In New York City leading a National Geographic Expeditions Workshop. Doing alright so far. Haven’t lost anybody yet. Nice group of folks. Hope they’re not disappointed that I’m not, you know, Nick Nichols, or somebody like that who’s got a lot of great Indiana Jones type photo stories. “I stood there in front of the enraged water buffalo, with the only thing between me and his massive horns was my Nikon DS4000XL Red Sonja series camera with the 12 to 3000mm over under combo zoom with the bore sighted grenade launcher. I had one round left…” I make up stuff like that, but nobody in the class believes me.
I think it’s going okay, even though I was pretty mean the other day and told everybody they had to go into a shop in Chinatown and get a portrait of an owner. Lots of ‘em got yelled at. Heh, heh, heh. Welcome to the intensely human experience of being a photog and trying to work it out ad hoc. Sometimes, you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get yelled at, or worse.
Shot the above in two pics and then dropped ‘em into PhotoShop. Oh, yeah. Am I smokin’ on post or what? You see, the DLWS gang–Moose Peterson, Laurie Excell and Kevin Dobler–think I’m not listening when they’re up there teaching. That may be because of the guttural, snoring noises I make from the back of the room and the large drool stain on my t-shirt that inevitably results whenever the room goes dark. But I do absorb certain things. It’s kinda osmotic. You can’t hang with Scott Kelby and Moose and Matt Klowskowski and all and not pick a few things up.
I mean, I joking here. This is embarrassingly basic. I dropped these two guys into photomerge and sat there at the computer, staring at it like it was a slot machine. I did use the string of pix to talk to the class about exposure though.
Shot both frames ISO 200, hand held, aperture priority. But, I had to change up my EV compensation in between shots, because the brighter, sunset section of sky would push my shutter speed higher and I would lose the glow of the city. It’s a small thing, but significant for the file. The matrix meter reacts to the brightness of the sky, and if I let the camera fly on it’s own, the city for that portion of the pano would have been a touch darker. So in between frames I adjusted EV, and ended up actually with the same shutter speed across the two pix, which makes sense, cause the city at that point is a constant source of light, requiring the same exposure. It’s the sky that is constantly changing, if only slightly.
Here’s a screen shot of both in Aperture….
Feeling stupidly giddy about this, cause I don’t do this type of thing very often. Running the pano below, cause the horizontal constraints of the blog make for not really being able to see long, skinny pictures. Pushed both pix as jpegs into PS, and did a couple basic curves to brighten certain areas, and then used the Nik darken/lighten center move. Like that option, cause it harks back for me to newspaper work in the 70’s. There was a National Press Photographer’s Association “style” back then that really pushed us to burn the heck out of the corners of the print, and of course ferrocyanide (bleach) the eyes to bring them out.
Back down on the street, it was business as usual. Shoot and move, shoot and move. Visited the Apple store on 5th, and shot a pretty typical up looking view of the spiral staircase there.
Liked the graphics of it, until of course an Apple employee stepped up and told me I couldn’t shoot up at the stairs cause somebody might be wearing a skirt. Now in Manhattan the array of people who could be potentially wearing a skirt is widely varied, so I could understand their concern. But really–all you see are the bottoms of shoes. Do I look that desperate? The guy who complained to me musta had the nuns.
So, cause I was acting like a pervert in the Apple store, I had to go to St. Pat’s. I like St. Pat’s. Lit candles in there for the birth of both my children. They’ve got little sanctuaries, alcoves, devotional areas–I don’t know what you call them–all around the sides of the church, and three of them are devoted to saints I am fond of. I’m a pretty irreverent sort, but I do have favorites. On the left is St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. I embrace him for obvious reasons. Then there’s St. Michael the Archangel. I took Michael as a middle name cause I thought he was cool. He was like the Chuck Norris of angels, cause he kicked butt and took names. And then there’s St. Anthony, who looks after you when you lose stuff. (Very important guy for me to know.)
And for the first time ever, I saw the guy who takes care of the candles. Never think about it, right? But there has to be somebody who does it. Very nice man.