Friday, July 30, 2010

Otakon 2010

It's that time of year again in Baltimore, when waves of young people arrive at the Convention Center in amazing costumes for Otakon

I brought my Big Gun camera with me today so that I could try for some interesting shots during lunch. Here's my best one - a lucky grab shot that seems as if it were perfectly composed!

This one is almost straight out of the camera with just a tiny bit of fill light in Picassa. It looks pretty good in B&W as well, but I'll wait til I get home and use Channel Mixer in Photoshop to do it right.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Abu The Flutemaker

Here's my new friend Abu, playing a saxophone-like contraption that he makes out of plastic pipe and fittings. Now here's what I find amazing - it sounds pretty good - at least when he plays it.

Abu is a street entertainer, licensed by the city of Baltimore. Besides his music, he has a bright and happy personality. While we were with him, he gave me and another admirer each a straw, then proceeded to teach us how to "play" it, including showing us several ways to get various sounds out of it.

Abu entertains at the nearby Medical Center Plaza each Tuesday; I'll try to catch him for some more photos in the coming weeks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Amberg: Schiffgaße

Amberg Schiffgasse On Jan 28, 1950, I was born in Amberg, a small, 1000-year old town in Bavaria. It was in the American-occupied zone of Germany, and Displaced Persons, my family included, were housed in the old German Army barracks outside the town wall.

On Jan 28, 1978, I visited Amberg while on a business trip to Germany for GE. Somehow, there was a mixup, and the band and welcoming committee were not on the train platform to greet me.

I did get a few photos, though. This one is looking North on Schiffgaße along the Vils River, with Basilika St. Martin in the background.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Concrete Swoop

A portion of the West facade of the Robert C. Weaver Federal Building, home of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, DC.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fous du Volant

No special reason to give this one a French title except to hook Dave into taking a peek.

Sorry, Dave, that was a cheap trick! ;-)

It was a slow nightat the racing booth of the annual Earliegh Heights VFC Carnival, and the Carny is waiting for a mark.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My First Camera

Sounds like something from Playskool! But it was actually my Dad's Kodak Retina I, a little Stuttgart-made 35mm folder with a decent Schneider lens.

Along with a 1948 GE light meter, a gift from my friend Roger Wesalo, I was in business. With a camera as basic as this one, I had to learn all the basics. I even had to get good at estimating distances (in meters) because there was no rangefinder - just scale focusing. So that lead me quickly to understand depth-of-field.

My college friend Ed Hollingshead took this in NYC in Central Park sometime in the fall of 1967, our freshman year at Stevens Tech in Hoboken. I used to poke fun of Ed because of his left-handed, East German Exacta SLR. Little did I realize then that years later, I'd be a collector of Commie Cameras!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Zipper!

ZipperMidsummer in upper Anne Arundel County means the Earleigh Heights VFC Carnival. I haven't strolled through while it was operating for six years, so I decided to take my camera one night this week.

Shooting these rides seems really hard, at least for me. I did manage to get three or four decent photos, and I'll post the others over the next few days.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Perdu en Sixième

Another archeological find, this one from a 1978 two-day visit to Paris, sandwiched in between business meetings elsewhere in Europe.

This is somewhere in the 6th Arrondissement on the Left Bank.

Dave Beckerman has recently posted a number of his great photos from Paris in the early '90s. That's what made me think about looking for this one.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Treyf* Alert!

I drove to Crofton the other day to deliver photos I took for a bat-mitzvah a few weeks ago. On the way back, I spotted this little ornament hanging near the entrance to Fat Boy's Crab Shack. The colors and shape helped me overcome my genetic disinclination to come within 20 meters of anyplace crabs are served.

* treyf = Yiddish for food that is not in accordance with Jewish dietary law, derived from the Hebrew terefah (טְרֵפָה‎)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Me and My Koni

Actually, I'm just posing with a Koni-Omega Rapid M camera that we had on the shelf at Stansbury Photo. I'd say this is in 1970.

I don't remember ever using the Koni, but it was a favorite of wedding and event photographers in the 60's and early 70's. It used 120 or 220 roll film, for 10 or 20 2-1/4" x 2-3/4" negatives per roll. It was very robust, built like a tank, and in a pinch, you could swing it to use as a formidable weapon. Besides all that, it had excellent, interchangeable lenses available. To top it off, each lens has its own leaf shutter, like the Hasselblad 500, which means flash synch up to 1/500 sec. For event photography, it was much cheaper than the Hasselblad and far easier to use.

I found this historic photo today while going through hundreds of old family photos, in an effort to organize them.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

30 Rock Twilight

Raymond Hood's design still looks fresh even after almost 80 years.

I've found the trick for this kind of photograph is to start taking pictures just after sunset and keep going for a while, before the sky turns black. The contrast between the sky and the illuminated buildings is lower and easier to handle. Besides, the deep blue usually looks more dramatic than black.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Deck Chairs - July 4th Morning on the Magothy

Unfinished words
flying like birds
high in the sky
above my deck chair

Friday, July 2, 2010

Whenever I visit NYC, I can't be within 10 blocks of Grand Central without walking inside and then heading out the front entrance to admire the facade.

In this case, I was heading back uptown from visiting old friends in the East 30's. Shot at 11pm just after it stopped raining.