Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Liz!

Today is Liz' birthday! When she was little, she would say her birthday was on "March Thirty-Thirst," which of course, tickled us to no end! Anyhow, she is in New York for nearly a week, and so we got to go in to the city and hang out with her for a few hours, and then go to dinner at a restaurant downtown. Someone at a nearby table had a dessert delivered to their table with a sparkler in it, and everyone applauded. So naturally I had to let the owner know about Liz, and she got a sparkler too. A sparkling end to an absolutely lovely day!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Guitar Man

I was at Grand Central Terminal today, and while walking along, saw this gentleman ahead of me. He stuck out from the crowd first, because of his Stetson, and then, because he had a guitar over his shoulder. This was a remarkable sight to me, even in New York City. I got out my camera, and began following him, shooting as I went along. Fortunately, he stopped to talk with other musicians that were apparently walking with him in a group. It was then, when he was stopped, that I got my best shot. My guess is that they play as a group in either the train station, or in the subway system.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Unexpected Image

On the way go get bagels this morning I stopped to photograph something near this spot that I saw while driving. I took the "expected" photograph, and then saw a wider view with my original subject in it. When that was done, I happened to notice these occasional waves on an otherwise calm harbor. I watched several of them roll on to the shore, and then realized that the WAVES were the picture! There was something about how slowly they came to the shore - that, and the gentle S-curve of its shape filled me with a peaceful feeling. What a lovely surprise on a Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour, 2009

I got an email from Jo Anne, my sister-in law, reminding me that tonight at 8:30 was Earth Hour. So I thought I would do before and after photographs showing what a difference it would make to turn all the lights off in the house.  The lights you do see in the "after" photo are a computer monitor in the back room, and the TV set in the living room.  Wow, we were burning up a lot of wattage! Yikes! And we take electricity for granted.

Friday, March 27, 2009


No, it's not doing the income tax that is the nightmare.  It is Turbo Tax!  I installed the program last week, did all the updates, and I have been entering data for three days.  Today without asking, it downloaded and starting installing even more updates!  On March 27???  Most people have filed by now.  So I watched as the updates progressed - there must have been 10 of them.  When they were done and I restarted, I asked it to take me back where I was, and it took me to the beginning!  Page 1!  ARE YOUR KIDDING ME???  I called tech support, terrified that all my data painstakingly entered was gone, but it wasn't, and after half an hour of painfully clicking through pages I had already done, while my pulse rate was 150, I was back in business!  Yikes!  What a stupid thing to do - to "push" an update, rather than ask me.  Stupid program!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Front Door Angel

This is our front door angel.  She has been hanging here on the porch for a few years, right by the doorbell.  I only looked REALLY closely today, because of the raking light of the sun, which made the shadow of her hair on the porch shingles really stand out.  That, and the late afternoon light made her far more dramatic in appearance than she usually is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

After Edward Hopper

I drove by this scene the other night, but for some reason didn't stop.  Maybe it was too cold...  Anyhow, I passed it again tonight, and decided I needed to shoot this.  It is one of the main avenues in Sea Cliff.  The first shots I did had a very strange color because of the mercury vapor lights.  I made some adjustments and the picture went from a reddish color to greenish, and both of those colors were distracting to the essence of the photo.  So I converted it to black & white and it improved the image one hundred percent!  I am a huge fan of the painter Edward Hopper, and I think this scene has qualities that are similar to some of his paintings.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Kitty's Watching Me...

I forget what I was doing today, but at one point I looked up, and noticed that one of the kitties (I know, I know...  Not a clue who this is...  ) was watching me, from the stairs.  She is looking through two of the banisters of the stair railing.  It looked sort of funny from a distance, and I took my first photos from further away. But then I moved in, and the image became much more dramatic, so this is the image I am posting for you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Artist's Studio

I have been going through a whole bunch of CD's of photographs going back to 1999.  I am trying to clean up and organize and throw stuff out.  In the process, I have found some lovely photographs.  Whenever I would be working on a story, I would always look for photos for just me.  That was the case in this Artist's studio.  I shot about 4 frames of this detail in the woman's studio, and then moved on.  I cannot, for the life of me remember where this was!  But, it is a lovely composition. I never asked if it was accidental, or intentional, but it just grabbed me, and it needed to be photographed.  It really IS magical, isn't it?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Finally!  The colors of Spring begin to emerge!  This not in our yard, however.  I spotted them down the road on a neighbor's front lawn.  They are on the North side of the street, so their garden has been getting full sun, while ours has been in shade for half the day.  Doesn't matter, I will take this wonderful blast of color wherever I can find it!  I used a 200 mm lens to separate the frontmost group of blossoms from those in the back.  I wanted more than one group in the photograph to add complexity.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sheldon's Hands

