Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sing Dance Laugh Play

From Times Square -- click to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Today's photo is a candid from Times Square. :) Click to enlarge.

NYC Skyline at Dawn

*edit 9/11/06*

NYC at Dawn

New York Skyline at dawn a few weeks ago, from directly across from where the twin towers used to be (Lower Manhattan is at the far right in the photo; this was shot from Jersey City). Click the image to enlarge it in a new window -- but be aware, this image is over 7000 pixels wide -- this is a very large image!

If you would like to duplicate this image yourself, here's how to do it. Wake up early, then head to the PATH station in Jersey City. To the north, you will find a pier. Walk out onto the pier. This is your vantage point. Use a medium to telephoto lens and mount it on a tripod. Focus to infinity. Shoot the photo in segments; it took me 8 segments in all to capture the whole horizon. Do this quickly and shoot in RAW if you can. When done, head home and open them all in Photoshop CS2. Stitch them manually together (or use a stitching program), being careful to adjust each layer so that the lighting matches. Save, and viola! NYC's skyline is especially suited for this sort of treatment, as the large body of water (Hudson) prevents any foreground elements from giving parallax errors. At 200dpi, this thing prints at freakin' 10 FEET wide. :)

NYC Skyline at Night

WARNING! This panorama is roughly 5000 pixels wide and 500k+ in size. If you're using dialup or an old computer, this may be slow to load. :) Click to enlarge this huuuuge panorama of NYC at night in a new window: *EDIT* -- rehosted, should work now.

New York at Night

This was taken just a short while after the panorama that I posted earlier. It was a beautiful, beautiful night in NYC. :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chinatown Merchant

This is a candid of a merchant on a streetcorner in Chinatown. Click to enlarge.

Young & Old

Candid from Chinatown. Click to enlarge.

Monday, August 28, 2006


A candid from Times Square. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cab flock

This is a long exposure from atop the Empire State building of a flock of cabs driving down a busy street. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Old train station

This is an old train station we found in Jersey City -- it's adjacent to the site where you catch the ferry over to Ellis Island. Click to enlarge.

Friday, August 25, 2006

High dining

This was shot near a skyscraper adjacent to the construction going on at the WTC in New York City. Click to enlarge.


A streetvendor near Little Italy in New York City. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

By popular request

So, my dad's been hounding me for the photo of Christina Aguilera I took. I warned him that it's not that great, and I wasn't kidding, but here it is anyway:

Nothing special about it -- this is just her hello to the mob of screaming preteens who collect around the set of MTV's TRL. Click to enlarge.


While I was snapping sunrise photos at the pier, this man showed up and began praying. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fish story

People in New York fish in the Hudson (despite warning from the EPA, local authorities, etc, that they'll be mad as hatters if they eat too many tasty quicksilver-filled fish), and this guy is one of them. Here he's telling my dad just how large some of the fish get. :) Click to enlarge in a new window.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New York panorama at dusk

Hi, Digg!

Hi Reddit!

Note: You need to click this to enlarge the photo in a new window. However, this image is HUGE (several thousand pixels wide), so if your computer is faint of heart, don't click the image. :)

NYC at Dusk

This was shot from Jersey City, which sits just across from lower Manhattan. To find this vantage point, head to the New Jersey PATH terminal (the one named Exchange Place -- some Diggers pointed out that there are several), then walk north until you come to a pier in front of the Hyatt. This is the view from that pier.

This is actually shrunk down quite a bit; the original is almost 25,000 pixels wide.

**edit** Q&A time! I've had a bunch of questions about the technical details of this shot, so, here goes!

This is a panoramic stitch of 8 photographs. They were taken with a Canon EOS 20D using a Sigma 70-200 2.8 telephoto lens set to 70mm. The lens was tripoded, and each shot was shot using a cable release. I shot it RAW and processed the using Adobe Photoshop CS2. I stiched them using Adobe's stitching utility, however I set everything to manual and did it in layers, as the Photoshop stitcher had a hard time figuring out what to do with the color changes in the sky over time. I processed each layer individually so that the colors would match up, and then overlapped them and then painted layer opacity screens over the edges to make it as seamless as possible. (There are actually spots where the edges don't line up so hot, but I tried to keep those spots in the sky/water so it's harder to tell. :)) I actually have two more versions of this, one at dawn and one at night. :)

Why HDR?

