From the location of the Spine Summit at the Hyatt Hotel, you have a splendid view of the fountain. Since I had my trusty Canon G11 on my shoulder, it was but a moment to get this sunset. There were a few mosquitoes, so I ran inside after this shot. To the left there is an artificial island, which I am told was owned by a deceased king. The island has about one thousand caretakers who still reside until the next king/prince will take possession. Seems like a lot of wasted space at the moment. Oh, I almost forgot. The fountain is powered by a jet engine. When I looked up tourist spots this is listed but that wonderful museum remains a local treasure.
It used to be that after the sun went down, I would hardly take another shot until morning. Tungsten lighting, ASA/ISO speed, and a bunch of other reasons made it near to impossible to adjust. Now that white balance can be adjusted on the fly and IS0 can be made to almost see in the dark, it’s so easy to get night shots. Now the question is to see the image and then capture it. Like everything else sometimes you surprise even yourself.
It’s a work in progress. Much like London’s Picadilly Circus, Times Square was deliberately edgy and garish. The edge is a less but the many neon was designed into the plans for restoring the area. The lights remain. The brands change.
Mixed light and night shots are pretty tricky using slide film. There’s no way to ‘chimp’ (check your image). There’s no preview. The film is whatever you’ve loaded. You can’t change white balance, ISO, add or subtract effects or set the scene to night shot. Wow, it was pretty tough in the dark ages before iPhone. Then again sometimes you get more than you hoped for or less than what you wanted.
Serendipity strikes again. The main point of this slide is that you can see the painting on the bridge. I don’t know. That really impressed me. It’s not my skill. I didn’t really take the shot with the idea to capture the painting. Well maybe I did. I don’t see much else to point at in the image. The spot light is intrusive. I could crop or Photoshop it away and I have done this in some edits of this image. But for me, I’m still tickled at what came from this image.
Well the kids were in camp and we had just returned from a long bike ride. We were hot and the thing to do was jump into the pool. So here’s the abstract photo to commemorate the moment. Digital could do so much better. But then again the mood of this shot was perfect. And if it were any better I wouldn’t be posting it. This one is about the memory. I often wonder about the things we forget and would never recall without some aid to jog us. Yes, it is a weird picture that is hard to interpret, but it was all done in camera without any fancy aids.
My brother took us to Dorney Park. David, Andrew, and Bryant went along – three cousins. At the end of the day when it was too cool to be on the water rides, we tackled the roller coasters. It’s slide film, not digital, so motion blur, low ISO, slow shutter speed, etc are all in play. But you get the idea. And the motion is a good thing. Yes I know that this is not a roller coaster. But there was more color and less motion.
Literally. I’ve lived in midtown west for about 30 years now. The neighborhood is best known as Hell’s Kitchen, now called Clinton. It was rough and tumble and the ‘Westies’ were known here. The neighborhood was already better when we moved here. There was low level crime, some drug sales and prostitution.
One time, a guy who lived in the neighborhood robbed my car on Thanksgiving night. I had just brought my kids upstairs and returned to find him rifling my glove compartment. He had a weapon (knife) but I only chased him from my car. Later he had a stolen car radio and was sitting in the park. So I called in the theft to the police. He later complained to me that I was making things hard for him. I asked him to return the things from my glove compartment and he offered to sell them to me. Weird.
Prostitution was another issue. When we first lived here, you could see girls and women of all sizes and shapes standing on the block. And one night as I had to go over to the ER on a call, there was a jeep rocking. On the driver’s and passenger’s side of the vehicle were two couples… well you can imagine. The girls were just leaning into the windows.
Back to my point, in all the years that I have lived here, I have never heard a live round of gunfire. I know it is described as a fire cracker going off. It is definitely unlike the movies. So three shots rang out Sunday (Easter) night. There was some shouting but not too much. I immediately thought gunshots, but then dismissed it. The street was completely quiet. My son never noticed a thing.
Several minutes later I heard sirens. They approached but seemed to pass on the avenue and no sirens came down my block. Five minutes later I looked out the window to see two parked police cars facing the wrong way on our one way street. Another vehicle with flashing lights was at the head of the block. Flashlights were scouring the street presumably for evidence. Indeed there had been a shooting. No body or at least no ambulance was in attendance.
What’s noticeable is that the police turned down our block silently. The goal was to surprise and possibly capture the perpetrators. Usually there is the blare of sirens and flashing lights whenever anything happens. Perhaps it’s just the fire department. In a city this size I doubt I will find out what the shooting was about. And as I stood looking from my window, there was really no one I could see peering from their window to see what/who was shot. A mystery.