Part A, or B, or C, or D, or...   Man this Medicare stuff makes my head hurt!  Today Sheldon came to our home to talk about some of the options that we need to pick from, for additional coverage   He is very knowlegable and explained the options in a way that made it much easier for ME to understand.  I just don't have a head for this stuff.  While he was talking I happened to notice his hands.  His hands are very expressinve, in a quiet kind of way.  There were two things which made them stand out - he was sitting with his back to one of the living room windows, so his hands were backlit, and, he was wearing dark gray clothing which emphasized the edge lighting on his hands even more. We were having a nice time, besides the business at hand, and he mentioned his interest in photography and our conversation covered all kinds of subjects.  Because of that, I felt comfortable asking if I could photograph his hands, and this is the result.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Great White Way

I never knew why they call it "The Great White Way."  Well, it turns out that back in 1880, a section of Broadway in the theater district was illuminated by Brush arc lamps, which must have been stunning back then.  It was one of the first electrically lighted streets in the United States.  Broadway, by the way, was also the oldest north-south main thoroughfare in Manhattan.  So that's what came to mind when I shot this photo last night - that I didn't have a clue why they call it that.  Now we are all just a bit smarter!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life in Times Square

We went to the city this evening for a broadway drama.  It was long, and late when we got out, but I needed a photograph for my blog post for tonight, so spent some time in a very busy Times Square.  Photographed the lights, and signs, and then just as I was leaving and heading downtown, I saw this sidewalk artist doing a caricature of this couple.  The artist and his subjects were surrounded by a crowd - everyone loves to watch an artist work, I think. The drawing looks JUST like the guy, don't you think?  Sure it does!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Kitty's Tail

I was sitting in the rocking chair, and suddenly both cats raced to the front of the living room - one jumped on top of a chair, and this one up on to the radiator cover.  I couldn't imagine what they saw.  I went to the front door, and saw the reason - a squirrel was walking around in the rain gutter.  Man, how did these guys even HEAR that squirrel?  Anyhow, I noticed the curl in this kitty's tail, and was fascinated that she kept it this way for quite a while.  I just love the design that the curl makes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Bunker

I photographed this abandoned bunker today, when I went here to buy a drill bit!  It is not a bunker at all, of course.  It is the local SEARS store.  But it has to be one of the most uninviting retail stores I have ever seen.  Who designed this?  It is just poured concrete on the outside, and the only "decoration" at all is the name of the store way up high.  It really looks and feels abandoned as you approach the store on the outside.  There must be something they can do to make it more inviting.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Purple Bike Blue Wall

Guess where I went today?  Right.  IKEA.  As I walked to the front door, I saw this purple bike against the brilliant blue wall.  I thought it would be worth a shot.  The purple was better in person, unfortunately. There is something about the brilliant colors in this shot, which stand out in contrast to the bright steel of the bike, that has something to do with why I stopped.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I was sitting in church this morning and kind of casually looking around when I started to notice all the beautiful parts of the architecture of the building.  The lamp caught my attention first, then the beautifully painted arches, then the stained glass windows, then the beautiful cross.  I see it every week, but this week I really "saw" it.  So I took the toy camera out of its pouch on my belt, and recorded this for you all to see.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I thought I would go see what I could find at night, for a bit of a change of pace.  Found this down by the water.   My favorite line of trees along Shore Road, but this time, seen from the water side, instead of the road side.  I love how some night shots can look other-worldly.  And pretty too, just unfamiliar.  I need to look for even more nightscapes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Dinosaur Photo

Once a month I go to the "Dinosaur Breakfast" - a gathering of ex-newspaper photographers from New York and Long Island area papers.  My Colleague Dick Kraus started this years ago, and keeps the group together.  The whole time it has been held at this one diner, AND we have always been served by Pat, a wonderful waitress.  Cheery, friendly and patient beyond imagining!  At each gathering, we do a group photo, and after Dick sets up the camera, Pat is the one who actually takes the picture.  She does a good job, and gets us all laughing.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I came out of a Starbucks after lunch and saw all these birds sitting on the wires.  I reached for my toy camera and made a bunch of frames.  It was interesting to watch the birds, which I have never done before - they were constantly in motion - it seemed as if each bird was not happy where it was, and needed to move down a wire, or up a wire, and that would provoke the bird next to it to move as well.  I was hoping for the most "musical-looking" arrangement of "notes."  I wondered if you played these notes, if it would make music?  Of course it is only a three line staff, instead of the normal five line staff.   I guess it wouldn't really make music.  Oh well...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Beginning: The New Telescope!

Well, I am finally starting to work on my new telescope with the 18" diameter mirror.  The mirror was delivered six months ago, and has been waiting for me to start building the scope.  This is Alex, and he and his brother Larry own a fence company (as in "Good fences make good neighbors" - Robert Frost)  Anyhow, today I went by their shop, and Alex was kind enough to cut some steel tubing and bar stock to length for me.  Now I will make a wood jig to hold the pieces, which then need to be welded.  This is the beginning of the mirror support, the first step in many needed to build the telescope.   Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


When I first awoke this morning, I was surprised to see sunshine - the forecast had been for rain.  Then I noticed the curtains, blindingly brilliant in the light of the direct sun.  So I went and grabbed my Nikon with a macro lens, for closeups.  I spent quite a while looking for forms and shapes in the folds of the fabric.  I like this, because it doesn't quite look like the real world.

