Archive for the ‘photography’ Category.
The first time I ever saw one of these coming at me, my first thought was to a Steven King novel (the Mist). I had a moment where I honestly thought to myself, "I wonder if, five minutes from now, I am going to regret not jumping in my car and driving like hell to stay ahead of this thing." More here
Basically an enormous dirt tsunami once inside of it things are not as bad as they look, with it being like a medium-dense brown fog. Of course, absolutely everything one owns outside or with the smallest non-airtight seal to the outside has to be hosed off afterwards.
I am just about to enter my ninth year on this blog and I realize that I have not participated much in the primary purpose of the Internet -- posting cute animal pictures. So here is some catch-up, via a recent trip to the San Diego zoo.
I find these photos surprisingly compelling
I've already told the story of being in Manhattan on 9/11. Through the day, vehicles could leave the city, but they could not come back (even taxis). That evening, most people who could leave Manhattan had done so. We were stuck until the next day. We ended up finding a restaurant for dinner in Times Square that was open.
Times Square was just totally bizarre. There were no cars at all. Perhaps one car would pass every five minutes. A couple of guys were roller skating around the streets, I supposed just because they could.
I was reminded of this experience by this photograph by Lucie and Simon, who take pictures of cities and digitally remove the cars and people.
My readers recently taught me this trick for trying to identify an image. Go to this link:
Click on the little camera in the right-hand side of the search box. This brings up a sort of reverse image search, where you can upload an image or put in an image URL and it will give you a guess as to what it is.
The thumbnail does not look like much, but the detail is incredible. I can't remember a photo this old that one could zoom down so far in and look around. Click to see the full version, via Shorpy
Nice work with the colorizing, though its maybe a tad saturated for my taste. Source
This is a bit old, but Radley Balko linked this story about a many busted for taking pictures of a refinery
Police Chief Jim McDonnell has confirmed that detaining photographers for taking pictures “with no apparent esthetic value” is within Long Beach Police Department policy.
McDonnell spoke for a follow-up story on a June 30 incidentin which Sander Roscoe Wolff, a Long Beach resident and regular contributor to Long Beach Post, was detained by Officer Asif Kahn for taking pictures of North Long Beach refinery.
“If an officer sees someone taking pictures of something like a refinery,” says McDonnell, “it is incumbent upon the officer to make contact with the individual.” McDonnell went on to say that whether said contact becomes detainment depends on the circumstances the officer encounters.
McDonnell says that while there is no police training specific to determining whether a photographer’s subject has “apparent esthetic value,” officers make such judgments “based on their overall training and experience” and will generally approach photographers not engaging in “regular tourist behavior.”
This policy apparently falls under the rubric of compiling Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) as outlined in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order No. 11, a March 2008 statement of the LAPD’s “policy … to make every effort to accurately and appropriately gather, record and analyze information, of a criminal or non-criminal nature, that could indicate activity or intentions related to either foreign or domestic terrorism.”
Among the non-criminal behaviors “which shall be reported on a SAR” are the usage of binoculars and cameras (presumably when observing a building, although this is not specified), asking about an establishment’s hours of operation, taking pictures or video footage “with no apparent esthetic value,” and taking notes.
First, I think refineries are enormously interesting photography subjects (disclaimer: I used to work in the Exxon Baytown refinery) and I think they can be downright beautiful at night.
Second, I take pictures of industrial subjects all the time as potential guides for my model railroading. Incredibly-boring-for-most-people example here.
Often ranked among the best beaches of the world, this is the beach at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. I don't usually take summer vacations given the nature of my business, but we are celebrating my wife's 50th. Yes, that is the view from my room, thanks to our awesome cousin who is a manager at the resort.
If you can see what's on the screen, you can see this was from 32 years ago (as of tomorrow). My sister and I, in Florida on vacation, watching the moon walk.
This is pretty cool, if they can pull it off. Though I am not sure getting focus right is really the issue with most photographers any more. It would be interesting if you could change the depth of field, though.
NSFW: Big Book of Breasts, now in 3-D
Had to laugh when I saw that. I was actually looking for this book on Case Study Houses.
