Word and Image

Archive for June, 2013

Dawn Over Jeddah

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This darn camera got the moon exposure pretty good. Well, I did a little Photoshop work here. The moon came from the next frame. I just hadn’t cropped as well. Slipping it in here, it’s exactly where the other moon was, but not quite so well exposed. Otherwise I’m not too much for post processing. Life is spinning way too fast these days.

Subway Guy

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I’m headed for the uptown train. It’s a mystery to me how the eye picks up small things. Lisa has always said you can tell a guy by the shoulders. Then look at the hips. And there are clues in the adams apple. The folks on the downtown track were lined up rather nicely for this shot. All I had in hand was the iPhone. I think it’s in the hips. They’re just too narrow – no ass. Anyway he didn’t look like a she to me.

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Last day in NYC and Julia and I were looking for a restaurant we’ve yet to try. No luck today either, it was closed. Lunch was just done. as we walked by, I got low and shot the hound at dog level. The dachshund barked and the owner appeared. It was my only shot.

Carriage Ride

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Quintessential New York, this surely beats a ride in a pedi-cab. The top hat is nice. But it’s still a business and not a show. So you see a lot of boredom. The driver’s done it. The horse knows the route. Ok, tips, but really, you the picture you see is better than the ride.

Ballpark With A View

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There is something fascinating about playing ball with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. I say again that shutter lag is a pain with a point and shoot. It means you need some patience to get the ball in your frame. It’s still a heck of view out to center field.


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There are tulips and then there are tulips. The pattern of the petals was striking. It’s graphic art. It helped that the sun was bright. I know it’s high contrast and I should go in at high noon. I guess that if you follow the rule you don’t get this shot. The macro setting is really convenient. I suppose the DOF ruins the ‘bokeh’ for those knowing photographers. Hey, I like the shot.

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What do you do if you’re a face painter and there’s no one about who wants one? Paint yourself. I guess it’s obvious. She’s good but I didn’t want my face painted.


_DSC2665 no screenBrighter and bigger. Who could tell. but it is closer now than it has been and will be for many years.

David put me onto this shot. It’s not often that the moon is this close to the earth. It amounts to about a diameter of the earth closer than usual, 222,000 miles. The last time we were this close was 1993. Since the moon is more than 30 diameters away, this distance is not a lot. That 12 percent size different can mean as much as a 30 percent change in the brightness, so this will be a particularly bright supermoon.

So as a casual photographer, what could I do but shoot the moon when I saw it while driving home. To be sure, it was shining bright and true over the skies of Saudi Arabia. No clouds. It was bright and sunny today – a mere 106 degrees. It rained for 10 minutes this past year. But, still, there is humidity. Even so, tonight there was little haze. So I took out the super zoom to the tune of evening prayer from the speakers of the nearby mosques. Two mosques compete with one another. Illiterate as I am, I simply tune out the noise. (See years of (wife) complaints.)

First, when you shoot the moon, remember you are shooting into a daylight (sunlit) object), which means that your exposure is near to daytime. I used 1/1600 sec at f9. And I put on the big lens – 400mm. It would be nice to use a tripod. But I don’t happen to have one at the moment. At 1/1600 it’s pretty forgiving even handheld in the middle of the night. And to dispel another myth, I shot the image below through my screen window. The sharpness is acceptable. After setting up the exposure, I took myself outside and made the image above. The only manipulation was to crop and center.

I am reminded of that Disney song about seeing the same moon in the same sky even though we are a hemisphere apart. Thanks Dave, this shot is for you. _DSC2677 screen

Central Park Carousel

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A great shot that I took many years ago was a close up of one of the carousel horses when we visited Disney. This time at the Central Park carousel I didn’t have a kid with me, so I didn’t enter the carousel. No horse shot. But outside the enclosure I got this munchkin. I only wonder why she was outside looking in?



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Hillside Daffodils

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A low angle is always different. Most photographers like to shoot at eye level and never stoop to get a better angle. It’s harder for me to stoop these days. But here the hillside did the work for me. All I had to do was aim and shoot. I just love that blue-sky background. Of course it helps if there is one flower standing up to grab the show.

Giant Bubble

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Here’s one that I haven’t seen before. Sure I’ve seen bubbles but this was humongous. Nice idea! So I’ve got a point and shoot camera with a little shutter lag trying to get this shot. It’s easier said than done. The artist said, “You can’t get a shot unless you put money in the jar. The bubble gods are fickle.” I finally coughed up a buck to get a staged shot. But this early shot was the one I edited and kept. I just love the creative ideas people come up with to entertain the passersby.


