Monday, December 10, 2012

Vietnamese comfort food

Vietnamese Comfort Food

Madison Magazine has a nice roundup of comfort food options in Madison restaurants, Feed the Soul: Cozy up to the most comforting dishes in town. Writer Aaron Conklin notes: 
Madison’s a laissez-faire town, and its restaurant scene has no shortage of fabulous comfort-food options. But it’s hard to feel comfortable when you’re overwhelmed by freedom of choice, so we handpicked ten can’t-miss dishes to get you started on your own soul-satisfying pilgrimage. Eat, drink and be comforted.
I'm especially partial to the pho, the amazing Vietnamese noodle soup at Ha Long Bay -- mostly because it's so delicious, but also because Madison used this photo of mine as an illustration.

I've been using this old iMac for more than 10 years now, and I won't upgrade until the industry gets their s**t together

Using This iMac for 10 Years Now, Won't Upgrade Till Industry Gets Their S**t Together

In computer years, this computer is insanely old, but I still have a lot of affection for it. This 2002 OS 10.2 iMac is the computer on which I made the transition from film to digital photography (the photo onscreen and the photo of the computer were both taken what seems a lifetime ago with my 2mp Dimage X). It's the computer on which I taught myself Photoshop (thanks, Google, and all the thousands of users who posted helpful tips and tutorials online, you're what the Web is all about).

As an Internet machine, it's severely crippled. Yes, I can connect, search, do Gmail and upload photos to Flickr -- but I can't upgrade the OS, can't upgrade the Firefox browser, and it long since stopped running Flash thanks to Adobe's upgrades. Who cares?  I use a $250 Samsung Chromebook for the Internet and most of my writing. It resembles a Macbook Air in style and maybe 80% of the functionality at one-quarter the cost. Other devices live in our household -- my iPhone, T's iPad and her much newer big screen iMac. But this is what I use to process photos.

It runs Photoshop 7 -- also old, but it does the job. Sure, the setup is a bit pokey -- but, hey, so am I. Besides, I just don't regularly do the sort of volume for which a more efficient workflow would be a problem. I like to take my time and meditate on photos as I process them anyhow.

For the last couple of years, it's been a personal challenge to see if I could baby the iMac along until it hit the 10-year mark, after which I figured I would upgrade. But I passed that mark last month, and guess what? After spending a lot of time researching alternatives, I realized there's no need to upgrade just yet. The computer is running fine, everything is totally backed up and if it died I could replace it in a day.

I realized that this is a terrible time to buy a computer, whether desktop or full-function laptop. It's just going to be obsolete in no time. How we use computers is changing; the desktop and mobile worlds are clearly converging. And I want the best of both worlds in one machine. Why upgrade until I can get what I want?

I love T's iPad, but I don't want two other machines besides my iPhone -- I want one, basically a tablet with a detachable keyboard, wireless big screen monitor, capability to run desktop software like Photoshop as well as tablet apps, along with the ability to play well with a printer. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so. I understand Windows 8 has taken major steps in this direction, but I haven't been a Microsoft fanboy for a long time and don't propose to start now.

What it boils down to is that I'm not going to buy anything major until I can get what I really want.

Until Apple -- or maybe Google -- comes up with something along these lines, I'm just going to hunker down with my "lampshade" iMac and ignore their new product offerings (other than the Chromebook). I don't need a new tablet, I don't need a new laptop, I don't need a new desktop computer. I especially don't need new dumbed-down devices to help me consume even more media. I'm looking for a single, low-maintenance machine that runs the best apps from both the mobile and the desktop worlds. And I'm prepared to wait. Are you listening, Apple?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Line for President Obama's UW-Madison appearance

Line for President Obama's UW-Madison Appearance

The line stretched about a mile from Bascom Hall, across Observatory Hill, and out to the UW Natatorium, and although police reported 30,000 were admitted into the Bascom Hill site, not everyone was able to get in.

Isthmus used social media to plot the line on Google Maps, which I could get on my iPhone (no thanks to Apple but thanks to the GoogleMaps website). We bicycled over to see the line and go for a ride along the lake (the part that wasn't blocked off). But we returned home to watch on TV. Standing for five hours or so is just not my cup of tea.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day 2012 -- the decline of the middle class.

