Throwback – Carmel Mission Basilica

Having a Mirror Project moment.

Saw myself in the mirror inside the Carmel Mission Basilica, so I thought I would do a Mirror Project. The Mirror Project was Heather Champ’s “adventures in reflective surfaces” site where people submitted pictures of themselves in mirrors and other reflective surfaces. It is still online, but it no longer accepts submissions. Heather Champ was one of the originators of JPG magazine and was the Director of Community at Flickr. She is with Fertile Medium, an online community consultancy.

The Old Swimming Hole

I am amazed that you can still find places like this, relatively unspoiled and undiscovered, two hours away from Chicago.

This swimming hole is located in Illinois Canyon, one of the many canyons in Starved Rock State Park, that has been carved by glacial melting. Illinois Canyon is the least explored and relatively untouched canyons of Starved Rock. There are no organized trails to reach this particular swimming hole but locals and intrepid adventurers can surely reach this area by climbing a rock face and then hiking a short unmarked trail.

Unlike other canyons in the park, this one is not crowded at all.


Lee Curreri (photo courtesy of Lee Curreri)

From Wikipedia: Lee Curreri is an American actor and musician, most famous for his work in the film, Fame (1980) and its television spinoff, Fame (1982-1987).

Fame was one of my favorite tapes (cassette tapes, remember those?) that saw me through the difficult post-graduate work I was completing at Massey University in New Zealand back in 1981-1983. I was the only male Filipino student when I arrived so it was a very lonely existence for me during the first year (there were three other Filipino female students who were ahead of me). Listening to Fame which I brought with me from the Philippines, offered respite. The song, “Out Here on My Own,” really resonated.

Unfortunately, that cassette is no longer in existence – it eventually unravelled sometime in 1988, BUT suffice to say, it has travelled with me from the Philippines, to New Zealand, and then to the United States and saw me through AGAIN for the second time when I was doing further grad studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986. I did however look for and purchased the CD when the cassette tape finally gave up, and of course, have a digital copy for (first) the iPod and right now, the iPhone. The songs are in my usual playing list when I go around walking and photographing.

A few years ago, I found Lee Curreri’s FB page and started to follow him. Throughout the years of reading his posts, I realized that aside from being a terrific musician, he is also an awesome photographer and an incredible human being – very gracious to his fans and followers.

It’s funny, I don’t really interact with celebrities I follow, but since I “grew up” with Fame and all the characters in the movie (and the TV show), I felt bold enough to ask Mr. Curreri: When I saw this photo on a recent post, I asked if I could feature it here on Uncommon Photographers… and sure enough, he gave me permission.

How incredible is that?!!!

(By the way, if you are a Fame TV show fan, another wonderful actor in the show, Valerie Landsburg is on FB. The TV show was very popular in Australia when I was there in the early eighties.)

Here is a sampling of Lee Curreri’s incredible photographs (click on the link): Lee Curreri’s cover photos on FB. What do you say, folks?


Nowadays, in many public spaces, security will flag you and ask for a permit for photography when you are seen using a tripod. You have a tripod therefore you must be a professional. Where is your permit?

Either that or they kick you out immediately from the premises because you have one.

Photos taken at North Ave. Beach at sunrise on April 8, 2017. In the pictures are my tripod-bearing photowalk buddies, Mark, Tim and Michelle.