Thursday, March 25, 2010

Come and Get It

After fifty-plus years of singing in the shower, I've graduated to karaoke. Last September, while visiting my talented cousin Brian in Atlanta, he recorded my lead vocal over a karaoke backing track for two songs. Brian is an independent sound track designer, composer, and producer, and has an full recording studio in his house. OK, I suffered for my music... now it's your turn!

Morning on the Magothy

We sold our house earlier this week and moved into a nicely-furnished basement apartment that we're renting from a very nice couple who live upstairs. That's where we'll be for the next six months or so as we wait for our townhouse to be built in a nearby "55-Plus" community (or as my brother-in-law Peter refers to it, "the Nursing Home."

Sandy found the rental, and I first saw it one evening late last month, so I had no idea that just across the street and down an incline was the Magothy River. I was out the door on my way to the car just after sunrise this morning, and having my ever-ready Canon S90 in my pocket, walked down to the water and snapped a few photos.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Also Sprach der Media...

Palestinian Rioters AFP/Getty March 24 2010MediaSpeak.

Notice the caption, "Palestinian demonstrators light a Molotov..."

Now, where I come from, folks who light Molotov cocktails are called "rioters," not "demonstrators."

Also Sprach der Media.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thinking It Over

Redhead GorillaOn of my more cerebral older cousins at Atlanta Zoo.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Gorilla in HammockLast October, I took Mom down to Atlanta to visit my Cousins Brian and Lisa and their new baby Max. They live close to the Atlanta zoo, always worth a visit.

While at the zoo, I snapped this photo of one of my other young cousins, chillin' in a hammock.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Future Midshipmen

Two brothers greet me through the window of one of my favorite houses in Annapolis.

I was talking to their dad, complimenting him on the great, photo-worthy paint job he'd done on his house and on the bench in front of it, when they appeared in the Window. I always point out this house to the customers I take on photo safaris in Annapolis.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mattress Dominoes

This one is from a visit to our cousins in Virginia Beach last July. I was going to it with a title of Mattresses in the Wind. That's what I thought the filename I saved it as was.

Fortunately, I thought about it for two seconds and realized that it didn't make sense. It turns out the the filename column in Windows Explorer was just the right size to hide the remaining two letters of the filename... "ow"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Translucent Green Leaf

A really big leaf, photographed contre-jour.

I always wanted to say that!

Contre-jour, not big leaf.

Friday, March 5, 2010

View From Eastport

If you've been following this blog, you know I'm fascinated by reflections in water. I've found that early morning (or late afternoon/early evening) is the time to catch the most dramatic reflections.

I think it's because the low angle of the sun acts like a spotlight on the horizontal surfaces of the buildings and boats, which then have plenty of light on them to reflect back onto the water. Whatever the reason, get up early or hang out late if you want to catch the good light.

I took this photo at 7:30 AM one morning from Eastport, across Spa Creek from Annapolis. Full disclosure forces me to admit that this exposure was a mistake, as I didn't notice that my camera was still set for an exposure compensation of minus 1-1/3 stops. I saw the error of my ways right away on the LCD, set my camera back to "neutral", and took several more "normal" exposures.

Back home last in my digital darkroom, I decided to open the "bad" file in Photoshop Elements and see what I could do with it. All it took was to lighten up the high values with the Levels dialog to brighten up the buildings and reflections. This left the dark values in the sky and the water pretty much as they were and resulted, I think, in an image that has more dramatic impact than the original scene.

To us old-timers, there's nothing too surprising about this - we all know about how underexposing transparency film can sometimes increase saturation and contrast to produce a more dramatic version of what we see with our eyes. There's no free ride, though. In the old days, this technique could result in noticibly increased grain in the dark areas, like the sky in this photo. In the digital world, the equivalent of grain is noise. When I magnify this photo on my computer screen, I can see the noise in the dark areas.

On the other hand, the photo prints really nicely as a 10-inch wide print. The noise isn't noticible at this size, but I wonder how it would look enlarged to 20 or 30 inches?

One thing I can say for sure is that this image as a 10-inch print passed a critical test.

My wife likes it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Reflection of the Chrysler Building, an Art Deco masterpiece, in the rectilinear glass curtain wall of the Grand Hyatt Hotel across Lexington Avenue.