Labor Day 2012 -- The Decline of the Middle Class

When I took this photo in the window of Tiffany's on New York's 5th Avenue, it was the spring of 1981, and the Regan Revolution was just getting started. The erosion the middle class was just beginning to get underway. The gap between rich and poor, the two "bag ladies" in the photo, could still be represented by an empty place on a park bench. Today it's become a chasm bigger than the Grand Canyon.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Once in a blue moon -- what was hiding behind the clouds Friday night in Madison

Once in a Blue Moon
The Blue Moon is the name for the second full moon in a calendar month. It happens because the phases of the moon are slightly shorter than a full calendar month, so eventually there's an "extra" full moon, the blue moon. Friday night's cloud cover obscured the real full moon, so here's a fanciful recreation to tide you over until the next Blue Moon in 2015.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

These Camp Randall students in 1979 were paying less than 1/10th in tuition and fees than today's students

Dear Mom, Send Money
Today is the Wisconsin Badger football team's home opener against Northern Iowa. Camp Randall will be more consistently red today than it was in 1979, when I took this photo and when the market for Badger paraphernalia was still in its infancy (and UW tuition was more affordable). The plea students were holding aloft then, however, seems more relevant than ever -- resident undergrad tuition and fees at UW-Madison were $769 for the 1979-80 academic year; this year they total $9, 665.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The dark sky of Door County -- especially on the night of the new moon

The Dark Sky of Door County -- Especially on the Night of the New Moon

We arrived in Door County on the night of the new moon, so the clear, dark night sky above the peninsula that juts out between Green Bay and Lake Michigan was even darker than usual, a reminder to city dwellers like us of just how many stars are out there that we usually don't see. When you look up at the Great Dipper in Madison, it really stands out because you don't see all that many other stars. In Door County it was almost lost in the stars.

Milky Way Over Door CountyThis is looking north across Green Bay from Gills Rock, at the tip of Wisconsin's thumb, toward Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or UP. Two distant Michigan cities beyond the horizon leave their  glowing imprint on the darkness of the night sky -- Escanaba, twice as large and twice as close, being much brighter than the dim red glow of Ironwood. The latter is about 30 miles away as the crow flies, while Escanaba is a mere 15, if I'm reading my map right. The dots of red light seem to be channel markers out in the bay.

 What really stands out in spectacular fashion in a dark sky is the Milky Way, that sideways look into the galaxy that the solar system is part of, glowing pale white with the light of billions of stars. Invisible above the lights of a city, in the dark countryside it splashes brightly across the sky, and it's easy to see how it got its name. The photo on the right was taken looking south from Gills Rock, toward the rest of Door County.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ever wonder where that iconic bust of Fighting Bob La Follette was made, and who made it?

"One Day Longer, One Day Stronger. And Tomorrow We Win."
The sculpted bust of Robert M. "Fighting Bob" La Follette in the Capitol became a focal point of the Capitol protests last year, surrounded by signs and people asking, "What would Fighting Bob do?"

The bust in the Capitol is a copy of  the original by a great American sculptor of the early 20th Century. He was Jo Davidson, who seemed to sculpt almost famous person of his time. This photo of Fighting Bob sitting for him in his Paris studio was published in a photo gallery on the NY Times Lens blog today. Click on this link to go to the gallery and the story behind it, and then click on #16 to see the photo full-size. Other photos in the series drawn from the Times' archive of artists photographed with their subjects are also fascinating -- for example, Einstein sitting for an Arthur Lowenthal bust in Berlin, Claire Luce being painted in her Ziegfield Follies costume, and Helen Keller sitting for another Davidson bust.

What's ironic is that, although the Times went to a lot of trouble arranging these photo shoots of artists and their famous subjects, the artists who photographed them are unknown. Back then, the only photo credit in the NY Times read "The New York Times."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Looking for Perseids on a cloudy night at Indian Lake

Looking for Perseids on a Cloudy Night at Indian Lake

Saturday night was supposed to be the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, but unfortunately it was cloudy in Madison, so we decided to take a faith-based approach, driving to Indian Lake County Park in hopes that the skies would clear. It's in a really dark valley, protected from the usual ambient light sources. Got there about 10:30 and stayed until a little after midnight.

It worked, sort of. It was a beautifully dark setting -- with only a bit of light leaking out of the much-appreciated restrooms near the parking lot. Other people had the same idea, and there were small groups of people talking softly in the dark, clustered in lawn chairs around the silhouettes of a half dozen cars. It was fun being in a good-humored group to share what was basically a disappointing show. The clouds did actually part here and there, revealing an occasional scattering of stars. I even saw the very faint streak of a meteor now and then. But whenever something more spectacular flashed overhead, and it wasn't very often, I was either looking elsewhere or fiddling with my camera. And when the stars were visible, they weren't very bright, screened by a curtain of haze even where there were no clouds. Ditto for the meteors, such as they were. I took a lot of 30-second exposures, but not one of them captured a meteor. Eventually the clouds covered the whole sky and we left. Perhaps if we'd had the patience to stay until the predicted peak at 4:00am, the clouds might have parted once more, and I might have had better luck. Or not.

