Wednesday, October 31, 2018
OK, last photograph from Photo Expo, I promise! As we neared the end of the day, I heard a voice call my name, as I was standing around talking to Stan and some of our other friends. It turns out that it was our friend Ari who was a Newsday photographer as were Stan and I. It was good to see him, for the first time in 10 years! Man, have I been retired THAT long? Yes I have. It was so good to see him and talk to him after all these years.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:37 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
So we're still at Photo Expo even though that was over on Sunday! Think of it as traveling back in time... :-) So this is yet another setup where photographers have a subject to photograph, just for fun. What was astounding to me, watching this boxer, was how FAST he was, in his punching ability. His fists and arms were moving at an astounding speed! Lots of "fast twitch" muscles at this age, I guess.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:18 PM
Monday, October 29, 2018
This is another one of the setups that could be found in different spots at the photo conference. It is unusual subject matter - most of the sites have beautiful young models that photographers in attendance can photograph with their cameras. I thought this was so unusual, that I photographed it myself, of course.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:49 PM
Sunday, October 28, 2018
At Photo Expo my friend Stan, at the right in this photo, wanted to go over to one of the booths and talk to Babek, on the left, who is a night sky photographer that he has talked to with email. Our friend Chirag is in the center of the photo. I wanted to take a photo of the three of them talking, but my camera focused on the digital display in the background, and also because the screen was too bright, it underexposed the whole picture. But I decided I really liked the look of the photo this way, so I kept shooting like this until I got the image I liked. I love that the photographer, David, is staring at us all.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:47 PM
Saturday, October 27, 2018
...that when many drivers see a flooded road, they drive through it at high speed! That's nuts! I drove down to the water at high tide, to see how much flooding there was. Not a whole lot, but the waves were crashing against the boat launch ramp, and the salt water went up the ramp and flooded the road. I mean, if you have to drive through it, slow way down and go through the water slowly so you don't get water way up in the engine compartment. I mean, it is SALT water! After running an errand I came back from a different route, and guess what. The water was all gone, but there was a small, older red car, that was stalled in one lane of the road! I rest my case!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:30 PM
Friday, October 26, 2018
I went to "Fun City" today to go to a giant photo show at the Javits Center of all kinds of photographic equipment - more cameras and lenses than you could shake a stick at, as well as lights and lighting, backgrounds, books, photographic papers for inkjet printers, photo albums and gadgets. All around the convention floor there were demonstrations by photographers showing how to light, and compose and pose models. So I watched this photographer explaining how how he was going to use flash units to create a nice portrait of this model.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:28 PM
Thursday, October 25, 2018
I am nearly done with my painting project. At least all the painting of the eves and the parts of the house that are up high. Aren't you relieved? I am... :-) I still have to do the dining room bay window and the four windows there. But there is something so rewarding about standing back and looking at my handiwork - it gives such a wonderful sense of accomplishment. But it is more than that - for me there is something that goes to the heart of me when I see the beautiful new white paint, in sunshine, up against the blue sky!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 6:37 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I was going to my astronomy meeting tonight, headed east on Northern Boulevard. And suddenly from behind the trees, as the road curved, there was the full moon straight ahead! What a spectacular sight! So here we go again - Ken driving along trying to shoot a picture of the moon, while moving. Then it occurred to me that was a dumb idea. So I waited until I was stopped at a red light, and snapped this photograph. The moon is just another circle in the sky, just like the red and green lights.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:21 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
I came down the ladder today to move it to another along the side of the house, when I heard the mail truck coming up the street. So I walked down the driveway to say hello to Bill, the mailman, who I am friendly with. He took one look at me and said: "Is there any paint on the house?" I laughed out loud, and said that was one of the funniest things anyone had ever said to me! It made me think that I have had this red jacket for probably 30 years, and used it every time I have painted the house
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:05 PM
Monday, October 22, 2018
I wrote two days ago about attending an Astronomy Conference in "A Field in Fall." So here are some images from the conference. In this photo, my friend Dave is in one of the two observatories at the park. He is one of the organizers of the conference. There is part of a telescope to the left in the photo, and one more mount with two telescopes mounted on it the right.
This telescope is in a white dome, just a short distance from the other observatory (below) which is called a "Roll Off Roof" observatory. This is an 8" diameter refractor, and it is a spectacular telescope! I haven't been out here for observing yet, but it is on my list!
This is another view of the roll off roof observatory, showing the two telescopes on their mounts.
This is the dome of the second observatory, with the 8" refractor inside.
