Tuesday, January 22, 2019
I was in Manhattan tonight for a lecture on the photographer Carlton Watkins who photographed the American West back in 1850. Walking back to Penn Station, I passed this statue on 7th Avenue, which is known as "Fashion Avenue." I have seen this statue before in daylight, but there was something about the lighting at night that brought out the textures of the man's face, and the cloth and the sewing machine. This is by the artist Judith Weller and it is a realistic rendering of a garment worker, wearing a yarmulke, and hunched over a hand operated sewing machine. The figure is modeled after the artist's father who was a machine operator in New York's garment industry. "When I was a little girl, I recall seeing him at work." The sculpture was created to commemorate the Jewish garment workers, the backbone of Jewish life in New York at the turn of the century. This is a very powerful work that deserves study and contemplation.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:06 PM
Monday, January 21, 2019
I don't have to tell anyone what the temperatures have been. My first clue when the temps go low is when I wake up and there are ice crystals on the windows! That was the case this morning. The crystals happen when the moisture in the house comes in contact with the freezing cold glass and crystals form. It is amazing how the ice crystals form in lines, that look as if they were drawn with a ruler, and then suddenly change direction.
This view is looking up and toward the sky, which is why it is so blue in color.
This is the same window, but I am looking out and down at the bushes across the street.
I like to think of this as two mountains with pine trees growing on them! I had a lot of fun looking for interesting "scenes" on the windows this morning.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:50 PM
Sunday, January 20, 2019
DISCLAIMER: This is not my photograph! I know you are all expecting me to photograph the Lunar eclipse, but it was way too cold for me to set up my telescope on the tracking mount, which I would need to do in order to take photographs. I am observing the eclipse with a much smaller telescope that is easier to set up and take down quickly. So I decided that I would do a screen grab from the real-time streaming of the eclipse, from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California. Thanks to them for this magnificent photograph. It is magical to look through my telescope to see it in real time, and I am going back out to watch it as it changes subtlety over the period of an hour. I wish you could all see this from where you are.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:20 PM
Saturday, January 19, 2019
"All my ducks in a row." I looked up that phrase just to be sure I knew what it meant. To have all your ducks in a row is to be well prepared or well organized for something. I guess I knew that. I did another walk to the old power plant again today, which has become my routine. It is too cold for me to ride my bike so walking is a good way to exercise. And the camera always comes with me.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:15 PM
Friday, January 18, 2019
I showed a photograph of a line of Sycamore trees in late afternoon sunlight the other day. Today on my walk, it was overcast, so the colors of the trees are more accurate. This design caught my eye, and I decided to do a closeup of this part of one trunk. My sense is that the Sycamore tree bark is usually brown, so seeing all this green was a surprise. Perhaps this is due to seasonal changes. And then I realized that this looks like a Rorschach test, except those are symmetrical.m
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:14 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2019
This photograph is from one of my recent walks to the old power plant. It had been cold, and there was ice on the pond, which I didn't realize until the flock of seagulls alighted on it. There were seagulls coming and going, and I kept clicking until I found an arrangement that I liked. What was new for me, since I have photographed this pond so many times, was that I was way off to one side, and as a result, with the late afternoon sun, some of the trees are in sunlight, and others are in shadow, which gives the photograph a nice sense of depth.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:22 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
My friend Peter asked me to take a photograph of some sites in Sea Cliff so that he could paint them. He grew up here, but now lives in Albany. He was particularly interested in this building that used to be a pharmacy, but is no longer. I thought I would photograph it late in the afternoon so the light of the setting sun would illuminate it in a dramatic way. On the way home from my astronomy meeting tonight, I decided to drive down Sea Cliff Avenue and take a look at the building. It stopped me in my tracks! So I got out my camera, and a tripod and did some photographs. My immediate reaction was that it looked like an Edward Hopper painting! I love the feeling of this photograph, and the light on the building. I am not done with this yet - I still want to try late afternoon on a sunny day. If I get something good, I will post it. Stay tuned!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:31 PM