Sunday, December 22, 2013


Daily assignment for photo club. US half-dollar coin. Would have liked an image of the head in this position (JFK), but that would take another 100 attempts to get it right...

Thursday, December 19, 2013


A day late, but this was an assignment to shoot "winter." I saw this on the way home today and it seemed apropos.

UPDATED: Fixed some of the blue color cast and a couple of other problems with the original posting that bothered me.

What's in YOUR Backpack?

I confess that not all photo assignments inspire me equally. This one left me a little cold, but some of my students did a fine job with it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Snow Tires

Daily assignment subject - "Commute."

I decided I would not let a little snow or ice stop me from biking to work this winter, so I bought some snow tires and with some care they are doing well on ice and snow except for one exceedingly steep (but short) section of a hill on the bike path, which - owing to its steepness and the fact that it's a bike/pedestrian path - the city doesn't care about or bother to salt and sand - it's treacherous on foot or wheels.

Fresh snow today on top of ice today made it a little easier, actually.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Second Snow

A little more snow in the city today, this time a few inches accumulated and still snowing at this point - and very cold.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


My photo club has gone from monthly assignments to weekly assignments with a goal of just getting kids to shoot more. The assignments are supposed to be focused enough that anyone can think of a suitable picture but open enough to allow for some variety. This week's assignment was "Breakfast" and I chose a bake/pastry shop that serves the kinds of sweets we associate with breakfast, shot in the early morning on a cold December day with a a lot of condensation on the windows distorting and obscuring the interior open kitchen visible from the sidewalk.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snowy Palisades

From yesterday, a little landscape. Looking up the Hudson River at the snow-covered tree tops along the Palisades disappearing in the fog. The color shift on the left is from the late afternoon sun finally peeking out way south of this point and coloring the clouds. You can see there's no snow on the trees this side of the hudson.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Once again click for the larger image to see the color and contrast as intended. From my replacement G15, so far no signs of sensor issues. but I'll shoot some clear skies tomorrow to be sure.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Sometimes blogger software softens up the contrast when I post here, but click on the picture for a larger version and it looks a little more like my original.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

G15 Sensor Problem

I noticed the dark splotch in the upper right hand corner in a shot from the weekend with a clear blue sky. At first I thought it was maybe just a puff of cloud or smoke that I hadn't noticed in the scene. Then today I took some shots with a lot of sky in them such as this one and the splotch is there again. It's subtle and you might think it's just a jpeg artifact or dust spot or something, or you might not even notice it if I didn't point it out, but it's unacceptable to me. I am returning the camera. It's a little more obvious in this shot oriented vertically, it's in the left top edge of the frame.

Oddly, it doesn't appear in every shot, so I don't know if it's the focal length or the angle of the light source or what. It should appear in this one (from a few days ago) but doesn't, while other similar shots have it:

I bought this camera refurbished from canon direct. Don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I still intend to replace it with another G15. A new one. And then test it thoroughly.

UPDATE: Returned defective copy, replaced with new one. Tested, no problems.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hudson Piers

Part of my morning commute scenery along the bike path. Often there's a mammoth cruise ship docked at one or more of the piers.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chain Ladder

A little gritty black & white for a change. I don't imagine they would even think of building a new playground with these things for kids to climb on.

G15 again. I could be using the "big" rebel this weekend but I just want to get comfortable with the workings of the little guy.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Pretty sure I was looking at the lens, not sure why I seem to be staring off into space. Had to guess at the composition with the fixed screen on G15, so cropped a little to compensate.

G15 First Images

 At macro setting- this thing focuses down to 1 cm at the wide end. 

Pretty high contrast subject, one hot spot that I didn't try to correct because it seems appropriate here. 

 Pretty good light and shadow details here.

 At the 28mm wide end. I would love to have had the 24mm found on the A110/120.

 Sunset, lots of shadow detail in the skyline - if I wanted to pull that out even more I could. ISO 800.

Again, a high contrast scene with no real problem on the highlights and shadows. 

Not a great shot but illustrates IS0 1600 performance (with noise reduction in post).

The Canon Powershot G15 is a bit smaller than I expected, which is a good thing - I wanted something I could easily carry in a jacket or otherwise loaded backpack and take to work and back every day on my bike. My rebel has been sitting at home because of the bulk. Dimension-wise, the G15 literally fits in my shirt pocket, but it's too heavy for that, obviously. 

I also wanted easy manipulation of controls without going through a bunch of menus - G15 has all that with lots of dials for quick access to common functions. The optical viewfinder is for emergencies only as it just roughly approximates the actual field of view and offers no information on focal points or anything else. Still usable in bright light or situations where the LCD screen would be too distracting.