But, still, it was a nice trip, and a lovely, quiet night out there in the dark Wisconsin countryside.

View Large On Black

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lanterns for Peace

Lanterns for Peace
A look back at Monday night's Lanterns for Peace observance in Tenney Park to mark the end of the anniversary week of the Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) bombings at the end of World War II.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Lanterns for Peace -- a glowing peace flotilla with a cargo of hopes and dreams illuminates the darkness

Lanterns for Peace Shadowed by Ominous Cloud The age of nuclear terror began in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and ever since we have lived under the shadow of the mushroom cloud that rose over the indescribable horror. Lanterns for Peace at the Tenney Park Lagoon was held on the 67th anniversary. By a strange coincidence, there was a cloud on the horizon Monday night that struck some as an ominous reminder.

  Peace Bridge
This year's Lanterns for Peace observance on Hiroshima Day was especially moving and poignant, coming as it did the day after the tragic events at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek.

  Family Launching their Lanterns for Peace Children and parents alike were entranced by the beauty of the flickering candles in the paper lanterns decorated with origami cranes, peace symbols and heartfelt wishes for peace. The little illuminated boats drifted slowly into the night with their cargo of hopes and dreams.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Sunset Ride on the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path

Sunset Ride on the Howard Temin Lakeshore Path
On those hot, muggy summer days you can usually catch a cool breeze later in the day on the  UW's path that runs from the the Memorial Union to Picnic Point.

Blue sky, full moon, but not a blue moon

Blue Sky but Not a Blue Moon
Wednesday night's full moon rising over the UW's Walnut Street greenhouses rhymed visually with the greenhouse lights. But it was not, contrary to what I heard on one of the local TV stations -- I forget which one -- a blue moon. That takes place on August 31st. That's according to the newer definition -- the second full moon in a month that has two. The older definition, which dates back to a time when people used the full moons to mark the seasons for agriculture, hunting and religious observances, says a blue moon is the third moon in a season that includes four full moons. According to that standard, the next blue moon occurs on August 21, 2013.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Money Cage

Wisconsin State Capitol Reflected in U.S. Bank Building Capitol reflected in windows of U.S. Bank Building, Capitol Square, Madison. 8-image (cropped) photo mosaic, with iPhone 4 and Autostitch. B&W conversion in Photoshop.

Friday, July 27, 2012

What a Difference a Little Rain Makes

What a Difference a Little Rain Makes Ten days ago, the flow of water from Lake Wingra to Wingra Creek over the Wingra Dam had completely stopped, because the water level of the lake had fallen below the dam spillway. This is what it looked like then. How nice to get a little moisture!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Opera in the Park Saturday night -- Barcarolle from Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman with light sticks

Saturday night's Opera in the Park, free public performance of selections by the Madison Opera, in Garner Park. This was Offenbach's Bacarolle, with Carol Lynch, soprano; Emily Fons, mezzo-soprano; and Madison Opera Chorus. Gary Thor Wedow, Conductor. Hundreds of Madison light stick swingers and swayers, young and old, provided the light show.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Maxwell Street Daze

Maxwell Street Daze Maxwell Street Days on State Street -- what it feels like. It's always hot and there are always lots of people, and after awhile in the hot sun, they all sort of blur together. (6-exposure photo mosaic, with iPhone and Autostitch.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Shelter from the Storm with Devices

Shelter from the Storm with Devices And photographed with another device (iPhone 4) -- Regent Street, Madison, during last night's downpour.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday Morning Mommy Mob

Mommy Mob
Yesterday morning on Edgewood Drive -- while most of Madison cowered indoors from the heat, an exercise group of intrepid moms braved the scorching heat to meet with their trainer and exercise in the (relatively) cool morning shade in the woods behind Edgewood.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Think of each one as a 100-watt light bulb, and not the energy saving ones either

Think of Each One As a 100-Watt Light Bulb and Not the Energy Saving Ones Either

Although we've had a much warmer -- and drier -- summer than usual, it's always hot during the Art Fair on the Square. Mid-nineties temps are nothing unusual during this mid-July weekend in Madison. Something about the cognitive state associated with spending an hour or two in the hot sun walking the burning pavement and hovering on the verge of heat stroke seems to make people prone to buying art, since this is one of the country's larger and more financially successful art fairs. It's already hot out there, but each human being radiates about as much heat as a 100-watt light bulb. When they're packed in close together, that adds up.

