May 23, 2008 Main Street USA

For those who think American small towns died soon after “It’s a Wonderful Life” was filmed, it’s a surprise to see that there are beautiful small towns all over the Midwest that look for all the world like Bedford Falls.  These towns have two or three story well-proportioned brick buildings lining Main Street, and these days the drygoods stores and mom-and-pop groceries of a hundred years ago have been replaced by antique shops, styling salons, and lawyers’ offices.  In many cases the old storefronts have been restored to something near their original look, and the space-age aluminum facades of the 1950s and 1960s have been removed.

I visited two such towns this week:  Marshall, Michigan and Madison, Indiana.  In each town I gave myself the assignment of walking around town for an hour or so and seeing if I could come up with any interesting pictures that would help illustrate life in these quaint places.  I used a camera with one lens and a polarizing filter, and to keep it spontaneous I chose not to use a tripod.  You can see my favorite results in the gallery below.


This is part of a weblog documenting my travels and photography. I am primarily a nature photographer, and you can see more of my work at

Click on the photographs below to see a larger version with captions.

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