Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Three Weeks Until Fat Tuesday

In last year's NCAA basketball tournament, Butler played (and won! - see photo above) the Southeast Regional in New Orleans, LA.  While I was in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to tour Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World.  Blain Kern Studios has been in business since 1947 and is responsible for the vast majority of the floats in the Mardi Gras parades.

Over the next few Tuesdays, I'll be sharing photos I took on the tour.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Sphere - A Memorial to the Victims of 9/11

As indicated, The Sphere formerly stood in the plaza at the World Trade Center.  It has since been relocated to Battery Park; less than a mile from where it originally stood.

Battery Park would seem to be a location for The Sphere.  Battery Park is home to more than 21 other monuments and memorials.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New York City Time Lapse

New York City and time lapse photography?  I just had to share this film.  And if you haven't had your fill of time lapse photography, New York or otherwise, here are 25 time lapse videos reeking of awesomeness!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-26-12)

As I indicated in my 01-21-12 post, this is the typical sort of dunk shot I've been getting this season.  This shot was taken at tonight's game against Milwaukee (which Butler lost).

And I like this time out shot better than the one I posted on 01-19-12.  I think I did a better job of "filling the frame" than I did in the other photo.  I shot this photo with a wide angle lens and you really have to get close to the subject  to "fill the frame" using that type of lens, so I was practically standing in the huddle when I took this picture.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Abstract Times Square

In most cases when you take a picture, you want to hold the camera as still as possible.  To ensure that you get a sharp photo, you might even use a tripod.  But as I indicate in my 12-24-11 post (Abstract Photography - Part 1), there are times when you don't want everything to be sharp and in focus.

To keep things from being in focus, photographers will often employ one of a number of different techniques that involve moving the camera while the photo is being taken.  These techniques include kinetic photography, camera tossing and a new one I just recently heard about called intentional camera movement photography.  Regardless of the method used, they all seem to achieve essentially the same result.

The photos above were all taken in Times Square.  As a matter of fact, they were all taken from exactly the same vantage point.  The only real difference was how the motion of the camera was manipulated during each exposure.

For each of these photos, the camera shutter was held open for 1/3 of a second.  Normally when you take pictures, you won't keep the shutter open for more than 1/60 of a second.  When I shoot basketball as an example, I try never to shoot any "slower" than 1/640 of a second.  If the court is bright enough, I'd actually prefer to shoot at 1/1000 of a second.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Music from New York to Paris

There's nothing particularly remarkable about this picture other than the subject matter.  This is a picture of the former headquarters of Carl Fisher Music in New York City. In business since 1872, Fisher is probably the most well-know publisher of sheet music.  I thought my daughter (a music education major) would be interested in seeing it.

This is certainly not a picture I would have chosen to stand on its own in a post.  Being music-related though, I thought I would tie it in to a video I saw today in the online version of the Guardian newspaper.  The Guardian is one of the newspapers I read (online) most frequently.  Not sure how I got started reading that particular newspaper; it calls itself "the world's leading liberal voice".  Or as my friend Malcolm, who I worked with when I lived in London says, the Guardian "is know for its left-wing bias, beloved by the champagne socialists".

This video is about the oldest piano repair shop in Paris.  Even if you have only a tiny bit of interest in music or pianos, I think you'll find this short film interesting.

And speaking of piano shops in Paris, I read a book about ten years ago called The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier.  You should check it out.

Monday, January 23, 2012

World Trade Center - 9/11 Memorial (Part 2)

In my post from a week ago, I had pictures of the 9/11 Memorial that were shot at dusk and in the dark.  Thought I would show you a few shots taken during the day when I visited the memorial in December.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The New York City Waterfalls

In 2008, there was a public art project in New York called the "New York City Waterfalls".  There were four man-made waterfall constructed around New York City.  The photos above are of the waterfall that was constructed under the Brooklyn Bridge.  Here's a link to the project's website showing how the waterfalls worked.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-21-12)

As I indicated when I started the Butler Basketball Game Day posts , I was going to avoid posting the typical dribbling and shooting basketball photos and I don't think this falls into this category. Especially this season.  That's not to say that Butler hasn't had its share of dunks, it's just been a real challenge for me to get a good shot of one.  Either the referee will stand in front of me or the player has his back to me.  And on those very, very rare occasions, I either miss the shot or it's out of focus (hard to believe, I know).

