Checking the machinery after three years of silence. As for those three years, well: Some things, there are no words for.
One of a good number: Chinle, Arizona.
. . . particularly in August -- when the pavement bakes, the air is a haze, and it is not possible to walk more than one block without smelling urine that you hope but don't believe is just from somebody's dog -- that this place is also beautiful.
An old photo I neglected to post at the time of its capture:
My cellphone's special assignment as go-to device for deliberately screwy panoramic pictures of the subway continues:
As this blog transitions to photo-only mode, it may be time for me to finish editing my spring break photos already. The Portugal photos are slow going, but I've got the UK photos going at a steady clip. Some examples:
Thames by night, variation 1 of a kajillion:
The westernmost point in Europe, the place my contact lens committed suicide by leaping into the sea, and one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. With one eye.
I really need to replace my sadly defunct digital camera. I can't afford it, but on the other hand, I can't afford to have all of my artistic expression** filtered exclusively through my cameraphone.
** This no doubt sounds high-falutin'. I would like to note that calling it artistic expression in no way constitutes a statement as to the quality of what I produce.
I still haven't edited the photos from my trip out to Walla Walla. Or from my nephew's birthday. Or my Mom's birthday. Or . . . well, I've got a lot of editing to do.
To get started, some everyday shots from around town.
First, the best thing ever:
Below are some informal shots I rattled off on my cameraphone. I've been using its panoramic function the anticipated way and also toying around with it to stitch together noncontiguous/in-motion photos, usually as I ride the subway.
My subway chronicles:
Also seen around:
The poles of the gun debate encapsulated:
More fun with sign disrepair:
I have many, many, MANY photos of the Grand Canyon. But the most interesting ones are below: the ones of the storm that flew over us twice during our afternoon there. There were two strange things about it:
1. Because the canyon is so immense, we could see different, sunshiny weather seemingly not far away.
2. It frickin' TUNNELED. As Alanna said, "I'm no weatherologist, but isn't that a tornado?"
Incidentally, the dappling storm phenomenon put "King of the Mountain" by Midnight Oil in my head for the rest of the trip--"Bad storm coming, better run to the top of the mountain / Mountain in the shadow and light, rain in the valley below".
Stage 1: Looming overhead.
Stage 2: Tunneling.
Stage 3: No, seriously, it's tunneling. But note the sunshine in the distance on the lower left.
My sister and I just got back from a fun-filled trip to Las Vegas, the city where you cannot possibly be dressed inappropriately, in either direction. Brace yourself for a slow trickle of photos from our adventure. Sure, I could just load 'em up without culling or correcting, but then you, gentle reader, would have to sift through the crap. That is not as it should be. As I recently found myself crying out by the light of a tiki torch, "Not editing is wrong!"
And so, with that warning out of the way, we begin.
We spot these in some gift shop at the Mirage.
They want your soul.
I yelp, "Aiyee!" Alanna says, "You can't just leave those out! You have to put up a sign or something!"
Then Alanna tries to make one of them even more frightening. She fails.
I did a rather spur-of-the-moment walk over the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, and then just kinda kept going until I was most of the way home.
--There were flood lights on at South Street and at the base on the Brooklyn side, so the whole thing looked different than usual
--It was freezing (literally) so there weren't many people out
--I walked 4.5 miles!
--That 4.5 miles was in improper footwear.
--I left my digital camera in my friend's car on NYE, and I keep forgetting to get it back, so I only had my cell phone's camera to snap away with. All that dramatic lighting went to waste!
Results, such as they are:
Strange shadows on the first tower:
Lights between the two towers:
Being a strange shadow on the second tower. I love my hat:
Quite the revelation, I know.
Anyway, what was meant to be a quick stroll through Prospect Park turned out to be a very long photo session. Because all of the following things are wrong with me:
-- I can't just see a duck. I have to look for its duck and geese friends!
-- If I have a camera, I have to photograph all of them
-- When near a lake, i have to take photos every three feet as the vista changes
-- Similarly, during a sunset, I have to take photos every 45 seconds as the light changes
-- If the moon is out, I have to shoot it in every damn segment of the frame
-- If the moon is out amongst trees . . . oh, forget it, I go on forever
-- Like most photo nerds, I bracket my exposures
-- Unlike many photo nerds, I also go beyond bracketing and just screw around with exposures to see what I can make appear from seemingly drab subjects
Well, this walk through the park was basically the perfect storm of my photo spasticity. Ducks! A lake! Sunset! A moon visible before and after! I'm lucky to have emerged without smoke coming out of the lens.