This shot was taken in the days before digital. Now it’s hard to miss. (See post for 9/13/11.) You have auto ISO and VR and ability to instantly know you have an image. In the old days, I would shoot with my best guess. The meter couldn’t really help. You would get some ambient light and the lights of the ride. But how to balance the two light sources? Bracket your shots. I’m glad I wasn’t a professional. I took this one shot. Just one. If it came out – ok. And the blur, who could have predicted it until the film came back from developing? Yes, there are better and easier ways to insure that a good shot was taken. I’m just amazed that I got shots like this and took such a casual joy in succeeding with so little film and effort.
I went to shoot the arch with the capitol building in the foreground. I got a reflection from the empty pool in the foreground as a bonus. The bright lights are a mixture of different temperature incandescent lights. I had no tripod. It was freezing cold. With everything working against me, I happily clicked away. This is a classic viewpoint for the St Louis arch.
Ethereal. Don’t ask how I got this shot. Maybe the ghost just jumped onto the image sensor. Sometimes I don’t have any idea what the camera did to produce the image capture and especially what I have in this photo. It was one of the Village Halloween Parades. Mist, motion blur, halogen lighting, and a ghostly figure to the left are all that I see. How it came together is spooky. My best guess, rear curtain sync flash with a depleted charge on the battery.
I live on a quiet street off the avenue. Well not too quiet. My friend Kevin can never sleep when he’s here because of the noise outside the windows. He’s from Marblehead, a really quiet town north of Boston. This evening the sirens blared, fire truck or ambulance, coming ever closer until the noise was directly below my 6th floor apartment window. Stepping out onto the deck in 40 degree cold, I saw flashing lights outside a five-story walk up building. No flames, no smoke could be seen. Two, count them, two hook and ladder trucks came up from either end of the block. There’s no such thing as one-way street during as fire. Minutes later Part 2 occurred. (See post below.)
While the bright lights of the fire trucks were still spinning, thunder began. Lisa looked up and asked if it had started to rain. The sky was cloudless. That could only mean fireworks. Cutting back through the apartment I found fireworks being set off over the Intrepid Air Space Museum on the Hudson River. No time for a tripod, I got some shots bracing my camera against the fence. All of this happened within a twenty-minute span. Some things you can’t make up.
Part 2: There were so many photo ops, you didn’t know where to turn your camera. (See also my other blog Imaged Event for more images.) So maybe it wasn’t so many people? The estimate on the website is about 60, 000 marchers. It literally took about two hours to get everyone onto the parade route. The director Jeanne Fleming says that she sees the parade through the eyes of the photographers who are there to record the event. Indeed, one person can’t be everywhere and the number of people moving and the size of the geographic space makes it impossible to even get a fraction of the parade and the costumes. There are many photos that get repeated. Some parade attendees wear the same costume each year. Some folks come early and are a photographic subject for all the photographers who otherwise would not have a subject. These early arrivals get a lot of attention. It’s chaotic. And, I guess it’s a little claustrophobic. But when you’re seeking out the next costume, the weather, the chill, the crowd and the noise are not too much of a deterrent. The parade organizers put the wedding party in front. Bringing up the rear, Occupy Wall St got a big crowd into the parade. It seems that they may have been making a statement again, but I’m not sure. Most photos don’t require explanation. But, there was this male nun dressed in lace women’s underwear…. The theme was ‘I’ of the beholder, hence, all the eyeballs.
More at Imaged Event (see sidebar).
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This just seemed to be the next best thing to juxtapose with the wedding shot. Halloween in New York City is a free for all. Yes, it’s Halloween night, October 31. No matter what day of the week, October 31 is the day for the parade. Kids show up but this is definitely for adults. The bride motif is quite popular. Why waste a perfectly serviceable wedding dress if it can be worn again. I presume that the model is a man but who knows?
Buenos Aires. We were stranded. One of the flights on Aerolineas Argentinas was canceled and we missed our connection. As a result we were in Buenos Aires for an unexpected layover. The airline gave us accommodations in a ‘flea bag’ hotel. No go. David called and threw out the girl staying over in his apartment and we crashed there for one night. His mother never said a word about the utter mess and chaos in his apartment. Obviously, it was the girl. It was the first evening and my first experimentation with the capabilities of the Canon G11. We got a little silly. There are many street signs, advertising posters, and graffiti displays.
Stone Town. We found an open air food market set up in the park near to the water. Vendors began setting up at dusk. By dark, cooking was in full swing just as the fast for Ramadan ended. We had a dinner reservation in a typical restaurant nearby so Julia did some window-shopping. This vendor made a sugar cane drink. At first I didn’t see the appeal of drinking a sweet beverage of crushed sugar cane juice. But they also add lime and a piece of ginger as the cane is passed through the press. The result is a very refreshing concoction. Julia drank the whole thing barely leaving me a sip.
