I get a window seat when I can. This was the trip from hell. I was flying to Detroit and landed in Chicago. I drove all night to arrive at 5:30AM and then did an interview all day. I was pretty tired. And on the flight out and headed home, well, there was this sunset. I’ve haven’t been back to Detroit. I have always said it is preferable to sit in a window seat.
I lived in Manhattan. It’s special enough for many people. I lived in midtown, that would be near enough to Times Square to see the glow of the lights at night. Occasionally, just occasionally, there would be a spectacular sunrise or sunset. It didn’t happen often. And rainbows are not seen to often either. I was glad to have a camera on hand.
Yes, it is possible to be asleep on your feet. Actually there was a time when I was an assistant surgeon (residency) and it would happen regularly. Up all night long, then leaning in able to see the operating field with only one eye open (and the other closed) as the surgeon worked. Before you knew it I would be bumping his headlight as I dozed. When I finished my training he said to my wife/significant other then, “Great guy, I just don’t know how he ever managed to learn any surgery.” (I just didn’t sleep when it wasn’t boring.)Well, I told you that J had been through multiple time zones from LA to NY to Jeddah. David and I had no mercy. So it was no surprise to have her sleeping during our self-portrait. Not just eyes blinking, no no no, it was a full blown drowse. She’s a good sport about it and we even went to dinner afterward. We just didn’t keep her up later.
Of all the places I least expected to be it would be on the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island on New Year’s Day in 2000. I had not been there before nor since. It was Lisa’s idea. Sometimes I just don’t know what she’s thinking. Correction… most times. She had contributed money so that my parents and her grandparents names were on the wall of immigrants. We searched out their names. I took pictures, of course. The wonder of it was why we were there on this day of all days? The bonus? What a spectacular sunset! You just don’t order up one of these everyday. Yeah! It was pretty memorable. (Note: This was film. No manipulation. Priceless.)
It was the millennium. I figured it was the millennium, century, decade, and year in 2000. This won’t happen for a very long time. We were out on Long Island. Lisa wanted to be in the city early. She was worried about the crowds and traffic. We listened to NPR on the way in and I recall it was Car Talk. Arriving home in the early afternoon I decided to bring the kids a couple blocks over to Times Square. They were celebrating each and every hour as New Year’s occurred in another time zone around the world. So there we were the three of us. Toward midnight it would become wall to wall mass humanity hysterically awaiting the magical ball to drop. Here we were at ground zero earlier in the day. Yup, Times Square on New Year’s eve!! … and at the millenium!
It constantly amazes me how well the camera processor/sensor can analyze a scene and get a decent exposure. Basically I’m lazy. I don’t want to be twirling a lot of dials and adjusting shutter, ISO, and aperture. So the camera does the work and I compose and try to crop in camera as the image is taken. You could never do this with film. And you never had a chance to make instant corrections. Immediate feedback has made things so much easier. I will also admit that I am not shooting raw.
I’m saddled with slow shutter speed, image stabilization, high ISO, and a cropped image. You can see the movement blur. All in all I consider this a satisfactory grab shot. The beauty of auto focus is that you really do just point and shoot. In truth this is what I have come to know as street photography. I’d rather not tangle with folks who don’t want their picture taken. So I just shoot from the hip. This opens up a whole discussion on whether it is proper to just shoot like this. It is in fact permissible in a public space. My kids would rather that I didn’t do this and risk harm to myself. I’m just discrete and haven’t run into any problems so far. Hey, he was a cute kid.
They turned on the fountain late today. It is a worthy addition to the landscape scene. If you look carefully up and to the left of the plume, there is a small white dot. It’s the evening star. Which one I do not know. The internet does not identify it reliably. No, it’s not an artifact or dust. And once again the camera sensor was able to expose for this and keep the scene exposed evenly. Film could never have done this for me. Oh, and if you get a passing bird into your shot, it’s an added bonus.
There aren’t too many landmarks here in Jeddah. The fountain has a listing. It’s about one of five. They are building the world’s tallest flagpole nearby. Currently this has caused major traffic slow downs because the traffic circle is inconveniently located. In an area without a really tall building around there is also a plan to erect the tallest building. I can hardly wait.
I have been taking multiple images and stitching them together. It’s never quite perfect and it’s time consuming. So I cheated here. I took a single wideangle shot and cropped it down. You lose lots of information and I won’t get to blow it up to mega size. Since I mainly planned to post the image to the internet, this has not presented a major problem. The camera had a setting for sunset but this scene option was dropped from the G11 to G12. Secret: just run up the saturation and voila. It’s what the camera’s processor does to ‘pop’ the sunset.
When I am able to drive around, I am rewarded with some nice sunsets. This is near the Corniche (beach). The pollution from the nearby desalinization plants gives a wonderful evening hue. I apologize for the light poles. I was just passing and pulled over to the side, rolled down the window, and shot as cars were passing me.