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The flowers come out all along the branches. It’s a great color display. I got the sun into the shot unintentionally. I would say that it was planned but it would not be so. Still, the image is a keeper.

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In the midst of the spring bloom, there are the athletes among us who just gotta go fast. I saw him from the corner of my eye and waited for him to skate into my frame. Gotcha!


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There is a spot in Central Park where there are some spectacular displays of tulips. It doesn’t appear every year. But this year they were in full splendor. And what is better than painters catching an artful interpretation of the display? So I ask why their easels were set up before the tulips and at the top of each easel was a picture (not this scene) from which they were referencing. Did I miss something? They are painting a picture in front of a real scene of beauty. Hey, it’s a way to go, I guess.

More Central Park

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The cherry blossoms always stand out. It is hard to decide whether to go with a close up or get a view of the whole tree in bloom. Folks are all about getting shots of the color. Others are out to make a few dollars. I have lately been taking pictures of people taking pictures.

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It’s all special because it happens for only a few short weeks. If you are lucky enough, you will be there to enjoy it.

Central Park

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The south entrance at Columbus Circle is my usual path into the park. There are always vendors of art and hot dogs. Lately there are pedi-cabs, which cost a pretty hefty price per minute. There are the horse drawn carriages. Yes, it’s a part of tourist New York.

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It’s only a few short weeks when the blossoms add their spectacular color in the spring.

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Near the southeast corner of the park is a bridge often photographed. And it seems there’s always a Yankees fan always about.

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The bridge as I said is a popular photograph. So I tried for something different. I didn’t know koi fish could winter in Central Park.


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I don’t remember when I last saw one. And I haven’t mailed a letter in forever. I’ve been to the post office to pick up registered mail. Otherwise I don’t know the cost of a stamp. And they tell me now that the stamps don’t have a price on them anymore. They are good until you use them. Hmm… I think the last time I bought a stamp it was about 43 cents? And that was a while ago. Well, with the post office in the pickle it’s in, mailboxes have disappeared from most corners. And soon this will be a collector’s item.

Hot Dogs

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Hot dog stands are New York. You don’t really encounter them too much elsewhere. Somehow they do a brisk business. Everyone seems to survive. It’s quintessential NYC.

Street Photography

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You walk around and mostly people blend in. This gal stood out. She walked by a construction site and got the usual glances and stares. That was expected. But other passersby also took notice enough that I noticed too. Well, to be honest, the dress is too tight and the hips a bit too plump, but there was something that just made everyone look.


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Shows, marquees, people, it’s all around you. Even early in the morning there’s action on the block. The Stardust Diner is right next to the Winter Garden Theater. Broadway is an avenue with theaters nearby to Times Square. It’s not a place. And most picture’s look like Times Square. Most tourists think of musicals and certainly Spiderman packs ’em in. But there is some serious drama that’s present too. So many theaters, so many seats, so many shows – and it’s all full night after night.



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That’s one thing that Saudi Arabia doesn’t have. There are no souvenir stores. No T-shirts with Saudi logos, no hats, no nothing because there are really no tourists. There are folks who travel to Mecca, but it’s an entirely different kind of trip. Tourists are really discouraged from coming to Saudi. You need an invitation and it’s not easy. But in NY there’s never an end to what will sell. Anything with an NY logo is fair game. It’s fascinating to see what sells because someone will buy.

Colony Records

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The name says it all. It’s closed. There no records. This was a fixture in Times Square for many years. No more records, right! And it was a place for sheet music. I remember we stopped for Suzuki piano lesson music. Yup, it was a big hangout for anyone who needed hard to find things. There was a write-up before it closed. Now it’s a storefront waiting to happen.

New Restaurant

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My bad, I don’t remember the name. It’s new on 8th Avenue. It’s fast food Asian as if the wok guys weren’t fast to start with. It’s got a big lunchtime crowd. It’s not a quite got that ‘it’ quality, so I haven’t tried the food. But, I do like the art. Restaurants come and go with frightening quickness. This one is at least distinguishable, though it’s hard to say the food will really catch on. It reminds me of a hole in the wall Ramen noodle shop with a line out the door at all hours. My daughter doesn’t care for ramen so we haven’t tried it.

Times Square Art Project

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There was a sign about an art project. The artists were plastering posters to the sidewalk. The next day anyone could walk across them. It’s kind of spooky to see these shots. In the middle left one person looks a little like Jennifer my former PA. No matter what, there’s always something doing in Times Sq.

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