Saturday, February 28, 2009

Martha, My Dear...

Martha My DearFor the last few weeks, I've been walking to work on Portland Street, a renovated residential street in West Baltimore just west of the Camden Yards stadium. One day, I saw this nice-looking sheepdog sitting on the back of a sofa in the window of one of the handsome brick rowhouses.

Of course, being a Beatles fan, I instantly dubbed her(?) Martha.

So I look for "Martha" every day, but usually don't see her. Luckily, on Thursday, I not only saw her, but also had my DSLR with me. Martha doesn't share my affection for her; she barks when she sees me. But she settelled down long enough for me to take this peaceful image.

By the way, Martha is a very bright dog - a graduate of Virginia Tech. Besides the Tech decal on the window, Martha also sports a Tech collar - if you look closely, you can just see a bit of Virginia Tech maroon around her neck.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I-95 Wildlife

Raging SeagullAn aggressive seagull gives me the stink-eye and a squawk to warn me to stay away from the bit of bagel that I dropped for him. Some gratitude.

To take a photo like this, you have to get down... literally get down, as in lie down on your stomach. To the delight of some and the puzzlement of others who were going in and out of the Cheasapeake House rest stop on I-95.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blue Screen

Steve Rosenbach 'Blue Screen' Self-PortraitMy fabulous students from the Adult Hebrew class I teach generously gave me an Amazon gift certificate last month, and what I ordered with that gift arrived tonight - this nifty Dolica Tripod and Ball Head

So having this nice new tripod to play with, I thought I'd try it out with a self-portrait. The ball head made precise positioning of my Canon XSi DSLR much easier than with my cheapinski "Best Buy Special" tripod. I used a wireless remote control to trigger the camera for what turned out to be a six-second exposure. The resulting image didn't show any camera shake, so I'm happy (of course, there was no wind and no tractor-trailers passing by in my family room...)

It's a very nice tripod for the money - lightweight, of course, but the ball-head is very secure, the legs are individually adjustable for angle at the "hip," and the center column is reversable for down-low shooting... features not often seen at this price point.

Monday, February 16, 2009


NomikiNomiki has the best food and nicest personality of any of the lunch wagons on the University of Maryland Baltimore campus. You'll find her every weekday at the corner of Lombard and Penn. Fortunately for me and my co-workers, less than a block from our office.

Great breakfast too... come hungry!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Queen Of Hearts

Queen of HeartsHappy Valentine's Day!

Quigley's 1/2 Irish Pub

Quigley's 1/2 Irish Pub - BaltimoreI've taken to walking to work via Portland Street lately. It's a nice residential street, lined with brick rowhouses that were nicely renovated some years ago.

I don't know what the "1/2 Irish" part is all about, but Quigley's is a nice place with good food and service.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Eklof & Co.

Eklof & Co - Baltimore, MDAn old side-of-the-building advertisement on Portland St., just west of Oriole Stadium at Camden Park.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pink Neon Time

Pink Neon TimeI took this photo of a neon-clad clock during a lunchtime stroll on an overcast day in 2003. It's one of my favorite photos, and proof that you don't need a fancy-schmantzy, gigapixel SLR to take a decent photo - I used my first digital camera, a Canon A40 Powershot with all of 2 megapixels.

Every time I see this photo, I here the 1967 song, Incense and Peppermints in my head. That song was a big hit, just around the time I started college, by Strawberry Alarm Clock, arguably the first psychadelic rock band. Being an engineering student, I was to busy to be psychadelic, but I always liked the song. And my neopsychodelic photo, Pink Neon Time just reminds me of Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quilly and tthe Giant Arm

Quilly and Giant Arm - National Harbor near Washington DCHere's my friend Quilly contemplates art, nature, and the meaning of life under the Giant Arm.

Quilly is one of my Shutterbug Excursion buddies. One of the great things about this group is that when we go out to shoot, if there's nothing to noteworthy to shoot, we can always take photos of each other. Quilly helpfully stuck a contemplative pose while he stood just beyond the mega-arm.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hero Photography

Here's Lt. Bernard Roach of the DC Fire Department. He and his fellow everyday heroes were keeping a safety watch at the Chinese New Year Parade and, at the same time, providing some excitement for the kids.

click on the photos to see larger versions

Monday, February 9, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

DC Chinese New Year Parade 2009"When you see red, shoot it!"

Someone told me that a few years ago, and I've found it's usually good advice.

So the Chinese New Year Parade was a great opportunity, as red is considered a propitious color, and red was all over the place. The reddest group at all was this group of young musicians and their red drums. I loved it!

By the way, when I was a kid, Little Drummer Boy (the song, that is,) scared the crap out of me. As a seven-year-old in 1957, I couldn't understand the words over my Uncle Heniek's crackly old radio, and they wouldn't have made sense to me back then anyway. But that ominous, dirge-y music!

I like this Little Drummer Boy much better.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Proud Flag Bearer

Chinese New Year - Washington DCBelated Happy New Year, my friends!

Last week, I finally did what any sane person should do on Chinese New Year - I went to the nearest Chinatown to watch the New Year parade. This one was in DC, and I went with Shutterbug Excursions, the local photo group to which I belong.

Naturally, we all had a great time. I'll post some more photos soon, but I wanted to get this one up first.

This fellow's determined gaze and the proud way he is holding the flagstaff reminded me of the propaganda posters during the Mao era. Of course, it was just a fluke of the moment I pressed the shutter that he happened to look up like this. I didn't notice the poster-like expression until I reviewed my shots on the subway heading home (the full image is here.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shutterbug Excursions at National Harbor

Shutterbug Excursions and the Great ToeI had to get up at Oh-Dark-Thirty this morning in order to get to National Harbor, but a chance to hang out with my Shutterbug Excursions gang is always worth it.

To tell you the truth, while the new National Harbor is nice enough, I wasn't really all that photographically inspired there this morning. On the other hand, I had a lot of fun with the gang, as always.

Steve Rosenbach with Leica iiic... again!After shooting in the cold for about 1-1/2 hours, our gang regrouped at a nearby coffee shop, where we took over all the sofas and big cushy chairs. Jim B had been shooting with a nifty pair of 1950's-vintage German rangefinders (a Voigtlander and an Agfa,) but when he pulled this Leica iiic out of a pocket, I just had to have my picture taken with it.

Brought back good memories.

Our group is really growing, with over 200 members now signed up. Most have not attended one of our meetups yet, but we seem to be attracting a lot of attention. Today's meetup drew fourteen photographers, and we've had more than 20 on several occassions. That's not bad for a group that just came into existance last July.

Despite the cold weather, February is a busy month for us. Last week, we went to the Chinese New Year Parade in DC, and next week, we're going to the National Zoo.