Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Sunset...

Another year. Another one rising. Let's hope it's a good one!

George Washington Bridge from the roof of my building. It was glorious. No, photos don't do it justice. Taken 2 days ago, but I wanted to post something finish off the year. Thanks to everyone who visits and comments!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Great Lawn

In Central Park. Closed for the winter. Golden ratio. This one demanded a wide crop (16:9).

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hosta Flowers

From Saturday's rainy day walk. A perfect intermittent drizzle and almost no wind is an unusual set of conditions, at least here along the river where I live, so I walked around Fort Tryon's Heather Gardens shooting typical flowers-with-raindrops shots. Hard to resist, even if it's been done to death.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

European Beech

A beautiful specimen in Ft. Tryon Park with a diameter at base of almost 2 meters.This is where it splits off into 3 major branches, Rainy day with wet and dry spots on the bark.

*Cannot get this to look on blogger the way it looks in photoshop - even when I take it to a ridiculously dark and contrasty setting in PS it still looks washed out here - the blacks aren't black enough and in this picture the tonality is especially important. Oh well.


Blogger is linked to google+ and Picasa in a convoluted way that I won't even try to explain. The important thing is that google+ has an image "auto enhance" feature that is on by default and applies to both google+ and Blogger images. I turned that off and re-uploaded the image with tones that look right on my monitor.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Summer in the City

Oldie, hot summer a couple of years ago (June 2012).  Cropped a bit.

Back to school hectic still keeping photography and blogging at a minimum for now.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NY State Pavilion

 At worlds fair grounds in Queens. Another old one today, from summer 2012 - same day as these shots. Not much happening the last couple of days with gray skies and house work to do...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Flickr Oldie: Cloisters Gate

Cloister Gate

I took this in July 2011. I was trying to do a photo of the day every day on facebook and then switched to blogging. No time/energy for new stuff today.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lincoln Center Surveillance Camera

I went back for this shot this morning after messing it up earlier in the week (it's more or less on my way to work). The morning light on the face of the building works better than the evening light behind the building. This is a pretty high surveillance camera at the top of Avery Fisher Hall and shot with a 400mm equivalent focal length (250 x 1.6 for APS-C).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

B-Sides: Lincoln Center Lights

This was supposed to be part of my "sign of the times" series, as I initially thought these were surveillance cameras - but in editing the photo, I said to myself, why are they all pointed in essentially the same direction? Must be lights. And confirmed thru google search. It's an OK image, but it loses some of its edge without the surveillance state angle.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sign of the Times: Surveillance

This week's photograph club assignment: Sign of the times. I chose surveillance as a theme. This is the best I have for now, I took a lot of shots of different types of cameras around the city this week, but it's hard to get an interesting angle on them - having some people in the scene would be nice, but to back out far enough to have a view of both people and the camera, the camera gets lost - they are small and usually high above the crowds. Still looking though.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


The grain here is noise from the digital image without adding any "artificial" grain from software. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weathered Statue

Somehow I feel like I should know who this is, but I do not - a statue cracked, crackled, and streaked with algal growth creates a somewhat creepy image. Situated in the back yard outside the chapel at Mother Cabrini's Shrine. Wish the hand were in focus, but this is an area that is usually locked, and by chance it was open as I walked by today right around the low-light of sunset.

Top 25

Unisphere, 2012

I started a different kind of blog over on wordpress. It's a hodgepodge of personal observations, activities, and naval gazing.

I uploaded my top 25 favorite photos from this blog, and I will maintain the number of photos even though the content will likely change as new pictures become favorites and displace older pictures. I would be curious of your thoughts - there are probably picks among my favorites that others think of as real stinkers, and shots that didn't make the list that others think were superior to the ones I included.

The above photo would be number 1 one if I were ranking them. It's not perfect and I wish I had stayed with it a little longer, but how often do I say that? The two boys on the left are distracting, but this is the shot that had the perfect outstretched arms of the boy in the middle, so there's the trade off.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

B-Sides: Shopping Carts

A fleet of Costco shopping carts in the rain. I saw this idea a few months ago when I didn't have a camera, then a couple of days later I saw this post from s.c. collections and thought, what a strange coincidence. I was at Costco again last week with rain in the air, a fine windy drizzle/mist kept me from spending a lot of time on it (rain on the lens is a problem). This doesn't quite get what I wanted, but consider it a rough draft.

Fits this week's photo club assignment ("wet"), although it was taken last week.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hosta Detail

A close crop for s.c. :-)  That powdery-blue effect is a characteristic of this variety of hosta.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Hostas have a very fleshy texture and this extremely large-leafed variety makes for some nice photo opportunities. Fort Tryon Park.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Well, almost, anyway. Not everyone has a  cell phone these days, and you can't exactly make an anonymous call from a cell phone.

Another night in the city.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Subway Sign

Another "night in the city" entry. An ancient subway sign that I don't think I've seen anywhere else (191st Street Station). There's no escaping the bright spot in the letter "u" and I tried from any number of different angles to no avail. There's an argument for making this shot a little earlier in the evening except that there's really nothing but distractions in the background so blacking it out works better in the end, I think. I kinda like the lack of context and just accepting the color and shapes as they are.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Citi at Night

This weeks photo assignment was "night in the city" and I shot this before realizing the pun. Another really sharp-cornered structure that Manhattan's imperfect grid often produces.

