worth the most money is the rainbow colored Apple keychain fob that I’ve had since the early 1980’s.

Backlit water

Backlit water and restaurant

New York City. A group of us had dinner in New York over the Holidays and Gary and I spent a considerable amount of time attempting to photograph this glass of water with a candle behind it. It was a lot of fun and while my wife and our other friends rolled their eyes and talked about other things, Gary and I got deeper and deeper into it. Soon others in the restaurant were looking over at us wondering what was so interesting to get two people to spend so much time photographing at the table.

Backlit water

The Art of Everyday Objects

Stacked Glasses

Gary Sharp and I are doing a two person show at The North Bend, Oregon Public Library in June, 2009: The Art of Everyday Objects. These are my submissions.

They’re printed on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Photo Rag paper and cut to 12″ squares mounted in 21″ frames and they look darn good if you ask me (you didn’t but there you have it). We also have notecards of each piece as well.

I think this will be a great show and as always, it’s a pleasure to work with Gary on it.

Florence flask

Florence flask

Warren, Connecticut. I’ve now done some more testing of the Canon 200mm f/2.8 L lens vs. the Canon 135mm f/2 L lens plus Canon 1.4x extender and while there are some differences, they’re not enough to warrant buying the 200mm lens (which is a great deal).

When you add the extender to the 135mm f/2 lens you get a 189mm f/2.8 combination. Not quite 200mm but the same speed. While my tests are informal I’m happy with both the sharpness, color, bokeh and handling of the 135 and extender. Is the 200mm better? Probably, but not enough to warrant buying it in addition to the 135.

I like the shape of chemistry glassware and I’m going to order some more to use as subjects for photographs.

Small halogen flood

Small halogen flood

Warren, Connecticut. There is beauty in everyday objects and one of the things we can do with our cameras is take objects out of their functional settings and just look at their forms.

This bulb is reminiscent of a Mercury Space capsule as well as a piece of Japanese pottery. There’s something pleasing about the form.

Note: I was experimenting with the 1.4x extender on my 135mm f/2 to see if that combo might make a good substitute for the 200mm f/2.8 for when I need something longer than 135 but shorter than 300. I think it will.

Japanese matchbox labels

Flickr member maraid has an incredible collection of scanned and photographed Japanese matchbox labels and other ephemera in her flickr collection. It’s incredible to browse through it and makes me want to get started scanning and photographing my own collection of matchbook covers and ephemera. A great winter project.