And here is a portrait of the speakers and the attendees at the conference. Wait! I'm not in the picture! Oh, I was the one taking the picture.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:45 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2018
We were away from church last week, because we were in Connecticut. So when we came in to the church today, we were so happy to see that ALL the stained glass windows had been reinstalled in all the windows of the church! The church has been painted inside since the windows were removed, so now that everything is back together, the church is just beautiful! These are the three largest windows in the church, up above and behind the altar.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:56 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2018
I went to a small astronomy conference today, out in Stonybrook. It was held in an interesting natural park, that happens to have two astronomical observatories on the property. I was standing on the porch of one of the observatories and it looks out over this field. I don't know what was growing in this field - the plants are as high as four feet tall. I was amazed at the beautiful fall colors of the fading plants.
I decided to take a close-up of the remains of the flowers to show how beautiful they are, and also to see if any of you have any idea what plants these are. I really do love the subtle colors of fall.
Friday, October 19, 2018
...then use something tricky. I was having some trouble getting an interesting photograph in the garden, so I went and got my magnifying glass lens, called a "Lens Baby" which I have used before. Only a small area of the image ends up being in focus, and everything else is blurry. It is nice for an impressionistic feeling. I do like what I ended up with, though.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:17 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2018
...at rush hour! Our Astronomy club was having a Moon Watch at a library out in Centereach, about an hour from Sea Cliff. I haven't been in rush hour in a long time, but I figured I could make the trip in about an hour and a half. How wrong I was! There were FOUR accidents along the way, and the trip took nearly two hours. I had allowed a half hour for a quick bite to eat at McDonalds and I ended up gobbling a burger and fries in record time at the tail end of the journey. It was a really nice event with lots of children and adults who were amazed to see the Moon through a telescope for the first time! Please click on the photo to see all the cars in more detail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:04 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
I thought you might find this interesting, my obsession with ladders lately. I like the ladders and their shadows in this photo. You can also see on the fascia why this side of the house needs painting. It looks worse in person. The painting is coming along nicely, but man, I am a lot slower going up and down ladders, than when I first painted our house, back when I was 32 years old. I wonder why?
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
As we were about to leave and drive home after eating at a restaurant, Keera said "Can you take a picture of me against a wall?" I said "Sure" and we walked down the street to an alley. She led me down the alley, and found this doorway with some steel handles fastened into the masonry and she grabbed hold and climbed up about 2 feet. I asked why she wanted this picture, and she said a lot of high school kids did portraits of themselves at this wall. So this is Keera's portrait in this special place.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:41 PM
Monday, October 15, 2018
...that I nearly ran out of the Deli when I saw this. But nothing can really keep me from my once a month or so, pastrami on rye sandwich. So I gathered my courage and slowly walked by this ghost with a scythe, and bought my sandwich. I do love it when people decorate for Halloween!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:35 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2018
The reason we drove to Connecticut was not to watch a softball game, but rather, to visit with family. This is Tracy, Maureen, Kathy and Neil who were sitting having a nice conversation during the ball game. So that you could see everyone well, I interrupted them, and asked them to look at the camera. It seems as if I am always doing that. Well, yeah. I am a photographer after all.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 10:03 PM
Saturday, October 13, 2018
We drove up to Connecticut today to visit with Neil and the cousins and their families. There were some softball games that the kids were playing in. We missed the first game, and this game was going on while we waited for the second game. It was fun to see softball under the lights. And there were some serious good players on the field, including this young woman, who had astounding speed on the base paths!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:41 PM
Friday, October 12, 2018
We had a clear night, at least for a short while, so I set up my small telescope and tracking mount in the side yard, and was testing a new camera that goes on my telescope. I needed to get a flashlight out of the trunk of the car to see what I was doing setting up the scope and mount. I happened to notice when the backup lights came on when I opened the trunk, that the Japanese Maple was illuminated by the car lights. It was spooky, so I got out my camera! I like that it is a different way of seeing this tree which I have photographed so often.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:10 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2018
I was driving up the road that leads from where the old power plant used to be, and traffic was slow because one lane was closed. There were a number of power company trucks with boom arms up in the air because they were working on the high tension poles. When I got up to the center of town, I saw this spider web of power lines that I really hadn't noticed before. Why so many lines? OK, since you asked, here is a primer on power distribution. The power lines on the tops of the poles, and the lines connected to those long insulators that look like springs, carry 115,000 volts. Then the voltage is reduced so that the wires on the cross arm above the gray cylinders carry 20,000 volts. Those lines connect to the gray cylinders, which are called transformers, and they lower the voltage to 120 volts which is what arrives at our house through those really thin lines! Cool, huh? Aren't you glad you checked the blog today? If you click on the picture, you can see all the connections in greater detail.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:23 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
I was going through some folders on my computer and found this image. It was left over from our trip to Montauk back in July. Sometimes I don't have time to post all my images from a trip, and they get left behind. I though this would be a refreshing change from Times Square. I think this photograph is interesting because most of the image is horizontal, and then there is this strong vertical element that makes the picture much more interesting. Oh, the title "On the Beach" has a double meaning. I was suggesting to a friend just the other day that they should read this classic book by Nevil Schute about the world after a nuclear war. Pleasant thought, eh?
