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The travelogue formerly on this page has been removed in light of my greater understanding of Tripod's TOS, as it did offer what some might take to be critical commentary directed toward the performance of New Mexico's Department of Highway Transportation during a snowstorm in 2004, and we can't have that sort of thing on a Lycos site. I'll replace it with a brief discussion of some of my image galleries elsewhere, excluding, of course, the shameful New Mexican one, which I've removed out of respect for the staff's sensibilities and Lycos/Tripod's TOS.

A point raised on the homepage of one of my homerings is that the vaguely impressionistic, surrealistic style of many of the images I've posted is something of an accident. If you've seen my black and white work from the last time I had access to a darkroom, you'll see something completely different, crisp monochrome in strong contrast, without the faintest hint of mannerism. Losing access to that darkroom (poverty) meant that others did my printing for me, which is why a lot of my images ended up out of focus - to bring an image into crisp focus, one views the film through something akin to a microscope, brings the grain into focus, and does far more than the clerk in a supermarket photo department has time to bother with doing. The pictures arrived faded and blurred in the process, adobe elements was all that I had to fix the damage done on that assembly line, and surrealism is what worked best with heavily photoshopped images. I've had fun doing it, but the limitations imposed on me by my finances took me in a creative direction far different from that intended, one which I probably would never had explored had I been able to afford the darkroom I wanted.

In the case of My Chicago Image Gallery, the solution becomes severely unsatisfactory as a long term fix, because what I'm trying to do is document a vanishing style of architecture, so what is needed is documentary, not poetry. I need to show you what is there, not how I feel about what's there, which is one reason why I'll be shifting from the use of my beloved Pentax to the use of a digital. I could get away with shooting in the parks and suburbs with a handheld film camera, but the narrow streets and higher buildings of an older city leave me shooting in the shade most of the time, especially in a forested older city like Chicago, and the foot traffic around me is heavy enough that I would hesitate to use a tripod, even if I didn't have to worry about those going past me trying to kick the supports out from under the thing, a very real likelihood given the local culture.

With the Lousiana pictures taken in 2005, photoshopping was less of an issue, not because those pictures were seeing any more personal attention when being developed, but simply because I was a thousand miles further to the south, that much closer to the equator, so the light was that much brighter, the sky that much bluer with that much less high level haze, and the colors that much richer, resulting in photos that forgave neglect far more than the images I shot in Chicago would. One is, however, left with the discouraging question as one ponders film that has been mauled of what that one photographed is still in existence, and how much longer it will remain so, during the hurricane seasons to come. Let us hope that this will be for a while, but once again, we find ourselves entering the realm of less than absolute positivity, so out of respect for Lycos' stance on such matters, let us end this discussion and go on to others which we hope may prove as unconditionally cheerful as desired.

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Picture from start of Chicago gallery. Image copyrighted 2005, 2006 by Joseph Dunphy.
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