4-exposure iPhone/Autostitch photo mosaic.

Fox News was (half) right: We do have palm trees in Madison.

Fox News Was (Half) Right: We Do Have Palm Trees in Madison

But only during the Art Fair on the Square, where there was an artist making huge palm tree and cactus sculptures.

10-image photo mosaic, iPhone 4 and Autostitch, processed in Snapseed. View Large on Black.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Celebrating Bastille Day on a hot summer night in Madison

Hot Summer Night in Madison
Celebrating Bastille Day Saturday night at La Fête de Marquette with a group based in Paris, Sergent Garcia.

(Multiple exposures overlaid in-camera with Nikon D-90.)

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Hope for Madison's most picturesque ruin

New Hope for Garver Feed Mill

On our way home from Olbrich Botanical Gardens last night, we took a spin past Madison's most picturesque ruin, the Garver feed mill, painted by the late afternoon sun and fringed with unkempt wildflowers.
It looked doomed when Common Wealth Development's plan to rehab the facility as an arts incubator collapsed due to lack of sufficient funding. But Isthmus recently reported that the city of Madison and Olbrich Gardens have been working on plans to stabilize some or all of the deteriorating structure, perhaps to serve as storage for Olbrich Gardens pending the development of a long-range plan for further restoration and community use. I hope  they succeed. It would be a shame if this resource were allowed to fall into further neglect leading to eventual demolition.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Encounter with a pigeon on the Military Ridge Trail

Unusual Visitor on the Military Ridge Trail

We came across this pigeon along our ride to Riley's yesterday. The peregrine falcons have really decimated the pigeons that used to congregate in downtown Madison, looking for handouts, so it's a long time since I've seen a pigeon up close. Lovely birds, really. At first I thought this pigeon might be a refugee from the urban slaughter, but that didn't make a lot of sense -- out in the open, pigeons are easy prey for every raptor and owl in the neighborhood, which is why you rarely see them in open country.

This pigeon seemed young, very well groomed and quite tame. We wondered if it was a homing pigeon or an escaped pet. It seemed comfortable with people and let us come very close. We had the feeling that if we stayed a little longer it would have let us hold it (would have been interesting to read the band on its leg).

The encounter led me to read about homing pigeons and their amazing capabilities, including this cool story about a homing pigeon that outperformed a DSL connection in transferring 4 gigs of data over 50 miles in an hour several years ago:

In September 2009, a South African IT company, based in Durban, pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a data packed 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country's biggest internet service provider, Telkom. The pigeon named Winston took an hour and eight minutes to carry the data 80 km (50 mi). Including downloading, it took two hours, six minutes, and 57 seconds for the data to arrive, the same amount of time it took to transfer 4% of the data over the ADSL.

When we continued our ride, the pigeon was still sitting there. I hope it's OK and that the hawks didn't get it.

Monday, July 09, 2012

“¡Vive Eternamente!” -- My Photo Goes South of the Border

“¡Vive Eternamente!”

I posted this photo on Flickr and in my blog post Ray Bradbury and the Dark Side of the American Dream as my response to the death of the writer who meant so much to me. A few days later I received a request to use the photo to illustrate this article on a website in Medellin, Columbia.  I loved the idea of my photo tribute to Ray Bradbury traveling south of the border.

Filling the gaps in my virtually nonexistent Spanish with Google Translate, I was able to follow the article. It's a graceful tribute to Bradbury that begins with the story of how Ray Bradbury was "knighted" as a boy by the carnival magician, Mr. Electro, who touched him with his electric sword and commanded that he "live forever." Bradbury took the lesson to heart and decided the way to try to live forever was to become a writer. Writer Hernán Ortiz concludes that he succeeded.

Like many photographers I find that many of the images I post on Flickr end up being copied and posted elsewhere, often without bothering to ask for permission (or paying a licensing fee). This seems to be my all-time champion, reprinted 215 times at last count. And nobody has ever asked for permission (Hernán did ask, and graciously). Some give a photo credit; some don't.