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:35 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Yesterday we met our family visitors in Penn Station, and walked up to Times Square where the restaurant was located. I guess I haven't been to Times Square in quite a while. When I go to museums in the City, they are more on the East side of Manhattan - on 5th Avenue, or Madison Avenue, so I don't go through Times Square. I was so surprised yesterday that there there are now so many giant bright LCD screens on buildings that on a cloudy day, the light is completely changed in a strange way.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:57 PM
Monday, October 8, 2018
We went to the city today to have lunch with some relatives - a couple - visiting from Seattle, and a couple from Long Island. We were walking down Seventh Avenue when I spotted this message on a trash bin. I looked at it for a while but had no idea what the meaning was.
As I walked up to the bin, I saw this message on the front, and the point was now clear. What a great message! So here is the bonehead move on my part: This photograph is blurred from movement! Give me a break! I had the camera on "Auto" and I didn't check to see what the shutter speed was! Duh!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:01 PM
Sunday, October 7, 2018
I have lost track of time, but about 4 or 5 months ago, all the stained glass windows in our church were carefully taken out, packed very carefully, and put on one truck and taken to Iowa! The church, from the outside appeared abandoned because of the plywood panels where the windows used to be! The church was being refurbished inside, and the windows all needed to be inspected, and cleaned, and some of the leading between the individual pieces of glass needed to be replaced. The frames themselves were cleaned and treated as well. Well, finally the windows have been returned! Whew!
So far one of these large windows behind the altar has been reinstalled. Two more of these big ones to go. And a whole bunch of smaller ones! After the windows are installed in their frames, then they will be putting Lexan panels on the outsides, to protect the windows from the weather or anything that might get blown into the glass in windstorms. It will be really nice when all of the windows are back where they belong!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:20 PM
Saturday, October 6, 2018
There is a stop sign at the top of Laurel Avenue, the street we live on. I stopped at the sign the other day, and noticed this flag flying, backlit by the late afternoon sun. Fortunately there was no traffic behind me, so I sat at the stop sign and got my toy camera out and made this shot. I just think it is a pretty picture - it is not a political statement. Especially on THIS day...
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:12 PM
Friday, October 5, 2018
We were coming back home after our ritual McDonald's ice cream cone. After we get our ice cream we always "drag main street" which is actually Sea Cliff Avenue - it is the longer way home, but we get to see what's going on "downtown." We turn left when the main drag ends, and the first house we see on the left is this one! It is a beautiful house, built in 1887 and it has been restored within the last 10 years. We have never seen it decorated before. But they did some amazing job for Halloween! You must click on the image to see it larger.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:24 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2018
I have told you about my recent pastrami sandwich addiction. I get these sandwiches at a local deli that has been in Sea Cliff since the beginning of time. I had never gone there much, until that day a few months ago that I realized I needed a pastrami sandwich. Now I go there once or twice a month. The deli has recently been refurbished and I noticed this large wooden sign for the first time the other day. I asked the owner about the sign, and he said it had originally been on the outside of the building for a long time, but it has been in the basement of the deli for years. He put in a reproduction stamped metal ceiling, and then put up the sign indoors. It is hard to see details, but this sign is hand carved - the gold letters and the gold border are raised about 1/8" from the background. That was a lot of work doing that! It is a nice addition to the store.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:49 PM
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
While eating dinner I looked out the window toward the garden, and noticed how the garden looked at dusk. I love the blue color that you get long after the sun has set - I have seen this time of day called "the Blue Period." Everything changes color toward the blue, because sunlight itself is a "warm" color, and when the sun has gone, there is only blue light. That light in this photograph makes this photograph almost unworldly.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Some readers have commented on the fact that I am wearing one of my signature white shirts for painting the house. I have a practical reason for wearing a white shirt while painting. I am painting the house white, so when I am done painting, if there is any white paint on the shirt, it doesn't matter. I just give the shirt a quick touch up with an iron, and then put on a blazer, and I am ready to go to dinner!
Posted by Ken Spencer at 8:11 PM
Monday, October 1, 2018
I decided that it's time to start painting the house. I am just going to paint this one side because by the end of October, it will be too cold to paint. I have been painting our house since we first bought it back in 1971. When it is time to paint, I would usually paint one side a year. So this is the start. It is a long way up to the peak! So I decided that I am old enough so that if I fell off the ladder, I wouldn't bounce. So I bought an industrial safety harness, to be safe.
You can't see it, but there is a climbing rope that goes from the back of my harness up to the small window to my right. It is tied to a beam in the attic. I don't want to fall off the ladder, but if I did, I would only fall a short distance before the rope would bring me up short. For years I painted up high like this with no safety line. Dumb idea. Maybe as I get older, I am just a bit smarter.
Posted by Ken Spencer at 7:31 PM