NNEW YORK NEW YORK – A busy day of meetings. II got home and still hadn’t taken my picture (except one iPhone image from a meeting but I decided that it would be unprofessional to post it to the web. So I set up my Sony Nex-7 on a tripod in the dark with a wide lens (the 15mm Voigtlander) and did an image of out living room, draped with drop cloths, illuminated only by the light coming through the windows.
On this day last year: sunrise out my window.
Sunrise out my window
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’ve operated for a few days on the theory that the point of this exercise (a daily photo blog) is to document my daily life. A visual diary. Ok. So here’s a picture taken with my Panasonic while waiting for a red light. I may have to give this a bit more thought. Maybe it’s a Friday the 13th effect.
Driving to Connecticut
On this day one year ago: Hell’s Kitchen.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – Boxing Day. Curiously I shot the same subject one year ago. This time I selected a different angle and camera, my Alpa Max with a short-mount 120 mm Schneider lens and a tilt adapter. Tilting is a view camera feature that is available for longer Alpa lenses. It permits tilting the lens and thus the focus plane, to either extend or shorten apparent depth of field. Here I have used it to keep the top of the sundial and the wall and the trees in the background in focus. It can be a tedious iterative process to get focus right with this technique; there are rules of thumb that help; there’s also an iPhone app that gives you a very good starting point. What I don’t like about this image is a mental mistake on my part: cutting off the bottom of the sundial.
On this day last year: Sundial.
NEW YOEK NEW YORK – I spent some time this afternoon at Yancey Richardson looking at photographs, primarily by Andrew Moore. The experience was energizing. When I started this daily photo effort over two years ago I expected that a number of longer term projects would emerge. Looking at Andrew’s work and paging back through mine I’ve decided to push on the churches of Litchfield County project. I see a couple of phases, starting with taking an inventory of facades, making high quality prints as a means to get closer to the ministers/rectors/priests, doing more in depth studies (which I’ve only done at the Washington Congregational Church at this point), teasing out the narrative (which I have some ideas on but need further work to refine) and then more follow through studies.
But today I’m not in Litchfield County so I point my Alpa Max out our window into good light. I’m working to achieve technical mastery with this tool – it’s the key to creating the kinds of images that I’m looking for in Litchfield County. By “technical mastery” I mean that my hands do the right things without an need to think about anything but composition.
Out my window in good light
On this date one year ago: Urban landscape.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – More fussing around with my new iPhone 4S. I tried my classic out my window brick wall torture test, shooting with the phone braced against a window sill to approximate the effect of being on a tripod. I used the “HDR” (high dynamic range) mode given the phone’s tendency to blow highlights and the long dynamic range of the scene. It turns out that this was a mistake – on close inspection there are ugly white bands where the buildings meet the sky. After a bit of digging online I came to the conclusion that Apple dramatically over sharpens in HDR mode – so for future reference I’ll be avoiding it. Later in the evening I shot a Martini at the Monkey Bar – odd that this famous bar serves a Martini in a sherry glass. Whatever . . .
Out my window
The next installment in my 1999 24-houe self portrait project – this one from 12:08 AM on February 14, 1999. As always taken with an Arca Swiss 8×10 inch view camera.
12:08 AM February 14, 1999
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Francesca has a new hat. This and the Triborough Bridge shot at the golden hour (which is particularly golden this time of year) were shot with my Panasonic GH-2. This is my kit for snapshots and for long lenses.
Francesca has a new hat
On this day one year ago: kitchen reorganization.
WASHINGTON CONNECTICUT – We spent the day on Lake Waramaug. Here is a friend’s Nash Metropolitan, a cottage on the lake that we’ve rented for the summer, and three friends in our boat, all taken with my Alpa TC, 35mm Schneider XL lens and Phase One IQ 180 back,
Cottage on the lake
On this day last year: The David Sheldrick animal orphanage outside of Nairobi.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A long day in the office. I caught this out the window in a moment of lovely light with my Leica M9 and 24mm Summilux lens.
On this day one year ago: Porto Seguro, Brazil. This isn’t bad for a travel day. Maybe I should just stop whining about travel days make the most of them.
