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Archive for April, 2012

Cover Your Ears

Patriot’s Day, Lexington and Concord. It’s a series of events with re-enactments of the critical battles at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. This many centuries later, the British are the villains in this scenario and booed loudly throughout the day. The Irish artillery was positioned at the British staging area in the morning for a demonstration. Later they participated in the battle at Tower Park. The blast from the canon is very loud. No canon balls are fired but the black powder can tattoo your skin. Notice that the gunners have placed a finger in their ears. I just would have chosen the ear closest to the canon to cover up. But then covering either ear didn’t make a difference for me standing more than 100 feet away. Also, just a historical point of interest, the female gunner to the left of the canon was probably not accurate. Oh, and before they fired the canon, someone yelled, ‘Fire in the hole.’ You can then anticipate the moment. I bet they didn’t do that in 1776.

Better Than Sliced Bread

Nikon Scan software

A technical aside – and heartfelt thank you to David Sack of http://www.saturn-films.co.uk/ – who kindly put me on to Vuescan. For anyone who currently uses a scanner to digitize old images, slides, and negatives, I encourage you to look into this software program. My other blog goes into detail: http://photocriticism.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/worth-the-price-of-admission-slide-scanning/

For many reasons this software is a tremendous find. David runs a professional scanning company for many years and currently uses a very similar setup of software and scanner, which I use. The software is reliable and fast. My Nikon scanner would jam and balk. It was fairly slow to scan an image about every 2-3 minutes. I am getting very acceptable scans in about 1 minute with quite reasonable color comparable to the original. The infrared filter is ignoring dust and scratches as well as the Nikon software. No jamming! All in all – it’s been great.

Vuescan software

Count ‘Em

Xmas at my brother’s place sometime in the late ‘80’s – here’s an unexpected shot. It’s in my collection of slides. Who knows, but I presume I took the photo. There were three brothers, two kids, wives and girlfriends, one baby on the way.  I know we had video by then. As near as I can tell there are 8 cameras, two tripods, flash and other assorted equipment. Don’t forget the ninth camera that took this slide. Let is never be said that we weren’t taking enough pictures. I really had a laugh over this slide. Aside from the cameras, that’s sister in law Fanny, son David, and brother Eric.

Cleavage on a Guy


Yeah, it’s so. I wondered for a moment how that can be. Then again, I accept it and don’t really want to know how. He was part of group gathered on one of the cross streets to promote a show. It certainly looks interesting enough to make you wonder and ponder.

Bigger Than Your Head


This headdress that I can scarcely call an Easter bonnet was larger than the woman herself. It had all manner of construction materials vaguely paying homage to the Easter theme. She had a large crowd around her as people gathered to photograph her from 360 degrees. Outrageous really works to draw attention. It got mine.

Parade Veteran


I guess I should know his name by now. He’s shown up at about every parade that I have attended. He was thrown off the parade route at the St Patrick’s parade. Some red headed very stern Irish parade official spoke to the cops and he was banished to the spectator side of the barriers. Otherwise he was in his element here at the Easter parade. Multiple outfit changes, his parrot, and even the little dog were with him. He had a crowd all around and reveled in the attention.

Balloon Maker


Here’s a new wrinkle. I have seen clowns dressed to sell balloon sculptures to kids. There were a group of South Americans all dressed up and face painted distinctly. There were spread apart over blocks but were thematically linked by their make up and appearance. Hmmm… an organized balloon making union.

Rollerblade Girl


Some people asked me about the rollerblade girl at the Chinese New Year parade. Yeah, I know she’s really a woman but I’m currently senior to everyone but my mother in law. She wasn’t protesting anything at the Chinese parade but here she’s part of the ‘Wall St’ protest. She attracted a crowd. No rolling, really walking in the skates as the crowd was too dense to roll anywhere. My preference is the close up. But some complained that you don’t see the ‘blades then. It’s an interesting idea and I’m adding her to my list of parade regulars at the parades.

Bunny Ears and a Parrot


Bunny ears and a parrot. It’s a great photo op. The ears make it Easter. There were plenty of people around to get a picture with the parrot. The bird was quite calm in the crowd. You see this sort of thing everywhere and in almost every country I have visited. The exploitation and animal rights part is the subject of another political discussion. I just took the photo op.

Hispanic Butterflies of Easter


Ok, the only way to know was to listen to the language in their speech. Over the top by far, this pair was the most outrageous of the day for me. They parted the crowd as they walked 5th Avenue. People virtually surrounded them as they crowded round to have their picture taken with them. Why? In any case they were definite crowd pleasers.



These kids were overlooking the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. I waited to focus on the girl when her brother leaned in to add one more element of interest. Thanks kids and Happy Easter.

Rockefeller Center


GE owns the building and is the GE is printed in gold gilded letters on the outside. I still call it Rockefeller Center. By the early afternoon you can see the crowd gathered around. The telephoto effect really brings the crowd in closer. I found out recently that my cousin I claustrophobic. It wasn’t really as bad as it looked.

Period Style


I don’t know the era. I’m not a fashionista. But this small group made its way up 5th Avenue parting the crowd as it went. They were not stopping to pose for photos so I got this shot on the run. Auto focus is a beautiful invention. Wide angle and let fly. I got an isolation crop on the red head but this wider view was better for me.


English Hat


In my mind Easter is embodied in this hat. It is retro and elegant. I am reminded of the stylish hats worn by the English or of the hats worn at the Kentucky Derby track. A winning style and most of all ‘stylish.’



A rabbit is behind her. Blue hair does it every time. No doubt you will attract more attention with a 6 foot rabbit. I recall that was a movie. But I digress. There is an Easter theme here. I just love faces in the crowd.



Stylish and elegant, a simple hat can make the difference. The play of light and shadow was so nice. She was accompanying an outrageous 6’5’’ transvestite in a tailored pink suit who called her his cousin. I couldn’t get how she was with him. But sometimes there are no answers to my questions.

Netted Veil


This gal was with a group of very precisely dressed folks in period costumes. They just stood around chatting as the crowd photographed them. Beautiful.

Easter Guy


If you want to make a statement, here’s a good start. Make it wide and bright. There wasn’t much else to the outfit. Everything is in the headdress. It would be a stretch to call this a bonnet.

Easter Girl



I’m beginning an Easter series for the next few days. More can be found on Imaged Event (http://imagedevent.wordpress.com/).

Kids will get you every time. The best are the ones riding the shoulders of their dad. She was a little older, but no less cute. She bore the essence of subdued Easter celebration.

Night Shot

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.

Cherry Blossoms

April 2001, Central Park. There are a few trees that are dependable subjects in the park in the spring. This year I have been past this tree several times and not noticed it. Usually this tree, laden in blossoms stops me. Sometimes things are remembered more vividly in your memory. Here’s proof that my memory still works. This tree is just not as spectacular this year.

Tulip Again

Tulips, same day different tulip, come in all different colors around Central Park. Here I got one with more detail in the petals and used the shadow to highlight the center pistil. I wonder at the color pattern, which must look inviting to the bee that pollinates the flower. I imagine the pattern like landing lights guiding the plane into the runway at an airport.


In the spring tulips are dependable photographic subjects. For the most part I have tried it in every possible angle. The subject here was shot in Central Park and from a head on position to focus in on the center. I shot this with slide film. There is too much contrast to see the individual petals, which enhances the center.

Tuthill House Flag

There is a house at the beginning of my block, which was lifted from its foundation and moved to this lot. It’s an old architectural house of one of the founding families in the community. The owners always mount a flag from the porch during the flag holidays. We call it the Tuthill house. One image is film, the other digital.