The lens is a nice 1.8-2.8 that goes from 28-140 (equiv.). I shot all the pics above at aperture priority set to 4.0 - it was cold and I was racing against the clock to get a good number of shots before the sun went down.With the small sensor, that gives a lot of depth of field already.  It has a minimum aperture of 8.0, which might be a problem if you wanted to do some long shutter speed work. There is a built-in ND filter, though, but don't know when I'll get around to playing with that. The Canon Powershot A110/120 goes down to 24mm, which would be nice, but that camera has a long list of "buts' as well. 

The native aspect ratio is 4:3, which will take a little getting used to. The sensor is smallish (1/1.7) but gives me 4000x3000 files and ISO up to 12,800 - which I haven't tested yet, but the 1600 looks pretty good to me. If anything the pics so far seem to be sharper and "punchier" for lack of a better word than my rebel pics. I'm shooting raw, which requires some post-processing, but I always shoot raw anyway. It may be just a matter of the smaller sensor giving greater depth of field and therefore more apparent sharpness - but I'm not an expert in these things.

Lastly, it has an almost-silent mode that I keep it on - There's a slight audible click when the shutter fires, but I suspect a little ambient noise will make that virtually silent in a real world setting from more than about a foot or two away.This will make it pretty handy at indoor performances.

No complaints so far. It has its limitations as any camera of this type would have. I looked at all the other players in this category and the G15 had compromises I could live with and the strengths I was looking for. It's priced to move at the moment $299, down from $424 just a week or so ago. The G16 is $499 for a few more bells and whistles that don't matter to me. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cactus Spines

Continuing the botanical theme. From Sunday at the desert installation, New York Botanical Garden Conservatory. Kinda looks like a macro shot, but it's actually a rather large specimen, so not much magnification here.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nostalgic Train Show Visit

The Pennsylvania Line

Detail of old Penn Station

A row of houses - I didn't record the names

When my sons were younger we went to the New York Botanical Garden almost every weekend. One of the highlights was the annual train show in the conservatory with models of New York City landmarks. This weekend we revisited the old tradition.

The models are made entirely of botanical elements such as leaves, twigs, acorns, walnut shells, dried flowers, etc. It's an impressive show, even for adults, but the childlike ability to be transfixed by the trains for hours at a time is gone. We were done in about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Favorite Things

Assignment for the photography club that I advise at school. Tough subject, I could have spent a little more time on this one but there's that word again, time.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

B-Sides: NYC Skyline

My head is full - even when I make the time to go out all I can think about is work. This was taken a few weeks ago looking south. You can barely make out the new One World Trade Center, the bright building a bit left of center with the spire on top.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

B-Sides: Amy's Bread

A great little bakery & coffee shop in Hell's Kitchen (they have 2 other locations now, but this was the original). What makes them great, in addition to their substantial skills:
We serve the New York City area, and make all of our freshly baked products every day.  We don’t parbake and freeze, and we don’t pre-package our items.  We believe that the best bread and pastries are made in the Old World way - by hand and enjoyed within hours of being freshly baked!
And the leftovers that don't get eaten within hours?
Every day we donate our extra bread to Fountain House and City Harvest (8000 lbs per month gathered from our 3 stores!).

Monday, September 2, 2013

Re-post: Union Man

Union Man

Happy Labor Day and a salute to labor unions. President Obama gave a speech today commemorating the occasion without using the word "unions." It has become a dirty word in our politics, and unions are becoming less and less powerful, such that even democrats are slinking away from them.

This picture is from the Occupy Wall Street series I did a couple of years ago, when they still occupied Zuccotti Park.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

B-sides: Electrical Conduit

Limited shooting at the moment, so I thought I'd throw in some shots that I considered and rejected from recent walks. As with old 45's, occasionally the B-sides are better than the A-sides, so maybe some of these will resonate.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bus Terminal

Another frequent subject of mine, the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. I just like the clean sky and warm evening sun at the right position to open up the shadows a bit under the overhang. From Saturday.

Back to school this week, so posting will become sporadic again. I hope to avoid going completely offline this time around.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

International Street Photographers Day

It's not what I do, but for the occasion I bit the bullet. To borrow from Charles Darwin, I felt like I was committing murder. OK, a little over the top maybe - more like theft.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Niagara 2008

I was looking for something else in response to s.c.'s post today, but I couldn't find anything publishable. I did find this from our 2008 trip to Niagara Falls, a shot I didn't think much of at the time but now I kinda like it - not really sharp, taken from a boat, but I sharpened as much as I could, hopefully not overly so.

Monday, August 19, 2013


It's been a while since I posted any signs, and here it was really just an excuse to get in the color of that painted brick.