About the header photos

Here’s some information on the photos I use for the header of the site. If no photo credit is indicated, the shot is mine, but as indicated, many of these were taken by friends, relatives, or acquaintances.

I originally had a rule here about how I would only use shots I myself had taken, or shots I had gotten permission for using. After the death of my wife Alison Bowles in March 2021, I decided to make a gigantic exception to that rule, one that essentially swallowed the rule itself alive. I’d never gotten permission from Alison to use her photography here, but had I not put it up, her work would have been lost altogether. Alison was an enormously talented photographer, and her work was too good to be lost. Tragically, too much of it has been lost. I’ve only put some of it up so far (here, as well as on Facebook and Instagram), mostly her photos of Toronto and environs from the last few weeks of her life. I will at some point curate and upload the best of what I have. I hold out hope that some of what I think of as “lost” will somehow be recovered.

I generally prefer shots of things and places to shots of people on the grounds that candid photos would violate the subjects’ privacy, and non-candid photos often look out of place on the header of a blog. I’ve come to realize that there are rexceptions to this rule, too, and so, I intend to violate it in the near future. So much for “the rules.”

In some cases, it’s been impossible to crop people out of a given shot, so some of the shots end up being inhabited by anonymous people. When possible, I’ve tried to date photos. Sometimes it wasn’t.

I saw the photo of “Free Britney and Palestine” at the Facebook page of Jennifer Jajeh. I don’t know whose photo it is, or where it was taken, but it was just too good to pass up.

North American East Coast

  • There are a bunch of Felician University’s campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, New Jersey.
  • The “night sky and moon” and a shot or two of the Manhattan skyline were taken at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, New Jersey. There’s also a daytime shot, taken from the same location, of a V-shaped piece of metal from one of the towers of the World Trade Center, destroyed on 9/11. (Summer 2014)
  • A couple of summertime shots were taken at South Mountain Reservation in South Orange, New Jersey. (Summer 2014)
  • There are a couple of random shots in and around Montclair, Bloomfield, and Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Carrie-Ann Biondi took the shot of the house with the jack-o’-lantern display based on “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (October 2014, April 2017, December 2017).
  • There are a handful of shots of the south side of Paterson, New Jersey.
  • The courthouse with the statue of Lincoln in front of it is the Essex County Historic Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey (August 2015). The Columbus pedestal with inscription is also from Newark (October 2016).
  • One of the neo-Gothic buildings is the chapel at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. (Summer 2014, April 2016). The other is Firestone Library, also at Princeton (August 2022). 
  • Winter shots of bare trees, near Millstone, New Jersey (December 2015).
  • Kate Herrick took the shot of the Stockton Presbyterian Church in Stockton, New Jersey. She also took the shot of the boardwalk at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, along with a couple of shots of the Atlantic Ocean from around the same location. (September 2014)
  • A bunch are from Island Beach State Park, just south of Seaside Park, New Jersey (April 2016).
  • A series of autumn shots were taken at High Point State Park in Sussex County, New Jersey (October 2014). The town visible from the mountaintop in one shot is Port Jervis, New York. The springtime shots of High Point were taken by George Abaunza and Xiomara Hernandez. A few shots were taken by Isaiah Craig. (2009, 2010)
  • Pauline O’Connor and I took a few winter shots at Stokes State Forest in Sussex County, New Jersey near Branchville (December 2015).
  • Another pair of autumn shots was taken by Carrie-Ann at Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. (Fall 2014)
  • The shot of the monastery-like building surrounded by trees is the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art in Staten Island, New York. (June 2014)
  • A bunch of Manhattan shots were taken by Carrie-Ann, sitting atop a double-decker tour bus (Summer 2014). Kate and I took a bunch of the 9/11 Museum and New York Stock Exchange. (Thanks to Francisco Villalobos for the perch.) (May 2015). Others in and around Greenwich Village, Gramercy, etc. (April 2017). Photos of the George Washington Bridge from Washington Heights by Alison Bowles (Summer 2017). Fall pictures of Inwood, Inwood Hill Park, the Henry Hudson Bridge, etc. (Oct 2017). 
  • Kate and I took a bunch in the vicinity of Garrison, New York across the Hudson from West Point (Boscobel, St Basil’s Academy, a Singaporean freighter sailing down the Hudson). Thanks to Matt Faherty for where to go for these. (May 2015)
  • Odd cloud formations after a winter rainstorm, around West Coxsackie, New York (January 2016).
  • Carrie-Ann also took the summertime shot of the lake with a few stalks of grass in the foreground; it’s from somewhere in the vicinity of Ithaca, New York. (Summer 2014)
  • There’s a bunch of stereotypically New England-esque winter shots taken in the vicinity of Dorset, Manchester, and Wells, Vermont. (December 2014)
  • Hilary Persky took a few shots in and around Quebec City: the interior of a church; a street scene with a river in background; and a red cottage somewhere in the countryside outside of the city (Summer 2014). Hilary also took the close-up of the caterpillar at Bowman Hill’s Wildflower Preserve, in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and the trio of spring-time shots of an apple tree in bloom in Princeton (May 2015).
  • The colorful autumn shots of New Hope, Pennsylvania are mine, September 2021. The Jersey farmers’ market is in Ringoes, New Jersey (also September 2021). Most of the close-ups of flowers were taken on a farm in West Amwell, New Jersey where I lived for the first nine months of 2021. 
  • Some of the shots of Toronto are mine (December 2017), but the more visually interesting and vividly colorful ones were taken by Alison Bowles when she lived in the Humber Bay Shores neighborhood of the city in the last few months of her life (fall 2020 through January 2021). Some of these look like tonalist paintings out of the works of George Inness, Albert Ryder, and Ralph Blakelock, but they’re photos. A handful are (I believe) of Lake Erie, from somewhere near Erie, Pennsylvania, a place she discovered in the last few months of her life, and proclaimed the most beautiful, forgotten place on Earth. 
  • The cell phone shot of a call to 911 was a screenshot of the phone calls I made to 911 as my car was caught in a flash flood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, September 2021 (Flemington, New Jersey). I eventually abandoned the car before help was able to arrive. It was submerged in flood waters shortly after I escaped (through the passenger side window, which I had opened before the power failed). 