The very much culled results can be found by clicking on one of the ducks below:
But I should still remember to take my digicam or SLR around with me. This is getting ridiculous.
Pics from yesterday's walk through Prospect Park.
One of the bigass trees by the Long Meadow.
When the craigslist apartment hunting must pause and I'm in need of a wind-down activity before slumber, the hobby this summer has been (as seen once before) making photos look like comic book panels. Stupid? Sure. But FUN.
The most recent samples are below; there are many, many more where these came from.
My cameraphone, while possessed of some reasonable limitations, is startlingly good for, you know, a bonus feature on a cellphone.
For fun times with the W600's panoramic mode, see below. Some images I intensified in Photoshop, but all images were stitched together by the camera, not on the computer (hence some imperfections). I also didn't do more than one effect on any image. And all of these are half-size.
Pretty damn cool.
The full spectacularrrr:
I've gone over the bridge a number of times in the last year, but haven't done the dedicated photowalking/blogging. As part of a larger "yes, everything went to hell last year, but so goddamn what" campaign, the copious photographing resumes.
Yesterday's tack: underexposing to bring color to a blah, washed out sky.
Other pics of the Madison trip are here. Luckily for you, I took no pictures of the conference I was attending. Otherwise, it'd be all fluorescent light, strange hair, and distressingly unsupportive bras as far as the eye can see.
My observations on the city itself:
-- Drivers are quite courteous to pedestrians
-- The lake shores are lovely
-- Lots of blue eyes
-- Nice farmers' market
All in all, a nice place with (going by a brief sampling and posters) fun music. And it was thoroughly salutary to be outside of my daily life for a spell.
My personal assignment to see the same thing in different ways continues. (So I am ignoring the suggestion that Monkey Pants, aka my sister, made in comment to my previous entry. But not out of spite.) Bless Daylight Savings for making it easier.
Also, Veronica Mars was awesome last night.
. . . of ways to take photos of the same place without taking the same photo. Good thing I hit this week's walk around sunset instead of when it was already dark.
This had the added benefit of getting me home in time to see the contestants on America's Next Top Model lose their shit after erroneously assuming that one woman's rash was--what else?--flesh-eating, pneumonia-causing bacteria. That was some great TV. Thank you, Tyra Banks. May you go from strength to strength.
Anyway, before I settled down to bask in ANTM's awesomeness, I did my weekly walk home over the bridge. Stay tuned for next week, when my increasingly desperate bids for photo variation will probably have me taking photos of angry, oncoming cyclists in the bike lane.
Ah, the moon over Brooklyn. It is like the moon over any other place--beautiful--only you can't get a photo of it without cars wrecking the shot. It continues to surprise me how much I edit out of my perception when I'm looking without a camera; I know the cars are there, of course, but I see the brownstones, trees, and moon. Put a lens on it and BAM! It's crapass Corollas for miles.
Anyway, following DeGraw from Fourth to Fifth Aves. on my way home Friday, I made a valiant, traffic-defying attempt to capture the lovely evening.
Pardon the ripped-off Adrienne Kennedy quotation. Especially since its only applicability is that all of the photos I took on today's Brooklyn Bridge walk were black and white compositions.
We've got yer basic moon through the cables shot:
And yer folks walking over the bridge with Brooklyn behind them and the Manhattan Bridge to the north:
Aaaaand we've got the first album cover for The Adairdevils. (Album forthcoming once musical talent attained.)
Though my previous entry is dated the 13th, the photos were taken walking home on the 11th. Thus my walking over the bridge today constitutes adherence to my recently announced policy; I'm good until at least next Friday. Considering the sad fate of other resolutions I have made--I will only read books that challenge me! I will be a better correspondent! I will not plot coups!--this is remarkable progress indeed.
Fewer photos, though, and only one worth posting. It was cold, dammit.
At least once a week, I will walk home over the Brooklyn Bridge from at least the City Hall stop (I don't think I can make myself go past Canal Street and remain sane). Sure, the photos I take will be shaky, since I haven't mastered setting the shutter speed on my (recently acquired) digital camera, there are cars rumbling beneath, and, for now at least, it's fucking freezing without gloves. But it's one of the few places to be thoroughly in the city without a full-blown crowd around, and with proper timing, I'm there as the sky changes colors. Even on rather crappy weather days, as below, it's beautiful and keeps the psychosis at bay.
The Gates were every bit as cool as they were intended and reputed to be. And since we went into the park up in Harlem, the crowd was merely bustling rather than insane.
I got a swatch, so I think I may now consider myself the object of near-universal envy.