Saturday May 21, 2011

WARREN CONNECTICUT – Most of the bushes and shrubs around our Warren house flower at some point between April and July, and everything turns invitingly green during this period. From a photographic standpoint it’s a little bit of a distraction because I doubt that MOMA or Pace will be showing any dynamic new photographers specializing in flowering shrubs any time soon. But nonetheless this pretty conventional landscape is hard to resist, so I spent the weekend wandering around with my Alpa and Hasselblad digital back.

Shade Warren CT
Shade Warren CT

On this day one year ago: Walking back from lunch. The restaurant that I mentioned in this post last year closed with no notice under mysterious circumstances. They just put a sign out saying they were closed. They had received excellent reviews and were always packed. The rumor mill suggests that it was something to do with the owner’s divorce or a litigation involving employee tips. Too bad.

Manhattan

Thursday March 17, 2011

NEW YORK NEW YORK – St. Patricks Day. Why am I not out photographing the parade? After all that’s what I did on St. Patricks Day last year. Well there are couple of reasons. For me a parade is interesting if you have a privileged point of view. For example as a participant or from a high vantage point. I haven’t arranged for either this year. Absent that sometimes the most compelling images can be found by looking in the opposite direction from the parade and focus on the spectators – ground that I covered last year. But the truth is I was too busy to get out.

I did find an hour to experiment further with exploring the limitations of my Hasselblad 60 meg back on an Alpa 12 Max technical camera. Today’s assignment was to see how this combination works with focus stacking – a technique of combining images taken at various focus distances into one image, all parts of which are in focus. There is a software tool, called Helicon Focus, that makes this possible. The following image, taken in our living room, was made by combining six images with focus points from the close edge of the table to the burned out area in the room on the upper right. I used a laser distometer to measure the distances. Technical cameras like the Alpa 12 Max don’t come with focusing aids or light meters. The detail, depth and pliability of the images from this combination are remarkable. I’ll be doing more of these.

At home
At home

On this day one year ago: Guess what? St. Patricks Day Parade.

St. Patrick's Day Parade
St. Patrick's Day Parade

Friday December 17, 2010

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – I’ve taken advantage of a Hasseblad offer the upgrade my H3D-39 to the latests H4D-60. That’s a medium format system with 60 megs of resolution. I’ve spent a fair amount of time working with a piece of equipment called HTS 1.5 and the new camera – it adds the ability to tilt and shift lenses (as one can on a view camera). The HTS 1.5 provides 18mm of shift in either direction. So theoretically f you do three images, one centered, one with the lens shifted all the way left and the other shifted all the way right, in portrait orientation, and stitch them, you end up with a frame in landscape orientation with a perfect 2×3 aspect ratio and pixel dimensions of 12,762 x 8,488, for a whopping 108 megs. Nice but does this actually work?

The image below was captured with the Hasselblad 100mm lens and the HTS 1.5 – three images with the HTS 1.5 shifted as above and stitched in Photoshop.

Out our window

Here’s a 1:1 crop from the left side of the image – the Robert Kennedy Bridge (formerly the Triborough Bridge) at night.

Robert Kennedy Bridge
Robert Kennedy Bridge

This is very impressive – I’m going to have some fun with this thing.

On this day last year: Shopping on Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue
Shopping on Fifth Avenue

Saturday October 16, 2010

WARREN, CONNECTICUT – This is the first anniversary of my One Photo Every Day Blog. We’re in Connecticut (without electricity) and the fall foliage is if anything better than ever, so my photography this weekend is fixated on it. Here’s foliage in early morning light. Three frames stitched, taken with my Leica M9 and a 90 mm Elmarit lens.

Connecticut fall foliage

I’ve decided from this point on to experiment with putting in links to last year’s post from the same date:
On this date one year ago: October 16, 2009

My first post after a frustrating month sorting out blog technology was an image of the Jean DeBuffet sculpture at One Chase Manhattan Plaza.

Jean DuBuffet "Four Trees" One Chase Manhattan Plaza

Here are a couple of more from October 16, 2010 – since it’s my anniversary I’m giving myself a break from the editorial chore of sorting pictures down to one. We ran into an old friend, Lane Smith, at a book signing for his book, It’s a Book, at the Hickory Stick Bookstore in Washington, Connecticut Here are couple of links of interest: Lane’s video version of the It’s a Book, which ironically went viral. And Hickory Stick Bookshop. Shot with my Leica M9 and a 1954 50mm Dual Range Summicron.

Lane Smith book signing

Finally, more foliage. Leica M9 plus 35mm Summicron v. IV. Two frames stitched.

Connecticut Foliage