All this copying was done for personal use. None of it was what could be considered commercial use. Thus, all of it falls under what should be considered fair use. Nevertheless, when the same thing happens to some photographers, they go ballistic. They're angry that someone has "stolen" their image. They threaten to sue, and sometimes they do -- despite the fact that nothing was actually taken from them. They still have their image. And paying a fee would never have been worth it to a person who copied it for personal use; they would just have selected another picture to express what they were feeling or thinking. (After all, for most people posting a picture on a personal blog isn't much different from clipping a picture out of a magazine and putting it up on the refrigerator or their cubicle wall. And nobody calls that "stealing.")

Me, I feel flattered when a blogger likes my image enough to copy it. It's part of the free flow of information across the Internet. It seems like magic that a photo of mine can travel halfway around the world and be recycled in a language I don't know and may never even have heard of. And if that probably doesn't make it "live forever," at least it extends the photo's reach and allows it to touch more people than it could on just my own websites.

Mandatory Note & Disclaimer Just to Be Perfectly Clear All of what I've said is limited to personal use and does not apply to commercial use. I've gone after people who have used my images commercially and even collected some money from them. (It's one reason I don't use a Creative Commons noncommercial license -- I've found that many commercial enterprises are all too quick to ignore the fine print and feel entitled to use any Creative Commons image.) I routinely deny permission to commercial enterprises that do not pay a fee. If you're going to make money selling someone else's work, you need to pay them. It's that simple. Period.

I sympathize with full-time photographers. It's harder than ever for them to make a living. Equipment is expensive, income is hard to come by. But the great technological threat to their livelihood comes not from the Internet making it possible for people to "steal" their images. It comes from the fact that photographers are competing with literally billions of people who can now take pictures with phones and inexpensive digital cameras. There are so many images floating around in the world that the value of individual images has declined exponentially, literally by a couple orders of magnitude. Stock photos that once sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars now sell for under ten dollars apiece. Some photographers will continue to prosper. They will do it by adding value in unique ways and filling niches that can't easily be duplicated. They don't have much to worry about. Many of them have also adapted to the Internet and realize that if they have a unique vision and style, repetition on the web -- including the occasional unauthorized use -- is a powerful promotional tool.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Others may be bigger, flashier and louder, but you can't beat the Shorewood fireworks for a good, traditional show

In the Rockets' Red Glare
Last night, despite the heat, we ventured out to get our accustomed Fourth of July fireworks fix. There were no traffic hassles, and we found easy parking along Lake Mendota drive just west of the Black Hawk Country Club golf course, where Shorewood Hills put on their show. It gets crowded up on the hill by the clubhouse, but there's plenty of uncrowded seating out on the western end of the course. It's a great vantage point. 

Shorewood's display is a traditional one that hasn't changed much in more than 50 years. It lacks many of the features the larger and better known Rhythm & Booms is known for -- F-16 fly-over, huge crowds, traffic and parking hassles, along with a heavily promoted, dramatically orchestrated and overproduced extravaganza set to music.  But we weren't looking for that, and we didn't miss it. On a warm summer night in July, we were just looking for some simple magic to delight the inner child in all of us, no matter what age.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

103 in the shade down by Lake Wingra

103 in the Shade

When I took the photos in this Autostitch photo mosaic this afternoon at Wingra Boats, the Weather Channel said it was 105 degrees, while Channel 3 said it was 101, so I split the difference. (The iPhone is like a camera with a bunch of different thermometers built in that don't always agree.)

No matter how you measure it, today's high is a record for the 4th of July in Madison -- and the earliest in the year we've ever experienced triple-digit temperatures.

Watching the full moon rise over Monona Terrace

Artificial Moon with Satellite

We went to Monona Terrace last night to watch the full moon rising over Lake Monona.

The Poignance of an Empty Outdoor Cafe at TwilightTwilight was settling in when we arrived. This is the rooftop cafe. I love the poignance of an outdoor cafe at dusk when the umbrellas have been folded up and have gone to sleep. Lonely and cozy at the same time.

Monona Terrace Lights at Dusk
There were many moons on the roof of Monona Terrace -- the signature Monona Terrace beehive hemispheres glowing warmly in the dying light. It made the real moon almost seem to be another satellite of these artificial moons. Should be even more beautiful tonight, when Monona's Fourth of July fireworks display takes place across th elake beneath the full moon.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The future is here but not yet quite ready for prime time

The Future Is Here but Not Quite Ready for Prime Time There are a number of these charging stations for electric cars around town (this is on Monroe Street, next to the library), but so far, few takers. I have yet to see anyone filling up an electric anywhere in the city, though there must be a few people who do.

