Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Making Lemonade in Oberlin

December 19, 2021

Last Sunday I was all set to do what I call wandering northern Ohio. It’s when I drive out of town and zig-zag my way, always choosing to turn onto roads where cars must stop for the road I am on. Rural roads let me stop along the side or even in the road to take photographs of what I see, and the more rural the better. But I had to put air in my tires before taking that trip. And I couldn’t get the valve cap off the first tire. Scratch that plan. Instead I drove a few blocks, parked the car, and walked around downtown Oberlin. This is what I saw.

1 I’ve photograph the pavement of the old bank drive-through many times.

2 It has had a variety of appearances over the years.

3 Currently, visible here and in #1, the concrete pad is embellished with what looks like a spill of fresh-ish cement.

4 There’s often something new.

5 Not far away is this tree in front of an old brick wall.

6 Shadows interact with traffic arrows on alley pavement nearby.

7 In another alley I found what I think was subflooring that had once been covered in tiles.




11 And of course I had to check out my favorite Oberlin dumpster.

12 I was delighted to see that it had changed its colors again.







11 responses

  1. Great pics.
    Not easy to chosse one…

    4 is great, very graphical
    6 is funny
    10 seems to be the best of 7-10
    15 some sort of a window at right

    Have a nice day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2021 at 4:34 AM

    • Thanks, Gerhard. Glad you like #4. I’m sure I’ll return to that place again. The subflooring shown in #s 7 to 10 was a nice surprise. I guess that’s why I like walking in alleys: You never know what you’ll find. I did have a nice day; hope you did, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2021 at 7:47 PM

  2. “I have travelled a good deal in Concord…,” wrote Thoreau. Swap out the name and you could claim the same, even if your recollection of those travels is photographic and his was not. Had you been working during the era of Abstract Expressionism in the art world, your photographs would have fit right in, especially those of dumpsters. And did you know that, like Kleenex and Zipper, Dumpster was originally a trademark?

    Liked by 1 person

    December 19, 2021 at 10:33 AM

    • Actually, Steve, I did know that Dumpster (and Kleenex) were trademarked, but I did not know that Zipper was. Thanks! I see that the Tate divides painters working in abstract expressionism into two categories, action painters and color-field painters. Since my work doesn’t really fit either category, I am pleased that others (the Met, MOMA, the Britannica) give more complicated definitions. So you may have correctly identified what I do.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2021 at 7:48 PM

  3. These are beautiful. You certainly have an eye for abstract.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 20, 2021 at 9:01 AM

    • Thank you, Joe. I love being outdoors in nature, but—unlike you—I have difficulty photographing it so that the image transcends the documentary. Maybe an abstract image is its own transcendence. In any case, I’m more comfortable with that genre. I’m pleased that you like these.


      December 21, 2021 at 7:49 PM

  4. Your knack of observation and eye for seeing beautiful patterns continues to impress, Linda!!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 24, 2021 at 10:11 AM

    • Thank you, Mark. As you know yourself, it’s a great habit to have.


      December 24, 2021 at 1:43 PM

  5. Sorry I didn’t comment earlier – I looked, read, enjoyed, and was pulled into doing something else. Only just now getting back to this great post. Serendipity was your friend that day, glad you stayed flexible. #1 is a beauty – I love what was happening with the soft-looking mud shapes, upper left – the ones with a warm, brownish color fading into the grays. That contrasts with the crusty, sharp-edged bits on the right. Great composition with flowing lines. OK, not mud, cement. The arcing twigs in #3 are wonderful, and the crisp, strong shadows. #4 feels like a tree – were you thinking that? With so many abstract closeups it’s really nice to break it up with the context of #5. #7 & 8 attest to your preternatural skill at finding worthwhile compositions in unlikely places.
    Then, the dumpster that keeps on giving! 🙂 #12 is sublime, to my eyes. The colors – that blue is sky-like but it really isn’t but then it is. The almost swirling shapes feel wonderfully light and mobile. There’s a nod to “The Starry Night” here.
    The colors in #13 are even more delectable – pinkish purple is a fine foil for the creamy drips. The dark, broken-up splotch in #15 is interesting.
    I remember you commenting on a Steve Gingold sunrise photo. You probably mentioned that sunrises & sunsets aren’t normally your thing but you thought his sunrise photograph was beautiful – well, here it is again, the glow of sunrise, in #16. Wow. I love the way you handled the light.
    Great colors again in #17, very sophisticated. This dumpster could challenge an Italian or Parisian fabric designer to a duel and win. Those are the kinds of colors people spend hours and hours trying to dream up names for. There they are again in #18. What I like about that one is a sense of bright, playful figures dancing across a huge stage, their arms spread wide, their hands upturned, ready to exit. I think it’s partly the wash of white speckles and the dark area on the right that creates a wide, spacious feeling – there’s depth and movement. Great work, Linda. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    December 25, 2021 at 5:26 PM

    • Sorry? Please! Thanks for all your comments, Lynn. Yes, I was thinking of a tree with #4 and was glad to be able to follow it with an image of a real tree, the first photo I took that day. When I first saw the cement, I was dismayed, though I can’t think why. It took me a while to accept it. When I have an expectation (in this case, of the concrete pad having a flat appearance, I guess), it always takes me a while to see the beauty in what really is. Isn’t that dumpster amazing? But no more amazing than all the metaphorical connections you make to it. You give me undeserved credit for the light in #16. I didn’t handle the light at all except perhaps to expose the shot correctly. The light- and medium-tones in that photograph are just light- and medium-tone colors. The sun was just shining on the vertical surfaces. Love what you did to my #18. What you say about my photographs always makes me see them in a new way. Thanks for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 25, 2021 at 7:31 PM

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