Off to the (coffin) races!

Every place you may go has its own little… quirks. One of the fun quirks to be found in Colorado’s Front Range is the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races, held in Manitou Springs. As you might expect, it’s held in the days leading up to Halloween, and it commemorates a beloved former resident of the town.

Emma moved to Manitou Springs in 1899, hoping to find a cure for her tuberculosis in the town’s mineral springs. Sadly, the water didn’t work for her, and she died only two years later. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of the nearby Red Mountain, and so 12 hearty souls carried her casket up the mountain to fulfill that wish. But once again, her luck didn’t hold — after 3 decades of hard winters and spring rains, her coffin came racing down the mountainside in 1929. Since 1995, the local Chamber of Commerce has hosted the coffin races in her memory, and honestly, as an off-kilter fun event for the community (and lots of out-of-towners who drive in for it).

1965 Corvette Stingray

Every year, one of our local cemeteries hosts a car show. Folks from a wide area bring their classic vehicles for display, and you can walk through the lineup for free while… I don’t know… pondering your mortality? I can’t explain it, but the juxtaposition works somehow.

Here’s an infrared (530nm) photograph of a 1965 Corvette Stingray taken at the 2023 Fairmount Cemetery Car Show.

1965 Corvette Stingray

Olympus E-PL8 camera converted to full spectrum
M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ lens, 530nm IR filter
ISO 320, 14mm, f/9, 1/60 sec

Fully partial

Folks in a large swath of the western hemisphere were fortunate to have the opportunity to see an annular solar eclipse today (weather permitting, of course). We decided to forgo a drive to the path of annularity, opting instead to watch it as a partial eclipse — from our front porch. We got lucky as a thin layer of cirrus blew out of the way just in time, and I was able to make some photos.

Fully partial -- partial solar eclipse photographed a few minutes past maximum.

This was the eclipse as seen from Denver, about 10 minutes past maximum. Look closely, and you can see a sunspot in the upper right part of the crescent.

OM System OM-1 camera, M.Zuiko 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 lens, MC-14
560mm, f/9.0, 1/320 sec, ISO 500

Fun with infrared light and modern architecture

Over the past few years, I’ve dabbled here and there with infrared (IR) photography, but didn’t take it very seriously until I recently took an online course in the subject from Derrick Story (a.k.a. The Nimble Photographer). If you’re at all interested in IR photography, I can highly recommend the seminar — you’ll learn a lot from the instruction, and quite a bit as well from your fellow students.

In particular, one of my fellow students recommended taking IR photos in office parks with mature vegetation. You can, he said, get some nice results with the architecture, windows, and greenery.

So as my first example of this subject matter, here’s the Pacific Western Bank building in the Denver Tech Center (Denver, Colorado):

PWB iPhone

The above is a quick reference photo I took with my iPhone — it’s poorly framed but still a good comparison for the images below.

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The Runabout

This is a 1904 Ford Model A Runabout — on display at the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Seal Cove, Maine:

1904 Ford Model A Runabout

From the placard:

The first Ford made was the 1903 Model A. This early 1904 model differs primarily by having a larger radiator and flywheel. An alphabetical series of Fords followed the Model A. In 1928, after building the 1927 Model T, the designation “Model A” was used again from 1928-1931.

These vehicles usually had a rear-facing hinged door [to allow passenger access to the back seat]. The open, rear passenger seating compartment was called a “tonneau”. The first U.S. tonneau with a side door was made by Peerless. This led to the development of the modern sedan.

OM System OM-1 camera, M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4.0 Pro lens
12mm, f/10, 1/30 sec, ISO 10000

Across the channel

Looking south from Venice proper toward the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Across the channel
In 2022, we were able to visit Venice during the “shoulder season” just before the onslaught of tourists in the summer’s main tourist season. Taking a late-day gondola ride was one of our best choices — scenic and quiet!

Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M.Zuiko 8-25mm lens
15mm, ISO 500, f/9.0, 1/60 sec