Roadside Ramblings in the Michigan Radio Picture Project

towers, photo by mfophotos

This “castle” in Owosso was actually a place used for entertainment and a writing studio for James Oliver Curwood. Now owned by the city of Owosso, it overlooks the Shiawassee River. Curwood made a living as a writer of wilderness adventure stories, some of which became screenplays for early movies. The castle was constructed to resemble a French chateau. August, 2009.

The above picture is one of many in the latest photo essay at the Michigan Radio Picture Project: Roadside Ramblings, the photography of Mark F. O’Brien. Mark is a regular on Michigan in Pictures (as is his daughter Marjorie) and shoots with all kinds of cameras. He writes:

Michigan is a state criss-crossed with highways. As the home state for the auto industry, the roads have played an important part in connecting communities, bringing in tourism, as well as being the main thoroughfare for commerce. Exploring Michigan’s roads, whether the major highways or the gravel backroads, has become one of my photographic pursuits. I often shoot with a “toy camera” — simply a plastic camera with a cheap plastic lens, limited exposure control, and infinite possibilities for photography. While I use all kinds of really nice cameras, it’s the Holgas, Dianas, and thrift-shop wonders that produce many of my most memorable and endearing photographs.

A full tank of gas, some maps, and a few cameras inevitably leads to a long day traversing some part of the state. If one is curious enough, just traveling all of the roads in a single county can take a long time to complete. Driving around and letting serendipity take its course is one way of learning about my state, as well as coming back with some photographs that sometimes offer a surreal aspect of what’s off the side of the road.

Click through to see the photos and I hope you get to do some roadside rambling of your own this weekend or soon!

Be sure to check this out bigger and also his whole Michigan Roadsides set (slideshow).

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