Thoughts and Images of Back to School

Earlier this week, kids everywhere went back to school. In our area, Monday was the first day of school. I took pictures of my kids on Sunday, just to document them at the beginning of 3rd and 5th grade. There are certain moments that just require documenting, and back to school is one of them. I even saw a dad with a video camera on a tripod walking away from a local elementary school on the the first day of school. A tripod seems a bit much. I posted on Twitter that handheld video was probably okay for junior’s first day of kindergarten.

When I realized that many others were also documenting their kids on the first day of school, I went searching on flickr for tagged photos. Below is a slide show of photos tagged “first day of school.” I have no idea who any these of kids are, but they are all going back to school.

I even have a friend, Whit, who wrote a poem to document his son’s first day of school:

Second grade with Mrs. Gustafson?
I hope it will be lots of fun.
I think no classmate of yours will be a newt.

So recently you were just a larva.
And now you have become a marva-
Lous young man. What a hoot!

Storm Windows

Storm Windows

Frequently I drive down the road and spot something that I want to take a picture of. It might not be very compelling, and might not even make a very good picture, but it strikes me. More often than not, I don’t have my camera with me, so the shot remains untaken. If it somewhere nearby, or some place I drive by frequently, I put it on my mental check list to go back and shoot some time.

Well, today I drove by this old looking sign that said Storm Windows and I thought it would make a good black and white picture. I had my camera with me, so after finding what I was looking to shoot (a solar house), I came back and shot the above picture. It came out about as expected. Not earth-shattering, but solid.

Photos Recreated in Lego

I had recently planned a post called iconic photographs, but I was thinking about photos that I have taken over the years, especially of my kids. My point was that certain photographs capture a moment, and the photograph is what you remember, rather than the moment itself. With photos I take, I choose the best ones and, in old days frame them, and now post them online. Those are the photos that represent certain times in my kids’ lives, but that is because I have seen the images so many times. The same is true with classic, or iconic, photos made famous by publication in magazines such as Life. They become icons because of their association with a time or event, and because of the repetition of our seeing them again and again.

These are the types of photos recreated in Lego by amateur photographer Mike Stimpson, as seen on I chose to post the photo above because the mystery sailor is my stepdad. He never revealed his identity when photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt was alive, because he did not want to embarrass him and disclose details about his most famous image. He was concerned that people would be disappointed to learn that this photograph that symbolized the end of World War II was a just kid from Perth Amboy, NJ in a sea scout uniform (a part of the Boy Scouts) who thought it would be cool to go to Times Square and kiss nurses.

A Couple of Cool Photo Sites

Here are a couple of links thanks to JPG Magazine:

Life Goes On in Tehran: A personal monthly photo blog by a former Los Angeles resident who recently moved to Tehran. Featuring photos taken using a camera phone. It’s very cool that each month scrolls horizontally with vertically framed pictures. This makes you look at each picture just a little differently than if you were scrolling down. Rollover your mouse on the photos to see additional shots.

Stranger Photos Have Happened (The Plug): A disposable camera was tied to bench with a note to take photos. The resulting photos are surprisingly engaging.