American Midwest, Midsouth, and Plains (aka ‘flyover country‘)

  • A couple of shots were taken  in and around Mason, Michigan: the red barn, the courthouse, a backyard sunset scene, some grain storage barns (June 2014 and August 2015).
  • Kate Herrick took the winter shot of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn from the authentically Bavarian-Teutonic tourist trap of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The Inn’s chicken dinners are, of course, well known (December 2014).
  • The golden dome at the end of the long, treesy road is the main administrative building at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana (May 2014).
  • Kate took the shot of the monument for the gravesite of her ancestor Cassius Marcellus Clay, emancipationist, Lincoln Administration confidante and diplomat, and namesake of the boxer (originally) of the same name (i.e., Muhammad Ali). The gravesite is in the vicinity of Richmond, Kentucky. There’s one of Clay’s residence as well, White Hall. (August 2015).
  • Several shots in and around Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the vicinity of Scenic, Kyle, Allen, Pine Ridge, and Wounded Knee, South Dakota, along with the hell-hole of Whiteclay, Nebraska (“Death to Whiteman”), and a grain silo in Merriman, Nebraska (August 2015). The Wounded Knee Memorial looks a bit like the one for Cassius Clay (see above), but the Clay memorial is a close-up, whereas the Wounded Knee Memorial is the one surrounded by a fence with handkerchiefs tied to it. Thanks to Britt Long for the invitation out to Pine Ridge and guidance while there.
  • Several shots in the Black Hills and the Badlands, South Dakota (August 2015).
  • Britt Long took the spectacular shots of South Dakota sky somewhere on Route 18 between Pine Ridge and Martin (August 2015).

North American West Coast

  • The shot of the bridge and (for lack of a better description) of “blue sky from a hilltop with intruding trees” were taken by Kate Herrick  in the vicinity of Alameda, California and Mt. Shasta in northern California, respectively. The mostly gray-and-white mountain shot is Mt. Shasta, also one of Kate’s. Kate took the shot of the ship’s mast at a marina in Alameda, and a few from downtown Oakland (the white building, some gnarled tree branches, the yellow peace sign in front of the Oakland Museum–one of my favorites). Finally, Kate took another of my favorites: the Christmas-in-July shot of the ‘Cave Springs’ motel near Dunsmuir, California, which looks like a tableaux out of Lolita.
  • More Kate Herrick California spring-time specials: the daffodils in a vase on a tabletop, the bright orange flower in the ground, a bunch of palm trees, a swimming pool, an urban skyscape of San Francisco, and another random shot of pure sky over Alameda (cloud cover, actually), because I just find West Coast sky enthralling, whatever form it takes. Also: a few scenes from Lakeside Park, Oakland. More Oakland shots: the Paramount Theater, the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland.
  • The shot of the ocean liner was taken by my cousin Talat Mahmood from Stanley Park, Vancouver . It was actually supposed to be a shot of me, but the ship seemed more interesting (June 2013).