Porto Seguro Airport
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – While I was in Africa Phase One released a firmware update to the IQ 180 back that enables “live view”, the ability to view on the back’s lcd screen what the camera is seeing in real time. Live view is commonplace in consumer cameras, which use CMOS technology, but is difficult to implement in medium format cameras which use CCD technology. I downloaded the update and installed it and voila it worked. Live view is a boon to technical camera users because it permits composition on the back’s lcd monitor while using shifts. I set the back up on my Alpa Max with my 72mm Schneider Digitar and took the following out my window (with the back shifted up 15mm and to the right 17mm),
New York Rooftop
On this day last year: Trancoso at night.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Back to New York – that was a genuinely quick trip to attend a wedding. Still a bit under the weather. Francesca noticed a quite cruddy looking rash on my legs and had nagged me to see a doctor, which I’ll do tomorrow morning.
I installed new firmware in my Hasselblad back. I did an out-my-window test, stitching two frames shifted to the left and the right on my Alpa Max, to see if the firmware cures the “centerfolding” issue that’s apparent when this back is used shifted on a technical camera. It didn’t – note the vertical line in the sky on the right side of the image:
On this day one year ago: fundraiser at the Litchfield Community Center.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – Out my window, taken with my Panasonic GR2 and 14 – 140 zoom lens. Two exposures, one for the skyline and one for the moon. I hand tipped the correct moon exposure in Photoshop. Still feeling poorly so I’m resorting to out my window stuff to meet my one photo every day objectiive.
Moonrise over Manhattan
On this day one year ago: Boston public art.
WARREN CONNECTICUT – It poured all day. These are actually pretty good conditions for intimate details of the Northeastern landscape. I captured this in our garden with my Alpa TC and a 35mm Schneider Digitar lens. That’s Basil, our Norwich Terrier, putting his nose in the picture.
On this day one year ago: Friends in Mustique.
Judy and Doug
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – I’m spending a lot of time trying to get my Hasselblad back to produce acceptable images in my Alpa Max. Hasselblad claims, accurately, that their “closed” system creates a high level of integration between the camera, lenses, the digital back and software. The system produces sensational images but Hasselblad is evidently not committed to doing the work to make their digital back work on a “technical” camera, like the Alpa Max. Most Hasselblad shooters don’t care about this – technical cameras are of primary interest to landscape and architectural shooters, people who want the highest performance wide angle lenses and those want to create immense high resolution images with a technique called “planar stitching”. It turns out that a technical camera like the Alpa Max (and its little brother the Alpa TC) fit my style and interests perfectly.
Putting a digital back on a tech camera general results in undesirable color shifts across the frame, which within limits can be corrected by software. The Hasselblad files also show a line down the center of the image ( a phenomenon called “centerfolding”) when the lens is shifted relative to the back on the tech camera. I spent most of the day shooting out my window trying to find the limits to this issue and looking for a solution. Here’s the view from my dining room window – it’s a two frame planar stitch. I’ve cropped the sky out because that’s where the centerfolding issue is most evident. Not a distinguished photograph but this view out my window is very useful for testing lenses, backs and techniques.
Out my window
On this day one year ago: Portrait at Martha McPhee’s party.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’m writing this about a week after I took the picture for May 16. The one week delay in posting gives me a chance to sort through images hopefully making an non-rushed decision on what to post. The scene out my window was the same as it was then and has been unchanged all month. We’ve had the rainiest May in memory. It’s as if the weather system has its coasts mixed up – you might expect this in Seattle but not here. This is three frames stitched with my Leica M9 and 135mm APO Telyt.
Rooftops in the fog
On this day one year ago: farm stand.
PRINCETON NEW JERSEY and NEW YORK – I started the day with a series of meetings; moved back to my office where I caught a window washer out of my window; then on to Princeton where I spoke at the Princeton Photography Club – a serious group of people and a lot of fun.
This is from the Princeton campus. Not much going on here creatively (I was rushed) but at least is shows off my Alpa TC, 36mm Schneider lens and 60 meg Hasselblad back.
As noted above here’s a window washer and the Chrysler building captured with my Leica M9 and a 28 mm Summicron lens.
On this day last year: one of my many “Hello Kitty” images.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I have better days and worse days. This was one of the better. Sometimes it is enough just to go through your routine day with a camera in hand. It helps that it’s Spring. I met Francesca (our daughter) at J. McLaughlin where she was picking up a birthday present for her fiance, and for a coffee.
the way regular visitors (thanks to all of you) may notice that I’ve changed the galleries to the right. I’ve added a collection pulled together from the Litchfield County Connecticut churches that I’ve been exploring for the last 16 months, and a series of timed exposures taken out of the window of a high speed train in China. Let me know what you think.
These were taken with my Panasonic GH2 and the wonderful 14mm pancake lens
Same setup. I’m using a crop of this as my blog header.
East 95th Street
On this day last year: Bill Cohan and Maria at the Pen gala.
Maria Campbell and William Cohan