One reason might be that here in the Midwest, all-electrics don't have nearly as good a carbon footprint as hybrids. That's because so much of our electric power is generated by coal.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

One way to beat the heat

Pheasant Branch Creek Trail
Want to bike or walk in the Madison area but the direct, baking sun and temps in the mid-nineties are just too much to take? This bike path runs along the Pheasant Branch Creek in Middleton as it meanders toward the Pheasant Branch Conservancy and then Lake Mendota. The path is cooler than the surroundings. It's shaded by the trees, and the same sunlight that is so hot elsewhere flilers beautifully through the trees, casting highlights on and near the creek.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Milwaukee Public Market: Does Madison need something like this? (Former) Mayor Dave thinks so.

Milwaukee Public Market: Does Madison Need Something Like This? This was the scene recently (near closing time-- usually it's bustling with people) at the Milwaukee Public Market, a magnet location in the city's historic Third Ward. We have one of the most successful farmers' markets in the country in Madison, but that only operates on the Capitol Square in the warmer months (the winter indoor market is held in two different locations, neither perfect). Proposals for an indoor facility have been kicking around for years without getting off the ground. Madison's (Former) Mayor Dave is a fan and makes the case in Why Madison needs a year-round public market in this week's Isthmus.

(10-exposure panorama made with iPhone4 and Autostitch.)

It looked like rain, but Mother Nature can be such a tease

Mother Nature Can Be Such a Tease Looked like rain for sure this morning -- relief for the drought that has parched lawns and canceled most Fourth of July fireworks in the area, though not Rhythm & Booms and Elver Park. But it didn't rain. Not a drop.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Madison got very little of last night's badly needed rain, most of which once again fell north of us, but the cool front ushered in some very pleasant weather. This is how it looked on Lake Wingra.

Summer Solstice Sandhills

Solstice Sandhills These Sandhill Cranes were right along the Pheasant Branch Creek Trail yesterday. I think this is the first bird photo I ever took with the iPhone -- not by choice, but by necessity. Usually the wide angle lens of the iPhone meets many of my photo needs, but it does not have a real telephoto zoom (just an electronic zoom that zooms by discarding pixels -- ouch!) and so I usually carry my Coolpix with me. It would have been perfect for this, but unfortunately I discovered I had left the battery in the charger. It was the iPhone or nothing, so I gritted my teeth and gingerly moved the zoom slider as little as I could while still capturing the birds (which were remarkably unbothered by my awkward fumbling about).

 It turned out OK, with a bit of touching up in Photoshop, but I sure wish I'd had my battery.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice Skyscape

Rays of Solstice Light
Bicycling yesterday on the North Fork of the Pheasant Branch Creek Trail tonight west of Middleton, riding into the setting sun, rays of light sunbursting outward. Autostitch panorama on iPhone 4.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Next time you're in the Milwaukee Art Museum, don't forget to look down at the floor

Next Time You're in the Milwaukee Art Museum Look Down
Some of the most beautiful work in the Milwaukee Art Museum's permanent galleries in the War Memorial Center designed by Eero Saarinen are the intricately textured hardwood floors, which glow with an inviting, burnished warmth. But more than half a century of wear and tear in the 1957 building have left the structure and the floors in need of renovation.

Non-monochromatic Milwaukee River Walk Sunset Mosaic

Non-monochromatic Milwaukee River Walk Sunset Mosaic

OK, I probably get a little carried away with the black and white sometimes. T is right -- this one probably  wants to be color. Compare B&W.

Large on Black.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The price of art is eternal vigilance

The Price of Art Is Eternal Vigilance

Guarding the portal at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

(Two-image blended photo mosaic, photographed with iPhone 4 and stitched and cropped in Autostitch. B&W conversion and additional processing in Snapseed. I could have taken one exposure -- but the two images added a bit of resolution and provided more of a curved perspective to go with the art.)

Argo and the Calatrava

Argo and the Calatrava
Took a little jaunt to Milwaukee yesterday: Argo by Alexander Liberman and the addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum by Santiago Calatrava. Panorama photographed with iPhone 4 and processed with Autostitch.

View Large on Black.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Remember when cars were massive road sculptures and 8-cylinders were cool instead of gas guzzlers?

Buick Eight
Buick Eight rusting away peacefully in Dr. Evermor's Art Park. From the time when American cars were huge, heavy road sculptures. Father's or grandfather's car, as the case may be. Happy Father's Day!