This is paired with my puffin tales. This was my first failed trip from Lewiston to Machias. I left at the calculated time to arrive at the boat dock before departure. That would be 3AM. Arriving in Bangor and exiting the highway, I was blasted by a the glare of flashing state police lights. A stocky female office in bulletproof vest inquired where I was headed in such haste. She dubiously checked me as I explained my desire to get to the boat on time. Furthermore, I was thinking who else would be out in the middle of nowhere at this hour. At that very moment from out of nowhere, a couple passed us on the roadside, walking casually as though it were midday. The officer let me go with a warning. Well, after the exit there are empty roads across to the coast. At about 4:30AM, moving along at about 55 mph, I glanced to the side and saw the light in the valley with the hint of dawn. Fog lay in the lower parts. This picture just presented itself. I stopped to get this shot. No tripod. I didn’t have one with me. Once again I let the camera do its magic. I used program mode and let the ISO run: setting 1/6 sec, f3.5, ISO 1600. This shot turned out to be the shot of the day. I never got to see the puffins well on this trip. But, I still came away with a good shot. And, I regret that I took the boat ride. I was seasick in the swells and chummed before the trip was complete. Gosh, I hate throwing up.
Ok. Another driving tale… It’s a summer evening just before dark – around 8:30PM. I’m on the road home near Runaround Pond in Durham, Maine. The pond was a favorite meditative spot for me. Julia’s been there. And no, I don’t meditate much. But, I did like to pull up my camp chair and read when work was slow. I love haystacks. And the evening light with the fog just settling, everything was perfect. I knew I would have a keeper of a picture here. Mostly, driving around on the back roads, I would just roll down the car window, poke the camera out, and fire off my shots. This evening, I got out of the car. The camera was amazing and compensated for the low light and white balance. Unfortunately, without a tripod the focus was soft. But I think it works for this image with fog. It seems a bit more ethereal. The back story here is about the mosquitoes. Evening, humid, warm, and with the right conditions, the mosquitoes were out in force. They surrounded me like a cloud in seconds. I quickly retreated to the car but they got in as I opened the door. All the way home I swatted at real and imaginary bugs. I hate mosquito bites.
The first anniversary of 9/11 saw a tribute in lights installed in one of the empty lots downtown across from the site. It was made by a series of spotlights aimed to the heavens. A few years later, Bob and Kathy were with Lisa and myself. We drove past the WTC site and looking upward saw this picture. The white dots were moving. Dust, bats, or insects, what was moving in the light? Birds. As best I can estimate, it was birds – gulls, probably not pigeons, but certainly big enough and attracted to the lights. They circled and from my vantage looked to have an upward spiral pattern. It made me think of the lost souls from that fateful day ascending to heaven. So solemn and symbolic…
I just love this shot. It was in Maine in the fall. I was driving across east to west on a small road near dusk. Off to the right was a field of grass, which I want to call heather. It probably wasn’t. The muted colors were wonderful in the evening light. I don’t know whether this field was intentional but it sure was special to find.
OK. Macy’s 4th of July fireworks in New York brings millions of people to the river to watch. Typically, it’s on the East River. The past two years it’s been on the west side over the Hudson River. I’ve only just learned to shoot fireworks. Long exposure – 3 seconds, f8, and a tripod. It varies, but I had never thought to get the trails of the fireworks by using such a long setting. It’s counter intuitive. Well, the added bonus is that it wasn’t quite dark when the scheduled TV start began. The slight afterglow of sunset makes it more spectacular. And the reflection off the apartment building to the left made me wonder about the folks who had a front row seat. My Sports Illustrated photographer friend joined me shooting as well. Between us, we had five cameras lined up and firing on tripods to capture this event from my roof terrace. After that, the Times Square skyline was up for grabs.
It’s right after the 4th of July fireworks. It is on the Hudson for the second time in two years. As I turn toward the east the skyline is just clearing up from the smoke of the fireworks. The glow of the lights promises excitement. I usually don’t use a tripod but fireworks takes a long exposure. This night shot is one of my favorites of the moment. With digital, I experimented with long exposures and didn’t lose too much detail to noise.
The image is the key. But the backstory can be fascinating. Shot at a local Church carnival. Night shots without a tripod are always tricky. I like the low angle and the juxtaposition of the bee with the ferris wheel in the background. It amazing how well the camera will correct for such a variety of lighting.