Monday, March 9, 2009


This is just something I saw when I went over to the window to look out on Manhattan at dusk.  Maybe the scene out the window is more interesting...   But I saw this, and was drawn to photograph it.  Something about the subtle pastel colors, and the dramatic perspective. I am not sure that this will show, but there is a Moiré pattern in the curtains.  Moiré is a pattern that is created when two grids (like curtain fabric) are overlaid at an angle, and an interference pattern results.  Perhaps it doesn't show in this small image.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bottom and Top

This is a very cool looking building.  It stopped me in my tracks when I saw it the other day.  I did know about it, but forgot how cool it looks. It is at 57th Street and 8th Avenue.  The bottom was built in 1928 for Wm. Randolph Hearst.  When the new tower was added nearly 80 years later, they preserved the original stone facade. The contrast between the two styles is really interesting to study.   The new building was the first "green" high rise office building built in New York City.  The photograph would be a lot more interesting with some direct sunlight on it, I think.  Maybe I will go back and try it again.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


It was a stunningly beautiful day today!  Blue sky, sunshine, and 67 degrees!  Warm enough to wear shorts for the bike ride today.  But I digress...   I took some letters to the post office to mail them, and when I got back to the car, I saw this scene on the porch I parked in front of.  They were just too happy to ignore.  Clearly they are left over from the fall, but their smiles made me smile and made my day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why I Love Manhattan...

Our daughter has been working in Manhattan all week, and we were unable to get in to the city sooner.  We went in this afternoon and got to hang out for a few hours, and then went to dinner.  On the way to her hotel, I saw this on the street.  There is a classic building which is apparently going to be restored to it's former glory.  While it is under construction, they have put up a plywood wall around it, and then to make it interesting, and to advertise the new space, they have added artwork.  That would be the two guys in suits, one standing on the other's shoulder!  I just found my spot, and waited for the composition to form itself with pedestrians passing by.  I love Manhattan - you can find six photographs on any corner of the city!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Visions of Childhood

Another day of blue sky and brilliant sunshine.  I went out to the garage for something and noticed the shadows of some trees on the snow.  For some reason it brought back memories of childhood.  I think maybe it was about some memories of black and white snapshots my mom took of me standing in the snow in the side yard when I was very young.  I am not sure, but the snow and shadows resonated within me in some way.  The snow was so beautiful and smooth and had these wonderful gentle curves coming down off the little hill up in the back.  I spent about half an hour looking for images and found a bunch, and I think this is the best.  It was wonderful to be outdoors today!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Abandoned In Place

I was driving home from the dentist's office late this afternoon, and as I rounded this corner saw these tanks, which I see nearly every day - they are on my bike route.  Fortunately I was in the car, with my camera in the trunk.  The sun had almost set, so the light was orange on the scene.  I was taken by the colors of rust and the green paint, and the trees.  I shot it every way from sunday, and decided on this slightly wider scene  I tried close-up views, thinking that a more abstract image was the stronger one, but I decided not.  So this is a more documentary view.  Perhaps less dramatic overall, but it feels right to me now.  These tanks are rusting because they are, in fact "Abandoned in Place" - it is stenciled on each of the tanks.  The color is awful in the blog, so please click on the image to see more saturated color.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Late Afternoon

I worked hard trying to find an interesting photo today.  The sky was brilliant blue, the snow stunning white in its brilliance and the air was crisp. I tried a number of things, but concentrated on some snow piles in the back yard.  The light was not quite right, so I kept going back to it, to see if the photo was better.  Finally, as I went out the back door to look one last time, I spotted this completely different photograph of the gate leading to the neighbor's back yard.  I guess the lesson is, to keep at it whenever you are looking for a photograph.

Monday, March 2, 2009


So we got between 10 and 12 inches of snow last night.  When I looked out the back door this morning, I saw these gorgeous, sensuous curves.  That's what I saw first - the curves.  I grabbed the camera and went out to explore the scene.  Turns out, there was only one "right" spot to stand in, and only one "right" composition.  It was easy!  So what made the curves?  Cars.  There are two cars parked side by side under the snow.  Cool, huh? Very other-worldly, I thought.  It doesn't look like anything in the real world.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Now it Begins...

They are forecasting six to ten inches of snow tonight and tomorrow.  I went outside just now and it is only snowing very fine flakes. Thought I would do a "before and after" if tomorrow we get bombed with snow.  It always makes me crazy when there is snow in the forecast - tonight the whole news show was ALL about the snow that is coming!  Give me a break!  There are other things going on in the world!  End of rant...   :-)