Friday, January 27, 2006

Vanity Plate No. 1 / NJ - REDWINE

There were a lot of portraits -- self and otherwise -- used to depict vanity, natch, not to mention people gussying themselves up, applying makeup or otherwise admiring their own reflections. Frankly, I didn't expect to see so many photos of birds -- particularly waterfowl like swans, ducks and geese -- used as an expression of narcissism. Peacocks I understood and the dozen cats weren't a surprise, either. I also don't quite get the idea of mannequins having "excessive pride in one's appearance." Talk about anthropomorphizing something. I did, however, enjoy those who used one of the definitions further down the list.

So while I spent the day going through the 263 entries before I could come home to post my own, I started to wonder if I had any photos on my computer that would fit the challenge. (A hard-drive crash a few months ago took a chunk out of my available images and I haven't been able to rebuild the library yet.) And then I realized that I did, even if it was a camera-phone image. While there were a few posts of cars -- usually exotic ones or high-horsepowered ones -- it took me 154 posts before I found someone of like mind.

This is one of a few vanity plate photos I have. As the collection grows, I'll come up with a better way to present the low-quality, grainy photos produced by a camera phone (since that's how I tend to capture these things when I'm out doing errands at Target, which is where REDWINE was spotted). For now, though, this.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mike Jacobs after the slam, Trenton, June 2005

A couple of months before the Mets called him up to the majors, Mike Jacobs was tearing up the Eastern League. When I caught a Binghamton Mets game in Trenton, his third-inning grand slam tied the game at 6-6. I'd call that success. In the seventh inning, he was hit by a pitch -- after Trenton's Shelley Duncan, the team's top home run hitter, had been drilled and caused the benches to empty when he took a few steps toward the pitcher.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Light on leaves No. 4, January 2006

I find it hard to sit still this week. With a new camera, I don't want to watch TV. I don't want to go to work. So the camera comes with me, and when I'm finished with lunch and have half an hour before my allotted 60 minutes are up (not that my job is a strict nine-to-fiver; it's more of a 10-until-everything's-done, so a 90-minute lunch can be made up on the back end of the day) then I'm going to stop off at a park around the corner from the office before I return.

The beauty of a digital camera -- other than the instant gratification that it provides -- is that I can be less discerning in what I shoot. I don't have to conserve frames on a roll of film; I don't have to fret over a bad shot. I can look for little things like the way the light hits a leaf on the ground and see how it looks through the viewfinder -- and I can see how it looks after taking a picture, knowing that a simple press of a button (or two) will reopen those bytes of memory should the result not be up to par.

With this renewed passion for photography, I now wonder how best to utilize the various accounts I have set up on Flickr, Yahoo!, Snapfish and others, not to mention this blog. For now, I think the answer is this: Flickr is the main album, Snapfish is the site from which I'll order prints and this one is where I'll choose one or two images from each outing to display, and where I'll allow myself to write at some length about this hobby.

Sounds like a plan to me.

A parrot in Edgewater, January 2006

There are a flock of Quaker parrots that build what amount to nest condos in trees and, unfortunately, on power lines and connectors to utility poles in Edgewater, New Jersey. They're true Jersey dwellers now -- they don't flee in the winter. Even now, if you come down the cliff from Cliffside Park on Route 5, after the hairpin turn, if you find yourself far enough back at a red light, all you have to do is turn off the radio to hear the squawking from above. The cacophony of dozens of birds is loud enough to be heard through closed windows. It's beautiful.

Perched, January 2006

There are advantages to sitting next to the only window in the office, particularly when it's a wide panoramic series of panes that stretch from one wall to the other. I've seen this hawk before, but on this day -- the first day I had my new digital SLR up and running -- I was ready. And he was accomodating, swooping down from over the roof, right past the window near where I sit, and gliding to his perch on a branch not much more than 100 feet across the parking lot. That was nice of him.

A full-sized version can be found here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

View from Sandy Hook Lighthouse, December 2005

Time to get back into the Photo Friday challenges. I'm obsessed with panoramic collages, and this is my latest one. Unfortunately, the vantage point atop Sandy Hook Light is inside the lantern room, so there are reflections on the windows visible in the sky. But otherwise, I thought this was a decent collage, made up of four shots.

The view is to the north, with New York City off in the distant haze, probably about 40-50 miles as the seagulls fly.