Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Emily Dickinson, Eat Your Heart Out

A poem:

Because I could not stop for Death,
I swerved and hit a tree.
I held a high deductible,
For liability.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prancing in Maine

Ah, Maine in the December. The perfect time to visit: no mosquitoes, no tourists, no bears. And, as it happens, no Acadia National Park. When I went with two of my friends, we found the place closed and deserted; park access roads were blockaded with snow, and the lights were off at the visitors center. Fortunately, the trails weren't blocked off, and we were still able to have a good, albeit freezing, time.
(Details: 18mm lens, 1/60 sec at f/11, 100 ISO)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Strawberry Mansion Bridge

Click to enlarge

Here we are, another bridge along the Schuylkill River. The Schuylkill River is often used for rowing regattas (regattae?). You can see the lane numbers just above the near arch on the bridge. Unfortunately, this year, due to budget cuts, one of the river's premier events, the Dad Vail Regatta, was moved to New Jersey.
(Details: 18mm lens, 1/50 sec at f/11, 100 ISO)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Schuylkill Bridges

Click for larger image.

So for those of you outside of the Philadelphia area, the Schuylkill River, which runs through the middle of the city, is pronounced "SKOO-kull". This picture is taken from the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia.
(Details: 18 mm lens, 1/60 at f/11, 100 ISO)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Schuylkill River

I wasn't thrilled with the colors in this picture. It was a November midmorning, and there was a haze, which made all the colors very bland. See for yourself below. Not visible in this picture is an additional mode of transportation-- on the bridge to the left, there are functioning trolley tracks.
(Details: 18mm lens, 1/60 s at f/11, 100 ISO, post-processing red filter)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


So I was in the playground, having fun on the seesaw, just like usual, when I noticed the perfect light falling on my seesawmate, Asya. On my next turn down, I grabbed my camera out of my backpack, and started shooting. It is not particularly easy taking pictures while riding a seesaw.
(Details: 27mm lens, 1/125s, f/8, 200 ISO)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My day job

These days, I'm working for an organization called It's a fabulous website full of demographic data, laid out on a Google Maps-like interface. My job this summer has been mapping federal stimulus projects. You can get a small taste of it here, but you should go to the website for the full effect, and where you can zoom in. Type in your zip code, see what's up in your neighborhood (PA, NJ, DE, MD, VT, NY, CT; rest of New England coming soon):

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bologna, Italy

Two images today, both from the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, on top of a mountainish hill in Bologna, Italy. I don't think you can call it a mountain, because you shouldn't be able to take a taxi up a mountain, and the path down a mountain shouldn't be entirely covered by porticoes. But, being from Philadelphia, it felt like a mountain to me.
(Top picture: 33mm lens, 1/320s, f/11, 100 ISO)
(Bottom picture: 18mm, 1/250s, f/11, 100 ISO)

A small note for serious photographers who really care too much: the focal lengths I'm listing are the focal lengths of the lens when I take the picture. I'm not adjusting for the 1.5x magnification of a digital camera. That is all.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Rocks on sand on beach on Cape Cod.
(Details: 55mm lens, 1/60s, f/14, 100 ISO)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How weird is this?!?

As seen in a storefront in Milan. The truth is, of course, that I'm totally jealous that I didn't come up with this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Skyline AND reflections

This was taken the same day as the earlier Philly cloudscape picture. The reflection is off the new Comcast Center, which has a plain flat surface. The building is pretty boring architecturally, but makes for a good mirror. It reminds me of the opening shot in the movie North By Northwest.
Details: 22mm lens, 1/20s, f/6.3, 100 ISO.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Venice II

This picture is best seen at a larger size, so be sure to click on it to see a more detailed image. This shot is a good example of a time when I didn't think much of a picture when I took it, but after I got home, saw how much was going on. Normally, I can feel a bit uncomfortable taking candid shots of people I don't know, but in Venice, you stand out if you're not a gawking tourist photographer.
Details: 49mm lens, 1/125s, f/8, 100 ISO.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Venice I

I found Venice to be a very difficult place to photograph, the reason being that it's just too easy. It would be beautiful enough with just the buildings, and interesting enough with just the canals. So, I got off the train knowing that I wouldn't be the first ever person to photograph the city. I've had some experience photographing the over-photographed, such as my shots of the Peggy's Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia, possibly the most photographed site in Canada. For me, I put my own spin on it by capturing a reflection in a tidal pool. Reflections are a good way to put your creative mark on a picture, which is what I tried to do in with this picture. The colors and the lights look better on camera than they did in real life. The silky-smooth water effect is achieved by a long exposure, which is necessary at night. I was with my family, walking home from dinner. The main challenge I faced in taking this was dealing with them complaining every time I'd stop to set up my tripod for another 30-second exposure.
Details: 28mm lens, 30s, f/8.0, 100 ISO.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Philly cloudscape

This photo was taken from the Bell Atlantic Tower in Philadelphia during a June rainstorm. It faces the skyline of the western part of Center City, including the Commerce Square towers (the "evil twins") on the left, 30th Street Station in the center, next to the Cira Center and Skuylkill River on the right. I was behind the unopenable windows of a skyscraper, and had to contend with raindrops on the glass obscuring the picture.
Details: 18mm lens, 1/60, f/8.0, 100 ISO.