Manhattan From the Brooklyn Promenade
Washington DC, 22 March 2019 I went to New York last week to see Donna Gottschalk's Photographic Show Brave Beautiful Outlaws and to do a little shopping. The show was wonderful on a number of levels. Partly because some of the portraits are really strong, partly because I remembered some of the pictures from the time in spite of Gottschalk's disclaimer that they weren't widely distrubuted, and partly because I was on the edge of that community at the time and had dear friends in it. I was actually on the edge of at least three of the communities depicted, lesbians, political activists, and back yard aircooled Volkswagen mechanics!
I also went to check out wide angle lenses to replace my current 20mm lens, which is a little soft in the corners. There aren't that many candidates! Canon has a number of zooms as well as the prime lens I have now, but the reviews indicate I wouldn't get an improvement with them, so I was pushed to expensive third party lenses with Canon mounts. I rented the 25mm Zeiss Distagon from the Adorama rental base in Brooklyn and shot with it in both color and black and white in the evening and then the next morning as I walked around Cobble Hill and across the Brooklyn Bridge (a first for me!) on my way to the Adorama retail store in Manhattan to return it. I'm very pleased with it, and I have one winging to me second hand from Japan. I was planning on posting a little gallery of the day's shots here, but there's still some work to do.
The photo above is the second iteration of a two frame inrared panorama that I made with it. My first successful attempt to manipulate local contrast in Photoshop, local in the sense of contrast within part of the range between darkest and lightest rather than the entire range as a unit. It needs another round of work to take out the visible break in contrast between the sitting man and the sitting woman. I'm not sure where that came from, but I think it's an artifact of the boundry between the first and second frame that make up the stitch. Regardless, I'll have to darken that stripe so the eye doesn't hang on it. The center of the photo should be a bit to the right where the perspective bends. And, meanwhile, bring up the rest of the pictures from a very good photographic morning.
The Flamingo Hotel, Las Vegas
Washington DC, 20 March 2019 I mentioned Las Vegas in my last post, so I wanted to show that I did in fact spend the weekend in Marie Osmand's hair. As far as I can tell, Julee's and my hotel room was really right there behind her big '70s do. Beloved cousins Joy and Lex were getting married so we stayed at The Flamingo with the rest of the wedding party. It's an old, and surprisingly spare hotel, in spite of being completely rebuilt to replace the original Flamingo, which opened in 1946 and launched the Las Vegas strip. I don't know how many construction workers died in the project, but one gangster, Bugsy Siegal, famously did, reputedly because the casino hotel didn't bring in the money big enough and fast enough for his crime world partners.
Las Vegas Room 1 So, here's the afternoon view from the big hair. The moiré pattern on the window is an artifact of the appliqué that makes up the banner on the front of the hotel.
The Flamingo's Flamingos It couldn't be the Flamingo Hotel without flamingos, could it? This shot is a three frame vertical panorama to get the flamingos, the palms, and The Flamingo all in one picture.
Ice, Washington Channel
Las Vegas, 9 March 2019 A recent image, just to give the blog post a bit of interest. I took this picture at the beginning of February during next to last cold spell, the last one long enough to bring real snow and ice, although it wasn't as real as all that and melted quickly. Today, I'm looking at a definite warming trend in the ten day forcast for Washington D.C. Not that it couldn't get cold again, but we are well into March, and the Park Service is predicting the peak of the cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin at the beginning of April, right on time, and just before I head back to Nepal to trek to Gyoko Lakes.
And, I'm gathering myself up to make the next big leap in the design of this website, learning what the industry calls responsive web design, which is a big deal if you're trying to reach an audience that might be using a computer or a big tablet, a smaller tablet, or a cell phone to read your website. What's perfect for one can be really off for others. One thing, of course, is to simplify the design so that everything's in line for the small device users, so, little to no wrapping text, nor images justified (floated, in the specialist jargon) left or right. There is a simple addition that greatly improves the relationship between image size and text size on the page depending on the device, and I've added that to many of my gallery pages and will add it to every page of this site once I'm back in my high bandwith home. But, I think I can also tweak the size of the images on the page, but will have to learn some more coding for that. More anon! (Later...)