Friday, August 15, 2014

Metal 'N Ink

Headliners THIRD EYE pack this venue with lines down the sidewalk, so this may be the biggest audience Televators have seen thus far.

Wish we could have practiced more than 2 hours, seeing as how we haven't played together since Feb 28th.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

St. Louis Cemetery #1

The main thing I wanted to shoot in NOLA was an above-ground cemetery.
Decided to use the F828 infrared camera, and it appears to have been a good choice.

We took a two hour tour, which was great.
The main points are:
The city is below sea level, so a good rain will float a casket out of the ground. Not cool!
People buy a deed to the space and build what they want. Upkeep not included. You can also rent, and owners can allow anyone they want to share space. Very practical.
You spend a year and a day on the top level, in a wood box. The heat pretty much cremates you. After that, what's left gets dropped down and eventually swept to the rear. Before too long, all remains end up seeping into the ground.
My sense for these things as well as electronic devices found no evidence of haunting in this particular cemetery. Kinda disappointed, but on the other hand I was able to concentrate on photography instead of ghost hunting.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Views Of The Crescent

The sharpest bend in the Mississippi River is right here in New Orleans, and also the deepest water at over 200 feet. It looks like a crescent moon on Google Earth which apparently gave NOLA the nickname "Crescent City" a bajillion years ago ago, which I've never even heard before.
Live and learn.

Anyway, tonight I insisted on taking a quick "tripod tour" a few blocks from our hotel not long after sundown to get some long-exposure shit  because that's how I roll:
This is The Natchez which we took on a tour yesterday.
It was docking after a dinner tour tonight and I just barely got into position for this shot--the one before and the one after didn't work at all, yet this has the paddlewheel still turning (thus blurred) and the boat is stationary.

Turned around and took some time composing, and this one made me happy.

There were rats scurrying about.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ships And Machine Guns

Took a 2 hour cruise on the Mississippi today, oboard a steam-powered paddlewheel.

Coast Guard on the job. Keep it up! 

I'm kinda fascinated by modern lifeboats. 

Cruise ship loading. 

Did you know that you can Google a ship's name and instantly know all about it? I was pointing to vessels we were passing and telling people how long they'd been docked, what they were carrying, tonnage, etc. 

If you're ever in New Orleans I recommend taking The Natchez. 

We knew we wanted to take the boat but it came together last-minute so I had the "wrong" camera with me, but these pics turned out fine. Might be the first time I've blogged color photos from the F828 instead of the usual infrared black & whites. 

On the subject of Tasty Treats: A bunch of us hit a scuzzy little dump just off Bourbon St. for Po' Boys. Mine was fried chicken, while the others went with catfish and shrimp. 
It's hard to make a bad chicken sandwich--I don't even mind McDonald's--so it's not like my standards are all that high... 
But the one I ate tonight was the best I've ever had by far. 
And it was so big I really wanted to save half for later, but couldn't bring myself to stop eating until it was gone. 

The first bite got stuck somehow, and it took a few minutes before I was able to get it to go down. Instead of worrying about almost choking to death I just got mad about having to wait on that second bite. 

Is that a good review, or what? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Orleans

Two views from the roof of our hotel, pointing towards then away from the Mississippi River:


I just ate a big plate of red beans and rice that had a piece of the very best smoked sausage I've ever tasted in my life. 

Friday, June 20, 2014


This week I built a birdfeeder using crap I had around the house--a scrap of fence board, mason jar, florist wire, and a thin sheet of bamboo Ken and I had bandsawed off a cutlery organizer that was a little too long for it's drawer.

I was instantly disappointed by the photos I could get from inside the house, through the patio window. The birds won't come if you're sitting outside, and it's too hot and boring anyway.  And even a 1/1000 shutter won't freeze bird-motion well at all, so you're stuck with catching them sitting and eating. 

Luckily the plan all along was to get tricky and game those birds: 


I need to update this post tomorrow with a photo of my setup and some of the shots without flash.

What I did is put my main flash (Sunpak 383-Super) on a stand on the patio, about 6 feet from the feeder. It fires when the camera's shutter opens, triggered by wireless radio transmitter/receiver. That flash sets off two smaller ones mounted a few inches in front of and below it via their optical sensors. I'm trying to overpower the sun to a currently unknown amount.
The camera is on a tripod about 4 feet closer to the house, and I take the picture from indoors using an infrared remote aimed thru the curtains. Focus is already set manually to cover a zone around the feeder.
Exposure is also set manually to knock down the background levels a stop or two.

Since flashes pulse MUCH faster than typical shutter speeds, they freeze motion more better. Also, lighting something intentionally gives you control over many aspects of how the camera "sees". It's different for sure, and looks cool right out of the camera.

The finch pics were done yesterday, and kept me interested.

This dove shot was from today, and I scrapped the pair of slave flashes 'cuz I didn't need as much light as I thought because of the short distance, and the response delay inherent in optical triggers was giving me a longer duration of flash, although I can't tell if it helps yet.  

I didn't put the feeder and camera stuff outside until 4pm, and that may be responsible for a light turnout. Word hadn't spread that there was a free buffet in our backyard.
We've been getting a nice cardinal couple, and the finch has a wife, too.
Sparrows are like soccer fans--one of them will get on the feeder and sweep a bunch of seed into the grass so his 5 buddies can peck for it.
The woodpecker is a jerk.