Via Maggies Farm, I found these animated pictures really terrific. I know what you are thinking -- cheezy animated smiley gif's people embed in their emails. No, this is something entirely different.
Before he made movies, he apparently was a really good photographer.
If there is anything creepier than weird children's art on the walls of an abandoned mental institution, I am not sure what it is. From here. (for those who like urban architecture, urban archeology, and/or New York, this is a great site).
Some cool pictures of abandoned buildings in Detroit. How do you abandon a public library and leave all the books? All these buildings appear vandalized. Could it be a sign of Detroit's problems that no one bothered to even steal the books?
I can't find the link right now, but these pictures remind me of ones posted a few years ago of Russian towns abandoned after Chernobyl.
I am still trying to figure out how traditional film photographers got great outdoor photos. I struggle with haze and a loss of vibrancy in distant photos, as if the images were photographed through dirty glass. Maybe filters? More vibrancy in the film (I know that drove a lot of Kodak users to Fuji)?
Anyway, I don't have to rely on film, and can fiddle around with Photoshop until I get things right. I used it in this image to lighten some dark areas and then eliminated the haze effects by painting the whole image with a low-opacity color burn (I used to use a neutral gray for this but I have had better luck using a color with much of the blue taken out (using the RGB sliders in the color selection)). I gave a second helping of the color burn to the buildings only, to make them pop a bit. I try to stay far away from the contrast controls - every photo I have ever ruined started downhill with the contrast control. Instead, I went into each of the R-G-B channels in the "levels" section and fiddled with the distributions a bit, in effect widening the distributions (only a little) to get a tad more contrast.
I think it came out pretty well -- I was at an art show with a guy selling almost this exact same photo from the exact same spot and I think mine compared favorably with his art shot. The only thing I think might have improved it was to get morning light, but I was not going to camp out for 18 hours to do so.
Anyway, this is Vernazza, one of the five towns of Cinqueterre on the Italian Riviera, taken from the fabulous walking trail the connects the five towns. As usual click for enlargement.
On the monitor screen, the colors are perhaps a bit over-saturated but by trial and error it looks great on paper (at least with my printer -- the color variation among printers and papers is really astonishing once you start paying attention to it).
Below, by the way, is the original digital image. If someone can tell me what I am doing wrong (filters, camera selection, etc) to get such crappy original images, I would be appreciative. It looks like I haven't cleaned the lens or something. All I am using is a pretty good quality UV filter (mostly just to protect the lens) on a Nikon D50 with the stock Nikon lens.
San Francisco City Hall, after the 1906 earthquake. From Shorpy.
I am a terrible photographer and seem to struggle getting any good pictures. But with a little patience and some study, my yield has gone up, though it still is well under 20%. Just for self-motivation, rather than any sense anyone out there is interested, here are a few of my recent photos that I thought came out pretty well. A couple are experiments with HDR photography. As usual click for enlargement:
Cinque Terre. The HDR process in the first one really brings out the details, but like a sharpness filter turned up too high, the image falls apart when zoomed too much.
The next one could have been awesome if I had waited, say, 12 hours for the sun to be in the right place
This is the town of Portovenere
And at night, which was beautiful but I tried a zillion exposures and could never get quite what I wanted
I loved all the little winding staircases. I struggled to capture the romantic element that attracted me to them. This one came out the best, but still failed to get what I wanted
A couple of views from the roof of the Milan Duomo. I really loved walking among the flying buttresses and thought these made interesting subjects. These are probably my favorite shots from the whole batch. They are both HDR shots.
And here are the spires on the same roof:
The Grand Canyon and Sedona
Haze seems to be my never-ending enemy of good landscape photos. I have tried filters of various sorts. In the shot below, I tried HDR which really cut the haze but left the tree in the foreground as a blur (due to its movement between the photos that were combined to make the picture).
Some really nice pre-WWI color photography from Russia. I am a sucker for old color photos.
This is apparently the strange palace the US Government built to house Civil War pension records (c. 1918)
To my untrained eye, it reminds me of this resort swimming pool in Florida (they sure don't build 'em like this any more):