Thursday, May 27, 2010

Week 21: On the way to Charlottesville

This past weekend I made a drive down to visit a friend who lives in Charlottesville, VA. The drive took us from MA through CT, NY, a sliver of NJ, PA, MD and finally to VA. That's a lotta states. And a lotta states means a lotta driving.

Luckily for me, at least in this instance, I got to ride shotgun the whole way while my buddy took the pilot seat.

Since this was a reunion weekend of sorts for three really close high school friends there were only a few photos sanitized enough to make it up for this week's post. Of those I only had one that I really liked, so there are no outtakes this week.

This shot could be from any one of those states we passed through. Really have no idea which one it was.

The one thing I know from this foggy quick trip to the South is that I really gotta get back there. Charlottesville was a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Week 20: Bike Messenger

In last week's update I mentioned that I've been playing around with panning lately. While moving cars are interesting to photograph I found that trying to capture bike messengers in motion was far more challenging.

Freezing their motion against a blurred background is definitely hard, but the hardest part was actually finding them. I started out waiting on a corner on Congress Street near Post Office Square in downtown Boston thinking there would be a lot of bike traffic through the financial district. I only saw one bike. So I wrote about it on twitter and a friend of mine whose wife used to work downtown sent me a note about how he would see a ton of them when he would visit her.

Turns out I was about a block away form there when I was first shooting, so while I was in the neighborhood, I was just far enough away to miss the action. I went back there the next day and sure enough a whole clutch/gaggle/school of bike messengers was hanging out in the park on Devonshire Street.

I parked myself on the sidewalk and waited.

I ended up catching about a dozen messengers on that street. This was the only one that I really liked. I shot this one on the Canon 35mm film camera I have, on some Velvia 100 film. Actually all of this week's shots are from this setup.

The next time I try to go on a panning hunt I'll be bringing my digital camera. Being able to get some immediate feedback on the shots with the digital camera will make the outing a bit more successful. As it was with the film setup I had to guess at what exposure settings would work, and just how slow of a shutter speed I would need to keep the biker relatively crisp against a blurred background. I obviously have a ways to go...

Here are the outtakes from the week:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week 19: birdwatching

Who knew seagulls were so friendly? This guy was perched up on a pylon at the end of the Long Wharf near the New England Aquarium. I took his picture from maybe 5 feet away and kept creeping in on him until my lens was about a foot from his beak. He was pretty cooperative. I think he was hoping I'd make with the breadcrumbs.

I took a bunch of pictures of this guy, but this one was my favorite.

I got a few outtakes this week, two of them are previews of what is to come this week. I've been messing around with panning, and for some reason (maybe to torture my patience) I've only been doing the panning work on film. I'm planning to get out there again this week and try to perfect, or at least work on, my panning techniques.

And the last outtake image is from Christopher Columbus park, again near the Aquarium in Boston. Not really happy about this shot, but that just means I need to get back there and try it again.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 18: P10

I found a new parking garage to get on top of. These are the sorts of things that excite the photographer in me.

This particular garage is above Downtown Crossing in Boston, pretty close to where I work. The 10th floor is the top floor, and it's completely open to the air. Some of the garages I've been in are the bottom few floors of an office building, and while they may offer some good views of older architecture, they're a bit limiting as far as skyline views go.

I will have to head back to this garage one night with a tripod to get some of the buildings. There's a great panoramic view of the nearby office buildings that would look pretty amazing through a really wide lens.

For this shot I went back to the digital camera and used the Canon 17-40 lens at 40mm with a circular polarizing filter on to darken the sky out a bit.

While I was up on the roof I also took a few shots of the action below. The downtown crossing area is pretty busy on a nice day during the lunch hour. I made a gimmicky fake tilt-shift miniaturization shot out of one of the images. Sure it's kitschy, but fun nonetheless. This is outtake #1:

On my way back from the garage I spied this pooch hanging out of a car, so I took a shot. He's outtake #2:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week 17: Durgin Parking Garage

This week's photo is of the Durgin Park billboard from the top floor of the Dock Square garage in Boston, near Faneuil Hall. I have been on top of two other garages so far in Boston, and even though I park in this one nearly every time I drive into the city I had yet to wander up to the 7th floor. 

Today as I was heading back to my car I had two frames left on the roll of 120 loaded in my Yashica Mat. So instead of huffing up the stairs to the 4th level I decided I'd gamble on the rickety elevators and take the ride to the top floor. I wasn't really sure if the top would be totally exposed to the outside, but when the elevator doors opened I was presented with what looks like a football field sized flat parking garage floor with plenty of room to walk around and get some great shots of the Boston skyline. 

I will definitely be coming back.

And here are this week's outtakes, all from today. 

PS - I know I've been on a bit of a B/W film kick lately, but now that the sun is starting to come out more consistently I'll be shooting a bit more with the digital camera, and definitely more with some Velvia film. I have 5 or 6 rolls of 220 Velvia 100 that I'm hoping to unleash on the bright skies sometime soon.