And a hospital building in the New York Presbyterian complex.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ikea Paramus

Trial post using smartphone app. I may delete this later..

Update: I've figured out how to fix the aspect ratio on the cellphone camera. This 16:9 doesn't work vertically, at least not for this scene.

Update 2: I went ahead and cropped this down to 4:3 ratio.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Photographer ≠ Peeping Tom

This dead-boring picture almost got me arrested today.

Sometimes I take shots like this more or less as "warmups." I know it's boring, I didn't expect to make anything of it, but I just need to overcome the inertia (or that voice in my head that tells me every picture I take is a waste of time) and start shooting something. I don't know how many other people do it, but I actually read about this strategy on some other photography blog (can't remember which). It works for me, more or less. Sometimes. That said, I kinda liked the balcony design here, but I couldn't get a good angle on it or a good view with the ultra-wide zoom. This was broad daylight, slow car traffic on the street, with a busy park across the street, and foot traffic on the sidewalks. Not some back alley or hiding in the bushes.

Anyway, I took 2 such pictures and moved on, only to find a few steps down a police officer crossing the street and stopping me. OK, it's Fort Lee, it's a small town environment (I've never been stopped in NYC), and the officer is polite and courteous and no big deal. I assure him I have a wide angle lens, I'm just an amateur looking for interesting things to photograph yadayada. He asks for ID, I give it to him, I show him the live view with the lens so he knows it's not a tele, he asks to see the photos I took, no problem.

Then he asks me to wait for a minute as he goes across the street to his car with my ID. Now I'm getting pissed. I clearly have broken no laws.  I have not done something that's only technically legal but somehow creepy or unwise, and yet he's continuing his investigation. Now a second police vehicle appears with lights flashing and a second officer gets out of his vehicle and walks a few feet down from me and stands there looking menacing like I'm going to run for it or something. WTF?

Lucky for me I have a clean record, never been arrested, don't even have a moving violation (like speeding or running red lights, etc). I don't have any outstanding parking tickets in Ft. Lee or anywhere, actually. He still asks me if I've ever been arrested (didn't you just check my ID?).

I stress again that the officer was courteous about the whole thing and thanked me for my cooperation when it was finally over, and made small talk about photographing the GWB at sunrise. But I really felt violated - I had that sickly feeling that I had done something wrong even though I hadn't. I couldn't really stand up for myself without risking an escalation that could result in being taken in ("Oh, you wanna do this the hard way, eh?") or ticketed for jay-walking or something. I really had to resist the impulse to challenge the validity of the investigation (beyond verifying that there was nothing wrong with my pictures, which is understandable).

And now what? What other innocuous picture can I not take without being stopped and investigated by a police officer? What if this happens again - will I be able to maintain my composure? Certainly sucked the life out of this evening's efforts, and I don't know if I'll be returning to Fort Lee any time soon. Blech.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cellphone Clouds

New phone today, cool clouds and nice wide aspect ratio (16:9). Another for the weekly assignment (clouds).

Not particularly sharp, looks nice at small sizes and on the small screen. About what you'd expect.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Sunday, July 27, 2014

B-Sides: Window Pitcher

An oldie. Not crazy about the reflections on the window, but I still love the light and shadow here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


That little ray of golden sunshine on the water to the right is annoying, but this shot doesn't appear very often or predictably.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Construction Site

Fort Lee again. It's a nice walk across the George Washington Bridge to get there and a lot of small town sights to see and photograph. Then there's this monstrosity. In the foreground is another construction site for even more development.

These projects may have something to do with the Chris Christie bridge scandal. They are on what was for decades acres of vacant property in prime location with easy  access to the bridge, precisely the access lanes that were closed during the scandal. There is speculation that the lane closures (which snarled traffic in Ft. Lee for days) were an attempt by Christie or his cronies to sabotage financing for the deal.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Postcard From Harlem

Harlem Meer & Education Center. Northeast tip of Central Park. With a layer of duckweed & algae covering most of the surface interrupting the reflections. Just putzing around with the wide-angle lens, which I've still not got comfortable with.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


A strip of low-rise office buildings along my bike route in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. All top out at 2-3 stories in height. Glass, concrete, metal. A little composite material here and there.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

High Rise

Forgot the name of this building, part of a complex of contemporary designs along the west side of Manhattan in the 55-58th street area. Strikes me as a sort of retro-futuristic look...

Here's a second one, with a reflection of the first one...

Don't know why but when I upload these to blogger I'm seeing a distinct purple cast that isn't there in photoshop, so I don't exactly know how to get rid of it...

Update: Because this is bugging me...

Here's a screen shot showing the PS and Blogger versions side-by-side. Same image file.

The purple cast is even stronger here. I thought maybe blogger was loading a cached version of the picture (I had corrected the color cast in an earlier version of the image before posting) so I changed the name of the file and reuploaded, but no change. Maybe I need to delete the post and start from scratch? Nope, doesn't fix the problem either...grrr.

UPDATE - Problem Solved:

In searching for a solution, I googled "purple color cast in blogger" and nothing came up. Then I noticed a different problem with washed out tonality in another photo - and googled a more general "poor image quality in Blogger" which led me to the solution. I had to go to google+ (which is intimately linked with blogger) and change my setting to turn off the "auto-enhance" feature.