Not this one though.  This is Khyle Marshall scoring two of his 14 second-half points in Butler's 63-57 win over Loyola-Chicago today.  Complete details of the game (along with another view of this and a second photo of mine from the game) are available at the Butler sports website.

Yes, this is a photo of a basketball player dribbling the ball, but for me, it's not typical.  I very rarely get the opportunity to shoot the Butler women's basketball team.  Turns out there was a doubleheader today with the women's game following the men's and I was able to shoot it as well.

Even though they were down by 17 at one point, the women's team rallied to beat Loyola-Chicago by a score of 60-57.  Complete details and another view of this photo are available here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Couple of Videos

If you haven't already figured it out, I have a real weakness for time lapse photography (see my 01-09-12 post).  This is another time lapse video.  This was done by Mark Bramley.  He spent two days in Tokyo and shot 10,000 photos (as well as some video) and put this video together.

Many dslr cameras (which are cameras with interchangeable lenses) now have video capabilities. This particular video was shot using a dslr camera (a Nikon D4) and not a movie camera.  I'm not posting this video for that reason, but that is pretty cool in and of itself.  The real reason I posted this video is because of the kayaker and mountain climber that are featured. Wait till you see what these guys do!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-19-12)

This is a photo from Butler's game this evening at UIC.

I haven't had the chance to use my wide angle/ fisheye lens (10.5mm) very much this season.  Turned out that I ended up sitting very close to the Butler bench in the second half and was able to get this shot.  As indicated in one of my posts from yesterday, photographers like to show their subjects from a different and unique perspective and I think this qualifies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

While the Cat's Away...

In the same vein as "The Joy of Books" (01-09-12 post), this video shows what can happen if you leave your home or office unattended.

A Unique Perspective

Photographers are always looking for ways to present their subjects in a unique way; they want to show the viewer a perspective that is unexpected.  While this isn't a photo, I think this video does exactly that.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New York Stock Exchange - Part 3

Another holiday view of the New York Stock Exchange.  Here's a link to some information about the history of the NYSE.  (I actually like all of my NYSE photos better than the one they chose for the history page.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

World Trade Center - 9/11 Memorial

I had the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial on September 23, 2011.  This was less than two weeks after it opened.  Tickets are free (but you have to make a small donation) and have to be ordered online.

This is the 9/11 Memorial Museum.  It's still under construction at this time.

The building in the center of this picture (with the light blue lettering) is The Hilton Millenium hotel. Emily, Dave Ayoub and I were in NYC to see the U.S. Open (tennis) in 2001 and stayed at this hotel just a week before the attacks.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-15-12)

The revised and expanded version of Underdawgs is available to be ordered on Amazon.  Why do I bring this up?  The book's cover photo is mine.  See my original photo below.

This is a copy of the front cover of first edition.  It was a hardcover book.  (The new one is a softcover.)  It's still available for sale on Amazon as well.

Both books have a number of my photos on the inside of the book.  The first edition had four of my photos on the back cover as well as a photo of mine of Blue II (seen below) on the front cover.
As you will notice if you look close, the publisher flipped the head of Blue II on the cover of the first book. Instead of looking to his right (as he is in the original photo), he's looking to his left on the cover of the book.

For those of you not "in the know", Underdawgs was written by David Woods (above) of the Indianapolis Star.  He has been the paper's beat writer for Butler basketball since 2001.  In addition to his newspaper columns, David also writes the "Bulldogs Insider" blog for IndyStar.com.

The first Underdawgs was great and I expect no less from the second.  Even if you're not a Butler fan, as long as you enjoy college basketball, you'll enjoy this book.

I want to say thanks to David for being kind enough to include me in his project; it's quite an honor.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Was visiting the Colossal website  I told you about in my 01-04-12 post and there was a very cool post entitled "The Scariest Waves Ever Surfed".  Don't know if that's really the case or not, but there are some good photos and an even better video.

