Sunday, October 16, 2011

Every once in a while I come across a video that is really worth sharing. The one has quite a bit of insight into the world and times we are living in. More information can be found at I hope you enjoy this video and site as much as I do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

10/9/2011 Family Time

Sunday after church we decided to spend some family time together. We loaded up the van and headed to Dole's Orchard in Limington, Maine. I could share any number of photographs from the day with you, but this one says it all. Can't you tell I love these silly picture boards.

Nothing beats time with the wife and kids. At least the way I see things in my Ordinary Maine.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

As many readers here know, I am a big fan of night photography. Every once in a while I find ways to break the bedtime rules and get Camden out with me to learn more about Photography. Like many boys, he has a keen interest in understanding mechanical and electronic things. That would be why I can give him an old MP3 player and he has it completely mastered in 2 minutes.

The photo above came from a session we had this evening in Riverbank Park in Westbrook. Well in all honestly we were on the out skirts of the park as it is officially off limits after dark. Here we can see Camden framing some shots of the Sappi stacks down the river. I love seeing what he comes up with. Tonight everything looked like a rocket. Well, almost, one photo I was told looked like an alligator. Below is one of his pictures from this evening.

Photo by Camden Bessey 10/8/2011

I love this kid. He keeps teaching me something new every day. Now I have to work on getting Madilyn into photography too. What a great day in my Ordinary Maine.


Friday, October 7, 2011

It seems like we have seen protests for the better part of a decade. We have seen people protest war, public policy, politicians, corporations and much much more. My good friend and fellow photographer EJ loved to photograph these events. Were he alive today, I know he would be standing in front of the Portland Public Library snapping pictures and taunting the participants of Occupy Portland in an attempt to get just the right photograph of the event. The big difference between EJ and me is my preference for night photography.

This evening I quietly drove into downtown Portland and set-up my camera and Tripod behind a small tree in front of the Maine Bank and Trust Building. The time was about 9 PM and the crowd was obviously winding down for the evening. There was lively discussion and plenty of support from passers by honking. One sign I saw encouraged all to "End Corporate Personhood." Another declared that "Occupation is not a protest, its a vortex!" Very enlightening. I am sure the daytime activity is much more interesting, but that light does nothing for me.

My last stop was the Occupy Portland slum at Lincoln Park on Congress Street. Signs like these litter the fence around the park. Across the street at Portland's Central Fire Station two Portland Police Sergeant's Explorers were standing by. I am sure they are not there all the time, but I have a feeling they are there more than normal.

Once I had the chance to photograph the gate, I took some time to step into the park and capture this image of the slum. I have no idea what the living conditions are in these tents, but they are covered with tarps which means the owners know little to nothing about caring for tents and they are probably pretty wet inside. I am also left to wonder if there is a permit process or fee requirement to use a public park for camping in Portland? In the end, I don't think it matter's much. With the recent extreme fluctuations in temperature and heavy rains these tents are going to be health hazards of the worst kind. I don't wish the kind of ignorance on anyone.

Here's to you EJ. I did it my way, but I shared my view of Occupy Portland from my Ordinary Maine.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Every once in a while you see something and wonder what the thinking process is behind the scenes. Life is complicated and often there are no easy answers, but sometimes someone just needs to ask. I am hoping this will become the first of many such entries in by blog.

Back on April 17th of this year the resident's of 133 Central Street had a fire in their home. Make no mistake about it, this was a tragic event. As of this writing the family's dog is still missing and the fire's cause has been traced to a faulty electrical cord. No one would wish this on anyone, but as of today the house remains in a very unsafe condition.

Many in Westbrook know that the neighborhood from Spring Street over to Saco Street is considered a rough part of town. It could be worse, it could be better, but it is what it is. Anyone who spends any time in this area knows it is teeming with children. Children just ready to explore places like this. The night it burned the fire department pulled it's firefighters out because the floor was unstable.

Now I understand that this area is prone to car theft, vandalism and the occasional murder, but how safe is this situation? I would hate to be the person wondering why this building was not torn down until after a child was killed. I am the last person to wants to see the government interfere with private property rights, however seven months is clearly enough time to get this situation rectified.

This leaves me to wonder a few things:

1) What happens in the winter when this building becomes a haven for the homeless?
2) If the above happens how will we react if a firefighter gets injured fighting another fire here?

of course I saved the best for last......

3) Do you think this kind of situation would be tolerated on Oakland St, Munroe St or Berkeley St?

The first two are pretty straight forward. I will let you all figure out why I asked the last question.