CHICAGO ILLINOIS – My daughter, Francesca, brought me here for a combined birthday/fathers day present: dinner tonight at Aiinea, currently number 9 on the San Peligrino list of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Much of the weekend was spent stuck in the air transport system as a result of weather delays. Today’s image could have been anywhere – we didn’t have time for any of the iconic Chicago places.
Day 1,703 of one photograph every day for the rest of my life.
JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA – Where I grew up (check out my biography – it’s Utah) the highest praise that your could lavish on a restaurant was “Well they’ve got a pretty good steak there.” So I’m right at home here having a pretty good steak for dinner. I captured it with my iPhone.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – First an image with my Leica Monochrom and Luxochron lens, looking up in Manhattan in the early evening. This is a great setup for shooting Manhattan at night handheld. This can result in some nice images particularly after the end of daylight savings time next week because it is dark at 6:00 when buildings are still full illuminated by lights in offices.
I joined some friends in going out to South Williamsburg for dinner at a restaurant called XiXa. Pronounced “shiksa” by the owner. No kidding. It was supposed to be a Southwestern dive but it turned out to be serious Asian-Mexican fusion at a very high level. A major upside surprise.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’ve got a lot going on, and on top of everything else today is the run up to a travel day – I’m flying th Munich tomorrow to meet Maria (who is at the Frankfurt Book Fair) to be her spa buddy for a week. I settled for some of our home grown tomatoes today (rotten spot and all), with a Leica Monochrom and Luxochron lens.
On this day last year: Pumpkins. Hmmm . . . this is a vegetables kind of time of year.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – We gave up on Connecticut for the weekend. It was still raining as we packed up to leave last night. So here we are back in New York on Labor Day counting the minutes until tomorrow morning when I can take my throbbing jaw to the dentist.
This long weekend of trying to photograph while in serious pain has exposed an issue. I plan on running this daily blog project into the grave. But my equipment of choice, Leica, requires too much clarity and focus to operate successfully when in serious pain or otherwise impaired. Today a shot Maria and Francesca with my Monochrom and Luxochron but it was the wrong setup for a portrait and the lighting while conceptually correct had a serious problem (my body blocked the light) that I didn’t notice as I made the shot.
If I’m going to continue to shoot at least an image every day I need a simpler setup to use at times when I’m sick. Figuring this out is a project for the next few months.
I will also need to do simplified posts during periods impairment. Maybe just a place name and an image.
Anyway, here’s an out of focus poorly conceived image from our spice shelf from today. It’s all that I’ve got.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – I had busy day work-wise in Connecticut. Client confidentiality and my natural reticence preclude any discussion of what I’m doing, but I can say that there seems to be a lot of it. I had time for a couple of snapshots with my Fuji X100s. Before I leave the house or apartment I always pick up a camera take a test exposure or two to make sure that there is a memory card and that the battery is charged, and that the camera’s setting aren’t off somewhere in outer space. I delete most of these in editing, but occasionally a test shot is the best image for the day. Here you go with our dining room in Warren. Later in the evening we had dinner with our friends Barbara and Charlie Robinson. Charlie is a painter and for some reason he’s used the top of a wood burning stove in their kitchen as a palette.
Taken with my iPhone at a point when I was concerned that I might not have another picture for the day.
On this day one year ago: La Pizza Fresca, my favorite pizza joint in New York. It’s actually not a joint: ingredients are first rate and they make Neapolitan-stile thin crust pizza (the only style that I tolerate) in a wood fired oven. The wine list is remarkable. Here’s a picture of the key actor in the Pizza Fresca drama:
KENT CONNECTICUT – We had lunch with friends in Kent. I took my Leica S2, which is a very large camera – eccentrically so in an era of iPhones and professional photographers moving to mirrorless compacts. People didn’t seem to mind. Interestingly, even at web resolution you can see that the medium format S2 offers an advantage in three dimensionality and texture.
NEW HAVEN CONNECTICUT – We drove down to New Haven for the day – Maria is speaking at a publishing symposium and I’m catching up on the culinary wonders of New Haven and the redone Yale Art Gallery. Food-wise I decided to go for historical significance – I had lunch at Louis’ Lunch, where the Hamburger sandwich was invented in the late 1890s – there seems to be some confusion over the date. It’s still in a parking lot on Crown Street, but its now a tourist destination. No kidding. A tour bus was standing in front of it when I arrived. There are exactly three places at the counter, one table that seats six (that seemed to be occupied permanently by locals) and three pew-like contraptions with tiny tables. The burgers are still cooked on unique vertical cookers and served on lightly toasted wonder bread. The meat quality was indifferent. Not a place to return to.
TODI – Another good day for photography here. The only sunflower in Umbria (they are late blooming this year); road signs; a cemetery; Malaysian junk food; and our host in Todi. All taken with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm lens.
SAN CASSIANO – We’ve stayed two nights in this lovely town – in major part because of the marvelous hotel here, Rosa Alpini. We had a chance to get to know the owner, Hugo Pizzinini and his family, and Norbert Niederkofler, the Michelin two star chef who runs the restaurant in the hotel. All images taken with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm Summichron Asph. lens.
Hugo at a lunch that he provided in his family’s hut on the alp above San Cassiano.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I spent the morning working from home and getting myself sorted for our trip to Italy tomorrow. Photographically I used the quiet time to test my new Leica 50mm Summicron asph lens. We know that it’s very sharp at all f-stops shooting distant subjects. I confirmed that with some shots out my window which I haven’t posted because the difference doesn’t show up at web resolution. Around the apartment I shot a bunch of subjects close and wide open, test the character of the lens’s rendering of the out of focus background, the so-called “bokeh” of the lens. It turns out that the bokeh is neutral and rather pleasing (this is sometimes not the case with highly corrected lenses(. Here’s an example taken with my Leica M: