Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Not a Photo [NAP]

Ok well, this is a little bit of a diversion. Normaly this space is reserved for my pictures. But today something cool happened. I'm quoted on boingboing!

I responded to Cory Doctorow's post on, competitor, Podzinger by letting him know about Podscope. To my surprise he returned my email and asked me for a 1-liner talking contrasting Podscope. I'm quoted in the update. Here's the story!


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Composition and Contrast

I took a couple of shots inside the pavilion at Sherwood Island. The pavilion itself is quite a piece of architecture. That is to say it is utterly dated in its outward appearance, but kind of charming in its own way. Looking at it the pavilion through the CPL was a bit like looking back in time.

Two things I really like about this shot. The contrast and the composition. The depth of the black makes the window seem to fade away. The black on top and bottom makes the window "pop" a bit more. I took a number of shots like this one. I may post another.

I did a bit in post to this shot. I raised the shadow levels tremendously - this is pretty obvious. I also bumped down the exposure and increased the saturation. It was very difficult to get any color showing through.

Update: This photo made it to number 82 on flickr's most interesting on February 25! Its my first time!

Praise be to sunlight

Praise be to sunlight, that glorious thing which makes my Saturday afternoon warm.

The weather has been bad lately. Really cold. This fact, combined with the daylight-savings-related lack of light, has made it difficult to take pictures. Not so today.

I'm a Westport native. Never mind what my birth certificate says. Somehow its never occurred to me that they don't charge admission to get into Sherwood Island State Park in the off-season. Lesson learned. This gives me a whole new beach environment to take pictures of. Not only that, but the buildings have a great 70's style to them that makes them look incredibly dingy and interesting.

A lot of the pictures I took today where under incredibly harsh sun. I slapped on the CPL and under-exposed everything. I like the arctic-winter feel that it produces. Expect to see me post a few more of the pictures from today. I feel like this was my first good day in a while.

Boring Technical Note: My circular polarizer fogs up. A lot. Its starting to become problematic. I need a cloth that I can use on it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Too damn cold.

It has been cold. Very cold. So cold that when I go outside my tripod instantly becomes too cold to touch with bare hands. So cold that I have to let my camera's temperature adjust slowly so that the glass doesn't fog. In short: It has been too cold to take pictures outside.

Fellow CT dwellers may note that I am posting this on a particularly warm day. Well, for that, I have no excuse. I'm busy that's all. Heehee.

Determined to not have my blogyness completely undermined by the weather I decided to take some closeups of completely lame objects. The sort of flotsam that one can always find by Jullian's computer.

You were eaten by a Grue

This picture pretty much explains how I feel about the weather of the past week. I hate in when it takes my fingers the entire day to warm up. bah. I used my recently acquired +1 macro filter. Kinda cool.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


There's a lot of graffiti out there. Most of it is probably destructive, impulsive crap. But there is a special kind of graffiti that warms the cockles of my ice-cold heart. When ever I see graffiti that exhibits a designer's aesthetic I take notice.

During my recent trip to Chicago I found myself hanging around DePaul's Merle Reskin Theatre. On the east side of the venue an alley provides a service corridor to the nearby buildings.

Someone drew a block. And then I made it scratchy
This is exactly the style of graffiti that puts a big grin on my face. Someone drew a "Block" next to the sign reading "Do Not Block". I hardly know where to begin - the fact that the cube is so simply rendered makes it even more amusing.

I did a bit of post-production on this shot. I first bumped the contrast and saturation to produce a very vivid, if oddly colored, image. I then desaturated the image and added some texture using a thread-pattern and a brightness/contrast mask. I'm still new the whole masking-layer technique. Its a remarkably effective work-flow tool.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

King of the Hill

Some animals are insane camera-whores. You may recognize this little rodent as a meerkat. A group of meerkats once graced the cover of National Geographic in much the same pose.

Sam and I were at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I turned a corner to discover a group of meerkats sitting on a log in their standard pose. I decided I had to sneak up - so that I could capture them standing on their log - just like in the NG cover. I tip-toed closer and closer until I was standing right in front of them - they didn't move.

Go stealthy Dave.

Wrong. I could have performed a one-man version of riverdance on the same hollow log that they were standing on and they would have just rolled with it. Oh well. I took some pictures. They didn't come out well.

King of the hill
The only interesting picture was of the king-of-the-hill meerkat. This guy just sat up there the whole time we watched. He was content with his lot. And I was content to take his picture.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snowed In.

Well, I'm not actually snowed in, but I am trapped in Chicago until Tuesday morning. All the flights into BDL were canceled. Well boo for travel, hooray for another day and a half with Mina. Meanwhile, the nice people at AA were, after quite a while on hold, perfectly happy to get me on Tuesday's earliest flight. And, with coach being full they bumped me up to first class. I hope I get some sort of cool mileage incentive.

All of this is sort of an explanation for the lack of postings. I've been in Chicago since Thursday evening. I've got all sorts of really cool pictures to post (including a swimming hippopotamus). The chi-town pictures will start to trickle in once I'm back at home base.


NOTE: This is my first non-meta posting to not include a picture. Hmm. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Long Late Night

Yesterday was a long day. A long day which proceeded into a long night. The kind of night - at the office - that I truly dislike. I didn't even get a chance to leave until after 11pm. No dinner. Bleary eyes. Headache.

The cold air in the garage dulled my headache enough for me to take some pictures of the some late-night parking-garage eirieness.

It's easy to hate the light cast by so many mercury vapor lights. For that reason it's odd when I find myself moth-like and kind-of drawn to the hard lines and ugliness that they project. I'm sure this isn't the best picture that I've posted on here, but at the moment I took the shot it seemed perfectly in synch with the way I was feeling. So. Hmm.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Small and Pointy

House hunting has left me with little time to go out with my camera. Although its possible that I'm just using that as an excuse for not hanging outside in the cold. Alas.

This is a crop of one of the shots I took in long island. I feel like it may be a bit cliche' - I'm not sure. I find myself drawn to taking pictures of fences - in part because they provide interesting contrasts, but also because they have a certain allure. A fence is very mysterious - I wonder what's on the other side.

In this case the shot is less about the fence and more about the barb. Ouch. Pointy.

UPDATE: I just noticed, this is the second close-up in a row. Maybe I should consider a macro lens. Just a thought.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


You may have noticed a bit of a slow-down in my posting regularity. The truth is I haven't been to busy - to the contrary. I've been close to posting several photos but I keep changing my mind. I've spent some time thinking and decided that the reason I'm having a hard time is that I really like my most recent post and I feel like my next post really has to be on the same level. I actually didn't see that effect coming. I'm not sure if its good or bad. We shall see.

I really intended to go outside today and shoot some more, but after a beautiful morning spent looking at real estate the weather fell apart on me. Blah. Later on at Jeannie's house I managed to sneak off while the others were watching a "legally Blonde". I got some indoor shots.

This is a close-up on the pitch-bending pegs on a pedal harp. I like the color of the pegs, and the lighting in general. In this case the light is cast from a low-wattage, shaded incandescent lamp. I quite like it.