  • A few shots were taken in and around Managua, e.g., of the Agape school (run-down blue and green building), and the FSLN flag at a national park in the center of town. The shot of the “homemade” wheelchairs was taken at the facilities of the American Nicaragua Foundation just outside of Managua. By the way, my displaying a shot of the FSLN flag is not intended to imply approval of the FSLN; it’s intended to demonstrate my ability to capture a flag unfurling in the wind. (August 2014)
  • There’s at least one shot of the beach at Pochomil. This shot is intended to imply approval of the beach at Pochomil, which only proves (see preceding item) that photography can be a complicated business. (August 2014)
  • There are a few shots in Granada, e.g., the psychotherapy room at El Hogar de Ninas Madre Albertina, some random street scenes in the same area, and a few shots of the main Cathedral in Granada. (August 2014)
  • A few shots of Leon: a colorful street scene (in the literal sense), and a papaya field just outside of the city (part of the Escuela Tecnica Vocacional San Jose Obrero). (August 2014)
  • The landslide warning sign was taken at Masaya Volcano outside of Masaya. (August 2014). (Thanks to George Abaunza for the invitation down to Nicaragua and guidance while there.)


  • Various shots of the Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest (January 2019).


  • One of many dome shots: the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice (two shots, actually: one during the day and one at dusk), taken by Carrie-Ann Biondi. She also took the shot of the village scene from the nearby island of Burano, but it’s cropped so that you can’t quite see the canal that runs through it. (January 2010).


  • Overview of Ramallah (June 2015). Thanks to Said Zeedani for his hospitality in Ramallah.
  • Various shots of Abu Dis, Eizariah, Ras Kabsa, and Ras al Amud, on either side of the Israeli separation barrier (June-July 2015, July 2016). One shot of an Israeli military incursion into Abu Dis (summer 2016).
  • Just outside of Abu Dis: Bedouin villages and grazing area, with Ma’ale Adumim in the distance; Mt. of Olives checkpoint (June 2015, July 2016).
  • Abu Dis from a distance: from just west of the separation wall in Ras al Amud; from King David Street in Jerusalem (June-July 2015).
  • Muslim Quarter, Old City Jerusalem (June 2015, June 2016): An alleyway near Souq al Qattanin; the Dome of the Rock; the entrance to Masjid al Aqsa; inscription near Bab az-Zahra; Ramadan scenes in the Old City.
  • Christian Quarter, Old City Jerusalem: Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (July 2015).
  • Around Mt. Zion and the Jewish Quarter: Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery (with Pillar of Absalom); Church and Monastery of the DormitionHurva Synagogue (July 2015).*
  • Around Jaffa Gate: The Citadel (July 2015, June 2016); Jaffa Rd., looking toward Jaffa Gate (July 2015).
  • In and around East Jerusalem: scenes from the Rockefeller Museum of Archaeology; guillotine on the rooftop of Museum on the Seam (June 2015); Agron St., looking toward Damascus Gate (July 2015); neighborhood of Silwan, including one shot of a recently demolished house; Shua’fat refugee camp (July 2015).
  • Nachlaot from Sacher Park (July 2015).
  • Talbiyeh: scenes from the L.A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art (July 2016).
  • In and around Talpiot/Baqa: Haas Promenade; a 24-hour market; a lamp shop (July 2015).
  • In and around Bethlehem (July 2015): scenes from the Old City; Aida Refugee Camp; Deheishe Refugee CampMar Saba Monastery; desert view looking toward the Dead Sea.
  • Hebron, Area H2 (July 2015): Old City Market; Shuhada Street. The “Gas the Arabs” graffiti is from a gate dividing Arab Hebron from the Jewish settlements of Beit Romano and Beit Haddassah. Thanks to Amer al Badran for keeping me out of trouble in Hebron.
  • Various shots in Masada (July 2016).
  • Thanks to Sari Nusseibeh and Said Zeedani for the invitation to Palestine, and to the entire Al Quds crew (especially Hadi, Sinan, Amy, Amer, Rawan, Tarek, and Mohammed Hussein) for guidance.


  • Yet another dome shot: the badly decaying Tomb of Asif Khan in Lahore, Pakistan. The “four minarets and open sky” shot is Jehangir’s Tomb in Lahore, Pakistan. (January 2012).


  • The photos of the Nepal earthquake were all taken by Matt Faherty in and around Kathmandu in late April 2015. For Matt’s first-hand account of the earthquake, go here. For a gallery of photos of the earthquake, go here.

*The Wikipedia entry for the Hurva Synagogue properly mentions that its predecessors were destroyed by the Arab Legion during the 1948 War, but fails to mention that the current replacement was built adjacently to a mosque that the Israelis have closed down, rendered inoperable, and left in ruins. Apparently, mosques are not allowed to operate in the “Jewish Quarter,” but Jewish settlement in the “Muslim Quarter” is an imperative of the supposedly secular and democratically impartial Jewish State, to say nothing of the desire to build a Third Temple at the site of the Dome of the Rock.

Last revised October 22, 2022.

One thought on “About the header photos

  1. Pingback: Photos of the Nepal Earthquake | Policy of Truth

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