Air or error

These were taken out the window of a commercial airliner during the mid-morning hours. Obviously, not ideal light conditions. The terrain would be somewhere between eastern California and probably New Mexico.
The low clouds abut the mountains.

Shadows of the jagged rocks.

Veins of dry riverbeds on the desert floor.

A conical strip mine.

Lower clouds and their shadows on the ground. (I presume the lines are roads leading up to homes.)

Yes, this is how they turned out with some post tweaking.

Milkin' it

This is the same fountain in the Bonaventure as with the last post, but this one's focus is more on the palm shadows cast on the curved wall.

It's about time (bubbling light)

More fun with varying exposure.

This time our subject is an illumnated fountain inside the Bonaventure Hotel, as shot from above.

We start with a 1/13 second exposure (F/4.5) , which gives little detail on the water burbling up (but does show some detail on the palm next to it):

Then we move to 1/40 second (and open the shutter a bit to F/3.5 to compensate) , and we start to make out the bubbles (the palm gets darker):
And finally to 1/160 second (still F/3.5) , where we can see the apex of the water shooting up and the distinct bubbles in the foam circling out (but the palm is almost completely lost):
Here's a close-crop on that last shot, which is really what speeding it up was going for:

It's true: Timing is everything.

(Apologies to real photographers, who wouldn't bother with this nonsense. I suppose it's only because I'm still learning that I find this remotely interesting.)

Wise light

The Central Library in downtown L.A., as seen from across the street (and behind palm trees, yes). Notice the lines of light on its west-facing entrance, from morning sunlight reflected off other buildings.

The lower shot zooms in on the relief sculptures by the door, where the reflected light is cast upon the face of Wisdom.

No use crying

A normal person would look at spilled water and grab a towel.
A useless person grabs a camera.

See proof above. I rest my case.


The Colburn School, next to the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown L.A., and how it is illuminated at night.


Neon above the entrance to REDCAT, around the back in the Disney Concert Hall.


February 20. The last total lunar eclipse until 2010. My fiancée even called me at work during the day to remind me. But the morning was gray and cloudy so I figured that it would be moot, as the moon would be obscured. However, the clouds cleared by the early evening (when the eclipse would occur in the Pacific time zone) so I decided I would attempt to shoot the moon.

Because I wouldn't get home in time if I took the train, I decided I'd just stay at the office and find someplace to shoot it from there. However, because I was at the office I got roped into (of all things) working on a minor emergency and missed the entire first half of the eclipse.

I went down to street level, walked a block to the north and found a place where I could set up my mini-tripod with a clear view of the moon, and took about 75 shots in under half an hour.

A little under two months later I finally got around to doing some software manipulation (although not much) of the shots, and below are seven of those that turned out less than awful. Enjoy.

7:43 pm, F/4, 1 sec., 72 mm.

7:45 pm, F/3.5, 1 sec., 72 mm

7:47 pm, F/3.5, 1/2 sec., 72 mm

7:49 pm, F/3.5, 1/2 sec., 72 mm (in the lower left a star is visible)

7:50 pm, F/3.5, .8 sec., 72 mm (still including that star)

7:55 pm, F/3.5, 1 sec., 72 mm

7:59 pm, F/3.5, .8 sec., 72 mm

After this I gave up, in part because the clouds were rolling in and starting to obscure the moon's features, and in part because the edge of the moon that was starting to be exposed to full sun was so much brighter than the rest of the moon that I couldn't find an exposure that could get detail on both parts. (I could get some detail but the right edge was blinding, or the right edge was not too bright but the rest was dark.)

I hope my candor is appreciated. With any luck, by 2010 I will either know how to shoot it better or simply know better than to bother trying.

Artificial sun

Oh, let's call this cherry blossoms, and they're blooming on a tree down the street, as illuminated by the lamp posts in a parking lot.

The moon-cloud not-exactly-an-experiment

You may recall back in August I made some effort to shoot the moon and clouds together. And because I never learn, on this night I spent a bit more time in this fruitless pursuit.

We start with a shot that shows clouds in reasonable detail and at least gets the moon down to a solid sphere (rather than a star-shaped point of light). [F/3.5, 1/3 sec., 72mm]
And thanks to a little post-production darkening, in the second shot we can also make out a tiny bit of detail on the moon. [Same F/3.5, 1/3 sec., 72mm]

Another bit of post darkening, and thanks to a shorter exposure we get something approximating the moon surface. [F/3.5, 1/20 sec., 72mm]

And by cutting the exposure significantly, wowzers, there's our familiar lunar face, but where are our wispy cloud friends? Oh well. [F/3.5, 1/100 sec., 72mm]

With any luck, I have learned my lesson, and will stop this nonsense.


Bare shrubs with the sun setting over the Hollywood hills in the background. Taken along Canyon Lake Drive, near Lake Hollywood.


Someone's sloped driveway along the eastern portion of Mulholland Highway (this particular portion isn't even paved), and its painted wall. Near Lake Hollywood.


Varying degrees of saturation as the sun sets over the Hollywood hills.


Various plants in the hills around Lake Hollywood Reservoir.


Rock and its shadow on this plateau in the Hollywood Hills.

Sign up

Yep, it's the Hollywood sign. And a transmission tower that's near it.