Monday, March 28, 2005

San Francisco Airport Lights

It's been a crazy few weeks and I've not been able to post as much as I would like. In my head, I've got grand ideas and little time to act on them. But I'm still trying to get images created and then posted.

Editing in the digital world is much more difficult for me than it was in the analog world. Film on light table looked good to me or it didn't. I very rarely had images that fell into a middle area. In the digital world I find it much more difficult for me to decide on an image. On the LCD of the camera everything looks good to some degree. It's really difficult to see if the image is sharp or not. Its a little more difficult to tell about the composition. Unwanted distractions are more difficult to see. I don't edit out in the field unless I know I've really blown an exposure.

Once on the computer it becomes a little easier to edit but it's still not as easy as it was on the light table. Chromes on a light table will be correctly exposed or you toss them. With a RAW image you can adjust the exposure, the white balance and apply a curve that may make it more of a compelling image.

Having said all that here is an image from a recent trip to San Francisco. I was stuck in the airport (again) waiting for my delayed flight and pulled out the camera while in the Red Carpet Club. If I was in the terminal I would be a little more reluctant to pull it out. You never know when an over zealous security person will apprehend you for a security breech.

I was experimenting with the lights from the halogen bulbs over the bar. In my minds eye they made a compelling image but I just couldn't get them to work in the frame. I turned around for a moment to check something out and the reflection in the window looked equally as compelling. Several of the straight shots look OK but the intentionally blurred images looked better to me. So here is an image from that night.

Experiment and take a chance. You never know what will happen.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New York, October 2004

I'm catching up on scanning from the last 6 months or so. These are some of the images.

For the last 5 years or so I've taken a trip to New York to attend the Photo Expo. It allows me to geek out on photography stuff and to visit with friends I have in the area.

These photos are from last October when we went to NY and spent a few days away from Southern California. The Expo was its usual fun and we spent two days on the floor looking at the various booths, talking with manufacturers and attending a few seminars.

The highlights of the trip were the Chilean restaurant on restaurant row in Times Square, a BBQ place just off of Times Square and the bumper sticker creator.

The Chilean restaurant is wonderful and just a joy to eat in. It's been our first night restaurant for the last two years and when we return in October we'll go there again.

The other eating joy was the BBQ restaurant just off of Times Square. We were trying to select a place to eat and I saw this place from the hotel window. I wasn't expecting something great but it was Saturday night, we didn't have reservations and we were really tired from walking the city all day. We headed over to the restaurant and it was jam packed at 5:30 in the afternoon. We didn't expect this but the smell of the food was compelling and the bar had two open stools. Before I go any further it's probably worth telling you I'm from Kentucky and I grew up in a number of southern states. In my opinion, I know BBQ when I see and smell it. This place was going to be worth the wait.

As we headed to the bar I noticed a beer I hadn't seen since my poverty stricken days right after college. I was the only guy in the house, that I shared with 3 other people, that had a job. If you count the other 6 or 7 people that frequented the house at various times of the week, you had about 10 deadbeats and me. The food and beer that I had stashed invariably disappeared before I had a chance to partake of it, and I learned to buy things everyone else had the good sense not to eat or drink. One of those things was Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. For nostalgias sake I ordered one of the $1.75 cans and, to the dismay of my wife, I actually drank it. Drinking it brought back a flood of memories and the reminder that I drink anything but domestic now for a reason.

But the biggest surprise was the food itself. The owner of the place had traveled throughout the country eating in a variety of BBQ establishments. With permission, he would take their signature recipe and bring it back to his restaurant in New York. He acquired the placemats and menus and had them tacked up on the wall. As I looked over the restaurants he had been to, there were several where I had eaten; most notably two from Owensboro, KY, which is practically my home stomping ground. The food was delicious and I'm happy to say that the Moonlight Inn and Shady Rest Restaurant were well represented.
By this point in my long-winded explanation of the trip to New York, you're wondering what this has to do with photography. We were there just before the election and there was a guy on the corner of our hotel everyday with this bumper sticker that was absolutely hilarious. I kept seeing him and wanted to take a photo but we never got around to it. On Saturday night after we finished at the BBQ place (the connection) we saw a young lady with the bumper stickers. Her name was Tiana and she was most gracious in letting me get a photo of her while others milled about. She was having a blast and we purchased a few bumper stickers because they were so comical. In this web photo I'm not sure you can read the sticker but it reads "Lick Bush and Dick in 2004". No matter what your political leanings might be, you have to find that hysterical. The originator of the stickers was Paul Rosa and he has several others. You can check out his web site at

I'm glad I had the camera with me that night and it was a good reminder that no image can be made without it.