Here's an interesting comparison of the same scene shot with two photographic methods. The first was shot traditionally, metering for the sky. The second was shot using HDR (previous experiments here, here, here, here, here, and here), a photographic technique that involves tripoding the camera and taking photographs of the same scene again and again at different shutter speeds (to capture as much dynamic range -- light values -- as possible) and then combining them with an algorithm (I use Photoshop's). Once combined, you tone the photo as you normally would. The strength of HDR is that it allows the photographer to capture a wide range of light values without using gradiated filters. It actually beats filters handily, as filters are nowhere near as detailed in their masking as an algorithm can be. So, #1, normal, #2 HDR, click to enlarge:



This was a shot of the NYC skyline at sunrise. Sunrise behind buildings is a great candidate for HDR, as light of the sky is so much brighter than the light on the face of the buildings, as the light hitting the face of the buildings is only the light that refracts in the atmosphere and reflects off of the surrounding terrain. However, our eyes and brains are sensitive and smart enough to still resolve color and detail on the buildings while resolving the detail in the sky, too -- but our cameras are not. Well, not without a little help. :)

Ron Fricke homage

This is an HDR shot of southern Manhattan at night. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Snakes on a mother$%#&^*% plane!

So, I was walking around Times Square today when...

Don't ask me, man. It's a small world. Click to enlarge.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The end

So, that's all my D.C. photos! One heck of a productive trip, with a good dozen or so photos worth enlarging and matting up. Hopefully my next trip will be as fun and photogenic!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


This is the statue of Justice outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Click to enlarge.

The grid

This is looking up at a skyscraper in Rosslyn, Virginia. I liked the pattern the windows made when spatially compressed. :) Click to enlarge.


You'd be surprised how much wildlife there is in a big city like D.C.! The birds are pretty talented scavengers, too -- they camp out near outdoor resturants, they camp out near benches, and no scrap ever hits the ground in D.C. for more than 10 seconds before a bird swoops down, picks it up, and flies it off to the nest.


Today's photo is of a D.C. tourist getting her bearings. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feeding the ducks

Today's second photo (I'm trying to get the rest sent before my trip to Rhode Island) is of a kid feeding the ducks in Washington, D.C. Click to enlarge.


Okay, I guess I had a duck thing in D.C. :) Click to enlarge.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Pictures on a Platter

I went out to Mahoney State park (here in Nebraska) yesterday, on the advice of Lanette, who went out there last week and had a pretty fun time taking photos. There's a lot to do at Mahoney, but mostly I just wanted to climb the couple-hundred foot observation tower and wait for the sunset. As it turned out, the sunset wasn't that spectacular, as the tower is positioned to the south, not the east or west of the Platte. As you can see, the Platte's looking pretty dry this year, but that doesn't stop the fan-boaters. Click to enlarge any photo in a new window.

American Indian Art Museum

I missed yesterday, so here's a twofer! These are shots of the interior of the American Indian art museum in Washington, D.C., located on the national mall. A very, very well thought out building! Click to enlarge.


Today's photo is of a string of phones at the Smithsonian Air & Space hangar near Dulles. I know -- hard to believe they still make payphones, huh?! Click to enlarge.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Today's photo is of a duck -- I know, not the most exciting or good picture, but I think there's something funny about they way they drink water. :) Click to enlarge.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Today's photo of the day is of a group of skyscrapers near the Key Bridge in Rosslyn, Virginia. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Business end

Today's photo is of the business end of the space shuttle Enterprise. The shuttle is, by itself, worth the trip out to the new Smithsonian hangar! Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Strike a pose!

Today's photo is of a duck in the reflecting pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This little guy seemed to like having his picture taken! Click to enlarge.