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Thursday, April 27, 2006


More Tall Ships Arrive

Hard at work - Schooner VirginiaYesterday two more large sailing vessels arrived yesterday in Baltimore at the Inner Harbor as part of the celebration of the Volvo Ocean Race - the schooner Virginia and the barkentine Gazela. In addition, there are smaller, but still impressive boats all over the Inner Harbor now.

The Gazela, built in the late nineteenth century in Portugal, has, according to Wikipedia "... the distinction of being the oldest, largest square-rigged wooden Class A vessel still under active sail."

The website for Sail Baltimore has information about these ships as well as more to come throughout the rest of the year.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Volvo Ocean Race Comes to Baltimore

Brazil Navy Ship Cisne Branco in Baltimore HarborThe first of several impressive sailing ships arrived in Baltimore yesterday, celebrating the Volvo Ocean Race.

This beauty is the Cisne Branco (White Swan), a ship of the Brazil Navy. At 253 feet (76 m) long and 154 feet (46.4 m) and fully rigged with 31 sails, it looks like something built in the 1800's. Actually, although it was inspired by the design of late-19th Century clipper ships, it was built just six years ago in Amsterdam.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Photo-Ops Walking To and From Work

250 W. Pratt Street - Baltimore, MDBringing my little Canon A620 with me to work every day is getting to be a lot of fun now that I'm on an assignment in downtown Baltimore. I'm always swiveling my head, looking up and down everywhere as I go the 3/4 mile between the Light Rail station and the office.

Here's a photo of 250 W. Pratt Street, caddy-corner from where I get off of the Light Rail. This 24-floor building by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is one of the few really attractive modern structures among the Baltimore skyline.
World Trade Center Baltimore - Inner Harbor ReflectionOn the other hand, the building that's reflected in the water here is one that I never tire of making fun of - World Trade Center Baltimore. Unfortunately, WTCB, built in 1968, sits right on the edge of the Inner Harbor, so you can't ignore it and hope it will go away. It's a boring design that also has aged poorly, kind of a high-rise slum.

On the other hand, reflections of WTCB can be quite nice, especially if they are distorted - the distortions add interest to the otherwise yawn-provoking design.

Genuine Baltimore Orioles FansWhile I was waiting for the Light Rail to take me back home this afternoon, today's Orioles game was letting out from the ballpark at Camden Yards, right next to the rail stop. It was a nice opportunity for some street photography, and my best shot of the day was of these two very loyal Orioles fans. By the way, the Birds won today 9-4 over Cleveland.

Light Rail FisheyeThe last few shots of the day were "fisheye" images of the wide-angle mirror at the Light Rail stop. I had taken some of these last fall, but yesterday I noticed that the southbound track, the one I take going home, had a more interesting view.

In this image, you can see 250 W. Pratt Street on the left and the Bromo Tower on the right.

... and at bottom center, you can see your intrepid correspondent using a highly unorthodox camera technique.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Working Downtown Again

US Lightship No. 116 - 'Chesapeake' Baltimore, MDSandy, "the kids", and I drove up to Ottawa last Friday morning and had a wonderful weekend with Sandy's family. I was hoping to get some really good photos while there, but other than family pictures, I didn't produce anything that I'd like to post.

Ben and I took a bus downtown to walk around Parliament Hill and the Byward Market area. Ottawa's Parliament Hill must be the most spectacular location for a seat of government in the world. The complex was modeled on the British Parliament, but it sits on a high bluff overlooking the Ottawa River. So you would think that with such a grand setting, I would have brought home the bacon. My mistake was to go in mid-afternoon, and the lighting was just too contrasty to render both the brillant blue sky/white cloud background and the buildings themselves, which were in shadow. I think Ben might have gotten a few good images; as we go through them, I'll post any good ones we find.

World Trade Center Baltimore, reflected in Baltimore HyattMeanwhile, I'm on another assignment with Constellation Energy Group in dowtown Baltimore. I just started yesterday, and now that I have my Walk-Around Canon A620, I've already shot about 60 pictures on my walks to and from the Light Rail station.

The first photo above is U.S. Lightship No. 116, the Chesapeake, which marked the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay for almost 30 years, starting in 1933. It's now moored in Baltimore's Inner Harbor as part of the Maritime Museum. The building in the background is the new Australia Exhibit of the National Aquarium. I took the photo in morning light, about 8:00 AM.

This next picture is the World Trade Center Baltimore reflected in the Hyatt Hotel. I can tell you that it looks much better like this on the wall of the Hyatt than it does in real life. Taken just before sunset from the "skywalk" adjacent to the Pratt Street Pavilion at the Inner Harbor.

This final photo is hot out of the camera from this morning. The heavy rope, wound about the cast iron bollard, is one of the mooring lines for the all-sail warship, the USS Constellation, which is permanently berthed at the Inner Harbor.

The weather the last two days has been just perfect, both for photography and for walking the 3/4 mile from the Light Rail station to the office. I should be at this assignment for at least three months, and with my Canon A620 now with me all the time, I hope to produce a lot of new material these next few months.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Watch Your Lanes!

Cheasapeake Bay Bridge, westbound, evening of April 1st.

Sandy drove, I snapped.

Early the next day, I snapped this shot of an empty community swimming pool in Columbia. Same camera (Canon A620) and in fact, just a few frames apart. It didn't occur to me until tonight that it was almost a replay of the previous night's photos on the bridge.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Hester Street

Little Italy - Mulberry & Hester, NYC
Hester Street Playground - 'East' Chinatown, NYC

From the archive, some photos from an August 2004 visit to New York City. Like Marco Polo, I travelled from Little Italy to Chinatown, a wonderful, colorful journey.

Update: It just occurred to me that the gentleman sitting in the red chair is a dead ringer for former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Beach Chair Shadows

Horn Point, Annapolis MDWaiting for summer ... a pair of chairs at Horn Point in Annapolis, where Spa Creek spills into the Severn River, cast long morning shadows in mid-March.


Bowling Alley Abstract

I've always liked the "graphic" painted on the front of this otherwise semi-shabby bowling alley near my Mom's, and I've been wanting to try some "abstract" photos of it for a while. An overall picture of the scene is at top - not a beautiful sight as you can see.

Bowling Alley AbstractThis is the "abstract" image of the corner of the building, taken withe Canon Digital Rebel and "kit" 18-55mm zoom lens. I gave it some "under" exposure compensation so as not to burn out the white-painted bricks in the bright sunlight. The sky was already a deep blue, but the exposure shift deepened it some more.

The original exposure left some room between the top of the frame and the very top corner of the building. My West Coast friends at Friendly Photo Forum suggested I crop the photo so that the "peak" of the building touches the top of the frame - and I think that was a great suggestion. The two triangles of "negative space" that this creates at the top blance the "positive space" shapes of the main subject.

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