I took the photos above when I was in Huntington Beach, CA a few years ago.  Butler was playing in a tournament over Thanksgiving that year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-13-12)

I just thought this was a nice tip-off picture that gives you a good look of Butler's floor.  This photo was taken when Butler played Louisville earlier in the year.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Staten Island Ferry

As I promised (threatened?) a week ago, here are some Staten Island Ferry photos.  If you follow the link to website, you'll find a section entitled "A Few Ferry Facts".  As you read the "facts", you'll notice most of them are about accidents and crashes.  Not exactly what I would want to be putting out there for the commuting public.

I have visiting NYC for more than 25 years, but this last December was actually the first time I rode the ferry.  It was a quick trip (30 minutes) between Manhattan and Staten Island.  The highlight of the trip is being able to the Statue of Liberty.  Check out this very cool Statue of Liberty link.

The picture above is of the ferry's Manhattan terminal.

One of the ferries heading into the Manhattan terminal.

An abstract photo of one of the ferries traveling from Manhattan to Staten Island taken from a ferry traveling the other direction.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shelvin Mack - Washington Wizards

Somehow I missed that Shelvin Mack (who played for Butler last year) was in town with the Washington Wizards to play the Chicago Bulls today.  If I had realized that, I'm sure I could have gotten a press pass to shoot the game.  Shame on me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New York Stock Exchange - Part 2

Whenever I'm in New York, it seems as if I'm always staying in the Financial District.  Being in the Financial District, I'm never far away from Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.

As I promised in my post of a week ago, here are a couple more views of the NYSE; one taken during the day and one at night.  The night shot was taken with a wide angle lens with the camera set on a tripod because of the low light.  Due to the low light, the shutter had to left open for a few seconds and you can tell this by the movement in the flags at the bottom of the picture.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Photography and Books

I've always enjoyed time lapse photography.  To date, it's not something I've tried to do.  I'm sure it requires a great of time and expertise.  For the time being, I'm just going to have to enjoy the works of others.  However, if you have any interest, this article will give you a good starting point.

By using time lapse photography, this video combines my interest in photography with my interest in books. This particular time lapse was shot at a book store in Toronto called Type.  As it turns out, Emily and I visited this bookstore about a year ago when her job took her to Toronto.  We happened upon it on our way to an outdoor art fair.  It was at the art fair that we had the Canadian delicacy of poutine for the first (and probably last) time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-08-12)

Okay, so there's a ball in this photo, but you've got to agree that it's not the usual "shooting or dribbling" basketball shot you normally see.

This photo was taken when Butler played Detroit at Detroit last year (01-14-11).  I think it's one of my best shots from last year.  I'm in Detroit today to shoot the Butler game.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

201 Days Until the 2012 Olympic Games

Ran across this video a day or two ago; couldn't even tell you how I found it.  Wish I had seen it sooner so I could have posted it on New Year's Day.

Since this blog is really a trial run for my Olympic blog and we're finally in the Olympic year, I thought I would go ahead and post the video anyway.  It's the BBC's New Year's Eve show including the fireworks at midnight from London (seeing fireworks coming out of Big Ben is pretty cool).  The BBC announcer is pretty entertaining as well.  It is a bit long (18 minutes), but try to hang in there for at least the first eight minutes.

On the official London 2012 Olympic website, they've got some photos showing the preparations being made for the games.

Back to the States, here's the commercial NBC put together for the Olympics last July (approximately a year before the start of the Games).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Butler Basketball Game Day (01-06-12)

The is Blue II and he's Butler's mascot.  If you think Hinkle Fieldhouse is important to Butler, that building has nothing on Blue II.  He's got his own blog, his own facebook page and even his own Twitter account.
This is Blue II with his "dad", Michael Kaltenmark.  In addition to all of his Blue-related activities, Michael is also the Director of Web Marketing and Communications for Butler.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Abstract New York

Here are a couple of abstract shoots (low light, no tripod available and shooting from a moving object) of lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry.  More about the Staten Island Ferry (and more related photos) in future posts.