Month: August 2006

Late Summer at Macricostas Preserve Meadow

Late Summer at Macricostas Preserve Meadow

Washington, Connecticut. I was driving home and it was about to rain but the light was fantastic so I stopped and quickly walked around the meadow at Macricostas Preserve of the Steep Rock Land Trust to see if I could catch some of that pre-storm light in my camera. It’s been a wet summer and I got soaked walking through the low spots in the meadow but the lushness, colorful grasses and weeds and great light made it a worthwhile stop.

Peter Cooper Village…

Metropolitan Life is putting Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village — a stretch of 110 apartment buildings along the East River — on the auction block. Read NY Times Story…

My parents’ best friends have an apartment in Peter Cooper Village. We spent each Christmas eve with them when I was very young and we lived in New York. The “village” area between the apartment buildings was always a very nice, park-like space that was like a mini-Central Park with apartments around it. I have fond memories of those days. My father is gone now as is the wife of the couple who lived there. Our friend who still lives there is long retired and in his 80′s and it would be a shame if this shift in ownership led to him having to leave. We’ll see. Time marches on.

Jan Adkins Studio

Jan Adkins is the “Explainer General” who designs, writes, and illustrates books making the difficult easy through detailed drawings and clear writing.

His books and work is different from the excellent Dorling Kindersley series in that he uses illustration much like Eric Sloane did.

Source: Cool Tools

Note on the source: J. Baldwin (recommender at Kelly site) was the reviewer and writer in The Whole Earth Catalog who tickled my fancy the most. An analog nerd if there ever was one.

Flickr just added a geotag feature to their organizer

Flickr just added a map and geotag feature to their organizer. Yes! Great shot – where’d you take that?

You can now drag your photos to the places where you took them on a map of the world. This is version 1 of this feature so it’s a bit crude in terms of integration into the flickr UI but I’m sure it will lead to wonderful things in the future. I just tagged twenty of my latest images in a matter of minutes. Fun.

Ruby throated hummingbird female

Ruby throated hummingbird female

Warren, Connecticut. I was at the feed store getting bird seed for our other feeders and because I’m so in awe of Carlos’s hummingbird shots I figured, in honor of him I’d give it a try. So I bought this feeder and hung it up on the gutter outside the living room window. The window is double paned and gas-filled so not a great thing to shoot through. And, I’ve never shot one of these birds before. And its raining out and dark so even though I was on a tripod shutter speed was slow and this bird is vibrating both in the eating process and in the rain deflection process. Excuses, excuses.

She had just eaten and her tongue is still out at the tip of her beak. I didn’t know what that thing was until I started poking around on flickr. Stay tuned, I know I can do better than this and it’s fun.

Ruby throated hummingbird female

Here she is eating.

Picasso on Charging a Client

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.

“It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”

“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.

“B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”

Source: 37 Signals

Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building from the east

New York City. This was not the best time to be shooting this spectacular building (mid-afternoon) but here we were in Madison Square Park (tripods not allowed in the park by the way) and there it was with sun almost directly above.

I put the 135 on for the next shot and got a hair and an enormous piece of crud on the sensor of my camera. Here I am in the middle of breezy, filthy (sorry but true) New York and I have to do surgery or the rest of the day’s pictures are gonna be “hairy.”

I sat myself down on a bench and took things apart and blew the hair out but not the dust. Grrr! So, the rest of the day was a struggle to stay at f/8 or bigger so as not to push the issue.

After taking the detail of the cornice I put the 35 back on the camera and didn’t dare take it off for the rest of the day. Okay, okay… maybe it’s time to get a zoom for days like this. Or, learn how to change lenses in a way that keeps crud out. I thought I was careful but I guess not. I’m not fishing for a discussion of which zoom to get, just venting a bit to the world. I’m happy with the shots so that’s good I guess.

You can get oriented (is that an appropriate word anymore?) here.

The Flatiron Building is in the triangular block just south of Madison Square Park between 23rd and 22nd and between 5th Ave. and Broadway. Broadway cutting diagonally across Manhattan made opportunities for buildings like this.

I’m standing just inside the southwest corner of Madison Square Park here.

Flatiron Building from the east detail

I’m standing just inside the southwest corner of Madison Square Park here.

Flatiron Building from the north

It’s difficult to isolate the building (if that’s your aim) and the best shot of all is right in the middle of the intersection. My photo partner Ted offered to watch my back but there was no way to do it safely so I opted to stay on “dry land” and shoot from the corner. Sun directly behind the building so I suppose one could call this a solar eclipse. I’m standing on the northwest corner of 5th and 23rd here.

Flatiron Building from the west

Another solar eclipse on the Flatiron. We’ve now almost circumnavigated the building. I skipped the backside as it’s got scaffolding on it. I’m pretty happy with this image, my fav from the set. I’m standing on the west side of 5th Ave. between 23rd St. (left) and 22nd St. here.

Jersey City Across the Hudson

Jersey City Across the Hudson

New York City. This is a view across the Hudson River to office buildings in Jersey City that have sprung up as Manhattan pricing has risen. I’m standing in Rockefeller Park at the west end of Chambers Street, the northern boundary of a series of spectacular parks that together form a strip of commercial development and public space that cradles the World Trade Center site. The cost and exclusivity of the office space behind me gave rise to the office space in front of me, across the river. I’m sure the view from across the river is as good or better.

MacBook Pro – Widget problem

Those of you who are about to make the move to a new Macintosh using an Intel processor may want to take note of this. Those of you who have already made the move may also want to check this out.

I had a 15″ G4 PowerBook with the latest version of OS X installed. I bought a 15″ MacBook Pro and used migration assistant to move my user folder and more to the new machine from the old. The process went without a hitch, or so I thought.

Later, when using Dashboard I noticed that a few of my standard Apple Widgets didn’t work: they came up with odd icons in place of the fields where I might enter information.

In trying to fix this problem I learned that you can’t just drag Widgets in and out of your library directory, they must be installed using their own installers.

I also learned that there is a way to extract just pieces (single packages) of an Apple OS X installed CD or DVD.

In searching for a solution to this problem I came across this discussion in the Apple support forums:

MacBook Pro – Widget problem

“Kappy” recommended a shareware product called Pacifist.

I found, downloaded and ran Pacifist, inserted both DVDs that came with my MacBook Pro until it built a complete directory of all of the included packages, dug around for the Widgets package and installed it on my desktop.

I then quit Pacifist and (re) installed the problem Widgets. They all now work perfectly.

This problem probably may have nothing to do with the PowerPC-Intel switch; maybe more to do with a problem in Migration Assistant. Whatever it is, I seem to have solved it, thanks to Pacifist.

Seymour Hersh Watching Lebanon

Here’s a youtube video clip of a recent CNN interview with Hersh on his latest New Yorker piece. I think he’s probably right on the money and this explains quite a bit of what just went on: Bush Planned Lebanon War Months Before.

Here’s the New Yorker piece that triggered it the interview: Watching Lebanon.

How much more information do we need to bring the entire administraiton before a world court as war criminals? Yes, I’m aware that Bush tried to imunize his admin from this although Congress, in all of their current wisdom, probably won’t go along.

Source: David Clark

Iris Bud

Iris Bud

Warren, Connecticut. It was a particularly wet early summer, but our irises weathered it well and were starting to open. This particular bud looks like a colored pencil and given the intensity of the color that will eventually blossom from it, it’s fitting that it does.

Note: this is an old image and it went with this one.